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Old April 7th, 2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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I'm baffled..

I don't know if any of you are watching the Masters golf tourney pre show, on the Golf Channel.

Yesterday, I was watching the the golf channel Live show and all of the hosts had their dual lapel mics pointed down. All three of them. I have NEVER seen that on any TV show of any kind.
Today,, They were pointed up.
On Thursday, they were pointed up.
I bet if you watch tomorrow they will be pointed up.

Can anyone think of any reason for them to be pointed down????? Then the next day pointed up? I looked close to see if there was any overhead shotguns but couldn't detect any. Would they have been using some type of lapel mics that could point in either direction? What would be the point of that?
I noticed no difference in audio on either day.

is it at all possible that some novice put them ALL on wrong yesterday?
Maybe I'm the novice, but I've never heard of pointing them down. I'm assuming they were omni's but its just weird.

Sort of a mystery to me. Anyone can clue me in?

Thanks,
GL
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Old April 7th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #2
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Re: I'm baffled..

I have often seen them pointed down. The theory is that they are omnidirectional, so it doesn't make a significant difference which way they are pointed. However they are NOT as omnidirectional when it comes to things like wind/breath noises, so pointing them down makes them slightly more immune from those problems. As you say, you did not hear any obvious difference between pointed up vs. down.

As to why they are pointed up or down on alternate days, I suspect it is the individual habit of the production assistant who clips them on that particular day. "Good help is hard to find."
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Old April 7th, 2012, 10:28 PM   #3
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Re: I'm baffled..

In many cases point them down will help resolve issues with splosives especially when you get some of the commentators that talk with a lot of emphasisim on certain letters. However in this case (I too watched Thursday, Friday and this morning) it really is up to the PA or audio person clipping them on.
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Old April 7th, 2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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Re: I'm baffled..

When I shoot weddings, I sometimes put the mic upside down too, because my windscreen and clip are permanently glued to the mic. (I glued it together because I kept losing the windscreen!) If I need to switch from the groom's left lapel to right, I would need to clip it upside down. As long as the mic is omnidirectional, there is no difference. To test this yourself, hold the mic next to your chest, and monitor the sound with headphones. Slowly rotate the mic around, and you'll hear no significant difference whether right side up or upside down.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 04:46 AM   #5
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Re: I'm baffled..

Good quality omni lavs pinned/pointed up or down register no audible difference, especially when pinned on the talents suit lapel.

But pinned on the left (or right) lapel can reduce the high frequency response when the talent turns to his opposite side and speaks .. eg: in an interview.

Anyone know why there can be 2 lavs pinned side by side?

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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:14 AM   #6
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Re: I'm baffled..

I'd assume the 2nd mic is for a back up. Mics have the habit of failing at the least opportune moments.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 06:59 AM   #7
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Re: I'm baffled..

Ok, I didn't know that and would have never thought that.
I still wonder why it wasn't placed the same way for continuity on each day. Any reason that anyone can think of? Wind? It wasn't different people. Same speakers.
They were the same for all on that day. And there was really no noticeable diff in audio.

Yes, agreed, a backup. No other mics could be seen in a pretty wide shot.

What do you think one of those cost? Care to speculate on what type?

Thanks again.
GL
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Old April 8th, 2012, 07:22 AM   #8
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Re: I'm baffled..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Lee View Post
...
I still wonder why it wasn't placed the same way for continuity on each day. Any reason that anyone can think of? Wind? It wasn't different people. Same speakers....

What do you think one of those cost? Care to speculate on what type?

Thanks again.
GL
"Continuity" isn't an issue when you're talking about something like live coverage of an event over different days. After all, with live events you wouldn't find it jarring to see the presenter wearing a different tie on Tuesday then he wore on Monday, in fact you'd kind of expect it. OTOH, if you're shooting coverage of a scene and you shoot the medium shots on Monday and the closeups on Tuesday with the plan of inter cutting them to make the final sequence, you need to keep track of such issues and make sure everything is the same from shot to shot. If he opened the door with his left hand yesterday in the MS, he needs to open it with the left hand today in the CU.

Hard to say what mics they're using (and I haven't watched the broadcast so I wouldn't even hazard a guess), but there are a number of 'goto' mics favoured in the broadcast community. A common favourite that I spot in use a lot is the Sanken COS-11, which in a hard-wired configuration with XLR connector and phantom power supply would run right about $500 a pop. Another workhorse is the Tram TR-50, about $400 in an XLR configuration.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 09:05 AM   #9
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Re: I'm baffled..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Lee View Post
I still wonder why it wasn't placed the same way for continuity on each day. Any reason that anyone can think of? Wind? It wasn't different people. Same speakers.
They were the same for all on that day. And there was really no noticeable diff in audio.
GL
But it was very possibly different production assistants (behind the camera crew) working on the set. And possibly different microphones. Could have been that some were put in the clip one way and some the other way. So it was easier to just clip it on and get on with the show without thinking twice about up or down, left or right. Since it made no significant difference, nobody thought it was important to maintain "continuity" about such a trivial matter.
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Old April 8th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #10
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Re: I'm baffled..

Ok, thanks for the replies. I had no idea that the better microphones have no rejection. Or any mic, for that matter.
I would have that that be the case, better quality sound while maintaining better/more rejection.
But I certainly learned.

thanks again,
GL
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Old April 8th, 2012, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: I'm baffled..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Lee View Post
Ok, I didn't know that and would have never thought that.
I still wonder why it wasn't placed the same way for continuity on each day. Any reason that anyone can think of? Wind? It wasn't different people. Same speakers.
They were the same for all on that day. And there was really no noticeable diff in audio.

Yes, agreed, a backup. No other mics could be seen in a pretty wide shot.

What do you think one of those cost? Care to speculate on what type?

Thanks again.
GL
I work on live television sporting events and news quite often and the extra mic is a back up. Either they both show up on the mixing board or there's a switch that routes the spare mic into the same board input. The idea is its far less noticeable to just flip a switch or bring up a channel than to have someone come in with a spare hand mic or new lav to clip back on. It almost never happens, but if a mic goes bad on the air its not fun. Always have a spare of some kind on hand just in case.
I've been struggling with the news anchors I work with to put the mic on the side they might be turning to talk or in the center if they're turning to either side. The lavs are omnidirectional so being upside down is not an issue and as already been stated can help a little with p pops. If the person has long hair the ends can dangle into the screen of the mic and cause scratchy noises. The capsule facing down can help with this too. The distance from the sound source has far more effect on the sound than its up or down orientation. If the anchor person turns away from their mic that puts their mouth at a greater distance from their own mic and closer to the other person's mic. Yet not close enough to sound good. The result is a thinner sounding voice that gets better once the person is turned forward again. There are mixing tricks that can help with this but its better to place the mics so mixing is easier not harder.
As for why the mics were attached differently from day to day I can only guess it was two different audio assistants that had different styles or someone higher up thought the original placement was wrong (even though it wasn't) and made him/her flip the clips so the mics would be up the next two days.
Best,
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Old April 8th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #12
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Re: I'm baffled..

Very nice info Bernie, Love the insight.

Thanks,
GL
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Old April 8th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #13
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Re: I'm baffled..

That's interesting Bernie, I'd say lavs going u/s would be rare and they'd be cabled up, so maybe a line might break.

Bit o/t but a few years ago, for a while on many of the golf telecasts they must have figured a soundie syncing the sound fx of the golf swings
on each tee with each player, must have been cheaper than laying out 18 shotguns and all the cable runs.

It was fun to watch as the poor devils tried to sync up the sound fx. on live TV. First of all they used just the one club swing fx, so all the players
sounded exactly the same, drivers and irons .. then they had a selection of fx.

Next, each soundie had different reflexes (or a late night) and the fx were either a few frames early or late. It occasionally got hilarious with commentators joking about the time delays, the wind, the sound barrier etc. and eventually they went back to laying out all the guns.

But with a slow golf match, for a while it made the telecast for me and I loved it.

Cheers.
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Old April 9th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #14
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Re: I'm baffled..

The mics are Sony ECM-77. We sometimes turn them upside down to combat plosives, being omni it doesn't affect the sound. We use pairs often because many things can fail, and if they wear two mics recovery is as easy as opening the next fader. Not only do mics fail, but the audio desk is almost a mile from those mics and connect via ffiber optics that connect through several places so there are MANY points of failure to consider...
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Old April 9th, 2012, 01:56 AM   #15
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Re: I'm baffled..

You certainly don't want the explosion over the talk back from the control room when the producers discover that the main presenter's mic has gone down (for whatever reason) and there's no quick fix.
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