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Old September 10th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #1
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Mic solution for a group interview?

Hello,

I'm planning ahead (for once) for an interview which will most likely take place in November. I've contacted a local Brooklyn NY band about shooting a documentary-style episode about them for my public access show.

I plan on shooting an initial interview with the three band members, then shoot them practicing, doing their do, and hopefully a live performance.

I've shot a number of one-on-one interviews with no problem and have enjoyed the results of the AT831b I picked up thanks to another forum suggestion. The group scenario is new for me.

I'll be shooting with my PDX10. Outside of the possibility of finding a local soundperson (which would be a godsend), I imagine I will want one mic that can pick up sound for the whole group. I don't have the money, or really foreseeable future need, to buy several mics.

Is this feasible? Should it be some kind of boomstand set up with an omnidirectional mic? Whatever my solution is , I would like it to be something I can get a lot of future wear out of.

Thanks as always.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 08:43 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konstantin Vilenchitz

I'll be shooting with my PDX10. Outside of the possibility of finding a local soundperson (which would be a godsend), I imagine I will want one mic that can pick up sound for the whole group. I don't have the money, or really foreseeable future need, to buy several mics.
Don't expect much...You'll be better off putting your 831 on a boom and having someone boom it for you. I wouldn't choose that as my first mic, but for the cost of a new mic, you could likely hire a boom op for the shoot, and either he'll have gear, or you could use a boom with the 831. A good op can make up for the absence of good gear in many situations. I'll take a good operator with weak gear over no op with great gear in most situations.

This isn't the sort of thing you can easily do on your own. multiple lavs sent to a mixer, feeding the cam would be great if you can rent that set up, or you could try a pair of omni's in an X/Y to try to get a good stereo field of the guys...

Just a single omni will be difficult, but if at the end of the day it's what you have...use it. Just keep it as equidistant from all interviewee's as possible to save a lot of hassle in post. Be sure the room is quiet, and plan for weak signal to noise ratio.
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Old September 10th, 2005, 09:36 PM   #3
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Hey thanks for the reply.

Just to be clear, I was just mentioning the 831 because I had used it previously one-on-one, not because I intend on using it for the group shoot.

I'll definitely look in to the costs of a boom op / equipment rental.

I've been a one man show up until now though so a) I'd like to know if I can pull it off in this scenario b) I'd like to know what equipment minimums I can get away with and maintain good sound.

I've never used any kind of wireless system, let alone multiple units. I'd really like to keep it as streamlined as possible. As an old professor used to like to put it: K.I.S.S. ( Keep it simple, stupid! ) . :)
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Old September 11th, 2005, 12:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konstantin Vilenchitz
Hey thanks for the reply.

Just to be clear, I was just mentioning the 831 because I had used it previously one-on-one, not because I intend on using it for the group shoot.

I'll definitely look in to the costs of a boom op / equipment rental.

I've been a one man show up until now though so a) I'd like to know if I can pull it off in this scenario b) I'd like to know what equipment minimums I can get away with and maintain good sound.

I've never used any kind of wireless system, let alone multiple units. I'd really like to keep it as streamlined as possible. As an old professor used to like to put it: K.I.S.S. ( Keep it simple, stupid! ) . :)
Hey K.

Only way to do this without spending a fortune on multiple mics is with a boom mic. If you think you might be doing more of these group interviews I would certainly urge you to invest in a boom pole and shotgun mic. You will spend the money it would take to purchase after only a couple of rentals of this same equipment. Check posts here for what mic is suggested for this situation. One more suggestion.... If you can find a boom op sit them on the floor in front of the group, position the mic up and give him/her your maximimum wide shot parameters. Booming from below allows a much shorter boom pole length and less fatigue on the operators arms and also minimizes possible echo off the floor which you can get from micing downward.

Good luck,

Steph
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Old September 11th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephanie Wilson
Hey K.

Only way to do this without spending a fortune on multiple mics is with a boom mic. If you think you might be doing more of these group interviews I would certainly urge you to invest in a boom pole and shotgun mic. You will spend the money it would take to purchase after only a couple of rentals of this same equipment.
I'd grab a good, low cost hyper long before I'd buy a shotgun for indoor interviews.
AT 4053 comes to mind.
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Old September 11th, 2005, 12:04 PM   #6
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Yes, I'm thinking something along the lines of mic / boompole would be the way to go. What would the advantage of the 4053 be over a shotgun?

I put the Sennheiser ME64 shotgun on my wishlist a while back from some other recommendations. On the other hand I've heard that shotguns are not really the way to go when shooting indoors because of bounce.

Steph, yes, I'd much prefer making a one time investment than continually renting. I feel like I get a better handle for equipment and it's quirks that way.

If anyone can give specific recommendations on a boom / mic combo for this scenario, that would be helpful. I see there's a huge range in boom poles on B&H but don't really know anything about their differences.
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Old September 11th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #7
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Konstantin,

Ty Ford has a nice little video on his site (tyford.com) where he demonstrates, compares and discusses some different mic types. It's 28 Meg download, but well worth it. Click on his Online Archive (column #2), then Video.
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