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Old July 11th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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boom mic revisited

just shot my first short film and it was a great experience. i was using an AT897 and was pretty pleased with the sound , although in the 2 shot scenes, i could only go so far down above actors heads without it being in the frame. when i did the tights it was right on them since i shoot real tight on the face.i noticed when we would shoot outside, some days windier than other, i was using the furry on it and it worked pretty well , it wasnt like all you hear were the actors. when i shot at night outside at a restaurant, we werea about 75-`100 ft from the street, when cars would go by mainly loud ones or truck, you would hear it in the footage ,this was with the black windscreen and the furry, is it more the mic are are even the higher end ones susceptible to those sounds? i thought with the windsock on them you would only pick up the actors in the shot, obviously not the case here. i would be willing to spend more on a mic if i knew it didnt pick up as much ambient. i cant believe the more expensive ones pick up the same sounds, otherwise why go with them.
the audio off the actors was clean, but ambient sounds of people not close or cars , you have that in the footage.was thinking about the ntg 3 or a sennheiser. the ntg3 is more than twice the cost of the at897, has to be areason for that
thanks
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Old July 11th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #2
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Re: boom mic revisited

Wind protection does not improve directionality.
City environments typically have sound reflected by buildings etc, reducing the ability of microphones to reject ambient noise.
The more expensive mics don't necessarily reject much more, but they reject more cleanly.
Choosing a quiet location is much more important than which microphone you use.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 05:38 AM   #3
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Re: boom mic revisited

The foam covers offer only minimal protection against light air movement such as you would have moving the mic through the air to follow a scene. Actual breeze requires more substantial protection such as a furry (dead cat) or a blimp. As you are aware, keeping the mic as close as possible, just out of frame, is important to give you the best voice to ambiance ratio but so is the accuracy of its aim. In a 2-shot, for example, it's not good enough to aim the mic in between them ... you need to keep it pointed directly at the mouth of the character speaking, swinging the aim from one character to the other as the conversation evolves between them. The cone of maximum sensitivity and optimum tonality is pretty narrow on a typical ''gun. You also need to be aware of what sources of ambient noise are in line with the mic BEHIND the actors and position the mic accordingly. The boom op needs to know the script as well as do the actors and director.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 08:33 AM   #4
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Re: boom mic revisited

I'm afraid there's no mic in this world that would only pick up dialogue and isolate all non-wanted sounds.

Using a better mic, where all other factors remain the same (location, wind conditions, traffic and noise conditions) would yield minimally better results. Keeping the cheap mic but improving location conditions (minimizing traffic and other unwanted noise by re-directing vehicular/pedestrian traffic during shoot), plus protecting the existing mic from wind, all this would result in significantly better outcome.

This is much like the difference between the cheap HMC-150 camcorder and a $40k Sony, Arri or similar device; while the difference in quality between them is quite obvious, oftentimes much more significant difference in image quality can be obtained by proper lighting and exposure. In other words, even Arri won't be able to salvage under-lit scene; throw a few properly chosen and positioned lights, and the scene will look great even when shot with a cheap AVCCAM.

Modern tools, even the cheapest ones, provide quite impressive results, even by today's standards. The cheap ones obviously have limitations, but working within these limitations can still provide great results.

If the shoot can be re-done, I'd first try control the noise on the existing location; if that doesn't work, I'd scout another, much more quiet location.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #5
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Re: boom mic revisited

Hello Steve,

Wind gear has no effect on ambient sound. In the big time, they hire the cops to stop traffic. Best you can do below that grade is be VERY aware of your mic's polar patterns and make sure you're not pointing your front or rear at the noise.

There's always ADR.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 14th, 2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Re: boom mic revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Hello Steve,

Wind gear has no effect on ambient sound. In the big time, they hire the cops to stop traffic. Best you can do below that grade is be VERY aware of your mic's polar patterns and make sure you're not pointing your front or rear at the noise.

There's always ADR.

Regards,

Ty Ford
I know ... was referring to his issue with wind noises. Interfering ambient sound is certainly a whole 'nother kettle of fish :)
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