Is my sound set up a bit much? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 22nd, 2012, 01:13 AM   #1
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Is my sound set up a bit much?

Is my set up for sound over board?

My set up includes:

- On the main tripod I have an HV40 Cannon HDV which does the job that i'm doing.
- Attached to this camera is a Juicedlink preamp which I connect a Sennheiser ME/64/K6 mic system which I attach to a kickstand type of tripod but I'm waiting on a hotshoe low profile shock mount so I can have that attached to the top of the camera and then use another shotgun mic on the stand.

If I have two shotgun mics connected to the Juicedlink preamp is it going to effect the audio that these mics record onto the tape? Is it worth connecting two mics? and most importantly will having two mics recording audio on to the HDV tape in the HV40, contribute to the over all quality of the audio on the tape or could it just cause trouble down the line in post?


- then i've got an audio-technics cardoid condenser lapel/laviliar mic that I clip onto the talent which is connected to a Tascan DR-40 portable recorder so I can record crystal clear sound onto an SD card on a third party recorder so I'm covered if I make a mistake with the mics connected to the Juicelinked.

I've made that many mistakes that I'm using enough equipment that could be perceived as over board but I just want to cover all bases just in case something goes wrong.

Last edited by Patrick Bronte; October 22nd, 2012 at 01:15 AM. Reason: spelling mistake
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 07:09 AM   #2
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

Nobody would have any clue whether your setup is "overboard" vs. "woefully inadequate" because you have not revealed WHAT you are shooting/recording, or HOW or WHERE, either.

Perhaps others do, but I don't know what a "kickstand type of tripod" is?

Mounting a microphone (almost ANY microphone) ON a camera is almost NEVER a good idea. There are rare exceptions, but we have no idea if your application(s) are one of those exceptions?

Sennheiser ME64 is a cardioid microphone, not a "shotgun" microphone. Since we don't know what you are doing, we can't comment on whether it is an appropriate choice or not. Or whether you are using it optimally. Or whether TWO microphones would be better (or worse) than ONE microphone.

If a clip-on lav is giving you "crystal clear sound", it is not clear what the ME64 (or your other additional proposed "shotgun" microphones) would be useful for?

And again, since we don't know what you are doing (or how or where), we don't know whether using an external recorder is a good idea or superfluous?

Of course, you have a good set of headphones which you ALWAYS use for monitoring the audio while shooting/recording. Right? Do you have a dedicated person attending sound recording? Experienced?
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

True audio gurus believe you can never have enough, and I personally believe that backups are NEVER a bad thing. We are usually only limited by the budget...but its funny how we (audio) are the most inexpensive part of most shoots but the first thing to get cut.

If you are just shooting interviews/talking heads I think you have a good thing going as long as your are listening to one of the sources while shooting. Are you and your clients are happy with the sound? <--true test of success, other critics don't pay your bills.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

If we assume that you are shooting sit-down interviews, and given your statement that a clip-on lav mic gives you "crystal clear sound", why would you use a cardioid on a stand (presumably some distance away) as a "backup"? If a clip-on lav gives you "crystal clear sound" why wouldn't you simply use a second clip-on lav mic?

There are several clips available that take TWO mic heads, precisely for the purpose of backup. At least here in the USA, it is common to see a studio newsreader with a double-head clip-on microphone.

Intentionally using an inferior "backup" just seems silly and not worth the effort IMHO.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

The main reason behind all this audio equipment is to record "talking heads" or sit down interviews.

Like I've mentioned, I'm using a Cannon HV40 with a Juiced Linked preamp thats screwed onto the bottom. This preamp has two XRL ports for microphones that will record audio straight onto the HDV tape along with the Video. I have inherited a Sennheiser ME64 and a Sony ECM - 672 Condenser Microphone. My question is would it contribute to the audio recording if I plugged both of these microphones into the Juicedlinked preamp or would it make no difference?

I'm using the Audio-Technica (Audiotech Pro35) Cardiod Condenser Lapel/Lavalier mic plugged into a Tascam DR-40 as a third party back up just in case something happens to the camera set-up.
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 11:08 PM   #6
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

The only thing you have told us about what you are recording now is that the clip-on lav gives you "crystal clear sound". You have said NOTHING about what kind of sound you are getting from your ME64 or your ECM672 microphones.

No amount of discourse, discussion or dialog here online will be of a fraction of the value as YOU actually experimenting with YOUR equipment in situations similar to your shooting conditions. Depending on the liveness/deadness of your typical situation, how far away these various microphones are. How loud your subjects speak, how much ambient noise you are dealing with, etc. etc. etc. I would bet that your lav mic will product consistently better results than ANY of those other microphones. Mainly because the lav is closer, and those other mics are probably too far away.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:32 AM   #7
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much? Advice using a Juiced Link preamp?

Richard,

I'm new to this so I'm sorry if I'm missing key information out.

When conducting these interviews I sit quite close for many of the subjects are hard of hearing. I park my wheelchair between 1.5 to 2.5 meters in front of the subject (enough to give them clear leg room). I have a mic stand that I attach the ME66 to and place it just to the side of the subject pointing upwards so it's out of the shot and wont get kicked by the subject. The sounds pretty good. I have to camera right next to me so I can monitor whats going on in the LCD view finder. Because this is reasonably close I thought I could attach the Sony ECM672 microphone to the camera and have both microphones plugged into the Juicedlink preamp.

So after your comments I really should have started with the question: will having two mics plugged into the Juicedlink preamp going to improve the audio recording?

Experiment I will do. Thats for taking the time to reply to my posts Richard.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:00 AM   #8
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

If the camera is with you at 1.5 to 2.5 meters away from the subject and you attach ANY microphone to it, at that distance it is just plain too far away to do you any benefit.

You still haven't said WHY you want to use another microphone? Is there some particular problem you are trying to solve? You said that the sound from the ME66 is "pretty good". It is not clear why putting another microphone even farther away would be of any benefit?
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:23 AM   #9
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

Thanks for your comments Richard. My questions maybe stupid and I'll be the first to admit that. I think you are completely missing the crux of my post which is therefore my fault for not explaining it properly.

There question was basically asking if a particular product preforms better with two mics or one.

Thanks again for your input.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:30 AM   #10
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

No. Using two microphones is not "better". It is almost always worse if you try to use the signal from both microphones at the same time. The reason is because the signals from the two microphones will interfere with each other.

The main reason for using more than one microphone is so that the track from the other one is available if the first one fails.
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:31 AM   #11
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

The Juicedlink has two ports and I have two mics - I was curious as to how other users of the Juicedlink take advantage of the XRL Ports.

But, are you saying a having the mic positioned a meter away is to far away? what is the optimal distance between my either one of my two mics and the subject?

What you have taught me Richard is the importance of experimentation. Thanks Mate
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 01:35 AM   #12
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

The JuicedLink preamp has two inputs because camcorders have two tracks. Sometimes we use that for recording stereo music. Sometimes we use two inputs to put a clip-on lav on one channel, and a boom mic on the other channel. In that case we choose either one or the other microphone, and the other one is a backup in case the first one fails. Sometimes we put a microphone on the subject, and the other microphone on the interviewer. Or if interviewing two people, we use one channel for each subject.

It is essentially NEVER the case where the signal from more than one microphone is used when recording a single person speaking.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

One suggestion - get someone to play the part of the interviewee and try the mic in several different positions and see which you like the best. Then use that as a starting point when you interview someone. Every person and every room and every position in every room and every combination thereof sound different so it really does take a bit of experimentation, but I think if you have a starting point that you like it will make life easier.

As Richard said, the fact that there are two places to plug mics doesn't mean you should always or even ever use two - some mixers have a lot more than two inputs. Best camera position is almost always a bad mic position. Camera audio is never the greatest, but it's a trade off between that and schlepping a lot of stuff around. Voice isn't particularly demanding so camera audio should be fine for what you want to do.

Just some random thoughts that may be helpful.

I do mainly classical music and rarely do dialogue so everything I say should be suspect and taken with a large grain of salt:<))
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Old November 12th, 2012, 12:32 PM   #14
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

I've found I always prefer the sound of a good shotgun compared to a lavalier for interviews. There is a crispness to the shotguns that the lavaliers never seem to match. And I have good lavaliers - Rode, Countryman and Tram. Currently I'm using an AudioTechnica 875R short shotgun for it's compactness in travel. For it's price it is phenomenal, much better than the ME66 (which I've never liked).

That being said you have to place the mic properly for an interview. This means attaching a boom to a stand and having the mic hang above the interview subject a foot or so from their mouth. If I want top quality audio I always boom. To reduce setup time I actually use a K-Tek wired handgrip which is about a foot long. That gives me just enough reach if I put the stand right beside the interviewee. Sometimes for expediency I use a lavalier, but clarity suffers.

There is a reason to record both lav and boom and that is backup. With a lavalier the interviewee can touch it or brush it. With a shotgun, they can lean out of the hotspot. However, in post you have to pick one, you should never mix the two together.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #15
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Re: Is my sound set up a bit much?

Patrick, you haven't mentioned one of the most important parts of any location audio setup.. How are you monitoring your audio? Do you have a good set of headphones that you are constantly monitoring during your interviews? If not go out and get some ASAP. Those will tell you if you are capturing what you want.

For a one person sit down interview or talking head it sounds like you may be capturing more audio channels than you need to. I'm one of those that prefers the sound of a correctly placed shotgun or hyper-cardioid, depending on your room acoustics, for sit down interviews. I would set up a shotgun or hyper, just out of frame with a goal of getting it no more than 2 .5 feet from the speaker. Then maybe setup a lav in case something goes wrong with the shotgun/hyper sound. After doing enough setups you'll be confident enough to know that your setup is reliable. Again, monitoring during capture is critical.

When "I'm a one man band" using a single mic, I also feed the signal to both channels and have one set about 2 dB's lower so that if the speaker hits some extreme volume levels I'll have one channel that isn't clipped.
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