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Old October 10th, 2005, 08:16 PM   #1
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Wired Lavs or Shotguns?

Hear is the set-up:

Video taping 3 people seated at a retangular table. Table is 32" wide x 8' long.
One person at far end. One person on the sides of table at same end. I am at the other end with video camera and Mackie 120 VLZ audio mixer. Those three people plus myself will need to have audio into the mixer. One of the 3 people may get up from the table and move as much as 10 feet from the audio mixer and camera.

Because of the location, wireless is out!

So my choices seem to be:

a) 4 ea. wired lavs or

b) 3 ea. shotguns located at the switcher/cam and aimed at each person plus 1 wired mic for my use. (I would mount each shotgun on a single vertical mic stand and aim accordingly)

I am looking at the AT831R wired lavs. Looking for suggestions for a good shotgun should this seem a better choice.

Thanks in Advance!
Ron
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Old October 10th, 2005, 08:29 PM   #2
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Use the wired LAVs! If it is a room - you'll get a LOT of off axis sound from the walls and roof with Shotguns, and there will be a nasty reverberant sound to the speech. If it's outdoors, - either way - you'll have boom operators all over the place. The sound may be a little better with a boom outdoors - but I have great results with Lavs on longer shots using the Sanken COS11.

Cheers

John
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Old October 10th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #3
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Yes...it will be inside a room ... aprox. 16' x 24'
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Old October 11th, 2005, 11:24 AM   #4
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One thing to remember with the wired lavs is the cross-talk you'll get between any lavs that are up full but someone else is speaking nearby. If you're only recording to a two-channel camera, then you'll need to pan two of the mics to each channel, as well as do some active mixing to keep things cleaner. You'll also have to do some adjustments in post too, especially if you don't have someone who can properly operate the mixer while you operate the camera (unless this is just a lock-down shot).
Is this scripted or free-flowing? Do you have to visually follow the person that gets up or just keep their audio going?
I would definitely go with either wired lavs for all 4 (with active mixing) or two wired mics (one cardioid for the group of 3 seated and one mic for you) IF you can get good enough audio from the single mic for 3 people. The mic you use (something clean and sensitive like an AT3031), the acoustics of the room, and the placement of the mic would determine whether this would work. In addition you would need a mic solely to cover the person who moves away.
Without any more info on the room, I'd say go with the 4 wired lavs, just remember the off-axis sound you'll get from any open nearby lavs.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #5
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This seems like an opportunity to put a boundry layer mic to work. A single mic placed on the table between the three subjects "should" capture them all equally??

Can't say it works since I've not done it but.....
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Old October 11th, 2005, 03:20 PM   #6
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If the subjects aren't handling anything on the table, then a boundary mic can work. I can envision them being close enough though that even elbows and hands on the table can become pronounced unless they are projecting. Of course the better they project, the worse a bad acoustic space will become, so as usual with audio "It depends..." on the exact situation.
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Old October 11th, 2005, 05:12 PM   #7
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nothing worse than the bored guy drumming his fingers on the table while the others are talking...
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