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Old November 26th, 2005, 07:25 AM   #46
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That's a very unstable recipe for good sound.

Yes, putting the louder actors further away may help, but.................

Good boom work means getting the boom just out of frame, right over (or sometimes under) the actor's head, especially on tight shots. You don't want to hear a lot of room ring if the actor's face is taking up the entire frame. The audio and the picture don't match.

You going to be too far away from someone. You have the time. Try it and see.

The cameras will be locked down and unattended? So you can't get any closeups. That's a problem. Sounds like you really need them to support the delicacy and intimacy of the topic. Good audio requires the same attention, or it will suffer.

They shoot nude scenes with a crew. If you want good sounding footage, I think you need to get over whatever it is that's so sensitive and do it right. You intend to show this to someone, right? Well there goes your secrecy factor.

Anyway, how about this. Put a hardwired lav on each person and feed it to a different camera, then sort it all out in post. Get room tone and ambi from each setup because you'll be checkerboarding four audio tracks and they will all sound a bit different.

Regards,

Ty
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Old December 11th, 2005, 12:35 AM   #47
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Yes Ty, this recipe for sound is unstable, and is getting complex.

Looks like having one mic boomed might not do the job well.
Steve, I checked out Ty's mic tutorial. Hearing is believing.
Can you take out some of the room ring with some sound blankets on the ceiling, floors, and the walls in back of the cameras?
Will a cardioid mic(s) produce more room ring than a hypercadioid mic(s)?

As to the "crewless" scenes:
2 cams on a two-shot and 2 cams on a close-up on the two actors. So each actor is in a two-shot and two actors also have a close-up.
Ty, there is no secrecy factor, only a method of working with actors and their performance without a cam crew, with the soundman monitoring in the next room. It's been done before.

Steve, you said you were curious on what would be acceptable for an audience to hear, but not the crew filming.
Me too. I went to go see the low budget DV film ELLIE PARKER starring Naomi Watts and Chevy Chase. Shot with a Sony DCR-PC100 single-chip consumer camera using the camera's mic. The camera was between about 2 and 10 feet away from the actors.
This film got a theatrical release with subpar sound, i.e. lots of room ring, hiss, rumble, and dialogue not clear at times. A theatrical release with no professional sound equipment? I'm sure I could get better sound than that using the equipment mentioned in this thread.

MULTIPLE MICS + MULTIPLE CAMERAS = MULTIPLE HEADACHES?

4 wireless mics, that sounds great. How do I connect that to a MixPre and the BeachTek attached to the GL2? Monitor all four actors dialogue?

Ty, you suggested 4 lavs hardwired to all 4 cams. I'm only using the fourth cam with the "crewless" scenes. What about getting sound for all the other scenes, wireless mics? Man that's a lot of mics.

Steve you also mentioned a stereo pair of cardioids aimed left and right. How do stereo mics work with a 2 channel mixer (MixPre), etc.?

Gentlemen are wireless lavs the way to go for this entire shoot?



P.S.
Ty, your Audio Bootcamp Field Guide is rad. The small size is perfect.
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Old December 11th, 2005, 07:32 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
...
Will a cardioid mic(s) produce more room ring than a hypercadioid mic(s)?
Yes, because the hypercardioid is less sensitive to off-axis sounds more than the cardioid.

Quote:
I went to go see the low budget DV film ELLIE PARKER starring Naomi Watts and Chevy Chase. Shot with a Sony DCR-PC100 single-chip consumer camera using the camera's mic. The camera was between about 2 and 10 feet away from the actors. This film got a theatrical release with subpar sound, i.e. lots of room ring, hiss, rumble, and dialogue not clear at times.
I haven't seen that film but it's possible that was done that way intentionally for artisitic reasons. It's fine to break the rules to serve a creative purpose as long as you're doing it intentionally.

Quote:
...
Steve you also mentioned a stereo pair of cardioids aimed left and right. How do stereo mics work with a 2 channel mixer (MixPre), etc.?
"Stereo pair" does not mean a stereo mic here, it means two independent regular mono mics that are well matched to each other and are mounted in an arrangement suitable for stereo recording. For instance, the Rode NT-1A and NT-5 mics are available either singly or as matched pairs for stereo recording as are many others. The mixer's mic inputs are mono and each member of the pair is connected to one of them. Stereo mixers can route the signal on any mono input to either or both output channels and normally have a "pan" control in each input that determines how loud that channel will be in each output. The fader controls how loud it is and the pan controls how much of that goes to each output. For example the mic connected to Input 1 can be panned "hard left" meaning it's full strength in the left output channel and inaudible in the right, "hard right" which just reverses that, "centered" which sends it equally to both the left and right channels, or you can set it to any intermediate position that you wish. Using multiple mics to mic each instrument in a band individually instead of just two mics in a stereo pair and want the trombone to seem to be halfway to the left hand side of the group? Set the pan control on its mic input to about the 10 o'clock position. Want it to sound like he's walking over to the right hand side of the stage to stand next to the piano player while he's playing? Gradually turn the pan control over to perhaps the 3 o'clock position. It'll sound like he's moving even though he's standing still.

The MixPre, as its role is focussed more on the preamp function and less on the mixer function, doesn't have a full, continuously variable pan control on each mic input like other mixers might. Instead, each input has a L/C/R pan switch to direct it to either the left or right output or to both equally. For recording in DV that's probably sufficient as you'll most likely dedicate a track to each talent and adjust their levels and stereo position as part of the post-production mixdown. On the set your focus should be on getting the clearest and cleanest audio possible. Adjust it to fit your story requirements at your leisure during post. You can always add reverb and "room ring" if the tone of the scene calls for it, for example, but it's difficult to take it out if your master was recorded with it and you later change your mind.
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Old December 11th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Can you take out some of the room ring with some sound blankets on the ceiling, floors, and the walls in back of the cameras?
Absolutely. Anything to diffuse or absorb the bounce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Will a cardioid mic(s) produce more room ring than a hypercadioid mic(s)?
Absolutely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
As to the "crewless" scenes:
2 cams on a two-shot and 2 cams on a close-up on the two actors. So each actor is in a two-shot and two actors also have a close-up.
Um, good luck with keeping them in frame with the closeups if no one is manning (womanning?) the cameras.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Steve, you said you were curious on what would be acceptable for an audience to hear, but not the crew filming.
Me too. I went to go see the low budget DV film ELLIE PARKER starring Naomi Watts and Chevy Chase. Shot with a Sony DCR-PC100 single-chip consumer camera using the camera's mic. The camera was between about 2 and 10 feet away from the actors.
This film got a theatrical release with subpar sound, i.e. lots of room ring, hiss, rumble, and dialogue not clear at times. A theatrical release with no professional sound equipment? I'm sure I could get better sound than that using the equipment mentioned in this thread.
The star factor supercedes the technical problems. Are Chevy and Ellie doing your scenes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand

MULTIPLE MICS + MULTIPLE CAMERAS = MULTIPLE HEADACHES?

4 wireless mics, that sounds great. How do I connect that to a MixPre and the BeachTek attached to the GL2? Monitor all four actors dialogue?

Ty, you suggested 4 lavs hardwired to all 4 cams. I'm only using the fourth cam with the "crewless" scenes. What about getting sound for all the other scenes, wireless mics? Man that's a lot of mics.
That is NOT what I suggested. Please go back and look at it. What I said was four mics, one to each camera. That's four mics, one on each actor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand

Gentlemen are wireless lavs the way to go for this entire shoot?
If the actors aren't moving much, use hardwired. Way easier, cheaper, and less susceptible to interference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand

P.S.
Ty, your Audio Bootcamp Field Guide is rad. The small size is perfect.
Thanks! I designed it (size and durable covers) to fit in any run bag. I wrote it after trying to help folks just like you ferret out their audio problems. I kept saying a lot of the same things over and over again. I did a seminar about two years ago in DC. Afterwards, one of my students said, "Do you have that written down anywhere?"

I said, "No, it's all just sort of sloshing around in my head."

She said, "Hmm, a book or something would be useful."

I said, "Hmm, I know a writer -- me."

Ten months later the first edition came out. I'm now in my third printing (adding to the book as technology changes) and have sold to folks in Australia, Denmark, UK, Switzerland, Fiji, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Italy as well as the US.

Borrowing a friend's XL2, I shot the "dining room scene" because I thought it would drive home my points about mic choices. I could write a thousand words about audio, but they wouldn't have the impact of actually being able to hear the difference among the four mics.

Recently someone who saw that video clip asked how long it was. I said, "About 12 minutes."

They said, "Wow! Didn't seem like it. You used ONE CAMERA ANGLE for 12 minutes and I never got bored."

A tribute to the importance of the content..:)

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 21st, 2006, 05:08 AM   #50
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My movie project is on again for the fall.

Same 3 camera's as before: A GL2 with 2 Opturas. w/sound going to the GL2.

Steve House, I read a thread that you said you can use 2 Rode NT-3's in a V pattern to cover a somewhat V shaped area.

Since my shoot is a documentary/drama with no script. The boom man usually will not know who's going to talk. So I need to cover all actors.

My main scene set-up is in the living room where the four actors will be sitting on a L shaped sofa. It seems like 2 mics in a V pattern will work there. Each mike will be on two actors about 3 feet away.
Can this work?
Will there be any problems in sound quality?
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Old August 21st, 2006, 06:25 AM   #51
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I don't think Steve or anyone can answer that question without question.

What if the room sucks? What if one actor a way louder than the others or way quieter than the others?

When you cut corners, you get what you get.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 21st, 2006, 11:12 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
...
Steve House, I read a thread that you said you can use 2 Rode NT-3's in a V pattern to cover a somewhat V shaped area.

Since my shoot is a documentary/drama with no script. The boom man usually will not know who's going to talk. So I need to cover all actors.

My main scene set-up is in the living room where the four actors will be sitting on a L shaped sofa. It seems like 2 mics in a V pattern will work there. Each mike will be on two actors about 3 feet away.
Can this work?
Will there be any problems in sound quality?
Exactly as Ty said ...

The NT3 is a hypercardioid pattern - two of them can be setup in what is called a X-Y coincident array to provide stereo coverage of a set but for a number of reasons this is usually a better option for music but is much less effective for dialog. It also presumes a decent acoustic environment. With no script and multiple performers booming is going to hard. You might want to rely on booming multiple mics, one for each performer, multiple mics on fixed booms over the set, plant mics hidden on the set, or lavs on the talent. No matter what, that kind of improvisation on the set is going to be a challenge both for sound and for visual coverage.

Since they're on a sofa, a boundary layer mic on the coffee table in front of them or a two fixed booms directly over them, one for each group of two, an NT3 on each boom just out of shot might work
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:39 AM   #53
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Ty, you are a hardliner when it comes to sound, I appreciate it.
A $7000 sound package would be great, but unfortunately I have to rip some corners due to budget.
As for a sucky room, i am going to sound blanket the S@#! out of the living room and any other locations.

Steve, thanks once again for the breakdown.
What the heck is a boundry layer mic? (cool name)
One boundry layer mic would cover all 4 actors?
Or,
The NT3's overhead, does it matter if they're close to each other?
Where can I buy a double mic overhead boom stand?

I know sounds very important, otherwise I wouldn't have asked you guys for your sound sage advice. I would settle for the camera mic which would doom the flick.

You got that right Steve this shoot is unique and challenging for both visual and sound coverage (I have the visual expertise, I'm working it out) you guys keep me on my toes with sound, THANKS.
~Lorenzo

Last edited by Lorenzo Durand; August 22nd, 2006 at 02:15 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 05:29 AM   #54
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Hey Lorenzo,

If being a hardliner means knowing something about what works from having a lot of experience in location audio and learning something new everytime I go out, that's me. Although you don't seem to offer the adjective as a compliment, I'll take it as such if I can apply my meaning to it.

I thought we were talking about how to mic your scene properly, not how to spend seven grand. You might also consider renting the gear you need for this particular scene. Four lavs and a Shure automixer wouldn't come to much more than two grand, even if you bought them. You could probably rent a Shure automixer for $50 a day, the lavs for $25-$35 each.

I have a list of rental facilities in the back of my lilttle book. They'll overnight the stuff to you. So there are two solutions that don't cost anywhere near seven grand.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 05:40 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand

Steve, thanks once again for the breakdown.
What the heck is a boundry layer mic? (cool name)
One boundry layer mic would cover all 4 actors?
Or,
The NT3's overhead, does it matter if they're close to each other?
Where can I buy a double mic overhead boom stand?

I
The problem with multiple overhead mics is that their coverage would overlap and the fact that the sound from a particular source will probably be picked up be both mics but with a slight time difference due to the differing mic/source distances. This in turn leads to phase differences in the signals and all sorts of weirdness can result (called "comb filtering") when you mix them. You can reduce the chance of this by insuring the two mics are at least 3 times farther apart from each other than the distance from each mic to it's closest sound source but that's not a guaranteed fix. Most of the time, placing multiple mics also requires a dedicated mixer operator who's nimble fingered enough to gain up and mute mics as the dialog flows.

A bounday layer mic resembles a flat plate or puck and is designed to rest on or be fastened to a flat surface such as a wall or table top. It uses the behavior of sound waves and their propagation along a flat plane to channel sounds to its diaphram and achieve its directional character. They're often used in live theatre with several spaced out along the front of a stage as well as conference rooms, etc

Here's a discussion about one from AKG
http://www.akg-acoustics.com/akg_str...nguage,EN.html

You can boom two mics using a couple of extra tall conventional mic stands with arms, one on each side of the set, or you can use two conventional handheld booms and clamp them to a couple of tall light stands with "C" clamps.
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Last edited by Steve House; August 22nd, 2006 at 08:53 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 08:37 AM   #56
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If you've made your main equipment choices it's time to experiment a little. At least three factors scream for this. One is that even a discussion of general principles as good as this one can't cover the variations you encounter in the real world. Second is that you don't want to be fumbling when actors are trying to act. And third is that a first hand appreciation of some of the trade-offs can be as important as good equipment and good technique. For example, if pulling the mic back a few feet for better coverage of four people sacrificed 20% of the aural intimacy of closer spacing, would the net effect be to hurt the scene or help it?
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Last edited by David Ennis; August 22nd, 2006 at 05:44 PM.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 08:50 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by Fred Retread
If you've made your main equipment choices it's time to experiment a little. At least three factors scream for this. One is that even a discussion of the theoretical as good as this one can't cover the variations you encounter in the real world. Second is that you don't want to be fumbling when actors are trying to act. And third is that a first hand appreciation of some of the trade-offs can be as important as good equipment and good technique. For example, if pulling the mic back a few feet for better coverage of four people sacrificed 20% of the aural intimacy of closer spacing, would that hurt the net effect of the scene or help it?
AMEN! to that Fred, dead on target!
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Old August 24th, 2006, 12:57 AM   #58
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Ty, what I meant was a compliment, hardliner = one who holds to a firm policy - such as: good equipment+good technique=good results, don't cut corners, etc. No sarcasms from me, just respect. I hold to those values. What's frustrating for me is for this shoot I have to sacrifice all around.
Unfortunately my budget for this shoot has dipped down to $1500.00.

Thanks for the rental tips, however renting added up to almost twice my sound budget.

Steve, thank you for the answers to my questions. Multiple mics for my situation probably won't do/to complex for my sound man. The boundry mic will pick up sounds from the table (drinks, feet kicking it, etc.).

Fred, great tips. I haven't made my mic choice(s) yet, that's what I'm trying to figure out with Steve and Ty's help. It's narrowing down probably to one boomed (stand or not) hypercardioid or cardioid mic. I'd love to experiment once I make that choice.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:51 AM   #59
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Lorenzo,

Sorry for the misinterpretation. Words on a screen can so easily be misinterpreted. :) :(.

Strap the mics to two light stands and aim them down from above at a distance. Put as many sound blankets, quilts etc andd choose as dead a room as possible.

Ty
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 04:05 AM   #60
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Steve,
I might be switching to 3 Panasonic DVX100's. I will go with one mic into an SDMM-1 into the one camera.
If I'm feeding the cam with one xlr cable, how can I get an "insurance track" like the GL2 with its stereo input?
Is there a such thing as a cable spitter (from 1 to 2 lines) to feed the DVX's XLR inputs? Thanks!
~Lorenzo
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