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Old October 30th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #1
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One mic for 3 camera shoot

Hello, I am planning to shoot with 3 cams. (a GL2 and 2 Optura 60's) running a one mic/boomed to the GL2. It's a one location movie (small house and backyard), 80% indoor scenes(no carpet) and 20% in a outdoor garden patio. Most scenes have 4 characters in close proximity.

My questions are:

What is the best one mic (indoor/outdoor) for this situation in the $300-$700 and $1000-$1300 range?
Can one mic do it or do I need 2 mics- one for indoor and one for outdoor?

With one mic boomed to the GL2 what should I use? Which is the best? A mixer or a pre-amp?
What brand/model...Sound Design MixPre, Shure FP-24, Behringer, Mackie, Beachtek DXA-6 or 8?

Would appreciate some knowledge, thanks.

Last edited by Lorenzo Durand; October 31st, 2005 at 02:07 AM.
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Old October 30th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #2
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A Schoeps cmc641 ($1400), or an Audio Technica 4053a hypercardioid.

Do you want to feed all of the cameras with sound from the same mic?

If you plan on doing this for a while, a Sound Devices 302 is a very good place to start.

Ty Ford
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Old October 30th, 2005, 10:31 PM   #3
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Thanks Ty for the mic info.
Should I feed all the cams with one mic or just one cam, whats the best for post-production?

You mentioned the Sound Devices 302 mixer. Are you saying the mixers give you better sound than say a pre-amp (Beachtek DXA-8).
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Old October 30th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Thanks Ty for the mic info.
Should I feed all the cams with one mic or just one cam, whats the best for post-production?

You mentioned the Sound Devices 302 mixer. Are you saying the mixers give you better sound than say a pre-amp (Beachtek DXA-8).
If you're shooting the same scene with three cameras, you'l maybe load in everything from one camera that is being fed by your new boom mic and mixer. The you have to load in the other two cameras. What''s their audio going to sound like? Prolly not as good.

OK so you then have to sync those cameras up to you main camera audio track. If you had all three cameras aimed at the same thing, you could cut between them more easily if they all had the same good audio.

Even two is better than just one.

Yes Sound Devices arew better mixers and have better preamps and limiters. At some point you have to move away from bolting something like that to your camera. When the audio device is bolted to the camera, you really can't mix or you'll jar the camera.

I'm not certainyou can feed three cameras from a Sound Devices 302. I know I can with the 442.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old October 31st, 2005, 04:13 AM   #5
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Cool, mixers are the way to go.
Ty, you said a SD442 mixer can go into 3 cams. Since the other SD mixers 302 and the MixPre have 2 XLR outputs also, can they feed 3 cams too?
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Old October 31st, 2005, 05:27 AM   #6
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I suppose if you feed each camera with only one output. That makes me a little nervous. The MixPre XLR outputs, BTW are line only. The 302 XLR outputs can be adjusted from mic to line.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old October 31st, 2005, 05:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Cool, mixers are the way to go.
Ty, you said a SD442 mixer can go into 3 cams. Since the other SD mixers 302 and the MixPre have 2 XLR outputs also, can they feed 3 cams too?
Dialogue is usually recorded mono, certainly with 1 mic splitting it to stereo is rather pointless except as an extra "insurance track" in the camera. So to feed 3 cameras you need a device with at least 3 mono outputs. Two stereo pairs gives you 4 outputs total and splitting the signal evenly between them by panning dead center gives you the equivalent of 4 mono feeds. The SD302 and MixPre both have L/R main output channels on a pair of XLRs plus a "tape out" secondary L/R stero output pair on a 2 channel unbalanced connector, so either unit could do that. Your mic connects to any input channel and is centred. Send the tape out stereo to camera A channels 1 & 2 and set channel 2's level about 8db below that on channel 1 to create an insurance track. Send the left main out to camera B channel 1 and right main out to camera C channel 1, ignoring channel 2 on both.

I'd be concerned that the audio recorded on the Opturas might be noticably different in character from that on the GL2 due to the audio circuit differences in the two camera models. Be prepared to do some equalization etc in post to get them to intercut seamlessly. Still, as Ty pointed out, that's going to be far less headache than if they were recorded using a hodge-podge of your boom mic and their internal mics, all in their own individual acoustic environments at different distances from the talent. Of course, if you're shooting multicam - say the GL2 recording a MS 2-shot of the talent interacting with the Optura's getting the CUs of the individuals at the same time - using just the track from the GL2 or even an independent audio recorder for double system sound all the way, synching up all three pix in post and intercutting between the several camera's video over the one audio track may be best of all.
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Old November 1st, 2005, 02:22 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, your'e information is great.

Steve, I like the method you suggest - using 2 channels on cam A (GL2) with a 8dB differential on the channels. The way to get 2 channels on the GL2 is to use the Canon MA300 XLR connector, so I could cable L/R outputs from the mixer to the GL2, right?

My budget for cams B and C is $1,800, is there any cameras that would do the job of getting better audio and/or picture than the Optura 60's to use with the A-cam GL2?
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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Thanks guys, your'e information is great.

Steve, I like the method you suggest - using 2 channels on cam A (GL2) with a 8dB differential on the channels. The way to get 2 channels on the GL2 is to use the Canon MA300 XLR connector, so I could cable L/R outputs from the mixer to the GL2, right?

My budget for cams B and C is $1,800, is there any cameras that would do the job of getting better audio and/or picture than the Optura 60's to use with the A-cam GL2?
Someone else will have to comment on other cameras that might be better the OIpturas. I wasn't thinking they would necessarily be inferior, just that they might sound different from the GL2 due to the differences in circuitry and you'll need to compensate in post.

Are you purchasing your B & C cams? Why not rent or lease a couple more GL2s rather than tieing up capital investing in 2 secondary cams only to have them sitting idle when you're not doing a multicam shoot?
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Old November 1st, 2005, 04:41 PM   #10
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Steve, after the shoot, the Optura's would be given to the 2 actors/producers who paid for them. "I won't have no cameras idling in my production house."

Which method would be better for sound and post-poduction; a mixer to GL2 or mixer to GL2 + two Opturas 60's?

Last edited by Lorenzo Durand; November 1st, 2005 at 06:49 PM.
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Old November 2nd, 2005, 05:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Steve, after the shoot, the Optura's would be given to the 2 actors/producers who paid for them. "I won't have no cameras idling in my production house."

Which method would be better for sound and post-poduction; a mixer to GL2 or mixer to GL2 + two Opturas 60's?
"Better" is a matter of opinion, I think. With just one mic and sending its audio simultaneously to all three cameras you have a lot of redundency that may not be needed. You *might* (though I don't know if it's a fact) have noticably different audio characterisics in the tracks between the two models of camera that you wouldn't have if all the audio you use is recorded in one place. If you're going to edit sound and picture independently, like using L-cuts and cutaways where you have the sound of, say, actor A's dialog audible while picture is showing actor B's reactions to the speech or a cutaway to the subject of the speech, you're still going to have to sync everything up anyway so I don't see how recording redundently on all three cameras actually gains you anything. I fact, you might be better off going double-system and recording to a separate high-quality audio recorder, slating every take wutrh the slate visible to all three cameras, and use the internal camera mics to record scratch tracks on the tape as an aid in synching the "real" audio in post. An added advantage of that approach is that you don't have to worry about pulling so many cables around the set.

I think I'd focus on getting the highest quality audio on either the GL2 A camera or record to a separate audio recorder. Let the B and C cameras record scratch tracks using their internal mics as refernces to aid sync'ing to the production audio and use a clapboard slate at both the head and tail of every shot.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 12:19 AM   #12
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Nice filmmaking breakdown.
I will go with the 'mixer to one camera' set-up, it has many positives for my film project.

To use 2 channels, one for insurance as you suggested on the GL2 camera A, can I use a MixPre with the two L/R outputs and XLR cable it to a Canon MA300 XLR connector? Or what?

Are the MA300 2 channel inputs and the MixPre L/R outputs both line?
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Old November 4th, 2005, 05:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
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Are the MA300 2 channel inputs and the MixPre L/R outputs both line?
The MA300 is a mic level input while the MixPre has line level outputs. You'll need to add some padding in the line between the two to match levels.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 11:17 AM   #14
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Do you mean like a piece of cotton?... just joking, would padding be a special cable or device? Or is their a mixer with the price range of a MixPre that has mic/line switchable outputs? Thank you Steve.
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Old November 4th, 2005, 11:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Do you mean like a piece of cotton?... just joking, would padding be a special cable or device? Or is their a mixer with the price range of a MixPre that has mic/line switchable outputs? Thank you Steve.
A "pad" is an attentuator inserted in the line to reduce the levels. A-T, Shure, and several others make 'em and a google search or a browse through the B&H website will give you some ideas.
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