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Old December 20th, 2005, 02:59 AM   #1
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Whats Needed for that Sound?

what is really needed to record that crisp, clear, film sound that you hear in the movies?
Mic?
Dat Recorder?
Mixer?
Transmitter?

Like i've heard of all this equipment but not sure exactly what it all does and why its essential in getting the right sound? and what exactly does a mixer and transmitter do? like what is required as a obvious answer to record clean audio?

as an example what do some of those indie film makers use to record for they're audio?
mic out>>>>mixer>>>>dat??

please enlighten me.
Thanks
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:35 AM   #2
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this is what i use..

a "zeppelin" type Rycote winfjammer, (dont ask.. these are bloody expensive)
a Sennheiser 416, (another one of those Dont asks)
a BWF capable Solid State recorder, (i use an alesis, but i havent really delved too much into it due to time)
a lightwave boompole with integrated cabling. Worth the cash..

A radio mic (I use Senny G1s and G2s) for those wide shots where dialogue continues..
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:35 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Goerl
what is really needed to record that crisp, clear, film sound that you hear in the movies?
Mic? lots of choices in mics, different for interiors vs exteriors
Dat Recorder? Used to be almost exclusively a Nagra machine, but to day it's a variety of digital devices including software like ProTools
Mixer? Not very often, not on a set
Transmitter? Sometimes
they're not the answers you want, but the short answer is:
1. Talented sound guy
2. Capable sound guy
3. Experienced sound guy
4. Cooperative director
6. Good gear/equipment
7. Good knowledge of gear/equipment/experience with same
8. Sound guy with a lot of time wearing headphones in his/her past.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 03:43 AM   #4
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Hey, Peter Jefferson.
do you have any example clips you could show me with the equipment you used?
I'd like to hear it.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 04:14 AM   #5
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Most of that excellent dialogue one hears in the movies is recorded in a studio using ADR, getting clean, clear audio on location is nigh impossible.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 04:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Goerl
Hey, Peter Jefferson.
do you have any example clips you could show me with the equipment you used?
I'd like to hear it.
not online im afraid.. ive rarely needed to go this far with gear to acquire audio considering the stuff i do (more live concerts and events and weddings now)... i usually use this gear when im doing live seminars where we run through crowds with camera in tow or when shooting ads for the movie theatres here (not TV) ...
For TV stuff, i outsource everything... and let my sound guy decide wht he thinks would work best for any given situation

with BWF, we sync the audio with timecode.. saves alot of time..
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Old December 20th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant
Most of that excellent dialogue one hears in the movies is recorded in a studio using ADR, getting clean, clear audio on location is nigh impossible.
true but small indie movies with great sounds don't have the budget to go to a top notch studio and record v.o's so its basically on set recording so what is essential in recording audio? like what do I basically need.
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Old December 20th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #8
 
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Garrett,
As flip as it sounds, what you need depends on what you're shooting.
Outdoors calls for a good shotgun. Something like an AT 897 on the low end, and the high end could go very high.
Indoors, you want a good cardiod and hypercardiod. A condenser card is probably the most common, unless you're in really reflective rooms. Just did a shoot in a cinderblock bathroom with lots of reverberation and slap, so used a 4053, sounded great. Normal interiors, I'd use a 4051. There are other mics in my kit of course, but those are what I prefer.
You need a decent boom, shockmount, furry for light winds, and zep for higher winds. Rent or borrow a zep if you're not in wind/outdoors a lot.
You need good cans (headphones)
A good lav or two can be very useful for monologues, dialog that you want to keep intimate, or direct audio talking to the camera.
Recording can be accomplished myriad ways. Laptop/software, MicroTrack from M-Audio, R4 from Edirol, DAT, and any number of other tools can be used.
Having a guy who's sole job is sound is a very good thing to have. A guy who knows only a little about sound is better than nobody who knows everything about sound. Just having a body helps a lot, because you're focused on the lens.
Video can suffer, but sound cannot. Humans will not tolerate bad sound in virtually any situation on screen. So...I'd be cracking books, renting/buying DVDs, hanging out at the local audio professionals store, and trying to learn/cram/experiment with everything and anything.
Don't get hanged up on mic model #'s or other parts. There is good gear, there are standards, and there is what is good but not standard. Some folks are wine and cheese, others are shadetree mechanics. I started out less than a shadetree mechanic, because a wine n' cheeser, and now I guess I'm a shadetree mechanic. I don't believe in the hype of big name mics much any more, there is a certain threshold at which the differences are much less than you'd expect.
Most of all....try stuff yourself, working with whatever you can get your hands on and making it the best you can make it.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 12:32 PM   #9
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nice reply

Nice reply doug,
I think thats what poor old Garret and the rest of us were crying out for i.e someone with some informative input to help newbies. I mean I could of told a lot of money and experience gets you the real good sounding stuff and, guess what, I know shit about sound recording, if you get my drift. Anyway, just like to say thanks for offering a cornerstone that we can build upon.

All the best, Greg C.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 07:07 PM   #10
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Thanks everybody for you input and information.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 07:07 PM   #11
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Garrrett...

I agree with Douglas, that it's not the just equipment but also it's application that makes a difference. And in this line of work, every little bit can help or hurt.

For example, a good lav can get very nice, intimate audio but not if it's placed poorly. Under the chin, in the talent's neck, isn't a good spot.

A boom mic can also get good audio but not if the soundman handles the boom pole like a drumstick.

Good equipment won't cost a fortune and will get you good results if it's applied properly. And if you're going to be in this in the long run, then it's best to get the best you can afford to avoid having to upgrade sooner than later.

For my own work, I'm using Countryman B6 lav mics, a Lectrosonic 185 and an ATW-U100 wireless systems. I'm hoping to sell the Lectrosonic and get another AT diversity wireless unit. Between the two the signal quality is virtually identical. The difference is that the AT is a diversity unit and less likely to experience dropouts at the range I usually work.

For on-camera mic and other work that doesn't or can't use a lav, I started using an AT-4051. Very nice audio quality and beats the stock mic on the Sony PD170 by a long shot. For field use I fit it with a MicMuff windscreen. Cheap ($40), but it's compact and it works.

I was using an AT-897 shotgun for an on-camera mic but the pickup pattern was too tight for my purposes. The cardioid pickup pattern of the AT 4051 is better suited for what I do. Also, the 4051 can be fitted with other capsules should I need a different pickup pattern.

If I had to get an external audio recorder, I'd probably get the Edirol R4 as it allows LANC control by the camera and the price is reasonable.

For headphones, I now use a pair of Futuresonics earphones. They do a great job of cutting down extraneous noise and providing me real isolation so that I can monitor the talent through the camera, rather than get fooled by hearing them past a set of headphones. I was using a pair of Sony MDR V6's but they didn't give me much isolation.

I tried the Shure earphones but they lack bass response which is important when trying to detect wind noise. I hadn't tried the Etymonics but they do look good. Then again, the Shures looked good, too.

For my own background, I'm always learning about audio from a very good friend who's a talented songwriter but also a well-established recording engineer. I spent several days at Oceanway studios (Los Angeles) on two occasions and picked some of the engineers' brains. And spent a day at Bernie Grundman's mixdown facility learning about what to listen for when it came to getting clean audio. He was one of the people who recommended that I get Tannoy speakers way back when. Today I'd probably buy Genelec.

This was mostly music but learning the fundamentals of getting instruments and vocals to sound clean and neutral was a valuable experience.

And there was sound editor Robert Moore (working at Glenn Glenn and Fox at the time) who let me watch him spot sound when 90210 was in production. He gave me tons of advice and info regarding production and post-production sound.

I was lucky to meet the people I had. But that kind of opportunity is also available here. Not quite as fun as getting to walk unescorted through the back lot of 20th Century Fox but easily just as educational.
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