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Old September 18th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #1
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3 person interview

I'll be conducting a 3 person interview (in a home environment) for a documentary on a Canon XL-H1 and was wondering if anyone has suggestions on what I'll need to pull it off.

I'm a former GL1 user who only ever used a single shotgun mic.

From reading on the forum I think I'll need:
Sennheiser MKH 416 boom/lighstand mounted shotgun mic
3 Sennheiser MKE104 lav mics

From here I need suggestions on power/input etc. I'm sure I'm missing many pieces to pull this off.

Much appreciation.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #2
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If you can, use a mixer like the SD 302 or 442.Run the lavs and boom mic into the mixer and run XLR's back to the XLH1. If you have access to a digital recorder(I love my Edirol R-09) do a second mix out to the recorder. If you're shooting in hdv, the Edirol will sound better than the audio on the camera.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #3
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Have you thought about going with three Sennheiser Evolution G2 wireless systems? $499x3
The EK100 Receivers push out a pretty clean signal and if you need freedom of movement they're a bargain.
Later you can step up to a MKE-2 Gold or Countryman B6 lav if you need a little more quality.
The Sennheiser 416 is a great choice. It's my all time favorite mic in my kit. Also explore the Audio Technica 4073A for something comparable that is a less money if you blow the budget on wireless.
I guess it just depends on what you'll be doing more of in the future, more production where lavs can be in the scene or more without.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 05:25 PM   #4
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Two key factors will be what does this environment sound like? Is it soft or is it reverberent? And do you have control over the ambient noise level?
Secondly, do you have someone who can concentrate on running a mixer?
Unless you're recording all 4 mics independently and then doing careful post-editing, you must have a talented and fully-attentive operator to mix these signals from closely spaced mics.
Here's where the environment comes in; if you have a soft space and low ambient noise, you can use a single high-quality cardioid or hypercardioid on a boom over the closely-spaced interviewees.
As the acoustics of your space get worse, the need for individual lavs in order to get clean sound goes up. But at the cost of greater complexity to make multiple mics work in your finished product.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 05:53 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone for the response so far.

The interviews will be counducted in a living room very far removed from any city or street noise.

I have single and multiple interviews to conduct.

I'm thinking that I'll purchase the 416 for general purpose and rent the mixer & lavs for the occasion.

I have a guy to work just the sound.

Has anyone here used the mixer directly with the XL-H1 w/o a recorder? I ask because I'll be conducting hours upon hours of interviews and it might make things simpler. (however I need to get great quality sound)

Thanks
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:15 PM   #6
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Personally, and everyone has their own opinion, I really dislike lavs... I like presence and ambience in audio (I know, you could add room tone in post) and I especially don't like seeing those little black bugs clipped on people's collars - additionally, clothing rustle can be, and usually is, a problem... Robert Altman's main guy mastered the art of lavs many years ago, but I don't like the sometimes muffled audio in his pictures...

If you're working with an audio person in a relatively quiet environment, rather than use a mixer, use the 416 and invest in a good shock mount and an insulated pole. The audio person wears the headset, or uses a splitter so both of you can wear one, and he/she carefully swings the pole to whomever is speaking...

The 416 has good off-axis response, and works well in a quiet environment six feet away, so even if a speaker is off mike for a few seconds it can usually be tweaked in post. It's done all the time in features.

There are many advantages to working this way, not the least of which is that it allows the subjects to move without worrying about cables and rustle...

FYI... I use the H1 daily with a Shure mixer either hard-wired or wireless into the H1... I also record simultaneously on an HD P2 (the Shure has two outputs, one to the Tascam and the other to the wireless)..
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:43 PM   #7
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Update.

I ended up shooting with just the Sennheiser MKH 416 on a boom/stand and the audio was almost flawless.

So far the Sennheiser has impressed me more than any other piece of equipment I own.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 07:55 PM   #8
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416's a great mike... industry standard in one form or other for many years... yes, it is one of the best investments you can make... glad your shoot went well..
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