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Old November 21st, 2006, 06:59 AM   #1
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Night clubs... its loud

I work as a VJ in local nightclubs and for some of the nights i have to film and very often i have to interview the DJ or just the general people in the club.

my question's are.

If i want to get some good sound quality of the music how can i do this?

also when interviewing, its usually at the end of the night and the nightclub staff are clearing away and throwing bottles into the big bins that they have for clearing. and the noise is very night pitched and loud. how can i achieve better sound. also i one of the reasons that the sound is poor because of only using the microphone on the front of the camera.

and also its a FX1 that i use.

any questions just ask.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:13 AM   #2
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Do you have someone to do the interview on camera as you shoot or are you a one-man band, interviewing from behind the camera?
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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:30 AM   #3
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I did something for a friends party once.

I was given the advice to use a hand held mic (preffeerably a singing mic as you gotta get in close and its slightly more directional than most) and have someone interview. Usually, these kinds of gigs dont work if you do it all from behind the camera.

The mic on the front of the camera is not really directional, the FX1's mic is omni.... it will pick up anything in any direction.

If you can get a really expensive shotgun mic (with the XLR adaptors) maybe you might get better sound if you do it on your own from behind the camera... but you still gotta get in close.

best get a mate or someone and do a presenter-interview style gig. I personally dont see any other better way... unless I havent thought of everthing (which I havent...)
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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:32 AM   #4
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Dear Liam,

if you wat to get good audio for your project. I would suggest that stop using the on board mic and hook up an XLR cable from your camera to the band mixer. This way you have control over your audio and not get all the rest of the house noise.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 07:52 AM   #5
 
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when I shoot my music videos, I ALWAYS connect via XLR to the band's mixer board. Bands will usually give you a full signal from their tape record output connection. There's no gain reduction out of this connection, so, you've got to run your own mixer board at your end. I usually use a small 8 channel Mackie, or sometimes a battery powered Sampson. Also, for much higher quality sound, the vocals always clip, so, I use two Presonus brick wall limiters/compressors on the vocal and drum channels. I guarantee this will make your audio CD quality.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:09 AM   #6
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Thanks for all of the quick responses. and there is usually 2 of us interviewing. when the edit is final its just the answer from the DJ that you get as its just snippets.

so a good shotgun mic is what i need? whats the prices for an expensive one? a good few 100? shouldnt be a problem and also is it XLR to camera and mixing desk? or is it a seperate audio device? im still really new to this so thats my reason for the novice questions. and thanks very much :-)
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:28 AM   #7
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Boy, I hate to sound like a fuddy-duddy on this, but it is at the very least relevant to point out that the club environment is quite loud and sustained exposure to anything over 85 db (that's about the level of a household blender) will result in hearing damage. We all know this but very few really make the effort to protect their ears. I played in bands throughout my 20's and now at 40, I'm having a hard time carrying conversations in crowded rooms.

Since I was just like this myself, I know it's a total "yeah, whatever" for nearly everyone at a certain age. Wearing earplugs is like an aural condom, they do seem to get in the way and diminish the experience but the price to pay is heavy, and you will have a lot of years left with diminished hearing--the effects start a lot earlier than you think.

Sorry for the downer guys. Just something to think about.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:39 AM   #8
 
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if you wear a good set of studio headphones, with the headphone gain set appropriately, the ambient noise level is pretty mitigated.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Carlin
....

so a good shotgun mic is what i need? whats the prices for an expensive one? a good few 100? shouldnt be a problem ...
:-)
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can have high quality shotgun mics and you can have shotgun mics costing 'a few hundred' (US $$) but it's hard to have both at once. There are inexpensive exceptions that are quite good, Rode Videomic for example, but the really high quality shotguns start at around $750 US and run upwards from there. For example, one of the pro mainstays, the Sennheiser MKH416, currently lists on B&H right at $1100 US.

For your interviews, a hand-held wired mic is probably going to be a better option.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:03 AM   #10
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Steve they might be expensive but in the long run its a good idea to get oneof those mics. and i'll def get some good studio head phones ive got some sony ones. good for music but pretty bad for the sound front in clubs.

also charles i always wear earplugs because so many times i have woken up and it sounds like a kettle is boiling in my ears. im only 21 and ive already learnt. for some dj's theres nothing better than ear defenders! they look mad but do the job.

Thanks for the advice guys. much appreciated! now i just have to get some good audio on the interviews now. thanks again :-)
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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liam Carlin
Steve they might be expensive but in the long run its a good idea to get oneof those mics. and i'll def get some good studio head phones ive got some sony ones. good for music but pretty bad for the sound front in clubs.

also charles i always wear earplugs because so many times i have woken up and it sounds like a kettle is boiling in my ears. im only 21 and ive already learnt. for some dj's theres nothing better than ear defenders! they look mad but do the job.

Thanks for the advice guys. much appreciated! now i just have to get some good audio on the interviews now. thanks again :-)
Good attitude on both counts! Top quality gear pays for itself in the long run and usually works out cheaper in the end. Starting cheap and upgrading almost always costs more overall than getting the right stuff right at the start.

Sony MDR7506 cans are an industry mainstay while a lot of musicians prefer the Etymotics in-ear monitors.
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:54 PM   #12
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I'm not an audio expert but I think a handheld dynamic mic might work better than a shotgun in a noisy environment like that, unless you're willing to get the shotgun in the frame.

Maybe something like the Sennheiser MD46? (though it's pretty expensive)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Just a suggestion. Keep us posted!
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Old November 21st, 2006, 10:34 PM   #13
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Liam:

You are wise beyond your years, I congratulate you and hope that more of your generation follows suit. You'll be glad you had this foresight.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 04:46 AM   #14
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Loud Sounds

When I took a set of audio recording course in the 1970's one of my instructors, John Woram who at the time was chief engineer for Atlantic Records, told us that to have a long working life as a mixer we needed to take from four to six months a year off to just sit in the quiet woods.

The Grateful Dead used to go through a new monitor mixing engineet every six months and the out going was never able to work again as a mixer.

As Charles has said protect your ears, you gt only one set in this life!

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Old November 22nd, 2006, 08:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayson L. Wideman
The Grateful Dead used to go through a new monitor mixing engineet every six months and the out going was never able to work again as a mixer.
yikes! Talk about a short career arc!

Their stage was not even a notably loud one either, at least later on--I did a summer stint in '87 building stadium stages and generally talked my way into letting the Jumbotron video crews let me pull cable for their handheld cameras, so I got to hang out onstage for the big acts that year. The Dead had a pretty unique setup of course, we weren't allowed anywhere near Jerry's side for fear of setting off his sensitive spring reverbs...! Actually a lifetime high point was the night that I spent onstage with U2 on their Joshua Tree tour--crouching a few feet away from the Edge's amp and hearing his guitar as only he heard it was an unbelievable thrill.

It's interesting what you guys are doing Liam. A few years ago I visited a tiny Irish pub back in Boston during a visit, where they had packed in a 5 piece (actually, Dead-inspired) jam band into a corner; the bass player had to turn sideways to let people back to the bathroom, that sort of thing. I played many gigs like that myself. Anyway, the difference was that they had a VJ tucked away behind the wall and a small projection screen above the band showing his work. I watched him for a while, fascinated that at such a small venue they would be able to accomodate such a setup when there was barely enough room for the band.
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