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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:29 PM   #1
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audio set-up for fishing shows

I've played around a bit with fishing shows, but haven't gotten real serious. I am now getting into this a bit more and wondering what everyones recommendations are on a good audio setup for my pd150.

I will be shooting ice fishing and open water. Both will be fairly close range and not really controlled environments... open water will be from a boat where I'd likely be about 15' away or closer (same boat), ice fishing will be as far back as I need to be for the field of view.. I expect wind will be a factor some of the time as well.

I was planning on going with something like an AT897 on the camera and a sennheiser g2 wireless sytem on the angler.

The more I read, the more I see that the wireless system may not be the preferred method to go here.. It sure seems the easiest, but I read that the sound isn't very natural because of very low ambient noise.. I have 2 channels on the pd150, can I collect ambience on the 2nd channel with the on camera mic... or maybe a boom stand? I hate to do the boom thing, because I would like to be mobile somewhat... but if that is what it takes, I'd consider that route... would 1 really good boom mic over the top of the anglers be better than the wireless and on-camera combo?

I keep going back and forth on this and am just not sure. I want good professional sounding audio... Looking in the reasonable budget range (upper end would be the AT4073, don't really want to spend that much but could.. particularly if the wireless isn't in the plans)...

thanks much for the help! I'm a newbie and I've spent days searching the forums here for answers.. I think I have narrowed things down to a couple solutions, but not really sure on which way to go. This is a great site you guys have here...
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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:36 PM   #2
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Using an on talent mic, and a boom mike will give you the versatility of mixing the two for the right ambience and presence.

There are pro's and cons to how you do this. Wireless lavs give you lots of mobility, at a higher cost and with some risk of interference.

The shotgun will serve you best on a boom close to the talent, but if you can't hande the boom then on camera will do.

Buy the best mics you can possilby afford.

(As with all gear purchases,if you can try before you buy... you'll have a better feel for what works. This meand borrowing and/or renting gear first if you can.)
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Old November 21st, 2006, 11:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Wood
...I expect wind will be a factor some of the time as well.

I was planning on going with something like an AT897 on the camera and a sennheiser g2 wireless sytem on the angler.

The more I read, the more I see that the wireless system may not be the preferred method to go here.. It sure seems the easiest, but I read that the sound isn't very natural because of very low ambient noise.. I have 2 channels on the pd150, can I collect ambience on the 2nd channel with the on camera mic... or maybe a boom stand? I hate to do the boom thing, because I would like to be mobile somewhat... but if that is what it takes, I'd consider that route... would 1 really good boom mic over the top of the anglers be better than the wireless and on-camera combo?...
I can imagine a lot of wind on a frozen lake - you may need to lay in all the wind-cutting accessories for a lav and a shotgun, both of which are pretty sensitive to wind. I did see some video that Douglas Spotted Eagle posted a couple years ago that suggested that the AT897 is more resistant to wind than most shotguns.

But, unless you have a crew member to hold a boom and monitor audio, I think your basic approach of wireless lav plus camera mounted ambience mic is good. Then, mix both mics to mono in post, adding just enough of the ambience mic to make it real. No worries, it's a fine approach for this kind of shoot if you have just one angler whose voice you're interested in.

Even if you did have a crew member to boom and monitor, and they were good at it, this wouldn't be very good for a boat-to-boat shoot. Too easy to get the boom and op in the shot. Could be great for some of the other stuff.

Note that a wireless lav does not have to be placed on the chest or at the neckline - under the bill of a baseball cap is a pretty good spot.

There's no substitute for monitoring all your audio with headphones while shooting. If you can't do it, you do need another crew member. Wind, wireless dropouts, interference from boat engines... there's a lot that can happen to your audio shooting outdoors with boats.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 01:47 AM   #4
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Hi there
I've done dozens of fishing videos in Europe over the last few years, and my set up on my Z1 is very similar to the one you are suggesting: An AT897 with a Rycote cover on camera;and a G2 wireless lav mic on the angler.This I fit too with a furry Rycote wind gag. Looks a bit naff with the big furry bit on the talent but does make a big difference.

I find the rustle of clothes during the casting and landing of a fish can be a problem, so careful placing and/or taping of the lav mic, and the use headphones at all times to monitor audio, usually does the trick.

The problem I have is being a one man band, it is just not pratical or often possible to have a sound guy with a boom all the time (ie: most of the boats are for two people only). Also your point about mobility is valid.
I do have a Rode NTG2 on a boom with a small preamp mixer which my son often handles when he accompanies me on the trips.

So for me wind is the single biggest issue with one angler... if there are more each guy needs a mic for best results, or the boom comes into its own as the ideal solution.
For me it would be too costly and inconvenient to have a sound guy on call during my shoots, which often last a week, and have me camping out in my small camper van in the wilds for days.
Finally I always record the talent and ambient on separate channels, it is so much easier to adjust the audio in post that way.

Tight Lines
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 06:37 AM   #5
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wow, thanks for all of the quick feedback.. VERY helpful to hear from guys that know what they are talking about! I am new to this and have been searching the web for info... I posted a different question on one of the other sites (camcorderinfo or something like that) and never even got a reply :(.

do I need a portable audio mixer? I'll most likely only be taping one to two people on wireless at a time.

"if there are more each guy needs a mic for best results, or the boom comes into its own as the ideal solution."

I will have 2 guys ice fishing, but ice fishing they will be standing together... discussing techniques, helping land a fish, etc. I'm not sure if the lav. mic on one guys will be enough to pick up both guys? will it be okay or do I need 2 lav. mics with 2 receivers? I'd worry some with 2 mics that close about some type of echo effect?? if one guy doesn't come across quite as loud, can't I edit that in post? or will it not sound good?

oh and Gareth, awesome stuff you have on your site. I looked at a bunch of your stuff while searching the archives...

Thanks!
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 06:41 AM   #6
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Gareth,
I could have sworn you said in a post somewhere that you were using an at 4073 or something closer to that.. 897 would be great if the quality is good, save me a couple hundred...

cool seeing the carp fishing... they are considered a rough fish here, very few actually fish for them. We have caught some up to 30 lbs., but nothing like what you guys are getting..

I'm in MN and have a site as well if you ever get out this way... anglerinsider.com.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 08:27 AM   #7
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Dan

I just went network with our show "Billfish Adventures". I too am a one man band and have had great success with two Sony UWP-C1 wireless system for the two anglers. You can use an M-Audio Microtrack for ambient noise but you may not need a much as you think. I have an AT shotgun with rycote windscreen but have not used it in about a year.

I place each angle on his own track in Vegas with the Microtrack audio on a third track, mix and match as you like.

Jim
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 09:30 AM   #8
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hey Jim thanks for the tips!

how does that Sony wireless system work? I was debating between that and a G2...

you don't have any trouble when the 2 anglers are close together with picking up audio from Angler 1 on Channel 2, etc.??

Excuse my ignorance, but I don't know what teh M-Audio Microtrack is.. I'm interested in hearing about this as I'd rather not have to deal with a mixer if I don't need to..

thx, Dan
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 09:45 AM   #9
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just found some info. on the web on the M-Audio Microtrack, looks like an interesting idea and way to get by with 2 channel wirelss without a mixer...

what do you use for mics on that microtrack and where do you put them in relation to the anglers? is it hard to go back in post and sync that?
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 10:43 AM   #10
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Fishing Show

Kudos to Seth for his baseball cap suggestion....man, I thought I invented that one...hehe.....still, the modality of wireless lav mixed with a bleed track(boom or camera mounted shotgun) is a pretty reliable way to go that should yield good options in post.....I personally LIKE the "American Sportman" style of using a lot of lav(think heavy breathing and exclamations) to pump u-p the drama in a fishing show . Win Cutter makes Fur-Boys for lavs, that should help reduce wind rumble...Equipment Emporium has a hot tips page that might help as well, and includes some tips on hiding lavs....Using a lav like an AT899 that is very forgiving and open sounding with a bit of upper-mid boost will help maintain a more natural sound. Avoid mics like the ECM55b that tend to emphasize low end, as this will make wind noise more apparent...be sure to use a low-cut(high-pass) filter if you have one( in a windy situation) .....
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 10:50 AM   #11
 
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FWIW, the lav-on-hat trick has been around for longer than most of us. Although not a "true" lav, the Neumann KLM was used on cowboy hats for several western shows in the 60's. Don't know about when baseball hats became the norm, but for fun, you might want to see if your local dealer will allow you to try the new AT 892. I've used this on a few hats for sports interviews, and it sounds great. it's also very, very small and easy to make invisible, and is super resistant to water/sweat.
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 12:03 PM   #12
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Dan

I put a Sony wireless on each angler, and just lay the Microtrack as close to the action as possible without getting in the way or knocked overboard. Use the mic (stereo) that come with the MicroTrack you are just using that for ambient sounds. The two wireless would go to your camera one in channel and the other in channel two.

Jim
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Old November 24th, 2006, 08:25 AM   #13
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Hi Dan

Many thanks for your comments... It's a lot of fun doing the carp fishing stuff as they are such big fish... It is one of the most popular forms of fishing in the UK and Europe.
I did some European catfish stuff in Spain last year too. We had a dozen over 100lb, amazing footage. I also did a fly fishing clip in France.

Nope I've got two shotgun mics an AT897 and a Rode NTG2. I find both fine for my needs.

I will certainly be investing in a second G2 set when funds allow, as picking up two anglers even close together is not easy if they aren't both mic'd up. If one turns his head you lose some of the dialogue. I have done it but it's far from ideal.

You probably don't need a mixer if you only use two mics. It is useful if you have a boom guy so he can monitor the audio with headphones. It also gives you phantom power, a preamp etc...

Best Regards
Gareth
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Old November 24th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #14
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Thanks for the feedback everyone... I'm tempted now to go with 2 G2 systems... the only problem is I only have 2 xlr inputs on my camera (pd150).... do I need the shotgun for ambient? that was sort of the plan I was thinking, but if I go with 2 wireless systems (2 receivers), not sure how to do that... maybe the recording device as Jim suggested for ambient??
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Old November 26th, 2006, 04:30 AM   #15
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Hi Dan

You'll find that as the G2 lav mics are omni's you'll get a fair bit of background sound in any case....I can't see you'll have a problem...

One alternative is, as we said before, get a small three or four input field mixer and mix your audio on the fly.

However there are cheaper solutions. What I do before I shoot (always a good idea in any case) is to shoot five minutes of background with my shotgun mic...this you can lay down on a separate audio track in post.

Get some sound effects cd's or download effects off the net...birdsong, insect noise, hooting owls, crows, water running...etc

Record as many sounds while out and about as you can, reels screaming, fish splashing, boat engines, casting noise..you name it... I have a file on a hard drive with all these sound bites I've built up.

All this makes it far easier to make up your audio track in post....

I always concentrate first and foremost on the dialogue when acutally shooting... this is what people will be listening to, all the rest is for atmosphere and you can add that afterwards....

Regards

Gareth
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