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Old June 17th, 2007, 02:38 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Central Coast - NSW, Australia
Posts: 1,364
location testing

We're working on our first short and most of the action will be in a hair salon. This weekend we'll set up the camera and do some tests but I'm really interested in the sound angle. Since the shop is open space with lots of hard surfaces, I might have problems with sound - We'll be using a RODE NTG-2 mike.

what tests should I do and what should I be listening for?
Cheers - Paul M.
www.relivetheday.com.au : www.perbenyik.com
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Old June 17th, 2007, 03:13 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 4,750
Well you should probably tests for situations that might hose you, like:

A- On the wide shot, you cannot get very close with the mic. So test dialogue at different distances.
B- You may not have the mic pointed directly at the person talking. If your boom op is fresh and you are shooting 2 people, you might just want to point the mic in between the two people. Instead of trying to aim the mic back and forth. Because sound quality changes if the aim is inconsistent, or if the mic is still moving when the next person is beginning to talk or has an overlapping line.
C- Will the background noise change at a different time of day?
Will the traffic get heavier... planes+helicopters... is there a school nearby that lets out noisy children... etc.
Is there stuff in the location that will turn on and make noise? Air conditioning, hair dryers would be obvious things to watch out for.
D- Get the mic really close, and see if the proximity effect is a problem for you.
E- If the actor talks really quiet then gets into a loud outburst, then that could be a problem. Though there is not too much to test here...
F- Are there props that make a lot of noise. Obviously the hair dryer is something to watch out for. But if the talent is wearing stuff like beads, bracelets, etc. that could be a problem if you shoot the wide and then on the CU they start fidgeting and then it is a problem.

Do a sample mix of your dialogue and see if the background noise is a problem. Also see if the sound sounds too weird... this will happen if a shotgun mic picks up a lot of reverb.

2- I think Ty Ford has a list of this stuff somewhere... here it is:
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