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Old December 31st, 2003, 10:54 AM   #1
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documentary interview - mic placement?

Hello.

i'm getting ready to do a documentary where at times i will be interviewing people sitting around in a casual environment, there is a good chance there will be more than one person taking turns talking, both in front of the camera.

i have a lav and a handheld, but i thought it would probably come out better with my senn me-66

the question is where to put it and how to mount it?

i have the rycote handheld pistol grip thing or the at-8415 but nothing to put it on a stationery stand.

would it be worth getting a cheap table stand and putting the at-8415 on that and pointing it at them out of the frame?

matthew
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Old December 31st, 2003, 11:12 AM   #2
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I'd get another lav mic (same model and brand if possible), so both voices are being picked up seperately.

The shotgun isn't bad, but isolated mics for each person is usually best. What if one has a loud annoying voice? You an adjust your audio accordingly. If you use one mic for both - you have to hope they both talk the same volume...not usually the case.

My 2 cents - rent or by another lav depending on how often you plan to do "sit down" interviews. It's worth the investment. Also, do you have adjustable unputs on your cam or audio recorder? I should have asked that up front.

Murph
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Old December 31st, 2003, 11:31 AM   #3
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i have a dvx-100a, i have dual xlr inputs and i have tons of control over where they go as to which channel.

see the thing is there might be 2 or 3 people, it is a very informal thing done after a performance with multiple performers possibly there.

maybe i should just use the handheld shockmount and point the me-66?

matthew
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Old December 31st, 2003, 12:08 PM   #4
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From what you're saying - I would use the shotgun..yeah.

Sounds like you know what you're doing. I've always taken the stance with video like this --

If you're shooting a guy inside a single engine airplane and it's competely being shown in your video - not as a V.O. (voice over) - then having crappy audio in that situation is ok. The viewers totally understand that the pilot is screaming to be heard and most of the audio consists of a loud propeller. However, the key to this situation is visually showing the propeller and the fact that the video was shot in those conditions.

In short, the audience is forgiving of non-perfect audio if you are showing the situation truthfully...let them in on it, so to speak. However, if you don't visually show them the surroundings...then it's unforgivable audio. In your situation, it sounds like a shotgun will be fine because of the actions of the subject.

I'd suggest that you keep the interview short if you think the audio might get annoying. I always go for the "sound bite" instead of the long interviews anyway. Unless it's a completely controled studio enviornment...then you can go on forever. In any other situation, I always "get in and get out" with at least a short amount of usable material. Better than 10 minutes of garbage sounding stuff.

My 2 cents! :)

Murph
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Old December 31st, 2003, 02:18 PM   #5
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Instead of a cheap table stand, you could get a mic stand with a boom arm for under $40 .
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Old December 31st, 2003, 02:52 PM   #6
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Put the 66 on a boom pole and set it just out of frame and above the talent. The only problem is if they don't sit equal distance from the microphone.

The traditional solution is to use lavs or a boom pole operated by a sound person. Or a studio boom that allows the microphone to swivel towards the speaker as well as move around.
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Old December 31st, 2003, 03:31 PM   #7
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thanks for the advice not only about the audio but the interview style. i am grateful for all of it!

i am leaning towards a mic stand with a small arm off it, i haven't seen the location yet but i have been told it is a common area sort of tent that 10-12 people congregate in after their performances late at night.

it seems like a great casual place to get interviews, the only catch might be that i have been told there is a tv in there and that could be an awful source of distraction and background noise, not to mention worrying about copyright issues in the background.

i have zero experience with booms and also thought it might be intimidating?

matthew
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