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Documentary Techniques
-- Discuss issues facing documentary production.

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Old December 4th, 2006, 07:49 AM   #46
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On the last doc I worked on, we used a boom on most interviews. I would've liked to have had a decent wireless running on another channel though.

As far as recording a live band... how good does it NEED to be? I mean, you could mic every instrument (every drum), run it into a massive mix board, and mix it live (or run it into a computer and mix it in post)... or you could get a couple of mics and place them carefully in the middle of the room (or wherever).

If you can afford it, you could outsource the live band stuff to an audio professional. Then you can just concentrate on the video. If I ever shoot a live band again, this is the option I'd prefer.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 08:30 PM   #47
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good thought

Thanks Sam,

yeah, I am definitely thinking of that approach to the LIVE band thing -- right with ya.

however, wit the Lav's -- how expensive are those? Living in Los ANgeles, with great sound guys here, won't their LAV mic's be better than mnine? Also, is it smart/safe to back up all audio with a DAT? And should I use a clapper as well in order to sync up later, or are most people just booming/lav'ing into the camera?

I ask so many questions because I know how important sound is, and being an audiophile myslef, as well as seeing many, MANY low budget films get killed because of bad sound....I don't want that to happen to mine.

I am willing to pay for a great sound guy here, since I know how good sound is of value -- however -- I am wondering what is the optimal situation i want from a sound guy -- Mixer, lav's, dat back-up? Unsure and would love any info/addvice you have.

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Old December 4th, 2006, 08:59 PM   #48
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How about - since you're in pre-production at this point - simply calling a few experienced sound ops and asking them what they've done, if they've done what you want, and what gear they can bring to the job?

A sound op with his own gear (as opposed to one who might expect you to rent) has invested in himself - which means he/she is serious about his/her rep.

As for one man band - consider a wireless lav setup. I'm not familiar with your camera, but if you can set levels in the camera, this is a handy option used by a lot of independent ENG people.

And if you did some practice in advance with this, you might even find the lavs would be fine for all your interviews - which would save the sound-op expense (sorry sound guys....maybe you should add a camera to your sound kit too:-)).

But I would DEFINITELY get an experienced sound op who has done this sort of work for the music part. Make sure you shoot a full song/tune master shot, then get plenty of cut-ins, (B roll) close-ups of fingers, instruments, etc for editing. You might even get the musos to repeat the song so you can get a bunch of close-up "lip sync" shots for post.


Michael KNight.
All media since 1960. Formerly CP16/Nagra. Currently learning F350/Fujinon HSs18 x 5.5BRM, Mac G5 Quad and FCP Studio.
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Old December 5th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #49
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If you're going for Wireless, the Sennheiser G2 is good value for money - excellent quality, durable, takes AA batteries and doesn't cost too much.

Avoid anything cheaper.

But beware!
Most people new to wireless get caught out by not learning how to set it up properly. It's not easy, you need to practice over and over again - so that you're familiar with the settings.

Every person you clip it on, every position you place it in - and every recording situation is different. So you must do real sound tests.

The most commmon mistake people make is getting the sound too hot. Use good quality headphones when you set the mics up - and make sure you don't get any peaking.

I'm not trying to put you off - quite the reverse. Wireless mics can be fantastic - but they get blamed for a lot of faults that are purely bad setup.

Good luck.

I taught you all I know and still you know nothing.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #50
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great info guys -- in the pre-production mode so just planning ahead.

i appreciate the thoughts and heads up.

be well,
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