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-   -   "Man on the street" interviews (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/22280-man-street-interviews.html)

Marcia Janine Galles March 2nd, 2004 06:06 PM

"Man on the street" interviews
A few questions regarding mics and optimal vs. workable scenarios when doing "man on the street" type interviews for my doc. I'll be on a city street in either LA or SF, maybe both, and I want to get answers to a couple questions I throw out there, but I don't want the mic in the shot.

a) Does the Shure SM58s have to so close that it'll have to be in the picture in order to get much that's useable?

b) Does wireless (the SM582 with the EVO 100 plug on) vs. wired make a big difference at this range?

c) If you don't like the Shure, what would you use in it's place?

d) Seems like handheld in this scenario vs. a boom would be better, or at least easier. Agree/disagree?

e) If you've done this before, what did you use?

Any and all comments appreciated!

Don Bloom March 2nd, 2004 10:02 PM

If you don't want the mic to show in the shot you'll probably need to use a boom. Any handheld mic would have to be at a place where the composition of the shot would be off. Look at any newsperson on the street doing a report and you'll see the mic is held no lower than about a foot from their face and unless you're doing just a tight head and shoulder shot that might not be low enough, hence, THE BOOM!

At least thats what I've done in the past and it has worked out well.

Good Luck,Don

Eric Foo March 2nd, 2004 10:41 PM

I've used the SM58 handheld and AT835b on a boom on an XL1s before.

Pretty much had the SM58 in the shot everytime unless I really zoomed in.

A condenser could be handheld further away from the person's face but may pickup noise from behind them if not handled properly.

Glenn Chan March 2nd, 2004 11:27 PM

Maybe holding a shotgun would work better than a shotgun on a boom?

Potential problems I can think of:
A- Lots of handling noise if you aren't careful
B- you may need a windscreen on the shotgun depending on the day (looks dumb?)

Bryan Beasleigh March 2nd, 2004 11:39 PM

A good number of the man on the street interviews are done with what looks to be an ME66 hand held.

Mike Rehmus March 2nd, 2004 11:44 PM

Glenn has the right of it.

Get a Lightwave Systems SuperMount for your shotgun. Point the shotgun directly at the interviewee's mouth. This works very well. About $175

Better than a shotgun might be a cardiod because it has no back lobe and sounds a whole lot better.

If you don't want an active microphone, then get a Shure or AT 'interview' microphone. Usually a dynamic microphone with a smaller-than SM58 head and a longer body. You've seen them on CNN. These are around $200 or less.

The SM58 has to be up close enough to cover the subject's chin in a noisy environment. They have to talk 'across' the microphone. Sounds good but it is a big ball right there up front.

Matt Gettemeier March 3rd, 2004 12:37 AM

I used to do mine with an me66 on a short boom, then I used a 4073a on a short boom... I actually ran the cam AND the boom unless I had the luxury of a third guy.

Finally I got sick of that approach and bought an m58 newsmic and plug-on transmitter. I don't think most people have a problem with seeing a mic on-camera... especially if it looks professional. Well I sold the m58 and haven't replaced it with a D230 as I planned to... but I will really soon.

Without the option of a wireless handheld I've been doing my "man on the street" stuff with a tram/lectro wireless on the front pocket of my "man"... You would be surprised at how well it picks up a bubble of sound in a 7' radius... with the omni facing out it seems to capture a voice speaking directly at it a little better then the voice above it and the end result is that it sounds pretty good on the "man" and the interviewees...

On channel 2 I use an Oktava hyper inside a BBG/Jammer and usually just leave that on-cam... If I need a sound or voices outside of the 7' bubble then the on-cam mic usually does a fine job.

Everything I've said here is a minimalist approach that one guy can handle... If you have the luxury of men and equipment then you should have a 12' boom and a decent shotgun and then frame your boom op out of the picture...

On Insomniac with Dave Attell (spelling?) They use a combination of wireless lavs and a long boom with a really good shotgun on it, and I'll bet the shotgun/boom is wireless as well... unless they're directly capturing seperate audio into something like the Marantz pmd670 or HHB...

Glenn Chan March 3rd, 2004 12:45 AM


Get a Lightwave Systems SuperMount for your shotgun. Point the shotgun directly at the interviewee's mouth. This works very well. About $175
Are you suggesting getting the mount to put the mic on the camera? I was thinking the interviewer would hold the mic in the left hand and the camera in the right. There are various ways you could hold the mic. I'm thinking the interviewer would hold the camera camcorder-style with the right arm. The left hand supports the right elbow and also points the mic at the interviewee's mouth. You could stand casually this way, and from the interviewee's point of view it doesn't look like you're trying to stick a big mic in their face.

Marty Wein March 3rd, 2004 05:59 AM

The lightwave Supermount comes with a handgrip and is boom mountable.

Another less expensive and lighter alternative is to use the AT8415 with the Remote Audio Hand Grip, or the Rycote Softie Mount.

Marcia Janine Galles March 3rd, 2004 09:31 AM

I've looked at the the Lightwave Supermount, but I have two concerns. One is the weight, not for handheld work, but for when it's on a boom. (Would like to avoid having to buy seperate ones for handheld and boom work.) The other concern is that I couldn't tell from the pictures if I had to use the whole Zepplin thing/cover with it, or if I can use the ME66 Rycote furry with it that I already own. Is where the mic is seated on it, in the way? Will the Rycote still just slip over the mic, and into position? This stuff adds up fast, and I don't want to duplicate what I already have, though the Zepplin is no doubt better for what it does.

OTOH, the AT8415 with the "Remote Audio Hand Grip" which Marty mentions looks like a possible (lower cost) option, however, the Lightwave grip looks like it would be more comfortable/secure in the hand. And while the AT8415 is lighter than the Supermount, is the mic as secure when boomed? (There are trade offs to everything, darn it all.) Would the mic bob around more/make more noise with the AT8415 vs. the Supermount when moved around by less experienced hands (owing to those little rubber bands)? If I do have any boom help, it's going to be a film student I know who wants to learn but has never been out there for real.

Man, you guys are so great to respond so fast. REALLY helpful stuff.
Thanks once again!

Jay Massengill March 3rd, 2004 09:55 AM

The 8415 is available with upgraded rubber bands of specific center diameter. They are reported to be a great improvement over the stock bands. I've never had any problem with the stock bands, but you usually have to "criss-cross" the horizontal bands to build up extra tension for supporting a shotgun mic. This gives much greater security and support versus just slipping the mic into the center square of the tic-tac-toe pattern that the bands form when at rest. It is harder to get the mic in and out when they are criss-crossed, but the mount is so small and light it can be left in place. It will also allow you to use your slip-on cover.
With the Remote Audio grip, it would probably also look less like a gun at a distance versus the pistol-grip of the Lightwave style.
For boom mounting, the 8415 is very light. You don't even need the 5/8" to 3/16" adapter that comes with it and makes up the majority of its weight. You can thread the yoke directly onto your standard 3/16" boom pole threads.
I'm convinced that the majority of handling noise problems that people have in general are due to poor cable management rather than their choice of shockmount. The cable is the primary transmitter of handling noise if a mic is shockmounted.

Aaron Koolen March 3rd, 2004 01:19 PM

I have the AT8415 shockmount, purchased with the KTEK K-SUS Deluxe Polymer mounts. They are at B&H Here

They are far more secure than the standard bands. If I mount my ME66 with Foamsock and Mini Windjammer into the standard bands, you can feel it's a bit risky. With the deluxe bands, there's no way that baby is coming out of there. In fact it's a bit of a mission to get in in the first place ;) I might look at some sort of quick release shockmount at some point but for now the 8145 and good bands seems good. Infinately superior to my BeyerDynamic EA86..


Mike Rehmus March 3rd, 2004 08:03 PM

I use the SuperMount in both their zepplin on a boom and, as I suggested, hand-held. Easy for an untrained person to point it as it handles like a pistol. Of course you can also hand-hold the zepplin with the SuperMount

The microphone is held in two places with Non-marring screws. Very secure. I use mine with an AT835B and the LightWave short windscreen with no problems.

The Supermount is smaller up top than the Shure tin-can with rubber bands (peace, I mean no insult) and I think a bit more secure. I think it looks a bit better if you know what I mean.

Marcia Janine Galles March 4th, 2004 08:35 PM

A few more questions...

JAY, where can you get the new and improved rubber bands you mention? Item #? I take it what you're speaking of is different than what B & H shows with the 8415. Or is it? What Aaron mentions obviously aren't rubber bands. But I've heard of something about one of the versions of the 8415 that squeak... is that the Polymer mounts? Also, when you mention poor cable handling, do you just mean the cables flopping around? I was going to go with the Gitzo carbon fiber to make it light and velcro the cable flat against the thing. Would the Lightwave with an internal cable be the safer route? It's heavier and some people seem to not like how it locks down.

MIKE, what do you think of the sound of the AT835B compared to the ME66?

MATT, I like the look of the AKG D230 if I decide to go that route, but can't find any kind of furry available anywhere. In SF that's a must. Can get very windy. Any out there that fit that you've found?

You guys are awesome.

Matt Gettemeier March 6th, 2004 10:06 AM

This should do it for the furry.


The max diameter of the RE50 is 49mm, on the AKG it's 50mm, so the Fat Cat will obviously fit the AKG. The 2 mics are nearly the same size at the head.

Realize that this type of mic needs to be within about 12" of the speaker's mouth to get adequate sound, so I hope you don't have a problem with your audience seeing an interview done with a chinchilla on a stick.

I use furry creatures all the time. My camera looks like it's being "mounted" by one of the Trebels (spelling?) from the original Star Trek. Sometimes I put the Trebel on the end of a long stick and taunt people with it like a mini-pinata just over their head.

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