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Old July 10th, 2005, 02:26 PM   #1
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Audio Options for Martial Arts Video

On moderator suggestion, I'm posting the more audio-oriented part of my inquiry from the GL1 forum here.

In the near future, I'm going to be shooting a martial arts instructional video. It will be soft style with slow movements and no sparring or anything like that, but my talent will still be moving in such a way that makes live sound troublesome at best. Cords are out of the question. The most important thing in sound will be his spoken instructions while he performs, so originally I was going to just have voice it all over in post (the way he's moving lip sync won't be much of an issue since you won't see his face for half the time at least). However, the more I think about it, the more it'd be really nice to at least have a shot at some live sound since if it works out, it'd save a lot of trouble. These boards have offered a lot of good ideas, but I could use a little more input specific to my situation. Money is very tight for any new gear, so I'm on the low budget train. Options I'm considering:

1) Use a cheap wireless lav.

An Azden wireless kit can be had for about $130. Read a lot about how cheap wireless sounds cheap, but how bad are we talking here? I don't need spectacular sound, just clear spoken word. Also, would it be helpful to buy the kit and replace the actual mic with a better one such as say, one of those Giant Squids that everybody is talking about? I think I could swing that.

2) Use a minidisc recorder.

I hate minidiscs for many reasons, but a portable recorder is available to me and I'm forced to admit it records decent audio. Could mic the talent as above and use the minidisc recorder instead. Question I have for the experienced though, is when you use minidisc recorders for audio, how do you synch up with video later? Clapper board?

I also had it suggested to me to use multiple shotguns with a mixer, but I can't see any way I'm affording that since on the cost of the hardware, even if it would work.

Appreciate any insight.
Leigh L Pang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #2
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A- Maybe you could plant the mic above the instructor like you were booming him? There's various clamps and grip equipment which should be able to hold a microphone from the ceiling (i.e. a sprinkler, or the grid if they have a lowered ceiling)
Dangle a cardioid or hypercardioid from there.

If it's under 2 feet from the speaker, this would give you the best sound.

B- If you have a wireless lav on the instructor, you could have him/her do the speaking parts while he/she isn't moving. This way there won't be any 'handling' noise.

Or you could record into minidisc, and sync things in post. A clapperboard definitely helps, although you could just make your own. In post, sync the video using the point where the clapper hits. Sync the audio to the "spike" in the audio waveform.
You have to get a lav that works with your minidisc. Radio Shack sells a $30 lav mic that would likely work and give you clear sound. Plus they have a refund policy (so it could be free to run a test and see if it works for you?).

If you use a lav, look at getting tape because you want to secure the lav nicely. The double-sided topstick tape for wigs can be useful (doesn't irritate skin i think).
There's various ways to secure a lav, and it'll depend on clothing. You don't necessarily need that tape. It probably won't work for you if you try to stick it to skin- the instructor will probably sweat?

2- Have you thought about renting?
There may be a way to swing a deal on stuff like this. If you rent over a weekend, it may cost a day. You may be able to talk to them and get a student discount?
Glenn Chan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 23rd, 2005, 04:28 PM   #3
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Use the wireless. (you you need, I have a cheap one for sale).

Or, the best is to boom him, get a friend to help.
Ronald Lee is offline   Reply

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