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Old November 13th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #1
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Boom question

Why is the sound guy at the back not pointing at the speakers mouth or head in this video?

Some superb example of use of the Canon EOS C300.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:06 AM   #2
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Re: Boom question

It looks like they are trying to just get the general room sound. The kids talking int he background, etc. Since you don't know what type of mic he has in the blimp, you can't be sure which way he is pointing the diaphragm.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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Re: Boom question

I'd put money on there being a stereo mic in the housing, not a shotgun - as it spend most time being held very steady - movement wreck stereo images - perpendicular would make sense. He also makes no effort to go in close, even when the camera position would make it possible. The Canon has a forward facing short shotgun, so this plus the stereo would make sense.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: Boom question

Sounds like a lav.. hidden. An off-axis shotgun is usually very noticeable.
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Old November 13th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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Re: Boom question

He did point it in the direction of the camera lens on one shot but most of the time it is pointing upwards so he is probably just getting room ambience as an alternative to the camera mic.

It may also be that the shots are being recorded mute and he is just getting an ambience track.

It may also be that the sound is not required so he could be just resting the mic or pointing it upwards so people can see that he is not recording what they are saying.

I doubt it is a stereo mic as it is rare that such a mic would be mounted in a blimp and used to record with a side address.

When I have done news for Royal Family visits we have to point the shotguns in the air like this as the security people don't like things pointed at the Royal family, it is also a no no to record their conversations as they are deemed to be private.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 12:39 PM   #6
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Re: Boom question

I found that the filmmaker James Longley has made this comment in Cinema EOS User.

"I use a Neumann KMR81i short shotgun microphone on the camera. Note: You need to buy some expander rings to make it fit the C300 mic mount, which is designed to fit fatter microphones.

For synch surround sound recording I also team it up with a SoundField SPS200 mic recording to a Sound Devices 788T SSD - I match the timecode between the C300 and 788T using a LEMO-BNC (if I'm recalling that correctly) cable at the start of each shoot.

So when I'm shooting with the C300 I also have a guy next to me with the SoundField mic on a boom - recording surround ambience of everything. Since I have the separate sound recorder, I can also strip off the LCD/mic attachment from the C300 and just keep the camera super-light if I want to for some completely hand-held situations - the sound is time-code matched in the 788T, so need for a reference track on the camera.

For audio-only interviews I use a Neumann U87Ai mic."
The link to that post is here: C300 for documentary work? - Cinema EOS User Forum - Page 2

So the equipment cost wise, the sound equipment is more than half of the camera cost. Interesting.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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Re: Boom question

Back in my broadcasting days stations used to budget 6% of their production equipment budget for sound. But that was when a camera cost $25,000 USD in 1970s dollars, and didn't include a recorder. It would be interesting to do some math on this for an equivalent audio budget today.

This filmmaker is spending for very nice audio gear, yes. I've used the Neumann short shotgun, it's very nice. And the Soundfield stereo ambience mic seems more than adequate.

Usually, I'd want to get the KMR81 on the stick and boom conventionally, but I suspect there are a host of considerations:

* Keeping the ambience mic with the sound op means that the stereo image doesn't change when the camera moves, a good thing.
* These are Afghan children and villagers he's shooting. I imagine what they are doing and how they are doing it would change if there was a boom hanging over them.
* Run and gun shooting is certainly easier without the boom near or in the shot.
* Despite everything we read, a camera mounted shotgun *can* provide a good voice recording under some circumstances. The room acoustics and distance from the subject make a big difference here.
* These subjects are probably not speaking the same language as the viewers. I think this means that *all* audio collected is ambience and reference.

PS. I would never take a U87 into a war zone... way too delicate! But that's just me.
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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