DV Info Net

DV Info Net (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/)
-   All Things Audio (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/)
-   -   One mic for 3 camera shoot (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/53583-one-mic-3-camera-shoot.html)

Lorenzo Durand October 30th, 2005 05:47 PM

One mic for 3 camera shoot
 
Hello, I am planning to shoot with 3 cams. (a GL2 and 2 Optura 60's) running a one mic/boomed to the GL2. It's a one location movie (small house and backyard), 80% indoor scenes(no carpet) and 20% in a outdoor garden patio. Most scenes have 4 characters in close proximity.

My questions are:

What is the best one mic (indoor/outdoor) for this situation in the $300-$700 and $1000-$1300 range?
Can one mic do it or do I need 2 mics- one for indoor and one for outdoor?

With one mic boomed to the GL2 what should I use? Which is the best? A mixer or a pre-amp?
What brand/model...Sound Design MixPre, Shure FP-24, Behringer, Mackie, Beachtek DXA-6 or 8?

Would appreciate some knowledge, thanks.

Ty Ford October 30th, 2005 09:35 PM

A Schoeps cmc641 ($1400), or an Audio Technica 4053a hypercardioid.

Do you want to feed all of the cameras with sound from the same mic?

If you plan on doing this for a while, a Sound Devices 302 is a very good place to start.

Ty Ford

Lorenzo Durand October 30th, 2005 10:31 PM

Thanks Ty for the mic info.
Should I feed all the cams with one mic or just one cam, whats the best for post-production?

You mentioned the Sound Devices 302 mixer. Are you saying the mixers give you better sound than say a pre-amp (Beachtek DXA-8).

Ty Ford October 30th, 2005 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Thanks Ty for the mic info.
Should I feed all the cams with one mic or just one cam, whats the best for post-production?

You mentioned the Sound Devices 302 mixer. Are you saying the mixers give you better sound than say a pre-amp (Beachtek DXA-8).

If you're shooting the same scene with three cameras, you'l maybe load in everything from one camera that is being fed by your new boom mic and mixer. The you have to load in the other two cameras. What''s their audio going to sound like? Prolly not as good.

OK so you then have to sync those cameras up to you main camera audio track. If you had all three cameras aimed at the same thing, you could cut between them more easily if they all had the same good audio.

Even two is better than just one.

Yes Sound Devices arew better mixers and have better preamps and limiters. At some point you have to move away from bolting something like that to your camera. When the audio device is bolted to the camera, you really can't mix or you'll jar the camera.

I'm not certainyou can feed three cameras from a Sound Devices 302. I know I can with the 442.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Lorenzo Durand October 31st, 2005 04:13 AM

Cool, mixers are the way to go.
Ty, you said a SD442 mixer can go into 3 cams. Since the other SD mixers 302 and the MixPre have 2 XLR outputs also, can they feed 3 cams too?

Ty Ford October 31st, 2005 05:27 AM

I suppose if you feed each camera with only one output. That makes me a little nervous. The MixPre XLR outputs, BTW are line only. The 302 XLR outputs can be adjusted from mic to line.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Steve House October 31st, 2005 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Cool, mixers are the way to go.
Ty, you said a SD442 mixer can go into 3 cams. Since the other SD mixers 302 and the MixPre have 2 XLR outputs also, can they feed 3 cams too?

Dialogue is usually recorded mono, certainly with 1 mic splitting it to stereo is rather pointless except as an extra "insurance track" in the camera. So to feed 3 cameras you need a device with at least 3 mono outputs. Two stereo pairs gives you 4 outputs total and splitting the signal evenly between them by panning dead center gives you the equivalent of 4 mono feeds. The SD302 and MixPre both have L/R main output channels on a pair of XLRs plus a "tape out" secondary L/R stero output pair on a 2 channel unbalanced connector, so either unit could do that. Your mic connects to any input channel and is centred. Send the tape out stereo to camera A channels 1 & 2 and set channel 2's level about 8db below that on channel 1 to create an insurance track. Send the left main out to camera B channel 1 and right main out to camera C channel 1, ignoring channel 2 on both.

I'd be concerned that the audio recorded on the Opturas might be noticably different in character from that on the GL2 due to the audio circuit differences in the two camera models. Be prepared to do some equalization etc in post to get them to intercut seamlessly. Still, as Ty pointed out, that's going to be far less headache than if they were recorded using a hodge-podge of your boom mic and their internal mics, all in their own individual acoustic environments at different distances from the talent. Of course, if you're shooting multicam - say the GL2 recording a MS 2-shot of the talent interacting with the Optura's getting the CUs of the individuals at the same time - using just the track from the GL2 or even an independent audio recorder for double system sound all the way, synching up all three pix in post and intercutting between the several camera's video over the one audio track may be best of all.

Lorenzo Durand November 1st, 2005 02:22 PM

Thanks guys, your'e information is great.

Steve, I like the method you suggest - using 2 channels on cam A (GL2) with a 8dB differential on the channels. The way to get 2 channels on the GL2 is to use the Canon MA300 XLR connector, so I could cable L/R outputs from the mixer to the GL2, right?

My budget for cams B and C is $1,800, is there any cameras that would do the job of getting better audio and/or picture than the Optura 60's to use with the A-cam GL2?

Steve House November 1st, 2005 04:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Thanks guys, your'e information is great.

Steve, I like the method you suggest - using 2 channels on cam A (GL2) with a 8dB differential on the channels. The way to get 2 channels on the GL2 is to use the Canon MA300 XLR connector, so I could cable L/R outputs from the mixer to the GL2, right?

My budget for cams B and C is $1,800, is there any cameras that would do the job of getting better audio and/or picture than the Optura 60's to use with the A-cam GL2?

Someone else will have to comment on other cameras that might be better the OIpturas. I wasn't thinking they would necessarily be inferior, just that they might sound different from the GL2 due to the differences in circuitry and you'll need to compensate in post.

Are you purchasing your B & C cams? Why not rent or lease a couple more GL2s rather than tieing up capital investing in 2 secondary cams only to have them sitting idle when you're not doing a multicam shoot?

Lorenzo Durand November 1st, 2005 04:41 PM

Steve, after the shoot, the Optura's would be given to the 2 actors/producers who paid for them. "I won't have no cameras idling in my production house."

Which method would be better for sound and post-poduction; a mixer to GL2 or mixer to GL2 + two Opturas 60's?

Steve House November 2nd, 2005 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Steve, after the shoot, the Optura's would be given to the 2 actors/producers who paid for them. "I won't have no cameras idling in my production house."

Which method would be better for sound and post-poduction; a mixer to GL2 or mixer to GL2 + two Opturas 60's?

"Better" is a matter of opinion, I think. With just one mic and sending its audio simultaneously to all three cameras you have a lot of redundency that may not be needed. You *might* (though I don't know if it's a fact) have noticably different audio characterisics in the tracks between the two models of camera that you wouldn't have if all the audio you use is recorded in one place. If you're going to edit sound and picture independently, like using L-cuts and cutaways where you have the sound of, say, actor A's dialog audible while picture is showing actor B's reactions to the speech or a cutaway to the subject of the speech, you're still going to have to sync everything up anyway so I don't see how recording redundently on all three cameras actually gains you anything. I fact, you might be better off going double-system and recording to a separate high-quality audio recorder, slating every take wutrh the slate visible to all three cameras, and use the internal camera mics to record scratch tracks on the tape as an aid in synching the "real" audio in post. An added advantage of that approach is that you don't have to worry about pulling so many cables around the set.

I think I'd focus on getting the highest quality audio on either the GL2 A camera or record to a separate audio recorder. Let the B and C cameras record scratch tracks using their internal mics as refernces to aid sync'ing to the production audio and use a clapboard slate at both the head and tail of every shot.

Lorenzo Durand November 4th, 2005 12:19 AM

Nice filmmaking breakdown.
I will go with the 'mixer to one camera' set-up, it has many positives for my film project.

To use 2 channels, one for insurance as you suggested on the GL2 camera A, can I use a MixPre with the two L/R outputs and XLR cable it to a Canon MA300 XLR connector? Or what?

Are the MA300 2 channel inputs and the MixPre L/R outputs both line?

Steve House November 4th, 2005 05:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
...
Are the MA300 2 channel inputs and the MixPre L/R outputs both line?

The MA300 is a mic level input while the MixPre has line level outputs. You'll need to add some padding in the line between the two to match levels.

Lorenzo Durand November 4th, 2005 11:17 AM

Do you mean like a piece of cotton?... just joking, would padding be a special cable or device? Or is their a mixer with the price range of a MixPre that has mic/line switchable outputs? Thank you Steve.

Steve House November 4th, 2005 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Do you mean like a piece of cotton?... just joking, would padding be a special cable or device? Or is their a mixer with the price range of a MixPre that has mic/line switchable outputs? Thank you Steve.

A "pad" is an attentuator inserted in the line to reduce the levels. A-T, Shure, and several others make 'em and a google search or a browse through the B&H website will give you some ideas.

Jay Massengill November 4th, 2005 12:24 PM

Also make sure of the version of the MixPre you're using. An early version had an impedence balanced output with the entire signal on pin 2 only. A normal balanced pad won't attenuate the signal by the amount indicated on the pad. You also won't get the normal -6db drop if you only use pin 2 with an unbalanced adapter.
The newer versions of the MixPre with a regular balanced output also have a 4-pin power connecter versus the original barrel-type power connector. That's the easiest way to spot the difference.

Lorenzo Durand November 6th, 2005 12:22 AM

How much pad do I need? 10dB, 20dB, 30dB, or ?

Jay, are you saying the newer MixPre's pins allow the pad to function correctly?

Steve House November 6th, 2005 05:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
How much pad do I need? 10dB, 20dB, 30dB, or ?

Jay, are you saying the newer MixPre's pins allow the pad to function correctly?

The Canon has a built-in mic attentuator that will take care of part of it. I don't have all the numbers in front of me but I think its around -20db. Mic input sensitivities are gernally in the ballpark of -50db so the 20 or 30 db pad would be the one. Several manufacturers make switchable pads that you can vary as needed. You might also consider something like the Beachtek DXA-4, -6, or -8 at the camera end instead of the MA300 as they are adjustable between line and mic sensitivity. Take a look at www.beachtek.com for details.

Lorenzo Durand November 6th, 2005 04:53 PM

Steve, thanks for answering the pad question.

The GL2 attentuator is -20dB.

I was considering using both channels in the GL2 to have another track for insurance. Using a BeachTek allows only one channel via the mini-plug to the GL2, right? and I still need the mixer. (for the boomed AT4053a)

Steve House November 6th, 2005 07:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Steve, thanks for answering the pad question.

The GL2 attentuator is -20dB.

I was considering using both channels in the GL2 to have another track for insurance. Using a BeachTek allows only one channel via the mini-plug to the GL2, right? and I still need the mixer. (for the boomed AT4053a)

Check their specs on the web site - The Beachtek has two XLR connectors and I'm pretty sure you have a choice of sending one of them to both channels in the camera or sending one to the left channel and the other to the right.

Lorenzo Durand November 7th, 2005 12:51 AM

The beachteks have a 2 mic inputs and have one stereo mini-plug for the output, so how can I control the 2nd channel for the "insurance track" on the GL2 or any XLRless camera?

Steve House November 7th, 2005 05:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
The beachteks have a 2 mic inputs and have one stereo mini-plug for the output, so how can I control the 2nd channel for the "insurance track" on the GL2 or any XLRless camera?

I don't have one but I understand the Beachteks have a mono/stereo switch that lets the left channel XLR feed both the left and right inputs in the camera. If you keep the MixPre at the boom operator end, use its internal oscillator to send a 0db tone down the line to the camera to the Beach. Switch the camera to manual level control, switch on its internal attentuator, and set the camera's gain control for the left channel to about the 2/3 point. Put the Beach in "dual-mono" mode so the left XLR feeds both channels in the camera. Without changing the camera's level setting, adjust the control on the Beach so the reference tone shows at minus 12db on the camera's meter. Now adjust the camera's manual level control for the right channel so the tone reads minus 20db on the right channel meter. Ridin gain to control the actual audio level during a take is controlled by the mixer/boom operator using the MixPre where the 0dB meter reference will represent recording levels of -12db & -20db at the camera.

You could also use 2 parallel XLR cables between the MixPre and the Beach/Camera end, one for each channel and set the Beach to stereo mode. The mic is panned to the centre at the MixPre so the same signal goes down both channels to the camera. Use the same technique for setting levels.

Lorenzo Durand November 7th, 2005 05:34 AM

Your audio wisdom is appreciated.

I was reading Double Spotted Eagle's response in the "another audio question" thread--he stated you don't need a mixer for a one mic shoot. Could I still get good sound using just a beachtek with my boomed AT4053a?

Lorenzo Durand November 7th, 2005 05:47 AM

I overlooked headphone monitoring.

I've read that the GL2's headphone monitoring is weak. If a mixer is not needed, would a good choice be the Sound Devices MM-1 instead of the beachteks?

The SD MM-1 seems to have more control for a one mic set up.

Steve House November 7th, 2005 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
I overlooked headphone monitoring.

I've read that the GL2's headphone monitoring is weak. If a mixer is not needed, would a good choice be the Sound Devices MM-1 instead of the beachteks?

The SD MM-1 seems to have more control for a one mic set up.

Not really - while the MM1 is an excellent unit and highly recommended it would replace the MixPre, not the Beachtek. While Beach has a couple of preamp equipped units, the version I've been kind of assuming you'd be using would be the basic DX4 which is a passive device that a: pads the incoming line level back down to a mic level, and b:interfaces the balanced feed line from the boom end, whether it's coming from a preamp or a mixer, to an unbalanced stereo miniplug that the camera itself wants plugged into it. It also blocks the 5v bias voltage the camera puts on the input that is needed with a consumer grade electret condener microphone but can degrade the performance of pro gear.

Both the MixPre and the MM1 provide headphone monitoring to the boom operator.

Lorenzo Durand November 8th, 2005 01:20 AM

So a boomed mic (AT4053a) connecting to the input of the SD MM-1, the SD MM-1's output connects to a BeachTek DXA-4P, it's mini plug to the GL2.
This configuration seems like it will do the job well.

Steve, using the GL2's mini-plug allows you only to use the camera's left channel only so how can I use the method you suggested in your reply #22 (Using both channels on the GL2)?
Or am I just confused?

Steve House November 8th, 2005 05:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
So a boomed mic (AT4053a) connecting to the input of the SD MM-1, the SD MM-1's output connects to a BeachTek DXA-4P, it's mini plug to the GL2.
This configuration seems like it will do the job well.

Steve, using the GL2's mini-plug allows you only to use the camera's left channel only so how can I use the method you suggested in your reply #22 (Using both channels on the GL2)?
Or am I just confused?

I may be wrong but I was under the impression that the GL2 mic input was stereo to accomodate stereo (2-channel) mics and so would acccept a stereo signal on a TRS miniplug connector at the mic connector. You might be thinking it's mono because the simple XLR to miniplug cable adapters are wired for mono to a TS miniplug but the Beach output is TRS and connects to both channels.

Lorenzo Durand November 8th, 2005 04:47 PM

Thank you much for clearing that up about the beachtek.

Is there a way I can do the "extra track method" (insurance) with the SD MM-1 connected to the beachtek DXA-4 instead of the MixPre? Thanks!

Steve House November 9th, 2005 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Thank you much for clearing that up about the beachtek.

Is there a way I can do the "extra track method" (insurance) with the SD MM-1 connected to the beachtek DXA-4 instead of the MixPre? Thanks!

Sure - the camera has two level controls, one for each channel. Your mic feeds the MM1. The output of the MM1 is connected to the left xlr connector on the Beach and the right channel is turned all the way down to prevent noise from creeping in. The Beach stereo/mono switch is set to mono. This puts the input signal on the output's left and right channels equally so whatever is going to the Beachtek's xlr connector will be recorded on both channels in the camera. The camera is set to manual recording level control and you adjust the camera's level controls so they're about -12db on the left channel and -18db on the right. The only real drawbacks of using the MM1 instead of the MixPre is the lack of a built-in standard reference tone to help set the gain staging along the chain and the lack of a level meter. Personally I'd go with the MixPre in order to have those two features.

Lorenzo Durand November 9th, 2005 12:33 PM

Those two features are important, I'll take your audio sage advice and go with the MixPre instead of the MM-1.

Steve, you've broke-down my questions, gave great tips and saved me a lot of headaches. I'm going to put your name in my movie credits under Audio Consultant, unless you prefer a different title.

Since I'm using a boomed AT4053a for both indoor and outdoor settings, what should I use for the AT mic outdoors to get good sound? Windshield/blimp, mic techniques, what else?

Once again in detail: the outdoor scenes will be shot in a small backyard patio that has a low wooden roof, a concrete floor and lots of plants & shrubs in and surrounding it. The four actors will be sitting very close to each other in a circle.

Jay Massengill November 9th, 2005 06:39 PM

Actually on the BeachTek when set to MONO mode you should keep the unused channel set to Maximum, otherwise it does reduce the signal from the single mic. Since it's a passive device, it won't be providing any gain for any interference that might creep in, but the unused control does have an attenuating effect on the mic signal.
It doesn't affect it as much per click stop as the control for the input channel you're plugged into, but it does affect it some. At times I'll use this as a trim control, using a click stop or two on the off side as a finer control than a single click on the used side. It also doesn't seem to change the level in the off-side of the two-channel mono output, it loads both channels down a little.
The Line/Mic switch on the off side doesn't seem to provide any change in attenuation though because I believe it's upstream of where the MONO mixing occurs.

Lorenzo Durand November 10th, 2005 03:47 AM

Wow, I bet that's not in the instruction manual.

Steve House November 10th, 2005 06:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
Wow, I bet that's not in the instruction manual.

Actually it is - they recommend the unused channel is set fully clockwise to prevent loading. The convention with almost anything, including the Beachtek, is that you turn a volume control clockwise to make it louder. Because this is an attenuator that cuts the signal strength, turning the control UP, clockwise, makes the signal louder by turning DOWN the amount of reduction, the control actually having the least effect on the system when it's all the way up. It's actually the opposite of the circuit properties of most level controls where turning them up increases their influence in the circuit. Since it's the presence of attentuation in the unused channel that can load down the active channel, Jay is correct. ROFL When did I sleep last!

Daniel Rudd November 15th, 2005 02:11 PM

urelated suggestions
 
And I'm not sure if anyone mentioned this, but you can save some time in post if you manually white balance your cameras to a sheet of white paper. (I believe that the Optura has this capacity).
Daniel

Lorenzo Durand November 18th, 2005 03:45 AM

What is the mic distance for optimum sound using the AT4053a on a boom indoors? Is outdoors any different?

Thanks.

Steve House November 18th, 2005 05:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lorenzo Durand
What is the mic distance for optimum sound using the AT4053a on a boom indoors? Is outdoors any different?

Thanks.

For *optimum* sound, as close as possible without intruding into the shot.

Ty Ford November 18th, 2005 07:18 AM

The difference is you don't want to use a shotgun inside at all unless you're on a set.

To understand why, go to the video folder in my on line archive and download the instructional mp4. See and hear for yourself.


Regards,

Ty Ford

Lorenzo Durand November 20th, 2005 03:10 AM

Thanks guys.

I would like to shoot some scenes indoors without the boom and camera operator present, only the 4 actors by themselves.

Is it possible to mic with the boom set in a position (on a stand/whatever) getting all 4 actors sitting close to each other on a couch?
If possible, how close should the actors be?

Ty Ford November 20th, 2005 03:36 PM

If the boom op knows their lines and who's talking next, yes. Otherwise life gets a lot more difficult.

Ty Ford

Lorenzo Durand November 22nd, 2005 03:29 AM

Hey Ty am a bit confused by your reply. My question was about shooting a couple of scenes with no boom operator, just the AT4053a. Can I place the mic so that I could get all 4 actors dialogue? They would be sitting in a semi-circle with 1 foot spacing between. Thanks Ty.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:35 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network