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Old May 5th, 2019, 09:36 PM   #16
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Ambient audio is important and needs to be mixed in otherwise it won’t sound natural. If you want record it using stereo pair mics.

Instead of me trying to disprove various ideas you have just read and understand this
https://www.filmmakingstuff.com/record-surround-sound/
If you accept this then I leave you to reconcile it with what your friends are telling you.
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Old May 5th, 2019, 09:49 PM   #17
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks, when you say ambient audio needs to be mixed, do you mean mixed in post?
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Old May 5th, 2019, 10:20 PM   #18
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Yes in post. For example if your filming a scene at a restaurant. I’d record a few minutes of the background or ambient then record the dialogue separately. Now in post you can decide how much background noise you want.
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Old May 5th, 2019, 10:51 PM   #19
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks, this is what I have been doing so far, but they said that the ambience in the actors voices will be gone if I record the background separately. I need to have mics placed far away while they are talking to record the ambiance in their voices, not just the room only. Otherwise there will not be enough voice ambiance cause I just used a mic that was too close up to get the ambiance, without background mics for ambiance.

Is that true?
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Old May 6th, 2019, 05:48 AM   #20
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

I don't understand the difficulty you are having with this. Clearly the people who are advising you have a lot of experience of recording sound incorrectly. What is their professional background in the sound field that you give so much credence to their opinions?

If you want the ambient and the close sound balance, simply place a general stereo pair to record the overall ambience, then a lav or boom mic for the close up sound. If you want to make the voice move across the scene as the actor walks in talking, just pan the mono close up mike in post across the stereo soundscape to match the movement, mixing it to whatever level you want it.

Roger
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Old May 6th, 2019, 06:58 AM   #21
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Oh well they just have been recording audio for a lot longer than I have, and unlike me, who learned on my own, they actually went to school for it. However, they spend all of their careers recording music bands though, and the bands I guess prefer to play all their instruments simultaneously, rather than record each sound at a time, so maybe that is why the idea of putting every little sound together in post feels incorrect to them maybe?

They also said that panning with the mic and following the actor is a no no, because then you will not actually hear the direction change, and the actor will sound like they are in the same place in the room the whole time, if you pan with them, rather than from walking out of the space of one mic, into another, if that's true.
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Old May 6th, 2019, 08:37 AM   #22
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

It's all about magic. How many people would put up something like a soundfield mic and use it's output and nothing else. It's all about illusion and sound design. real location sound is usually horrible, and frequently useless. You re-create what you need in the studio. If you have two people, apart, then two lavs is probably the only way in many locations to get clean usable sound, a boom just being too distant in perspective. If they move, even worse. Do what is best for you. Ignore people with rigid rules, because they rarely ever work.

For me, the most useful sources on location are the boom going to a separate recorder and the camera mics for general ambience - that's it!
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Old May 6th, 2019, 09:49 AM   #23
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

As for your friends. It's not unusual when someone pickups an incorrect practice or idea and holds on to it for a long time it's next to impossible to divest them of their incorrect notions.

I know how appealing surround sound is to you but the best thing would be to drop it, it's not important.
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Old May 6th, 2019, 10:35 AM   #24
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

As many people have already stated here, your friends have their own strange idea of how to record things. That is NOT how it is normally done. And it really has nothing to do with "surround sound". As others have mentioned, that is its own specialty. Other posts have listed some of the reason why not to record everything at once, but one that has not been mentioned is the sheer impracticality of setting up multiple mics on every shot. It is difficult enough to just get good clean dialog on most sets. The idea of setting up a bunch of other mics to try to get the environment as well is a nightmare. You would also have to hide all those mics from the camera. Where you have to hide them is probably not the best place to get the audio from. On set with all the production people and actors is usually the most expensive part of the process. You would end up adding many unnecessary hours to production on set to try to place all these mics. Everyone else would be constantly waiting on sound to be ready. And I believe you would get limited results out of it anyway. You are much better off getting clean dialog with the actors, then going back and recording all the little ambience things separately so you can control the environment. Yes, it takes longer in post, but it results in much better audio that you have control over.

So here's just one small example of why recording all the sounds at once would be a bad idea:

Say you've got a scene in a restaurant with two people talking. While you are shooting the wide shot, you hear the sound of a glass being placed on a nearby table, or a fork clanging on a plate. When you shoot a close up of the actors, that sound is not there, or it's at a different spot in their conversation. If you have recorded clean dialog, you can use audio from either the wide shot or close ups as needed. If you have tried to record all the ambience at the same time, you have this big mess of sound that may fit one part of the scene, but not another.

Hope this helps. Have fun!
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Old May 6th, 2019, 11:30 AM   #25
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Wray View Post
Oh well they just have been recording audio for a lot longer than I have, and unlike me, who learned on my own, they actually went to school for it.
Ah, the temptation to say something nasty about their school(s) and/or the state of their education is strong, but I shall resist. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Wray View Post
However, they spend all of their careers recording music bands though, and the bands I guess prefer to play all their instruments simultaneously, rather than record each sound at a time, so maybe that is why the idea of putting every little sound together in post feels incorrect to them maybe?
And there, right there, is the problem. Recording bands has an incredibly small overlap with recording dialog. These are nearly completely different tasks. Analogy: just because you know how to play clarinet doesn't mean you know enough to advise someone on how to play a piano.

So say it with us Ryan: record dialog in mono, as close as possible, to avoid recording any room tone or ambiance. Everything else, including reverb on your dialog, is done in post. Once again, everything else is done in post.

You want to know why? Read up. Here's a book.
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Old May 6th, 2019, 02:29 PM   #26
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Crash Zoom thread deja vous all over again. :p
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Old May 6th, 2019, 03:18 PM   #27
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Seriously Ryan, Buy the book Bruce recommended. Best $34.00 you will ever spend. I have the old first and second editions right here in my edit suite. Jay Rose spells everything out in a simple easy to understand format. It is not even a book you have to read in order from start to finish. He categorizes some of it so you can go to sections you need right away. This one book will take you production and post production skills up many levels.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old May 6th, 2019, 06:49 PM   #28
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks, I will get that book!

I was also wondering for when we do a sound mix for theaters and film festivals, we could do either 5.1 or 7.1 but is one better than the other? It seems that 5.1 is more popular, but is 7.1 better, for the quality audience experience?

Or do a lot of theaters not have 7.1 and that could effect who will accept the movie?
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Old May 7th, 2019, 01:31 AM   #29
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

I like the comments on crossover being very limited. My audio kit is stored in one place and our video kit in another. The booms, shotguns, zeppelins, hairy sausages, long handled omni mics and on camera receivers NEVER find their way into our audio studio and we treat them totally separately - in fact, I have somewhere a lovely Beyer M50 and n' remember the last time we even had it out of the bag. Sound is always lumped into one category as if it's somehow universal. It isn't just the kit, it's what the kit does, and what you then do with the audio you record back in the studio. It has so little to do with the processes you use for normal audio work (we do both). However - its also fair to say that studio techniques for a metal band vary considerably from the techniques you use for classical music. This is why I firmly believe that direct to stereo recording g should be considered totally separately from close mic techniques. Maybe they are more akin to location sound for video?

Think back 50 years - in TV studios, it was common to record all dialogue with Fischer Boom - where very accurate aiming at a distance worked fine. Now we slap on hidden wavs, and even though we record location wild tracks we rarely use them because we have got used to the 'manufactured' sound of real life.
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Old May 7th, 2019, 05:26 AM   #30
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

I picked up an audio trick that I use for theater events. So for a musical for I record a mono feed of the singers to the right channel and record to the left channel a mono mic of the auditorium. In post I mix the two a little bit. This method does two things, I can control the levels of ambient/board independently and by having them in separate right/left channels it creates a pseudo stereo effect making it sound more full.

Some might consider it a hack but it works for me.
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