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Old May 7th, 2019, 06:51 AM   #31
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

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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. 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.
I spent over 20 years recording bands in studios, and used multi close mics on drum kits, mics on all instruments and and recorded the vocals in a separate booth. That's to stop overspill between instruments, drums and voices, to get the sound of each instrument without the jumbled mess of everything at once. Classical music on the other hand was often just a matched stereo pair

For the last 30 years I have been video recording mainly weddings, where I want to capture the close sound of the vows and the celibrant, without it all being lost in the reverberation of the room or church. In the natural world, our ears and brain are able to focus on what we want to hear and filter out the background. If you put a pair of mics where our ears are and try to record someone talking to you from 6-10ft away, the recording will sound totally different to what you hear because every single sound and every reflection of every sound will be recorded, so you will hear the reverberation and echo of the room, cars passing by and people talking elsewhere. These are the things that your brain sorts out for you, but getting a recording that 'sounds' natural, requires a different approach.

If you set up a mic where someone enters a room, another mic half way across and a third where the person is going to stop, you will simply hear the person getting louder and quieter as he approaches and passes each mic.That is not what people actually in the room will hear. As has been said repeatedly, using a close mike for clarity and adding in whatever ambient sound level you require will give a much more realistic result. If you want to see and hear a wide view of the person walking from left to right whilst talking, simply pan the close recording to follow them in post. If you want one person talking one side and one the other, just pan the close mic mono recordings to favour the side that the person is on. On the other hand, if the camera is showing a big closeup of the person walking across, then the sound needs to be central to the view to simulate what a person watching and listening to the speaker will be focused upon.

Alternatively, ignore the voices of experience here who earn their living from it, and listen to your friends.:-)

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; May 7th, 2019 at 06:52 AM. Reason: double word
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Old May 7th, 2019, 06:57 AM   #32
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks. When you say 'pan' do you mean pan in post mixing?
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Old May 7th, 2019, 11:12 AM   #33
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

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Originally Posted by Ryan Wray View Post
Okay thanks. When you say 'pan' do you mean pan in post mixing?
Yes, in post, lay down your ambient sound for the scene if that is what you want, then on another track lay down the close mic voice. Then as the person moves across the room, rotate the pan control steadily from the side they appear talking, to where they stop moving in the stereo sound image.You don't have to be exact, as the perception will be that the sound is coming from the person talking. For a more real life atmosphere, you could record your ambient sound with a stereo recorder to get the feeling of the other noises in the room coming from different points of the room, then adjust the volume of that in post.

The point to be aware of as far as I am concerned, is that the human voice is mono, coming from a small opening in the front of the face, so if you record that sound from several feet away, you are not recording that voice as it is, rather the sound of all the reflections in the room. I prefer to capture the intimacy of the voice, then you can add ambience to it as required, whereas you can't remove ambience if it is recorded with the voice. Close mics give you maximum control.

Just to illustrate it from a different point of view, you could compare it with producing video. You can show a couple of minutes of a beach scene, with people throwing a beach ball, kids building sand castles, folks swimming and sunbathing etc etc. All of that can be captured just like we would with our eyes, a wide angle and a bit of panning. That is exactly what you see in most boring holiday videos. But The brain doesn't see the scene the same way, it focuses our attention on the beautiful blonde in the green bikini, or the little boy licking his ice cream, or the black cloud starting to gather overhead.. The video producer does the same as the brain, by focusing our attention on the little details that he wants us to see, using different framing etc.

Setting a sound scene uses much of the same idea, to focus the viewer and listener on the details, not just the overall scene.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; May 7th, 2019 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Added 'In Post'
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Old May 7th, 2019, 06:30 PM   #34
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks. Is there any reason to record ambiance live though, as oppose to just adding in room sound in post though? I am guessing most realistic locations, have poor ambiance you don't want, or would want to cut down on, so would it be ideal not to record ambiance at all and just add it in post? Or unless you want a specific sound like a photocopy machine in the background making noise for example, but you would want to add that separately of course, not during live dialogue recording.
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Old May 8th, 2019, 04:24 AM   #35
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

General ambience, like a railway station, shopping mall, restaurant etc, could all be recorded at the time of filming and used as an overall ambient sound. Specific sounds relating directly to the action, such as a door being opened car pulling away etc, would be added to coincide with the timing on screen. So for a general scene of the central character walking through a wide angle of a station, the recorded ambient sound would be to the fore, but cutting to a big closeup of the person talking would bring the close mic voice to the fore and the background ambience would be reduced to focus the viewer on the action.

I recorded part of a wedding a few years ago with a faulty mic, and had no sound of the couple leaving the church with the bells ringing and driving off in a Rolls Royce. In post, I took general ambient sound outside a church from another wedding, found some appropriate church bells online that I added on another track, dropped in a car door closing from a sound effects CD and from a BBC effects CD the sound of a Rolls Royce starting up and pulling away. I even recorded myself and my wife calling goodbye in a couple of different voices and mixed the whole lot down to the final edit. The couple never had a clue and even thought that my voice calling out goodbye in the background was actually her Father.

A bit of imagination and resourcefulness is all it takes to get realistic audio.

Roger
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Old May 8th, 2019, 06:54 AM   #36
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks, this is the way I prefer to do it too, is record background sound separately, cause then you get the best sounds you want, but some audio people seem to be very insistent to get all the sounds, on the shooting days in that scene, and to limit post work, even if it means the sounds will not be as good as a result.

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
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.
When you say hairy sausages, do you mean wind protection?

Also I was thinking of just using a boom and no lavs, since I never liked the sound of lavs compared to the sound of a boom, but is that a bad idea?

When you say your audio equipment for shooting on location never finds it's way into your studio, does your studio have different mics? Personally I like using the same mics for post as well, cause then it sounds more the same, as when you recorded on location, cause you are using the same mics, but you don't think this is as good of an idea, are you saying?
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Old May 8th, 2019, 09:17 AM   #37
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

I was watching tv last night, listening to dialogue with this thread in mind. I was struck by how clean and isolated the dialogue is from the background, the levels are consistent even when actors are moving or turning in another direction. The background noise is also very low during dialogue. None of this seems to be a problem because the viewer’s mind accepts the reality that’s given to it.

All of this reminds me of what someone said earlier that your job isn’t to faithfully reproduce what it sounded like on location but include or highlight only what you want. The goal is a little different when recording a live event.
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Old May 8th, 2019, 12:50 PM   #38
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Practically NONE of my studio mics work well on location and vice versa. Totally different job. I have a couple of 416s and an elderly Audio technical's 815 that is quite long and has more reach. It's just too long for booming though - todays mounts, windshield and wind covers (the sausages) are just too big and heavy. On location, I'll use the 416 very happily. I don't like it's sound in the studio. Many people seem to love them for voiceovers, I don't. Too clean and clinical for my tastes, and prone so much to popping in close, and 416s NOT used close pick up far too much room sound from reflections.

My stereo camera mic has saved my bacon many times when the main mics just missed things - the camera sound can be used for all sorts. In the studio I have control. I have the ability to do things properly. So much of my outside audio is useless for many different reasons. You also need an excellent person doing the booming, with headphone so they can do it properly. If you see anyone booming without headphone, you know the sound will be rubbish. So many just cannot aim properly - the crucial feature. If they missed the essential dialogue, then the director needs to know instantly - you can't fix it in post, only re-record it!

I see college and even graduate sound people with boom poles and they're lazy, holding them like a fishing rod, because both arms up is painful! You watch them randomly point the shotgun vaguely in the direction of the talent's mouth - just. With a shotgun, at a distance - you are ALWAYS fighting signal to noise - the most clean capture from the talent and picking up the least of everything else. Sometimes you just cannot do this!
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Old May 8th, 2019, 05:16 PM   #39
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Yeah for sure, I've done a lot of booming on other people's projects, and practiced a lot on my own. I also hate it when I see someone else do it improperly, and the director and producer are unaware of it.

As for using boom mics in the studio, I prefer to do that for ADR cause then the mics match more. It's like doing reshoots with a different camera as oppose to the same one. A different camera for reshoots will have a different look, but you use the same one, and you get more of a match.

I find myself wanting to use boom mics in the studio for the same reason. As for the mics not working if actors are too close, I just have a shotgun mic almost two feet away, to simulate how it would sound while booming in the average shot.

I do this to try to match the rest of the dialogue sound as much as possible for ADR, cause studio mics sound too different from the mics that were used on location, but is that the wrong way?
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Old May 8th, 2019, 08:18 PM   #40
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Using the same microphone for dialog replacement is always a good idea to match microphone characteristics . HOWEVER note that a long "interference tube" shotgun microphone may not behave the same in a studio environment vs. during principal shooting. For the same reason that a long shotgun is frequently not the first choice for booming indoors. Nearby reflections will interfere with the shotgun microphone's ability to operate properly (discerning off-axis sounds). So, as with most of these things, there is no hard-and-fast rule. You must take all the factors into consideration to arrive at the best solution.
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Old May 9th, 2019, 06:58 AM   #41
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks. I thought that out of my two boom mics, the shotgun was better for outdoors, cause it seems to do a better job at getting rid of background sound outdoors, compared to my hypercardioid, but is a shotgun not the best choice for outdoors?

For studio environments, what would be the best mic if doing ADR in a studio, most often do you think?
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Old May 9th, 2019, 08:24 AM   #42
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

A shotgun mic is typically used for exteriors.
The same model mic is usually used for ADR, Of course the ADR room is usually very dead, and the acoustic signature is simulated in post, Some production sound folks capture an convolution reverb impulse if ADR is certain.
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Old May 9th, 2019, 08:27 AM   #43
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

A hyper-cardioid microphone is typically used in places with close reflective surfaces (i.e. indoors)
Sennheiser MKH 50 is a favorite if you can afford it. Audio Technica AT4053b is lower-cost favorite.

Technically, the deciding factor is the presence of nearby (a few feet) reflective surfaces. Typically there are none outdoors, and frequently encountered indoors. However, in a large sound-stage or a very large room, or in a room with floor, walls, ceiling treated to be non-reflective, then a shotgun will work OK.
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Old May 9th, 2019, 05:08 PM   #44
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Oh okay, well right now I have the AT4053b hyper and the NTG-3 shotgun. I usually use the hyper for indoors, and usually the shotgun for outdoors. There are times when it comes to sound effects where I will use the shotgun indoors cause it gives a certain more acute sound on small objects, for example, but is this a good way that I am doing it?
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Old May 10th, 2019, 09:45 AM   #45
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Whatever works. If it sounds good there's no right or wrong.. For instance, a few big name/big $ VO folks use 416s. Which 'technically' would not even be on a VO mic list.
Sometimes I use an AT4071 long shotgun for very low SPL sources (watch ticking, ect) due to it's extremely high sensitivity (90mV).
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