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Old May 24th, 2019, 08:55 PM   #76
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Iíd say try to get on something that isnít a student/school/amateur project. You would want to get on something funded/with a real budget and real professional crew people. Cant tell you exactly how to find those...here in Houston, Texas you have the Houston Film Commission and Texas Film Commission websites that have ads with projects seeking crew. Hopefully thereís something similar in your region. I know this all sounds like a pain in the ass but if the recommended books and all the advice here arenít getting you where you need to be then I cant think of anything else.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 01:12 AM   #77
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Oh okay, but the films I worked on were done by former students, and they didn't do them for school, they did them after we had all graduated. Do they still count as student projects, if we are no longer students, and it's been a few years since we graduated? They got cast and crews and everything.

I live in Canada, but most of the movies here that were advertised that I applied to, just so happened to be made by former classmates.

Accept the for the trailer I worked on, which was done by people I haven't met before then.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 01:19 AM   #78
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

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Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Did they use those goofy multi-microphone schemes?
Did you talk to the audio editor?
Did you hear the resulting sound track?
Did it sound "professional grade"?
No, they wouldn't have me talk to the audio editors, so I never met them. I heard the final mix after the movie was complete. I would say some was professional grade for a mix, and not were not so much, if that is what you are asking?
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Old May 25th, 2019, 02:31 AM   #79
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

I really despair when you find graduates from film, TV and media schools who know a fair amount about one subject but the school skimmed over others in a way that either confuses or convinces the graduates of facts and practices that are simply wrong.

I NEVER blame the students. Their teaching staff however, get 100% of the blame.

Shotguns are a very common example of where students (using an English phrase) get totally the wrong end of the stick.

The number one rule of successful shotgun operation is all about distance. The shortest path from source to destination. You do NOT want reverb if it can be avoided. Mainly because it is NOT even reverb. Shotguns move in space so relationship between wanted sound and unwanted sound constantly changes. You hear reflections, flutter echos, unwanted sounds, and audio clutter and because it's changing, the type and content of the 'reverberation' changes too. You want dry, clean audio, with the highest signal to noise ratio you can get - even if in the edit it gets swamped with cathedral reverb - because this treatment will be constant. Shotguns are often criticised for being difficult indoors - but this is simply because they are a capturing instrument - they have no magic cut-off at a certain distance. If they aim at a wall, then you hear the wall - with whatever being reflected.

The art (or craft) of booming revolves around the operator hearing what the mic captures and adjusting it. You cannot do it without a clean feed of the mic output, so you hear odd reflections, aircraft, the PA sniffing - that kind of thing. You aim your mic with one eye on the camera lens to check what their focal length currently is so you can estimate how close in you can go to get the cleanest sound without cameras yelling "boom in shot" and having to reshoot. Novice boom ops droop the boom, they opt for more distant miking because it's easier and they mistakes don't get seen - but they do get heard. You see people booming indoors with the long haired wind sock over the Zeppelin shaped windshield basket. I'm amazed people had to explain hairy sausage! indoors experience will tell how light you can go. Maybe totally naked with no wind protection, and just long slow boom movements, or a simple foam shield for faster booming, or maybe just the basket without the wind cover because there is a light breeze through an open window. The boom ops will be discussing if DT100's are better than HD50s for the ancient ones, or the modern crop of 'posh' phones are better. Some demand isolation, others need some leakage. Each to his or her own of course. Shotgun mics are simply not a point and record device. They are a specialist tool, each with it's own character and preferred way of operating. I just don't see film school graduates knowing this kind of stuff. They vaguely point the mic at the talent, and react to movement, rather than predicting what is about to happen and preparing. You see them oblivious to the camera about to commence a slow zoom out, forgetting their booming distance is about to increase. You see many obsessed with overhead booming, not even considering camera framing where laying on the floor could get the mic closer in. They forget that the editor will be screaming when the only audio they have is so distant as to be useless, when they can see the subjects in the frame and wondering why the boom was in the next room, from what they hear?

The comment about student productions is very accurate, from what I see. Bad practice learned from other people's bad practice. A production shot by graduates has a quantitive lack of quality thresholds because everyone works individually based on their specialism, and a false sense of how good they are. A basic level sound person working with a basic level camera team have nothing to go on. The camera people may not enable sound to even see the framing, and maybe won't have the courage to warn of booms in shot, or spot boom shadows - I hate these, so obvious in the edit but not spotted on the shoot. Sound may not even discuss how close they can go. On a seasoned pro shoot you will see sound and camera coordinate. Can I go closer? The camera op warning when the frame is encroached and the boom op mentally storing that distance. The sound people will warn picture when they hear problems. They may make themselves unpopular, but not as bad as having a ruined scene because they didn't notice the guy two fields away with a chainsaw. Film schools just spend too little time on some subjects, and booming shotguns is such a common one - and I note, often not delivered by a sound specialist.

The idea a sound person even has to ask these questions brings the course credibility into question for me. Multiple mics? Dialogue? Sound effects? Should you use them? Yes - if it is appropriate. That's such an obvious answer, yet graduates seem glued to a fixed set of rules. Why would you record multiple mics? Because you need them. Lavs and shotguns? Why not - its a budget issue not a technical one. If you can afford a mic per person, your success rate goes up. If you cannot afford them, then you need a simple effective solution instead. Probably a boom op who is on the ball. A good op with a cheap mic that can be eq'd in post would win for me over an inexperienced one with an expensive mic.

As for sound effects, wild tracks and the dialogue - this is something for the pre-production meetings. Over the years I've lost count of how many times I have had to say STOP. We cannot record good dialogue on a single beach, with gulls and waves and have everyone look at me and say "but we have to - we don't have the time or budget for ADR". However - the location sound recorded is amazingly useful to the audio folk for realism. No damn good for the speaking though!
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Old May 25th, 2019, 03:05 AM   #80
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
I really despair when you find graduates from film, TV and media schools who know a fair amount about one subject but the school skimmed over others in a way that either confuses or convinces the graduates of facts and practices that are simply wrong.

I NEVER blame the students. Their teaching staff however, get 100% of the blame.

Shotguns are a very common example of where students (using an English phrase) get totally the wrong end of the stick.

The number one rule of successful shotgun operation is all about distance. The shortest path from source to destination. You do NOT want reverb if it can be avoided. Mainly because it is NOT even reverb. Shotguns move in space so relationship between wanted sound and unwanted sound constantly changes. You hear reflections, flutter echos, unwanted sounds, and audio clutter and because it's changing, the type and content of the 'reverberation' changes too. You want dry, clean audio, with the highest signal to noise ratio you can get - even if in the edit it gets swamped with cathedral reverb - because this treatment will be constant. Shotguns are often criticised for being difficult indoors - but this is simply because they are a capturing instrument - they have no magic cut-off at a certain distance. If they aim at a wall, then you hear the wall - with whatever being reflected.

The art (or craft) of booming revolves around the operator hearing what the mic captures and adjusting it. You cannot do it without a clean feed of the mic output, so you hear odd reflections, aircraft, the PA sniffing - that kind of thing. You aim your mic with one eye on the camera lens to check what their focal length currently is so you can estimate how close in you can go to get the cleanest sound without cameras yelling "boom in shot" and having to reshoot. Novice boom ops droop the boom, they opt for more distant miking because it's easier and they mistakes don't get seen - but they do get heard. You see people booming indoors with the long haired wind sock over the Zeppelin shaped windshield basket. I'm amazed people had to explain hairy sausage! indoors experience will tell how light you can go. Maybe totally naked with no wind protection, and just long slow boom movements, or a simple foam shield for faster booming, or maybe just the basket without the wind cover because there is a light breeze through an open window. The boom ops will be discussing if DT100's are better than HD50s for the ancient ones, or the modern crop of 'posh' phones are better. Some demand isolation, others need some leakage. Each to his or her own of course. Shotgun mics are simply not a point and record device. They are a specialist tool, each with it's own character and preferred way of operating. I just don't see film school graduates knowing this kind of stuff. They vaguely point the mic at the talent, and react to movement, rather than predicting what is about to happen and preparing. You see them oblivious to the camera about to commence a slow zoom out, forgetting their booming distance is about to increase. You see many obsessed with overhead booming, not even considering camera framing where laying on the floor could get the mic closer in. They forget that the editor will be screaming when the only audio they have is so distant as to be useless, when they can see the subjects in the frame and wondering why the boom was in the next room, from what they hear?

The comment about student productions is very accurate, from what I see. Bad practice learned from other people's bad practice. A production shot by graduates has a quantitive lack of quality thresholds because everyone works individually based on their specialism, and a false sense of how good they are. A basic level sound person working with a basic level camera team have nothing to go on. The camera people may not enable sound to even see the framing, and maybe won't have the courage to warn of booms in shot, or spot boom shadows - I hate these, so obvious in the edit but not spotted on the shoot. Sound may not even discuss how close they can go. On a seasoned pro shoot you will see sound and camera coordinate. Can I go closer? The camera op warning when the frame is encroached and the boom op mentally storing that distance. The sound people will warn picture when they hear problems. They may make themselves unpopular, but not as bad as having a ruined scene because they didn't notice the guy two fields away with a chainsaw. Film schools just spend too little time on some subjects, and booming shotguns is such a common one - and I note, often not delivered by a sound specialist.

The idea a sound person even has to ask these questions brings the course credibility into question for me. Multiple mics? Dialogue? Sound effects? Should you use them? Yes - if it is appropriate. That's such an obvious answer, yet graduates seem glued to a fixed set of rules. Why would you record multiple mics? Because you need them. Lavs and shotguns? Why not - its a budget issue not a technical one. If you can afford a mic per person, your success rate goes up. If you cannot afford them, then you need a simple effective solution instead. Probably a boom op who is on the ball. A good op with a cheap mic that can be eq'd in post would win for me over an inexperienced one with an expensive mic.

As for sound effects, wild tracks and the dialogue - this is something for the pre-production meetings. Over the years I've lost count of how many times I have had to say STOP. We cannot record good dialogue on a single beach, with gulls and waves and have everyone look at me and say "but we have to - we don't have the time or budget for ADR". However - the location sound recorded is amazingly useful to the audio folk for realism. No damn good for the speaking though!
Oh okay, well in film school I took a course that deals a lot more with directing than audio. With audio, I learned a lot from asking other audio people, and be reading tutorials and watching tutorials online. It was only later that I was told I was doing it wrong and that I should be recording surround some on production, so I don't have to create a surround sound mix later. But those were only two people telling me that, who have a music recording background, and everyone else says one boom following the voices is the way to go, plus lavs if we can get them.

I was doing boom before, and I have a shotgun and hypercardioid mic. I already had a hairy sausage which I have used before, but I never heard it called that before, which is why I asked on here. I've been using it for about four years now, but it's always been called a blimp or a zepplin or wind protection. Never heard the term hairy sausage, and it wasn't called that at all on the box, or in the manual. But thanks for letting me know!

As for past experiences, one thing I hated is how the directors allowed the DP to have full control over where the boom goes. The DP will decide on where the boom goes based on what is best for their lighting, even when it's in too far away of a place. I wish that more directors would allow the sound department decide where the boom should be, and if there is a shadow from getting in close with the boom mic, the DP should just have to light around that and get rid of the shadow, for the sake of better sound.

But the directors I've worked with so far, allowed the DPs to have full command on where the boom mic is too be placed, so they ended up with sound that was too far away, and had to be turned up later in post, and you could tell there was a distance in some of the scenes I worked on.

But I don't think that film school can teach every department in all one course, or can they, and they just won't?
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Old May 25th, 2019, 05:24 AM   #81
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

sorry Ryan - I didn't intend you to think it was a technical term, because not isn't but the Zeppelin shaped wind reducing device - windshield, windscreen, whatever gets covered by the hairy cover, so I figured using 'windshield' might be misunderstood, when I was thinking the hairy cover that gets wet, matted and bends the boom! Hairy Sausage is descriptive, but hardly a proper term. Hence why I like it!

I think, looking back at how I learned things, pre-internet from books was not that different from the net used info we have now, but just always out of date. However - they give a flavour. That's all. In technical disciplines like ours, experimentation and learning from poor (or maybe good) results counts. You listen to all the sources and learn from them. I've learned the hard way to have backups. Indeed, one of the reasons for buying any current favourite camera is the twin card slots for security. I still have my two similar, but tape based cameras, and used one as a B roll camera last week and suffered a head clog. I'd forgotten how these used to happen, but didn't use the hard drive recorded sitting on the shelf. Just a stupid mistake. With sound, I always run two mics, never recording one to both channels, because sometimes this gets you out of trouble.

Just get the mics in close, reduce unwanted pickup by careful aiming and listen really hard to what they are capturing. Loud capable headphones that shut out real sound are pretty critical too.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 10:33 AM   #82
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Oh okay thanks :). When you say headphones that shut out are sound are critical, I was told the opposite before, and that I want headphones to sound as realistic as possible, that way you know exactly what is being heard accurately, but is that true?
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Old May 25th, 2019, 11:29 AM   #83
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

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Oh okay thanks :). When you say headphones that shut out are sound are critical, I was told the opposite before, and that I want headphones to sound as realistic as possible, that way you know exactly what is being heard accurately, but is that true?
There are many (most?) headphones out there that are "hyped" to "sound good" to people listening to head-banging hard rock or rap or whatever is popular these days. They have names like "Beats" and/or names of celebrities attached (like "Dr. Dre") and made in a rainbow of colors to make them appealing to children. They are NOT designed to be accurate. Accuracy means even, uncolored response across the audio spectrum. That way you can actually hear properly the audio signal that you are trying to record. You won't hear hyped bass or squeaky highs, etc.

Headphones that shut out or "occlude" or "isolate" external sounds are important so that you can hear ONLY what you are trying to record. But that is a completely DIFFERENT, SEPARATE and INDEPENDENT factor from accuracy (or hype). "Realism" and "occlusion" are NOT THE OPPOSITE. They are completely independent factors. There are hyped, unrealistic headphones that have excellent occlusion. And there are accurate headphones that are "open-air" where you can easily hear outside sounds. There are reasons why people would buy headphones like that. But accurately monitoring what you are trying to record is NOT one of those reasons.

To properly monitor what you are recording, you need ISOLATION so that you hear ONLY what you are recording, and NOT any sound through the air into your ears. You want to hear ONLY what the microphone is picking up because that is the only thing that will be recorded. It doesn't matter what things sound like to your ears because you can't record what your ears are hearing. You can only record what the microphone is hearing.

And you need headphones that are ACCURATE so that you aren't fooled into thinking that your audio sounds "good" if it doesn't.

There are a few kinds of headphones that are favorites with production soundies around the world. In our part of the world, the Sony MDR-7506 have been popular for many years. I have several pairs and have gone through several sets of replacement ear cushions for them. But my current favorite appear also the favorite in Europe, the Sennheiser HD-280. Also popular are Audio Technica ATH-M50X.

Most earbuds are not very accurate and not recommended for serious audio recording. They are fine for entertainment, listening while jogging or on a long plane flight. However, there are SOME brands and models that are specifically made for accuracy and isolation for professional use.

Note also that "noise-cancelling" headphones are NOT RECOMMENDED for proper monitoring. Because they will cancel some types of noise that your microphone is picking up and being recorded. So you will think you are hearing noise-free audio, but you will discover that noise in your recording when you get back to your editing computer. Again, noise-cancelling headphones (or earbuds) are marvelous for entertainment, especially on a long flight. But they are NOT appropriate for serious monitoring.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 11:48 AM   #84
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Okay thanks. But as far as headphones go where you are only hearing what you want to record, let's say that later in post production, you hear unwanted sounds that you couldn't hear as much in the headphones, because of that. Wouldn't that be a bad thing, if you could not hear those sounds, and heard them later in post?
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Old May 25th, 2019, 12:12 PM   #85
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

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Okay thanks. But as far as headphones go where you are only hearing what you want to record,
NO! NO! You do NOT (NOT!) monitor "what you WANT to record". You need to monitor what you actually ARE recording.

Quote:
let's say that later in post production, you hear unwanted sounds that you couldn't hear as much in the headphones, because of that. Wouldn't that be a bad thing, if you could not hear those sounds, and heard them later in post?
That is why you want headphones (or earbuds) that:
1) ISOLATE you from sounds through the air so that you hear ONLY what the microphone is picking up and recording.
2) ACCURATELY reproduce exactly what the microphone is picking up. Noise and all.

So that if you hear anything wrong, you can FIX IT right then and there during production. Because trying to fix it after the fact (in post-production) will be time-consuming, damaging to the audio, difficult, expensive, and often completely impossible.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 12:39 PM   #86
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Oh Okay thanks, sorry I misunderstood! :).

Yes that makes sense and that's what I want. However, I noticed the headphones I have actually display more noise than what is coming through in post. I hear noise and get worried, but then when I play it back in post, on big speakers, there isn't near as much noise. I don't think it's the headphones though, as I have tried two pairs so far, and I think it might be the headphone jack in my FR2-LE recorder, that I haven been using over the years, cause it's always seemed to give more noise in the headphones, compared to post later, where things actually sound better.

Does that make sense?
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Old May 25th, 2019, 01:12 PM   #87
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

It is good that you are experimenting with your gear "offline" (not during actual production). That is the best way to understand how it all works together and what everything should look like (and sound like) when it is working properly, and to "calibrate" your ears to know what you will end up with in post-production editing.

Note that a lot of lower-end plastic consumer gear has inferior headphone amps. So it is not surprising that you may hear self-noise from the recorder that is not present in the recording. Until you can afford to use better equipment, at least you can listen to the self-noise from the recorder (with the input turned all the way down) to know what to ignore while you are recording the desired sounds.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 01:16 PM   #88
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

To be honest Ryan, no it makes no sense at all.

Noise - you hear it in the headphones and not in the recording? What kind of noise? We're not talking about hiss, or hum or buzzes - we're talking about the sound your microphone is capturing. What kind of noises are you hearing/ my experience and I suspect Richard's will be the same is that what you hear is exactly what you record. You can hear the aircon duct rumbling, you can hear traffic passing by, you can hear the birds tweeting or the grasshoppers chirping - that kind of thing. Sound on Sound magazine (the only UK one I trust) liked it. The headphone socket was not pointed out in a negative manner - so I don't understand what you mean about it being the problem?

Can you explain what issues you have? I'm confused now. That recorder should do a decent job.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 01:21 PM   #89
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

Oh okay, sorry I should have explained. I just meant hiss, as in the noise floor sounds higher in the headphones, than it actually is later in post, when playing through bigger speakers.

But I also feel that the background sounds are louder in general through the headphones than in post later. It's like when I turn up the gain on recorder while in production, I can just hear the background being closer whether it's be air ducks or traffic outrside, etc. Then it post, it's pushed further away then it sounded before.

I think there is more of a contrast between foreground and background sound in post, than it the headphones on production, it sounds like.
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Old May 25th, 2019, 01:34 PM   #90
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Re: Should I be using multiple mics to record dialogue and sound effects?

It is a GOOD thing that you hear unwanted noises LOUDER in monitoring during recording. It is a benefit to reducing the noises during production. The purpose of monitoring during recording is to capture cleanly the very best pickup of the dialog. MAXIMIZING the level and quality of the voice, and MINIMIZING the unwanted noises and environmental effects (echo, reverberation, etc.)
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