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-   -   Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/537401-do-lavs-work-all-outside-city-not-really.html)

Paul R Johnson May 12th, 2020 08:18 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Pete - I think Ryan's topics really don't need a title because wherever we start we end up somewhere else!


Ryan - running one radio channel is tricky - multiple ones are really going to push your skill set. As soon as we go to two channels, we start with intermod, and this means retuning, and this means band plans, channel sets and most critically, recognising interference and determining what it is. Many systems have empty channel search features, and they're really rubbish, because they rely on an empty channel staying empty. Radio systems are location sensitive and it only takes the local hotel to power up their DJ system to wreck your planning. It means the person running your system must be the one who hears problems before recording, not discovering them in the edit when it's too late. You need to be able to distinguish between AF issues, RF issues - so that's generally signal strength, intermod and interference. They have characteristic sounds that you need to be familiar with to solve issues. I've said it numerous times, but buying a couple of radio mic systems does not guarantee decent audio in the same way that buying a boom and shotgun doesn't. BIG learning curve Ryan.

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 09:57 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Ryan, If you actually wish to learn sound recording for film, there are courses that specialise in the subject. At the moment this. like everything else, is all hit or miss or what someone told you.

Rick Reineke May 12th, 2020 10:54 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
For the inexperienced radio mic user, the newer GHz frequency systems are usually better since choosing frequencies are not necessary. Pro and cons to all though.. be it VHF, UHF or the GHz systems. No wireless is gonna be perfect 100% of the time no matter how much the cost.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 10:55 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Okay sure, I'm much more use to booming then lavs of course, but I can learn the lavs then too. Since I was told that on other projects involving lavs, that the background sound is loud compared to the boom, it was said before on here, that shouldn't since the lavs are much closer. However, could they have been talking about the room tone tracks, and the room tone was picking up too much background noise, compared to the boom room tone track, perhaps?

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 11:34 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
I think you should test lav mics compared to a boom mic. Room tone isn't something I would associate with lavs because they are usually so close to the mouth and can have more bass from the chest. I know one sound recordist who records both.

You still seem to talking about that one scene and treating it as a rule and endlessly repeating it. Test mics for yourself, see what they do, what works and doesn't work, otherwise you're just wasting other people's time.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 11:39 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Okay sure. It's hard to test them without purchasing them first because of covid and all the rental houses here are closed, so I thought I would have to purchase them first.

Rick Reineke May 12th, 2020 11:45 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1959363)
I was told that on other projects involving lavs, that the background sound is loud compared to the boom

It depends.. Most pros use both (on separate ISO tracks of coarse). It is usually one or the other on a mix track.

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 11:53 AM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1959365)
Okay sure. It's hard to test them without purchasing them first because of covid and all the rental houses here are closed, so I thought I would have to purchase them first.

If you know any sound people or others that own their own lav mics, you could hire or borrow one from them. There's hardly a rush of productions at the moment.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 12:05 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay thanks, I don't know anyone who has their own, the other productions I helped on, all rented before.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rick Reineke (Post 1959367)
It depends.. Most pros use both (on separate ISO tracks of coarse). It is usually one or the other on a mix track.

Yeah, and if it's the lav on a mix track, does that mean that they would use the room tone track from the lav, in which case maybe the background sound was too loud on the room tone track for them?

Paul R Johnson May 12th, 2020 12:39 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
You've got confused again. If you have a static, and stand mounted mic - then the atmos it captures is usable. It's VERY different with a person mounted mic. How much will you record that doesn't have rustles, sniffs and worse - a change in the audio perspective as they move around. Room tone (and I hate that term) is no good if it's not continuous - and what exactly are you planning to do with it?

Given a boom feed and a radio mic feed, I doubt you'd get much useful audio that would be handy for the editor?

If you want to specifically record room sound for filler, this takes planning. Can be easily done but perspectives have to match.

Those booms were the mainstay of TV and movies for a very long time - and everything was recorded at a distance, and because of proper aiming, the sound was amazingly good!

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 01:55 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh yes, I know you wouldn't record room tone, while the lav was on a person. But wouldn't you to take the mic and record the room tone with it, off the person and static, so you have room tone for the scene though, for editing and mixing later?

If you are going to use the lavs in post, then you will have to record the room tone with the lav as well to match, since room tone recorded with a lav, sounds different than room tone recorded with a directional boom mic, doesn't it?

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 02:16 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Usually they use a stereo mic for room tone.

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 02:21 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1959363)
it was said before on here,

This is the hallmark of any of Ryan's threads.

Let the potential participant beware!

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 02:23 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
But if you use a different mic for the room tone, than the mic that was used for recording the voices, then the room tone will be picked up with a different pick up pattern than the mics used for dialog. Wouldn't that change the sound of the room tone? Plus, why a stereo mic, as oppose to mono, like the dialog was recorded in?

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 02:27 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
You use a stereo mic because the film is in stereo, it creates the sound space where you can place the mono sound from the other mics using the pan pots during the audio mix.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 02:59 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay, thanks. But just so I understand, in a stereo mic, what are the pick up patterns of each mic in it?

Is this the pick up pattern?

https://www.google.ca/search?q=stere...yFbpDbslUUCLM:

Because if that's the pick up pattern, it is different than the pick up pattern of a shotgun mic for booming, and the room tone will sound different, if the pick up pattern doesn't match. So wouldn't you hear the difference in room tone in the dialog editing, if the room tone track does not much the room tone in the dialogue tracks?

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 03:04 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
They usually use a Mid/Side set up.

No, if you haven't noticed any difference with room tone in any films it's not an issue.

Everything else is usually recorded mono, so that it can be placed anywhere in the stereo image, with the dialogue in the middle.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 03:16 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay, but what do you mean by mid/side in this context?

Well I've never recorded room tone with a mic with a different pic up pattern before, because I always wanted the room tone to match, So I would record room tone with the same boom mic, used for booming on my projects, and I would just put that mono room tone track on all the channels on the mix, in post.

Josh Bass May 12th, 2020 03:20 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Ryan, come on now. Googling “mid side recording” would have taken less time than waiting for a response here and literally takes the exact same amount of time and effort on your part. Ditto how and why to use it in a film mix.

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 03:24 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
But Ryan loves to waste time here. He has a bunch of friends to shoot the breeze endlessly.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 03:25 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay thanks, yes, I googled it just after, I asked, sorry.

Well it seems when I look it up and read about it, the stereo mic is acting as a mid/side recording then?

When it comes to recording room tone with a stereo mic, you are saying that if I do that, and then edit in the dialogue taken from a mic with a different pick up pattern, that the room tone is going to match, even though the pick up pattern on both recordings is different?

Paul R Johnson May 12th, 2020 03:48 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Ryan - you've missed the entire point of the room tone thing. Because your personal lav mics are close to their mouth, they won't record the sound of ambient noises in the space - the gain will be set for close up sensitivity so the aircon noise, the passing cars etc will be below the noise floor on a radio system, for the majority of the time. Brian's mention of a stereo mic - and note, a FIXED one gives you an alternative to silence - that's all. If you DON'T use M/S then there's always the danger of poor mono compatibility, or the dreaded hole in the middle. With M/S, you always have frontal pickup, and then the width if you want it - tweaked in the edit to taste.

There is nothing to match - the wavs will pick up voice when they speak and then nothing when they are silent. That sounds odd, so the continuous room track has the vox on the top. Clearly, you've never spent any time mixing sound. It's subtle and tricky to balance. It needs proper studio monitors and decent acoustics to let the voice tracks sit properly.

I think you've heard the words for these things but never tried to do balancing at all.

You CANNOT record room tone with your boom - because it changes as the boom moves and that is destructive. As you wave a shotgun around, you can hear everything change - that's not suitable for concealment or creating false space - it needs to be consistent. Hence why I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. Of course, so much you hear in the movies was never real in the first place.

The job is to give the editor stuff they can use (or not) Something is always better than nothing. Creating five minutes of room nothingness from the random 30 seconds accidentally recorded is always a challenge.

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 04:43 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Perhaps Ryan would be better spending his money on a good film sound recording course intended for would be professional sound people, rather than spending it on making a feature film. If not that, at least on some of the books on the subject.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 04:49 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson (Post 1959382)
Ryan - you've missed the entire point of the room tone thing. Because your personal lav mics are close to their mouth, they won't record the sound of ambient noises in the space - the gain will be set for close up sensitivity so the aircon noise, the passing cars etc will be below the noise floor on a radio system, for the majority of the time. Brian's mention of a stereo mic - and note, a FIXED one gives you an alternative to silence - that's all. If you DON'T use M/S then there's always the danger of poor mono compatibility, or the dreaded hole in the middle. With M/S, you always have frontal pickup, and then the width if you want it - tweaked in the edit to taste.

There is nothing to match - the wavs will pick up voice when they speak and then nothing when they are silent. That sounds odd, so the continuous room track has the vox on the top. Clearly, you've never spent any time mixing sound. It's subtle and tricky to balance. It needs proper studio monitors and decent acoustics to let the voice tracks sit properly.

I think you've heard the words for these things but never tried to do balancing at all.

You CANNOT record room tone with your boom - because it changes as the boom moves and that is destructive. As you wave a shotgun around, you can hear everything change - that's not suitable for concealment or creating false space - it needs to be consistent. Hence why I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. Of course, so much you hear in the movies was never real in the first place.

The job is to give the editor stuff they can use (or not) Something is always better than nothing. Creating five minutes of room nothingness from the random 30 seconds accidentally recorded is always a challenge.

Oh okay thanks. That makes sense with the direction of the boom mic. When you say the dreaded hole in the middle, what do you mean by 'hole'? When you say mono compatibility, what do you mean in that case?

Brian Drysdale May 12th, 2020 04:53 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
I think this was covered in one of your other threads,

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 04:55 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay, well I think I would understand a lot better if it wasn't for some of terminology. I do not understand what terms like 'dreaded hole' means. But I would understand the concepts I think if worded or explained in a more specific way :).

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 06:47 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Ryan, there are a number of good books about audio, and specifically audio as related to video production. I think you (and some of us, too) would be much better off if you would buy one and read it thoroughly. Instead of coming here and asking absolutely beginner level questions, and trying to comprehend the answers, you would know a lot of the basics and could then come here with intermediate level questions and have some understanding of the answers. For example you would know what M-S stereo is ... a very basic concept that you could find in any decent book about audio recording. You would know about "hole in the middle." There's an old saying that applies to you: "You don't know what you don't know." This stuff is not rocket science ... it is very basic audio knowledge; I can modestly say that I knew this stuff by junior high school, because I was curious and went to the library. So if you really want to learn about audio, do a little bit of the work yourself: get a good book and read it. (Or, if you just want to debate and disagree with people, keep on doing what you've been doing.)

I strongly recommend books written by Jay Rose. IIRC he has covered location sound recording, post production, and maybe some other aspects as well. I know I have seen his books available on eBay. (Jay has his own website, jayrose.com ... check it out!) I'll bet other people in this forum, who are trying (probably with a fair amount of frustration) to help you understand this stuff, will second my suggestion.

Based on your usual reaction to advice here, I'd say the greatest probability is that you will point out why reading these books would be a bad idea. Next lower probability is that you will completely ignore the topic of books in your response, and change the subject. Lowest probability: I will be absolutely amazed if you agree that reading these books would be a good idea; and even more amazed if you actually do it (as opposed to saying you're going to do this, but then in reality doing nothing).

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 07:06 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay thanks. I have a book an audio editing, and I should get one on audio recording as well.

By hole in the middle, this is just a guess, but does that mean in a 2.0 stereo mix, where there is a speaker to the left, and one to the right, but the middle section is missing a speaker. Is that what that means? That's just a guess.

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:11 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Why not look it up? Are you trying to prove you're not capable of doing anything for yourself?

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 07:16 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Sure, I looked it up, and here is the definition I got

"hole-in-the-middle effect: An undesirable effect due to an extreme angle used with a coincident pair where the stereo image is all left and right, with very little sound in the center. Or, a similar phenomenon created by a surround system where the loudspeakers are too far apart to deliver balanced sound adequately to all seats in a theater."

That kind of sounds like what I thought it meant.

But this seems to be about post mixing. What does a stereo mic have to do with the hole in the middle, since the mic is 2 channel stereo, and therefore, has no middle channel? What does a 2 channel mic have to do with the hole in the middle when it comes to post mixing?

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:25 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
No, that answer isn't about post mixing. It's about microphone placement and loudspeaker placement. In terms of recording, the answer is in the first sentence of your quote.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 07:27 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay, but in that quote, I thought they were talking about when the movie is finished and is being played through speakers. Isn't that at a post stage, compared to mic placement, since the movie is already finished by then?

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:27 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1959392)
the mic is 2 channel stereo, and therefore, has no middle channel? What does a 2 channel mic have to do with the hole in the middle

What is an M/S mic? What does the "M" stand for?

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:29 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Are you trying to be intentionally obtuse? Or are you really completely and thoroughly confused about the entire audio process?

Please answer this question specifically. It has to be one or the other.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 07:30 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
I'm confused about a few things that I wanted to ask about. That's all. Not trying to be obtuse intentionally.

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 07:32 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Greg Miller (Post 1959395)
What is an M/S mic? What does the "M" stand for?

It stands for mid.

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:34 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
OK, so before we go any further with the details.

Here is one of Jay Rose's books, available used on eBay, for less than $5.00. Search eBay for this:
Producing Great Sound for Digital Video by Jay Rose

Will you give us your word that you will go to eBay right now, and order that book right now (there are several copies available)? Will you make that commitment? It's a simple yes or no answer.

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:36 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Elder (Post 1959398)
It stands for mid.

I'll respond to that as soon as I see your answer about buying the book

Ryan Elder May 12th, 2020 07:38 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
Oh okay, sure I will do that.

Greg Miller May 12th, 2020 07:39 PM

Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?
 
OK, Ryan, that's great! Thank you!

Go ahead and order it, don't put it off. I will be around here for a while. Come back after you've ordered the book, and I'll explain about the mics.


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