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Old May 12th, 2020, 02:05 AM   #76
also known as Ryan Wray
 
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
For many years, I put wavs on female actors, singers, dancers and presenters. If you behave professionally, and put them at their ease, you do the job effectively - usually talking about absolutely nothing while you do it. They respond equally inanely, and after a few months they will have wiped it from memory. In fact, for me, the mic has never been the issue, it's the pack that takes effort to hide in many costumes, and feeding the cable, and securing a pack is the hard part. very often, small of the back, or sitting on their bum cheeks is something you have to get used to doing - and even with all the Harvey Weinstein stuff, it can be done professionally and trouble free - IF - you have the people skills. I've had one sound guy bottle out - totally freeze. I sent him to a group of dancers with 2 minutes to get four mics on, and they were doing a quick change - at the appropriate moment when they are er, unencumbered by clothing, you attach the pack, clothes get added and you feed the wire up, then grab from the top and attach to their face. This is why I find A2 roles difficult to cover. A female is best, but failing that a non-problematic male can be fine. First rehearsal, this guy proved to be hopeless because HE couldn't cope, not the girls. In all my years doing radio mics myself - probably 20+ I've never had one issue of awkwardness. It's a bit like being a doctor. Act professionally, do the right things and all is well.

One thing you can do is buy a couple of the really, really dirt cheap Chinese lav mics on Ali express or ebay. You can pick them up for less than $10. They are surprisingly useful things. Audio quality with a little EQ is fine for many uses, and if you drop one in the mud, throw it away.

You mention that omni pick up everything, don't they? This means you read up on omni and jumped to the wrong conclusion. They do indeed pick up all around, but they are CLOSEST to the wanted sound source, and it's their method of operation that is important - they are pressure operated, not pressure gradient, like cardioids. The opening does NOT need to be aimed, so can be dressed to be away from prevailing wind direction. You can shield them in other words. You've mentioned noise before from clothing. Most of what appears to be clothing noise comes up the cable. It's thin, but tough, so tapping the cable a foot away from the mic can transfer noise, if the cable is taut. You build in loops, or sags. You thread the cable through the clips, or you pop through button holes and then bend back. All these things reduce cable noise.

Buy the cheap ones and experiment - you will find the audio surprisingly good, and you can use yourself as the test subject and learn good and bad fitting practice.

With my store full, my space at home has filled up badly. So you can laugh and joke about the obvious care I take with looking after kit, I just took some pictures. I work from home in a space at the rear and the edit suite has become a store room, and editing moved in with the audio stuff. I cannot of course find anything. The corridor leading to the edit suite is also full of flight cases, and my wife is getting justifiably annoyed with me. My green screen space now has a PA system living in it, so it's getting tight!
Oh well I am was going by what the sound mixers I worked with before told me, that they had trouble with background noise, with the lavs. Even though the lavs are closer, they still had trouble, but this was in outdoor situations, where there is more noise around, like on the streets. Indoors they work fine it seems. I'm just going by what they say. But I can get them still, if it's worth it, and if I can find deals for a good price, when it comes to needing a few of them if there are few actors in the scene.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 02:29 AM   #77
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

In the 1940s and 50s they didn't have the choice of small lav mics. Then they would dub the lines (ADR basically with it being done manually) or they would use back projection and shoot the dialogue in the studio or even build the exterior in the studio as a set. If you look closely you can see it's a set.

They also used a fisher boom


So far, you used one example of the lavs v boom, without any details of he shots. The scenario has a the feel of the director wanting to use lavs and the sound man wanting to use the boom, possibly in a situation that suited the latter.

Like all these situations you use the tools that's suitable for the job in hand, there are no rules, only what works. If you just turn up with boom and you can't do something you may not be around in a day or two.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 02:48 AM   #78
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Oh okay, thanks. Well for other people's projects, I was the boom operator, and that is what they wanted me for, so I wasn't expected to show up with lavs, when I was the boom operator, was I? Or should I have had lavs as well instead of PSM providing them?

But for my own I can use lavs, especially in the wide shots.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 03:33 AM   #79
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

If you're just the boom operator, coming with just your own boom (I'd assume a 15 ft job) and associated accessories would be fine, since the sound recordist/mixer should be providing the microphones.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 08:03 AM   #80
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

Dam these Ryan threads they get big. Just wanted to stop by and say hi to everyone. Ok have a good day and keep going.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 08:18 AM   #81
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 09:57 AM   #82
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 10:54 AM   #83
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 10:55 AM   #84
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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?
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Old May 12th, 2020, 11:34 AM   #85
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 11:39 AM   #86
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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 11:45 AM   #87
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 11:53 AM   #88
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Re: Do lavs work at all outside in a city, or not really?

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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.
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Old May 12th, 2020, 12:05 PM   #89
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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.

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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
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?
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Old May 12th, 2020, 12:39 PM   #90
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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!
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