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Film Dialogue Mic Technique?
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Tibbon
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14th December 2005
Old 14th December 2005
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Talking Film Dialogue Mic Technique?

Any tips on mic technique for on the set of films?

I'm learning by doing, but I had a bad experience where the mic operator moved the mic in a lot closer for some closeup frames of a person's mouth so it sounds much more full and less roomy on some shots, and far away on the farther shots, but it messes with my head when watching it.

I am getting a ton of room noise and reverb in the room. Everything constantly sounds to have early reflections/phase problems. I guess i'm used to the sound of a person's voice in a fairly dead vocal booth that is 4-8 inches from the mic.

Oh, i'm using mainly Beyerdynamic shotgun mics I think (they are provided to me so I don't have much of a choice in the equipment).

How can i get rich sounding dialogue and sonic consitancy? I feel that i'm recording an acoustic guitar player that is running around the stage using a mic, but im' not able to follow them!

So far, my only idea is to use a fixed boom and keep the mic in place between all shots. But sometimes the camera shots dictate that I must move it. Also if the actors are moving to the other side of the room, then that no longer works. I mainly only have the option of recording with one mic.
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15th December 2005
Old 15th December 2005
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Typically a hypercardiod mic (schoeps mk41, sennheiser mkh50, akg 480 hyper, oktava hyper) is used on interior shots and not a shotgun. A shotgun will pick up more reflections in interiors.

As far as placement, I would think that for wide shots, a super close mic placement sounds a bit unreal. As the camera view widens, shouldn't the voice become more distant to mimic what happens in real life? However, I can see where that wouldn't work for all shots - if you really want consistent recordings in terms of mic placement, try a lav. If you are going to boom non stationary actors, then don't keep the boom stationary.

Check out the audio forum at dvxuser.com for a bunch of advice.
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15th December 2005
Old 15th December 2005
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There's a lot more to this than most people realize. I'd hire a real pro BEFORE the locations are finalized and tag along as an assistant so that you can learn. The seasoned pros pay for themselves many times over in reduced post production expense.
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15th December 2005
Old 15th December 2005
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I agree with what Bob said. The most mentioned piece of advice on the dvxuser forums is "Hire a pro sound guy."
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15th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
There's a lot more to this than most people realize. I'd hire a real pro BEFORE the locations are finalized and tag along as an assistant so that you can learn. The seasoned pros pay for themselves many times over in reduced post production expense.
I'm (at the moment) doing this for free/next to free for some kids in College, so to them I am the "Seasoned Professional". They barely know what the difference between a compressor and an EQ is. But this also gives me no budget for hiring others under me to help out.

I'll try to find some people to learn from in the area, but asides from the random movies that pop up here on rare occasion, Boston doesn't have a thriving film scene. Even Boston Public isn't filmed here.
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16th December 2005
Old 16th December 2005
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Hello, I've recently been through a similar thing, i.e. recording production sound on a zero budget film where the film makers had no idea about sound (and I had not much more about film sound). For example, the director said he was taught in film school that camera sound would be OK...

Anyway, I used a Sennheiser short shotgun with a boom operator (friend of the producer who was roped in). He spent the whole shoot racing around with the boom in the air, arms trembling ans sweat running down his face from the effort and the lights. He kept the boom just out of shot but always as close as possible to the actors - the camera person was responsible for notifying him when the boom was in shot.

I was recording to an old portable DAT (Sony TCD-D10) so I put a Rode NT5 on a microphone stand up towards the ceiling of the room (a library in an old school) pointing down towards roughly where the actors were doing their thing. We recorded sound wild so we had the use of the two tracks.

In post, this room mic was combined with the boom mic for wider shots in varying degrees and we have been very happy with the results - the clarity of the boom mic combined with the room sound when required gave us a fabulous production sound track - this was the only shoot we didn't have to loop afterwards.

They key, for me, was the boom operator and the extra mic.
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16th December 2005
Old 16th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidtexas
Typically a hypercardiod mic (schoeps mk41, sennheiser mkh50, akg 480 hyper, oktava hyper) is used on interior shots and not a shotgun. A shotgun will pick up more reflections in interiors.

As far as placement, I would think that for wide shots, a super close mic placement sounds a bit unreal. As the camera view widens, shouldn't the voice become more distant to mimic what happens in real life? However, I can see where that wouldn't work for all shots - if you really want consistent recordings in terms of mic placement, try a lav. If you are going to boom non stationary actors, then don't keep the boom stationary.

Check out the audio forum at dvxuser.com for a bunch of advice.
Uh sorry Kid T, but you're off on several counts here. For one a shotgun is a narrower pattern that hypercard, so it will pick up less reflections as long as it's pointed in the right direction. Also, close pickup is always your friend, it's easy to make something sound more distant in mixing, but if it's already distant sounding t here's almost no way to make it closer & more intelligible. you are right, however, about using a lav where possible, or both a lav & shotgun on seperate tracks so that you have the choice later, and yes, you need to follow the actors with the boom. It's an art.
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16th December 2005
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I don't want to get in a pissing contest here, but hypers can work much better than shotguns in rooms with lots of reflections. Also remember shotguns and hypers pick up sound behind them as well. One important difference between the two is that hypers usually have much more controlled patterns than shotgun mics do, especially along the sides and rear. This makes for the reflections you do pick up sound nasty on a shotgun but natural on a hyper.

As far as close micing, yeah obviously more signal is usually better. It always gives you more signal to work with. I was just pointing out that sometimes the perspective providing by micing a bit further away isn't necessarily bad if it is appropriate for the perspective provided by the framing of the picture. This applies in other types of recording as well. I recorded a piano recital last weekend. I could have jammed my mics all up in the piano, but micing a couple feet away captured some of the ambience of the church and made for a really nice sounding recording.

One last thing. Much like treating a room that you mix in, a bunch of moving blankets placed around the set out of camera sight can to a lot to kill "roomy" sounds. If the floor isn't in the shot and its hard and reflective, throw a blanket down. Tack them to the walls, etc. Lastly, don't be afraid to film somewhere else if it works better. And be sure to record some room tone.
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16th December 2005
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I forgot to add, I think one of the preferred mics in the film industry is the Schoeps MK41, a hyper. I'm not in the film industry so I could very well be wrong.

Here's some interesting reading from Schoeps:
http://schoeps.de/E-2004/mics-gen-characs.html#shotguns

Note they now make a shotgun, so take it with a grain of salt.
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16th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidtexas
I forgot to add, I think one of the preferred mics in the film industry is the Schoeps MK41, a hyper. I'm not in the film industry so I could very well be wrong.

Here's some interesting reading from Schoeps:
http://schoeps.de/E-2004/mics-gen-characs.html#shotguns

Note they now make a shotgun, so take it with a grain of salt.
The schoeps is found mainly in ADR & foley stages, production mixers more commonly use Senn 416's, 418's, mhk 70's, or Neumann kmr 81's or 82's.
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16th December 2005
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Ok, you're the boss.
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17th December 2005
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KidTx is right when he said that MK41 Schoeps are often used indoors, but the reason why shotguns don't work as well is because of the way they work to get their pattern.

To make a long story short, shotguns work through acoustic cancellation. When sound is reflecting in from the back, the cancellation doesn't work as well. You especially see a lot of Schoeps in courtroom dramas... I find it amusing to see a bunch of Schoeps on the set (usually with a foam windscreen) for a courtroom... Like a court would ever have them... LOL

In the end, there are no hard and fast rules and experience is what gets you good sound.

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18th December 2005
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Schoeps mk41 and likes i.e Sennheiser mkh50 , Neumann km145 etc. are used for interiors in Hollywood as well Europe for reasons mentioned. The acoustical
interference tube doesn´t work well in reverbant spaces. The new Schoeps is intended to have consistency in tone when changing from hypercardiod to more directional mic i.e. when going for outside scenes. I´ve done documentaries with
Schoeps MS rig mk41 & mk8 , neat if your post production cares to use the possibilities, no problem if You edit the sound yourself.
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18th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifthcircle
. . . the reason why shotguns don't work as well is because of the way they work to get their pattern.

To make a long story short, shotguns work through acoustic cancellation. When sound is reflecting in from the back, the cancellation doesn't work as well.
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19th December 2005
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The interference tube forces sound to have longer path to the capsule if coming from other directions than from the front and that causes phase cancellation. Works with wave lenghts shorter than the tube of cource, hence they are more directional with high frequencies.
Sorry I´m louzy explaining and my mouse run away when trying to draw.
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19th December 2005
Old 19th December 2005
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Hey, I like where this thread is going. I especially like some of the misinformation.

I have used Sennheiser 416, 816, MKH60, MKH70s, and SCHOEPS CMC6 w/ MK41s doing dialogue for film and TV. A lot of the reason why seasoned boom ops are in demand is because 1) they carry or demand their own tools, 2) they use the mic that will suit the location, be it hyper, shotgun, or lavalier, 3) they insist on doing as much absorbtive work as the room requires.


No one has asked about your signal path. What mixer are you using? How hot are you running the signal? Are you adding room tone /mics into the other side of the DAT?
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19th December 2005
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http://groups.google.com/group/rec.a...n.sound?lnk=lr
Lots of information from the real pro´s
I´m not in the film/TV bussines actively anymore
Regards Matti
P.S the room tones get recorded separately in the same space after the scene if You get some silence from the grew...
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19th December 2005
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20th December 2005
Old 20th December 2005
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You've got 2 choices. Shotgun or wireless lav. Use both.
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