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Does my setup make sense? YT channel/dialogue/singing
Old 13th August 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Does my setup make sense? YT channel/dialogue/singing

Hey, i'm new, and really appreciate all the great knowledge here. I'm putting a helmet/mask over someone's head with a mic inside it about an inch from the speakers mouth. This can be slightly adjusted. The person will mainly be giving diologue (albeit in a slightly animated way), but occasionally might sing or hit high notes or scream rarely. I like the idea of a nice clean and warm sound. The microphone will have to be ziptied and directed over the top of the head and down the back, down the pants, and out of the bottom of the pants. The cable will then go off to the side, run along the side wall, toward the preamp and recorder about (10-20 feet away).

I don't have much of a budget thus here is what I'm thinking initially, but let me know your thoughts.

MIC:

Shoeps Mk 4vp

ACTIVE CABLES:

NBOX/NBOB cables

PREAMP:

Naiant IPA amplifier (original thought because those NBOX/NBOB active cables are really expensive right?) But could I use longer active cables for cheap and use a more substantial preamp, or is this even a preamp?

XLR:

I need 10-20 feet of XLR cabling, any suggestions? Is this bad to go this long?

RECORDER:

Tascam 60dmkii or that new Zoom F6
Old 14th August 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
What, exactly, is this for?
Old 15th August 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

A youtube channel with majority of diologue using an animated voice playing different characters. Some mild dancing and singing. This will be placed in front of the actors mouth under a helmet that is sorta like a welder's helmet and thus a bit of room in front of the mouth to place a mic. Or is how confined everything is make using a Schoeps capsule even for diolgue impossible?
Old 15th August 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
I have some (awful) experiences trying to get various mics to not sound horrible inside masks or helmets. “Good” mics seemed to sound even less natural than the most ordinary actor-type tiny omni over-ear or taped-to-cheek mics. At least the omnis don’t have a proximity bump, but all the mics I’ve tried sounded boxy, choked and unnatural. Good luck.
Old 15th August 2019
  #5
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the experience. You just saved my bacon, haha. I didn't even realize that was a problem.

I'm looking at Countryman B3, some DAP omnis, Naiant X-X omni, and Nevation M59. Any thoughts or preferances?

Also, should I use dual microphones? I see some people on taperssection use that often for live shows, but wasn't sure if that would help in this situation?
Old 15th August 2019
  #6
The Zoom F6 and Schoeps will be good enough, though I'd go with a super cardioid capsule in case you ever want to do film work (though then you'd probably need the CMC6). It might actually be overkill for YouTube. Not that you can go wrong with high end gear, but your audience will probably be listening on cheap speakers or cheap headphones, so they probably won't appreciate the quality set up.

I wouldn't put the mic under a helmet though. You'll probably get a terrible boxy sound. Maybe get a decent sounding lav mic and then ADR it with the Schoeps and EQ it to get the sound you want.

Last edited by Dohreetoh; 15th August 2019 at 11:31 PM..
Old 16th August 2019
  #7
Lives for gear
If you pu the mic outside the helmet and the helmet covers the face, you won’t get much of anything. It will sound like listening to someone through a closed bathroom door. And the mic in the helmet is so close to the mouth that cardioid gives you no advantage and a lot of proximity effect.
Old 16th August 2019
  #8
Lives for gear
If all actors' faces are hidden inside helmets - wouldn't it be better to overdub a dedicated audio take after filming the video?
Old 16th August 2019
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
If you pu the mic outside the helmet and the helmet covers the face, you won’t get much of anything. It will sound like listening to someone through a closed bathroom door. And the mic in the helmet is so close to the mouth that cardioid gives you no advantage and a lot of proximity effect.
Plus you might pop the mic, especially an SDC that close.
Old 16th August 2019
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimaryDude View Post
A youtube channel with majority of diologue using an animated voice playing different characters. Some mild dancing and singing. This will be placed in front of the actors mouth under a helmet that is sorta like a welder's helmet and thus a bit of room in front of the mouth to place a mic.
I guess my question would be why you need to use a helmet? Is this live-action or is it following or preceding animation?

If you really want clean audio out of this then my hunch is telling me that you'll need a fair amount of cleanup in post, and quite likely maybe ADR.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
I have some (awful) experiences trying to get various mics to not sound horrible inside masks or helmets. “Good” mics seemed to sound even less natural than the most ordinary actor-type tiny omni over-ear or taped-to-cheek mics. At least the omnis don’t have a proximity bump, but all the mics I’ve tried sounded boxy, choked and unnatural. Good luck.
Bushman, I was thinking about making the inside of the helmet like how a room would be setup normally with acoustic absorbing panels up front, then some cork behind all applied to the backside of the helmet where an Omni mic is located. I want this to sound proper while the actor performs live as opposed to going the ADR route, and thus was trying to think what I could do on the inside and then in regards to the mic I was thinking Nevaton MC59 http://nevaton.eu/product/nevaton-mc...er-microphone/. Any thoughts on this mic or putting material on the inside to help with vocal quality. I'm guessing the space in the room really helps give it a more natural sound, but maybe I can just go for a very flat sound and maybe EQ it with more reverb maybe. Although, I do plan on using this setup live as well sometime where I may or maynot be able to EQ.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
If the mic is inside of the helmet, the sound of the room will not have any effect on the sound of the voice or the sound of the mic.
Unless your helmet is very, very large, I doubt that it will act like a little room that can be treated. I suspect it will sound very choked, boxy and unnatural. I would not spend a great amount on the mic, because the mic is not the problem, so it is unlikely to be a huge part of the solution. But that’s a prediction that has a whole lot of guess in it. Build it or build a mockup and try some mics. It might sound good (small chance), it might sound odd but intelligible in a way that fits the production, or it might be hopeless.
Good luck!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimaryDude View Post
Bushman, I was thinking about making the inside of the helmet like how a room would be setup normally with acoustic absorbing panels up front, then some cork behind all applied to the backside of the helmet where an Omni mic is located. I want this to sound proper while the actor performs live as opposed to going the ADR route, and thus was trying to think what I could do on the inside and then in regards to the mic I was thinking Nevaton MC59 http://nevaton.eu/product/nevaton-mc...er-microphone/. Any thoughts on this mic or putting material on the inside to help with vocal quality. I'm guessing the space in the room really helps give it a more natural sound, but maybe I can just go for a very flat sound and maybe EQ it with more reverb maybe. Although, I do plan on using this setup live as well sometime where I may or maynot be able to EQ.
I've never done this, but I really don't think it'll work. Any attempts to treat the room will be ruined by the really awful muffled and boxy sound you'll get from the helmet. You could have a world class room, but a small reflective interior of a helmet will completely ruin the sound of the mic. Cup your hands over your mouth and talk into them. You'll get a really bad boxy echoey sound, and the same thing will happen in a helmet.

I'm reasonably certain there's no way to fix this, because a helmet is too small to add treatment into, both because there's too little space for it to make a difference (the only possible solution is lining the helmet with a soft fabric, but you won't be able to fit enough to make a real difference, since you'd probably need a couple inches on each side of the helmet), but also because it's a major safety hazard. You'd run the risk of heat exhaustion, limiting the person's vision, and possibly restricting their airflow.

If you want any sort of clear intelligible audio, I think you'll have to ADR it. I don't think there's any way around it. If you have the mic outside the helmet it'll sound really bad because how much of the sound can properly reach the mic has been severely limited, but if you have it inside the helmet you're going to get a really boxy sound. You'll either need the mic outside the helmet and then have to do EXTREME clean up and processing (which you won't be able to do live without a more complex set up like having a DAW or other software apply effects to the live mic feed, which stuff like Voicemeter or w/e it's called does, but that's not without it's own issues like possible latency, and speaker bleed) or you'll have to redo the audio in post, which is impossible live. Either way, you're not going to get a great live sound, and your best bet live would be plugins that work in real time on the live mic feed, or just "lipsyncing" (using quotes because the mouth wouldn't be visible). I'd be skeptical of any good sounding live audio coming from someone wearing a helmet singing, as it's either having a bunch of effects applied, or it's playing pre-recorded stuff.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Lives for gear
What about modifying the mask so that the area in front of the mouth is made of acoustically-transparent fabric. Many fabrics can be stiffened with starch or glue so it could be molded to the shape desired, even painted or, better, dyed, then built in to the cut-out in the mask.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
If the mic is inside of the helmet, the sound of the room will not have any effect on the sound of the voice or the sound of the mic.
Unless your helmet is very, very large, I doubt that it will act like a little room that can be treated. I suspect it will sound very choked, boxy and unnatural. I would not spend a great amount on the mic, because the mic is not the problem, so it is unlikely to be a huge part of the solution. But that’s a prediction that has a whole lot of guess in it. Build it or build a mockup and try some mics. It might sound good (small chance), it might sound odd but intelligible in a way that fits the production, or it might be hopeless.
Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dohreetoh View Post
I've never done this, but I really don't think it'll work. Any attempts to treat the room will be ruined by the really awful muffled and boxy sound you'll get from the helmet. You could have a world class room, but a small reflective interior of a helmet will completely ruin the sound of the mic. Cup your hands over your mouth and talk into them. You'll get a really bad boxy echoey sound, and the same thing will happen in a helmet.

I'm reasonably certain there's no way to fix this, because a helmet is too small to add treatment into, both because there's too little space for it to make a difference (the only possible solution is lining the helmet with a soft fabric, but you won't be able to fit enough to make a real difference, since you'd probably need a couple inches on each side of the helmet), but also because it's a major safety hazard. You'd run the risk of heat exhaustion, limiting the person's vision, and possibly restricting their airflow.

If you want any sort of clear intelligible audio, I think you'll have to ADR it. I don't think there's any way around it. If you have the mic outside the helmet it'll sound really bad because how much of the sound can properly reach the mic has been severely limited, but if you have it inside the helmet you're going to get a really boxy sound. You'll either need the mic outside the helmet and then have to do EXTREME clean up and processing (which you won't be able to do live without a more complex set up like having a DAW or other software apply effects to the live mic feed, which stuff like Voicemeter or w/e it's called does, but that's not without it's own issues like possible latency, and speaker bleed) or you'll have to redo the audio in post, which is impossible live. Either way, you're not going to get a great live sound, and your best bet live would be plugins that work in real time on the live mic feed, or just "lipsyncing" (using quotes because the mouth wouldn't be visible). I'd be skeptical of any good sounding live audio coming from someone wearing a helmet singing, as it's either having a bunch of effects applied, or it's playing pre-recorded stuff.

You both are right. I'll certainly trust your years of experience. Thus, I'm left to figure out how to solve this and you have given great advice thus far, as I didn't know about ADR. I think it would add too much to my post-production time, thus I had to change up something to fix the problem you both are highlighting. I just saw this old Tested Youtube Channel video (https://youtu.be/2oelkn4qTWg?t=52) and I contacted the maker of that Deadmau5 helmet and asked about what that white fabric is since it provides optical and vocal clarity while still looking opaque (at least so on camera). He said it was a higher quality form of spandex basically.

Thus, my thought is, if I can open up the mouth and nose area of the mask and then cover this material with it. My thought is you would then eliminate most of the choking/box issues. Plus, there is about 3.5 inches from the face of the actor to the shield part that would be modified. Thus, on the inside not much room to work with, thus if I couldn't find a slim or smaller vocal/dialogue mic to utilize on the inside (which I would prefer), I could also create an exterior setup along the jaw line using a small diaphragm microphone used for vocals/diolgoue. Or whats your thoughts?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Gear Guru
 

Please forgive me if this comes off the wrong way, but; I really feel that you haven't explained why you want to do this and how you're going to use it. I can think of several reasons for doing it, most of them won't give you good results. It's close to impossible for us (well, me) to give you a recommendation that we'll feel comfortable with until you tell us.

So why are you doing this?

My hunch - since I don't know why you're doing this (unless I missed it, in which case; sorry) - is that the best option is this:

1. Rig any old microphone in that helmet/mask/whatever, as long as it gives the actor freedom to perform.

2. Record that and focus mainly on just getting dialog you can hear clearly, where you can also clearly hear how the actor is performing (on voice).

3. Re-record (ADR) in the studio afterwards. You'll use the dialog recorded on-set/location as a guide, and presuming that we can't see their mouths move you'll have zero problems with synching lips. I.e. this is ADR with far fewer concerns than normally.

You basically just have the actor hear the line they read from the take you selected and repeat it like a parrot, with exactly the same intonation, speed, intensity etc. Do it in a pretty well treated studio and you can then use artificial reverb along with other processing to create the environment afterwards.

----------

Without knowing more why you need to do this I really think the above is going to give you the least headache. One big benefit - in my opinion - is knowing 100% that you're going to replace all dialog after you've recorded. That allows you to adjust your budget and prepare everyone involved so they know what to expect. And hey, if you end up getting usable audio from the location recording; great!

PS: Obviously this isn't either or; you can still aim for the best quality 'in-helmet', and still plan on re-recording...

If I'm way off here please let me know...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimaryDude View Post
..if I can open up the mouth and nose area of the mask and then cover this material with it. ..
Maybe a pop filter? I've seen them as small as 4 1/2" in diameter. Then you'd have fabric known to be acoustically transparent, pre-stretched on a frame that can be mounted over a circular opening cut in the mask, and a built-in pop filter to boot.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Matt, the more I'm thinking about this all. Even if I am able to use a spandex or pop filter to open up the mouth area of the mask, I'd still be speaking into a non-conditioned room for dialogue anyways. It's a huge room too, thus way to expensive and awkward angled to work with.

Thus, after thinking about ADR more, and having you explain a bit more of the reasoning and process involved, it really helped clarify how it wouldn't add too much to the post production, plus it would give me the advantage of doing quick reshoots since that audio doesn't have to be fine tuned. Plus, I like the idea of using the actual recorded audio live to be used as a guide, but with the ability to adjust the words if needed easily in post.

My question for ADR would be this, I really don't have any optimal space to work with, thus would one of thoe portable sound recording booths that basically wrap around the speaker like this https://www.amazon.com/TroyStudio-Po...B0JWCAPZ41KMT5.

If so, then I think I'll go the ADR route.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimaryDude View Post
Matt, the more I'm thinking about this all. Even if I am able to use a spandex or pop filter to open up the mouth area of the mask, I'd still be speaking into a non-conditioned room for dialogue anyways. It's a huge room too, thus way to expensive and awkward angled to work with.

Thus, after thinking about ADR more, and having you explain a bit more of the reasoning and process involved, it really helped clarify how it wouldn't add too much to the post production, plus it would give me the advantage of doing quick reshoots since that audio doesn't have to be fine tuned. Plus, I like the idea of using the actual recorded audio live to be used as a guide, but with the ability to adjust the words if needed easily in post.

My question for ADR would be this, I really don't have any optimal space to work with, thus would one of thoe portable sound recording booths that basically wrap around the speaker like this https://www.amazon.com/TroyStudio-Po...B0JWCAPZ41KMT5.

If so, then I think I'll go the ADR route.
Hang up packing blankets, comforters, quilts, or any other heavy blankets you have. Those portable isolation things don't work. You'd have to have your mouth and nose in the thing for it to work, and then you'll be probably be popping the mic. But you can make a decent sounding area by hanging blankets around the performer. Packing blankets are available for pretty cheap on Amazon (get the ones that are 5.5lbs each or 65 lbs/dozen is what they'll probably say), it's worth getting a lot of them, even if you have to take a couple hundred bucks out of the mic budget. Ideally though you would use rockwool panels because those treat all over the frequency spectrum and not just mids and highs like foam and blankets. Rockwool will be much cheaper than going with foam (as far as cost to performance goes).
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Sometimes just helping someone visualize the setup goes very far. Thanks so much for such helpful advice and visuals. I can easily create portable walls with rockwool and cork underlayment I have on hand to surround the mic and myself even. I was trying to get away from doing that labor, but you all have convinced me to focus on the quality above all else. Thanks.

Now, what large diaphragm mic to use for diologue and some vocal singing. My main priority is warm and nice sounding on the ears, versus something more accurate. Or should I go more accurate with a DPA mic since I have access to post production software like Presonus and autotune. I just know that I'll be trying my best to be entertaining while giving basically a history lesson. Thus, I know it can be boring and I want to ensure absolute clarity and nonboriness.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimaryDude View Post
Sometimes just helping someone visualize the setup goes very far. Thanks so much for such helpful advice and visuals. I can easily create portable walls with rockwool and cork underlayment I have on hand to surround the mic and myself even. I was trying to get away from doing that labor, but you all have convinced me to focus on the quality above all else. Thanks.

Now, what large diaphragm mic to use for diologue and some vocal singing. My main priority is warm and nice sounding on the ears, versus something more accurate. Or should I go more accurate with a DPA mic since I have access to post production software like Presonus and autotune. I just know that I'll be trying my best to be entertaining while giving basically a history lesson. Thus, I know it can be boring and I want to ensure absolute clarity and nonboriness.
Depends on how you define warm. To me warm means darker side of neutral, so you could go with something with a K47 style capsule (not exactly K47 as in a clone but Oktava mics are pretty nice, definitely darker than most modern mics, also check out ).

Honestly though you could absolutely still use a Schoeps and just EQ it. The CMC641 would be my recommendation since it can also be used for filming. They can be found for reasonable prices used.

Last edited by Dohreetoh; 4 weeks ago at 06:21 AM..
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