The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
visible mic stands..the bane of the videographer's existence ?
Old 13th March 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
visible mic stands..the bane of the videographer's existence ?

A resumption of a thread started (in error) elsewhere on this forum(**see below)....with the intention of creating a 'concert recording video resource pool'...... to show conductors, orchestral managers, videographers and others concerned with the overall appearance of mic stands when they are being video (and audio) recorded.

More pointedly...to show that these soon 'meld into the background', and don't have to detract from the visual appeal of the video capture

Of course, flown rigs are probably the aesthetic ideal, but few of us have the human resources or setup time to permit this...but stands don't have to be the deal-killer for video they are often demonized for, either ?

So, feel free to contribute links here which show concerts that successfully combine stand miking and good video production values.

I'll start the ball rolling with one showing enough 'Schoeps on stalks to sink a ship'...but they don't intrude at all, unless you know what you're looking for !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neDnpgZPPvY

It's also arguable that a skilled video team with multiple cameras and optimized locations can usually shoot 'around' obstacles like stands with consummate ease.....but we're often not dealing with those sort of conditions or teams.






**
(.......Perhaps what we here all need is to compile a "video defense fund" of correctly placed mic stands in public concert settings, available across multiple YouTube videos, which could be trotted out at a moment's notice to show how little they impact visually.

Those showing highly regarded orchestras and broadcasters worldwide might hold much more sway than amateur videos.

Should I perhaps begin a 'repository thread', devoted to just these video examples, to which we could all contribute YouTube/Vimeo links ?.........)
Old 13th March 2017
  #2
Gear Addict
I miss the days of a stereo pair, ZERO processing, and 50dB of dynamic range.
Old 13th March 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by inestima View Post
I miss the days of a stereo pair, ZERO processing, and 50dB of dynamic range.
....you mean, cassettes ?
Old 13th March 2017
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
....you mean, cassettes ?
Cassettes only 40dB dynamic max....
Old 13th March 2017
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
I was at concert at the local college to do some video taping of a solo performer with the orchestra. His request. We got there early and setup. The audio folks from the college arrived and setup a "forest of microphones" in front of the soloist and the orchestra. We tried to move our camera to a different location but there were so many microphones it proved to be impossible. (Why you need so many microphones on one soloist is beyond me.) All were on black stands with booms. I guess they were trying out some alternate mic setups so they could chose the best one after the recording. We did the video taping and were surprised to notice that after a few minutes the mic stands all but disappeared. I guess the mind does some filtering of non essential items. If you watch the tape at the beginning you see a "forest of microphone" but after a few minutes all you really see is the orchestra and the soloist.

FWIW
Old 13th March 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
We did the video taping and were surprised to notice that after a few minutes the mic stands all but disappeared. I guess the mind does some filtering of non essential items. If you watch the tape at the beginning you see a "forest of microphone" but after a few minutes all you really see is the orchestra and the soloist.FWIW
Yes, that's exactly my point, and it applies to both concert audiences and viewers at home. Now, how to convince conductors et al of the same thing. Horizontal booms at performer height or below seem to be more distracting than vertical ones.

In the spirit of the thread, here's another video link (some of the camera work is a bit jumpy) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LYTxf9YsM0
Old 13th March 2017
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9sbean View Post
Cassettes only 40dB dynamic max....
...which is a lot better than what comes out of the end of many FM radio broadcast chains these days
Old 13th March 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Best on stage miking in my humble opinion was done by PBS for their series on Operatic Voices. Pavarotti's segment was particularly well done. They used very small Schoeps microphones on long slender tubes for the vocal pickup and the rest of the mics were hidden in the orchestra or flown. Really nice job by PBS. Lot of mics and lots of TV cameras and well directed and produced. Looked fantastic on screen.

FWIW
Old 13th March 2017
  #9
Gear Head
 

I'm a videographer and sound recordist, always wearing both hats at concerts that I record. Obviously, any conflicts are resolved by me in my own mind. Visual and sonic excellence are my goals, but I never sacrifice audio for video. Hence, I use as many stands and mics as necessary.

Problems arise, at least at one of my venues, where a conductor refuses to allow any mic stands because of audience complaints on sightlines to performers. I doubt the average concert-goer really cares (or notices), but probably the right person or two complained enough.
Old 13th March 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Speaking about the "right person"...

I was doing a concert in a church venue with pews. I set up my microphones for the concert and later, out of the corner of my eye, noticed that someone was moving the microphone 6 feet to the right. I walked over and asked what was going on. This 80+ year old women says to me. "sonny I have sat in this same spot for 35 years and I don't intend to move and I don't want to be behind a microphone stand - get me". So I left the microphone where she had placed it. I guess she was the "right person". The recording turned out OK but it would have sounded better where I had the microphone placed before she moved it. Sometimes it is just better to leave things well enough alone. FWIW
Old 13th March 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 

I hate a forest of Schoeps saplings, its all we see on the BBC and a forest of low dangling Schoeps too for good measure
I would have hoped for a flown array painted out by now
Grumpy.
Old 13th March 2017
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Bruce Watson's Avatar
 

If microphone stands are "the bane of the videographer's existence" then those videographers must be leading pretty darned sheltered lives. That's kinda like saying that stop signs are the bane of your existence. Or bread mold. Come on people... really?

The problem comes from the laws of physics. The optimum placement for microphones is almost never the same as the optimum placement for cameras. So... the cameras can almost always see the microphone stands.

The odd obsession with microphone stands in video productions is just that. Odd. How do people think sound is recorded? This thing isn't a narrative bit of fiction that some group of producers is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on, it's a concert. If people want, they can rotoscope those mic stands right out of the video, just like they do the safety wires on the stunt people in movies. It's done every day. For a price.

They don't because it's not necessary. This isn't a Hollywood special effects extravaganza. It's a concert. It's a documentary. Just like it's OK to show a microphone clipped to an interviewee, it's OK to show the mics used to capture the sound of the orchestra.

The bottom line is: Sound without video is called radio. Video without sound is called "dead air". I read that from someone's sig line once.

I'm just sayin' that no one is going to watch a concert doc. with crappy sound. So the mics have to be where the mics have to be. The laws of physics aren't going to be changed by a mad videographer or an upset producer. And I say that as a guy who operates a camera more often than he operates the sound system.
Old 13th March 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Speaking about the "right person"...

I was doing a concert in a church venue with pews. I set up my microphones for the concert and later, out of the corner of my eye, noticed that someone was moving the microphone 6 feet to the right. I walked over and asked what was going on. This 80+ year old women says to me. "sonny I have sat in this same spot for 35 years and I don't intend to move and I don't want to be behind a microphone stand - get me". So I left the microphone where she had placed it. I guess she was the "right person". The recording turned out OK but it would have sounded better where I had the microphone placed before she moved it. Sometimes it is just better to leave things well enough alone. FWIW
OK, time for my favorite elderly lady story:

I'm all set up to record a rather large concert when an elderly lady walks over and demands that I "turn down the drums". Nver mind that I'm tracking the concert and there is nothing in the house PA save the announce mic behind the conductor.

So I inform her that there are no mcs on the drums and she says, "Well, PUT some mics on them and TURN THEM DOWN".

I swear this really happened.
Old 13th March 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyllys View Post
So I inform her that there are no mcs on the drums and she says, "Well, PUT some mics on them and TURN THEM DOWN".
If only there were such a thing.

She may be the same person who said, "I'm all out of printer paper. Please fax me some."
Old 13th March 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If only there were such a thing.

She may be the same person who said, "I'm all out of printer paper. Please fax me some."
I think that's why lampies call their gear "dark-suckers"...
Old 13th March 2017
  #16
I do a lot of large format classical productions that have video elements as well.
What gets me called back is having the right tools for the job (Lots of collette stands and collette cables) and the ability to come to a compromise with the video director/producer about microphones in shots.
Invariably after the first rehearsal we have a meeting with the picture people and they go though the list of shots that have obtrusive mics in the shot. Most of the time it is a matter of moving the mic a few inches this way or that to clear the shot. Sometimes, we have to stand our ground and get them to find another shot because the mic position is critical. I always get a feed of the line cut and the video directors com channel so I can preemptively make notes about changes.
I can't remember a conversation longer than 10 minutes about adjusting mic positions. Once everybody realizes that we are all there to do the best job possible, things are typically very easy going.
Just remember, no one ever goes home humming the jib shot....
As always, YMMV.
All the best,
-mark
Old 13th March 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
All good comments. I have no LOL (Little Old Lady) story to share. I wish I did. My observation about mics and their placement is that the more professional the video folks are the easier they are to work with. OTOH some panicked parent who wants to memorialize their child's awful efforts can be quite unreasonable. It has not been a big problem for me but it crops up now and again.
Old 14th March 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
The odd obsession with microphone stands in video productions is just that. Odd. How do people think sound is recorded?
..why with lavalier clip-on mics of course. On everything !
Old 14th March 2017
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boojum View Post
All good comments. I have no LOL (Little Old Lady) story to share. I wish I did. My observation about mics and their placement is that the more professional the video folks are the easier they are to work with. OTOH some panicked parent who wants to memorialize their child's awful efforts can be quite unreasonable. It has not been a big problem for me but it crops up now and again.
I'm fortunate in having a videographer as one of my main clients. Since I'm working FOR him, there are no stand hassles. Zero, nada , niente....bupkis...to quote Otto in A Fish Named Wanda.
Old 14th March 2017
  #20
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
If microphone stands are "the bane of the videographer's existence" then those videographers must be leading pretty darned sheltered lives. That's kinda like saying that stop signs are the bane of your existence. Or bread mold. Come on people... really?

The problem comes from the laws of physics. The optimum placement for microphones is almost never the same as the optimum placement for cameras. So... the cameras can almost always see the microphone stands.

The odd obsession with microphone stands in video productions is just that. Odd. How do people think sound is recorded? This thing isn't a narrative bit of fiction that some group of producers is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on, it's a concert. If people want, they can rotoscope those mic stands right out of the video, just like they do the safety wires on the stunt people in movies. It's done every day. For a price.

They don't because it's not necessary. This isn't a Hollywood special effects extravaganza. It's a concert. It's a documentary. Just like it's OK to show a microphone clipped to an interviewee, it's OK to show the mics used to capture the sound of the orchestra.

The bottom line is: Sound without video is called radio. Video without sound is called "dead air". I read that from someone's sig line once.

I'm just sayin' that no one is going to watch a concert doc. with crappy sound. So the mics have to be where the mics have to be. The laws of physics aren't going to be changed by a mad videographer or an upset producer. And I say that as a guy who operates a camera more often than he operates the sound system.
Excellent thinking. I agree wholeheartedly.
Old 14th March 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
People are use to watching TV and movies were there are no visible microphones. For example, a couple of people standing in the middle of a large field talking and the camera is very far back yet you can hear the people talking just fine with no microphones visible. That is what a lot of people expect when watching a concert. They don't want to see microphones even though they know in their minds that there must be microphones if the concert is being recorded or filmed. The Dean of the Conservatory where I worked did not want us to use any "on stage microphones" as it looked, in his words, unprofessional. So we did everything with flown mics. I worked for a PBS station and we constantly had to figure out ways of hiding microphones on the set as the lighting director did not like "boom shadows" and refused to light for their use. No amount of cajoling or pressure from me or the director of engineering would make him change his mind. I worked with an amazing cinematographer who did not like to see microphones in any shot so we worked out all kinds of ways of miking a stand up presenter that could not have any visible microphones, like a lavaliere, on their clothes. People have strange ways of working and as Mark says you have to do what they want if you want to get called back.

FWIW
Old 14th March 2017
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Many good points there Tom, and it's so variable between individuals (tolerance for visible hardware) too.

Schoeps with their thin stalk stands get away with it, because of their slimness and matte grey finish and relatively low height. From any distance they're barely recognizable at all...you'd be more likely to mistake them for music stands ? So you can typically squeeze several of them into a few square yards of stage real estate.

Generally, the more densely populated the stage is, the more spot or section mics you can expect to get away with...especially if they're held aloft on thin stands. If you have lowish height requirements and no great weight/bulk (eg Schoeps, Line Audio, dpa), then a heavy-ish circular base and thin upright stalk is quite appropriate. Its the shock mountings which draw attention to themselves mostly...

It's the front of stage and outrigger mics which often draw the most ire, especially if it's a Decca Tree, looming vulture-like over the conductor....mainly because of the diameter of the stand tubing, which is necessary because they're generally the highest mics in the room.
Old 14th March 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
If only there were such a thing.

She may be the same person who said, "I'm all out of printer paper. Please fax me some."
You can print printer paper with a 3D printer.
Alas, you cannot print printer ink with a 3D printer.

For that, you need a 3D inkjet printer ink printer.

Or was is a 3D inkjet printer ink printer printer ?

Reminds me of the telephone call I got: "Is this Mr. X ?" "no I am mr Y" "But do you know Mr X ?" "Of course not, I am Y and you dialed a wrong number" (angry tone) "Why the hell don't you want me to give the number of X ?"
After which I got hung up rather angrily.

Or the story about the school teacher that was trying to explain to my mum that I was not her son Yannick, but that girl from 3B was her daughter Yannick. Seriously. I always knew we had a weird family.

etc etc

Sorry for the OT, had a nightly session and still need to wake up.

Anyway, as posted above, video without sound = boring moving photographs. I prefer a good recording with just the cover photo on Youtube !
Old 14th March 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Best on stage miking in my humble opinion was done by PBS for their series on Operatic Voices. Pavarotti's segment was particularly well done. They used very small Schoeps microphones on long slender tubes for the vocal pickup and the rest of the mics were hidden in the orchestra or flown. Really nice job by PBS. Lot of mics and lots of TV cameras and well directed and produced. Looked fantastic on screen.

FWIW
PBS noticably steps up their game when they are fundraising.
Old 15th March 2017
  #25
Lives for gear
 
grrrayson's Avatar
 

What about all those big black rectangles blocking the view of the instruments? So obtrusive!
Old 15th March 2017
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
What about all those big black rectangles blocking the view of the instruments? So obtrusive!
I thoroughly agree...all music stands and sheet music should be translucent, for the cameras ! The average mic stands pales in comparison .....or more likely it's the straw that breaks the camel's back !

Last edited by studer58; 15th March 2017 at 06:38 AM..
Old 15th March 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
Put the camera on a stand!
Old 15th March 2017
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Yannick's Avatar
 

Why not put 40 cameras on low close stands and a few couple of mics on big high stands ?

That gets everybody out of the way.
Old 15th March 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 
boojum's Avatar
This is an interesting point, the music stands. They are accepted because they have been part of the orchestra for centuries and the audience expects them to be there. Slender stands with mics way above everybody's heads are not acceptable for some reason. Maybe in a few centuries. But by then we will be way beyond what we do now.
Old 15th March 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
It's raining Schoeps in Vienna....

Over a decade ago I took pics in the esteemed Musikverein Halle in Vienna, a venue which has no problem with multiple overhead mic lines....

You can see them clearly in this GS thread, along with attachment points, and a few suspended Schoeps Colettes: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/remo...sikverein.html

This might be the best OH photo, sourced for us by Kevin Bourassa: https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...3089&source=48

The thing is, from most floor level perspectives (ie the majority of these pics) you struggle to see them. At a concert I attended, there was not a single mic stand. I'm sure the overhead placement options above the stage there are limitless.

Schoeps, Reign O'er Me
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+  Submit Thread to Reddit Reddit 
 
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump