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Remote recorded panel talk - advice on mic'ing Condenser Microphones
Old 23rd December 2010
  #1
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petsematary's Avatar
 

Talking Remote recorded panel talk - advice on mic'ing

We're recording a panel discussion on a remote location. It's basically a radio talkshow but moved outdoors. We're gonna have access to power so we're hooking up a laptop and will be playing stuff through that and recording onto it as well. Small mixer, mics for everyone. No problems there.

But it's got to be really free-flowing so everyone needs their own mic. Lav's won't do, I think. So, question: how do I setup the mics? Would it work to give everyone a beta58 each and just sit in a cross formation, 90 degrees off from one another? Or will we get some sort of phase problem etc. if we do that and just leave the faders up all the time? If so, is there any way of combating that?
Old 23rd December 2010
  #2
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Matti's Avatar
The trick to mix a conversation live is to follow the game - favor the one speaking and prepare to bring in the next one, you see it by her/his behaviour.
All channels open but at -10 or so and favor the one(s) speaking. Being in the same room ( but out of pix ) helps.

Matti
Old 23rd December 2010
  #3
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Alright, so fader riding is required. Shame, kinda kills the vibe I think. But if that's the way it is, that's the way it is.
Old 24th December 2010
  #4
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Matti's Avatar
Done it only for TV remotes. Beware of panning too wide for radio although it helps the listener to identify who is speaking in the imaginary space
Well then there are those automatic mixers for this, but I prefer this manual approach ( and you can favor one if you agree, heh )

Matti
Old 24th December 2010
  #5
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I like automatic mixers for these things. You can leave the moderator's mic open all the time for ambiance. Most of them are programmable so that you can leave all mics open, for example, but turned down. Good ones will let you have a show with a very "open" feel and still under control, yet without making the mistake of missing things which are too obvious and sometimes tragic.

57s are ideal for this, 58s are good too if you control the low-end proximity. If everyone has their own mic (preferred) dynamics are much easier to control and mix because they don't hear everything including the garbage truck three blocks away.
Old 24th December 2010
  #6
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Jimbo's Avatar
In the situation described it seems like gating each mic would help.

Would that work here, or am I way off-base?

- Jim
Old 24th December 2010
  #7
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petsematary's Avatar
 

That was actually my first thought too, Jimbo. Btw, these automatic mixers are def. interesting, especially if they've got a fast enough "attack" so you don't get cut off in the beginning of a sentence. Def. worth checking out, I think. But maybe some of these things have sends and returns? In that case, one could just hook up one channel of comp/gate to each mic, right? Compression would be nice to have anyway, for intelligibility's sake. I was thinking of using Beta58's btw, but if it doesn't matter I suppose regular 58's are even better as they're a bit cheaper afaik.
Old 25th December 2010
  #8
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Quote:
sit in a cross formation, 90 degrees off from one another?
I'm having trouble visualizing this. How many participants?

An automatic mixer would work for this (gating is what an automatic mixer does, or more precisely, ducking). You might think about putting the moderator on auto-mix as well to help tame background noise.
Old 25th December 2010
  #9
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petsematary's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris319 View Post
I'm having trouble visualizing this. How many participants?

An automatic mixer would work for this (gating is what an automatic mixer does, or more precisely, ducking). You might think about putting the moderator on auto-mix as well to help tame background noise.
Sorry, might be bad writing on my part. I just meant sitting in a cross formation, each person at each "tip". That would make them 90" off one another, all around.
Old 26th December 2010
  #10
Gear Head
 

I recently recorded a 'round the table' interview/discussion with 3 persons sitting in 90 degrees off from one another (moderator in the center, guests on both sides), using longneck cardioid sd conference mics (I'm actually ashamed I don't remeber which brand, just hired them). Using a noise gate at approx. -12 dB on each channel in the mix afterwards eliminated most of the crosstalk without getting to obvious. But I think it depends on the amount of background noise how much gate can be applied without becoming to obvious (and how close the mics are to the people talking).
Old 26th December 2010
  #11
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loujudson's Avatar
You need a dugan for this:

Dugan Automatic Microphone Mixers

An E-1 on the inserts of any mixer will do the trick, even say a mackie 1402 or equivalent. MUCH more than an auto mixer, it is an ntelligent design. Can be rented - where are you?

Dan's a friend of mine, so I am slightly prejudiced, but they really do work better than any other kind.

L
Old 27th December 2010
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
Can be rented - where are you?
Let me guess... east coast Sweden?

;-)


/Peter
Old 27th December 2010
  #13
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petsematary's Avatar
 

yeah yeah, there's no renting that here of course, but i'm sure i can find something else. wasn't aware of the auto mixers but they seem to be made just for this type of thing. overall, buying instead of renting is way overrated.
Old 29th December 2010
  #14
A +1 on the Duggan. It does a great job on controlling the background noise. You can still ride the faders to help out, but the Duggan makes your job that much easier. Well worth the rental or purchase.
-Greg
Old 29th December 2010
  #15
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Don S's Avatar
 

The Dugan is pretty cool. Having worked with it once, I'm sold. We rented one for a panel discussion with 12 mics. I had to set a threshold then the rest was incredibly easy.
Old 29th December 2010
  #16
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Maybe I should buy one and build a rig I could rent to others.

Btw, what's the normal use of AGC's (such as Compellors etc) in a talkshow situation (indoors)? Do they put it on each voice as it comes out of the preamp or is it added to the mixed stereo/mono sum? Or both?
Old 29th December 2010
  #17
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loujudson's Avatar
AGC will not do what a Dugan does - it works intelligently to keep the levels balanced. It would be better to mic manually then use a kluge with comp and limiters and gates. I have done it many times and Dugan makes it silly simple to sound great.

L
Old 29th December 2010
  #18
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Right, I'm totally with you there, I was just digressing for a second.
Old 29th December 2010
  #19
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loujudson's Avatar
No problem! Back in the 70s, I helped engineer a four hour live radio interview program with music. My first job was to mix the voices, live - and learned how diffuicult it can be in a bad sounding studio with impi=ulsive speakers, and also how easy abd effective it can be to duck non speaking mics as little as 5 dB so they can be brought up uickly when they talk. It is almost a psychic tuning in to be there when they start, and not miss a word. Tunirng the faders too far down makes it much harder to catch it all. Yo need ot watch and listen abd focus and not be distracted!

But with an auto mixer like the Dugan, it is totally effortless and you can focus on levels and EQ...

L
Old 29th December 2010
  #20
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Oh yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about, I had to double as a fader rider at a local morning tv show a few years back, doing pretty much exactly what you did. Luckily it was early mornings so the guests weren't too impulsive. But of course, no one ever told me what the setup was until five minutes before broadcast. "Oh yeah, I forgot, we're having a three-piece band playing live, that's not a problem, right?"
Old 29th December 2010
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petsematary View Post
But of course, no one ever told me what the setup was until five minutes before broadcast. "Oh yeah, I forgot, we're having a three-piece band playing live, that's not a problem, right?"
Sounds like part of my life-story ... heh
Old 29th December 2010
  #22
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loujudson's Avatar
Still happens here! Club where I work it is not uncommon to have the band to say halfway through soundcheck, oh, we better finish up ther's a four piece band opening for us...

Gee thanks forthe early warning!

L
Old 2nd January 2011
  #23
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t_chance's Avatar
 

I have had great luck with the Shure automatics. SCM410 with tabletop condensers. Keeping the people on the mics was always the biggest problem.
Old 1st February 2011
  #24
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What was the outcome of the session?
Old 1st February 2011
  #25
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Panel discussion for CD - 8 women

My scenario:

A group of 8 women and 1 female leader
final result 6 one hour self help CDs
free flowing ... not scripted ...
formation: Leader center and group in semi circle facing leader (chairs/couch)

My room: 20' x 14' with ceilings from 8' to 12'
hardwood floor/parachute on ceiling/sound panels on walls
not completely dead but not too ambient

My format: digital recording (Pro Tools Mix System or Logic Pro)

I wanted to keep it simple so I thought:

1 mic on the leader (close mic'd) (dynamic or condenser)

2 mics (stereo) for group (or 1 mic for per pair of 2 women)

(Trying to avoid individual microphones, as I wanted it to be informal, and not have stands and wires everywhere)


The mics I own are as follows:

Peluso 22 251
(2) AKG C-414B ULS
Studio Projects CS5
Studio Projects T3
Audio Technica AT-4041
(2) Shure SM57
AKG D 112
Rode NT1-a
Golden Age Active Mk3 Ribbon Microphone
Golden Age Active Mk3 Ribbon Microphone
Oktava MK319 (Authentic)
Oktava MK319 (Chinese Clone)
Shure Beta 52
(4) Sennheiser E604 Dynamic Microphone


Can anyone advise on this situation?
Thanks!
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