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RJ
Recording around a table
by
on Oct 4, 2005 at 10:30:04 pm

I'm shooting DV and need to record between 3 and 4 people seated around a table talking. It's an interview situation with several people questioning one person. I have two questions:

1: What is the best mic - or mics - to do this with? (They can appear in the shot so sitting on the table is perfectly fine.)

2: Is there a reasonably priced field mixer out there I can use to mix these down to two channels?

Thanks a ton!

RJ Thomas


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Matte
Re: Recording around a table
on Oct 4, 2005 at 10:54:09 pm

One approach would be a lav on each person.
No matter how they lean in or out, they would be on-mic.
Otherwise about any desk mic will work, one for each person.

There are lots of good mixers, but under these conditions you want an audio OPERATOR to mix this live as you shoot.
Just having all four mics UP all the time (even split into two channels)
can be a big reverb, cross-leakage, and background noise mess.
A good operator can quickly run the gains on each mic (balanced levels) and take the folks not talking out of the mix (less cross-leakage).

If you want a very versatile mixer for the best price you'll ever find, look here:

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=home/search/detail/base_id/54496

The Behringer MXB1002 can mix 5 microphones (!) and/or 4 STEREO line sources, and, if you need it on-location, can operate on three 9v batteries (including phantom power for the mics). It costs... $100. (I own one and its amazing for the money).


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Jacobo Vizcarra
Re: Recording around a table
on Oct 7, 2005 at 9:52:43 pm

Here a few mic that you can place on the table.
CONFERENCE TABLE MIC might work

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?ci=1&sb=ps&pn=1&sq=desc&Ini...


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Matte
Re: Recording around a table
on Oct 7, 2005 at 10:29:35 pm

[Jacobo Vizcarra] "CONFERENCE TABLE MIC"

There are always problems with using any single-point PZM mic.
Foremost is that EVERYONE will sound "off-mic" at all times.
Plus, you can enjoy the extra accompaniment of Furnace/AC blower noise, room reverb, pencil-scratching and table-thumping.
Softer-spoken participants can virtually disappear in the background muck.
Not to mention, when someone sneezes or coughs when another is speaking, its like a bomb exploding.




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Ty Ford
Re: Recording around a table
on Oct 13, 2005 at 2:22:09 am

SHure and Audio Technica both make auto mixers that have at least four inputs that output in mono. You can use individual mics on each person, PZM mics for each person or any combination. AT makes a four mic PZM centerpiece that can also work with their 4 channel auto mixer.

Human intervention can help, but if the speaking is extemporaneous, you really can't do as much mixing because you don't know who will be speaking or shutting up.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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