I am about to shoot a short film and was just wondering if its better to capture dialogue in mono or stereo. My guess is for 1 channel of sound-mono but im not 100% sure and dont want to get it wrong.
You are correct; mono is the way to record dialog.
BTW, If you're not familiar with the "audio" side of the camera, you should probably check out Ty's Audio Bootcamp book before you begin shooting. Knowing those basics will help keep your project from becoming a nightmare.
Hi Pat. While Will is right about dialog in mono, that shouldn't stop you from recording dialog with one mic to both tracks of the camera (assuming you're not shooting film. You can also record two different people, each to their own track with different mics.
In that situation, when you get to post, you reduce or eliminate the audio from track 1 when the actor on track 2 is talking and vice versa. If you don't you will hear the actor on track 2 directly and also at a distance on track 1.
I've been experimenting with WELL RECORDED stereo location dialog (usually in-studio interviews) and I have to say that the results can be stunning. Now before everyone starts jumping in on me, let me say that these were controlled situations with typical mono lav/boom feeds as well. One of the problems with even great stereo dialog is that it's hard to maintain consistency across talking heads because it's laborious & time consuming to set up to do right.
Also, especially for television, there's no place to put stereo dialog since the cablers are requesting that mono dialog be paned center channel only in a 5.1 mix with music & FX L/R only & similar restrictions for what goes in the surrounds so they can knock out foreign versions by simply turning the center channel off. Which I think is ridiculous but that's another thread.
For a simple stereo mix, consistent, well recorded DX across a show would be awesome. Anyways.