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stan welks
Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 12:37:44 am

I want to connect a lav or two directly into an HVX-200 and record some videos shot in my apartment. I
want to get the best sound possible within the area I have available to work with (my living room).

1. What type of blankets (thick, thin, does it matter) should I hang from the walls to minimize echos?

2. Where should they be hung? Should every wall in the room being shot in be covered?

3. Any other tips anyone can provide for this situation?

Thanks!!!


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Ty Ford
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 1:18:38 am

[stan welks] "I want to connect a lav or two directly into an HVX-200 and record some videos shot in my apartment. I
want to get the best sound possible within the area I have available to work with (my living room).

1. What type of blankets (thick, thin, does it matter) should I hang from the walls to minimize echos?

sound blankets or moving pads

2. Where should they be hung? Should every wall in the room being shot in be covered?

where you can get 'em until the slap stops

3. Any other tips anyone can provide for this situation?

don't forget the floor. blankets with grommets are better

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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stan welks
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 1:43:37 am

I am really new to all of this, so sorry for having to ask:

1. When you say "sound blankets"
are these special blankets for this specific purpose?

2. What is a "moving pads?"

Thanks!





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David Jones
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 3:55:52 am

Hi Stan-

Sound blankets are pretty much the same as moving pads. Moving pads are used by furniture moving companies. Matthews Studio Equipment (MSE) makes "sound blankets" and are available at B&H Photo Video for around $48. You can also buy furniture pads (or moving blankets) from ether "Two Men and a Truck" or a few on-lines moving supply companies. They'll be less expensive, but make sure you get good ones (good padding).

As far as how to use them, unless you have carpeting, you'll need them for the floor; you'll want to hang one or two (or more) of them as close as you can to where you're recording audio (just out of camera range). I use C-Stands with boom arms and hang them by the gormets with s-hooks. This can all get pretty expensive, esp. since Matthews is the only company that makes them with gormets and c-stands aren't cheap, ether. If you get blankets without gorments, you can use "pony clamps" (available at The Home Depot) to hold them in place.


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stan welks
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 4:53:08 am

Hi David,

1.) I do have carpet. Does this mean I will not need them on the floor?

2.) Is the goal to cover as much wall as possible out of camera range where I am recording audio?

3.) In general, how far should the sound blankets be spread on the walls away from the source of the audio?

Thanks!!!





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David Jones
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 6:32:58 pm

If you have carpeting you won't need them for the floor.

You don't have to cover all the walls with sound blankets; the goal is to have a natural sound, void of echos and reverbs. Of course this all really depends on the room size.

Assuming you are basically locking the camera down on a static shot (no panning or moving), you would probably be fine hanging two blankets (one on one side of the subject and one on the other) just out of camera range.


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Ty Ford
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 7:52:42 pm

and maybe one over head to reduce ceiling bounce, if needed.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Ty Ford
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jun 27, 2008 at 10:16:24 am

[stan welks] "I am really new to all of this, so sorry for having to ask:

1. When you say "sound blankets"
are these special blankets for this specific purpose?

Yes.

2. What is a "moving pads?" "


Pads you wrap furniture pads with when you move.

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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William Urschel
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jul 2, 2008 at 11:48:39 am

As a general rule of thumb, for recording (or even listening to voice or music programs) if you have any three adjacent surfaces in a room treated acoustically, you are off to an excellent start! That is, if you have a carpet covering the floor, then hang the moving pads on two adjacent walls, and you're good to go. Generally, it should not be necessary to do anything with the ceiling or the other two walls - in fact if you "treat" one of those surfaces, you may end up with an unpleasantly dead recording venue. Just treating the three adjacent surfaces should take care of some important issues - and if such treatment does not sound live enough, then begin to remove some of the pads, until it is just to your liking.



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Ty Ford
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jul 2, 2008 at 12:36:27 pm

Bill,

It still sort of depends on the acoustics of the space; the size of the untreated surfaces and the closeness to the mic.

Explanation: I had an "audio grab" gig for an ad agency.; a pro basketball player in for a photo shoot. The professional photo studio was in an industrial space. Twenty foot metal ceilings, cinderblock and drywall walls, cement floor.

A 6-foot by 6-foot space had been prepared with c-stands and sound blankets to surround the talent and (me) the sound guy on all four sides. That would qualify under your guidelines. There was way too much reflected voice going out and coming back in the open top.

Although they told me they "had the sound problem covered", I instinctively did not believe them and brought three 2'x4' foam panels and two more sound blankets.

With a few more pipes, we created a ceiling system on top of their booth. We left a hole in one corner and shot a light down through it so we could see inside. Job done.

Oh! The ad agency was in Dallas. They wanted to use an iphone to direct him. He had a headphone/mic rig. I said, "lets see." The RF from the iphone was throwing rf into my hardwired mic. I asked for a small table. Put it behind him so he was between the iphone and the mic and used his body as an RF absorber to keep the rf out of my mic. That worked.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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William Urschel
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jul 2, 2008 at 1:55:29 pm

Ty:

Point well taken! But if you had covered the ceiling and two adjacent walls in that huge open space with apprpriate hangings? Sorry!

On the subject of the slap echos and other such monstrosities, I remember 20 years ago walking into a very large totally "untreated" room and being astounded with the great sound I heard. Which I know, of course, you've probably already guessed at what was going on - I had just never been in such a space and heard what I heard. The room was the "music room" in a large mansion. The owner was an engineer, and a very talented musician and first class pianist. The room was some 25 feet high, and approximately 35 feet long and 40 feet wide. The floor was highly polished, smooth hardwood, with two small wool throw rugs. Three of the walls and the ceiling were heavy, two layer smooth wallboard mounted on 4 x 6's on 18 inch centers. The fourth wall was 25 by 40 foot four layer laminated glass. Furniture included a smooth leather couch and similarly covered six chairs, with three small hardwood end tables, and a small bookcase. Two Carver speakers completed the layout, except that placed slightly off center on the floor were two full size concert grand Steinways.

My host sat down and started playing a Rachmaninoff Prelude - what sweet sound! Good balance (except for the few holes and peaks resulting from the standing waves generated by the room shape, and the sympathetic resonance from the second Steinway), just live enough - no obtrusive echo, etc..

And of course you know what was going on. At the time, I failed to recall what I had read about years before which explained what was happening - the construction of the room was such that its dimensions (apart from the large size) gave every appearance of being conventional. And of course, I immediately saw as well as heard what was happening when my host (laughing) made a comment after the prelude, "The walls are not parallel! They're off by [?] (several degrees - I've forgotten just how many, it seems like he said three or four degrees?). And he then indicated that the ceiling likewise was several degrees off from being parallel to the floor.

Aren't acoustics just fascinating!

William



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Danny Grizzle
Re: Minimizing echo while shooting in apartment
on Jul 20, 2008 at 8:08:40 pm

I keep responding to Stan's posts, then read down the page to learn a bit more about his project.

I must be missing something in all this discussion of sound blankets and shooting video. Are we talking about shooting video, or using a video recorder to record audio-only for a podcast?

Putting sound blankets off camera on walls and ceilings makes sense, though at some point you may need to get a permit from the fire marshall. Beware when you fire up the hot lights!

If you are shooting video, the lavalier makes sense. Besides mic placement, you don't have to worry about boom shadows and such. This is especially true if Stan is doing this as a one man band, as producer, talent, gaffer, shooter, and sound guy.

On the other hand, if this is a podcast, or the style can accommodate a "live from the apartment studio" look like the Howard Stern show, then I'm back on Rode broadcast mics. I'd prefer good mic technique and modest sound treatment over the hassle of rigging suspended sound blankets.

Danny Grizzle





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