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Conference Filming Advice

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James Lilley
Conference Filming Advice
on Jan 20, 2009 at 12:43:04 am

Hi guys first post! I'm UK based

I have recently started filming charity and corporate events , building up a show real of my work and have a couple of conferences coming up that I will be filming using my Sony Z1 video camera (has XLR inputs).

I am just seeing what kind of mic setup you guys would recommend to record the presenters of the speeches on the day. My initial thought was to go down the route of Sennheiser wireless lavalier mics attached to each speaker. But have kind of dismissed this idea, as they are slightly out of my price range and I think several of the presenters I work with are quite fussy and will not like having mics attached to them. Dont get me wrong they would be a great tool to have in the future where finances could allow it!

My next option is to get a half decent Shotgun Mic and set it up on a stand directed at the speakers, something like this model looks good:

http://www.e-av.co.uk/info.php?id=1645.

(Audio Technica AT8035 Shotgun Microphone)

Some of the conferences will involve the speaker walking around more and audience participation, are there any good value (cheap) mics that could be setup around the venue to pick up audience questions (like a boundary type mic)and then fed into a mixer to feed into the camera. Would a simple passive 4 channel mixer be up for the job?

Any general pointers in capturing audio, when filming conference type events on a budget would be most appreciated, I am keen to learn and develop my skills, its just dificult getting a foothold and grasp of the basics sometimes!

Many, many thanks in advance

James


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Ty Ford
Re: Conference Filming Advice
on Jan 20, 2009 at 1:57:45 pm

Hello James and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

You have a challenging situation. A shotgun on a mount will not get you the quality you want and if you have an overhead PA, the problem could be worse. How many people speaking? You may want to consider renting the wireless. If you do, get them in plenty of time to play with them a bit.

You might be able to use the house system with existing lectern mics but they are sometimes pretty nasty sounding or misadjusted. Bring extra foam tops. The little pop filters that come with many lectern mics is usually not enough for someone who wants to eat the mic. The other problem with lectern mics is that head turns to refer to screens behind the speaker take the voice off mic. I have attached a hard-wired or wireless lav clip on mic to the lectern mics to get a direct feed from the lectern when the lectern mics don't give me what I want.

Walk around guy and gals need wireless. The best mic for that is a Countryman e6 earworn mic. Not in front of the mouth, but just off the cheek.

If you do go wireless, all cell phones and blackberry type devices should be totally OFF. A blackberry in standby can totally wipe out a wireless mic.

I try to get the person to leave their electronics with me until they are done. I have had people turn their devices back on during a shoot and totally disrupt the wireless.

Regards,

Ty Ford



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






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James Lilley
Re: Conference Filming Advice
on Jan 20, 2009 at 2:30:15 pm

Hi Ty

Many thanks for your post, I appreciate your advice

There will be no PA system as the there are only 30 attendees in a small hotel function room. I think I will look into Wireless Mics then as it seems the obvious choice.

The only resevation I have with wireless mics is how several presentation speakers are already not keen on being filmed and having a wireless mic attached to them is a complete no no.

Many thanks

James



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Ty Ford
Re: Conference Filming Advice
on Jan 20, 2009 at 2:54:38 pm

Hello James,

Small room. OK. Still not a lot of definitive info, but if the acoustics of the room aren't horrible, you may get OK, but not great audio with a lectern mic and a shotgun or house feed. Split track the feeds so you can go with one and not have the other mess up your audio if something goes bad.

The roaming presenters ..well how far will they roam. can you catch them with a shotgun? Probably not. If you had someone to move the mic with the speaker, maybe.

Ty Ford




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






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