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Jenny Breukelman
lav mic help
on Nov 5, 2009 at 6:54:06 pm

Hi,

I've recently helped with the audio for a two-person interview, and I was asked to use a two lav mic setup. I wanted to use a boom mic too, but there wasn't the budget. So now I'm mixing two mono channels of lav mic audio, and am having trouble with leakage between the channels. When people talked on top of each other, in particular, you hear an echo from the other track. I have used volume ramping to isolate each person, but when they talk together, it really sounds weird. I have captured room tone to make up for the gaps in the interview, and the producer doesn't want any background music, so I'm trying my best to mix, but it's hard, because the room tone sounds so much different than the lav mic sound. Any advice on the two lav mic set up for interviews, and how I can mask gaps? Also I'd appreciate advice on repairing a couple of lower level clips, and how to mask the noise floor hiss when I raise the volume?


Thanks
J.


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Ty Ford
Re: lav mic help
on Nov 5, 2009 at 11:05:52 pm

Hello Jenny and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

The conventional approach is to "checkerboard" the dialog from multiple lav; .turning off any mics that aren't being spoken into with the mix automation of the editing software. If the mics in question have significantly different ambiences or noises, you will run into problems when you go from one mic to another.

Music is frequently used to cover those changes, but you're not using music. Some folks try laying in room tone to dirty up the total sound. That may hide the changes somewhat.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jenny Breukelman
Re: lav mic help
on Nov 5, 2009 at 11:58:02 pm


Thanks Ty!

Um, one more question...if you have two people talk at the same time and there is leakage between the mics, is there anyway to avoid the doubling of the voice that happens, or at least to minimize it? Anyways, thanks again for the previous post, I figured I'd have to do something like that, and have to a certain extent, but I'll have to work on matching the ambience better.

Jenny.



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Ty Ford
Re: lav mic help
on Nov 6, 2009 at 12:42:59 pm

Jen,

After the fact it's very tough. During a shoot, actors are usually directed not to "cross each others lines" to keep this form happening.

So how about this. Look at the overlapped sections of the two tracks. Zoom way in. Cut the overlapped section of the off mic so you can move just the overlapped portion. While looking at the waveforms, slip the off mic track so it lines up with the primary mic track. You'll be moving the off mic track to the left because the voice got to it several milliseconds after the primary mic. The number of milliseconds depends on how far from the primary talent was from the off mic mic. One foot per millisecond.

Time aligning the off mic mic should reduce the time smearing. Please get back to us to let us know how well that works.

Make sense?

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Jordan Wolf
Re: lav mic help
on Nov 6, 2009 at 4:43:32 pm

Not unless you have a sound mixer (on location) who is controlling the levels of each microphone as they are recorded. If you do, then they should be able to monitor the feeds and do their job. If not, then yes, you will definitely get bleed from the other voice(s) into the other mic(s). They don't care whether the person wearing them is talking or silent...they'll pick up whatever is around then.

There is a solution, and it works very nicely - for sound reinforcement. I don't know how it would sound, nor have I tried it, in an on-location recording type of setting. Dugan make very nice automixers, however they are the cream-of-the-crop and the price will reflect that. If you are able to spend $X,XXX.XX on video gear, though, why spend around the same amount or just as much to get great audio (I've always wondered why people think that way).

Anyways, yeah...use the automation to bring the tracks up/down in level as necessary (at least 1/2 the level for the channel with the less-desirable audio, as that will keep some ambience from both mics in the mix).

Wolf
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Jenny Breukelman
Re: lav mic help
on Nov 6, 2009 at 5:48:57 pm


Aaaah, okay,

There is an echo because the sound hit the other person's mic at a slightly different time? Got it. Thanks. I'm sure the sound isn't going to be perfect, but I'll just have to do my best with it today, because we're wrapping it up. I really appreciate the advice and recommendations, they've been really helpful.

Take care,
Jenny


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