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Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?

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Don Hertz
Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 10, 2010 at 6:16:44 pm

I'm preparing to spend 3 days filming on a set constructed in a medium sized warehouse. I was concerned about audio echo in the space and so did some tests yesterday. Sure enough, the talent voice audio recorded from 2 lav microphones has a pretty good amount of echo to the voices.

My thoughts to fix it prior to filming are:

1. Switch to a shotgun mic on boom pole
2. Position sound blankets on floor and hanging to sides of talent.

Should I do both of these or will just one take care of it? Any other thoughts that might help?

I don't currently own any sound blankets so I would need to purchase them. Any suggestions for less expensive alternatives or good places to get them?

Thanks for any help.

Don Hertz


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David Jones
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 10, 2010 at 6:27:25 pm

Hi Don,

Sound blankets are about your ONLY way to control the echo. Depending on the framing, I would put them on the floor, hang them on c-stands (just out of frame), and if possible, hang them from the ceiling.

Whether you use a shotgun mic or lav may depend on the framing and/or how the scene is shot; if anything, a shotgun mic will most likely pick up more echos than lavs.

Best,

Dave J


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 10, 2010 at 11:14:56 pm

Hello Don and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

As usual, David's advice is spot on. Shotgun mics have wonky pickup from the sides which makes them bad for interiors unless those interiors are acoustically designed. You might use a good hyper or supercardioid NON shotgun mic, but if the space is lively enough you'll still get some reverb.

The louder the louder the person speaks, the more they energize the room and the more you'll hear reverb. So quieter may be better.

If it's a big enough warehouse, there isn't a lot you can do except surround the talent just out of frame with sound blankets, even overhead.

If the client is OK with it, you can also use a Countryman E6 mic. OTOH, if the talent is in a warehouse and the viewer knows this, (especially if the copy says something like, "Here in this warehouse...") you should be OK.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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






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Don Hertz
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 2:00:34 am

Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds like my best bet will be to just put blankets everywhere I can manage.

I wish it were "supposed" to be a warehouse location. That would make life easy now wouldn't it?

Don Hertz


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Peter Groom
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 8:19:40 am

There is a saying. You get what you deserve and deserve what you get. By this I mean that if your clients wont pay for shooting in a proper sound filming studio, where acoustics have had many £1000's of design, then they will get an inferior product, and the audio may well be the most apparent of these.
The only solution (short of covering all the warehouse walls and ceiling in a large amount of acoustic dampening material, and the use of the mic and micing techniques already mentioned) is to ADR later.
Thatll send a shiver down the back of any production accountant - but who cares about them!
Sorry, but its NOT a good situation.
Peter



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Ty Ford
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 1:34:33 pm

or, if the dialog is said "as if in a dream"...........


Ty Ford


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






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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 2:19:05 pm

Last year we did a shoot in a cathedral. In our case the viewer knew we were in a cathedral so some echo was okay. I used a Countryman B6 lav on one channel and a Sennheiser MKH60 shogun on the other just to be able to compare. We clamped several squares on Sonex to stands around the talent. The lav definitely did a better job than the shotgun for all the reasons stated above.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Richard Crowley
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 2:46:47 pm

"or, if the dialog is said "as if in a dream"........... "

Or if you are dubbing it into Japanese! :-)


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Don Hertz
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:11:23 pm

Once again, appreciate the suggestions. This IS a very low budget production and having reviewed the choices they are making, I feel they have compromised appropriately. They won't be able to afford ADR, their IS no production accountant, and they definitely can't afford a real studio right now. On the other hand, unlike some clients, they do clearly understand the limitations of their budget and what they can expect as a result of the choices they've made. I know it won't be perfect in the end, I'm just trying the think of any little tricks I can implement in advance to make it "as good as possible" considering the situation. Implementing a bunch of sound blankets with a lav mic sounds like it is going to at least help the situation quite a bit and because of the budget, there's now sweeping camera jib or dolly moves that are going to make placing blankets near the talent difficult.

Don Hertz


Don Hertz
Fusion Media Works


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:26:30 pm

Dear Don,

Dollies and jibs, but no budget for audio? Choosing a location that has significant acoustic problems?

Good one! You got us! We didn't realize you were here just to jerk us around a bit. And it's not even April 1st!

You may find that others here at the Cow are far less tolerant than us when it comes to stuff like this. We seriously put our thoughts and experience out there. Some of us get a bit testy when we find out people are just messing with us.

Have a great day.

Ty Ford

::thread closed::

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






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Don Hertz
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 5:02:58 pm

My previous post SHOULD have said "NO Dollies and Jibs". I made a typo and said "NOW dollies and jibs". Sorry for any confusion. Believe me, clean audio would come before any extras!

Don Hertz




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John Moore
Re: Audio suggestions for filming in a warehouse with echo?
on Mar 11, 2010 at 3:36:42 pm

I bought a set of "sound blankets" (moving pads) from US Cargo Control for $129: <a href="http://www.uscargocontrol.com/movingblanketssuprememover100cottonblankets9095lbs-p-465.html" target="_blank">Supreme Moving Blankets</a>. If you order them make sure to hang them up to air out- they were a bit strong smelling.

As for floors: I buy commercial-style carpet runners from Lowe's or Home Depot. You can buy a bunch of 2' x 5' strips to lay down around the actor(s). These have come in quite handy. Phillip Palmer has a site with lots of pics about carpet: <a href="http://dailycarpet.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">The Daily Carpet</a>.

John Moore
sound.flyingmonkeystudio.com


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