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Recording a three person interview.

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Anthony Bottini
Recording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:14:31 pm

OK, so I need to record an interview with one interviewer and two interviewees. This shouldn't be that tough but it becomes a little more complicated when you consider the equipment that I have available for this particular shoot. In fact I did a very similar shoot before and wasn't ecstatic about the results. If anyone has an opinion on what they would do, I would be very grateful. Here's the set up for the shoot:

I am recording video and audio from a Canon XH-A1 camcorder. No I do not have a mixer available for this shoot. What I do have is two separate audio input channels on the camera that are XLR. I have three different wireless lapel mics and a RODE NTG-2 Direction Condensor Microphone and a boom. The first time I did this interview, this is what I did:

I put a wireless lapel on the interviewer and ran that into channel 1 on the camera. Then I used the RODE shotgun to mic the two interviewees who were sitting across the table very close to each other, facing the interviewer. I basically split the difference and put the mic just above the shot's frame, right in between both interviewees. It worked decently unless the interviewees rotated their heads a bunch. The wireless lapel recorded the interviewer fine but the tone was certainly different than that of the shotgun on the interviewees. In post, I split the channels, duplicated each one and created a stereo pair and then just edited together the questions from the interviewer and the responses from the interviewees. The final product was just kind of......eh. Like I said, their were tonality differences between the two mics which maybe could have been fixed a little more in an audio post program. Anyways, with the above information and available equipment, does anyone have an opinion as to how they would have gone about this interview?

And then, if you had to do this properly with equipment of your choosing, how would you record said interview?

Thanks a ton in advance for any feedback and help.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Recording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:28:02 pm

I'd rent a field mixer and three identical lavs for this one interview.

Seriously, that's how to get good, matching audio. My good, local vendor, here in MN (Audioquip), can set up thre Sennhieser MKE-2 lavs and a Shure FP-33 for $60 for the day.

I'm not sure of where you are, or your local rental houses, still, if the audio is worth it...


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Anthony Bottini
Re: Recording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:32:09 pm

Ha, that's funny, I actually am also in MN and have heard of Audioquip - never used them but I might just give that a shot down the road. I really am in a situation where I have to use what I have for the budget the client is working with but trust me, for all other projects like this I would certainly take your advice. Thanks for the info Alan.


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Recording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 6:12:11 pm

Where in MN? Maybe we can be helpful backstopping each other if the need arises.

I'm in St. Paul.


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Anthony Bottini
Re: Recording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 6:42:07 pm

Actually located in Bloomington just off of 35W. I'm always interested in helping and gaining experience and getting in touch with other local professionals. You can get my contact information at http://www.tonywoodproductions.com

Give me a call, I'd be happy to talk.

- Anthony Bottini


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Michael Martin
Re: cording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 4:36:06 pm

What might be an easier solution is to get a second shotgun mic plus a stereo mic bar and boom in stereo. You can use the pres in the camera and won't have to worry about mixing, then you can monitor left and right accordingly. Simple set up.

-Michael Martin
Martin Media Designs
Location Sound/Audio Post Production/Sound Design


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Anthony Bottini
Re: cording a three person interview.
on Apr 13, 2010 at 6:44:59 pm

Interesting. Then would you just hang the paired mics above the group of three people, say, over the table that they're sitting at and hope that you are getting close enough basically?


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John Fishback
Re: cording a three person interview.
on Apr 14, 2010 at 12:39:29 pm

If all are around a table, one or two PZMs would do the trick.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Jordan Wolf
Re: cording a three person interview.
on Apr 19, 2010 at 5:33:37 am

PZMs are nice until someone gets animated or emotional...then they slam their fist down on the table...

:-)

Wolf
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