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Multiple Mics, Mixing, Etc

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Mike Gee
Multiple Mics, Mixing, Etc
on Aug 11, 2010 at 10:51:35 pm

Please help! A little new to the audio arena. But I need help on what the best way to go about this is. I have a few different scenarios I'm shooting in a staged environment.

The first scenario is I have one person speaking to a group of people sitting down in a room. Sometimes, one or two people from the group will have a line to say in response to the speaker. Or the entire group will laugh, or they'll all respond "yes" or "no" things like that. Or they'll get into groups and they'll start talking to each other once the speaker is done.

In the past, I've setup a lavalier (Azden two channel) on my main person, with the audio being recored on both channels (for stereo) into my camera (Panasonic AG-HMC150P). And either you pretty much don't hear the group, or it's really quiet since the lav is so far away from the group, so I had the speaker restate what the person said in the group.

So then I got a Sennheiser shotgun on a boom pole, and put the boom on ch1 for the group, and the lavalier on ch2. This requires me to mix the audio in post. Putting ch1 from the speaker into both L and R on a stereo audio track in final cut, and then adding in the second stereo track as needed, as mixed on a separate audio track in final cut.

Then I thought, wouldn't it be great if I just got a mixer. I could do the mixing of the audio on set, and then I don't have to manually edit the audio in post production. Would that work? What would I do on set? Have the boom audio level cranked down, and whenever the group was going to speak, turn up the levels on that channel on the mixer? Sometimes it's not rehearsed, and I'm not sure when I could predict if the audience laughed or something. If I had the audio turned up on the boom, I would still pickup the speakers audio in my boom, and it would sound very roomy. Can't really move the speaker away from the boom either.

I wish I could reshoot the group as a separate take with their responses separate from the speaker, but no matter how much I try and get it, it never happens due to timing and peoples limited schedules as extras. Plus sometimes it's better and easier to get a live reaction.

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