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Mic/Audio advice

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Donnie Moore
Mic/Audio advice
on Sep 18, 2010 at 4:19:02 am

I've been poking around these forums for a while now, but I've finally come across an issue that I have been unable to find a solution to. It's such a general question that it's hard to find something that truly hits what I need.

I'm working on a comedy series and I'm searching for advice on audio, mostly what kind of mic and how to capture it.

I'm currently using an Canon XH A1 camera which has two XLR inputs. I've been using the DVcreators Location sound package 1, which includes the Rode NTG-2. We have shot a short to help promote the show, but more to help us see where we can improve. The audio is our biggest issue as it seems to have a lot of reverb. I'm using Final Cut Pro to edit, and I do have Soundtrack Pro to go along with it, but I'm under the impression that you can't clean up heavy reverb.

The show is similar to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as far as the way we're shooting it. We rarely have less than 3 characters in each scene, usually 4. Nearly every scene is indoors or in a car. One of our main locations is a restaurant. The restaurant is very open and has an audible echo in it, so it's going to be a challenge to say the least. I've contemplated lavalier mic's, but that seems like it would get pricey and we're a very low budget show. I've also heard that you run into a lot of problems with wireless lav's, and it seems like it would be hard to hide the mic's in every scene.

Is there any particular shotgun mic, or another style that would be recommended for our kind of show? Is there anything I can do with my current gear to get better sound? Or maybe I'm wrong about not being able to clean up reverb heavy audio?

Any advice at all is GREATLY appreciated.

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Ty Ford
Re: Mic/Audio advice
on Sep 18, 2010 at 3:14:36 pm

Hello Donnie and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Network sitcoms and dramas use a mix of lavs and booms. The locations are often built and they have no ceilings, so there's no ceiling bounce. If you have standard 8' ceilings, you need to think about treating the ceiling to knock down the bounce. Carpet the floor.

Sitcoms and dramas may use 2 or 3 booms each to a separate track to better isolate the sounds and reduce the roomy sound. Fisher Booms are frequently used but sometimes the boom ops are above the set poking down through the op of the set because there are no ceilings.

Now, about the mic choice. Shotgun mics work better in these locations because there isn't a ceiling. Where you have more reflective surfaces, you do not want a shotgun mic, you want a hypercardioid. Shotguns hear too much from the side. Watch this video and listen carefully on big monitors or very good headphones.

Hope this helps,

Ty Ford

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

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