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Audio for two person interview

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Jason Jenkins
Audio for two person interview
on May 9, 2011 at 6:24:12 pm

I do plenty of interviews with just one person on-camera. I typically use my Sony shotgun mic on a stand-mounted boom-pole. Works great. However, I may be shooting some interviews with two people on-camera, sitting side-by-side. I could get another shotgun and set up one for each, but is there a better way? I do have a wireless lav, but I really don't like using it for sit-down interviews –I don't want to see the mic on-camera. These interviews often take place in very 'live' rooms. Any (good) advice is appreciated!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 1:31:12 am

Hello Jason and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

I usually prefer a boom to a lav, too, but sometimes you gotta go with the flow.

First, a shotgun mic is not what you want inside. Here's why.
http://gallery.me.com/tyreeford#100038
Schoeps cmc641 are the best, but the Audio Technica 4035b makes a good effort for less money.

Second, if the two people are speaking extemporaneously and you have no boom op or mixer, the best bet would be to double mic them. Their voices may not project equally. If you don't have each voice on a separate mic and on a separate track, separating them may be difficult and even though you have them on two tracks, separation will be difficult because the two will probably be close together for the two shot, right?

If you have a good boom op and mixer, he/she may be able to move quickly enough to "cover the action."

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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Eric Toline
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 12:03:48 pm

For a 2 person sit down SxS interview a wider cardioid pattern mic placed on center will work very well. Even a tighter pattern hyper cardioid will do the job just fine. Personally I never understood the aversion to seeing a lav mic in a documentry interview situation.


Eric


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 12:26:02 pm

I have been in this situation and had each person's projection level so different that one mic was not a good choice. Turn it up for the quiet talker, turn down for the loud talker. You may get lucky, you may not.

If you use one locked down mic between the talent, the mic will be a little farther away from the talent, so you'll hear more room. If you use a wider pattern mic for two people, it will pick up more room sound, so pick your location very carefully.

Lavs may be a good choice in that they are on the body, so closer than a good boom, but you may still have to duck the unused mic in post.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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Jason Jenkins
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 6:25:45 pm

[Ty Ford] "If you use one locked down mic between the talent, the mic will be a little farther away from the talent, so you'll hear more room. If you use a wider pattern mic for two people, it will pick up more room sound, so pick your location very carefully."

Ty,

What about using sound blankets to absorb reflections in a conference room type setting –any experience with that?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 7:11:01 pm

Sure sound blankets help.

Put them on any hard surface; floor, cabinet, wall, etc.

If the place is too big, create a space just out of frame with blankets on C-stands, even over the top if you can, to stop ceiling bounce.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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Jason Jenkins
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 6:23:21 pm

[Eric Toline] "For a 2 person sit down SxS interview a wider cardioid pattern mic placed on center will work very well. Even a tighter pattern hyper cardioid will do the job just fine. Personally I never understood the aversion to seeing a lav mic in a documentry interview situation."

Thanks, Eric. I'll need to do some experimenting/testing. I have a handful of mics around here that I inherited from my Dad. I'll need to dig them out and see what they are. The interviews I do are definitely more corporate than documentary. I spend a bit of time getting the lighting just right and I just don't want a mic in the shot!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 6:18:21 pm

[Ty Ford] "First, a shotgun mic is not what you want inside. Here's why.
http://gallery.me.com/tyreeford#100038
Schoeps cmc641 are the best, but the Audio Technica 4035b makes a good effort for less money."


Thanks, Ty –that's a very informative comparison. It reinforces my feelings about preferring the shotgun over the lav. I'm not quite ready to replace my shotgun with a hyper-cardioid just yet, but perhaps if I did an "ears-on" comparison of my own, I would be convinced. I find I can minimize subject movement by using the right chair. An armless, straight-backed seat that doesn't roll, swivel or tilt works quite well.

I have considered using a boom-op, but I think I would feel more comfortable having two mics. Do you think if I set up two mics (my shotgun and a hyper-cardioid) that they would mix well –or would they sound too different?

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 6:29:07 pm

Jason,

They will probably sound different, but so can voices. Different people have different voices. I've heard 'em sound way dark and way bright and everywhere in between.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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Jason Jenkins
Re: Audio for two person interview
on May 10, 2011 at 7:09:55 pm

[Ty Ford] "They will probably sound different, but so can voices. Different people have different voices. I've heard 'em sound way dark and way bright and everywhere in between."

Ha! That's a very good point! I've been digging in the closet and I've come up with a Samson Q7 super-cardioid mic and an old Beyerdynamic M500N(C). The Beyerdynamic has what looks like a pop-screen that has come loose.



I also have an Electro-Voice RE20 that I use for voice-overs, but you pretty much have to be right on top of that one.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!


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