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Two lavs, suggestions for use?

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William Witsell
Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 23, 2011 at 8:24:26 am

Hi,

I'm recording a web interview (two people talking to each other) on a GH2. I'll be using the audio track on the camera to sync in FCP X. I'll have two Rode lavaliers and a Marantz PMD661. Can someone explain to me the pitfalls of this? I've been reading about tracks being out of phase, comb filtering, and cross talk. What are some good rules to follow so I can get audio as clean as possible on each track?

This won't be able to be boomed, so the two lavs are what I have to work with.

Thanks for the info!

William


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Ty Ford
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 23, 2011 at 12:06:19 pm

Hello WIlliam and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

First there's the acoustical environment in which you do the recording.
The liver, harder and flatter the surfaces, the slappier the audio.

Then there's staging. Don't have them siting across from each other with a big flat table between them.

Then there's ambient noise. Find a really quiet area.

Keep each mic on a separate track and fix it in post.. The closer the two people are to each other, the more you'll hear person A in person B's mic, and vice versa. So, in post, reduce the volume of the track of the mic not being spoken into.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS: Hire a good audio tech and relax.

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


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William Witsell
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 23, 2011 at 7:05:41 pm

Hi Ty,

Thanks for the pointers! Been working with optics and cameras for over 20 years, but audio is a bit new to me. But, I'm really enjoying it and wishing I had learned more earlier.

Another question: I have a set of Giant Squid mics from an old podcasting project--it's two lavs wired to one 3.5mm TRS, one lav on R and one on L. Is there a reason why you don't see higher end lavs wired like this? Is it just because you can't adjust levels independently? Until I get a 2/3 channel recorder, I might play with this a bit.

And, I would love to hire a sound engineer. However, these are interviews on a blog I'm building on my own--and the lighting guy, the camera guy, and the audio guy are all me. And, the entire kit fits in my backpack--when I'm going through checkpoints in Cambodia and Laos, the option of hiring a sound engineer is not realistic. Each piece of gear either has to be indispensable, or serve multiple purposes. I just need to learn how to get solid audio in a variety of locales--I'm not talking they kind of audio you guys deal with for cine/tv, but audio that is very good for web use. Right now the Rode Lav > G3 wireless > LS-11 works wonders for my application (and is light/small enough for a handheld rig). I just need to expand to handle two lavs--a single track recorder is not enough. I just got a Sennheiser MD46 so I can be on camera and interview one or two people. Juggling things, juggling things.

Thanks for taking the time, and any other suggestions I'd really welcome!

Willian


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Ty Ford
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 23, 2011 at 7:27:58 pm

"Another question: I have a set of Giant Squid mics from an old podcasting project--it's two lavs wired to one 3.5mm TRS, one lav on R and one on L. Is there a reason why you don't see higher end lavs wired like this? Is it just because you can't adjust levels independently? Until I get a 2/3 channel recorder, I might play with this a bit."

>>Yes, independent adjustment of tracks and it really helps to have a mixer and limiter. Recording monolog or dialog is frequently not a "set and forget" thing. You often need to adjust volume during the session. Expecially if the person is a "burst talker" who starts every sentence saying the first 4-5 words very LOUD and then quickly trails off to mumbles. If the ambient noise is quiet enough, you can ride gain on them and make your life a lot easier in post.

>>A Zoom H2 should accommodate two mics. It's a bit fragile for long pro work, but if you're careful with it, it should work.


And, I would love to hire a sound engineer. However, these are interviews on a blog I'm building on my own--and the lighting guy, the camera guy, and the audio guy are all me. And, the entire kit fits in my backpack--when I'm going through checkpoints in Cambodia and Laos, the option of hiring a sound engineer is not realistic. Each piece of gear either has to be indispensable, or serve multiple purposes. I just need to learn how to get solid audio in a variety of locales--I'm not talking they kind of audio you guys deal with for cine/tv, but audio that is very good for web use. Right now the Rode Lav > G3 wireless > LS-11 works wonders for my application (and is light/small enough for a handheld rig). I just need to expand to handle two lavs--a single track recorder is not enough. I just got a Sennheiser MD46 so I can be on camera and interview one or two people. Juggling things, juggling things.

I don't know what an LS-11 is.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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William Witsell
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 23, 2011 at 9:15:41 pm

Hey Ty,

That's what I figured--not much use if two interviewees speak at different volumes.

The LS-11 is a recorder from Olympus. I really like it, good sound (not from the ext. mics), plenty of built in RAM, dedicated mono recording feature, etc., etc. Here is a review:

http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portable-recorder-reviews.html

I think you must mean the H4n? I don't think the H2 has two inputs. It's cheap, but I really want something with an physical dial for adjusting levels--I don't want to go into a menu for levels when things get hectic. And, I'm really trying to buy the best gear I can afford. So, I'm looking at either the Tascam DR100 or the Marantz PMD661. Have any experience with either of these? I'd love Sound Devices, but I think that's overkill for web use. And the Tascam/Marantz are more budget friendly.

William


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Ty Ford
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 12:19:38 am

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/cat-audio/resource.latest.bbsccms-assets-cat-a...


Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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William Witsell
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 6:11:25 am

Umm, how does that get me a track for each of two lavs? I'm back to the same issue with the LS-11: a single 3.5mm stereo mic input. Also, the menu system on the Olympus makes the Sony look pretty bad. Even worse, the Sony takes proprietary memory sticks. I gave up on Sony products a long time ago for that very reason. My camera, recorder, and laptop all take SD, so I'm sticking with that.

It looks like my best options are the Tascam DR100 or the Marantz 661. Anyone that has used either of these care to comment on them?


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Ty Ford
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 12:52:00 pm

splitter cable

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


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William Witsell
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 6:44:03 pm

I asked Rode about that, and they said it wasn't a good idea. Not enough juice in the Plug-in Power port. And, I'm still back to not being able to control each lav independently. However, I'm going by DVeStore today and I'm going to get one to try out anyway!


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Ty Ford
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:04:53 pm

Sorry William,

I let the occasional discourse that refers to lavs assuming they are wireless pull me to that conclusion.

What sort of plug is on the end of the Rodes?

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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William Witsell
Re: Two lavs, suggestions for use?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:49:53 pm

Micon, so almost everything. I have 3.5mm TRS and 3.5mm TRS with Sennheiser lock ring. Would get two micon XLR if I go the 661 route.

William


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