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On Set Dialogue Mics

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Brendan Maghran
On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 14, 2012 at 8:58:34 pm

Hello All,

I'm normally an post-video guy, but I have a couple questions about on set dialogue recording. I was led to believe that the norm for getting good rich dialogue in narrative film/tv was a combination of a boom/shotgun mic, and lavs. But after looking at the attached picture from a behind-the-scenes photo of breaking bad, it doesn't look like this is the case, and this mic setup is consistent in other photos I've seen. Wondering if anyone can give any insight into this.



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Eric Toline
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:16:52 pm

Shotguns are for outdoor use because they don't play well with interior spaces and reflections of sound from walls, floors, etc.

The mic in the picture looks like a Scheops CMC 641 or a Sennheiser MKH 50 both are hypercardioid pattern mics. They are the two top dialog mics for almost every feature film.

Eric


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Brendan Maghran
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 14, 2012 at 11:37:58 pm

Awesome, thank you Eric. Am I correct in assuming features don't bother with lavs then?


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Ty Ford
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 15, 2012 at 12:25:28 am

Hello Brendan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

As Eric says, boom mics for interiors should be hypercardioids like the Schoeps cmc641 or Sennheiser MKH50.

Sometimes a lav is the only way to get the shot. The boom mic will sound better if it's close enough.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Audio Forum Leader


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


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Mark Barroso
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 15, 2012 at 8:58:41 pm

If you listen closely to Breaking Bad (and I happen to listen on headphones), you'll hear when they are using lavs. A slight clothes rustle is the give away, but the sound is different, too.


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Ty Ford
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:17:42 pm

Mark makes a good point.

Soundies hear that sort of thing much more than "normal" people and even directors, shooters and producers.

Someone once said to me, "It's sort of cool you ended up doing sound because you can hear all these things other people can't."

My response was, "I didn't choose the career. It chose me."

Also, don't think you're necessarily pigeon-holed as "a soundie." I've been shooting and editing for about 5 years now and that has increased my ability to make a living. Stretch yourself. Grow. Thrive.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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


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Stephen Hall
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 16, 2012 at 12:54:20 am

Something to keep in mind is that the actors may be wearing hidden lav mics in this scene, as well.

It's common practice to use boom and lav mics at the same time. If the sound guy's doing his job right, you'll never see a hint of the lavs.

(If you watch closely, though, in action scenes you can sometimes see the outline of a wireless transmitter in the small of an actor's back. Occasionally a jacket or shirt/blouse gets pulled tight across a concealed transmitter.)

Stephen H

Stephen Hall
Location Sound Mixer / Recordist
No ADR if I can help it !



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Lee Schneider
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:38:52 pm

Since we're on the topic of shotgun mics, I'm going to be in the market for a decent one soon. I don't want to break the bank, but do want to get something good. What would be recommended in the $1,000 ish price range? I'm using an AT 897 now.

Thanks!

Lee



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Ty Ford
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 18, 2012 at 10:28:11 pm

Lee,

Sure you want a shotgun and not a hypercardioid?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Audio Forum Leader


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


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Lee Schneider
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 18, 2012 at 11:52:09 pm

Thanks for the reply Ty. Let me tell you what I'm doing and then I'd love some input from you. Unfortunately I know it's going to be, "your going to need more mics." LOL I'm a video producer and do mostly documentary type work. The mic will be used for some on camera run & gun shooting, and also on a stand/boom recording talking head interviews. The interviews are about 50/50 indoors and outdoors. I also have a couple of Tram lav mics. Do you think a shotgun is best for this type of work?

Thanks!

Lee



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Ty Ford
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 19, 2012 at 2:04:17 am

Lee,

I don't play golf, but I know it's easier to play with a putter, iron and a driver than to go a whole round with only one of those. So yes, a hypercardioid for most of the boom work. You can use it outside as well. I like a Schoeps cmc641 ($1900) for that. A Sennheiser MKH 50 is also a good call.

There's another contender a Sanken CS-3 for about $1500.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Audio Forum Leader


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


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Lee Schneider
Re: On Set Dialogue Mics
on Feb 19, 2012 at 5:49:02 pm

Thanks for the info Ty, I greatly appreciate it!

Lee



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