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Interview Audio?

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Paul Miley
Interview Audio?
on Feb 12, 2013 at 9:25:02 pm

Ive been following the site for ages but never actually popped in, mainly because after searching and so on Ive managed to find the answers.

Problem is this time Im obviously missing something.

Anyway I organise events and conventions on the UK and as part of that we video a lot of guest talks.

So this post is 2 fold.

1, I realise that recording audio for an interview with a stand alone recorder is the way to go, but any pointers on what recorder to use I know this will come down to personal choice for many but help and direction is appreciated.

1a, What type of mics would be good to use to interview say someone in a room anything from 1 interviewer interviewing 1 to 3 people at once?

2, We did some interviews with people sitting behind a table, with the mics which were on small table stands in front of them fed back to a recorder, problem is the audio was rubbish when synced to the video.
The stage was in quite a big theatre set up so the mics seemed to pick up echo or something from the hall and had no umph.
I watch for instance interviews on TV where they are using lav mics and the audio is great, what are we doing wrong?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks in advance

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Peter Groom
Re: Interview Audio?
on Feb 13, 2013 at 9:20:19 am

1) I dont necessarily agree that using a stand alone recorder is the way to go. It depends on if the camera you are using is properly equipped for audio recording. I hate recording (and wont do it) to a DSLR, but if your camera has proper audio connections and monitoring and metering then go straight to that. If not, there are a variety of stand alone recorders you can use, ranging from semi pro level devices like a Zoom H4n onto an sdhc card for £300 ish up to full pro devices like dound devices and devas.
What camera is it?

1a) If you have static interviewees, then you could pop a personal mic on each and mix it, or if you want to be what is called gun & run, news style then most directional rifle mics with a wind shiled will suffice, but they will need to be moved to take the question and then answers. the 416 is probably the most well known, but really most mics with a decent reach will do the job. NOT s stage mic like an sm58. They need to get too close.

2) Well you answered it yourself. They are using lav mics which is what id recommend Omni directional lav mics. The TV will also be mixing theirs so only the featured speakers mic is open, the others will be off or significantly reduced in fader position. If you leave all the mics open and theyre not terribly close, then youll get a lot of coulouration (which is sound being picked up by other peoples mics in addition to its own. Are you recording them separately or mixing them, and are you relly mixing them or just combining them into a recording.
A theatre will always have some liveness about it, but using a lav mic will reduce this as it will only pick up in the immediate circle around the mic, reducing the background noise significantly, but not entirely.
If reverb is really an objection you need to do 1 of the following

1) live with it
2) change the location to a more acoustically controlled space
3) control the acoustic of that space using drapes, dampening, soft furnishings, boards and dividers.

And the most important thing of all is ALWAYS wear headphones that allow you to hear what you are getting, rather than getting back to the edit and being disappointed / criticized for your recording.
Dont ever record without headphones. NOT for anyone. - ever

Post a sample of the file if you like and ill have a listen.


Post Production Dubbing Mixer

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