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Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?

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Terry Nutkins
Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:03:23 pm

Hi there,

I'm working on a documentary and am planning for a situation where two people will be interviewed at once in a talking heads environment.

Would a single shotgun mic be sufficient for the audio if they are sitting close together or would we really need two separate mics?

Thanks!


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Stephen Benassu
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Jan 31, 2014 at 2:34:04 am

A single shotgun on a boom pole with an operator moving the mic (pointing it) toward the one speaking would work fine. Simply hanging a mic between them would be less than ideal. Do you know which mic you will be using? Depending on the pickup pattern it might get you "ok" sound, but not the best situation.


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Terry Nutkins
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Jan 31, 2014 at 10:44:44 am
Last Edited By Terry Nutkins on Jan 31, 2014 at 12:07:52 pm

Hi Stephen - thanks very much for the info.

Unfortunately we are only a crew of two (Director/Sound Recordist and DP) so operating the mic during filming in this instance would not be ideal. I could have the DP operate it but he has no experience and it may be risky. Might using two mics be the best solution or could this cause problems?

FYI we are using a Sennheiser MKH50 (rental).


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Richard Crowley
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Jan 31, 2014 at 2:19:50 pm

If you have a "sound recordist", it is not clear what they would be doing unless it is wielding the boom mic. (With headphones to monitor, of course.)

If you can't manage someone on the boom who can handle it, then plan on using a couple of clip-on mics. Beware of the "3-to-1" rule.

http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/31-rule-of-microphone-placement/
http://www.crownaudio.com/mictip6.htm
http://www.recordingeq.com/articles/321eq.html

It is always a good idea to have different options because you never know what you will encounter. Good for you to plan ahead.


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Stephen Benassu
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:20:06 pm

The mkh50 would work very well in that situation. You say "using 2 mics". If you are referring to lavs, that would be fine. That's pretty much standard op. procedure.


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Ty Ford
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Jan 31, 2014 at 11:29:57 pm

Hello Terry and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

A lot depends on the space and the voices of the interviewees.

To look good on camera, they'll have to sit closer to each other than they expected. That can help you.

If the room is very reverberant, pick another room or bring sound blankets for the floor, and any other hard flat surface, including the ceiling.

Boom mics: Your MKH 50 Best to move the mic. Maybe use a boom buddy and position it behind the camera so you can swing it left and right a bit each time. If their voices are similar in volume, great! Just hang the mic between them. If one is louder than the other then hang the mic closer to the quieter one.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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Steve Kownacki
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Feb 2, 2014 at 5:06:32 pm
Last Edited By Steve Kownacki on Feb 2, 2014 at 5:12:35 pm

I use one mic for 2-person interviews all the time. It will add a little work in post to balance things out, but it can be done. Here I'm using an old Sennheiser M40 super cardioid about 12" in front of them, slightly more to the right (in front of the guy), but point more toward the woman. Basically so the mic is pointing more toward the woman's soft, higher-pitched, directional voice and the guy's bassier, less-directional voice is picked up OK. I also knew she would do the majority of the talking. Mic is on a c-stand and during my pre-interview we tweaked the mic for "good enough" from both. It's not always the case that the woman's voice is softer. Mic is running thru my trusty FP-32 mixer.

Be sure to practice this before your shoot.



Steve





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Ty Ford
Re: Single mic for video interview with two interviewees?
on Feb 2, 2014 at 6:32:55 pm
Last Edited By Ty Ford on Feb 2, 2014 at 6:35:22 pm

Steve,

Sounds very good here.

Because they are really close, you wouldn't have to move the mic. Positioning it the way you did works just fine.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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