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Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question

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Tom Bair
Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 3, 2015 at 7:17:35 pm

I'm working on a project that involves choosing a mic to sit atop an automated video cart, probably 7-9 feet off the floor, pointing down at what could be a large group of doctors and nurses (4-8 people) around a hospital bed. Total distance could be from 5-15' from mic to mouths, and voices could be up to 90 degrees off axis (since I can't point it each time) though probably 45 degrees more common. Reflective walls in small rooms. It's basically an audio nightmare. I have pitched for lavs with no luck, and can't even put a BLM on a wall-- it must be on the cart in the middle of the room.

Given that audio "quality" will be terrible, my mission is to get as much intelligibility as I can. I'm thinking of some basic cardioid condenser with a low cut to roll off room noise (HVAC assumed). Any suggestions for mics or accessories to help me get more intelligible voices?

Thanks.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 3, 2015 at 9:01:16 pm

How about a hyper-cardioid on an adjustable boom.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 3, 2015 at 9:30:28 pm

You need a 'mind reading input device' because I don't know of ANY mic that will suit your needs.


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Tom Bair
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 3, 2015 at 10:16:06 pm

Thanks for your replies.

I guess some kind of cardioid condenser is the only really choice because as Brian says, no mic can do magic here, just trying to think what will be least affected by boominess and echo, etc. Does it make sense to create an artificial "wall" of some sort for a PZM? Super aggressive filtering for speech frequencies? In fact, is there an inline low-cut filter that cut out everything below speech?

Thanks.


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Ty Ford
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 12:00:08 am

Hello Tom and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

"a mic to sit atop an automated video cart" Sounds odd. Can you please explain more?

With 8 people standing around a hospital bed speaking extemporaneously, I'd figure on two people booming with supercardioids.

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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Tom Bair
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 12:45:39 am

Thanks for your response Ty, have enjoyed your videos.

As the post says, this is an impossible situation because there are no boom ops. This mic must sit *fixed in place* and unattended, on top of this cart, probably 5-10' from the source. I know that quality will be terrible. I am trying to make it the least terrible I can, which is to say, as intelligible as possible. See previous replies.

thanks.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 1:04:14 am

I think Tom is correct it is an IMPOSSIBLE situation. If someone asked me for a solution with those constraints, my response would be: forget it, no bid.

Back in the early days of "Candid Camera" a very common way of micing unpredictable situations was to have the protagonist hold a clip-board to which a microphone was hidden in the top (clip) end. If this is some sort of "daily rounds" review of hospital cases, etc. then could you put a wireless mic in a clipboard that the leader is carying?


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 1:25:38 am
Last Edited By Brian Reynolds on Apr 4, 2015 at 1:28:05 am

Simple, use radio mics with some of these.... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/448596-REG/Sony_ECM_322BMP_ECM_322BMP...

I do some regular 'medical' shoots / operations / demos etc and these are great.
Just hire an audio guy with some radio mics, a small mixing desk and you have everyone mic'd.

These will work better than ANY overhead mic as the people are on mic ALL the time rather than facing a bed with a mic over the top of them.


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Tom Bair
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 1:51:10 am

The wireless plant is a good idea. I need one confederate to agree to carry it or wear it, but obviously much better than a cardioid from 10' away.

Related question then: What could I get in the way of a small radio mic that would be versatile in this way, ie could be clipped to a clipboard, set down on a patient bed, clipped to the occasional doctor's lab coat. Understand: I am not there. This is an installation, and I will be providing gear and training staff to use it. So something like a regular wireless lav is too hard to clip on, too likely to get trashed. I need something small, rugged, with mic capsule and transmitter in one housing, preferably with a clip. Does such a mic exist?


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Richard Crowley
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 3:14:53 am

"I need something small, rugged, with mic capsule and transmitter in one housing, preferably with a clip. Does such a mic exist?"

http://www.amazon.com/Sony-ECMAW4-Wireless-Microphone-Black/dp/B00JWU6WWO


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Al Bergstein
Re: Fixed mic, far away, noisy room, no PZM: Nightmare question
on Apr 4, 2015 at 2:19:15 pm

Perhaps we are missing something. Is the reason it's a roll around cart because they are in an operating theatre or are they doing rounds and moving the cart from room to room with them?

If in a theatre, could you hang a short boom arm like a theatrical mic from the ceiling? Or an array of them?

Are you or someone going to be moving with them, like a live shoot? Or is this a set and forget situation for the docs?

If a roll around then does it really need to be up so high? Table mounted array mics for conference calling seems to work really well for me. Perhaps four of them on each side of the cart?

Does the cart need to be sterile all the time?

I don't like the idea that you need to do wireless and worry about battery life.

This has been an interesting thread, to say the least!

Al


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