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Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances

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Joe Taylor
Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 27, 2015 at 11:34:18 pm

Going to be filming a short western in a month and considering the benefits of recording actor's performances with dual shotgun mics for stereo recordings. Can any experienced sound recordists chime in on whether or not of this a worthwhile effort? Simply looking for the best location audio possible.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 28, 2015 at 4:25:54 am
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Sep 28, 2015 at 4:26:29 am

NO! You will be lucky to get good coverage from ONE shotgun microphone. Recording dialog in "stereo" is a horrible idea. It is nothing but trouble and has ZERO benefits in mixing. NOBODY records dialog in "stereo".

Stereo is only good for certain politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouth.


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Ty Ford
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 28, 2015 at 4:32:17 am

Hello Joe and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Richard is right except for a small group of French recordists I've heard about who record dialog using Mid/Side micing techniques. But even in that case there is a Mid mic which probably carries the day.

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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Peter Groom
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 28, 2015 at 2:24:05 pm

Id presume he means 2 shotguns with 2 boom swingers making sure both are in just the right spot!.
If not - NO WAY.
Also, swinging a boom into a shot where the actors may well be up high on a horse is going to be tricky, and no movement possible.
Id think radios and an expectation to crack open the ADR tin on this one.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Robert Withers
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:52:07 pm

In agreement with others, I wouldn't think of shotguns as a source for stereo, though I understand you're recording more than one actor on a stage, which typically results in a big boomey echoey sound.
The important thing is not the stereo but the quality.
Shot guns tend to have a thinner sound that requires a lot of experience boom handling. Not an entirely crazy idea, though. Mics in frames could be an issue if you want to have any wide angles.
I would think about lavalier mics on each actor with wireless transmission, though intensive physical action could render lavaliers problematic.
A lot depends on how much physical action there is and whether actors cross big spaces or work in defined areas.
Best way to think about this is not for a single one-fits-all solution, but how to record best sound for each beat of the play. This might suggest several different microphone set-ups. Can some cardioid mics be planted in the set?

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Joe Taylor
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 28, 2015 at 8:25:22 pm

I thank you all for your input. Am just curious if location stereo sound is ever recorded for dialogue and if so how it is captured.


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Bruce Watson
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:13:50 pm
Last Edited By Bruce Watson on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:14:36 pm

[Joe Taylor] "Am just curious if location stereo sound is ever recorded for dialogue and if so how it is captured."

Really dialog capture is always mono. The person speaking is basically a point source so mono in nature. Then if you move a stereo pair of microphones like you would have to to record dialog, you'll find that the viewers of your film object mightily. Some actually get sick. People do not like listening to a moving stereo field. At all. Research that, there have been journal papers written on the topic. It's out there to find if you'll look for it.

From a practical standpoint, it's difficult enough to do a decent job booming a single mic. If you more than double the weight on the end of a boom pole, it just gets worse. If you then have to aim a pair of microphones and worry about angling the stereo field, it becomes nearly impossible. And then when you find out what this does to the viewers, it become almost completely pointless.

Just don't go there. Get yourself a shotgun mic and a hypercardioid, and use them as appropriate, and everyone will be much happier.


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Joe Taylor
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 29, 2015 at 6:21:23 am

Thank you Bruce. Absolutely convinced and in many ways relieved that was proposed way was the wrong one. Thank you all.

Joe Taylor


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Peter Groom
Re: Dual Shotgun Mics for Recording Actor's Performances
on Sep 29, 2015 at 1:01:59 pm

Stereo is captured on set but as a wild track / ambience. This should contain NO dialogue what so ever. It is used in the mix for scene building.
As a mixer, i want nice clean, crisp, solid, well recorded mono dialogue free of background noise and ambience. ill decide where they go in the mix image wise.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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