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Re: What is a good mic for picking up stage noise, but not audience noise?

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Bill Davis
Re: What is a good mic for picking up stage noise, but not audience noise?
on Jul 23, 2012 at 1:36:31 am

One idea that might help you understand this is to realize that the more distance there is between any microphone and a sound source the more difficult it will be to record a clean signal.

This is always true and inescapable.

Distance (beyond a foot or two in common circumstances) rapidly degrades quality with all microphones, regardless of their quality or cost.

This being true, it's easy to understand why a typical so-called "stick mic" favored by reporters for decades are so useful. They position the mic element close to the source of speech.

With a stage play, the very size of the stage works against you.

On a 20' wide stage, even a mic positioned at the exact center will be at LEAST 10 feet away from someone speaking at far stage right or far stage left. Physics decrees that the same mic will generate a signal that's 100 times stronger from an actor at center stage compared to one 10 feet away on either side.

That's a serious problem.

In professional theatre, the standard is to mic each performer Individually with their own wireless mic, so each can be heard distinctly and clearly.

Any thing else will be more or less a compromise.

The best you can typically do without spending a fortune, is to perhaps start with a pair of mics placed on stands at the procenium (if placed on the stage itself foot vibrations are often an issue) - each at approximately 1/3 of the stage width directed at the cast (who will typically be projecting their voices toward the audience.) is a decent place to start.

That's about all I can advise except this...

Enjoy your shoot and don't worry if it's not perfect. That you're preserving the hard work of so many on-stage, back stage and far behind the scenes planners and performance supporters is far more important than achieving perfection.

So have fun.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor

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