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On scene audio.

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David HornOn scene audio.
by on Aug 31, 2009 at 6:46:03 pm

I am shooting a story with a miniDV camera, and had a question about audio. I will be shooting at a local racetrack. Basically I was wondering if you think the camera mic would be sufficient or should I bring a boom mic or another mic. I am low on space driving there so the less I take the better.

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Mark SuszkoRe: On scene audio.
by on Aug 31, 2009 at 8:43:02 pm

Not sufficient by itself. What kind of track: car, bike, horse? I need to know to give a better opinion.

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Michael FolorunshoRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 1, 2009 at 7:55:14 am

What do you mean exactly when you say you are shooting a story? Is it a film? Documentary? What exactly will you be shooting? People? The race?

Like Mark said, more info is needed, but generally speaking, I'd always avoid the use of the onboard camera microphone if you can. They tend to be omni-directional and pick up the sound of camera movement and buttons being pressed.

Michael Folorunsho
Clicktone Media

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David HornRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 1, 2009 at 4:12:54 pm

I am shooting a short documentry on a local child who drag races. So I'll be shooting b-roll of drag races. I'm using a lavalier mic for the interview of course.

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Mark SuszkoRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 2, 2009 at 4:21:39 am

We should get Grinner Hester in on this, it is a specialty of his. In his absence, I'll blather:

Lav for interviews is probably good. Consider though, what if you're trying to interview them while engines are running and the PA is blaring. Be very careful where your guy is in relation to noise sources. At a drag strip, this may wind up being more important than posing in consideration of the lighting angles. Lav's are generally omni-directional, though you *can* get some that are more unidirectional. You can hide it inside the fire suit and that will muffle a lot of the noise.

Dragsters are loud, duh. If you're going to try to mic the nat sound of the races from your onboard shotgun, I think you may need to insert a "pad" , attenuator,or signal limiter, otherwise even with the manual gain down to barely cracked open, you'll get whopping distortion if you're close. Maybe use the kind of mics normally used on drums, rated for high SPL, but that's just me thinking out loud.

Consider too, how are you going to get the PA announcer audio cleanly for the kid's name and time, etc. during the race... if that is important to you. Probably need to patch into their board with an audio recorder, or put a wireless near one of the speakers, so that audio stays consistent while you roam from angle to angle, even down at the far end away from the start line.

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grinner hesterRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 4, 2009 at 12:49:39 am

Just the camera mic. You can keep a lav in your pocket for interviews if needed but you won't have time to keep up with hooha in the pits. The camera mic is more than fine.
Try to keep from using the lav for interviews if you can. Remeber ambience is not always bad, especially in motorsports. These dudes are not always use to cameras and set up and production will greatly decrease your interview quality due to the deer in headlights syndrome. Be a dude with a camcorder, not tv.
And do be careful. I've been hit by more cars than I can count. It can hurst sometimes. Also, bring ear plugs if shooting any pro mods. I ruptured an eardrom once gettin' caught off guard by a go-fast car on a resnt n tune night.

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David HornRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 4, 2009 at 3:43:43 am

Thanks for the info. You are absolutly correct about the dangers of racing and the sound. My brother works in Nascar and I've been it around a lot. I never go to the track without ear plugs.

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Mark SuszkoRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 4, 2009 at 2:43:20 pm

Any kind of loud sound. I worked on a safety video about helicopters on hospital helipads. The engine and rotor noise actually inhibits your thinking and processing of information, makes you "stupider", which is one of the reasons people walk into tail rotors without seeing them or thinking about where they are: the noise occupies so much of your mental overhead, while you're trying to do the job you're there for, that you run out of brainpower to apply to personal survival.

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Mike CohenRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 5, 2009 at 9:49:51 pm

this explains why I only remember the first half of that NIN concert my wife dragged me to.

Mike Cohen

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Joe WidmerRe: On scene audio.
by on Sep 18, 2009 at 3:54:25 am

And the jets! Whenever you shoot at an airshow, always wear ear protection, even if you can't hear your sound. Many years ago before I got in to TV and video I worked on jets in the Air Force. Whew! Talk about hearing damage . . . that and Ted Nugent concerts.

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Jeff BonanoRe: On scene audio.
by on Oct 1, 2009 at 11:30:42 am

Boy, I'm happy that I'm doing an interview at a Veteran's Hospital in a quiet neighborhood this Sunday! I'll be able to hear my subject and wont be subject to hearing loss......well unless an old man in a wheelchair comes up and beats me to the ground and holds an air horn up to my ear......Ah crap! I might be safer at an air race now that I think about it, you know how those old men in wheel chairs can be with air horns.

Jeff Bonano

"I want to have a cool quote at the bottom of my signature, just like everyone else on the cow forum!" -Jeff Bonano

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