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Audio for Dinner table short film


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#1 CraigTarry

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 01:15 AM

Hello, I'm going to be making a 10min. short using the DVX100A and a Sennhauser M66 shotgun mic. The entire short is at a round table, white table cloth, wine glasses candles and a copper fondue pot in the center. The location is a living room with hardwood flooring.
I can mic the dialogue ok, but I'm concerned about the proper way to record things like forks clacking against plates, wine being poured, etc. I want it all to mix right, so if there's things best added later I want to plan for it.
Shots will be from a few feet away to close in. There'll be some music space at intervals along the way.
Thanks for any suggestions - Craig
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#2 Greg Gross

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 08:55 AM

I think its hard for me to visualize your exact set-up here. So here goes anyway and keep in
mind I'm not an audio expert. A member of my crew(young guy) is a self taught gaffer and
soundman. You would never know that he is self taught. We often work together with PD-170,
using shotgun mike in combination with a small mike which is attached to actor,guest for inter-
view etc.. As I understand it you will have actors seated at table,so you will need to pick up
their dialog and you also want to pick up table sounds,clanging silverware,wine cork popping,
objects being set back down on table etc.. Normally my soundman and I would have a meeting
prior to shooting production and he would advise me on audio technique required,coverage of
audio,equipment required,including any rental sound equipment necessary. I would suggest cov-
ering actors with shotgun mike over table. Possibly you might want lapel mikes on actors also.
It depends on what audio coverage you desire. You could use small lapel mikes at strategic lo-
cations on table and possibly even some under the table. These mikes would all feed into a mixer
where their levels could be controlled individually and sent out to recorder,camera etc.. Now as I
said,I'm not an audio expert and my soundman always takes care of it,occasionally a certain level
may be too low and we have to do it again. I'm sure there are some good audio men on forum and
they probably will reply. This will be good for you and me as we both will learn more about audio.
I'm stills photographer learning cinematography and my heart lies with camera,film,video. However
audio is so very important! This post should get things started and I think we'll get some real audio
men showing up here to comment. My soundman is in San Francisco with his girlfriend right now or
else I would get him on line here to comment. In the past he has hidden mikes in trees,inside cars,
taped to street lamps,inside a coffee cup on a table. Sometimes using wireless systems,but this in-
volves some $'s however it pays off. You might want to dampen sounds from hardwood floor so they
are not too overpowering,as hardwood floors can make for a lot of noise,depending on activity.

Greg Gross
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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 25 January 2006 - 11:11 AM

First get clean dialog *without* these sounds (knives clacking etc) stepping on any of the lines.

Get those sounds separately - even if you have them between lines of dialog (some of this sound will get on your dialog track, just make sure the lines of dialog are clean).

Also record plenty of room ambience "Room tone" as it's called - record this with the actors in place.

-Sam
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