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#1 Varun Nayar

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:25 AM

hi,

I seem to have realised sound is essential for wildlife films. does anyone have any special experience or interests in wildlife sound recording. Can you tell me your equipment set up and any websites which can be of use. Where can I read experience, tips and tricks. Is it costly to set up a sound recording system for dv use. I usually use the ambience sounds from my PD 170.

Any information would be appreciated.....

Thank you

(and sorry i ask more than i tell)

(Sir David Attenborough Rules).
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#2 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 04:09 PM

For ambience, stereo would be preferable. MS-mic or two cardioids in ORTF or X/Y setup.

http://www.xowave.co.../mic-pair.shtml I'm sure there are better websites for this topic

small diaphragme cardioid condenser mics can be purchased in matched pairs and are not to expensiv.


For precise sounds a good shot-gun mic (mkh-70, mkh-416), but they're pricy,

you even see parabolic mics on wildlife shootings

Ah yes, since this happens outside, good windshields are very helpfull...


some sony prosumer cameras (I think the PD-170 as well) have very strange sound-inputs, somtimes you get distortion even at very low levels, it seems that it depends on the impendance of the device you plug to it. Some mics and fieldmixers work; others don't...so check before you purchase. At least the kit-mic on a PD-170 is not to bad
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 03:08 AM

Here's a great site for anything sound. This will take you right to the sound for film and TV but they have other forums there and it's very reminisent of this site so you'll feel right at home. They will probably be able to answer a lot of your questions. www.recording.org/forum-8.html I personally have a Nagra which was, for many years, the standard for diaog recording and gathering ambiant sounds. Many people have gone digital, at first DAT now the Fostex w/ a shotgun so you can isolate individual sounds. If you want to see a soundman in action, check out the opening sequence of Blowout, the 80's Travolta movie. He plays a soundman, gathering wild sound when he unwittingly records a murder. It's a fun movie, you'll probably enjoy it. B)
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#4 Rob Whitehurst

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 09:38 PM

If you want to see a soundman in action, check out the opening sequence of Blowout, the 80's Travolta movie. He plays a soundman, gathering wild sound when he unwittingly records a murder. It's a fun movie, you'll probably enjoy it. B)


Both posts are good advice.

I worked with Travolta after Ladder 49 and we talked about that film. He says he loved doing it and to both of our knowledge, it's the only feature about sound recordists. He also said that he (at the time) had just gotten back from Hollywood (he lives in Florida now) where he had been asked to give out the awards at an awards show for just sound guys, because of his role in that film. He said he had a great time!
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#5 Varun Nayar

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:31 AM

thanks guys,

all the information has been very helpful...The thing is that I will be using a sony walkman pro till i get the money to buy a nagra or a dat recorder...

Will post it sooner ( :) )
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#6 Marty Atias

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:35 AM

Here's some advice from someone who has been doing soung professionally for a long, long time.

The Number 1, most important, crucial, thing to remember, from before you shoot your first frame is:

In order to get, and keep your audience intersted in your piece, YOU MUST HAVE good, and appropriate audio!
To demostrate this point, I'll ask just two questions: When was the last time you listened to a program without pictures? Answer: Radio. Dramatic radio, talk radio, music radio, all can keep an audience without pictures. When was the last time you watched a program without sound? Answer: Probably never. Even the most dramatic, gripping film will have a hard time keeping an audience interested without good, appropriate audio.

Number 2 - Talent and skill trump technology.

Having the tools means little. New tools, old tools, doesn't matter, if they are working properly, and are appropirate for the job, will get good audio if used by someone who knows how. For as much time as you spend learning about cisuals, (ie: cameras, framing, lighting, etc.), you should spend an equal amount of time learning about audio.

Number 3 - Different tools for different jobs. Just as you select a lens and focal length for each shot, so should the right type of microphone be selected. Omni, cardioid, supercardioid, hypercarioid, shotgun, boundary layer, PZM, are all mono type mics. If you want to give the viewer some sense of presence in the visual environment, you'll want to mic in stereo: XY & MS are common protable stereo micing techniques, then there are 5.1 and 7.1 surround techniques.

#3 - Mixer - To use or not to use?

Relying on the preamp in camcorders is a sure way to maximize the noise in your sound track. Plus, you are giving up control of your audio levels. Even if you switch off the auto level feature, cannot be expected to manually adjust audio levels on the camera when necessary.

#4 - Record to camera or seperate recorder?

Either can work, depending on the projects requirements. If purchasing a new recorder, I would recommend, as a minimum, the M-Audio Microtrack 24/96, which we sell many of. (The Walkman Pro has not been made for several years, and will not give an adequate recording quality).

Hope this helps,
Marty Atias
ATS Communications
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 02:02 AM

Here's some advice from someone who has been doing soung professionally for a long, long time.

The Number 1, most important, crucial, thing to remember, from before you shoot your first frame is:

In order to get, and keep your audience intersted in your piece, YOU MUST HAVE good, and appropriate audio!
To demostrate this point, I'll ask just two questions: When was the last time you listened to a program without pictures? Answer: Radio. Dramatic radio, talk radio, music radio, all can keep an audience without pictures. When was the last time you watched a program without sound? Answer: Probably never. Even the most dramatic, gripping film will have a hard time keeping an audience interested without good, appropriate audio.

Hope this helps,
Marty Atias
ATS Communications


Dude, I agree you completely that one should always strive to have the absolute best audio possible but come on! "In order to get, and keep your audience interested in your piece, YOU MUST HAVE good, and appropriate audio!" ??? Until 1929 there were no sound pictures at ALL and some of the greatest films ever made, came out of the silent era. Buster Keaton, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Harold Lloyd not to mention the incredible Charlie Chaplin all have been emulated by modern actors and filmmakers. In 2001, A Space Oddessy the lack of sound was as effective if not more effective than it would have been had sound been used in the places where Kubrick choose to keep it silent. Mel Brooks' Silent movie was as funny as anything ever done. So to answer your question "When was the last time you watched a program without sound?" Quite often actually. I do it a lot when I'm studying how a film is constructed, where the cuts come and How it is light. Speilberg recommended watching films with the sound off for just such a purpose. The is not to downgrade the importance of sound in film, but to emphisize that film is a VISUAL medium. Sound of course plays an intrical part but when your talking film, Visual first, Sound a close and vital second. B)
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Glidecam

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Willys Widgets