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lapel / lav microphone & system choices


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#1 john spader

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Posted 13 February 2011 - 04:16 PM

I've been a director/producer for video/short film work for churches for that last 9 years. well, I've definitely hit my limit and
am wanting to move on. so I'm working out a couple short films as well as a full feature film. (not pursuing hollywood just yet, only looking at $100,000 for first feature, festivals, str.to.dvd, etc.)

anywho, its been a while since I've really put energy into getting good audio, and tv is a little different than movie-making as you know. so....
just to give you quick rundown on what I'm being privately invested with...shooting films with RED one, then 2cd. b-roll camera is the Panasonic AF100 with tons of FD primes.

I already own a Zoom H4n, but where I'm looking to brush up on my knowledge
is microphone choices as well as "techniques" in lapel hiding/tricks to attain quality audio for movie-making.

all I've got right now is a couple sets of EW100g Senn's (lapels), then an AT897 shotgun with dead cat rig.
I believe in a good audio man before a good mic setup, (which I haven't lined one up yet) but looking to get opinions on whether these are sufficient or not.

but mainly looking for the lapel/lav side of things....models, techniques, tricks, etc. anytime I can, I prefer using a lapel over a shotgun any day of the week!

so hit me with your best shots. and thx y'all.
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#2 Alex Donkle

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 02:40 AM

I prefer using a lapel over a shotgun any day of the week!


Well, that's problem #1. Wireless lavs are never the first option. A mic on a boom, close to the actors sounds better and more natural most of the time.
The Senn G2 wireless is generally considered acceptable for pro work, but not great or ideal, however NOT the stock mic. Go for Sanken COS-11D and that'll cover you for most applications.

But honestly, if you want to work in features, you need a sound guy with his own gear. A starter gear list for professional quality sound will quickly get up to $6k, and that's to start. And if you find a good sound guy, he'll have is own gear and honestly wouldn't want to use someone elses (it's more of a red flag if someone offers that).
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#3 Robert Li

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 10:19 AM

second that on the sankens, I use two in my kit and they mix pretty well with the boom audio i take, the stock me-2's are pretty horrible, ah well i have 1 for a backup (actor sat on my other one....).

Yes, you should get a dedicated sound guy for your work, and it SHOULD be factored into your budget, but, sometimes, and especially around where I live, there is simply a shortage of them, and those that remain charge through the nose because there is such a shortage of them, anyways, in that sort of situation it's a bit of a "well... what now..." thing. Anyway, to cut it short, factor in a soundie

Although you should boom as much as you can (I just boom by default), lav mics can be life savers in situations where there isn't a way to position yourself to effectively capture dialogue within the mics pickup pattern, but, if you aren't familiar with their use they can be an absolute bitch (which is why you should boom by default - also i wouldn't capture room tone with a lav mic either).

You should read up and watch some demonstration videos on how to effectively use lav mics if you really want to go it alone, and then test them, before rocking up to set. What I normally do is wrap the microphone in moleskin (the soft furry stuff you get for your insoles at chemists) and then hide it against the actors body using medical tape (the stuff that doesnt hurt when you take it off) making sure you loop a bit of slack mic side. try to avoid using synthetic, silky and scratchy material for ur actors wardrobe.

Also, it wouldn't hurt invest in a better field recorder, if ur super serious.
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Tai Audio

Willys Widgets

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