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#1 JaredSmith

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 09:52 AM

On an indie feature film is it a good idea to have a boom and a lavalier mic for each speaker?

If so what is the best or industry standard lavalier mic?
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:45 PM

It depends. Often we'll run wireless (Sienheisser though I butchered that spelling) lavs off of actors, hidden in addition to a boom mic, or when we can't boom mic (wide shot for example). It's a good backup, but try not to think of it as "speakers," It's just a channel of audio. You may have 16 or so channels, none of which will be panned yet; they are just audio channels.
Also we'll sometimes "hide" lav mics around in different places. Though honestly, much of the audio recorded on the day isn't used later on.
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#3 Andrew Lynch

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:19 PM

Though honestly, much of the audio recorded on the day isn't used later on.


what did you mean by that Adrian? what's your typical process for doing sound? zero budget myself, and don't have access to ADR. i know it's probably rather a long question!
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:23 PM

Well, the thing of it is, you'll be adding in so much later on. FXs, ambiance, music, ect and often times the recorded dialogue won't be of high enough quality, requiring an ADR session (which needn't be as expensive as you think). When I was working on the bolex doing audio, we'd record a scratch track on the day, then i'd re-record the actors in a closet, with coats to dampen sound, later on and lay it in. Just required a laptop with video playback of the day's audio and then them re-recording it. You could also even just put headphones on it.
One of the biggest problems you'll have with audio you get on the day will be the hums, buzzes, cars passing, sneezes, squeaking floors, ect... Most of which, if you can't cut' round will need to be rerecorded.
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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:44 PM

I just want to point out that indie directors often think of lavs as some sort of audio panacea. Truth is, a boom mic is ALWAYS a better idea if it is at all possible. I have never heard a sound mixer say otherwise. Lavs are prone to a lot of problems. For one, it is difficult enough for an experienced boom op to have low/no handling noise, how do you an expect an actor who may have to move to not accidently brush their clothes against the mic? And the audio quality is not the same as a well placed boom mic. Honestly, lavs are a much better idea in theory than in reality.

Maybe we need that Yogi Berra quote again about theory and practice? :lol:
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 05:47 PM

Depends where you Lav 'em. I've had a few sounds guys laving in their hair... don't ask me why; but it works.
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#7 JaredSmith

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 02:29 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the input! When I was talking about the speakers (in my question) I was talking about the people who speak, but I think my question has been answered.

However, I still would like any one's opinion on what the best (or industry standard) lav mic is...
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#8 Matthew Freed

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:05 AM

Films typically rely heavily on one or more booms. Plant mikes are also very helpful. Lavs in actors frequently present more problems than they solve but can be useful in wide shots or when an actor has a line far away from the boom.

"Well, the thing of it is, you'll be adding in so much later on. FXs, ambiance, music, ect and often times the recorded dialogue won't be of high enough quality, requiring an ADR session (which needn't be as expensive as you think). When I was working on the bolex doing audio, we'd record a scratch track on the day, then i'd re-record the actors in a closet, with coats to dampen sound, later on and lay it in. Just required a laptop with video playback of the day's audio and then them re-recording it. You could also even just put headphones on it."

Contrary to what you seem to think properly recorded dialogue for films is rarely replaced. If the dialogue is not of high enough quality then you should try hiring a professional, experienced sound team. You'll be amazed at the positive results.


"One of the biggest problems you'll have with audio you get on the day will be the hums, buzzes, cars passing, sneezes, squeaking floors, ect... Most of which, if you can't cut' round will need to be rerecorded."

Those are location problems, not sound problems. Big difference.
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#9 Andrew Glenn Miller

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:16 PM

I would like to know too - if some opinions could be shared. As Jared asked, what are some good lavaliers out there.

I have a budget of 500, I just need 1 wireless lavalier set (if needed, it is for documentary purposes).
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