workingsound

Parabolic Mic Options

9 posts in this topic

Looking for a bit of advice please for a job coming up.

I'm doing the sound on the sideline of a basket ball match and the director has asked if I can get a mic that can pick up any audio sound bites from the players and coach.  

He has suggested an 816, but things must have moved on since then and looking for any advice experience with Parabolic mics please, as players being miced up is out of the question.

Many thanks.

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Is there a crowd involved? If yes then you are doomed.

I would suggest that you need to have a calm conversation with the director about what their actual expectations are, and what it is possible, by any means, to deliver. It sound to me like the two things are very far apart!!!

Radio mics are unlikely, as Basketball players wear little body protection, and fall over many times in a game. They wont want to run the risk of rolling onto their radio mic pack.

An 816 is unlikely to pick up anything less than medium level voices clearly from greater than about 12-15ft, so the only way to get anything like full coverage would be to have 'some' of them, operated by people running the sidelines, which may well be inpractical/unaffordable.

Parabolic reflectors deliver a quite limited frequency range - they are OK for birdsong and similar, but not so good for speech.

Good luck with this one, or consider passing on it if the director has unrealistic expectations, as you may well be on a hiding to nothing.

Good luck, sb

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Thanks for the reply it's much appreciated.

Luckily I have already had the conversation with the director and his words were 'its experimental so if it doesn't work its not a problem'.  However it would be good to give it my best shot and arm myself with the best option.

Yes there is a crowd involved so like you say that will make it even more tricky to get anything!

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There are newer parabolics some of the networks use for NFL games, that I'm told sound pretty good (for what they are).

However, you wouldn't be able to chase along the sidelines of a basketball court, and you wouldn't be allowed to obstruct the view of those behind you, as these units are rather large. So, that's a "no go" unless you're in some kind of a rare special circumstance.

If you can obtain permission to have a position amongst the photographers on the floor at one end of the court, then you could likely capture some amount of good game audio when the action is at your end of the court.  Be aware, you will get a lot of sneakers squeaking.  

If you want to try a long shotgun, be prepared with a suitable shorter choice, as something as long as an 816 would probably be too imposing to swing around.

 

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#: 5   Posted (edited)

I'm in London & I've got a Telinga you can borrow, if you want to try one out: you'll need an omni like an 8020 as it's just the reflector & pistol grip. It's one of the transparent roll-up models, so easy to transport. Alternatively, I've got an old green reflector that needs a bit of TLC, brackets, etc., that's your for £20

Drop me a PM.

John

Edited by soundmanjohn
Correcting awful layout.

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I agree with John on the logistics of using a parabolic mic at a basketball game, but I do have to say with a full size, well tuned parab you could get you something if you're able to get into a spot that allows you to aim properly and if the coach and or players are shouting.  Other factors would be if they're playing loud music and the crowd is really loud.  When I do pro football with the units John mentioned I can actually hear stuff a very long distance away if the conditions are right.  I don't know how much level there is at the mixer but there is something there. A basketball court is a much smaller area but that makes the background noise more concentrated.  I don't have any experience with the smaller dishes like the Telinga but it would be far less obtrusive but would likely sound even thinner than a full sized dish.  

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22 minutes ago, berniebeaudry said:

I agree with John on the logistics of using a parabolic mic at a basketball game, but I do have to say with a full size, well tuned parab you could get you something if you're able to get into a spot that allows you to aim properly and if the coach and or players are shouting.  Other factors would be if they're playing loud music and the crowd is really loud.  When I do pro football with the units John mentioned I can actually hear stuff a very long distance away if the conditions are right.  I don't know how much level there is at the mixer but there is something there. A basketball court is a much smaller area but that makes the background noise more concentrated.  I don't have any experience with the smaller dishes like the Telinga but it would be far less obtrusive but would likely sound even thinner than a full sized dish.  

...and that's from the most famous (or notorious) dish-slinging sound person on the planet!

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Blas Kisic did quite a bit of work with Kobe last year successfully wired on the court. You may want to ask him about it.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

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Thanks guys all useful knowledge and thanks John for you kind offer I will PM you.

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