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PROD SOUND in a SWIMMING POOL


daniele turi
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Hi soundies, I need your help!

 

I am working for a docu/reality about synchronized swimming and I am going crazy to do a good sound.

 

The swimming pool is a disaster acoustically. Thay are shooting always with 2 cam (wide/close).

How can I do a good sound during the girls training in the water??

 

The girls speaks but, also using a shotgun, is impossibile to hear them.

 

Is there any possibilites to mic them?

 

Are there any tx/rx and Lav waterproof?

 

Which kind of shotgun you will use in a swimming pool?

 

Is it better to use cardioid lav?

 

Could be a solution use the digital c-mit?

 

I hope in your advices.

Thank you very much!!

 

 

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I shot a doc based in pools and the Sanken CS3e saved my skin, that and a long pole.

There are waterproof transmitters, and ways of waterproofing standard transmitters, but they may not help you that much, the range is cut to almost zero as soon as the transmitter goes underwater.

I'd see how the CS3e fares, both on a boom, and as a plant.

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All points already made here are valid, booming with a Sanken CS3e or a Super CMIT is a good idea.

I hope that the plan is to shoot the action and build the narrative with post event interviews. It is not reasonable with the technology available to us, to mic every word said when somebody is swimming in a synchronized event. Reasonable expectations are the key to success here.

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There is a waterproof mic available I have seen and lectro makes a waterproof Tx. The swimmers may be more on the top of the water where transmission may be ok. Also I have done this before and if you can wire the trainers that may be the meat on the bone as the trainer gets close to the swimmer. Also explain to the director that wide an tight doesn't work for the verite dialogue and to try to create comparable lense sizes for those doc moments which the will most likely use. Aquapacs are bulky but I've had them submerged up to 2ft and they've worked fine for transmission. You have to be submerged quite deep for transmission to be lost completely

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I have yet to see a swimming pool audio friendly (big reverberant place, water sound everywhere, people around...)

 

Good advices so far for recording the dialog.

 

- Wide *and* tight at the same time is not a good idea

- Waterproof transmitters (or aquapacs) and waterproof lavaliers, although the rig is uneasy with unpredictable results, so it can or cannot be worth it

 

A good shotgun on a long boom is the way I do it these days, with a good communication with director, but the limits are not far.

I add a hydrophone to have the sound under the water (since it is likely there is a camera under the water, too)

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A good shotgun on a long boom is the way I do it these days, with a good communication with director, but the limits are not far.

I add a hydrophone to have the sound under the water (since it is likely there is a camera under the water, too)

Chances are if its an ex1 or ex3 underwater housing make sure the camera mic is on. In the housing the underwater housing will normally activate the mic on the camera like a hydrophone. I think the hydrophone is overkill. A boom in an underwater shot will infuriate a camera person. 2 cents.

In my opinion be aggressive about doc dialogue and let them deal with the art shots underwater. Don't over think the underwater stuff it'll bone you.

I used my maxipanamic ( the long one ) for the pool stuff I did. Make sure the mics on point for dialogue and get room tone which will probably an overabundance of with the art shots if you are feeding a camera. Separate recorder helps IMO in these situations. The boom pretty much was the money in tight and on point.

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My wife was a synchronized swimmer ( Olympic gold in 92 and silver in 96 ). I have been around pools doing sound for the past 15 years and indeed it is a nightmare. Personally I would explain to the director what you will be able to capture and not. I would also explain that their will be moment where he as to choose in bethween useless image coverage and getting no audio. So in short, swimmers liste. To there coach when they are in water, so mic the coach. They will also always comeback to the side of the pool to get feedback from the coach and that is when they will interact. At that point use a long boom with a sanken cs3e ( the schoeps will die in minutes with the pool humidity ) and this is when you need to tell the director that the only way you can catch audio is by not shooting wide then. During the practice, they will have loud music playing, so take a feed from their system and always mic the coach and assistant if any.

Make it clear to the director that wide coverage all the time will render any chances of getting usable audio ( and I mean just that, usable at most ) impossible.

My two cents.

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My wife was a synchronized swimmer ( Olympic gold in 92 and silver in 96 ). I have been around pools doing sound for the past 15 years and indeed it is a nightmare. Personally I would explain to the director what you will be able to capture and not. I would also explain that their will be moment where he as to choose in bethween useless image coverage and getting no audio. So in short, swimmers liste. To there coach when they are in water, so mic the coach. They will also always comeback to the side of the pool to get feedback from the coach and that is when they will interact. At that point use a long boom with a sanken cs3e ( the schoeps will die in minutes with the pool humidity ) and this is when you need to tell the director that the only way you can catch audio is by not shooting wide then. During the practice, they will have loud music playing, so take a feed from their system and always mic the coach and assistant if any.

Make it clear to the director that wide coverage all the time will render any chances of getting usable audio ( and I mean just that, usable at most ) impossible.

My two cents.

I don't think the Super CMIT will die at all in high humidity as it is self heating (gets quite warm), and the processed output is extraordinarily clean of reverberation in highly reverberant acoustics in my experience.

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" All they are doing is adding to the ADR bill. "

what tonetripper said...

I doubt they will replace dialog... maybe some open captioning..??

if they really expect you to get much of anything usagle, they have unreasonable expectations, as you will not be modifying the laws of physics for this shoot.

 

" During the practice, they will have loud music playing, "

raising possible potential* clearance issues, not to mention continuity......

 

* if it is their own music, or their performance music it may be cleared, or certainly clear-able,  but... it is certain to be a problem.

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Also don't forget about interviews. Chances are they'll use a bite or two from the pool and stream some interviews over the B-roll. This is where it's important to understand the formula of doc movie making.

Basically let the director and DP work out their needs and just nudge them, gently, about your need to get the director the big picture for themselves in terms of lense sizes, massive echo chamber ambience and proximity from a sound perspective and intelligibility of dialog.

Some directors in the doc medium are aware of what content they are after but sometimes need a little reminding of the technical. Don't inundate them of your needs, gently nudge them and above all else you are helping them realize their vision. That's important as it validates their position and respect for your position will be shown.

Shooting in swimming pools is like swimming w sharks. Just don't bleed. Heh

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Larry F. in another post, he said that once he was able to capture a good speech into the sea from far away using a MKH 816

 

That would work. But the sea isn't in a tiled, parallel-walled room with high humidity. In this situation there'll be a lot of reflected sound coming into the sides of the 816, messing up its directionality.

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I've heard that there is a reality show called 'Splash' about celebrities learning high board diving currently running on Fox - If you could find out who the main mixer is on that show it might be worth reaching out to him/her for any ideas.

Training is at outside pools and limited dialog. Mostly coach talking.  Competition is interior with hand held interview style.  (Think  DWTS)

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