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TommygunZA

Border Microphone / Bodge job

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Some advice please... 2 questions.

 

I'm recording a round table (L shaped actually) focus group discussion (about 5 ppl) and have been told that ease of mind is paramount for the subjects and rifle mic's are out of the question. It has also been intimated that laving people up might make them nervous (I dont think its a group of paranoid schizophrenics but I cant swear to it) 

 

I also got to view a previous video and it had a pretty crappy omni mic setup (maybe on cam) but one could hear what they were saying. I dont think quality is paramount here, but of course one has pride in ones job and Im getting paid. I certainly  dont think they want ISO's (better check that...)

 

The questions  are 1) What would be the correct way to mic a set up like this. I like the idea of border? mics or some kind of omnis at each end of the table but I dont really know about them and their abilities/costs. 

 2) Can I bodge it but just leaving 3 - 5 wireless mics scattered around the table or is there a better way? I'm looking forward to using Dugan Mixing for the first time. 

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2 hours ago, TommygunZA said:

I'm recording a round table (L shaped actually) focus group discussion (about 5 ppl) and have been told that ease of mind is paramount for the subjects and rifle mic's are out of the question. It has also been intimated that laving people up might make them nervous (I dont think its a group of paranoid schizophrenics but I cant swear to it) 

 


Wow. The production is really setting themselves up for failure and bad sound!

It is like telling the camera crew "right, we want  you to film this complicated acrobatics in slow motion but you're not allowed to turn on any lights because it might startle the performers"

Errrr.... ok! 

But yeah, guess sometimes you just have to make the best out of a bad situation you're given!

And yup, I'd just liberally scatter around plant mics of all sorts around the location. Even in places you think they might not be in, just in case you get curve balls thrown at you like a couple of people get up and go talk over in a corner and make a big scene which is pivotal. (as I'm guessing this is the kind of shoot that they won't let you rush in drop a few more plant mics, if they don't even want to use lavs least people get nervous)

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Thanks my antipodean friend! No chance of setting up again. This is all about getting impressions from the general (vetted) public about something or other. No performers or professionals other than the crew....of 2 and the session moderator.  No ISO's needed. I think it'll be fine. I wonder if people here do have boundary/border mics in their collections of tools for the job?

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55 minutes ago, TommygunZA said:

I wonder if people here do have boundary/border mics in their collections of tools for the job?

 

I own a couple of Sanken CUB-01, they're great for car rigs (and 2nd is useful for the back seat passengers) and for plant mics. 

But for a job like that, and if I felt the budget was too tight to rent much more in ("Hello Mr Producer, I'd like to rent ONE HUNDRED MORE MICS so as to cover every square inch of the room", haha... he might not take kindly to that request?), then I'd scatter a few hidden lavs, and use all my various cardioids / hypers up (even if running them cabled into position, rather than going wireless for everything). 

Just look at the scene and cover not only what you expect to happen but also any other likely situation. ("ok, we have board room table they're going to be seated around, but what about that coffee table and those chairs next to it? What if people get up to have side conversation over there, or if too many people show up and they overflow and sit over there" etc etc... just thinking it through like that, what might happen? Discuss in detail what is going to happen with the director/producer/cameraman/talent/moderator as well, the better you have an idea of the blocking and the flow of the scene then the better prepared your sound will be)

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I had a similar job recently. A panel of 12 service providers to a government department speaking informally. Identities confidential and the client only wanted the audio for transcription purposes so quality wasn't important, just intelligibility. Also they requested that I be as unintrusive as possible.... It was a long boardroom type table and I just left 6 mic packs with cos11s along the length of it in the centre. The Dugan automix really helped, but it was not production audio by any stretch. Client was happy and they got what they needed. 

 

If it had to be decent quality audio I would have hired in goosenecks for sure. 

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If you have Tram style lav mics they make a holder that lets you use the mic as a boundary mic.  Its a very small footprint and you can tape them directly to the table.  I've used them this way without a Dugan mixer and they sounded pretty good.  I would use three for five people.

Here's a link to show what I'm talking about:

https://www.trammicrophones.com/sale/detail.asp?partno=TR-BBLTD

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