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Thread: Interview recording

  1. Default Interview recording

    Hi there,

    I have some up and coming interview pieces I need to film and wondered if anyone had any words of wisdom about the best recording method.

    Basically, I have a Rode Video Mic, an Audio Technica lavalier clip on mic and don't know which would be best for a static interview in the interviewees office for example.

    In experience, would it be better to use the lavalier, or the Rode camera mounted or on a boom?

    I would imagine that variables would be pretty non existent as the interview pieces will be to camera and with no expected background noise.

    Last edited by Goldfinger; 09-02-2009 at 09:11 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    The answer is to set up both beforehand and see which one sounds the best. It really is that simple.

    There are no hard and fast rules, especially with two prosumer microphones.

  3. Default

    Now why didn't I think of that!!??


  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldfinger View Post
    Now why didn't I think of that!!??
    ...because it's a pain in the butt to do.

    I reckon to spend three or four days a month setting up equipment and trying it out. This is sometimes fun, sometimes not. Often it's just to see how something reacts or how it works in a particular environment. For example: I have two types of lavalier mics, Trams and Sennheisers, each deals with ambient noise differently. The only way I got it into my brain which was "best" in which situation was by trying it out.

    It's even worse with filters or lights. I've spent hours and hours and hours with my mannequin (Yes. I've seen the film and yes, I'm starting to think that there's life inside there) trying out all sorts of combinations with different cameras. light, setting etc etc etc.

    With sound it's the same, you really have to "suck it and see". I didn't mean my answer to be flippant, in your situation the only way to find out which works "best" is to try it out.

  5. Default

    No, didn't find your previous answer flippant, just accurate!! Will start to experiment for myself

  6. #6


    I am curious to learn any conclusions from the experiments. I have no experience of lavalier devices; but have a small understanding about microphones.

    I suspect the differences will be:
    a. Level of unwanted or background noise (outside noises, hiss, person's body or clothing).
    b. Faithful recreation of the dynamics (the volume - loud and soft).
    c. Faithful recreation of the frequency range (high and low sounds).

    If the room is quiet and the person is not moving around, then I don't see any advantage in using a levalier mic.

    Forgive me if I am missing the point, but an interview would require two mics. In that case, I think I would prefer lavalier mics; and record in stereo. Each person gets one track each. In post production, the audio stereo image can be modified; and a little ambiance (e.g. reberb) added to create a more realistic sound which represents the interview room.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2005
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    If only it were that simple.

    Sound has a tendency to bounce about and do all sorts of wieerd things. Our brains can filter the sound in a three dimensional environment but microphones can't. Different mics have different characteristics and you can only get to hear the differences by setting up a scene and recording it. Also. you don't necessarily want "faithful re-creation" of anything, you want it to sound good, not always the same thing.

    Usually a "proper" microphone wil sound better than a tie-clip or lavalier. A well placed mic on a boom will also avoid fluctuating levels, clothing rustle etc. However the Rode videomic is a particularly nasty mic (in my opinion) and I would always use a lavalier rather than the Rode.

    With two people sitting close together you can either "fish" it with a shotgun mic or have a more open mic well placed. One mic, one track per person is nice but you should be able to mix it on location. Or, if you're a one-man-band clip on a lavalier and concentrate on operating the camera.

    Lavaliers tend to reject ambient sound very well so the location can dictate if you should employ a lav. In the same way, the lighting and shot might also rule out a shotgun.

    Finally adding reverb to an interview in "post" never sounds the same as a decent location atmo. For vocals it's far better to get it right in the recording than to rely on "fixing it in post".

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