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Thread: Shotgun VS Radio Mic for Interview?

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    Default Shotgun VS Radio Mic for Interview?

    I'm filming an interview with my dad for an assignment about embalming. This is my first project and I will be filming in the mortuary and I don't know whether to use a radio mic or shotgun. I don't have any equipment so I can borrow it from TAFE. Which one would be better suited to this and be the best quality? Thank you!

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    If you've got an experienced boom operator, then the shotgun would, almost certainly, give you better quality. If you're thinking of leaving the shotgun on the camera, or have an inexperienced boom swinger, then the lavalier will probably give you better results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorj View Post
    I'm filming an interview with my dad for an assignment about embalming. This is my first project and I will be filming in the mortuary and I don't know whether to use a radio mic or shotgun. I don't have any equipment so I can borrow it from TAFE. Which one would be better suited to this and be the best quality? Thank you!
    Let's start by clarifying one point: A radio mic is a mic connected to a recording device by radio instead of a cable. A shotgun mic is a mic with a particular pickup pattern. So we are not talking either/or.

    So long as you have the opportunity to set this up (which in a pre planned interview you should have), a pair of lavalier (tie clip) mics, wired into different channels of your camera or digital recorder will give you the best results.
    (a) The mic will be loser to the subject's mouths and thus the level of the desired signal will be significantly higher than the background audio/room noise/reflections/reverb.
    (b) There is less to go wrong and less to power than with wireless
    (c) You will have recordings from independent channels for interviewer and interviewee which gives you flexibility in port.

    If you went for two wireless systems you increase the chances of interference and there is more to go wrong.

    If you use a shotgun mic, you want to get this as close as possible to the sound source. You may choose to use a boom operator for this or put the mic on a boom stand. This is likely to pick up more ambient sound and of course you will not have separate tracks for interviewer/interviewee.

    On the other hand it might be worth recording some room noise anyway - sometimes the signal from a lavalier can sound a bit too dry on its own. For example if the subject is being recorded in an environment where there are lots of hard reflective materials, it can sound a bit unnatural if there is virtually no reverb.
    Tim

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