Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Mic Setup for Interview?

  1. Default Mic Setup for Interview?

    Hi guys,
    Can anyone tell what the best mic setup would be, for a piece to camera style interview like this:
    https://youtu.be/Lt2k0SpaB1k

    I know the obvious solution, would be to use a lav mic for the interviewee, but would you do the same for the same interviewer too?
    I have access to a lav mic, shot gun kic and zoom h2. I just wondered how the above youtuber does it.

    Thanks for any input.
    Last edited by Cruz; 04-22-2019 at 01:07 AM. Reason: Wrong title

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Surrey, UK
    Posts
    11,355
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Yes!
    Ideally you want a separate mic on the interviewer and the subject and you want to record them to separate channels. The Zoom H2 has a stereo mic in so it is possible, if you can get the right splitter, to plug in two mono lavaliers.
    But you don't have that so ...

    However you do it, you will be recording each subject with different mics so it will sound different. This isn't necessarily as bad as you might think - especially if, as in the example, the interviewer is out of shot. I'd put the lav on the subject and the shotgun on the interviewer (as this will have a bit more room noise/natural reverb it will be more consistent with being out of shot)

    If you can structure your interview such that the interviewer and interviewee never talk over each other, you could re-record the interviewer's questions/comments immediately after the session in the same environment using the same mic you used on the interviewee.

    Indeed, this technique is common when the interviewer is in shot and it's a one camera shot (not just for questions but for reaction shots and "noddies".

    Having said that, if the environment is quiet enough and you shoot close enough, you will get surprisingly good results with just the H2 placed between the two subjects, just out of shot. Try it.
    Tim

  3. #3

    Default

    IMO Tim's advice is the way to go.

    For more context, if running 2 lavs if would just use a 3.5mm L/R splitter cable so I can record both lavs at the same time to the camera/recorder or whatever is your setup (I like to send to the camera). This usually means you have to edit the audio in post, but at the time of capture you don't need additional recorders, and also the added advantage of having both audio tracks stored with the video and sync-ed already, so it saves on file organization.

    However, I would 100% also record the session with a shotgun mic separately. So either the lavs go to the external recorded and I have a shotgun hooked up to the camera, or vice-versa, but I'm getting the audio separately with both lav and shotgun mic. (I put the shotgun mic on a stand so I can place it correctly for the subject).

    One thing that a lot of people don't keep in mind too often is that shotgun mics generally have better audio than lavs. It's a matter of physics, bigger sensor usually means better capture of analog data. In your video camera a larger sensor collects more light thus gets a better image. The mic size generally works under similar principles. Usually, a shotgun mic of similar price/quality to the lav will have better audio quality than the lav if used correctly (about 3 feet from the subject). If the room was quiet, you might find in editing that you like the shotgun audio best.

    But quality is not the only reason I record double. It happens too often that something hurts one of the signals, so I want to have a backup from a separate mic. I've had times when the nearest mic is ruined by cellphone interference, or the shirt somehow was rubbing against the lav, etc, and that signal is compromised or worse. On the shotgun sometimes it captures things that are happening outside of the room, like a distant car horn or people shutting doors down the hallway. So having 2 sources of quality audio can be essential.

  4. Default

    Um, wouldn't a larger sensor with the same lens actually capture less light per square centimeter?

    Larger diaphragm microphones aren't necessarily more accurate than smaller diaphragm mics, but they often have attributes that flatter certain sources. Their off axis response tends to be less accurate than smaller diaphragms. But a lav is generally in a position that's antagonistic to getting optimum sound, and while shotguns have their own special problems with off axis response, they can often be placed to take advantage of their tight polar patterns to capture the source better than a lav.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Um, wouldn't a larger sensor with the same lens actually capture less light per square centimeter?

    Larger diaphragm microphones aren't necessarily more accurate than smaller diaphragm mics, but they often have attributes that flatter certain sources. Their off axis response tends to be less accurate than smaller diaphragms. But a lav is generally in a position that's antagonistic to getting optimum sound, and while shotguns have their own special problems with off axis response, they can often be placed to take advantage of their tight polar patterns to capture the source better than a lav.
    I meant larger sensors in general, when comparing systems. Overall, larger sensors capture more light, better info for the processor to work with, better resulting images. A larger sensor needs larger glass (and battery, body, etc), but my point was that these things have a root in physics in terms of size. Not the only condition, but size matters as one of the reasons why things are the way they are.

    Re: mics and size
    It's a sensor that is feeling tiny changes in air pressure. Much like light sensors, designs with a larger surface tend to collect more volume and accuracy of data to transfer to resulting audio. I don't mean to say that every larger mic is better than every smaller mic, I'm saying there are limits to what a tiny mic can do, and generally speaking, at related price ranges, the physically larger designs will handle themselves better in terms of recording better quality.

    To illustrate my point using extremes: No lav mic at any price will ever hold a candle to the quality that comes out of a 1" condenser like the Neumann U87. On the other hand, we can't hang a 1" condenser mic off a subject's shirt.

    My overarching point was that the shotgun design has an advantage in this regard: the ability to hold larger electronics and sensor because it is off camera. Once you get past the fact that it is placed at a distance from the subject (which causes its own set of issues), you can choose to use a nice mic that captures more detailed audio than the lav can handle.

    Ultimately it may not matter for many applications. People are used to the sound of lavs on videos and they may not notice better quality regardless. But I do notice the difference between my same-price lavs and shotguns, and I try to use the shotguns when I can.

  6. Default

    I realized my error about the sensor almost as soon as I posted it. I even tried to edit it but couldn't find the best words, so I left it to be corrected.

    As someone who gets to use a U87 (and a Soundelux iFet7) on occasion and has experience with lots of mics, I'm still pretty sure smaller mics have some advantages in pure accuracy while larger mics may simply sound better in a more subjective sense. To support that claim I'd point to reference mics. They're all (as far as I know) very small diaphragm designs. But that's not really something that needs to be hashed out in this thread.

  7. #7

    Default

    I would like to have a conversation on that. Maybe we start another thread? I'm considering your points about the pickup shape of the mics, and the reference mics. I also want to say I didn't mean to derail this thread, only to suggest that using off-frame mics can be a way to introduce different microphones into the interview setup that may add versatility and quality options, depending on what's available/needed.

  8. Default

    When it's an option I'd rather have the mic more inside the dispersion pattern of the speaker's voice rather than on the chest where it's more than 90 off axis. An overhead mic could do that and be out of frame. If the room isn't too live then the off axis response of the mic (a known issue with shotguns) won't be a problem.

Similar Threads

  1. Interview
    By Midnight Blue in forum User Videos
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 12-29-2014, 10:43 PM
  2. 'Like Father' Interview
    By BritishEye in forum User Videos
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-17-2012, 07:42 PM
  3. bad interview
    By snapper2 in forum Sound Recording and Audio Editing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-04-2011, 11:25 PM
  4. Super interview cam !
    By Mark W in forum Technology advice and tips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-17-2006, 06:16 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •