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Thread: Some help creating simple videos please

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    Thanks again Tim! Yes I did wonder if all the mechanical equipment from the tank being an issue, they can be quite loud at times. I'm hoping that if I can conduct the interview on the other side of the room, with the tank in the background it wouldn't have much of an effect, especially with a lav mic? Alternatively since the interview bit is only really 10% visual and 90% audio I can always speak to the owner elsewhere if the room is compact, most of the visuals are going to simply be the tank. I certainly hadn't considered interference from the equipment so that's another consideration, thank you.

    I must admit this audio recording part has become more confusing that I first hoped but as you say: it's worth finding these things out now! I've become pretty confused in deciding what to go for, would either of you mind please letting me know if you think this would be a decent option?

    It's not necessarily part of the videos at first but in the interest of future-proofing my setup: if I wanted to include other sounds in the future, for example of the scenery before entering the home (eg the first few seconds of:, would I need a different kind of mic?
    Despite having never used one I'd assume lavs are perfect for picking up sounds close to the mic and eliminating background noise: I realise this wouldn't be a typical use but does that by definition mean I couldn't for example record bird sounds, traffic etc outside the building (with no voiceover recorded at the same time)? Sorry again for my ignorance!

    Thank you again I really appreciate the input.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    Not ignoring you, bt no time at present.

    I've no idea about the unit you link to but TASCAM has a reasonable reputation.

    Irrespective of what mic you use, the closer the sound source is to the mic, the louder the resulting sound. I believe it's the inverse square law - basically if you double the distance from the mic, you reduce the audio at the mic to only a quarter. It really doesn't matter what type of mic you have - the rule still applies. In a nutshell, the difference in types of mic are
    (1) Signal to noise ratio (the sound you are recording vs how much unwanted noise is generated by the mic itself - this also applies to your digital recorder.)
    (2) The frequency response - the highest and lowest sounds the mic can picj k up and how evenly it picks up across that range.
    (3) The pick up pattern.

    A budget lavalier will have (usually) an omnidirectional pickup pattern (picks up sounds from all around the mic) and will pick up sounds in the frequency range of the human voice. A more expensive one will probably have a "flatter" frequency response (ie it will respond equally well to low, mid and high frequencies) but may still be "tuned" to respond primarily to sounds produced by the human voice.

    A general purpose shotgun mic has some directional capabilities - ie it does not record sounds off axis as loudly as sounds directly in front of it. Note: no microphones "zoom" in on a signal as some adverts might have you believe. Some are more sensitive than others and some are better than others at reducing off-axis audio.

    Wildlife programmes use veru long mics (deflecting even more off-axis audio) to pick out the sound of specific birds or whatever.

    That's pretty much the extent of what I'd feel confident passing on as "knowledge". if you want more bouldersoundguy is your man.

    BTW, partially because of the limited kit I have, I'd use the built in mics in my Zoom H5 or Zoom H2 (protected by a foam or furry windsheild) to catch ambient sounds outside the property. This is far from HiFi, but the little capsules are designed to be general purpose and can work quite well. I would also record a bit of silence (in a silent environment) which would give me a sample of just the noise generated by the unit itself. I would then use this as a sample and "subtract" that background noise from the recording. It doesn't always sound better, but it's worth a try.

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    Thank you so much as always Tim. And no worries about me thinking you're ignoring me: I only replied myself last night!!

    I really appreciate the time you've taken to explain all the fundamentals to me, I definitely feel better prepared than I did before.

    I think now is my time to leave the nest and give it a go, sadly I can't start the first one for a month but I'll let you know how things go!

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    Yes, sound follows the inverse square law. That is, a 2:1 distance ratio = 6dB. Cut the distance to the desired source in half, it gets 6dB louder, which means you can run the recorder's gain 6dB lower and all the more distant noise (assuming it stays about the same distance away) gets 6dB quieter relative to the desired source.

    Directional mics:
    Many clip on type mics will be omnidirectional. They pick up in all directions essentially equally. Some are cardioid, which means they pick up best on axis and progressively less as you move toward 180 off axis. That's great, but you have to keep it aimed properly or the pickup pattern will work against you. That can be tricky with a clip on. And they're not directional at all frequencies, they transition to omni at lower frequencies.

    Another thing about clip on mics, people's gestures can hit them and you won't know until later unless you're monitoring the audio, which is a bit awkward in an interview. A mic overhead on a boom doesn't suffer from this, but it means you've got to keep it out of the shot. And you have to carry a stand. And people have to stay in place, unless you have a boom operator. I'd still go with a clip on, but be really clear with your subject about the need to avoid certain gestures.

    Place the mic about 5cm below the clavicle/sternum joint. Loop the cable so it's trapped by the clip. That will help isolate noise that can be transmitted mechanically through the cable to the capsule.

    Higher frequencies can be blocked somewhat by the talker's body, which could help as long as they don't end up facing a hard surface (window, wall) that reflects the sound back. Definitely be aware of hard surfaces, walls, floor, ceiling. Consider them a potential source of reflected sound. It's not always bad, but it could affect the vibe of the audio. I find too much room reverberation to be quite distracting.

    Very occasionally I'll get a talker that manages to blow air straight down to a clip on mic. I don't know if it's from the nose or what, but it's very annoying and can make a noticeable noise against the mic. The usual small foam windscreen may not be enough to mitigate that, but they do make the furry type for clip on mics. It's more visually distracting, but perhaps worth the trade off. Maybe for your purposes, if the interviewer isn't going to be heard or seen, it would be a good idea to at least have some earbuds to discreetly monitor the audio.

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    Thank you again bouldersoundguy!! Extremely useful advice and bits like this are gold:

    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    Loop the cable so it's trapped by the clip. That will help isolate noise that can be transmitted mechanically through the cable to the capsule.
    Thanks again, I'll update my thread here once I've made some progress

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