View Full Version : Is sound recording by this method fine??

06-07-2008, 09:53 AM
HI i am just confused about sound recording...i hurd that in a boom mic the rod is not any thing special accept for reacing the person who speaks.if someone takes a wood rod and attach micro phone with it and pin it with HD cam he will get the same it true??the rod doesnt play any other role????in my movie their will be indoor/outdoor what if i shoot the movie and then in a close room(MAY BE AT HOME) if i ask actors to say dilogues again.will it work????because in outdoors there will be problems.....any solution to quality sound recording??????????????

06-07-2008, 10:24 AM
There are at least 2 features of a boom pole that are functionally important;

1) weight --- holding a microphone out on a heavy pole for a long time is torture; even a light pole can be painful after a period of time

2) you need some kind of shock mount to isolate the microphone from the pole, or every movement, bump on the pole, etc. will translate into a loud noise in your audio track.

There are other considerations with boom poles, like length, portability (a 10 foot wooden dowel might be hard to transport), and cable routing. The two listed above are the most important, in my opinion.

It's not unusual to rerecord the dialog after shooting a scene, when recording audio on location is simply too difficult or noisy. However, sound inside a room does not sound the same as sound recorded outside. You must be careful to put sound blankets (anything that absorbs sound reflections) all around to avoid echoes that will make the audio sound like it was done indoors. Obviously, you must get your actors to sync with the visual performance, and you'll want some sort of ambient sound track to add in the background so your audio doesn't sound artificially clean.


Will Vincent
06-07-2008, 11:41 AM
I would highly suggest you check out Producing Great Sound for Digital Video ( and/or Producing Great Sound for Film & Video ( They will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the audio aspect of a film/video production (and then some)...

Also, if you're not terribly familiar with the process, you may do well to recruit someone who is to run your sound.

06-07-2008, 07:33 PM
I have my own boom pole and shock mount/wind screen I made from cheap bits. I've also used a pro kit. It's a night and day difference. The pro model was lighter than my aluminum painter's pole, much quieter and much stronger. The shock mount I have doesn't isolate the microphone quite as well as the pro one did even though they are functionally the same, only the wind screen portion is comparable in quality for what it does.

If you search for boom pole on here, we've had a bunch of discussions on this already, I even have instructions and pictures of mine somewhere.

06-07-2008, 08:20 PM
I think wood would be very heavy, unless it was a very short boom pole.

06-07-2008, 09:58 PM

can you tell me the name of the topic so that i can search out on this site???


you have given me some very useful info but can you please explain in a little lighter language because english is not my first language.the 2 points you mentioned i know them that why i thought of wooden pole....can you explain sound blankets mean those peices which are in studioes???well how can i place them in my room??i mean i just cant place them where i want.there will be some logical techniques behind it.

i personally believe it will be very hard to train my actors to speak with same speed with which they said dilogues while shooting.

what can be the option if i do sound recording on the spot???i mean any technical tip???

please dont tell me that if there is a noise then wait.etc etc.......

my last question for this latest reply is what normally filmmakers do??i mean not indie filmmakers.i am asking normal filmmakers at higher level.........

and well what you people do?????

06-07-2008, 11:32 PM
First the easy answer; sound blankets can be anything, anywhere that dampen sound reflections. If the room has a hard floor, you may need to put some on the floor. You could hang them around the actor. They can be made of any sound absorbing material. Any soft material is better than a hard surface.

Regarding how it is done, and the best way to do it, every situation may call for a different solution. I have used wireless lavalier microphones, shotgun mics on booms, and I've recorded replacement audio to dub over the video. Every situation is different, and in my line of work, I must be prepared to make the best of what they throw at me. I seldom get the luxury of scouting my locations. For narrative work (normal film shooting), you've got the option of selecting a suitably quiet location or shooting at a quiet time of day.

I also shoot live performances, which can prove challenging, since things happen while recording that I don't expect, and since I'm recording live, I just have to adapt to changing conditions and try to minimize problems in post. Every single situation is different. Will probably offered the best advice by giving you a couple of book references. There really is a lot to learn about audio, and I am always discovering new things; new problems, new tricks to overcome them, and new ways to make the audio better.

Experience is a great teacher. Find an experienced sound guy, or take the time to practice yourself. I learned a lot, just recording sounds around my home, recording birds, and other natural soundscapes. You can never get too much practice.


06-08-2008, 12:12 AM
well thanks a lot .i think for my first movie i should try a expert sound engineer type person..............and even i will try to search out few ebooks on sound

06-08-2008, 01:02 AM
the search is for "boom pole" or "shock mount"

06-08-2008, 03:55 AM
The search of books related to sound problems while shooting [:d]

Will Vincent
06-08-2008, 04:17 AM
The sketches I had originally posted in the thread are no longer available, but here's the most relevant discussion about a boom/shockmount solution:

06-08-2008, 04:43 AM
To get clean sound you have to get a good uni-directional mic (one that records what's in front of it) close enough to the actor delivering the dialogue, so that you get good, clean levels... good levels are -12db

The sound has to be loud enough to be clean, but not so loud that it goes to the maximum and clips (a clicking sound made when too much volume goes into the recording device) So, it's a bit like setting exposure for light, but with sound: too much is bad, too little is bad... you need, just right.

Generally, the mic needs to be less than three feet from the actor and pointed directly at their mouth. If you have two actors in the same shot, you have to give the boom operator time to twist the pole, so the mic is pointing at the right actor when the line is delivered.

In order to get the mic this close, in most cases the boom operator needs to hold the boom over his head, with his arms extended. His job is to get the mic as close as possible, without getting the mic in shot. This is very hard work... and this is why the pole needs to be both very strong and very light.

There are other problems... if the pole is knocked, the vibration travels down it and into the microphone, creating a rattling sound. Or, if the cable knocks against the pole, the same thing happens... you also get bad noise if the boom op twists the cable against the pole.

To solve these problems, the mic is usually attached to the pole by a "shock mount" which is just some rubber cord criss-crossed to form a cradle. This like the shock absorbers in a car, in that if the pole gets knocked, the mic doesn't get disturbed.

On top of these problems is the problem of wind (not the too many chilli dog kind, but the moving air kind)... mics are very sensitive to air movement, because that's how they record sound. They have a membrane that vibrates when the air pressure changes ... unfortunately the mic can't tell the difference between sound and wind. So, the mic has to be protected inside a fur material covered cage... because, strangely the fur absorbs the wind, but not the sound... in the trade this is sometimes called a "fluffy" or a "hamster" or ... well, the other names probably aren't suitable for an open forum... but I think you can work it out, if you remember that it's something furry that sound men are fond of! (and before any of the Yanks tells me they've never heard a crew use these names, remember that I'm British and we use different, and often funnier, terms on set... and that I work with the most foul mouthed crew in the known universe)

It's possible to build DIY version of all the pro-kit (except the mics)... but, it is worth remembering that the pros will pay well over $400-$2,000 for the windshield and fluffy alone (here are some example + they sell boom poles) (

Hope this helped... I tried to balance language use with technical detail... tricky at the best of times

06-08-2008, 09:10 AM
I can add one more thing to Clive's detailed sound tutorial. By using the unidirectional microphone and holding it above the actor, pointed downward, you avoid pointing the mic towards other sources of sound/noise. Essentially, the microphone is pointed at the ground. It can also work to have the mic low and pointed up, as long as there is no noise coming from the sky. By contrast, if you point the mic at the talent from the same height, you are also focusing on whatever is behind the talent. In a noisy environment, you are bound to pick up a lot of extra background sounds.

As Clive mentioned already, the key is to get the actors' voices loud and clear and to keep background noise to a minimum.


06-08-2008, 09:35 AM
you people simply rock......................

lots of kisses and hugs to all of you friends

06-08-2008, 12:33 PM
The sketches I had originally posted in the thread are no longer available, but here's the most relevant discussion about a boom/shockmount solution:

This is a premiere only part of the forum which ad2478 doesn't have access to.

Will Vincent
06-08-2008, 12:55 PM
Ahh.. well that would explain why ad2478 couldn't find the thread by searching.. ;)

06-08-2008, 03:20 PM
Here's my content from that thread:

I have just added the paint pole and the thread adaptor to the mix, but the head part is the same, I was just using a microphone boom stand from my singing days for a boom pole (painfully heavy and only 8'). The microphone blimp is constructed from:

plastic or metal (metal lets you bend over the sharp edges) gutter screen (for keeping leaves out of gutters - $1.50 home depot - way more than you'll need)

2 equal lengths wired or zip tied together to make a tube

cut little triangles out around the nose end to round it slightly

rubber bands shot through and held on the outside with chopstix ( - | - | alternating directions on the rubber bands to slide the shotgun mike through)

Cover with costume fur sock (some sewing required) for wind diffusion

attach (I used wire) to a mike holder base (they're cheap at radio shack)

3/8" male flare to 1/2" female pipe adaptor ($1.50 Home depot) forced onto

16' extendable boom pole ($15 Home depot) The aluminum is light and can hold my 8 lb cat up off the ground (they loved when I was testing it).

The rest is just electronics, decent shotgun mic and wireless if you choose (or a really long cable strapped to the pole to eliminate cable noise).

I have a 3-way headphone splitter for listening (1-mixer, 1-boom operator, 1-script supervisor, from radio shack)

boom mic held just out of frame pointed at chest of person speaking in a downward direction to eliminate environmental sounds as much as possible.

I have my mic split into stereo and balanced toward one side to get a "safety track". Main side records at full level, but I have the other side lower in case the main peaks (I learned this the hard way).

My microphone is too low so I have to preamp it going into my camera (ATR55 to XL1s).

I've since switched the mic stand for a much lighter and longer painter's pole -

06-09-2008, 12:14 AM
Clive you really made thing more easier........

06-09-2008, 12:20 AM
Clive please tell me one thing

good levels are -12db .is this 12db a setting in Camera??

06-09-2008, 03:37 AM
Most semi pro cameras have the ability to set the levels manually... if so there is a level meter and -12db is one of the figures on that scale. The audio should average about that point.

In most shoots the sound guy will have a meters on his kit... so the right levels are going to camera.

2001 Productions
06-09-2008, 03:47 PM
in the trade this is sometimes called a "fluffy" or a "hamster" or ... well, the other names probably aren't suitable for an open forum...

One of the actors in my current film refers to it as the "Muppet Penis". :lol:

06-09-2008, 07:18 PM
And my contribution from that Premiere thread...

The Mickey Mouse school of production presents...

The $26 microphone boom.

Thanks to knightly for the inspiration.


12' Painter's extension pole with twist lock - $14.97
3' x 3/4" oak dowel - $3.29
3/8" x 4" hex bolt - $0.30
3/8" cut washer - $0.09
3/8" nylon lock nut - $0.98 for a pair
A pair of 1/2" pipe U-bolts - $1.44
Flat black spray paint - $3.12
Sand paper - $0.00 (already had it)

Grand total with tax: $25.94

Power drill with various drill bits
Sand paper to rough the pole for painting
Box/open wrench set (or just a crescent wrench would work)
Hack saw
Black Gaffer's tape
Rotary sander drill attachment

Now since this is a forum of visionaries, I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

06-09-2008, 07:18 PM

06-09-2008, 07:19 PM

06-09-2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks a lot people are just great great and great