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Old 06-19-2018, 04:52 PM   #1
RealJasonBourne
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Question What is the best possible microphone to use when filming next to heavy traffic?

I'm filming a video in a park parking lot, and there's a busy street about 30-50 feet away from where we're filming. There's also loud trucks passing by at times. Our back's would mostly be facing the traffic, so what would be the best microphone to use in this situation? A shotgun mic? Lavaliere? The video is mostly going to feature a host speaking to the camera, so a handheld mic is also an option, but I would prefer if he wasn't holding a mic. I'm definitely going to be hiring a pro audio guy to take care of all the audio, but I'd prefer to know as much as possible.

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Old 06-19-2018, 05:33 PM   #2
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The best sound pick-up for a host/interviewer in the noisy situation which you described would be a handheld interview mic as it can be 1" to 6" from the mouth.



If you want hands-free you can go with a headset mic



The general idea is that you want the mic as close to the mouth of the presenter as possible with the presenters body blocking the loudest sound source(s).



After that is a lavaliere. Then you can go with a boomed mic, preferably a VERY well aimed shotgun mic, the presenter facing the traffic so the mic is facing away from the traffic.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:34 PM   #3
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awesome, great info. a headset mic would be kinda cool, i'm going to look into that. Thanks!
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Old 06-27-2018, 02:12 AM   #4
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The BEST solution would be:

Do NOT film at such a location!


But yeah, if you MUST, then have the mic visible in the frame and get it to be super super close (such as a reporter's mic or a headset mic).
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Old 06-27-2018, 09:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronFilm View Post
The BEST solution would be:

Do NOT film at such a location!
The issue is that sound folks are almost never asked in the first place. Locations are chosen entirely for their physical/visual aspects with no regard for the sonic situation.

Sometimes the location is chosen by the story and no one has a choice.





And, finally, when it comes to documentary and news/sports, the location chooses you.


Noisy locations are MUCH easier to deal with than even 30 years ago; the problem is that our world is continually getting noisier as well.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:07 AM   #6
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Sounds like the traffic and trucks are not part of the scene. I'd find a quieter parking lot.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
And, finally, when it comes to documentary and news/sports, the location chooses you.


Noisy locations are MUCH easier to deal with than even 30 years ago; the problem is that our world is continually getting noisier as well.
Even docos, you have more control over the location than you probably think.

And yeah unfortunately our world is I reckon getting noisy at a faster pace than our technology can keep up with?! Maybe. Depends.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alcove Audio View Post
The issue is that sound folks are almost never asked in the first place. Locations are chosen entirely for their physical/visual aspects with no regard for the sonic situation.

Sometimes the location is chosen by the story and no one has a choice.

What a great reference. Sometimes the hassle of bad sound is worth it.

While editing a solution might be to add more car noises in.
With that much background noise it can be jarring in an edit but if you add your own noisy car on top it masks that you switched audio tracks.
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Old 06-27-2018, 02:28 PM   #9
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ADR is your friend. This was a cheapo feature I did 10 years ago. Whenever we had a noisy location, I had the actors do a roundtable recording of their scene, right after.




As long as you have the original recording for reference, it is very easy to line up the ADR waveform (Track 2) with the Waveform of the original (Track 1).
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
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In my experience ADR never quite achieves the same emotional intensity of production sound. Here in my shop there have been a few rare instances that it has come pretty close, but it's still not the same. I like wild lines better than ADR, if the PSM was given the time to record any. And that's why I like to thoroughly investigate the alternate production sound takes before delving into wilds or ADR.
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Old 06-28-2018, 12:17 AM   #11
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Plus you need to be careful to make sure the ADR sounds like it matches the real location and not dry clean studio sound
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Old 06-28-2018, 10:20 AM   #12
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Plus you need to be careful to make sure the ADR sounds like it matches the real location and not dry clean studio sound
That's part of the job of an ADR mixer/"producer." It's not the dry studio sound that's the biggest problem, it's the fact that the talent performs like they're in the studio rather than how they performed on the set. (That's why I love DX wilds.) The ADR mixer has to be thoroughly aware of the context of the scene so s/he can coax the appropriate performances out of the actors. For example, it's always tough to get actors perform properly for a scene in a bar or other noisy place; they have to project more - the voice is louder, the pitch of the voice is a bit higher, there's more "adrenaline" in the performance. And, of course, everything is just the opposite for a laying in bed type of scene; the voice is softer and pitched a little lower.

I've had actors take a quick lap around the block get them pumped up when I needed a scene with more energy, and I've actually had an actress lay on the floor with a blanket and pillow to get the correct intimate sound for the scene.

Last edited by Alcove Audio; 06-28-2018 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:51 PM   #13
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Oh yes, I agree with all that as well. And it was a consideration in a recent ADR session we did, as mentioned here:



I was just making an additional observation in my previous post.
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