Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

Mike Stranks wrote:Tim:

I think you may not be taking full account of the fact that this is audio for video.

While it's undoubtedly true that using directional mics close to the speakers' mouths will ameliorate some of the room effects, they will also detract from the 'video experience' for the viewer.

IME experience audio-for-video is nearly always a compromise between what would be best/better and what looks good and non-intrusive on camera. I was shooting a significant video on Sunday. I had to compromise significantly on mics and placement, which I would not have had to do if I was just concentrating on the audio side of things.

And a general point for all video-makers, community radio people, podcasters with guests etc etc etc.:

We take sitting at a desk - or wherever - with a mic and associated ironmongery in front of us as a given. And that's not to mention all the other gubbins often associated with capturing sound. To the average 'studio' guest it's often both a bit bewildering and somewhat intimidating. They're already nervous, and plonking them in front of gear only ratchets that up. Unobtrusive is good if it enables the guest to give of their best. Somewhat simplistically, quality of content allows comes before pristine audio.


Mike: When you initially recommended lavs and nothing else, solving sound quality problems was all that was being discussed. Contrary to Chris's first preference, using lavs was the best way, you seemed to be saying, to reduce the room reverb.

Your points here about the visual aspect and nervousness are perfectly valid I think and maybe something Chris would appreciate and even agree with, but their appearance here in the thread just after my comment that any mic placed closer to a speaker will reduce room reverb, may also be perceived by some as having been interestingly timed and argued.

I agree that "quality of content always comes before pristine audio" but in the context your comment might also be perceived as debating a straw man. We all agree with Chris that the venue has huge reverb issues. Did anyone say or imply that in that venue the audio could ever be pristine?
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Mike Stranks »

I'm not going to be drawn Tim... we've been round this loop too many times...

Chris is inexperienced and looking for advice. I'm trying to give him pros and cons of various miking techniques and the broader picture...

If you think my comments were a 'pop' I apologise... but they weren't intended that way.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Tim Gillett wrote:OK, it might have helped if initially you had mentioned that the venue has such severe reverberation problems.

:?: Huh? He did, and you recognised the issue yourself when you said in one of your early responses:

Tim Gillett wrote:The room echo would diminish greatly.


Tim Gillett wrote:
AlecSp wrote:The latest version is oodles better,...

It's not the lavs themselves that are reducing the room reverb.

This feels like an unwelcome return to the pointlessly argumentative Tim-of-old. Please don't fall back into that bad habit.

The latest video is massively improved, and it is the change of mic technique that has brought about that improvement. Yes, technically it's because the mics are closer to the contributors, obviously and other possible solutions employing the same tactic would have achieved similar improvements.

We have not heard what stage vocal mics would have sounded like close to and in front of the speakers, only the lavs closer. Not a fair comparison.

Fair comparison? There was no comparison required or needed.

The OP had a plan, his ideas were confirmed as a practical way forward within his budget. A worthwhile improvement was obtained achieved using an industry-standard approach.

I think it is self-evident that stage vocal mics on stands in front of each speaker would have given a similar (or perhaps even better sound quality under ideal conditions)... but it would also have looked ugly on screen, it might well have been intimidating to the contributors, and it would have been difficult for the OP to manage if the contributor shied away from the mic, as so often happens.

Had I been in the OP's situation, drawing on my professional experience as a TV sound recordist, I would have selected personal lav mics over any other option, too...

The OP wanted to try lavs, and that is a perfectly workable solution, as the result clearly show. There are further things that could be done as others have said, but for a very modest outlay the quality improvement has been massive and the OP is rightly pleased with that.

Rejoice in the success, instead of whining that your suggestion wasn't adopted.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by ChrisFelixstowe »

Interesting discussion! TBH I do seem to have got most of what I want from the discussion so far, and will raise the mics a bit, but that's where I'll stick, I think, on this one.
The owner is pretty keen to a resolve the echo issue, and I think they'll get some pro advice, which will help when they do. That should sort most of the venue probs.
I have to say that I do find big clunky mics that many vloggers and other use seriously unattractive - they mask half the face sometimes, and I think they look awful . . . I will try the mic I used the first time, run through the Podtrak to increase the line signal, just to see how in works.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
...I think it is self-evident that stage vocal mics on stands in front of each speaker would have given a similar (or perhaps even better sound quality under ideal conditions)...

...than lavs in typical lav positions?

What about in very poor conditions such as in Chris's venue?
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

Tim Gillett wrote:What about in very poor conditions such as in Chris's venue?

What about Chris's venue? It is what it is.

However, he has usable audio now where he didn't before. The camera shots haven't been compromised. The contributors aren't intimidated. The dramatic improvement cost very little.

What's your point?

If you're trying to say that there'd be even less room acoustic if the contributors worked close to stage vocal mics, then yes, you'd be right... but it's not a viable solution in this situation.

My comment about ideal conditions could have been clearer -- it wasn't meant about room acoustics, I meant working with a contributor (and host) who knows how to work a close stage mic and could maintain a consistent on-axis delivery and distance... which is not likely in the OP's situation, even if it was visually acceptable... which it isn't.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Tim Gillett »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
Tim Gillett wrote:What about in very poor conditions such as in Chris's venue?

What about Chris's venue? It is what it is. He has usable audio now where he didn't before. The camera shots haven't been compromised. The contributors aren't intimidated. The dramatic improvement cost very little.

What's your point?

Is it possible you already understand my point but...?
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Kwackman »

Mike Stranks wrote:I'm not going to be drawn Tim...

The wise man has spoken! ;)
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by AlecSp »

ChrisFelixstowe wrote:TBH I do seem to have got most of what I want from the discussion so far, and will raise the mics a bit, but that's where I'll stick, I think, on this one.

Indeed, and that should get you where you want to be. And Mike's excellent budget lav suggestion shows once again that you don't always need to splash a bundle of cash to see an appreciable improvement.

ChrisFelixstowe wrote:The owner is pretty keen to a resolve the echo issue, and I think they'll get some pro advice, which will help when they do. That should sort most of the venue probs.

That would be great, but won't be cheap. And is it a problem for general purpose use of the venue? The human hearing system works wonders to improve intelligibility in a real life environment. And you've already demonstrated that a couple of bargain bucket mics produce a significant improvement for trivial cost. I guess it depends on what he wants to achieve and whether he has the budgert.

ChrisFelixstowe wrote:I have to say that I do find big clunky mics that many vloggers and other use seriously unattractive - they mask half the face sometimes, and I think they look awful . . .

Too true - they're an affectation. Kudos to vloggers who want to improve their sound, but people can be desperate to copy everyone else, where they could actually do so much better with a much more discrete solution - witness the over-popularity of the Shure SM7B for singers looking to look cool.

ChrisFelixstowe wrote:I will try the mic I used the first time, run through the Podtrak to increase the line signal, just to see how in works.

Unless you relocate the mic, all that will do is give you the same rather unpleasant sound, just at a higher level. The only way to reduce the impact of the room is to treat the room or to get the mic closer to the desired sound source.
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Re: Live multicamera video - sound advice needed!

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

FYI: Tim is taking a month long holiday and has ceased his combative and pointless bickering in this thread...
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