Best Sound Setup for Short Film w/Movi Freefly on a budget

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Larry V Santana, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Larry V Santana

    Larry V Santana New Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    Brand new to this forum. (Just had my account approved minutes ago).

    I'm a filmmaker shooting a low budget short with no crew and a small group of actors. I'm a writer first and foremost, and I'm shooting the film myself, purely out of necessity.

    Just received my Movi Freefly today. I have a basic lighting kit, tripod, and Moment lenses to shoot with, using my iPhone 8 Plus. I currently have one Sennheiser lav mic. The ClipMic digital, left over from a previous project. Obviously, I'll need more sound equipment. Which audio setup would you recommend (without blowing a shoestring budget)?

    Was thinking I'd purchase the hoodie accessory to mount an external mic, like the TAKSTAR SGC-598. It appears to be deceptively good in spite of its extremely low price.
    [​IMG]
    In addition, I'd use a sound recorder and a shotgun mic on a boom to record ambient sound and dialogue.

    OR would you recommend I forego the hoodie altogether, using the gimbal strictly to capture footage and syncing up the audio later in post?

    Thanks so much, in advance. Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Best,
    Larry
     
  2. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    A quick search will reveal three or four recent threads on sound recording that between them pretty much exhaust the subject.

    In your place, my preferred option would be to identify someone who wants to participate in making the film, who is into sound recording and who has his/her own gear. Recording the sound is just one part of this exercise. The other is cleaning it up, editing it and mixing it. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle by bringing in someone who knows what he’s doing. If he has a copy of iZotope RX, all the better.

    My second option would be to go to a film/video sound house, enlist their aid and advice and rent what I need. I think that some people find this option intimidating, but I can tell you that the sound house that I use in New York is happy to help beginning filmmakers. A sound house can also help you connect with beginning sound recordists/mixers.

    If you decide to purchase gear, I think that the Hoodie is pretty much the last thing you should be worried about. Put the money to a better mic or recorder or to cable.

    If you want to make a serious short film with actors and dialogue, my basic view is that you’ll be way ahead finding a sound recordist/mixer/editor to take care of the sound for you. You’ll have plenty to do directing, running the camera and editing the footage.
     
    #2 Rorick Edge, Jul 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  3. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I was always taught, perhaps erroneously but it seems to be correct, that the secret to a good video is good audio. People seem to tolerate lower quality video but react strongly against lower quality audio.

    So I'm with Rorick -- record the audio separately. The only reason I would record the audio on the iPhone is that it does provide a means for synching the separate audio with the video (e.g. have the talent clap their hands at the start of a shot and you'll record it both on the iPhone and the second system and it provides a good visible pulse on the audio tracks that you can slide into sync in, say, Adobe Premiere.

    Andy.

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  4. Larry V Santana

    Larry V Santana New Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply, Rorick. I figured recording audio separately would be the way to go. What sound house do you use in New York? I'm in the Poconos, in Pennsylvania, about 90 minutes outside the city. There's very little here in the way of film production, so I'd be happy to make the trip if you think it's worthwhile.

    Also, as far as purchasing gear, is there a single piece of audio equipment you would recommend to start with? Before I upgrade down the line? This is my first short, but it certainly won't be my last. I'm dedicated to learning as much as possible, so that when I have the luxury of larger budgets, I'm eminently knowledgable on every facet of production and have a firm grasp on every crew member's job. Part of that learning comes with experimenting with the equipment on my own, even when I'm not on set.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. Larry V Santana

    Larry V Santana New Member

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    Thanks so much, Andy. I will absolutely keep this in mind. I appreciate you taking the time to respond.
     
  6. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Larry,

    The great thing about being in the Poconos is that there are a lot of people in the greater New York area who have, or are learning, the skills needed to make your film sound great.

    I think that the best way to help your film, and to learn what these people do on a film set and in post production, is to engage one of them and pay lots of attention. If they’re learning themselves, they aren’t going to cost a lot, especially since they normally own their own gear.

    Get on the NY area film/video bulletin boards to find the right person. Or drop by Union Square - many days, the NY Film Academy students are there filming. Or send some messages to YouTubers who live in the area and whose sound you like.

    If you want to learn sound recording and editing, pick up a Zoom H1n (US$119), record lots and edit in your software of choice. There’s a YouTuber named Curtis Judd who has a review of this recorder that is worth watching. Don’t worry about his comments on dialogue frequencies - to the extent that it’s even an issue, what will mostly happen is that you’ll learn how to use your software’s equaliser to manipulate frequencies, which anyone involved in sound needs to learn anyway.

    One of the participants in this forum purchased a Zoom H1n recently and has said that he is very happy with it. A quick search should locate his post.

    Depending on your script, and on how it is shot, it might even be possible to use it for this film.

    Cheers
     
    #6 Rorick Edge, Jul 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2018
  7. Larry V Santana

    Larry V Santana New Member

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    Thanks, Rorick! This is incredibly helpful. I'll definitely check out the H1n and head out to NYC for some much-needed in-person guidance. I also just finished watching the Curtis Judd video. Thanks for clarifying RE: dialogue frequencies.

    Really appreciate the assist. Best of luck to you on your future projects.

    Cheers.
     
  8. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Larry,

    If you are going to be in New York, it might be a good idea to drop by the Pro Audio department at B&H, preferably in the morning Monday to Thursday when it’s less likely to be mobbed. Some of the sales people are quite knowledgeable.

    I would suggest that you check out Gotham Sound’s web site if you want to rent sound gear and/or intend to be involved in sound recording long term. It’s worth signing up for their e-mail list, and they also have a YouTube channel.

    Both B&H and Gotham Sound are reliable sources for used gear.

    I’ve sent you a personal message with my phone number in case you’d like to discuss this further.

    Cheers
     
    #8 Rorick Edge, Jul 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  9. Christian Polloni

    Christian Polloni New Member

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    Hi,
    Someone mention an alternative for audio recording in an another topics:
    sennheiser memory mic.:)
     
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    The memory mic looks like a great idea, but it seems a tad large for talent to wear. Wonder if there's an external jack for a lav mic or is that too much to hope for? From what I've seen there doesn't appear to be any external jack...

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  11. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    This recent interview with Danny Michael illustrates that one can use basic sound equipment to make first rate films and videos. With clips from Mississippi Burning (for which he won a BAFTA and was nominated for an Academy Award), Glengarry Glen Ross and the Eminem film 8 Mile, he talks about how the sound was recorded and how things have changed over the years.

    By basic sound equipment, I mean a one or two track recorder and one or two mikes. Obviously, basic doesn't necessarily equate with cheap. For much of his career, including for parts of 8 Mile, Michael used one and two track Nagra recorders, and he uses Schoeps supercardiod (aka hypercardiod) mikes. These consist of Schoeps CMC6 preamps + MK41 capsules, commonly called a CMC641. The reference at 42:10 to a “Lectro handheld” refers to the Lectrosonics HH. His reference at 43:02 to "the blue" is to Schoeps's blue-coloured CMIT 5U shotgun mike.

    If you're a fan of the film 8 Mile, don't miss the discussion about how the rap battle scene was recorded (worth watching just for Rodrigo Prieto's camerawork).

    Re discussion at the beginning of the video about Michael’s background, Forest Hills is a neighbourhood in Queens and Hunter College is a well-regarded university in Manhattan.

     
    #11 Rorick Edge, Jul 5, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
  12. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    It occurs to me that not everyone will know what Danny Michael means when he talks about using a Nagra. The attached photo is of the two track version that he would have used on Mississippi Burning, Glengarry Glen Ross and 8 Mile. Pretty interesting that this recorder (albeit together with a computer running ProTools) was used on a film released only 15 years ago.

    These days, one can purchase a high quality two track digital recorder for about a quarter of what a Nagra cost 30 years ago, not even taking into account inflation.
     

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    #12 Rorick Edge, Jul 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  13. Larry V Santana

    Larry V Santana New Member

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    I would highly encourage anyone with even the faintest interest in sound recording (or video recording, in general) to watch the Danny Michael interview. Many thanks to Rorick for sharing this gem. The man has worked on some truly incredible films. His insight is especially valuable to someone like me, who has limited experience recording sound. But I believe this interview benefits both experts and novices alike. It's worth watching in its entirety.

    -Larry
     
  14. Frank Algermissen

    Frank Algermissen Active Member

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  15. Larry V Santana

    Larry V Santana New Member

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    This is an interesting option. Seems like a convenient way to capture ambient sound in a pinch. Thanks for sharing, Frank :)
     
  16. Frank Algermissen

    Frank Algermissen Active Member

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    I decided to purchase them! Actually cannot find any better solution on the market. Love this "cable free" solution!!! So simple to use, so innovative in future features... I think they are totally on the right direction and belonging to our "cable problem", especially when counterweights attached it is a dream

    Also check this here

     
  17. Steve Huether

    Steve Huether Member

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    Ohhh that looks awesome! I may have to pick one up as well.
     
    Frank Algermissen likes this.
  18. Frank Algermissen

    Frank Algermissen Active Member

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    Try the promo code "WELCOMEBACK" Unfortunately I received it much too late and had to pay the full price. But maybe I can benefit you guys here ;-)
     
  19. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    On the YouTube page for that video, the comments are not exactly a ringing endorsement, and Instamic seems to have a fairly chequered history.

    It seems clear that the Instamic is for close miking, usually but not necessarily voice, and not for ambient recording, any more than other small mikes, such as a lavalier, are for ambient recording.

    The video promotes the Instamic for mobile journalism/interviews. I think that the instamic is simply too large for that purpose. In photos and videos, it looks like the person using it is wearing a brick. I don’t know what the market is for this, but I don’t think that it’s a good solution even for vlogging.

    That issue aside, Glen Mulcahy, well known as a mobile journalism advocate and trainer, discusses what is needed in the following video. The DPA product under discussion is not cheap and not wireless, but Mulcahy identifies some technical basics that are important for a mobile journalism/interview solution:

     
    #19 Rorick Edge, Jul 17, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
  20. Frank Algermissen

    Frank Algermissen Active Member

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    Hi Rorick, for me it's actually the most comfortable solution on the market when you want to shoot wireless. And wireless was my approach. When you remember it is a hassle with cables on the MOVI, especially when you have attached the counterweights and/or need the charge the phone while recording. That's why I am impressed by Instamic.

    Of course d:vice™ is a fantastic solution and for sure the acustic gold standard. Nevertheless we talk about 550 € for the Interface + microphones - compared to 139 € - 179 € for the Instamic solution.

    It really depends on your purpose, budget and approach.
     

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