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Please advise on indoor video recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by yashiharu, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    1) indoor dance studio about 10m x 10m
    2) record conversation (not operator speech)
    3) peoples will not always stay on a spot
    4) Lavalier mic is not possible
    5) env noise is acceptable
    6) mount on ceiling at center OR tripod outside the 10m x 10m
    7) connect to a small USB mixer (recording to computer)

    Zoom H1 on the ceiling at the centre of the room
    not good at all, conversations hard to hear with noise

    does a shotgun mic could help? (i've google some rode videomic pro rode ntg 1 2)
    should i use multiple mic with mixer?
    any recommendation? (low budget, mic & mixer ~$400)

  2. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to answer that it's almost impossible to achive what you're looking for with the given budjet.
    The direction I would investigate is using a omni patern mic (2 or more would be better) with a very discrete and hi output level preamp and send that to an interface with good converters. Why ? because most of the sounds you want to record are low level sounds and some might be either at the room noise level or at the electronic noise level of consumer recording products. So the budget 400$?? A good quality polar patern mic will often run at higher price than that. A good pre with 60db or more of output same thing (ISA One would be a good choice)

    Could you rent ?
  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Btw, were you using the AUTO LEVEL function of the H1, you may grab a lot of noises with that fonction when a quite times happen
  4. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    ok. i got it. thanks

    Not really want to rent as for long term.
    sometimes, i want to use it for recording interview or round table talk.

    What could be the best solution for ~$400? (Mic & Mixer)
  5. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    yes, noise is one big problem.

    i set the the input level around 30 to get balance between the noise and voice.

    One problem using H1 is direction:
    At the center top of the studio won't work if the leading voice stay not near center.

    Coordination:(refer to number pad)
    the mic set at 5
    people speak near 1 3 7 9 is hard to hear
    operator stay at 0
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    What is the ceiling made of? How high is it from the floor? Could you use one or more boundary microphones attached to the ceiling?

    Have you considered having several simultaneously-active microphones distributed over the ceiling area and using an auto-mixer such as the Shure SCM410 or the SCM810 to pick out the loudest channel and mute the rest?
  7. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    A dance studio that big with 6 surfaces, all parallel to each other. Your only technique that is going to work is close miking - so that's it really. Wanted v unwanted sound is your goal - as much of one and as little of the other. Any distant technique is just not going to work. It's probably got mirrors, which are also amazing reflectors of both sound and visuals, making booms visible if you tried to boom in from above or below

    I work a fair bit in dance studios - and close in lavs are the only technique that are going to work. Sound wise, they're horrible rooms. We even record dedicated music tracks that are produced with all the sources dry because reverb on reverb is even more horrible. If you rally have no budget - then a bay sourced cheap condenser labs plugged into iPhones on record may well give you better sound - maybe you could try something like that.

    USB recording is also a crazy thing to consider - it's very inflexible, unless you buy a nice USB equipped mixer - and even then, how do you get the audio to the mixer, and where from. Small, cheap all in one audio recorders are a mother possibility.

    I think you have to face up to the budget needing to reflect the acoustic problems, or walk away. In a dance studio that size - for decent clarity - then any mic more than a foot away from a mic is going to sound horrible!
  8. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    i think it is cement (industrial building)
    ~18ft (the mic mounted ~10 feet)

    someone suggest MXL AC404 USB Conference Microphone
    i never use boundary microphone, not sure how wide it could get (10ft from centre, possible?)
    any comment?

    that shure mixer is out of budget
    i have to control the video mixer with multi cam.(very tight budget production)
    so it's better to set the recording system and leave it.
  9. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    You have a huge room and wanted sound in just a small part - a set and leave system is pointless - dodgy rooms mean a dedicated sound op, or even two. You can't get good sound in this kind of room without equipment, experience and a decent bit of luck.
  10. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    The MXL AC404 USB seem nice in theory with 25' radius and when you read the specs it seems ok... but it is not a discrete high output preamp, so it will pick up a lot of noises.

    Paul is right close micing is the only clean solution.
    You know how your brain can focus on a sound and isolate a conversation through everything that the ears capture ? Well a mic doesn't do that. It picks up everything in the room equally depending on the mic patern and distance from the capsule. If someone scratch his nose louder then that girl talking in a corner of the room, you won't hear her. If a fan is running, you will hear it through the whole recording unless every thing is way louder..
  11. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    Here's what i've done, not good enough ...

    View: https://soundcloud.com/franky-ng-1/zoomh1-demo/s-TkDvi

    that's the reason, i want to improve it with a little $400 ...

    sorry didn't mention usb is required for live streaming (no post production for normalize/de-noise)
  12. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    thanks for everyone, really helpful & I've learned something good.

    Actually, my plan B is M-track mixer + Audio Technica AT875, hope it would be improve the sound quality(speech recognition)

    I think i should give it up on that little $400 improvement now ...
  13. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Your clip shows the problem - we can hear everything, but not isolate the people we need to hear - and the person with the strongest voice, or closest to the mic wins the battle. If you get the mixer and the mic, if they are closer to the person you want to hear, they will be better. If the camera mic is closer, then it will be better. Distance is your enemy, not budget really.
  14. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    after watching this video:

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2m8klTWK1s#t=73

    i thought the result could be improved by pointing toward the centre of the conversation with shotgun mic. Seems the narrow directioning of shotgun mic can't help in this situation ...
  15. paulears

    paulears Well-Known Member

    Well, it actually does - but remember that a shotgun mic isn't like a zoom lens. If you narrow the field, it's a bit like a torch beam. The torch will light up your subject, but it also lights up the wall behind. In this case, acoustically the wall being hard is a reflector, so anything bouncing off the wall towards the camera is 'illuminated'. You are then back to the wanted/unwanted sound problem again. The additional problem is that directional mics need careful aiming and this needs the person who is doing it to have headphones so they can hear what the mic hears, so they can optimise the aiming. Outside, shotguns appear to work over a greater distance - but of course because of the distance, anything you don't want to hear, even if it is in the shotguns 'torch beam' is further away, and because of the inverse square law, much quieter as a ratio of wanted to unwanted. The practical upshot is that in a room like yours, shotguns would need to be very close to the subjects 3 or 4 feet probably being the maximum.
  16. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    thanks paul.

    I have to take some times to digest your advise.
  17. drumrob

    drumrob Active Member

    Also, most shotguns use interference tubes to cancel sounds arriving at the sides of the mic, to create greater directionality. In a room like you are talking about, there are so many reflections off all the surfaces that the result with most shotguns will be a boomy mess. Hypercardioid mics like the Schoeps CMC641, AKG CK393, or even Oktava MK-012 with the hypercardioid capsule are better suited to highly reflective indoor venues. Even they will have to be within a foot of the people speaking, though, to get good sound. You would also need an audio operator using the mic on a boom pole to keep the mic placed properly as people move. As was mentioned before, close-miking is your only hope off getting decent sound in a dance studio like that. Good luck!
  18. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    Question on Focusrite Forte or Apogee Duet:

    1) field recording
    my Zoom H1 has no XLR input, i would like to connect the XLR microphone with Forte and then output to H1
    the XLR requires phantom power:
    1A 5V battery pack <-> Forte(XLR mic connected) <-> Zoom H1

    Q: Can a 13000mAh battery pack (used to charge iphone) @ 1A 5V to support the Forte for the 48v phantom power?
  19. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I'm not sure I understand what you are wanting to do here. Is the idea to use the Focusrite Forte as a pre-amp and phantom power supply for a condenser microphone and then somehow record the amplified signal on the Zoom H1? And you want to do this using battery power at 5V without having a computer connected?

    If so, the Forte is not the best device for that purpose, as you need to set up its configuration via USB using a computer in order to monitor the microphone inputs via the headphone output. You would be better off (both financially and figuratively) using something like the original Digidesign MBox. Although long since discontinued, the MBox is easily available second-hand. It has pretty good Focusrite pre-amps (thus maintaining your Focusrite connection), as well as 48V phantom power for microphones, all powered from the 5V USB input connector. Although it can be set up for direct monitoring simply by front-panel knobs, it would be better in this case to take the sends from the insert jacks, as these are unbalanced and would be more suitable than the balanced high-level main outputs for driving the H1's 1/8" jack input.

    I don't know which 13Ah USB battery unit you were thinking of, but if it would power the Forte, it would power the original MBox.
  20. yashiharu

    yashiharu Active Member

    Forte has it's own LED monitor and headphone out

    What i already have:
    Zoom H1

    What i want:
    a) indoor: 2-channel usb mixer - get audio from shotgun to macbook live stream (so i think forte is nice)
    b) outfield: 2-channel mixer - get audio from 2 wireless lavalier mics to Zoom H1

    What my choice:
    A) sell Zoom H1 and buy Zoom H4n (but indoor performance & usage not so good)
    B) buy Forte to connect everything (48v problem)

    48v problem:
    Normally, Forte has to connect the macbook by USB (data transfer) and extra 5V dc power for phantom power microphone
    Since i can't get socket on field usually
    I was thinking if the Forte can be powered normally by connect both 5V and USB to a battery pack (the battery pack is 13Ah, have 2 output ports: 1A & 1.5A)
    so i can bring them everywhere

    I have ask Focusrite, but they didn't answer it ...

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