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    Stereo Mic question
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    Senior Member scorsesefan's Avatar
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    All of my experience has been in the world of mono sound. However, I am considering a doc involving nature (birds, other animals, water, etc.) where I would like to have an immersive sound experience for the audience...

    Can anyone

    a). recommend a stereo mic (on camera or otherwise) for around $300 or less

    b). Gives some quick insights on how to mix the mono (dialog) with the stereo (atmospheric) stuff? I know volumes can be written on this subject, but some broad brush stroke suggestions would be great...

    Any other thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks


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    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    I'm trying to think if there is a mono mic I would recommend under $300...
    I actually use a pair of Oktava mics but you can't even get that for under $300. There are the little overhead drum mics from CAD that are OK and go for something like $60/ pair. I have a sennheiser stereo mic but that was over your price point and a Sony that has a 1/8 connector.

    What might be a better choice though is something like a DR40. You could feed a camera with the output but it's a great little SFX gatherer and it's in your price range.

    As to mixing. Stereo in stereo, dialog centered. The levels depend on the situation.

    And just incase you were thinking about mixing both into the camera, don't. Add the stereo stuff in post, keep the dialog as clean as possible.
    Cheers
    SK


    Scott Koue
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    Senior Member Rick R's Avatar
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    My old first generation Zoom H2 could record four channels L/R, front and rear. The DR-40 can also record four channels, two from the on-board mics and two from the external inputs. Some of the old Audio Technica X/Y stereo mics were decent, but had low sensitivity and probably would not be much good for low SPL environments.


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    Senior Member scorsesefan's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. I have a Zoom F4 and if I recall there is a XY mic that you can plug in? Also, how is the Rode SVM?


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    Senior Member paulears's Avatar
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    If you have a stereo recorder like the zoom it will record atmos in stereo, however expect to be underwhewlmed. You will get stereo but unless you want real reality, you could be better off doing what the broadcasters have always done. Fake it to make it sound like the reality we imagine.

    If you have water running, we know the sound it makes in that pretty idyllic river. Trouble is real rivers don't actually make a noise, but vehicles annoying birds and aircraft do. So you take a sound effect of water which can be recorded by you and transplant it and enhance it. If you find some disturbed water and record it in close, twice, then you can pan one hard left and the other hard right and then just blend them slightly to produce a wonderful sound that is instantly river, but never existed in real life. Adding birds, and those chirpy insects and it comes alive but is a cheat. Wild tracks in real stereo are useful as a basis to built on. Do not record on the camera though because when the camera pans so does the soundscape which is very strange, especially in headphones. Coping with moving background makes editing a nightmare. That nightingale in the tree suddenly jumps position when you edit. Tiny but it annoys your brain. A zoom stereo on a stand does a decent job, but don't expect it to sound good without you and a six library enhancing it.

    When I worked as a lowly sound assistant on a UK internationally known nature series, my job was to create the sound of eagles taking off. The video sot at adistance was silent. It was done with a pair of leather, old fashioned huge motorcycle gloves. These flapped together, made what we knew was eagle wings. Bowls of water splashed with the hands made the noise of them grabbing a fish, and crunching egg shells made the crunchy noise of them eating creatures. Nothing remotely real. Nature outside needs recreating rather than rcording acutely. If you want that owl to make people look left and the horse snorting to make them look for it right, you need to add them to a gentle but uneventful background which is what your stereo mic will record.


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    Sound Ninja Noiz2's Avatar
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    O' wait there is a name for that...
    .
    now what was it?...
    .
    .
    Sound post.


    It's also how every narrative film with a budget you have ever seen is made.
    Cheers
    SK


    Scott Koue
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    ďIt ainít ignorance that causes all the troubles in this world, itís the things that people know that ainít soĒ

    Edwin Howard Armstrong
    creator of modern radio


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    Senior Member scorsesefan's Avatar
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    Thanks, Paul. Some great tips. In fact, I have no problem augmenting "reality" or breaking the fourth wall (of sound). Baudrillard and his theories on simulation are the starting point for this project... In any case the location recording will be the starting point or reference to build upon. I think re-reading Walter Murch may be helpful, too...


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    Quote Originally Posted by scorsesefan View Post
    I think re-reading Walter Murch may be helpful...
    You might like The Responsive Chord by Tony Schwartz. Fascinating book by an interesting guy.
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...sponsive_Chord

    Also, depending on what you're doing and for how many days you'll be filming, maybe consider renting a Mid-Side mic (or Ambient Emmesser for your directional mic), or perhaps even renting some sort of ambisonic mic. Maybe Gotham Sound can help? https://www.gothamsound.com/rental

    Also also, if you haven't google up some nature sound blogs and forums. Gosh; I haven't hung in that world in a long time so I'm not sure where to point you. Some really thoughtful people are making great recordings with all sorts of inexpensive to superexpensive equipment.
    ----------
    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    Wooden Camera VX Skateboard Microphone 299USD


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    Senior Member scorsesefan's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'll check out those suggestions. Anyone have any experience with Rode SVM Pro?


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