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recipesfor situations like conference panels, stage shows, and narrative dialog scenes. Anthony also shows you how to set up mixers, wireless mics, and booms, and make sure your camera is correctly set up to capture audio. He wraps up with troubleshooting tips covering a range of issues, from wind noise to echoes, and shows how to fix the problems you can't solve on set in post production.
- Hooking up a mixer
- Selecting the right mic for the job—table, lavalier, or boom
- Using wireless mics
- Hiding mics
- Mic'ing the crowd at an event
- Capturing the action up close
- Matching visual perspective to audio
- Dealing with background noise
- Reducing rumble, wind noise, and hiss in post
Skill Level Appropriate for all
If you ever have to record a speaker or a panel or another type of public presentation in a facility, you're going to want to make sure you bring the right equipment so that you can get the best audio possible. So, I want to quickly go over some of the audio that I'm going to use for this setup that we're about to do, recording a speaker in front of an audience. So for this type of setup, I'm going to start with always a Safety Mic. So this is going to be my shotgun mic which I'm going to mount on my camera. What this is going to allow me to do is in any room that has a sound system I'm going to be hearing basically, the same thing the audience is hearing.
one of the advantages of picking up this, even though it's not the cleanest audio from the speaker, is that you will get all of the reactions in the audience in the room. So this Shotgun mic is going to go on the camera. However on my speaker, I'm going to be using a wireless microphone ideally. The reason I want to go wireless in this scenario, is because that's going to allow the speaker to move about freely. If they want to interact with audience so freely do so and I'm going to capture them Crystal clear wherever they go. So wireless is also great to have for recording speakers and panels.
In fact it's probably the preferred method. beyond that the other, I guess I'll say this is also a preferred method would be to use the in house sound. More often than not fortunately when a speaker is speaking there's already a whole sound system built into that room. And many times if you're very fortunate, there will also be a professional audio engineer or mixer, that's been hired just to work that gig. Those case scenarios are the best because then, you can just plug in to the audio coming out of that mixer, or out of the sound system in this room.
So we're go in the back room later and make sure we're able to plug in. Because that's going to give us crystal clear sound. The one thing you will sacrifice with plugging in is some of the audience interaction. So, if applause and audience reaction is really important to you, you may not want to go with that method. So, in this case I'm fortunate that they do have a wireless microphone built in house, so I'm going to be using that. If they didn't I would also add to my kit, even though I don't have it here, a hardwired microphone. Again this is going to be my emergency quick set up. Let's say I get there and there's only 5 minutes before my speaker's on.
I'm just going to put that hardwired mic, plug it in, hand it to them, and I'm going to be good to go. In addition to that, because we want to always have a hard wired backup source when possible, we want to have lots of XLR. So in this case, I've got about a good 50 to 60 feet of XLR cable here to cover me from any camera position that I might end up in this room. I want to make sure I have enough cable to run from the speaker, all the way to wherever my camera's going to be. So lots of XLR cable. And in addition to that, we want to have a mixer.
A mixer is really going to come into handy especially if you are plugging into audio. But where a mixer can really have saved your shoot is if you have multiple speakers. Now this is only a two-channel mixer. But if I were dealing with more than two people up here speaking at the same time. Let's say we have four people sitting around in a panel, then I would definitely want to get a mixture that had at least four channels. So that I could put all of those people into my mixer and control their levels individually. And, also, a shorty cable.
Shorty cable is going to go along with the shotgun mics, so I don't have to have too much XLR hanging off of my camera. And last but not least, it should go without saying. But I'm going to say it anyway. We want to make absolutely sure that we have a good pair of professional over the ear headphones. So that we can focus only on the audio that we're recording and not on any audio that might be spilling in from other places in the room. Now, lets go ahead and hook all of this stuff up.