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Studio Set-Up for Interviews

chrisalan's picture
Last seen: 2 years 5 months ago
Joined: 04/30/2012 - 2:40pm

I am trying to spec out a video studio set-up in a few different price ranges ($1,000, $2,000 and $3,000) for something that would be capable of filming 2 people interviewing. I will have a backdrop and have two people sitting at a table interacting. I would like to get a set-up (cameras, mics, software that would allow me to mix the audio post). I would like to have 2 clip-on mics and two cameras. But want to find a few different options when it comes to syncing all the audio and video together.

I've been thinking about getting 2 Go Pro Hero 2 cameras and have a one of the cameras using an audio mixer that'll split to the 2 mics. I'd use the first camera to just capture a steady shot of both of the interviewees and the 2nd I would use to capture close ups, moving shots etc.

As for software, adobepremiereelements offers audio capabilities as far as eq and compression etc.

One, of the things worrying me it all these sources capturing audio and video how.. Whats the best way to get all this footage and be able to easily sync it all up for editing inside the software.

Any ideas, product suggestions will be helpful! Thank you!


BruceMol's picture
Last seen: 19 hours 56 min ago
Joined: 03/11/2008 - 10:35pm

I'm currently using a little 2 person 'seated' studio where I have 2 wireless lav's going to my main camera (where I set the levels for both). My main camera (XHA1) records the front view and I have 2 other cameras (SONY handheld things) on the interviewer and interviewee. Those two SONY's just record sound from their on board mics. I get the host to clap before takes and it is really easy to sync up sound not so easy to sync up colour! If the interviewee has something in their hand to show I collect the close up footage after.


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 day ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

Chris,

I wouldn't use a sports cam like the GoPro for a studio interview. First off, it's a fixed wide angle lens. You'll have to move the camera really close for your 'talking head' shots. Also, you won't be able to control the exposure and you'll have to have a separate audio recorder to do sync audio because the GoPro's don't have external mic inputs. Syncing up one camera is a challenge. Doing two is even more so. Last thing you want is to have an audio issue when you get into the edit bay when it's a paying gig.

If you don't have the budget for a dedicated video camera, I suggest looking into a good Point and shoot camera. All of the latest models have HD video and you'll have a lot more control over the shoot by being able to resize shots via zoom, exposure controls and being able to see what you're shooting while shooting. Canon and Nikon make some really nice PnS rigs that are quite affordable.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


fx1shooter's picture
Last seen: 3 days 18 hours ago
Joined: 11/13/2009 - 2:45pm
Plus Member

I agree with Composite1, the GoPro is probably not the best choice for this application as its lens is almost a fisheye. However the new GoPro Hero2 does have a mic in plug... Yes Composite1, the new GoPro hero2 has a lot of the features that were lacking on the GoPro...

I would look into 200-300$ range hd camcorders and a zoom h4. Your total budget will be approx 1k$ for 2 cam's and the zoom h4 as Bruce suggested a simple "clap" will help you sink evrything in post.

Good luck !


composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 day ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

I'd also add that if using a couple of PnS cameras, you'll also need a separate recorder. I would recommend the Zoom H1. It's a lot less expensive than the H4 which is a much more professional rig, but gets excellent audio for the price. Whatever recorder you get, please get a fuzzy muff to cover the recorder's mics. Rycote, WindTech and K-Tek make fuzzy's that will fit. Also, with the H1 stay off 'Auto Levels'. They are way too sensitive. Keep it on manual audio and adjust your levels as needed.

As for the Hero2 it's a very good small form factor sports/crash camera. But even the latest model doesn't allow any of the image controls many PnS cameras offer for still or video. It's full auto which is fine for uncontrolled action shots. Terrible for a controlled setting like a studio interview. You're right about the mike input but I would feel safer with a dedicated audio recorder especially with on-camera talent. Truthfully as I mentioned, a dedicated video camera would be the much better choice but most models of PnS cams use a lot of the tech their DSLR siblings use. Now, you most likely won't have a mike input or audio inputs for recording, but you didn't want to use that anyway for anything other than reference audio during syncing.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

 chris, for the low end of your budget prospects, you might try, as previously mentioned, using two pns videocams. One on the each participant. If you can find two which have external microphone plugs(check the specs), you can hardwire a lavalier from each person to the cam focused on them. This will allow you to lay the two video tracks with their accompaning audio track on your timeline and switch back and forth as you edit. Once you line up the two tracks at the start you pretty much eliminate sync problems. Using the video cameras to record audio from external mics will give good audio (usually much better than using the internal mics). I have had good results using an inexpensive lavalier from Radio Shack (#33-3013) with an extension cord (if necessary for length to the camera). My .02 worth.



composite1's picture
Last seen: 7 months 1 day ago
Joined: 12/11/2008 - 7:54pm
Plus Member Moderator

One last thing,

If you do a multi-cam shoot, make sure at least two are the same make and model. that will make color syncing much easier. It's just short of guaranteed cameras of different makes and models with get different looks concerning color and detail which is a 'female dog' to correct in post. Ofttimes you'll see in a production the main shot in color and a secondary in B&W. That's the usual creative work around for shots from a different camera that proved too difficult to correct for.

H.Wolfgang Porter, Composite Media Producer Dreaded Enterprises Unlimited, Inc. www.dreadedenterprises.com


Austen's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 11/28/2012 - 6:26am

Another great audio option is the Zoom H2n.  It's got five internal mics, audio in and out, and a plethora of other great features.  It's only $200. Check it out. 

-Austen