Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › Do I need a sound guy?
March 27, 2009 at 8:59 PM #41645
I think so. Just been doing some playing shooting some stuff at a local playground, no I am not a stalker, it was my grandson. I am trying to get use to this new camera. I was using a shotgun mic mounted on the camera. I do use headphones and was keeping an eye on the meter. Problem being my camera has the audio dials under the eye cup at a hard to reach location. There were several times I need to adjust the audio while I was knee deep into the shot and could not.
Is this my lesson about needing a sound guy?
Have any of you guys soloed with this problem? If so how do you get around it?
March 28, 2009 at 12:00 AM #176316
Depends what you’re shooting. What sound were you trying to record in the situation you described. Generally, it’s dialogue that should be worried about. If you’re not trying to record dialogue, then you don’t really need a sound guy. Ambient sound will sometimes be a bit low and other times it may be a bit high. That’s just how sound is. You aim for generally having audio levels hanging out around -12db and not peak above -6.
March 28, 2009 at 2:50 AM #176317
It was wind noise. I had the sound at the upper end of ok but the wind noise kept on raising heck. I have afoam windguard on the mic. I needed to try to get a happy medium but it was all but impossible when I was shooting. Would have been real easy with a sound guy.
The purpose of this testing is to try to see what will work the best on the real shoots. I know I do not need a sound guy for fooling around but I am testing now.
March 28, 2009 at 3:10 AM #176318
I gotcha. I’m glad to see you’re going out and practicing. Not only is that important, but that is very wise on your part.
Anyway, yea, wind is annoying. Unfortunately, even low wind gets through the foam. Without a sound guy, the best you can do is buy one of these for your shotgun:
But depending on what project you are working on, you may find yourself in need of a sound guy. He should have a boom pole with a shotgun mounted to it. Over top the shotgun should be a blimp(or zeplin – same thing, just a different name), and over top of that would be the fuzzy thing everything is familiar with. My audio teacher called it the “scruffy dog,” some call it a “wind sock.” I’m sure there’s other names for it…the bottom line is: you need it.
What all this really means is: sometimes you need and sound guy and sometimes you don’t. The time to decide is in the pre-production stage. If you’re shooting a documentary and you are in a run-n-gun situation, then you definitely need a sound guy. But if you are shooting an interview, you don’t need one. You can simple wear headphones while you conduct an interview. In the situation you described, if you’re not trying to record dialogue, you can always go back on a less windy day and record the ambient sound then.
So to answer your initial question of “Do I need a sound guy?” like many things in this industry…it depends what you’re doing. And I don’t mean this in a rude tone: If you haven’t realized it yet, in this industry a lot of questions are answered by “It depends what you’re doing.” That’s just how it is.
March 28, 2009 at 3:13 AM #176319
Yep I sure found that out real quick.
ANother I found out you always need to buy something. I guess that will never end.
March 28, 2009 at 4:22 AM #176320
“ANother I found out you always need to buy something. I guess that will never end.”
Yea, when you are first starting out you will find out that you need more than you realized, but eventually you will have what you need. Of course, there will always be something better than what you have, but you will reach a point where you will be able to accomplish what you need to with the equipment you have.
In my opinion, the bare minimum(for shooting) is a 3CCD DV camera, 3-point lighting kit, colored gels, cloths pins, clamps, flags, extension cords/power strips, sandbags, wired lav mic, wireless lav mic, shotgun mic w/ wind proctection, various lengths of XLR cable, XLR adapter if your camera doesn’t have those connections, and a fluid head tripod.
March 28, 2009 at 2:26 PM #176321CraftersOfLightParticipant
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