Filming a group in a circle – need help!

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    • #37134

      Ok, so I may in the near future have to film a group meeting, where everyone prefers to sit in a rather large circle (usually 12-15 people) and have a discussion about politics, etc. I don’t have clip on or external mics, and I’m using a 3CCD Camera with a built in Mic. I need advice on the best way to shoot this meeting, while keeping in mind my sound problems.

    • #164570

      If there is any way you can place some sort of recorder in the middle perhaps, with a decent mic – that would help. No matter where the camera ends up, some portion of the audio will be difficult to hear. Maybe you can place the camera off to the side, capturing as many faces as possible, and have a wired mic in the center of the circle hooked up to the mic in jack on the camera. Just some random thoughts. Good luck!

    • #164571

      A three quarter circle of people with a locked off camera occupying the fourth quarter will enable you to get everyone in. Then, even a couple of el cheapo omnidirectional mics hanging down from the ceiling (just out of frame) towards either side of the circle (left and right of the camera) would be better than relying on the built-in camera mics.

      But if you can’t even get hold of el cheapo mics, try to record in as small a room as you can – this will help to bounce the audio toward the camera mics.

    • #164572

      Define El Cheapo Omni Directional Mics. πŸ˜›

    • #164573

      You could film a la “That 70’s Show” style – Just set up on a tripod in the center and swivel – You could actually do this with multiple cameras and have each shooter responsible for an arc to minimize panning delays. Also shoot some b-roll footage to hide the pans (or you can accentuate if that’s the effect you want).

    • #164574

      Sorry, by el cheapo omni mic I just meant a cheap mic that picks up sound from all directions (omnidirectional), as opposed to one that needs the speaker to be directly in front of it (unidirectional).

      Not ideal, I know, as the audio quality will be inferior, but even cheap mics closer to the speakers would probably give better audio than relying on the built-in mics. But as I said, a small room will help.

      I was assuming you have one camera and no budget to spend on good audio equipment.

    • #164575

      I do have no budge to spend. I’m sorry, when I meant define, I sorta meant define in monetary terms. How much are we looking at for a cheap mic? And where would be the best place to get one that one explode after 30 minutes of use?

      Also, I was interested in the swivel idea but I was afraid that would block the view of some people of others, and create a somewhat disturbing feature in the room? Sorta like the camera man next to the bridge at the wedding?

    • #164576

      Well, in monetary terms, it would be what you could afford to spend and how good you need the audio quality to be. Microphone prices vary enormously. I have them ranging from around 30 ($60ish) for when my kids are just having some fun to 350 each for the professional wireless lavalier Sennheisers (lapel mics) I use when audio needs to be really good in interview type settings. You could spend even more than that – a heck of a lot more.

      But the point I’m trying to make is that if your audio doesn’t need to be particularly high quality (I got the impression you can’t just go out and buy good equipment and just want to get the best from what you already have), and you just want to hear what people are saying properly, a couple of cheap mics (a few dollars at a garage sale or salvaged from an old tape deck even) may give you better results than what you’ll get from the camera if it’s too far away from whoever is speaking. But again, if you’re in a fairly small room (and tape/camera noise isn’t going to be a problem), the built-in mics may be enough. You’d have to do a bit of testing.

      All I’m really saying is that if you can’t (or don’t want to) buy anything decent, improvise and experiment with what you can get hold of. But if you do mention a specific budget, or a minimum quality requirement, then you may get some more specific advice or recommendations….

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