Mark covers more tips for capturing sound when shooting outdoors.
Hi. I’m Mark Montgomery for Video Maker. This is tips and tricks and today we’re talking about outdoor audio.
There’s some real simple tools here we’re gonna cover first before we get into the techniques. First, is a lav microphone. I’m wearing one right now and this is a great tool if you’re recording dialogue or your talent’s speaking outdoors because the number one rule here is we can get the microphone close to the talent. This, actually, is equipped with a foam mic muff that will help cut out breezes. It’s also got a low cut filter here installed on the mic itself, the body pack, and that will cut low frequencies out, reducing any wind noise.
We have another device here. Now, if you’re shooting with multiple microphones and multiple sources and you need to mix them live, nothing’s better than a field audio recorder or field audio mixer for that. It’s got four inputs, some VU meters, and you can mix this down to two channels out to your camcorder. That’s a real handy device.
Another one is this small, portable field audio recorder. This will record audio. It’s got an external mic input and I can record to a memory disk multiple hours of audio. This will allow me the flexibility to go out and shoot maybe in some more wilderness areas for multiple hours and get the sound I’m looking for. And we’ll be using this device today along with our shotgun microphone on this boom pole and it’s equipped with a Zeppelin and another mic muff, and this is gonna get us a real good quality audio in a windy environment and we’re gonna get – capture some elements here for our final soundscape. So, let’s do that now.
Okay, now, we’re actually gonna acquire the sounds we need. We’re gonna use our shotgun microphone to select certain areas of environments of sound. So, in my scene one, I’m gonna capture some wind noises. So, I’ll point my microphone towards the trees and get the leaves rustling. I might be shooting something with some wildlife, so I’m gonna spend some time capturing noises, bird noises, perhaps. And then, I’m gonna mix in another sound environment. Maybe it’s water. I’m gonna spend some time capturing water.
Now, you need to remember however long your scene is, you need that continuous audio. So, if you’re shooting for a 30 second scene, make sure you have at least 30 seconds of that sound environment for your final mix down.
For a final mix down, we’re gonna take these three sound elements and mix ‘em into one sound environment. First, I’ve got a shot here of just the forest, so I’m gonna use some wind and now I’m gonna actually gradually gain up my bird noises to add that little wildlife effect to it. And then, a shot with more water into it and now I’ll actually start to move up the gain of the water. Now, all this is continuous audio. All I’m doing is adjusting the gain to change your perception of where you are location wise. So, we can actually gently move in sound environments and move them out using the gain controls.
So, there’s three things to remember here. You should always try to minimize the sources of noise. Be aware of your surroundings. Also, always capture continuous audio, more than you need. And, finally, mix in posts to taste. You’re the best judge. Use your ears.
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