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Basics of Sound

Lesson 6 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

6. Basics of Sound

Next Lesson: Timelapse

Lesson Info

Basics of Sound

So there's a There's different types of microphones out there. Okay, we're in a narrow mount down. There's There's a lot of it for us. We're gonna focus on two types. We're gonna focus on directional in omni directional. Okay. Directional an omni directional. Now, an omni directional microphone means it's gonna be capturing and receiving sound from multiple different directions. Okay, if this was the microphone, it's pick up. Pattern is gonna be in a circle. It's gonna be in a circle. Okay, so it's gonna pick up sound from in front to the side to the beside here to even behind. Okay, Omni directional microphones work in a circle. Directional microphones. Okay, for simplicity sake. Ah, directional microphone will work where the microphone is pointing. So if I point it here, it's gonna capture sound from here. I pointed here. It's gonna capture sound from here. Okay, Now there is an element in a pickup pattern of ah, directional microphone where some of the sound from behind get picked u...

p. But generally speaking, the majority of the sound is captured from the front. Okay, Now the microphones that you be used in that test we're hyper cardi oId and cardio. Well, that means the pick up pattern is a heart shaped in the front. Very little on the sides. It's somewhat in the back. Hyper cardi oId, um, is focused more upfront and less in the back. Now, when we listen to that, there was one that was very targeted. And then when we switch the microphones, it kind of opened up the sound a little bit Cardio. It's tender heavy. Mawr open sound because they're picking Atmore sound from around, as opposed to directly in front. Okay, Now for us, When do you pick what microphone? Okay, when it comes to omni directional omni, directional microphones are really, really great for unpredictable circumstances. Multiple subjects when you have no idea what's going on. Okay, so you're on camera microphones, you're on camera. Microphones can sometimes be directional or omnidirectional. Um, I use the Sennheiser any for my shotgun I use, and then I use the M E 64 module for when I put on top my camera. When I put this module on top of my camera, it gives me a wider capture range so that if I don't know where my action is, coming from like, let's say my camera's pointing this way. And then something starts to happen over here. An Omni directional microphone will capture the sound that's happening over here. So that by the time I get my camera over there to capture what's happening, I don't lose the sound. I've got that sound for the entire motion. Okay, that's why I'm a directional. Microphones are really, really good. However, omni directional microphones tend to capture so much of the ambient noise that you want to use them generally a place where you're not gonna be worried about the ambient noise. And when I say ambient noise, If we were to just be quiet for a second and listen to this noise, you would hear the air conditioning. You would hear the typing on computers, you would hear people breathing. So in in situations like wedding receptions, where you have plates clinking and that sort of stuff, it's actually kind of all right. Yeah, just as ambience and ambient because the ambient noise a little ambiance. Right? Okay, So directional microphones, the directional microphones are for use in controlled circumstances or in a studio here, there could be, you know, they could be hanging microphones from the ceiling because they're in a controlled circumstance. They can direct and point the microphone towards a subject. In a lot of interview scenarios, you'll see the talent have a Lava Lear and then a shotgun. Mike is hung from over top, and we'll talk about why they do that in a second. Um, typically directional microphones offer single subject. Okay, Meaning you guys see, uh, you guys see in behind the scenes from movies. There's always some dude holding a stick, right? I always want to stick, and that's stick he's holding. If he's a, he's a quality sound boom operator. It's a directional microphone, and when someone's talking, he'll turn it. And then when that person's talking, he'll turn it. He's got one eye on the script when I on the person. Next line, huh? Next line, huh? It's because wherever the microphones pointing wherever the microphones pointing, is where it's gonna receive and capture sound. Okay, Omni directional microphones within reason. The longer they get theoretically, the further away you can stand. But as we saw, there's a there's a quality difference when you get that microphone far away, isn't there? So a question that I get a lot is how far is too far. Right now there is a frame. Okay, so it looks like that camera out there. So there's a frame that's gonna free me up right now. And typically, you want the microphone just in or out of frame. So Johnny Carson was really famous for when the microphone got in, The way he just slap it. Okay? The reason it got in the ways because that boom operator had to get that microphone as close as possible and he got in the frame and he'd see it in his monitored slap it. And that was what he did. Okay, so that's how far is too far away when it's just out of frame. Okay, You gotta get just out of frame. Okay. So pretty close. Right? No matter how much you spend in a microphone, you gotta get it close, Okay? Power options. You're gonna hear these terms thrown around a lot. Like what is a powered option? What's this phantom power? Is it a ghost? You know, battery power? Like, why do I need what option? And when do I use what option? And gosh, like this is so confusing to me. I'm getting new terms. I'm getting something called Headroom. I mean, I thought Headroom is for cars, and then I'm getting, like, raising the floor. Like, who wants to raise the floor that you raise the roof? Right? You get all these weird terms thrown at you, and you just don't know what to do about it. Calm down. I got you. Okay. Power options. Phantom Power is a microphone that's being powered from whatever source it's being plugged into. The source that is plugged into typically is a mixing board or a mixer. Okay, so we have a cable with a cable here. It's called an X L R cable. Looks pretty fancy. This XLR cable, when you plug it into a microphone, will actually power a microphone if it's a Fendt empowered microphone. Okay, so you would plug it in here, plug this end right into your mixer, and then this microphone now is powered so that it could actually be able to receive sound. Okay, this microphone that I use is not phantom powered, not phantom powered means that the capsule in here has a battery. There's benefits to both So we're gonna talk about that really quickly. Okay? Now, when you talk about phantom power, if you're running a studio set up and you're on a sound stage, you're gonna be kind of in that space permanently or semi permanently. The last thing you never want to do is run around and change batteries, right? So there's a benefit to having microphones plugged in that air all powered from one source. That's why phantom power is really good. Okay, Because it does draw power. Um, and and and? And if you've gotta run around in the studio and change batteries, that could be tedious. And what if someone forgets to change the battery? And how do you know when you change batteries and what microphones have, what battery life, and yeah, so it could be kind of annoying, Right? Battery powered microphones are really a joy for people who are mobile. A lot of the times, let's make believe I'm gonna shoot, okay. And on my shoot, the only things that are driving my microphones are my mixer and my recorder, my recorder in my mixer run on double A batteries. And this has happened to be in the past where we've run phantom powered microphones off of these guys and it drains the battery down to nothing in, like, five seconds. Okay, I'm exaggerating, but exaggerating for purpose. If you have battery powered microphones and you're using field recorders, you're gonna extend the battery life of your field recorders for the shoot much longer because phantom power will draw from the batteries driving this. And now you're operating a mixer and you're operating a microphone off the same power source. And this is your lifeline. What happens when this dies? It dies. It dies, there's there's you can't capture sound, you can't capture sound right? Okay, So if you take a really close look at my sound equipment, I'm ah, I'm pretty kind of picky. And the reason I used this brand is because it's double a and it's USB powered. Okay, so here's what I dio If I'm out in the field and I'm out of batteries and I don't have and I'm not I'm not buying outlet. I can't charge proprietary battery anywhere. I Kenbrell I double A's and put them into my recorders to record sound. Okay, if I'm at a like a setups situation where I've got my cameras on tripods. I'm doing an interview. They're USB powered. And who doesn't have a USB cable on them? I mean, I have tons of them, so I can power this literally. If I have my computer next to the tripod, I can power it from my computer infinitely. Okay, so it's a really kind of universal power system. So microphone types, you got your on camera. Okay. Ah, Funny thing in here. That's the microphone in the camera. That's the microphone in the camera. So the idea that we can capture quality, sound and playback quality audio from this guy is laughable is laughable. You have to believe me on this. This is not okay. No matter. Whoever knew anyone tells you this is not okay. It's on Lee. Good enough for reference, sound and reference. And we'll talk about later, and we start sinking stuff. Okay, this is an on camera microphone on camera microphone. We'll plug into your hot shoe. Okay. Plug in your hot shoe. It's got a little mini plug plugs inside your camera. This is good for, like, event, but it's not good for production sound. Okay? It's good for events sound and it's really good for reference. Sound okay, but I wouldn't record an interview on this microphone if I was standing from me to my computer and I was going to do Ah, high production interview the last microphone I would be using. It was one on my camera that far away from my subject. However, if I'm out like a trade show or I'm doing an event and I've got to get the interview on camera microphones could be okay. So here's a funny thing. And here's the funny thing about audio we can forgive. Ah, bad movie with good audio. But we cannot forgive. Ah, good movie with bad audio because you can't listen to it. It just blows your ears on. You're done, you're done. It could be the prettiest, most beautiful footage on the face of the planet. But if it's just a nef ence on your senses, then you're done. Okay, but there's tolerances to what we accept. If we know where at an event, and I capture sound with the non camera microphone of someone talking, we know it's an event, so we're OK with that, aren't way. Okay, so you got to know what field you're playing in when we talk about here shotgun microphones. And now we get into something called La Valliere when we kind of like talk about sound equipment. I think the barrier for a lot of photographers getting in, because I want to bring it back to why we're here. And we're here because we're photographers and we wanna learn elements of production. And when it comes to production, capturing sound is a challenge. And it's a challenge, one because of a technicality, learning the technique of capturing sound and number two because of the cost involved. Okay, there's there's a significant cost involved in picking up sound equipment and yeah, you can rent it and yeah, you can you can borrow it and that kind of stuff. But what I want to make sure we understand is that there are many different ways for us to capture sound and keep our costs down initially and still do a good job doing it. Okay, so these are great great items, but they run 607 $100. Okay, they run 600 $100. It's because their wireless there's electron ICS involved and and you know for For someone who's gonna be doing production eventually. I'm not saying right away. Eventually, you're going to need to invest in a set, right? For the time being, you get a microphone. Laval, your microphone, get a simple recorder. Plug it in. Remember I said earlier about a poor man's law. This is your poor man's love. We'll talk about that in a bit. Okay? But I don't want to lose you guys in the sense of the fact that oh, he's talking about sound. I don't know how to do it. And now he's talking about all this other equipment that I'm gonna have to buy and I don't want you to get I don't want to get discouraged yet. Okay. You shouldn't be discouraged about purchasing equipment. Learn the techniques, learned what I'm talking to you about, and then we'll move on. Okay?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Gear Guide
PreProduction Planner
Victor's White Board Notes
Keynote

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