Location Sound Recording
Some Thoughts From The Field.
Over the years I've enjoyed immensely the opportunities that have come my way while working in the television production industry. It seems that some of the most difficult situations have arisen because of falling into the trap of 'over thinking' the situation. Quite often less is more.
I'm an old school sound guy. I still believe that quality overhead microphones should be the first choice in sit down talking head interviews and that the industry has gotten lazy by gravitating towards clipping lavaliers on everybody. The difference in sound quality is night and day. Understandably so, a $300 tiny lavalier capsule can not compete with a $2,000 microphone. The rich tonal differences should not be so lightly discarded.
This was an interview I did for Dateline and it represents my approach very well to sit down interviews. In a 2 on 1 situation in a movie theatre, I chose to go with 3 Sennheiser MKH-416's. They provide for a nice bit of reach while laying down some full and rich voice tracks.
Staying with the same Dateline story we found ourselves outdoors on the Appalachian trail doing a 3 on 1 interview. Now this is a prime example of when lav's are the proper choice to achieve the best sound possible. Typically I lean towards Countryman B6's with Lectrosonic 411 Digital Hybrid RF's. I personally don't like to see lav's so I pretty much always bury them.
My favorite combination these days is the Schoeps CMIT-5 and the Schoeps CMC MK41 for sit downs. I fly the 41 on the interview subject and the cmit over the correspondent for the wider two shot. They play extremely well together and the cmit now offers that extra bit of reach that the 41 has always lacked.
Hmm, I started this article with the thought of over thinking a situation and I clearly side tracked into talking heads! Well I shall continue to pontificate on the virtue's of quality sound as I expand this site.
My message is simple... Lavaliers are a tool just like everything else in the kit. Don't over use it in the wrong situations.