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Advice for concealing gear when recording singer at piano
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 
Advice for concealing gear when recording singer at piano

Hi all,

I'm involved with an indie film project where we have to film a musician singing and playing piano at the same time. The director wants to do a 360 rotation shot aiming at the singer/piano so doesn't want any gear nearby.

I was thinking about using a far field mic like AEA r88 mk2 from 6-10 feet away (it will be completely in the dark by then) aiming at the curve, and then hang a small condenser (Oktava mk12) from the ceiling aiming at the singer so it's out of the frame.

Would this work? Also is it really that bad to record voice with a SDC pencil mic like the Oktava? It did sound a little thin when I used it for dialogue, but I'm scared to hang a large diaphragm from the ceiling. Would that even work?

This is my first location sound project so I'm a complete newbie at audio recording for film. Would appreciate any advice or if you have had similar experience recording a singer at piano from afar please let me know your setup. Thanks.
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
the AEA mic should be in the shot! Especially since not being used just as a prop, but really recording through it. Not fake synced. Save the world from phony robot recordings. Capture performance truth and keep it real.

Last edited by surflounge; 1 week ago at 06:11 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #3
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Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Playback is the only way.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Addict
 
apotheosis's Avatar
If sound quality matters, you need to pre-record the audio and resync with the video later.
If sound quality does not matter too much, you might try with miniature microphones for the singer and a stereo on the piano.
I would definitely go for pre-recording / resyncing.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by apotheosis ➡️
If sound quality matters, you need to pre-record the audio and resync with the video later.
If sound quality does not matter too much, you might try with miniature microphones for the singer and a stereo on the piano.
I would definitely go for pre-recording / resyncing.
Sound quality matters to the director.

How would one go about resyncing in post? The singer/pianist improvises a lot. I've been scratching my head at this.

Do you have any suggestions on miniature mics? How different do they sound from LDC or ribbon? I've never used one before.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
@ surflounge If I had the say in it I'd love to do that. Honestly the world of filming audio is depressing to me who got into audio recording in a studio setting.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
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surflounge's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wileypoots ➡️
@ surflounge If I had the say in it I'd love to do that. Honestly the world of filming audio is depressing to me who got into audio recording in a studio setting.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
the best way will be to do things in two passes:
first pass: record the vocalist/piano optimally, using the best mic placements without any regard to how it looks. a suitable microphone arrangement would be to close mic the vocalist with a large diaphragm condenser set to a directional pattern, and mic the piano with a pair of small diaphragm condensers. ideally, you would record the piano separately so the voice is not having to compete with the piano. can the pianist record and play to a click with closed-back headphones?

second pass: have the performer act to his/her own performance. play the recording back over a loudspeaker, and have the artist sing/play to the recording you just made. do several video takes, and edit things together so it looks realistic. if you do a lot of jump cuts, video fades, pans, etc. nobody is going to know. nobody is going to care either.

there is no way you are going to get a proper recording putting the mics out of the camera shot. pianos are loud. the piano will dominate the vocalist. even a classical singer will stand several feet out in front of the piano to get separation and distance advantage. but you have no such opportunity with your singer/songerwriter video project. it won't sound right either. 99.99999% of pop/jazz vocals are done with the mic within 24 inches of the singer.

to convince the director: do it his or her way first. have him/her hear that the results are terrible. then do it the way i am suggesting.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gearstudent ➡️
the best way will be to do things in two passes…
This…100%….don’t buck convention ! Especially on the ‘multiple takes of the second pass’…gives ample material for that ‘produced music video look’
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If you must do a single pass, I'd try a pair of DPA4060/61 inside the piano (1/3-2/3, 18-24" back from the hammers, gaff taped just above (1/4") the frame. The sound is immediate/close-up, and, with a well-tuned and voiced instrument, sweet and full, IME.

Then mic the vocalist with either a headworn DPA 6066 CORE Subminiature Omnidirectional Headset Microphone (element just under the ear) or a DPA 4060 element hidden in the hairline (center) or over/under the off-camera ear, or at the neck (center) of the garment (button hole, necktie, bowtie, necklace, neckline, etc.) Unless the vocal is weak/low level, the proximity should allow sufficient separation from the piano, and the flat response of the omni element should keep the off-axis piano spill benign. These can be hardwired, or transmitted through high-end (Lectrosonics, Shure Axient, Sennheiser 6000) radio systems.

Otherwise... show a mic/mics, and look at DPA d : facto 4018 for the vocal mic... or fly appropriate transducers from rigging, and keep them out-of-frame.

Lots of ways to skin the cat. Good luck, and Cheers.

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 1 week ago at 10:36 PM..
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