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Setting Up the Audio

Before the production, questions are asked and answered in regards to the audio equipment. What sound do we need - Interview, background, ambiance? What mic do we need to bring?

There are mics for each of these.

Lav mic
Lav is short for a lavalier microphone. This is a tiny mic that hooks to the persons shirt or collar. The mic is very directional and is used for interviews.

Handheld mics
Handhelds are mostly used for news. They are held in the hand and can be used during interviews or for stand up comments by the newsperson.

Boom or shotgun mics
These are very directional microphones used to pick up voices or noises. They sit on top of the camera or are held by the audio person. Some people do not like the look of the lav mic and so they will use a boom mic to record interviews or sound bites.

Wireless or Hardwire
Each of the mics above can be Wireless or Hardwired. The wireless mics use a VH or UVH signal to transmit the audio back to the camera. Hardwires use an audio cable to send the signal back to the camera. Wireless allows for freedom of movement but may have crackles and the batteries may run down. The hardwire ties the subject to the camera but is the safest and cleanest sound.

Below is a general list of items to consider for audio:

The Mic - What microphone to use?
Mic placement - Where to put or hold the mic?
Cable or wireless - Does the person on camera need to be mobile? If so, we use a wireless set up. if not, we use a cable to go from camera to mic.
Lav or shotgun - Do we use a lav or a shotgun mic?
Purpose - What is the sound going to be used for? How is it going to help tell the story?

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