Capturing audio for a makeup tutorial

Shiv

New member
I recently shot a makeup tutorial for YouTube. It turned out rough, but eh, it was a learning experience. We had lavs on the artist and the model, which an assistant was recording on an H6. I wasn’t too happy with the result. There was a lot of background noise, hissing and rustling. I’ve already noted the areas to improve upon: more soundproofing in the room itself, better placement of the mics so that they don’t pick up noise, and more careful monitoring. Having said that, I want to make sure I’m doing it the right way from a hardware perspective, so I figured I’d ask for some advice.

We used lavs because both subjects were to be on camera at various points and that seemed like the most direct and sensible option. For our future videos, however, we’re going to be focused on only the model’s face, so we have more leeway with the equipment. Given this situation and a small budget for hiring equipment, would it be overkill to use a shotgun mic on a boom? Should I put a condenser mic in front of the model and… something else for the artist, since she’s moving? After all, we don’t necessarily need to create any specific room ambience; we just don’t want to make it sound like a radio voiceover when we’re recording the artist during the action.

I’m a little lost, as you can tell, so any help would be appreciated!
 
First of all, you did not indicate if these were wireless lavs or hardwired, nor the make model of the system and the make model of the lavalier mic capsule itself. These could all be factors.

Many wireless mics, especially the lower priced units, have auto level control built into them. So if your talent is silent, the transmitters keep raising the mic gain until you hear a lot of room noise and hiss. When talent begins speaking again, the volume takes a nose dive, settles in, and then the dialog should be okay. Is that what you were experiencing?

Ditto, if the recorder is set to auto gain -- a similar result might occur. Were you setting the levels manually on the recorder?

Shotgun mics on a boom are never overkill. They are the preferred method of capturing good dialog on a film set, especially for CU and MCU shots. We typically use wireless as backups to the boom.

But for instructional and docu, lavs and wireless work very well and usually provide good presence of the voices, with minimal background noise. You do have to be careful about clothing noise, but for an instructional it is usually not necessary to hide the mics under clothing.

Provide us with more technical details, and we (myself and the readers) can better advise you.
 

Shiv

New member
First of all, you did not indicate if these were wireless lavs or hardwired, nor the make model of the system and the make model of the lavalier mic capsule itself. These could all be factors.
Oops. They were wireless. I’ll have to wait to check on the exact make and model since I didn’t handle them myself.
Many wireless mics, especially the lower priced units, have auto level control built into them. So if your talent is silent, the transmitters keep raising the mic gain until you hear a lot of room noise and hiss. When talent begins speaking again, the volume takes a nose dive, settles in, and then the dialog should be okay. Is that what you were experiencing?
No, the levels were constant.
Ditto, if the recorder is set to auto gain -- a similar result might occur. Were you setting the levels manually on the recorder?
Yes, the levels were set manually. FWIW, the assistant on sound was from the same place we hired the equipment from. Not a professional sound engineer, but reasonably experienced.
Shotgun mics on a boom are never overkill. They are the preferred method of capturing good dialog on a film set, especially for CU and MCU shots. We typically use wireless as backups to the boom.

But for instructional and docu, lavs and wireless work very well and usually provide good presence of the voices, with minimal background noise. You do have to be careful about clothing noise, but for an instructional it is usually not necessary to hide the mics under clothing.
I thought as much, which is why I was a little confused. It could also be that the audio is as it should be and I’m doing a bad job of processing it. I’d be happy to share a couple of sample clips privately if that would help.
Provide us with more technical details, and we (myself and the readers) can better advise you.
Will do, though it may take a little time. Sorry for the wait and thanks for the info you’ve already provided.
 
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