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Re: newbie question on recording in wet enviornment, positioning

Subject: Re: newbie question on recording in wet enviornment, positioning
From: "Avocet" madl74
Date: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:22 am ((PDT))
> Ground Level = sometimes less phase issues from ground reflections,
> though more diffraction or shadowing from terrain.


I made the discovery of the ground position many years ago while
fiming TV drama years before multiple radio mics were available.
Initially it was to hide or disguise the mics in wide shots but on
soft surfaces there is often a dramatic reduction in background noise.
I'm going back to Z-Cars and Softly-Softly, but I was the first
Recordist to use three radio mics on Last of the Summer Wine until the
office asked for them back.

With birdsong, the mics are often pointed upwards anyway and ground
absorption of the wanted signals is less of a problem. Of course it
sometimes doesn't work, but it's worth a try, and windspeeds are lower
down there as well.

> Normal Tripod Height = comfortable, convenient position for the user
> with minimal stooping or reaching to setup and make adjustments.

When I took up nature recording in my old age, I put my MKH rig on two
tripods and they kept blowing over. I then remembered my old mic
techniques and have since left them on the ground. :-)

Ground reflections from hard surfaces can be very audible on mic rigs
like M-S with a wide solid angle pickup. Admittedly ground reflections 
are less audible at birdsong frequencies, but with tests I have done,
reflections can muddle a clean stereo image. You can hear ground
reflections with aircraft when a mic height is varied.

> High = broader perspective of landscape, less obstruction from
> surrounding terrain or underbrush, a possibility for facing
> microphones downward toward subject.

Very effective for townscape atmospheres as from a hill or a high
building. I remember the magical sound of Fez in Morocco at evening
prayer time with muezzins calling right across the city. And with a
camel train, the best distance perspective is from the top of a dune.


David Brinicombe
North Devon, UK
Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - Ambrose Bierce

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