Definition September 2021 - Web


MICROPHONES While wireless mics have been part of the location sound mixer’s kit for many years, they were predominantly regarded as a back-up to the primary feeds coming from boom mics – or to provide an isolated track that could be processed separately in post- production. Lee-Headman, who uses DPA and Sanken COS-11D lavalier mics for on-body miking – with Schoeps CMIT and Sennheiser shotguns for boom work – comments that what is expected from recordists has changed in recent years. “I like the sound of booms because it is more natural,” she says. “Before, 80% of what we mixed would be used as it was. Now, we provide isolated tracks for post and they mix as they choose. A good dialogue editor can get a great sound from a wireless mic.” US recordist Moe Chamberlain, who works on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett for Lucasfilm/Disney, says the audio source format depends on many factors, but most editors now want individual tracks for each actor. “That means everybody gets wired,” he explains. “But there is always a boom track as well. I go into every scene with the mindset that the boom mic is the primary. Having said that, the situation – number of cameras, background noise, wardrobe – dictates how we record the scene. Sometimes

was used over the summer months as productions started up again. The pandemic halted film and TV drama shoots early in 2020; when they returned a few months later after the initial lockdown, social distancing and stringent hygiene routines were in place to keep cast and crew safe. Sound recordist Judi Lee- Headman, whose credits include episodes of Holby City , The Tunnel and Series 1 of The Capture (she started Series 2 in August), observes that working under Covid-19 regulations was not too different from before. “Microphones are very personal, and the idea of putting a dirty mic on someone is not very attractive,” she says. “Mic hygiene was there before, but now we have different groups of people who are designated to look after certain crew – and they will collect mics and clean them.”

HIGH-END TV Location mixer Simon Bishop has worked on The Crown (above) and House of the Dragon (above middle)

“As a manufacturer of both wired and wireless microphones, we have witnessed how it can take some time for these trends to become apparent. We believe this move towards wireless is not only a carry-over from Covid-secure productions, but a sign of a change in workflow required in the market.” Shure’s response to this was the Axient Digital ADX5D portable wireless receiver, which Moots says with the mindset that the boom mic is the primary” “Everybody gets wired, but there’s always a boom track. I go into every scene


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