AUDIO GE AR .
radio mics are the best tool available, sometimes it’s the boom. Regardless, we boom every shot.” British location mixer Simon Bishop agrees that boom mics generally sound way better than radio mics, with the caveat that they have to be within a few feet of the actor or sound source. “Multiple cameras usually push the boom mic out so far as to be unworkable, particularly if the cameras are shooting wide and tight simultaneously,” he says. Bishop recently started work on the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon , with previous credits including The Crown , Silent Witness and New Tricks . He adds that radio mics and multitrack recorders – “the current trend is for more channels” – can be used for both wider and tighter shots at the same time. “Recent developments allow us to record many tracks at once, and remix everything in post-production.” Boom microphones are typically shotgun-style models, such as the Sennheiser MKH, Schoeps CMIT and Rode NTG series. Brian Glasscock, project manager of Pro Labs at Sennheiser, comments that although booms are generally preferred over wireless lavalier mics, radio units are used in situations where booms would not be feasible. “For example, wireless mics have been used very successfully in reality-TV
and documentary productions,” he points out. IMMERSIVE AUDIO Modern feature films and, increasingly, high-end TV dramas often have immersive soundtracks, with a more enveloping effect than previous surround formats. Glasscock comments that OTT companies have been pushing for immersive audio, such as Dolby Atmos, on a variety of content. Usually, this kind of soundtrack is constructed in a rerecording theatre, layering up dialogue and atmospheres recorded on location with sound effects and music. It is possible to record immersive (also known as spatial) sound – with height, length and width information akin to how the human ear hears – using a single microphone. This is based on Ambisonics, conceived by tape recorder enthusiast and mathematician Michael Gerzon in the early 1970s, who invented the Soundfield microphone for capturing all necessary parameters.
The Soundfield is now part of the Rode range, while Ambisonic microphones are also produced by other manufacturers, including Sennheiser with its Ambeo VR mic. This has found favour in virtual reality production and, according to Glasscock, recording immersive ambience, too. Chamberlain comments that, while he does record ambience for use in post, he leaves Ambeo, stereo and Mid/Side (MS – an enhanced form of stereo recording involving two microphones and an electronic matrix) to dedicated effects gatherers. Bishop highlights “the big issue” – immersive audio has to match it with 360° cameras. “Usually, the mic is only out of shot either immediately below, or above, the camera,” he says. “This is not necessarily ideal for sound recording. But that said, done well, immersive audio can deliver stunning results.”
SOUNDING BOARD US recordist Moe Chamberlain recording
on the Paramount backlot (top right)
43. SEPTEMBER 2021
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