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Guest Jackson Blake

Question for a sound recordist

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Guest Jackson Blake

Is filming on an outdoor location 3800 feet from a major thruway a problem in terms of sound?

 

Thank you!

Edited by Jackson Blake

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Is filming on an outdoor location 3800 feet from a major thruway a problem in terms of sound?

 

Thank you!

 

You can probably get away with it. I live much closer to a parkway and sounds like a medium-pitched din. If your film has an urban setting to it, it can add to the atmosphere.

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Have you been to the location?

 

Factors that will afect this.

Wind direction and speed, buildings, landforms, vegitation in between, time of day (how busy the throughway is).

The kind of, or quality of sound you are trying to record. Basic skills of the sound guy.

 

All common sense, so just start filling the gaps. I would start by visiting the location at the time of day and with the same winds that you anticipate. Any uncertainty, take the sound recordist with you.

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Is filming on an outdoor location 3800 feet from a major thruway a problem in terms of sound?

 

Thank you!

 

The question is do you have enough 'signal' over this general din of the roadway. If the mics are close to the talent, and with detailed 'dialog' editing, you may be able to get an audio track that minimizes the background.

 

You should take the equipment you are going to use, and make tests. If your talent is not use to actually making movies... they may have voice problems in that they may not speak loudly enough, mumble, or mispronounce, and so cause problems on that account. Rehearsal is necessary, despite perhaps not paying anyone anything...

 

Also, when shooting get a 30 second or 1 minute capture of the background sounds with everyone still on the set.

 

With a heavily trafficked road, the din sort of 'averages out'. However, if the road is not trafficked sometimes the occasional motor noise will be obvious, and thereby more difficult to get out, or require a retake on that account. Police/Ambulance/Fire sirens also figure... then there's the odd aircraft...

 

This requires monitoring with good headphones while making the take, and indicating if something happens during the take to do a retake.

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Good microphone techniques with help reduce background noise. This usually involves getting the mic as close as possible, using a good sound recordist will minimise this issue. If you don't have one, doing tests with various mics and their placement will help you assess the best method.

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Guest Jackson Blake

Thank you for the advice.

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