RECORDING SOUNDMicrophones and Cables used in Film & Television
Pickup Patterns Different microphones pick up sound in different ways. The direction from which a mic records sound is referred to as its pickup pattern.
Lavaliere (Lav) Mic Omni-Directional Hands-free (fastened to clothing with a clip) Used for: Interviews News anchors Planting in scenes that are hard to place a mic
Handheld Mic Cardioid Used for: Electronic News Gathering (ENG) Interviews Field Reporting Game Show Hosts
Shotgun Mic Super Cardioid Often used in conjunction with a boom pole Used for: Film Shoots Location sound Recording nature
XLR Cables Most commonly used cable for attaching an external mic to a camera Carries a left channel, as right channel, and a ground wire.
Other Types of Audio Cables
Recording AccessoriesWindscreens Pop-Filters These devices are Used to minimize used to eliminate or plosives (pop-sounds reduce wind made while talking) in sound, and other the studio ambient environment. sounds, during the recording process.
How is Sound Measured? The volume of sound is Digital & Analog VU Meters measured in decibels (dB). A VU (volume units) meter is used to measure the decibels of a sound. Sound that is louder than 0dB becomes distorted. In the film industry, when a sound is distorted, or too loud, it is referred to as “hot” or “overmodulated”.
Tips for Recording Good Sound Each mic has a specific purpose. When choosing a mic, think about what you are recording and how you want it to sound. Make sure you use headphones to listen to the audio as you record it. This will allow you to hear exactly what is being recorded to tape. Use an external mic. The microphones included on cameras are not high quality, and will produce a low quality audio recording. Eliminate as much background noise as possible. Close windows, shut doors, turn off lights and/or electrical equipment to reduce excess noise and/or buzzing. Hold the mic close to your subject, pointed at her/his mouth. Have the person speak clearly and loudly. Check your VU levels to make sure the audio you are