How to choose his sound equipment

Comment choisir son matériel de prise de son

The sound

 This is a topic that you turlupine often : the sound. I understand you because beyond to have beautiful images and a good script, if your sound or your sound is bad, or very bad, the best cameras or technicians of the world will not help you…save you from the flop. To make it simple, the sound of your movie will make the difference between an amateur film and a film (pro or semi-pro). Ignore the sound is going straight into the wall.


The sound and its quality are more than your beautiful images…it is like that, we can’t do anything ! Then it will take you to learn how to control it if you can’t call a sound engineer ! As you know, I’m not a fan of technical, but thanks to this article on the sound recording, you will be able to choose the best material to use.

The material for the making of his

Here are different types of material that you can find and use for your recordings :

The tie clip microphone

I’m not going too dwell on this material that almost everybody knows. It is composed of two housings : a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver is plugged into the camera or the mixer and the transmitter is in the pocket of the comedian. The transmitter is connected to a microphone taped on the back of their shirt or on a jacket. It is the ideal equipment for a lot of situations : dialogues in the car, exit/ entry car, exterior/ interior…But this system gives the sounds : friction micro, clothing etc…

If you are using multiple microphones-ties, make sure that there are many different frequencies to separate the sounds.


The pole

It is made of carbon fiber. It is therefore very slight. I can tell you that it has its importance when you have to stay the arms in the air for long endless minutes. Boomers are finding positions that allow them to stay very long in a position and take a whole day. The pole will allow you to take the sound of your actors, without entering into the field of the camera (this is better ;o) !) But to be able to ” stamp “the text perfectly.

The microphone is placed in a ” cage “ elastic bands that keep it suspended, to avoid friction and noise. In this way the membrane of the microphone can accurately capture the recorded sound.

Note : the” stamped ” it is when the voice of the actor is perfectly aligned with the microphone. His voice is direct.


Micro vibe

The micro atmosphere, as its name indicates, allows you to take moods, but also taken to its long distance.



You probably know already this accessory : it is the thing to hairs at the end of the boom the boom operator ;o) most well-known brand is Rycote. As soon as you are outside, you put on the windscreen to mitigate the breath. There is also a windshield great wind where it blows really strong.

The helmet

If you take her, you must be able to listen to it ! So you need a headset in which you will hear exactly what your microphones record. This will let you know if noise will be present on your soundtrack or not.


That’s basically the material that is at your disposal to make a film.


But regardless of the sound each microphone to its characteristic


The breath

It exists in all channels of the sound. The breath comes from the movement of electrons in the different elements of the chain. It is characterized by a ” noise “ sound diffuse and continuous in the absence of a signal.. To be more clear when the actor speaks, the noise no longer exists, but returns at each pause of the actor.


The response curve

A microphone does not record not necessarily all the frequencies in the same way. Some of them show more the bass than the treble , and vice versa.


The directivity

I would say that this is one of the most important points to consider when you need to choose a micro. The directivity , it is simply the direction in which the microphone will record the better the sound. Each pattern has its own use depending on the situation that you need to register.


Here are very quickly 5 polar patterns



With this micro no direction is put forward, the micro receives uniformly all the sounds at 360°. This is typically the kind of microphone that we use for the outlets to atmosphere.


This microphone picks up sound coming only from the front. All sources, voices are placed in front of the microphone are recorded. It is often used for singing.

Hyper cardioid

This is pretty much the same as the cardioid, except that a little bit of sound can reach the rear. The hyper-cardioid is more narrow than the cardioid.


This is the microphone used for the sound boom. It allows you to target just about the dialogues. But it also allows you to really isolate the noise or specific sounds. Often when you make a film, you need his alone, not, engine, noise gate etc…it is with the canon that you do all this because there are only the desired sound is recorded.


It also takes well to the front and the rear. It is much used for the interviews in order to have a stereo sound.


Often on a shoot you need to manage several different sources, that is to say, multiple microphones different then that you only have one input on your dslr or your camera ! Ditto for the shooting pro, the cameras are not fitted with multiple entries. Then, the solution is what ?

The object miracle for the making of his multi-micro is called the mixer. If you follow this blog since the beginning, you have already heard. The mixer or audio “mixer” allows you to mix different audio sources during your shoot. So you can pre-mix, during the shooting, the microphones of dialogues as well as a micro mood, to be able to promote more than the other. With the mixer you have the possibility to manage up to 6 different sources…so much to tell you what to do.


I put a video produced by ARTE on the sound. You will see, in 4 minutes you’ll understand it all ;o)

That’s it for this article on the sound… I hope it will help you ;o)

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