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I'm new to audio and was looking for tips for field mixing.

Our crew was shooting interviews in a high traffic public area. I had the boom on one channel and a lav on the subject on another channel. I had the Lavaliere hitting around -12 to - 6 db and it sounded find - good separation between subject dialogue and background noise. With the shotgun mic, even though it was close to subject as possible without entering frame, it was picking up too much of the background noise if I adjusted gain so it was hitting at -12 and - 6 db. So, unless I brought down the shotgun levels, when I listened to it stereo mixed, the background noise was too overpowering.

Since, these tracks are separate, would I still want the shotgun mic hitting about the same levels as the lavaliere mic and let the editor choose which track they want in post or should I try to bring down the levels of the shotgun mic so that the background noise is minimized. I don't want the producer to look at the footage and think that sound is bad, but at the same time I don't want to leave the editor without an option. What's the general rule of thumb to do in this situation?

Thanks in advance.

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Deliver the best sound you can get!!

But also inform that there is different audio material. I would prepare the Lav for the Editor and bounce out the shotgun parts in stems that start at the begin of the timecode of the project. So then he can use them if he needs more atmo.

Also something that makes me happy is when i get a full prepaired atmo track for the full duration of the Video.

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It sounds like your shotgun mic might is either not particularly focused or was not aimed correctly. It is important to make sure to use shotgun mics that focus on there you point them and then make sure they are pointed carefully.

As for your levels, capture good signal on both. Turning down the level doesn't mean you don't capture background noise, it means everything is closer to the noise floor. The microphone picks up what it picks up. Just because you can't hear it doesn't mean it isn't there and you gain nothing over adjusting it back down later. You lose a lot though since if you have to raise up a low signal later, you get far more noise and less detail in the audio.

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