Looking for recommendations from the experts regarding a microphone. The idea is to record a conversation during a barbershop haircut experience for a podcast idea. To include some background noise,(clippers, trimmers, etc...) but the voices and conversation should sound clear. I am very new at this, and am interested in setting up a recording rig for beginners. (I have a Mac computer) Thanks for your help! D.


I don't think you're going to be able to do this with a single mic.

Your best bet would be a lav mic on each of the talent & a hand-held boom to try pick out some additional detail.
Hair clippers are going to be about the same volume level as the speakers, so you may have to either use them only when someone else is speaking, to get some distance, or fake it & add the sound in post.

This doubles your potential to get any given line of dialog. If you can't hear it on one mic, you may be able to pick it out on another.

After other answers -
Lavs for 'drama' as opposed to 'interview' are always covered by clothing. They stick on with a little fluffy jacket [a sticky overcover, like a tiny dead cat] to prevent movement noise.

Using a hand-held boom rather than a fixed single mic means you have an experienced boom op working in tandem with your camera op, keeping it out of frame.

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Another alternative might be to do a binaural recording. This will allow you to capture all your sources and also get realistic spatialisation. The downside is to get the spatial effect you need to playback through headphone. Have a listen to this barbershop example to get an idea of the kind of results you can get - make sure you wear headphones:

A binaural recording is created by simultaneously capturing the sound as presented to a listeners ears and then playing the recording back to the same point, hence the requirement to wear headphones. You can do the recording either with a dummy head and two microphones or with a pair of earbud microphones that you can wear in your ears. These are relatively cheap these days and create some good results. More details are available here:

https://hookeaudio.com/blog/binaural-3d-audio/binaural-audio-complete-guide/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/researchanddevelopment/2013/03/listen-up-binaural-sound.shtml https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording

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The solution to this is very simple. Just put a shotgun or condenser mic on a stand above and in front of the talent in the chair. The barber will be behind the chair for the most part and this will allow you to pick up all voices and effects without having to worry about lav placement which would be exceedingly difficult in a scenario such as this.

One stand, one mic.


Lavalier use would not be recommended due to the following reasons:

  • Lav will likely be covered by clothing or sheets due to nature of the scenario.

  • Lav on the barber is likely to brush up against the seated talent. You would expect a lot of contact noise with the lavs and there would be significant bleed from the clippers into the lavs, outweighing any perceived benefit.

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