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Balance, Consistency, and Being On-Axis > Balance, Consistency, and Being On-Ax... - Pg. 376

358 ChapTer 16 Location Sound techniques The microphone of choice most often for recording voices is the cardioid. It usually offers the flattest frequency response and a certain degree of directionality, so we have control over the source/background balance. Some cardioid microphones are manufactured with a speech bump, which means the microphone is especially sensitive to frequencies where the average human voice falls (midrange) and is less sensitive to high and low frequencies. If your framing allows you to position your microphone within 4 feet of the talent, then a regular cardioid will do; if the framing of your shot is wider than this, causing you to posi- tion a microphone from 4 to 10 feet, then a hypercardioid is a good choice. Beyond 10 feet, you could use a shotgun microphone, but remember that although this is a fine solution for exterior shots, in interior locations a shotgun will sound "boomy." in practice Good sound mixers hear everything. Not only are their ears attuned to the ambient noise, acous- tic qualities, and problematic transient sounds of a given location, but they remain aware of aural oppor- tunities as well, including wild sounds that might be useful later in postproduction. This is creative listen- ing! On a recent film of mine, we had to postpone an exterior scene because a flock of crows flew in and squawked obnoxiously over all that nice dialogue I had written. So I decided to break for an early lunch, recorded a few minutes of crows squawking. "Just in case you need it later," he said to me, adding that "it sounded really cool." My short film FearFall is about Ray, a middle-class man from the suburbs who descends into paranoia over his new next-door neigh- bors, whom he never sees. Sure enough, Michael was absolutely right. That little piece of wild sound, recorded impromptu, was pure gold in postproduc- tion. I inserted those squawking, nagging crows as ambient sound in certain scenes later in the film, as