SD 302 Recording to a Sony FX1 Versus to a 24-bit Recorder? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 1st, 2007, 08:28 PM   #1
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SD 302 Recording to a Sony FX1 Versus to a 24-bit Recorder?

I am trying to decide if buying a separate 24-bit recorder is worth the extra expense.

I will be using a Sound Devices 302 mixer recording to a Sony HDR-FX1 camera. Is it worth the additional expense and hassle to double system and record to a Sound Devices 702 recorder as well? (Or does the 302 essentially eliminate the recorded-to-camera sound limitations?)

The project is documentary work with mostly talking-head interviews. Typical living room setups, but there will also be some outside shots and shots following people walking through their homes.

Distribution is completely up in the air, but theatrical release IS a remote possibility, and is semi-realistic (believe it or not) for my next project that this one is serving as a learning experience and calling card for.

THANKS SO MUCH for all of your help! It's GREATLY appreciated!
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 02:06 AM   #2
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What you gain by recording to 24 bit recorder is the ease of setting levels; no need to ride as hot to avoid possible hiss. But if you are using SD302 as a mixer you can be very confident even with the 16 bit sound the camera records; clear metering and good limiters. Besides good 16/48 sound is as good or better than human hearing, and vastly better than most TV-sets. So I would say it is not worth it. It also means more work in post.

Then again there are two things that would argue for the separate recorder:

- if you shoot in HDV mode, the audio is not 16/48 standard, but MPG compressed. Some gold eared persons hear the difference. If you shoot SD this does not apply.

- Depending on the setup it might be beneficial to use more than one or two mics. I have used a setup with 4 mics on make-up videos, one lavalier on talent (make-up artist) who speaks most of the time, on camera short shotgun (mostly close-up shooting, mic is close), 2 hypers or cardioids hung from above feeding a 24 bit Fostex recorder. The idea is that the editor can pick the best sound for each clip and as the Fostex is running all the time, also the off-camera and off-tape comments can be used in the final product. Fostex also works as a safety if the lavalier rubs on something.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 03:39 AM   #3
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for docco and run-and-gun then double system probably doesn't offer you much advantage - you could of course run the recorder and use it as a backup should you be paranoid about camera audio.

Of course in the olden days of shooting doccos on S16 there was no choice but to do double system .....
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:08 AM   #4
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Hello Peter,

A lot depends on the rest of your kit.

I you are using high quality mics like Schoeps or a Sennheiser 416, your chances of surviving the ravages of 384 kbps stereo audio are better than if you have crappy mics.

Having said that, I think 16-bit, 48 khz (about 1500 kbps) audio should be considered a MINIMUM and HDV's MPEG audio is well below that.

Even a properly implemented HiMD recorder gives you 16-bit, 44.1 KHz audio.

So, the question really is whether you want to error on the high side or low side.

The SD 7702 is a very nice sounding recorder. I have the big brother, 744T.
You will not be sorry you added it to your kit.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 07:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
theatrical release IS a remote possibility, and is semi-realistic (believe it or not) for my next project that this one is serving as a learning experience and calling card for.
I missed this upon my first speed-read.

Go double system, it's the only way you'll sound excellent in a well equipped cinema.
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Old August 2nd, 2007, 09:18 AM   #6
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Adding my 2 cents worth, if you do end up in theatrical release you can anticipate extensive sound editing and mixing in post. 16 bit masters might get marginal with extensive mixing, shooting in 24 bit is going to retain quality better even if the final release will be dropped to the standard 16 bit.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Hello Peter,

A lot depends on the rest of your kit.

I you are using high quality mics like Schoeps or a Sennheiser 416, your chances of surviving the ravages of 384 kbps stereo audio are better than if you have crappy mics.

Having said that, I think 16-bit, 48 khz (about 1500 kbps) audio should be considered a MINIMUM and HDV's MPEG audio is well below that.

Even a properly implemented HiMD recorder gives you 16-bit, 44.1 KHz audio.

So, the question really is whether you want to error on the high side or low side.

The SD 7702 is a very nice sounding recorder. I have the big brother, 744T.
You will not be sorry you added it to your kit.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Ty,

Do you think the Senn G2 100 wireless system w/ the ME2 lav mic will be a good to mate with the SD 302 and 702? Your book gives good nods to Senn's MKE lavs but doesn't mention the ME ones.

I'd like to the sound to be reasonably close to the MKH-60's, since that's the boom I hope to use.

Again, I'm doing a documentary, so it's only voices, not music.

Thanks as always.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 09:03 AM   #8
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Hello Peter,

I don't have a lot of direct experience with either Sennheiser lavs, but the word from other soundie friends is that there is definitely a difference between the two.

Countryman EMW are very nice lavs and of course the b6.

The MKH 60 is a very open sounding, quiet mic. You won't find a lav that is as quiet, period.

At some point, it's about how a partiuclar mic mates with the input of a particular wireless input stage. Then it's about the changes in EQ that occur depending on where and how you mount the lav. That's pretty hard to predict. The human voice/body are also a factor. I've put the same model lav on two people and been amazed at how one voice sounds like a pillow and the other like a pickle.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 8th, 2007, 04:50 PM   #9
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Ty,

You've written some pretty positive things about the Sony ECM-88B, do feel that would be a good choice (I realize that at some point they are ALL good and it depends upon placement and other issues that can't be predicted).

Also, anyone have much experience with Sony's UWP-C1 wireless lav system? It's the same price as the Sen G2-100, and have read that Doug Spotted Eagle loves it.
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