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Old June 11th, 2003, 07:10 AM   #1
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DM-50 range for outdoor concert?

Newbie here. Just bought a GL-2 and DM-50. Need to film/record about 4 hours of on-stage, outdoor, Blues Festival music.

30 foot Sound stage, with speakers on both ends of the stage, loud.

Video shots range in width from 8-piece band to single individual.

I can position the camera and on-board (or DM-50) mic anywhere I want to (especially between the crowd and the stage), but i do not know enough about recording sensitivity/distances. I do not know how 'big' a cartoid cloud/field IS--so I dont know how 'far' back I should stand, and whether a shotgun mike is even useful for a wide-stage like that.

I dont know enough about this to know where to stand--can someone offer some suggestions/guidelines? How close is 'too close' (where the DM-50 wont pick up the speakers at the ends of the stage)?

Someone kindly responded earlier that wherever the sound was good 'for me', was also good 'for the camera', but I dont think I personally listen with 'shotgun mike' hearing. [The sound is good 'for me' just about anywhere in the audience or even oblique to the stage, judging from last years experience.]

So, should i NOT use the shotgun and go with the more omni- onboard Mic (on the GL-2), or will that pick up all the crowd noises behind me too?

If i use the DM-50, will i miss the sound from the speakers on either ends of the soundstage (30 ft apart)?

I just dont know the "dimensions" of the cartoid-cloud or field for the DM-50, and dont have the time/situation to experiment with it (filming is saturday morning, and i am out of town until then).


Thanks so very much.
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Old June 11th, 2003, 09:32 PM   #2
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Use the on-board. The shotgun may overload and it will certainly be too directional.

In either case, you aren't going to get the quality of sound that would be necessary were you shooting the band for a commercial tape/DVD.

The band is going to use a large number of microphones placed very close to the music sources so they can created the sound you hear. Unfortunately, the sound you hear is not the sound the camcorder records. Unless you replicate their sound capture system, microphones and all, your recording will just not be as good.

Doesn't mean it won't be quite listenable. Just that you couldn't create a commercial CD with the gear you plan to use.

So enjoy. The tape will be quite viewable and listenable with the on-board microphone.


BTW, there is no real dimension to a microphone receptivity (or sensitivity chart). Those charts are just an indicator of the relative sensitivity of the microphone to sound from a given direction. Remember that the directivity of the response goes down as the frequency goes down. A shotgun is omnidirectional at low frequencies. That's why you hear the bus in the headphones as the bus comes from in front of the shotgun, passes you, and disappears into the distance. The low-frequency components of the 'bus sound' are equally accepted by the shotgun no matter where they originate.

The only exception to this is the $3500 Audio Technica shotgun that uses a microprocessor and multiple microphone elements to create the directionality. That one will reduce the bus sound when it arrives from any direction but straight ahead.
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Old June 11th, 2003, 10:35 PM   #3
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Thanks a ton, Mike.

Since I am only aiming to put the recording up in RealVideo (quarter screen, DSL-speed) on the web, this will probably work. I'll use the on-board mic, try to position about 30-40 feet from the stage (creating an isoceles triangle, with the 30 foot stage as the 'base').

Hopefully, this will work.

Thanks again for talking the time to help a newbie,
Glenn
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Old June 12th, 2003, 09:17 AM   #4
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Glenn,

Is there anyway you can show up during sound checks? That way you can check the on board versus the DM-50 mics. The DM-50 is not a 'real' shotgun mic the way they are usually discussed here. It is more omnidirectional in one setting but still not as omnidirectional as typical shotgun mics. There was an earlier thread where the poster reports good results using the DM-50 to record opera.

Your best bet, if you can, is to show up at sound check and try the various DM-50 settings and the on camera mic to see what sounds best.
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Old June 12th, 2003, 12:55 PM   #5
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Jeff,

Thanks for the helpful info, esp on the DM-50 being quasi-omni-whatever.

Since I am only filming 4 of the 12 acts at the Festival, I think I will be able to actually test both of those on (earlier in the Festival) live performances. Presumably, I can check a warm-up act with both mics.

Hmmm...but i guess my question now is how will i know if the DM-50 is retricting the audio intake too much? would the monitoring earphones on the GL-2 accurately reflect the input (assuming that pass-through monitoring DURING recording is available--I dont know that yet). Or, would I have to film 5 mins without, and then 5 mins WITH the DM-50, and use the Replay function with mics to check what was recording (given that I will be in a very, very noisy environment, and my earphones are not that insulated from the surrounding sound and I might have to move offsite to actually). I have some good stereo headphones (with the big jacks), but probably have a converted to mini-jack i could use. Plus, i guess I could try to check it between songs, when the noise level will be reduced.

Thanks for the info, again, especially on the DM50.

Glenn
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Old June 12th, 2003, 01:45 PM   #6
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The headphones should be fine (and you are hearing what is going in). You can get an idea of volume by looking at the audio meters.

My concern about the headphone use while you are recording is that it might be difficult at a concert to differentiate what is coming in though the microphone versus through the outside air. Even with good closed headphones I wonder how much of the external sound will be blocked.

The other issue, and I can't help any here, is whether you are better off with AGC (allowing the camera to automatically adjust the levels) or going full manual. If you go the manual route you will be tweaking the dials while you are shooting and that's bound to introduce some shake to the footage unless it is a VERY solid tripod and head.
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Old June 12th, 2003, 06:18 PM   #7
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yeah, on the mic-test, i have pretty well resigned myself to the fact that i will have to record/stop/rewind/playback BETWEEN songs (during the earlier, "test" acts before the ones I want to actually 'keep') to verify that i am getting the sound-area coverage.

I too have wondered about the Auto-level thing, and am going to try that first and watch the levels (and the earphone tests, of course). If the levels are too low, I will assume I am too far from the stage and try again closer. Ditto adjustments if the two channels are out-of-synch, in terms of levels.

Since RealVideo will 'flatten' much of the sound detail anyway, unless the AGC does a HORRIBLE job, I will go with that for this outdoor recording. It's for a streaming media web 'advertisement' only at this point (and the Blues genre doesnt require a distortion-free delivery..that would be almost oxymoronic...smile).

[Eventually, i will be doing inside, semi-studio recordings, but i will have to learn/acquire multi-mike/xlr/mixer skills and equipment for those--intended for possible prosumer DVD creation.]

My main concern at this point is still how far back from the stage to START this process: 20 ft? 50 ft? 75 ft? 100ft? Since i will be iterating my tests in (probably) 5 ft step-increments, a bad starting point will affect dramatically HOW MANY test runs I will need to make before finding a 'sweet spot' to shoot from.

I understand that sound quality/level drops off exponentially, so I guess (thinking out loud) that I will start at 50ft and do the test...?

Thanks again, Glenn
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Old June 12th, 2003, 10:11 PM   #8
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Glenn have you ever considered a stereo mic and a mini disc recorder?I have made some excellent recordings of concerts using an AT-825 plugged directly into a sony portable minidisc.
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Old June 12th, 2003, 11:58 PM   #9
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hmmm...no, i havent, since I dont know what a mini-disc recorder is. BUT--If it's an audio-ONLY device, though, i know better than try to merge VIDEO captured on the GL-2 with AUDIO captured on another, independently clocked device! (been there, done that, never the twain shall meet in the timeline).

I have RealVideo of some of my business lectures on the web (done by an unskilled operator (me), with cheap, consumer, analog gear 4 years ago), and late in some of the clips the sound gets only 1 or 2 NTSC frames off-synch with the video--and it drives you crazy! www.ciosales.com. [the static is from the wireless mike i used back then...]

But if i have misunderstood (a high probability), and if a mini-disc recorder is BOTH A/V and 'rent-able', then let me know and i'll consider it. (Although i doubt i have enough time to find one fast enough for a 10am Saturday shoot--since I dont even arrive back in town until 8pm Friday night).

Thanks for taking the time to suggest an alternative, friend.

Glenn
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Old June 13th, 2003, 12:11 AM   #10
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Haven't heard of the minidisc format? It's kind of like CD's but much smaller, but uses a different codec type deal, and not all minidisc players have the capability to record from a microphone. Also, you have to send the audio back to your computer from the MD player, via analog line in on your sound card.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh4/con...rch&Q=&ci=4252 Theres ones for under $200 on there.
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Old June 13th, 2003, 12:28 AM   #11
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All in all you would not need the MD recorder.YEah its an audio only device and would probably give you better recordings than the camera but you could always use a stereo mic on a stand hooked to the cam, that way when panning the band members etc your audio source would still be coming from the position of the mic not changing with the cams direction if that makes sense.
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