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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #1
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DAT vs HV20 vs XH-A1

I want to shoot some interviews. Rather than buying new mics, I'll use my big XLR wired condensers (AT 4033's). At first, I was thinking of recording the audio to DAT. The audio quality is first rate, but there is the issue of having to sync it all after. Sigh. So, I was wondering about renting or buying a BeachTek and hooking it to one of the HV20's. However, I hear the HV20 external mic in is not good. And of course the audio is more compressed than the DAT, but is it noticable? Option 3 would be for me to buy or rent a XH-A1. Sigh.

Does anyone have any anecdotal information about just how much worse the HV20 with Beachtek would be vs. DAT? How 'bout the XH-A1 vs. DAT?

Anyone?
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:00 AM   #2
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Those AT 4033's work best about 3 inches from the mouth.
In my opinion that is a bigger issue than your recording device.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #3
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Dale....David is correct. I have been using this same Audio Technica for years doing audio and it's primarily for close up use (singing etc.). You would have to have it up close and personal to you talent if you want to use it for interviews.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:21 AM   #4
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I've actually tried this, and it sounded surprisingly good. Yes, if you want the proximity effect and so forth, 3 inches with a pop screen would be ideal. But even a lav mic isn't 3 inches from the talent's mouth.

What I have in mind is to have the mic about a foot under the chin, just out of frame. I've tried it and they sound fantastic. (I'm not new to recording audio by the way. Been a pro audio guy for 30 years.)

-Dale.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dale Baglo View Post
I've actually tried this, and it sounded surprisingly good. Yes, if you want the proximity effect and so forth, 3 inches with a pop screen would be ideal. But even a lav mic isn't 3 inches from the talent's mouth.

What I have in mind is to have the mic's about a foot under the chin, just out of frame. I've tried it and they sound fantastic. (I'm not new to recording audio by the way. Been a pro audio guy for 30 years.)

-Dale.
A foot from the speaker below the frame is going to seriously limit your shot composition. Full frame talking heads with no variations is visually boring. That's where audio for video differs from live performance or music recording - it has to mesh smoothly with the visuals of the piece and the editing flow, perspective and distance of the camera from the subject, etc.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #6
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It won't be boring because:

A) I plan to do reverse shots
B) I plan to intercut slides and other video that is being discussed. The "talking head" will be only there long enough to establish who is talking.

So anyway...

I guess nobody has compared the quality of the HV20 mic input to a DAT recording... which was my original question.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:22 PM   #7
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It won't be boring because:

A) I plan to do reverse shots
B) I plan to intercut slides and other video that is being discussed. The "talking head" will be only there long enough to establish who is talking.

So anyway...

I guess nobody has compared the quality of the HV20 mic input to a DAT recording... which was my original question.
I think the problem getting answers to your original question is due to the fact that in the last 5 years or so DAT technology has almost completely disappeared from the world of film and video recording, both prosumer and professional. Almost everyone who might have recorded to both an HD camera such as the HV20 or XH-A1 and to an external recorder in the field in order to be able to make such a comparison is much more likely to have used a file based recorder writing to an internal hard drive or CF cards instead of a DAT. If you ask about comparing current generation cameras with recorders from Sound Devices, Deva, Cantar, Tascam, etc or direct to laptop you'll probably get more responses. Deservedly or not, I'm afraid the march of technology has sent DAT to join the Dodo.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #8
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Well, I think DAT would sound much better... it has too.
HV20 in HDV mode for audio...isn't that like Mpeg1.
With poor electronics

Standard def mode would be better, but......
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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:21 PM   #9
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I think the problem getting answers to your original question is due to the fact that in the last 5 years or so DAT technology has almost completely disappeared from the world of film and video recording
True enough. Maybe I placed too much emphasis on it being a DAT. Any fairly pristine recording device would serve in the comparison. Perhaps I should rephrase it... how's the HV20 mic input with BeachTek compared to other alternatives? (The two issues being the noise floor of the HV20, and the mpeg compression the audio suffers). Is the noise floor of the XH-A1 any better? (the compression would obviously be the same).
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Old February 12th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dale Baglo View Post
True enough. Maybe I placed too much emphasis on it being a DAT. Any fairly pristine recording device would serve in the comparison. Perhaps I should rephrase it... how's the HV20 mic input with BeachTek compared to other alternatives? (The two issues being the noise floor of the HV20, and the mpeg compression the audio suffers). Is the noise floor of the XH-A1 any better? (the compression would obviously be the same).
The HV-20 is a great little camera but it sounds like crap. Almost anything you use that is halfway decent will sound better.

Dan
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