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Old March 16th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #1
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I'm not going to use the camera for sound

Hello,
I'm going to use a Canon XH-A1 to film a 78 minutes narrative and I've decided not to use the on board sound.
I'm just realizing that DAT have become obsolete, so could somebody tell me in what kind of device I should plug in my AT 4071a. I assume now sound is recorded digitally with some hard drives, correct?
By the way, does anybody suggest something better than the AT 4071a or is that more than enough for dialog?
Thanks
Larry
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Old March 16th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #2
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it depends on your budget. no camera can beat a dedicated (good) audio recorder. its preferable to record on a seperate device at 24bit. you have to line up the audio and video using something like a slate, but i can tell you its worth it.

I use the sound devices 702 T , t is for timecode but they have a standard version without timecode, thats when the slate will come in handy.
How much do you wanna spend? Audio is a good investment in general
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Old March 16th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #3
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and oh yeah about your mic question the AT 4071a is a pretty good mic for dialog, but like everything else, the more you pay, the more you get.

I moved up to the sennheiser 416 from the 4071 and its better but its also $400 more. Pointing the mic correctly and recording technique will be the major judge for quality not just the mic used.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #4
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Thanks, but instead of the recorder you suggest, what do you think of this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Portable.html

Do you think there is a significant different between the AT 4071a and the sennheiser 416 ?

So I guess if I don't have time code, it's like using film, I'll have to use the noise of the slate to synchronize the audio with the video, uh?
ANd if I have time code, how does this work?
Thanks
Larry
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Thanks, but instead of the recorder you suggest, what do you think of this one: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Portable.html

Do you think there is a significant different between the AT 4071a and the sennheiser 416 ?

So I guess if I don't have time code, it's like using film, I'll have to use the noise of the slate to synchronize the audio with the video, uh?
ANd if I have time code, how does this work?
Thanks
Larry
Your camera doesn't have timecode I/O so having a recorder with timecode won't accomplish much for you. If you're purchasing a recorder it would be nice to have the ability for future projects where you might be working with a different camera but for right now it won't make much difference. One of the nice things about the Tascam is that it will sync its sample clock to incoming video blackburst so you won't have as much sync drift but that's only marginally related to timecode.

There's nothing wrong with the 4071a. The Senn 416 might be 'better' but most of the observable differences between the two are more due to the fact they are different types of mic than anything else. The 416 is a short shotgun while the 4071a is a long shotgun. As I mentioned to you on the other board, neither one would be the best choice if you're shooting interiors in a normal residential or office space. That's why the pros bring an assortment of mics to the job whose total cost is about the same as the price of a midrange new car - the best mic for the job all depends on the exact situation for the scene.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 05:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Hello,
I'm going to use a Canon XH-A1 to film a 78 minutes narrative and I've decided not to use the on board sound...
What type of scenarios will you be recording? Inside, outside, noisy, controlled, groups of people, sit down interviews, live events, etc...

How many separate tracks do you need? Just boom? Two booms & Lavs?

Do you have a good soundman & Boom operator?
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #7
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What type of scenarios will you be recording? Inside, outside, noisy, controlled, groups of people, sit down interviews, live events, etc...

>>>>>mainly inside, not noisy, conversation among people, 7 at a time

How many separate tracks do you need? Just boom? Two booms & Lavs?
I could have two booms, I guess

Do you have a good soundman & Boom operator?
No.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:32 PM   #8
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Tascam then

So Steve, and the others who have been nice to help me, here's my option

The tascam mentioned at the link below, + one AT4071a for outside shots and the 4073 for inside shots.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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FWIW, even if the camera doesnt have TC I/O you can set both to record rec and eyeball them up. should be within 1-2 secs of each other once you get the hang of it. good if for nothing else then to ensure that you have the right sound take with the right picture.

you can also run TC out from the recorder to the cameras CH2 in. FCP has a plugin in available for about $120 that will let you read TC from an audio track. then you have matched TC between the two. the big thing here is keep the TC level as low as possible and have it still be reliable. -30db should be good, TEST BEFORE committing to a level.

as for CH1, its always good to record audio onto the camera. its free. it can be an invaluable reference when syncing in post, and its backup. ideally run a hardwire from the mixer to the camera, but even a cheap wireless hop will do if its a backup reference. even just running the camera's stock onboard mic is good for reference. having this can save a LOT of cussing when you dont' have TC, and no one updated the visual slate, and didn't call the take... it happens.

however, if you are doing a lot of interior work getting a cardiod or hyper cardiod mic will be preferable over a shotgun. if you are on a budget, the AKG blueline + hypercardiod sounds really nice for around $400. you'll get less room slap. of course there are steps up from there - the MKH8040 and CMC641, but for a budget production, the AKG may be your best bet. save the shotgun for outside.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:41 PM   #10
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AKG blueline + hypercardiod

Do I mount the AKG blueline + hypercardiod on a boom pole?

Also, is there a big difference from recording sound from the camera, a Canon XH-A1 and a Tascam? For simple dialogue in a house? In all cases the boom will be very close to the actors!
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Old March 17th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Do I mount the AKG blueline + hypercardiod on a boom pole?

Also, is there a big difference from recording sound from the camera, a Canon XH-A1 and a Tascam? For simple dialogue in a house? In all cases the boom will be very close to the actors!
Yep, the mic goes into a shock mount on your boom pole. NEVER try to use an on-camera mic to record dialog. You get what I call miraculus results - if you can use it, it's a miracle <grin>.

The mic technique would be the same regardless of whether you're recording direct to camera or to a separate recorder. Think about how you're going to control levels during the take - a mixer would be a good idea if you record to the camera and a convenience if recording to a separate recorder.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:59 AM   #12
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...Also, is there a big difference from recording sound from the camera, a Canon XH-A1 and a Tascam? For simple dialogue in a house? In all cases the boom will be very close to the actors!
IMHO, the best way to improve the recording is having a great MIC for the situation and having a good operator. Once you have that nailed down, the next upgrade would be to go to an external recorder w/ high quality 24 resolution.

The logical progression, IMO...is to
1) Get great sounding mics
2) Send the mic signal through a high quality mixer w/ solid Mic Pre's (like SD 302) going line level to camera and external recorder.
3) Hire a competent sound person w/ experience, good ears, and has an attention for detail.
4) The next step in quality upgrade is adding a quality multitrack 24 bit external recorder. This step does add alot more work to the overall production. Many lower budget films get hung up on the 24 bit pathway and are not prepared to the extra sync time in post and the organization that it takes to make it work.


IMO, the first three steps are much more important and 24 bit recording would be gravy for a dialogue centered piece of work.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:11 AM   #13
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If it's a serious and professional job then go with option 3 above and let him look after all 4 stages...
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Old March 17th, 2008, 09:48 PM   #14
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Thanks to all of you.
Jim and Jimmy, what is your idea of great sounding mics, for dialogue?
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Old March 17th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #15
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Thanks to all of you.
Jim and Jimmy, what is your idea of great sounding mics, for dialogue?
Bethesda! I used to work in radio in Bethesda; WHFS.

Larry, the Roland piece is not really a field hardy recorder.

Seven people in a room with one boom mic? Well if you're a magician or mind reader and know who's going to talk next, yes.

Secondly, how are you going to catch the comments of seven people on one camera?

Before you got out and spend money on gear for this shoot, you better know what you're really up against.

Please explain in as much detail as possible about the shoot.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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