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Old September 21st, 2008, 07:46 PM   #1
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HV30 Audio Recorder: D50?

I just got an HV30 kit from B&H, and am looking to get an audio field recorder.

I want to use it:
-in bars, for music and for conversations/interviews
-as a back up recorder for short films to be made w/ HV30

I want something w/ internal mics (right?) so I can still record quality audio until I buy (wireless/shotgun) mics later.
After reading about the sync problems with the Zoom H2/4, I was looking at the Sony PCM-D50 & the Fostex FR-2 LE. And now I have some newbie questions.
Does the Fostex not have it's own microphones? I can't see any from the picture. If it doesn't, then I'm looking at buying FR-2 + Mic/s. Right?
And w/ the D50, I'm looking at $900 for the Recorder + XLR adapter and more for mics in the future. Would you pay for $900 for the D50 w/ 2 XLR inputs in it?
Or is the solution to get a mixer alongside the D50?

And because I'm using the HV30 now, timecode shouldn't even be a factor for me, right? If there's any other "well, the HV30 can't do this so don't even worry about (that)..."'s I should know about please let me know.

I want to spend a few hundred on a quality recorder that will sync well w/ video that I'll still be glad I have later on when I buy a better one.

And as far as an on-camera mic, is the Canon DM-50 the way to go, or is there a better route?

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the D50 recorder, but want to make sure I know what I'm getting into for the long run.

Thanks for your time

Will
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Old September 21st, 2008, 08:36 PM   #2
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Will, the Fostex FR 2LE does have built-in mics. However, you will do much better with a couple of externals. (I happen to be using two Sennheiser ME64/K6 cardioids). I bought the Fostex a few months ago and am very pleased with it. It records to CF cards; you have to format the card for the sample rate and bit depth ahead of time. The only thing I've done to make the recorder more useable is to put a little white dot on each black plastic mic trim knob. Now I can see where they are set, even in dim light. The mic preamps are very quiet, and (of course) there is a complete absence of motor noise. This is the recorder that I have been looking for for years!
- David
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 12:25 AM   #3
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Have you considered?

If you are about to put down that much, I would want room to grow. Have you ever considered the Edirol R-4 or R-44. It's a bigger unit but has 4 XLR ports. The sync issue will happen with any recorder w/o timecode. The question is how long can you record before it shows up. The Edirol can go up to 30 minutes w/o sync issues. The quality is better than most smaller handhelds in audio and durability.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 12:00 AM   #4
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R-44 looks pretty...

After checking everything out, I think I'd rather save & get the r-44 or maybe the HD-P2.

Anyone making movies out there: What's more important, Timecode abilities or having 4 tracks of audio?

I might just get the Zoom H4 until then (which I'd want around for sloppy situations anyway.)

And the On-Camera Mic: Is the DM50 the way to go? I plan on getting a NTG2 boom kit later on, so is there any way to capitalize on owning both?
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Old September 24th, 2008, 07:40 AM   #5
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Check this video Outdoor Audio Test on Vimeo to see how bad an on camera mic really is.
In my humble opinion don't bother with on camera mics. If you absolutely must work alone use BoomMate to hold your boom on a lihgtstand if your subject doesn't move or hide a lav behind the clothing if needed but don't use a on camera shotgun it will sound bad. If you get a recorder get one with live level trim buttons I mean that Zoom H4 don't let you seamlessly trim your levels on the fly the first alright recorder would be FR2 LE and then the R44. I would possibly get the FR2 LE if I didn't have any mics and investing in good mics and boom etc would be essential.
Just get a cheap carbon boompole without internal cable and Invision 7 for shockmount and add a DIY wind surpression zeppelin or blimp or whatever you call it. The Sony D50 would have been the greatest recorder if it allowed to connect external balanced powered mics and allowed decent monitoring from the soundbag the same reason why Zoom H4 would be impossible to monitor when not on table or in hand.

The Rycote Invision 7 mount will allow you to suspend almost every field mic out there from small external caps to Oktava to Sennheiser 416.

T
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Old September 27th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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I have the HV 20 and started down this path earlier in the year. There's alot of info out there on the HV 20 and would serve as a good background read to help you answer the question.

I started with the same question you posed but it quickly morphed into "Do I need a separate recorder or should I start by sending a better signal to the camera?" The Canon DM 50 is fine for what it is, an inexpensive shotgun that mates nicely to the cameras and works on phantom power. I have one and use it outdoors. It gets noisy indoors as sound reflects around the room walls. But it's certainly better than the built -in mic.

There are many dozens of posts out there that say the internal audio circuitry on consumer cams stink. If you acccept that and want a stand-alone recorder then get one. I wasn't convinced that the camera's guts were the problem as much as my crappy mics! So I spent the money on some good quality lavs and a mixer. The sound is much cleaner going into the camera with the mixer than without since you can filter out a lot of crud. The mixer, however, adds complexity and it's another thing to hump around. For the setting I use it in, I set it up and drop it on the floor. If you'll be very mobile then that may pose a problem.

Now a year later, I'm ready to think about a stand alone recorder as I start to get interested in multiple sources on their own tracks and methods to have a backup for occaisions where there is a problem with the camera. But if I were doing it over again, I'd still spend the $$ on the mics first and then a mixer or recorder. The camera is capable of great images but getting pro quality audio requires some spending.

As for timecode, At this point it would be easier and cheaper to buy a different camera which has timecode and XLR inputs etc. I haven't found the need for it and I'm not willing to pay for it. You can sync things by starting each take with a "clap" and then align the histogram in your NLE. The "timecode" in consumer cams is not what people refer to when discussing high end audio hardware. Yes there is a code there but it's not there for purposes of syncing to external devices, like it is on a high end camera. In fact (unless it's been changed on the HV 30) the time code resets each time you power the camera down; so it's almost useless in practical application. It's also a PIA when logging and capturing :((

Bob
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Old December 7th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi View Post
Check this video Outdoor Audio Test on Vimeo to see how bad an on camera mic really is.
In my humble opinion don't bother with on camera mics. If you absolutely must work alone use BoomMate to hold your boom on a lihgtstand if your subject doesn't move or hide a lav behind the clothing if needed but don't use a on camera shotgun it will sound bad. If you get a recorder get one with live level trim buttons I mean that Zoom H4 don't let you seamlessly trim your levels on the fly the first alright recorder would be FR2 LE and then the R44. I would possibly get the FR2 LE if I didn't have any mics and investing in good mics and boom etc would be essential.
Just get a cheap carbon boompole without internal cable and Invision 7 for shockmount and add a DIY wind surpression zeppelin or blimp or whatever you call it. The Sony D50 would have been the greatest recorder if it allowed to connect external balanced powered mics and allowed decent monitoring from the soundbag the same reason why Zoom H4 would be impossible to monitor when not on table or in hand.

The Rycote Invision 7 mount will allow you to suspend almost every field mic out there from small external caps to Oktava to Sennheiser 416.

T

What do you think of of the Rode video mic? A while back a salesperson from BH was trying to sell me one for a Canon HV 30.

Rode | VideoMic - Camera Mounted Shotgun Microphone | VIDEOMIC
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Old December 7th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #8
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What do you think of of the Rode video mic? A while back a salesperson from BH was trying to sell me one for a Canon HV 30.

Rode | VideoMic - Camera Mounted Shotgun Microphone | VIDEOMIC
I think the Rode Videomic is a great microphone. It's not a super shotgun (i.e. you will pick up some noise from the sides and the back), but it beats the on-board mic hands down.

About the only downside is that it uses a 3.5mm jack, so if you mount it on a boom pole you won't be able to go very far before the dreaded "hum and buzz" creeps in.

Bill.

Last edited by Bill Harper; December 7th, 2008 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Caffeine slowly kicking in
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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #9
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Starting at 1:21 or so in this film (interior car scene), we shot with HV20, recording sound to the HDV tape, with a Beachtec adapter fed by a Sign Eng 44 mixer. Mic was the Oktava MK-012, if I recall right.


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Old December 8th, 2008, 09:42 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by William James Ryan View Post
After checking everything out, I think I'd rather save & get the r-44 or maybe the HD-P2.

Anyone making movies out there: What's more important, Timecode abilities or having 4 tracks of audio?

I might just get the Zoom H4 until then (which I'd want around for sloppy situations anyway.)

And the On-Camera Mic: Is the DM50 the way to go? I plan on getting a NTG2 boom kit later on, so is there any way to capitalize on owning both?
I have the HD-P2 and love it. Many great features, and I really like the software. Also I have found audio quality to be very good (use my mixer in front). However, in my case I use it for long events (shows, plays etc) and what I like very much is the ability to take a video BNC feed out from the camera and the tascam will sync its clock rate to the video rate so that I get no drift over 60 minutes (until my tape runs out). But even without that, I've found a very low discrepancy between the camera (canon a1) clock and the HD-P2 clock (which I guess is relative anyway, nither is the master). It also takes timecode in, but not out. If it had more channels, man would I really love it. But, I get 2 others with the camera and have made that work.

however in your case, if the takes are shorter so drift is not an issue, I would think that size and # of channels may play more of a role (and good pre-amps and clock). One thing to consider is how you will log the audio and video takes ... e.g. what I have done is leave the recorder running and then all I have to do is sync my video takes to the single audio take. If you have many short audio and video takes on two devices, that could get a little more time consuming, so I'd look at the file naming, etc. and give some thought to how you will do that if you are not using time codes.
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