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Old November 21st, 2008, 07:42 PM   #1
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Your questions?

Hi all:

I have been writing the Audio Assist column for HD Video Equipment - HD Video Tips - HD Video Technique | HDVideoPro.com magazine for about 6 months. It is a "Dear Abby" format, send me your location sound questions, concerns and I will do my best to answer them. If you have simple and straight forward questions (I am pretty limited on space so I can't address really complex multi-subject questions in much depth) with a focus on location sound, please send your question to me at audioassist@hdvideopro.com and it may be featured in an upcoming issue of HD Video Pro Magazine. Include your real name (I will just use your first name and first letter of last name in column).

So far, we have covered:

1. Planning For Great Location Sound (August '08 issue)
2. How to Record Conversation In A Car (October '08 issue)
3. Double System Sound (upcoming December '08 issue)
4. The State of the Wireless Airwaves (upcoming for February '09 issue)

I look forward to hearing about location sound issues I can help you with.

Thanks!

Dan
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Old November 21st, 2008, 11:28 PM   #2
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Hi Dan...

Trying to think of the various problems I have encountered on my journey of learning location sound.....

How about dealing with exterior wind noise. Foam covers, deadcats, zeppelins and tips and tricks on using a boom mic in windy conditions?

Maybe another on selection/use of a field mixer. What to look for in buying one. Setting one up. Do's and don't during a take. Good place to explain noise floor, riding gain, etc.

I'm sure better minds here will have better ideas, but there are a couple for starters.

Chris Swanberg
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 06:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Chris.

All good suggestions, I will definitely consider them.

Dan
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 11:20 PM   #4
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Hey Dan! I just finished reading you column on double-system audio in the Dec. issue and I quite enjoyed it. It is nice to see a video production magazine is going to be running a regular column on audio! I'm looking forward to your future columns.

-Brad
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 09:40 AM   #5
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Hey Dan, just picked up October and December issues last week (for the first time): Great work! Looking forward to what other pearls of wisdom you have for us.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:16 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the feedback.

I definitely want the column to answer your questions and help to solve your audio issues so keep the questions coming.

HD Video Pro has some amazingly talented writers and producers who are write great articles focusing on what you would expect, video gear/HD gear. So with the audio and some of my other articles, my goal is to try to cover subjects that aren't already covered in HD Video Pro and in the other trades.

I have an interesting article about new innovative grip gear and Matthews in the February '09 issue. Hardly anybody writes about grip and support gear because in the past "the grips" handled that. As we all know, with ever lowering budgets, many of us producers/directors/DPs are now "the grips" on small scale shoots and we need to know about all of the amazing tools that let us get shots we could never get before, how to rig lighting in places that are difficult, etc.

I always appreciate your input on story ideas and suggestions. Send your audio dilemmas my way and we will see what we can do about helping you figure out the answers.

Best,

Dan
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Hey Dan, just picked up October and December issues last week (for the first time): Great work! Looking forward to what other pearls of wisdom you have for us.
The December issue is already out? News to me, wish I had a copy. I didn't think it was coming out for another few weeks ;-) I wonder if they come out earlier up there? It's possible. The publisher doesn't always send me copies and it seems that my local Borders always gets them really late.

Dan
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Old November 29th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #8
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OK: if this is not the proper question, just disregard.

Last Christmas I used our two GL2 cams to video a Christmas program at our church. I used the cam mics to record the audio. Also had a single mic on a 10 foot stand to record the audio. It mostly picked up sound from the house speakers. Also a CD was burned from the in house sound system. None of the audio was right.
Main problem: Individual solos and speaking parts were too low and then the loud solo guys were full of distortion. I have considered trying shotgun mics on the cams this year. Is that the solution?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tom Blizzard View Post
OK: if this is not the proper question, just disregard.

Last Christmas I used our two GL2 cams to video a Christmas program at our church. I used the cam mics to record the audio. Also had a single mic on a 10 foot stand to record the audio. It mostly picked up sound from the house speakers. Also a CD was burned from the in house sound system. None of the audio was right.
Main problem: Individual solos and speaking parts were too low and then the loud solo guys were full of distortion. I have considered trying shotgun mics on the cams this year. Is that the solution?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hi Tom:

In a live music situation, the optimal way to record the program is always to get a tap directly off of the sound mixer's board. Trying to record live music through speakers will never be too successful, generally the SPLs will be too high and you will also pickup the actual distorting of the speakers themselves.

My advice would be to buy some long XLR cables and run a tap from the church's soundboard (line level) to your GL2 (I assume the GL2 will accept line level inputs?). If I was shooting this with two cameras, I would get a tap off of the board for one camera and I would just use camera mic on the other camera. Most of the time live sound mixers will mute open mics once a performance has ended in anticipation of the applause and you probably could use the camera mic's pickup of the applause and for other times when the master output is muted from the board.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

Dan
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Old November 29th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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See below..........
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Old November 29th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #11
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Thanks Dan....that was fast.
Yes to all the above and we will follow your recommendations.

The program is not untill around Dec 15 with several rehersals, which I will be attending, before the show date.

You know, I think I'll do some trial runs during the rehersals.
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Old November 29th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tom Blizzard View Post
Thanks Dan....that was fast.
Yes to all the above and we will follow your recommendations.

The program is not untill around Dec 15 with several rehersals, which I will be attending, before the show date.

You know, I think I'll do some trial runs during the rehersals.
That is a very smart idea. That way you can make sure of what the sound mixer can give you as far as quality or if you need to make other plans.

Hope it goes well.

Dan
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Old November 30th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #13
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If possible get a feed from house console's aux. send for one of your record mixes, a house PA mix and a record mix are usually quite different. Since there's rehearsals you will have the opportunity to tweak it. Cheers
Also be aware that most console outs are line level (+4dB via a 1/4" jack ) Except for the Mackies' that a mic/line switch on the main XLR out.
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Old November 30th, 2008, 05:32 PM   #14
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Thanks.. now that I think about it. The Canon GL2 only has mic inputs.....
Hummmmm also, AV (audio/video IN/OUT terminal used for dubbing or recording from an analog source. Wonder if I could use that as a line level input just for the audio while I'm recording video?
Would it be better to adapt the line level to work at the mic input?
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Old November 30th, 2008, 06:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Blizzard View Post
OK: if this is not the proper question, just disregard.

Last Christmas I used our two GL2 cams to video a Christmas program at our church. I used the cam mics to record the audio. Also had a single mic on a 10 foot stand to record the audio. It mostly picked up sound from the house speakers. Also a CD was burned from the in house sound system. None of the audio was right.
Main problem: Individual solos and speaking parts were too low and then the loud solo guys were full of distortion. I have considered trying shotgun mics on the cams this year. Is that the solution?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Tom,

One thing that hasn't been touched upon yet is the fact that all of the board feeds discussed so far are delivering a MIXED signal to your camera. Once an audio signal is mixed, it's kinda like pouring blue and yellow paint into a cup to get green - you can't subsequently UNMIX it.

If you want to balance various sounds after the performance, you have to somehow break out and record the various sounds individually.

To do that, the common practice is to SPLIT signals from the boards various channel inputs (NOT the mixed outputs) and to run those individual channel signals to some form of multi-track recording device. If the soloist is on a separate track from the pianist - and both of those are separate from the overall choir, you can balance the levels of each relative to the others after the fact.

That USED to require fancy multi-track recorders. Today, most laptop computers can record multi-track sound - provided they're interfaced with the proper devices to split the feeds from the FOH mixing boards channels into a digital signal that feeds laptop multitrack software via Firewire, USB, or some similar digital interface.

I know that sounds complicated. And to some extent it is. But it's really the only way to preserve the ability to balance the sound level of multiple audio signals in post.

Hope that helps.
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