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Old December 10th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Tool for recording audio for a Video Podcast?.

Will this be voice recorder do the job?

Amazon.com: Olympus WS-110 WMA Digital Voice Recorder: Electronics

My Camcorder does not have a mic input for audio and I'm not happy with what the speaker picks up. It looks like Iíll have to record all my audio separately and added in later. Most of my recording will be in a gym or outdoors.

This is the Camcorder I have Insignia® - 5.0MP High-Definition Digital Camcorder with 3" Swivel LCD Screen - NS-DCC5HB09

Last edited by Nathan Diffin; December 10th, 2008 at 04:24 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #2
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That's a tough one to answer - in part it depends on what "do the job" actually means to you. If your intent is to capture lip-sync sound you're likely to be disappointed. If you're going to capture 'wild sound' that will accompany the video but only be loosely synced to it, it might work for you. It also depends on exactly what you're recording and what the physical circumstances will be - an interview with the recorder sitting on a table beside the subject might be acceptable but cheerleaders in a gym at a ball game, probably not so good. A little more detail on your exact plans will enable us to give you better help/advice. But be realistic - all of the talk of the democratization of media not withstanding, if broadcasters could get professional quality from inexpensive consumer equipment such as that, they'd lower their overhead costs and do it. But they can't and so they don't. As learning tools for a beginner to get a feel for some of the basics of composition, editing, etc, great.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #3
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The audio will consist mostly of me giving instruction on how to perform exercises, cook healthy meals and also interview subjects. I was hoping to get as close to lip sync as possible. Is there an alternative to a voice recorder that I am not aware of? (I'm very new to this) Or maybe the onboard mic maybe my best option after all?
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Old December 11th, 2008, 04:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Nathan Diffin View Post
The audio will consist mostly of me giving instruction on how to perform exercises, cook healthy meals and also interview subjects. I was hoping to get as close to lip sync as possible. Is there an alternative to a voice recorder that I am not aware of? (I'm very new to this) Or maybe the onboard mic maybe my best option after all?
The idea of a voice recorder capturing sound separately from the camera mic isn't a problem at all - that's called "double system sound" and is the way the vast majority of films have been made since talkies came out in the 1920's. The problem is the level of recorder (and camera) you're looking at. You're shooting a scene that lasts, say, 5 minutes. The camera records for exactly 5 minutes and the audio recorder also records for exactly 5 minutes. Now you move those two files over to your computer for editing, line up the start mark on both, and play them back together. For them to stay in sync as the 5 minutes runs out, the two files must be exactly the same length, if the audio plays back slightly faster or slower than the video, by the end of the clip they'll no longer match. But here's the rub - both the camera and the recorder have clocks that control their recording speed. If the clock in the recorder, say, is running slightly faster than the clock in the camera, when they're played back together the audio will play slightly slower (lasting longer) than the video. If the recorder's clock is slightly slower than the camera's, when they're played back together the recording will play slightly faster (shorter) than the video. A scene that starts out in sync loses it in just a few minutes. And it doesn't take much - a shift of only 1/15 of a second, 2 video frames, is noticable. Manufacturers of inexpensive consumer recorders and cameras like the ones you linked to have to save money somewhere to keep their costs down and the level of engineering and quality control necessary for highly accurate and stable clocks is one of the places they cut corners.

A quick look at the specs for that recorder indicates it records in WMA format. That's a compressed file type, fine for voice notes and other casual recording or carrying one's toonz, but the compression and subsequent decompression can introduce clock issues that in turn lead to variations in the running time of a recording. To mate with a video with fewest headaches you need a recorder that records in an uncompressed file format such as wav. An additional problem is there is apparently no provision for an external mic, leaving you at the mercy of what has to be a very marginal internal mic and audio electronics at that price point. If you can move your budget up into the, say, $500 range you find there are a number of entry-level options that open up for you that will be much better suited.

What are you plans for the videos once they're done? Is this just for your own use or to show students in your own spa or are you going to try to actually distribute this publicly? If you're hoping to go beyond recording strictly for your own personal use you need to study up a bit before making any further investments, you'll probalby find very quickly that the camera isn't really very suitable either.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #5
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My local sound shop pointed out that some microphones are gender biased with tones and pickup in various bands.

I know that RODE make a USB microphone called "PODCASTER" and a newer version called "M2". I handled these units and def wanted to consider them for future use. Those would be more desk oriented models.

For live recording you may want to consider a handheld microphone or a shotgun model.

I looked on YouTube at a presenter called guerillabob where he tested several models of wireless and wired microphones. Do some video comparisons online by looking at these samples.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 03:15 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
The idea of a voice recorder capturing sound separately from the camera mic isn't a problem at all - that's called "double system sound" and is the way the vast majority of films have been made since talkies came out in the 1920's. The problem is the level of recorder (and camera) you're looking at. You're shooting a scene that lasts, say, 5 minutes. The camera records for exactly 5 minutes and the audio recorder also records for exactly 5 minutes. Now you move those two files over to your computer for editing, line up the start mark on both, and play them back together. For them to stay in sync as the 5 minutes runs out, the two files must be exactly the same length, if the audio plays back slightly faster or slower than the video, by the end of the clip they'll no longer match. But here's the rub - both the camera and the recorder have clocks that control their recording speed. If the clock in the recorder, say, is running slightly faster than the clock in the camera, when they're played back together the audio will play slightly slower (lasting longer) than the video. If the recorder's clock is slightly slower than the camera's, when they're played back together the recording will play slightly faster (shorter) than the video. A scene that starts out in sync loses it in just a few minutes. And it doesn't take much - a shift of only 1/15 of a second, 2 video frames, is noticable. Manufacturers of inexpensive consumer recorders and cameras like the ones you linked to have to save money somewhere to keep their costs down and the level of engineering and quality control necessary for highly accurate and stable clocks is one of the places they cut corners.

A quick look at the specs for that recorder indicates it records in WMA format. That's a compressed file type, fine for voice notes and other casual recording or carrying one's toonz, but the compression and subsequent decompression can introduce clock issues that in turn lead to variations in the running time of a recording. To mate with a video with fewest headaches you need a recorder that records in an uncompressed file format such as wav. An additional problem is there is apparently no provision for an external mic, leaving you at the mercy of what has to be a very marginal internal mic and audio electronics at that price point. If you can move your budget up into the, say, $500 range you find there are a number of entry-level options that open up for you that will be much better suited.

What are you plans for the videos once they're done? Is this just for your own use or to show students in your own spa or are you going to try to actually distribute this publicly? If you're hoping to go beyond recording strictly for your own personal use you need to study up a bit before making any further investments, you'll probalby find very quickly that the camera isn't really very suitable either.
Thanks for the response I just learned a ton from your post. a strength and conditioning coach and the video is for a weekly newsletter I send out to clients and others who signed up for its distribution. I'm currently changing the newsletter from a traditional writing style to a video newsletter. All the video will be hosted by my website (Nate's Fitness) and only viewed on that site. Since all the video will be compressed for web viewing I didn't think that camera quality will be a huge problem but I really want to make sure the sound quality is decent as these are going to be small 10-15 minutes in length various instructional videos. Thanks for all the replies. I may play around and see if I can get the video and sound to sync up with some editing or I may try recording sound with my laptop.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nathan Diffin View Post
....I really want to make sure the sound quality is decent as these are going to be small 10-15 minutes in length various instructional videos. Thanks for all the replies. I may play around and see if I can get the video and sound to sync up with some editing or I may try recording sound with my laptop.
A good audio interface and a small mixer along with your laptop might be a very good option to explore. There's a lot of big budget professional audio in film and broadcast television, as well as commercial music CDs, recorded with little more than a fairly vanilla laptop. But do be realistic - you still need to look at a budget for hardware and software well over the couple of hundred dollars you've suggested so far for both camera and audio. You don't need to spend a fortune but there's a limit below which you just can't go.
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