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Old November 2nd, 2003, 07:23 PM   #1
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Newbie wants to add narration in post

Im using premiere 6.0 and VX2000 & want to add narration to some footage. Is this best done into the computer somehow? If so, how do I interface with my computer. Please elaborate since I am just learning. Thanks in advance.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 09:50 AM   #2
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Record the sound separately and then bring it into your computer.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 10:02 AM   #3
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Thanks Mike,

What dveice would be most suitable? The Camera?
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 12:38 PM   #4
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Why not just use a microphone hooked up to the computer and use windows recorder or sound forge.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 01:33 PM   #5
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Thanks Jim,

if I used that method, do I plug into the sound card somehow on the back of my Dell tower? If so what style/size plug is needed for the mike? Do you prefer this method over Mikes sugestion of some external device?
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 04:41 PM   #6
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You can hook directly into the computer but then you have to contend with the fan sounds from the computer unless you work remotely.

With Sound Forge you can work remotely by setting up MIDI events to key the recording system of Sound Forge. But you really need XLR inputs for your computer or you need to use a mixer of some sort. And you need a fairly decent sound card to avoid excessive noise and DC offset on your sound files (assuming you want to do the thing 'right'). A Sound Blaster just isn't great at processing audio.

But I claim that is more trouble than just using the camera to record your VO (or a MD or cassette recorder) and then bringing that into the computer.

You can jump into your car if you want a fairly good sound booth. Using the camera in that environment is easy.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 05:40 PM   #7
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Hi Bob,

I agree, use your camcorder to record your narration, it's better than using a basic computer setup. You could buy a cheap mic, but in this case, it probably won't be much better than the on-board mic. The more important variables will be your sound environment, mic placement, and body posture.

One step up from that would be to buy an XLR adapter for your camcorder so you can use better mics and longer cables.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 05:50 PM   #8
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Thank's Mike,

I guess the most logical way for me to time the narration perfectly with the corresponding video, I would probably have to actually be watching the video while doing the Voice over. In that case using the camera as a recording device might not work very well unless someone can elaborate. Thank you.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 08:01 PM   #9
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Ah.

Well, the best way to do it is to record the audio and then grab the video to match. When you have to do it the other way around it gets a bit trickier.

But I do that all the time with television commercials and other work.

What I do is measure the time I have to talk and then write the words to match, speaking the words as I play the timeline to make certain they fit. Then I finalize the script and either have it performed by a pro voice-over artist or do it myself.

Watching the video when you are recording the words for a take is harder somehow. So when you are comfortable with the pace that is required, relax, don't watch the video, control your breathing, and go for it. It will come out OK.

I'm wrapping a commercial that is due tomorrow and the voice-over artist had 8.31 and 7.45 seconds to record two separate bits of speech. He gave me 4 different versions of each and I picked the best from them. Right on the money time-wise.

BTW, when you are doing the narration, give yourself plenty of time between sentences so you can piece things together. If you have a long voice-over passage, it is very difficult to get everything right in the same group. By giving yourself edit time between sentences, you can then cut them apart and glue in a good narration.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 11:35 PM   #10
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Thanks again Mike,

It sounds like I can make the "record ino the camera" method work. I do have 2 more questions. Should I just cover the lens and record video (black) with audio, or is there another way to just do an audio record with the camera? And if I did purchase an xlr adapter, and an external mike, is that a much better set up than the on board mike? (assuming I was still going to use the camera method for recording narration)

Thanks again
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Old November 4th, 2003, 10:29 AM   #11
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I always set the camera up to record the narrator. I sometimes use the footage for training purposes under the general topic of, "If you don't act out the part while you are speaking, why do you think your narration will be at the proper emotional level?"

For voice-over work, since you are doing it yourself, the on-board microphone will work just fine. Try it and see if you like the results. If it does not work for you, try one of the inexpensive Sony microphones first. I think I paid about $50 for a nice little hand-held stereo microphone. Plugs directly into the 2000. Held in a microphone holder, it sounds quite good. I've used it to record a string quartet and they thought the sound was better than in the CD they had just cut in a pro studio.

Sure a 'big-city' microphone with an XLR box will sound better. But do you need to spend the $300 to $600 it will cost to get there? If you need it, then spend it. Otherwise go the inexpensive route.
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Old November 4th, 2003, 10:37 AM   #12
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Mike,

I've heard of voice talent that works over the web. You send them a script, they send you a audio file (format of your choice). And most importantly, work cheap. Ever used a service like that or know of any?
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Old November 4th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #13
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No, I have not. A google search will turn them up though.

I have four or five people I can use. One is a Hollywood actor with 22 films to his credit. I use him a lot because I also use him to direct my commercials. I also have access to the National Spokesman for Toyota and a few other folks with very good voices.

The most I've paid for a VO was $600 for the actor. This was for a Corporate video.
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Old November 10th, 2003, 06:51 PM   #14
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I agree that using the camera as a tape recorder is the simplest, easiest way. Record it first, then capture it into your computer.

But I have one question...why does Bob not already have a microphone which can be plugged into the camcorder? IMHO, an external mic is essential to the production of halfway decent videos...the onboard mic is fine for ambient stuff like crowd noises, street sounds, etc. but it is right on top of the drive motor and will pick that up for sure...plus hand motion noises, etc. which will hitchhike along with your speech.

Almost any low-cost wired mic will sound better for that reason, plus when you are out videotaping stuff, the camera is almost always too far away from the subject to get good sound without that hollow echoey feeling and a lot of extraneous off-stage noise. Plus the aforementioned camcorder noise.

Trust me, even on home videos it makes a world of difference. Sorry to pontificate, Bob, but go to any music store and get a mic (and a plug adaptor if necessary to fit your machine). You'll use it over and over again in the general course of videotaping anyway. A Shure SM58, which is the industry standard vocal mic, is about $100 plus cable. A Samson "lookalike" is about 1/3 as much and will work just great. Add a small stand to screw the mounting clip into (the clip comes with the mic) for $16 and about $15 for the cable. Done. Just like that, professional-like sound.
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Old November 10th, 2003, 10:11 PM   #15
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You can't pick up any old mic from a music store. You need a fair bit of output for the VX2000 and a dynamic certainly wouldn't cut it. There have been specific mics that have been proven to be adequate for use with the VX2K. The Sennheiser K6 series is one.

The other option is a mic preamp or low cost mixer. The lowest cost field mixer that I know of is the samson mixpad 4. With preamplification, you're off to the races with practically any mic you want to use.

Without repeating a whole lot of work It's easier to ask that you run searches or go back in the postes , here and at the VX2K thread. This has been discussed recently.

Once you bite the bullet and buy a mixer or mic pre, it'll last longer than the camera will. You can go back to the idea of recording it through your PC or a mini disk. There will be an expenditure in any case. Do your due dilligence and make the most cost effective move.

Ask as many questions as you like , those that have suffered through these situations are only too happy to help.
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