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Old January 12th, 2004, 08:36 PM   #1
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newbie needs help with ski noise

New owner of Canon GL2. Video taping disabled children skiing. I am skiing alongside, or backwards in front of the children and trying to capture dialog between instructor and student, or between students, and my dialog with the disabled athletes.
The dialog is coming through pretty well but the noise of my skiis on the snow is frequently louder than the dialog and is very distracting. Any suggestions, or recommendations?
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Old January 12th, 2004, 09:28 PM   #2
 
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Short of having a boom guy, this is somewhat tough. If you can get a wireless lav on the instructor or student, you should be pretty good. one on each is better.
Next best option is to use a short length shotgun. The GL isn't any stronger on the shoe than most cams, so you'll be risking a little where you've got a shotgun on the front of the cam. If you can brace it, you'll be in good shape.
Last, you can also use Sony's Noise Reduction. Ski noise isn't bad to get rid of at all. If you wanted to send me a short (5 sec) MP3, I could run a pass and you'd get an idea of how easy this is to kill. If you are using a Mac, you'd want Sound Soap Pro. It's almost as good as Sony's tool.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 10:11 PM   #3
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Frank,
As I noted in last weekend's thread, ambient noise will be a very difficult challenge to manage within the confines of your methodology. The standard camera stereo mic is omnidirectional, meaning that it will pick up nearly everything within approximately a 270 deg field.

Do consider Douglas' suggestion of using a wireless lav. Or consider that Sennheiser MKE300 I recommended.
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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:14 PM   #4
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Thanks Ken and Doug,

Doug,
I did not think it would be possible to alter the sound post production. I have absolutely no experience with NLE but am planning to start the learning curve. I assume Sony Noise reduction is a software package.

Ken,
I am getting a Canon DM-50 from a local vendor to try out, maybe the directionality will eliminate some of the ski noise which is direcly below the camera. If it does the Sennheiser MKE300 or even the ME66 can be considered. I will also borrow some lavs to play with but as we previously discusssed there are more than two individuals whose voices I am trying to capture.

I started the thread last weekend concerned about wind noise. When I viewed my videos the next day the ski noise was much more of a problem than the wind noise with the Rycote muff and the electronic wind screen. But you are absolutely correct they are both ambient noise issues. Thanks for the continued education!
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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:17 PM   #5
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The GL isn't any stronger on the shoe than most cams, so you'll be risking a little where you've got a shotgun on the front of the cam. If you can brace it, you'll be in good shape. -->>>

Sorry, I did not understand what you meant by this?
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Old January 12th, 2004, 11:21 PM   #6
 
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If you are at close distances, you'll be able to get by with a very inexpensive VHF wireless rig, but that's if you are on a budget. If distances are greater than about 15 feet, don't even consider VHF, go UHF.
Personally, I like the AT 897 much better than the Sennheiser ME. I have both. AT is a little more bass present, which is rare in shotguns, power is built in, uses an XLR output, made of heavy brass. It's a little longer, but they have one model still shorter yet. It's a little more money than the Sennheiser is, but then again, the MKE 300 is basically just a jazzed up Azden. I don't know if I'd want it in the extreme cold or not. In fact, you might try, just for kicks, the little 3" Sony shotgun, they're about 90.00 at most Circuit City stores. They won't be *much better* than your GL, but a little better. Unfortunately, good quality shotguns don't come less than 300.00, and really good ones don't come in less than around 900.00 or so.
If you are interested in the AT, I think they are available for sub 300.00, but retail is 375.00 or so.
You also might consider a rental. Depending where you are in the US, most rental houses will have a high end mike for around 25.00 a day. If you're skiing, I'd recommend insurance.
BTW, were I skiing, i'd be afraid to have a shotgun on my cam, the shoe just isn't strong enough to survive a fall with a long pokey--outie thing on it.
[edit] You were posting just as I was...
The hot shoe on the front of the GL2, where a shotgun would mount, is only held there by a little thin layer of plastic. If you bend it hard enough under normal conditions, it will break. If you bend or bump it hard with a little bit of a load on it while it's cold from the slopes, it will break off, almost guaranteed. The shoe is the small "U" shaped bracket at the front of your GL2 handle, part silver metal and part plastic. If managed with care, a shotgun of up to about 18" could go on there without upsetting the balance of the cam. I've got a couple shotguns that I regularly put on my GL 1 and 2, and PD 150. It's not a worry because I use a shock mount whenever I use the shotgun on the cam itself. (I rarely put a shotgun on a cam, it's not productive in most instances) But if the cam is cold, the plastic is more brittle, hence a much higher risk of breaking it off. That would be an expensive tragedy.
Again, if you wish to send me a short MP3 at a reasonable bit rate, say...192, I'll clean up 5 secs or so to show you how effective it can be. It won't be perfect, but I think you'll be surprised, because skiis' don't sound like wind or water. Those are the nightmares to clean up. Constants or near constants are quite easy to clean.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:16 AM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback Douglas Spotted Eagle,
Everything you said now makes sense. I try not to fall but of course stuff happens. The influence out in the cold weather is a negative for sure. Maybe lavs make the most sense. Can more than one mic be on the same channel, otherwise it seems I am limited to two mics, or one lav and one mono on camera mic as suggested by Ken. I did not know there were VHF and UHF, the distances can frequently be more than 15 feet.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:23 AM   #8
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Douglas makes a keen point concerning a shoe-mounted shotgun mic. It's hard to say whether the shoe or the mic's mount shaft would break first. But, given a hard bash and the additional lever arm of the mic's mount, it is probable that one would break.

It's possible to use an external bracket mount, such as the "Mini Rover" sold by Videosmith. This might also give you a better grip on the camera, particularly with gloved hands. An awkward spill would not damage the camera's shoe, although the mic would still be at some risk.

Just a thought.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #9
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You guys are full of great suggestions.
I used a similar looking bracket for a 35mm SLR camera external flash attachment when I was doing freelance wedding photography 35 years ago.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:49 AM   #10
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Two additional remarks. First, Douglas' point about renting mics is well worth considering, particularly as you're experimenting. Being in Denver, a major metropolitan area, I would imagine that there are several equipment rental houses. (Check with that engineer back at your hospital's sudio; he probably knows just who to call.)

Secondly, regarding using wireless mics, you should consider that the GL2, like other cameras of similar design, has no provision for mounting the necessary receiver conveniently on its body. All of the solutions to this are, to be brief, awkward.

So by now you are probably completely perplexed. I'd take Douglas up on his offer to provide an example of cleaned audio. I'm willing to try something similar for you with Sound Soap, my cleaning tool on the Mac platform, if it would be helpful.

And you thought orthopaedic surgery was complex?
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Old January 13th, 2004, 01:10 AM   #11
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Thanks
I am definitely interested in hearing the cleaned audio track and especially hearing how it will affect the superimposed recorded dialog. It will take me a few days to find time to figure out how to convert my audio track into a MP3 file, but I can get some help on that.

I thought I would probably mount the reciever to my body somewhere.

The Orthopaedic surgery is easy, trying to figure out what muscles to move and how exactly to reshape to bone to help these disabled children to ski better is the challenge. Seeing them on video before and after and winning an Olympic medal is the best part.
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Old January 13th, 2004, 12:25 PM   #12
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Another related dumb question

I have another dumb question.

I was scrolling through the menus and noticed a "voice" setting for the microphone. Do you think this might help diminish the ambient ski noise? I suspect the voice setting attenuates the high and low frequencies so will lose some full frequency audio information but this might be OK for my specific application.

Second related question, if I use the Canon DM-50 directional mic on the smart shoe, does setting voice in the menu also do the same when the DM-50 is attached?

I understand everyones suggestions are great and trying to help me obtain the BEST audio information possible, but I am still searching for a simple solution that is the best compromise given the environment and that we are trying to do this while skiing with disabled children.

The post processing cleaning of the audio track sounds the most appealing so far if the voices are still good. I as of yet have no experience with post processing as I have been in the dark ages editing with VCR's. NLE is in the plan as soon as I have some decent video to edit.

We are building a 2 monitor NLE editing computer in my Gait Lab, still reserching out best platform and software. That's a whole 'nother topic.
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