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Old February 18th, 2004, 10:26 AM   #1
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location sound recording

in the FWIW department:

Been playing around with my iRiver 120 with the core sound mic2496 and a pair of DPA 4060s for location sound (ambience) and gotta say the results are sweet. Since the mic2496 is sending a straight optical signal to the iriver, there's basically no noise. And, to my surprise, the iriver actually records in 16bit/48khz wav files.

I also had Len Moskowitz at core sound rig up an XLR adaptor to spit the signal from my boom mic into two channels. I set the mic2496 to two different levels to capture a full spectrum of volume. (Basically, one is set low in case someone shouts). The boom operator carries the mic2496 and the iriver and it's possible to monitor the iriver in real time.

So what i have is: A hard-wired boom (without any cords to the camera or DAT) recording pristine 16bit/48khz location sound (without the need for the "sound guy" riding the gain) that can be imported into my computer via USB 2.0 in a matter of seconds, all for about $900 (not including the mics). not bad.

Thanks to Len at core sound. sorry if this sounds like a plug.

btw, they sell a PDAaudio thing (24bit/96khz) that reportedly works well, but is more audio than i need and sounds like it's less reliable, for now.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 02:32 PM   #2
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I'm kind of leery of the PDAudio gadget too. It just seems like a good idea to wait and see how reliable it turns out to be. Can your boom operator see the audio meter clearly? I've always wondered how people manage that.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #3
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for some applications, sounds like 24/96 would be better. but 16/48 sounds awfully good and i'm not sure i can hear the difference. hence - i skipped the pdaAudio thing. If they perfect it and make it reliable, that's another thing. I also do prefer, though, the ability to just hit a button on the iriver to start the recording.

so far, haven't noticed any sync drift when recording, but haven't recorded for more than 10 minutes at a time. Can't imagine needing more time than that with any scene.

The ergonomics of the mic2496 aren't that great, but i'm still learning how to use it - no belt clip. i'm gonna get a fanny pack to carry everything. Otherwise, Len says some people have taped velcro to the device and attached it to themselves. the knobs are fine - i like that both channels are controlled on the same knob.

I don't even know if there's a meter on the iriver. i know, i'm crazy. I just look to see if the mic2496 goes red, i know i'm clipping. i back off both channels from there and then back off one channel even more. The preamp/iriver is very very quiet and clean so even if the preamp is set very low, i can boost the volume in post without noise. With two channels, i'm assured at least one hasn't clipped.

I worked on an independent feature and heard how horrible the sound was even with the 'sound guy' riding the levels. Most of that was bad boom operating. But since he was using a DAT, there was always some hiss in the mix that i don't have since there are no moving parts before the signal is converted to digital.

I couldn't stand the idea of all those cables going to the DAT and the camear and and tape on the floor and having pull up everything with every scene set up and having to trust the sound guy, blah blah blah. I'll probably boom the feature myself and let the DP watch the monitor. Or the DP will operate the camera and there'll be no monitor. There's usually too many people on set anyway.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 05:49 PM   #4
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"I'll probably boom the feature myself and let the DP watch the monitor. Or the DP will operate the camera and there'll be no monitor. There's usually too many people on set anyway."

I hear ya brotha! We've been trying to eliminate as many crew members as possible. Funny how things speed up when you don't have a bunch of people trying to "help." Now if I just had three of me ... :)

I've been capturing our sound with a minidisc that's mounted on top of a Sign Video audio meter that is in turn attached to the camera. That way I can see the levels out of the corner of my eye while I'm running the camera. That's why I'm so interested in the iRiver. It looks small enough to mount the same way.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 03:40 AM   #5
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Joseph,
What's your impression of the sound quality and
sensitivity of the 4060s?
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Old February 20th, 2004, 04:22 PM   #6
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was hard to do A:B testing. not a mic that most sound shops carry. I bought it for binaural location recording which sounds Great. As a lav separately, has gotten great reviews. for me they sound very good. they sound open but i'm always trying to make it sound better (with reverb, etc)
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