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Old May 6th, 2004, 12:48 PM   #1
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Dual Camera Stage Setup

Hi - I run a large theatre where all kinds of productions are done.
I have just decided to implement video and will be running two
XL1S's. My concerns are audio and syncing. I want to mate my new video equipment to my existing array of audio equipment.
I have Mackie boards 32/8 bus, 16/4 bus, & a 12/2 bus as well
as a Roland VS-1680 hard disk recorder which runs time down
to the frame. I'm looking for input on configuration possibilities.
I would run one camera as a wide shot and the second for closeups. I new to the video part so pardon my apparent incompetence. I would think I'd want to run the audio from the
board to the wide shot camera only but I'm trying figure out
how to sync the video. Or get audio into the main board and
sub the signals out to VS-1680. I can't imagine I would want the second camera's audio considering diverse positioning but I'm
thinking I need the signal to sync the video. Any thought?

Consideration could also be given to implementing computers in the audio scenario as well, I have three P4's and a lesser laptop.
I have Sonar, ACID, some others, but not currently running an
I/O card, i.e. DigDesign/Protools.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 12:54 PM   #2
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I completely forgot to mention I'm referring to an isolated scenario. Let's say the application is filming a live band on
my stage.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:00 PM   #3
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Michael,

Without a lot of extra messing around, I think it would be best to record the audio onto a video deck (in addition to your dedicated audio recording)

Are you going to: a) run both cameras to a video mixer and "edit on the fly" or b) run tape in both cameras and edit the video in post production?

If a) you will need a deck (VCR) that you are recording the mixed signal to. In that case run audio to the inputs of that deck.

If b) Run your audio mix to the input of either camera, probably the close up shot. Use that as your main track in post and edit in video only from camera 2. Audio syncing will be a challenge. To help with audio syncyng - a visual reference on both tapes (camera flash etc) will help. I also sometimes keep audio from the second camera mic and use that to help sync the audo tracks. Once you can adjust the clips without too much of an echo - you have it pretty close. Having the audio linked to the camera doing the close-ups is best because you will have lip sync. On the wide shot, any minor sync problems will be less noticable.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:32 PM   #4
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The lip sync issue makes sense although I'm thinking it will
be much tougher keeping the cables attached while moving all around the stage etc. Also, using the 2nd, or mobile camera,
for audio, won't that be tough getting a consistent signal input?

For starters it looks like option (b). I want to start this off as
simple as possible and grow from there. I have plenty of
opportunity to test and work within the facility. I would really
like to have one audio source, what I mean is, I may want
to add animated scenes or outdoor scenes to the video and
don't know if I'll be messing up all the syncing but I suppose
you just cut those scenes in regardless of the audio. I know
it's important to get ambient sound included if there is a crowd
involved as much of this will be done when a crowd is present.

I still have to research this video mixer idea. I was thinking I could capture all the video from both cameras and edit it all
on the computer. Are the video mixers necessary? Better?
More convenient? THANKS...
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #5
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The advantage of a live mixer is you can do an edit on the fly and get a lot of the job done. If you record to dv tape, you can always edit in other stuff later.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #6
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Live mixer meaning the video mixer, any suggestions or examples on these?

The quicker, the esaier, the better right now.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #7
 
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Michael,
This IS what we do, shooting live performances of Broadway and off-Broadway shows, lots of band, but more difficult, lots of spoken word.
We don't worry one whit about sync at shoot, simply because with audio being fed to every cam via either wireless or wire, plus audio going down to either a DAT, laptop, or MD, we do all the sync in post. There is no drift, never, ever. Whether it's a 60 minute project or a 300 minute project, we're good.
Generally, we take an aux feed from the house board to one cam, a house mix to a cam, and then feed any multi channels to a DA88, or more preferably, Vegas as a multitrack audio recorder. Largest we've done was the Mormon Tab Choir for the Olympics, using 16 inputs at once in the field. Of course in the studio, we do 24 channel input regularly.
Nevertheless, with a Mackie board, an Echo Layla, a laptop, and 5 cams, we're always good to go for nearly anything. We have no video mixer, but we don't do live feeds, either. Never have. At that point, I've got a friend with a truck, and that's how it goes live. You have LOADS of options if it's not a live feed. And darn few if it is a live feed.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 03:17 PM   #8
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After re-reading this I'm thinking a video mixer is a live feed,
no tape, and is recorded at the mixer not in the camera?
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Old May 6th, 2004, 05:29 PM   #9
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Yup. Called Live-to-tape and you get no second choices. If your crew is good, it is fine. If not, then separate tapes combined in Post is the way to go. Although Post can then be a significant amount of time if the event is long.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 06:47 AM   #10
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If you do go live to tape through a mixer, always run tape in the cameras too (called ISO) This gives you a back door in case of the inevitable Whoops! You can always fix it later.
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Old May 7th, 2004, 07:30 AM   #11
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I take it you run S-Video into the deck? Is the quality diminished
at all from, say, recording on camera and capturing via firewire?
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Old May 7th, 2004, 08:13 AM   #12
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You can run S-video to a mixer with some quality loss, but if you use a DV deck to record the mixed signal, the degradation ends there. There are firewire mixers available starting at about $2,600, I don't have any experience with them.
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