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Old May 15th, 2004, 06:57 AM   #1
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DV Audio Editing Mixers?

Is there a moderately-priced audio editing mixer with FireWire? I've looked at the expensive Videonics MX-DVPRO, that does a full range of mixing and special effects for both video and audio. This unit costs more than my VX2100. But, I could use something simpler that would do DV audio mixing or dubbing only. A unit that would just strip the original audio from a DV FireWire signal and allow the substitution of a new audio program on the 16-bit track is what I want. Or, do you have to go to a computer-editing system to accomplish that?

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Old May 15th, 2004, 09:42 AM   #2
 
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Mackie has a couple, and I believe Firestation is coming out with one as well. I know the Mackies are sub 1500$...but haven't worked with them yet.
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Old May 15th, 2004, 10:46 AM   #3
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It is certainly going to be less expensive to accomplish that in Post assuming you already have a NLE.

Whatever you buy isn't going to be inexpensive because the DV signal stream has to be decomposed, the audio replaced and then the stream has to be rebuilt. So you have to purchase a mixer with the capabilities to compute the task. Sort of adds a computer to the mixer price-wise.
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Old May 15th, 2004, 10:56 AM   #4
 
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<<<No "sort-of" about it. The mixers do have computer processors built into them.>>> :-)

I'm curious Steve, what you'd want the firewire for? You are not going to suffer a significant loss if you use quality cables, kept short, going from camera to mixer if you need to mix live.
Now, with the Mackie, you can record straight to your hard drive, using the mixer as a multi-channel input, but is that what you want to do?
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Old May 15th, 2004, 06:22 PM   #5
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I appreciate the informed and prompt advice about the mixers, although it appears that it would actually be less expensive to buy a mid-priced computer and an NLE system, than to get a capable DV mixer. I would only get audio functions for video editing from the simple type of mixer I was hoping to find and I wouldn't have the benefit of all the other features a computer would provide.

I have no interest in live mixing in the camera. And, I've been learning fast to keep my mouth shut when shooting digital video. I recently put together 20 minutes of rare bird shots to show an upper-crust group of Ornithologists. I planned on controling the playback VCR and audio amplifier and turning down the sound at critical moments. But, someone else seized that job and everyone got to hear all the mutterings and cussing I'd done while shooting the birds. Actually, I got off easy as I've put far worse things on my camera soundtracks. I never realized how much I talk to myself, until the times I accidently left my camcorder running, while walking with it some distance.

My main intent in using an audio mixer was to take edited video productions and add an all-music, 16-bit soundtrack, while removing all the original audio. On other edited productions, I'd have wanted to combine the original audio recorded with the video shots and add narration, but mix these so they would all be on the 16-bit track. This would have been done with two VCRs in the studio. First, the video editing with the VCRs and then passing the playback of the master tape through a mixer to add the audio and then re-recording on the 2nd VCR. Since I have two digital VCRs already, I wouldn't need to use my camcorders for any playback or editing purposes.

Since my VX2100 does audio dubbing on the 12-bit track, I could add narration very simply, without a mixer or NLE system, if I were willing to use 12-bit audio for both sets of tracks. But, I don't want to settle for 12-bit, especially not with nature sounds, including birdcalls with high-frequency ranges. And 12-bit would degrade the high-quality music I'd add to other productions. Crowd and background sounds at athletic or cultural events and public speeches would be just fine on 12-bit, however.

The fact is, that despite having been involved in videomaking for 17 years, I do not have a computer. I doubt I would have much trouble learning to run one, with my background in video and 7 years on the Internet with my WebTV. But, I prefer to spend my money on cameras and expensive bicycles, so I was hoping to put off the computer acquisition and use what I hoped would be a cheap DV audio mixer. But, it looks like this is not an option for what I want to do. There was a distinct advantage in cost and simplicity in editing analog video and audio.

Since I've been doing manual VCR to VCR editing for so long, I've gotten pretty quick and accurate with it. Despite the widespread use and popularity of NLE today, my old system works dependably for me and is much less problematic. I anticipate that if I move into NLE, all these years of manual editing will have given me some useful experience.

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Old May 15th, 2004, 07:19 PM   #6
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In one sense, using an NLE and computer would complicate things for you. However, once you get the hang of it, you will be amazed at what you can do. Also, there are several stand alone editing machines out there, maybe that is an option for you? I suppose they might be easier to use for you than a PC.

As far as the operator's comments, I have discovered that the camera's standard mic will pick up everything that is within 20 ft behind it, and almost nothing that is 5 ft in front. Using a shotgun mic changes fixes that. Of course, you still need to be careful ;)
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