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Old May 17th, 2004, 12:01 PM   #1
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5.1


Note: Moved to this forum from Panasonic MX/DV forum by Chris Hurd on 19 May '04.

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Have you recorded 5.1 while filming?
What do you use?

what do you do when you make your 5.1DD DVDs?
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Old May 17th, 2004, 01:11 PM   #2
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Re: 5.1

<<<-- Originally posted by George Beck : Have you recorded 5.1 while filming?
What do you use?

what do you do when you make your 5.1DD DVDs? -->>>

Sorry, but I have seen several comments on this Forum over the 5:1 "capabilities" of the GS400. Before the word spreads, we better get something clear. It's quite unlikely you will be able to record anything in 5:1 audio or even 5 channels.

What it is likely is that the playback uses the two stereo channels the camera picks through its two microphones and gets the other channels by electronics processing.

But that is far from being a real 5:1. It's like the stereo effect you get on some amps by processing a mono signal. Maybe you like it, but it's purely pyrotechnics.

If you want a 5:1 track you will have to process your audio in post-production, assigning specific sounds to every track.


Carlos
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Old May 17th, 2004, 01:57 PM   #3
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Wow.. Carlos... I never seen anything about GS400 and 5.1 sound.

can you please post the link to those posts?

I've seen the 5.1 of HC1000 which is advetrised by Sony as such camcorder.
http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer.../surround.html

and from what I can understand there you record 4 separate channels.

don't you have "narration" in DV953? Isn't this in a separate track? what if you have a mic turned "arround" on the cam, and record the "narration" (surround sound) from there as a separate chan?
I'm just wondering if we can't have the same thing with DV953 or for that matter GS400. =) as HC1000


I'm quite familiar of post-production, and to assign the "sounds" to the separte tracks you have to have them recorded first. ;-)
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Old May 17th, 2004, 02:44 PM   #4
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As George mentions the HC1000 (not GS400) has the "unique" 5.1 capability with two stereo microphones. Then in post production you just extract vocals and anchor them to the center channel. The LFE channel is just below a certain frequency. That is my take on the Japanese site.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #5
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The 5.1 for the Sony will most likely be something like Pro Logic II which combines the channels down to 2 (like most digital cable does), then you need software/hardware to re-seperate and produce surround. Otherwise they would be violating the dv audio spec, unless they are changing the 4 channel audio options from 32khz to 48. If not, that surround sure will suck.

I bet the software to do this will be a plug-in or upgrade to Vegas.

This is all a guess though.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #6
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from what I can understand from the page (not reading Jap) when you playback you DO lose the 2 surround chans. So in actuallity you do have 4 separate audio channels.

I am wondering if it is possible to have something similar with DV953?

can the DV953 record more than 2 separate audio chans?

whats the "Audio Dubbing (SP only)" option?
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Old May 17th, 2004, 03:25 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by George Beck : Wow.. Carlos... I never seen anything about GS400 and 5.1 sound.

can you please post the link to those posts?

I've seen the 5.1 of HC1000 which is advetrised by Sony as such camcorder.
http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer.../surround.html

and from what I can understand there you record 4 separate channels.-->>>

Well, well. As you can see I mixed the cameras. I think you are right. I "imagined" that the GS400 also is bringing what the HC1000 is announcing. Unwilling got into the "unconfirmed information" mess.

About the 4 separate channels recording, what Sony is offering maybe something as the Canon XL1 has, if I am not wrong: 4-channel recording at 12 bit. But I do not pay too much attention to most of those "inventions", as they are not useful on professional applications.

Even if pro-sumer cameras are amateur designed, if you know how to "cheat" you can get quite "pro-like" results from them. But you better stick to 2-channel sound!

<<<-- don't you have "narration" in DV953? Isn't this in a separate track? what if you have a mic turned "arround" on the cam, and record the "narration" (surround sound) from there as a separate chan?
I'm just wondering if we can't have the same thing with DV953 or for that matter GS400. =) as HC1000-->>>

I don't have a DV953 and I am not aware of it being able to record narration on a separate track. You can certainly plug in an external mic and do narration on it. But not as "surround" or anything like it. The surround word only applies on using a specific track on the Dolby mix, and is very rarely recorded as that. Even if you do, and as far as I know, it's not recorded using a Dolby matrix. You may record four channels with 4 mics: two frontal, two rear, and then assign them on the Dolby mix.

<<<-- I'm quite familiar of post-production, and to assign the "sounds" to the separte tracks you have to have them recorded first. ;-) -->>>

OK.


Carlos
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Old May 17th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #8
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All cinema 5.1 tracks are made in labs. I prefer to make it on my PC. I use natural audio recording, usually downmix it to mono and place it to a center channel. Surround and effects I add from my sound library.
I use Sony Vegas 4.0 for 5.1 mastering. I'm even wrote an article about this technique, in Russian of course.
http://www.videozona.net/editing/vegas51.htm
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Old May 17th, 2004, 04:03 PM   #9
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Thanx Carlos =)
I was hoping that there's a separate track for the narration, and record the rear chans there. (even one extra track will produce good results when mixing into 5.1)

Mikhail, I wanted to have as realistic recording as possible. Adding an ambient surround from a library is possible, but it's much more realistic if you have it to match the visuals. Or at least thats what I would like to acheave.

I guess whats left is look for a 4 chan. mic for the cam, and external sound recording (24bit if possible).

any suggestions? :)
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Old May 17th, 2004, 04:30 PM   #10
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here's text from GS120 manual, I think this part is the same for DV953.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Audio Recording Mode
The sound quality of the recorded sound can be
selected with [AUDIO REC] on the
[RECORDING] Sub-Menu.
High sound-quality recording is possible with
“16 bit 48 kHz 2 track” Mode. With the “12 bit
32 kHz 4 track” Mode, the original sound can be
recorded on 2 tracks in stereo, while the other
2 tracks can be used for Audio Dubbing.
--------------------------------------------------------------

now.. can the Audio Dubbing (the recording of the extra 2 tracks) be done while we tape?
Can someone check this please?
(it's not specified in the manual)
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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:06 PM   #11
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Well, certainly the extra two tracks can be done, if the camera circuitry supports it. However, the DV953, GS100, GS120/200 don't support simultaneous recording of 4 tracks.
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Old May 17th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #12
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thanx, Guy
that what I was wondering about...
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Old May 17th, 2004, 08:08 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by George Beck : Thanx Carlos =)
I was hoping that there's a separate track for the narration, and record the rear chans there. (even one extra track will produce good results when mixing into 5.1)-->>>

Regarding location audio, you almost never record the rear channels, except on very very special occasions with very very special microphones. The Soundfield is the only microphone that records "surround" sound, using several channels on the recorder. My guess is a very very small percentage of ALL PROFESSIONAL LOCATION RECORDISTS IN THE WORLD have ever seen, least of all used, the Soundfield mic.

Narration is rarely recorded during shooting, except if you are also on the screen. If you are not you would be wasting time recording audio on a video tape, where sound recording is a compromise to say the least.

<<<-- I wanted to have as realistic recording as possible. Adding an ambient surround from a library is possible, but it's much more realistic if you have it to match the visuals. Or at least thats what I would like to acheave. -->>>

Recording ambient sound has nothing to do with using it from a library. You use a library sound because it sounds better.

There's not such a thing as a "realistic" recording. Film or video is just an "imitation" of real life, and believe it or not you hold more chances of being "realistic" by being "unrealistic". Sometimes a well recorded library sound has better chances of serving your "realistic" purposes than something that was not picked with the right microphone for what you are recording.

What you need to pick when on location are clean audio recordings, and for that you will most likely use a directional or an hyperdirectional mic. A stereo mic might be useful on certain circumstances, like crowds and certainly music. But the word CLEAN must be omni-present always.

What you do then, during editing, is reconstruct what you heard using your location recordings and whatever will help you, balancing what is important. This also means that the most important audio will quite likely be up front, because if it's on the back it will be distracting. It's then when you assign the tracks where you need.

My advice: forget about 5:1 sound during shooting and concentrate on a clean mono or stereo sound picking. Try to correlate the sound plane of what you are picking in the image (close up, mid shot, etc.). That is something most people seem to forget, and it's then when the audio track sounds artificial. Like having a close up narration on a wide open shot.

<<<-- I guess whats left is look for a 4 chan. mic for the cam, and external sound recording (24bit if possible).-->>>

Forget about 4-channel mic. Besides the Soundfield, there's no decent sounding mic you can use. Also forget about 24bit, as you will only find that on very very expensive audio recorders, which will probably cost a lot more than your camera.

But do record everything in 16bit, 48Khz if possible.


Carlos
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Old May 18th, 2004, 12:36 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Carlos E. Martinez : There's not such a thing as a "realistic" recording. Film or video is just an "imitation" of real life, and believe it or not you hold more chances of being "realistic" by being "unrealistic".->>>

So, Carlos, I think the essence of what you are saying is that a great soundtrack is not created on location - it happens in the studio. The main purpose of a location sound crew is to capture (mono) sound that must "sync" with the picture, and to gather ambient sound that may later be included in the mix. If final product is presented in stereo (or 5.1 for that matter) it is solely due to the sound editor's creative imagination. Certain sounds appear to be to the left or right because the sound editor decided that would be the best way to tell the story.

Given that, my personal preference is to ignore how many tracks of audio a camera can record. If it can do two, it can handle most situations where actions (usually talking) must appear in sync with the picture. When you go back to the editing room you have just about as many tracks as you can imagine for extra audio: sound effects, narration, music, ambience, off-camera voices, etc. Why try to record all that stuff “in the field" when it is so much easier to record it "in the studio" (or you living room or whatever)? In my experience, when you try to capture a complete "authentic" soundtrack in the field, it never sounds on tape the way I "heard" it in the field. My brain filtered out the airplane roaring overhead, or the baby crying in the cafe across the street. If I put the soundtrack in front of an audience, they would be straining to filter out the distractions, and not concentrating on what I want them to hear.

My most complicated shot was a long take during which six different actors come in and out of the frame talking at various times. For that shot, NONE of the final sound was recorded in the camera. I used the camera’s built-in mic as a reference source. Each of the actors wore a wireless lav being recorded on six different (mono) tracks in real time on my laptop using a computer audio recording program (Cakewalk Sonar).

Back at home, I edited the visual, and then started building the soundtrack, bringing the actors voices in, panning them left or right as appropriate, changing volumes and room “presence” as they moved toward or away from the camera. Ambient sound was added so it would match other recordings made at that location, and some sound effects were added. The result looked and sounded authentic and kept the audience focused exactly on what was important moment by moment. Now, this is just my aesthetic opinion, but the studio track feels more “real” to me than the live reference track I taped through the camera.

// Ric
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Old May 18th, 2004, 07:28 AM   #15
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it all depends on what you are filming, for what purpose in what area etc.. etc..

I won't go into my reasons for this, but I want to have the real sounds around me recorded for whatever purpose!

Did you ever think I may want this for my family camping, or outdoor shooting? Maybe the "plane" or the "bird" is what I want to hear.

And by the way edditing sound by sound the location and dynamics of each element will produce outdated and parocial result, unless you have a 100 mil sound-budget.
ex. the so called 5.1 version of "Die Hard 2". (where only here and there 5.1 SFX)

and trying to make it more "realistic" is done "by hand" (or at least we do it) only for the FX, voices, major sound emiting elements... We use the available tracks to produce as close as possible 5.1, but for background depending on the environment and specific case we may choose to use a prerecorded 5.1 like something from DOSCH 5.1 sound collections, depending again on the purpose of the element, audiance target, message conveyed.. etc...
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