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Old May 26th, 2004, 08:32 PM   #16
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Turn on the water!

Dan, you need to take a cold shower, quick. You are getting yourself into a situation where you will be spending way over five thousand dollars, and shooting with gear you have no experience using. This is a recipe for financial and professional disaster. Interestingly, no one has asked you what sort of music you will be recording. Anything beyond a small acoustic instrumental group is going to bury someone with no experience. I don't care how many threads you have been reading. Here are a couple of reactions to your comments:

"I need two cameras for recording concerts where sound is extremely important. This is ALL I will ever be using the cameras for."

Why spend this kind of money if this is ALL you will ever use the cameras for? What kind of financial sense does this make? Are you made of money? Is the group giving you the cash to buy the gear? Do you realize how much additional money you need for all the gear to go with the two cameras? Think tripods, batteries, carrying cases, ad nausem. Did you price the Rode microphone?

" If I need two ME66K6, I will need to add an addional 800 to get two ME66K6 Microphones and power supplies. I have thought about getting a Stereo microphone but with two mono's from two seperate camera's I imagine it would not be too difficult to convert it to stereo in post production."

As has been pointed out, these are not the right mics to record music. Sure, you could point two ME66's at the stage, record mono individually, and create a faux stereo in post, but don't expect excellent audo. Where will you place the mics? Where will you place the cameras? Whoops, cables running all over the venue. And while we are at it, you also should be recording audience reaction somewhere. Again, as has been said, you should absolutely be looking to the house mixer to provide you with a line feed for one of the cameras. If this production is good enough to hire a house mixer, then you should take advantage of this opportunity. Unlike you, he isn't fumbling with focus and framing, and is concentrating on the sound of the mix, which will be infinitely better than anything you can do under these circumstances. If something goes wrong with his mix, you are in the dumper, but there is no way you can get a better sound from indiviually miced instruments with a couple mics fed into your cameras. Get to know the mixer, and become his new, best friend. Find out how to set your camera's audio level to match his line level. And BTW, he probably has one or two mics you could use, if you're nice to him.

"Of course I am a one man show and after the secondary camera is set up correctly with white balance etc, I will not be controlling it and will be spending all of my time on the PD170. I am assuming that the VX2100 handles auto focusing alright as I would hate to manually focus it and then have it go out of focus when I am not there to correct it."

Well, it's easier to plug in the lines from the mixer to the PD170, with its professional XLR connectors. And using the VX2100 to shoot with is fine, since visually it is identical to the PD170. If there is no one operating the second camera, then set focus manually and leave it locked. Same with iris and white balance, and shutter speed. But while we are on the subject, a locked off wide shot of the group, and a few various shots from your camera, won't make for a great concert video. Hopefully you can shoot from different positions over a number of nights to give you some variety in editing. Course, that means the same program each night.

"Also, since I am just in the process of getting the PD170 I am a little concerned about voiding the warrenty on it by getting the mod done to it until after the warrenty runs out next year."

You are correct in assuming you will void the warranty. So, if something goes wrong with the camera, unrelated to the audio fix, Sony will very likely refuse to correct your problem because of the "tampering." I find it pretty amazing that you are talking about spending money for add-ons when you haven't even heard the sound out of the camera yet. Something about a "cart before the horse."

Dan, I can appreciate your excitement about doing this project, but I cannot urge you strongly enough to proceed with caution. There is a world of difference between reading about all this on the internet, and actually doing it under the pressures of a live performance. There is so much involved, that we have barely scratched the surface. Send along more information about what kind of a concert this is, whether or not there will be a mixer for the house (Let him record it on DAT!), will you be shooting multiple nights. Your description of the lighting sends up a red flag to me. Like to hear more about those "hot lights" pointing straight down on the performers. This could be an issue. So much to think about.

Since you apparently have purchased the PD170, I have a final word: RENT Rent a second camera, rent mics, rent a DAT. All this stuff is outrageously expensive to buy, but reasonable to rent. Usually, you can pay for two or three days rental, and use the gear for a week. Might even find a better deal from a private owner who bought the gear for one job, and now it sits on a shelf. Don't forget cables for the mics. (But please, use the mixer)

Good luck!
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Old May 26th, 2004, 08:42 PM   #17
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Ok I read the article and listened to the clips and was impressed.

I may just order two VX2100's and get the Sound Devices MixPre's and send one of the cameras in for the mod. I believe you are wrong that the Sound Devices premix and the Sure FP24 are the same. I looked at the specs very carefully and the FP24 does not have XRL Stereo ouputs according to BH photo. Of course this would not matter using the line inputs with the mod. I would not have to worry about the sound on the second camera and could leave it unmodified.

Do you know how long of a waiting time there is to get the mod done as I will need the camera at the latest by July 24th. I could train myself with the unmodifed camera while I am waiting.

Also, do you know if the Rode Nt-4 works well with the Sound Devices Mix Pre. I am still a little unsure on weather to get two 81's or one Nt-4 for recording the concerts.

You state that you also use the PMD670 hooked up to the mix Pre. Is this for backup purposes? How does the sound compare with the track recorded this way and with the sound recorded on to the DV tape from the VX2000 modified?

Finally, I assume that I would not need the Beach Tek DXA-8 with the mod since I am using the line ins of the camera and can wait for the next Beach Tek device that is being worked on. Am I correct in this?

Thanks for all your help Bryan.

Dan
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Old May 26th, 2004, 08:55 PM   #18
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Hi Wayne,

It is a two piece acoustic Christian group of a professional Christian musician by the name of Don Francisco who penned the song "He's Alive" that in the year 2000 made the top 10 Christian songs of the millennium. I will be traveling with them for several months recording video for the web and for DVD authoring of which I already have Adobe Premier, Adobe After Effects, and several DVD authoring programs and have made quite a few DVD projects using Reel DVD and other DVD authoring programs.

I also am on salary by them for working on their web site in the mp3 and video format.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 09:06 PM   #19
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No I have not yet purchased a camera. I am the type of person that has to get all things figured out before I make a big purchase like this as I am still not sure on the PD 170 or the VX2100. There will be a mixer sound board at the concerts but do not know of the connections and if there will be any open ones as I live on the other side of the country from them and do not know much about proffesional sound boards.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 09:39 PM   #20
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Dan
Why not see if you can find a gently used VX2000 and have the mod done

The FP24 is the Mix Pre. The only difference is the screened logo on the case. The Mix Pre is also usually cheaper. I own a mix pre and a 302 3 channel.

The PMD670is a nice unit and operates well on it's own but for some test clips I tried to go the extra mile and used a Sound devices Preamp into the PMD 670 and there was an improvement.

A stand alone mixer will usually be better than a recorder that incorporates a mixers features. A mix pre costs the same as a marantz PMD670

Email me at bbeasleighatrogers dotcom if you have any questions or need a particular test clip.

Just so we understand
The sony camera has a superb picture and excellent low light ability. The sound by itself is more than adequate for most users.

The sound can be improved by using an external preamp.

If you want DAT quality and are totally anal about your audio quality than the mod is for you.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 07:16 AM   #21
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Dan - if you have any questions regarding the modification please call me at 585-671-1050 daytime... It's my busy time of year with my day job so my modification time is limited - if you want me to do a camera, let me know by phone so we can schedule it ahead of time. I can also supply plenty of references. -Greg.
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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #22
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I'd like to point out that Greg is not really in business as a repair shop. He did some research and modified his own camera. He was then persuaded to share his ideas and skills.

There is more info at

http://www.dvfreelancer.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=345#345
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Old May 27th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #23
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duplicate post
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