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Dustin Cross October 15th, 2004 06:58 PM

Field Audio Question

I am preparing for a video shoot where we are thinking of using multiple lavs and our shotgun mic. The camera can only handle two channels of audio, so we are thinking of alternative ways to capture the audio.

We are looking at buying something like a MOTU 896HD, connecting it to our 15" Powerbook and capturing the audio from each mic to a seperate audio file. At the same time we would like to send a mix of all the channels to the camera for reference. We aren't sure what software to use or if there is a better hardware solution than the MOTU 896HD. Can we do this with Garageband or Soundtrack, or do we need to buy Logic or similar?

I know there are a few devices specifically built to do this, but they cost $10k+. We own the laptop and could use the MOTU 896HD in post.

Thanks for any input.

Douglas Spotted Eagle October 15th, 2004 07:37 PM

I'd recommend you do this with ProTools, but you've got the sequencing wrong. You won't want to feed the cams from the 896, or you'll have so much latency it won't be useful on tape. You'll be able to sync your separate files later though.
You could feed the main outs from the 896 as a mix to the cam though, but you'd only have stereo/2 channels on output, not individual cam mics.

Dustin Cross October 15th, 2004 08:22 PM

Thanks for responding.

I think sending the main out from the 896HD to the cam for a reference is what I was talking about. The camera only records two channel/stereo so that is fine. It would just be something to give a reference. Then we would still have the induvidual mics on the harddrive to sync in post as required.

Worst case I can split the shotgun mic to the mixer and directly to the cam, so we don't have latency. We really just want something as a reference on the cam tape and we will sync the indivudual tracks in post and not use the reference. Having no sound with our video is just too scary.

Can we use Vegas 4 to do this? I own Vegas 4.

We haven't used ProTools before, but it sounded pretty expensive and you had to buy into their hardware to really use it. That is what I got from talking to the ProTools guys at NAB. I was leaning towards Logic to do the surround mix for our movie after talking to both Logic and Protools at NAB. It sounded very expensive to get what we need from Protools to import our audio from FCP and nothing extra to use Logic.

Thanks for your input.

K. Forman October 15th, 2004 08:59 PM

I used a 12 channel Korg HD recorder and mixer, cost about $1,000. It had several inputs, 1/4" - XLR combos, with headphones and line out, as well as optical. It worked great for multiple mics... unless the power went out.

Douglas Spotted Eagle October 15th, 2004 10:17 PM

Vegas works great for this. But...if you're using a PC, DON'T buy the MOTU. Not only is it exceptionally flawed in the driverset, their tech support is listed in the phone book under "Suck."

In the Mac world, you can't beat a MOTU product. Best stuff in the world. They made a very conscious decision years ago to focus on Mac, and one year at NAMM, they even had a window to 'pretend throw' stuff through.

In the PC world for laptop, you CAN'T beat an Echo device. There are lots of great tools, but for 8 in/out on a Cardbus, Echo dominates.
M-Audio has 2 new firewire devices, but I've only got a 410, haven't worked with the newer, more channel devices.

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