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Old October 27th, 2004, 09:04 AM   #1
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Sound recording

I am looking to record 4 mics for a shoot I'm doing next month. Since my camera only records two tracks with two XLR jacks, does anyone have a recomendation for an external recorder? Something that has 2 XLR jacks and ideally a firewire connection? My budget is shot to hell so I'm looking to do it on the cheap. Cheap to the point I'd be willing to possibly go with just one channel and one XLR jack if neccesary, though I'd really prefer two. If anyone has an idea or a suggestion, I will be grateful.

Thank you

James
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Old October 27th, 2004, 09:53 AM   #2
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Among "cheap" audio recorders, the best way to get XLR connectors is to use a cheap mixer with XLR's and then run a short unbalanced cable into the recorder's unbalanced line inputs.
The step up to XLR on an audio recorder represents a substantial increase in price.
Other options for XLR and firewire would be to rent or borrow or pay a friend to show up with another camera comparable to yours. This would also give you a safety video shot.
If you decide that you don't absolutely have to record all 4 mics separately and simultaneously for the entire event, a small mixer could be used to mix them to your single camera. If you are working alone, then mixing and running the camera could be too much to handle. For some events though it's certainly within reason.
Describe the event in a little more detail.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 10:03 AM   #3
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Thanks Jay. What I will be filming is a demo and instructional video for the defense contracting company. It will have 4 areas that I will need to get sound from, and they are seperated by about 10 yards each with a lot of ambient noise going on. The sound from those areas needs to be excellent and very clear. I'm running a PD170 and a VX2100 with a Beachtec adapter. I was just hoping to be able to keep one of the cameras far in the back ground for an over view shot and therefore too far to string cable to.

The other thing that I would like it for is I have a chance to record a few books on tape. Not exactly what I wanted to get into, but I'm always looking to make a few extra dollars. I can use my cameras for it, and just record the audio, but I was thinking that with this oportunity and the above requirment (plus future things like concerts, etc.) that is might be better in the long run to just go ahead and buy. But, as I said my budget got shot on the above project and a documentary I'm doing so I'm really trying to be a thrifty person now.
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Old October 27th, 2004, 12:31 PM   #4
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OK, a couple of additional questions. Do audio activities go on in each of these 4 areas simultaneously or in stages? Do you already have the mics and if so, what model are they?
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Old October 27th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #5
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Yes, the same time in all 4 locations, which makes it a bit difficult. My mic's are 2 At897's and 2 AT 4073's. I hope this helps.

Thank you

James
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Old October 27th, 2004, 01:53 PM   #6
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Would a mixer hooked up to a pc be able to do this? I might be able to get 120 volt power out there. Also, does extended play recording on mini dv have the same quality audio as standard recording?

Thank you for all your help,

James
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Old October 27th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by James Lilly : ... I was just hoping to be able to keep one of the cameras far in the back ground for an over view shot and therefore too far to string cable to... -->>>

Too far? How far do you mean? It's pretty cheap to run XLR cable, and there are your four channels.
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Old October 28th, 2004, 01:48 PM   #8
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Actually, the second camera will be place on a hill above aproximately 350 yards away. How much would that cost and would I run into problems with the voltage? I have thought of that, I just hadn't considered that the cable, 2 of them, would be that much cheaper.
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Old October 28th, 2004, 03:57 PM   #9
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Fred's suggestion is excellent, but not if it really is going to be over 1000 feet away. I know I was picturing like 100 feet max.
There are a variety of harddisk and flash card recorders available that range from low priced consumer units that were primarily designed for mp3 playback but can also record uncompressed, up to full pro units. The low cost ones need a mixer as a front end, as you go up in price the units have XLR mic preamps with phantom power. It really depends on how much you want to spend and whether you want a single unit with all the features built-in or you can deal with piecing together less expensive items.
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Old October 31st, 2004, 01:30 PM   #10
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This doesnt dovetail with your longer range plans for an audio recorder, but your best solution for this shoot may be to rent some recording equipment--you could even rent a third camera and XLR adaptor just to set up near the action as a two channel audio recorder, or a couple of cameras that could take the AT897's directly into their 1/8" mic jacks with $10 adaptors.
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