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Old November 28th, 2004, 03:55 AM   #1
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Newbie Questions: Audio Standards/Formats

Hi,

I've just recently completed my first short film. In the project, I recorded most of the audio directly into the provided microphone that came with the XL1.

As for the music, myself and the composer worked out the pieces on piano, and since we did not really have access to a proper 'studio', we recorded the audio onto a minidisc recorder, then I transferred the music to the computer using the analog outs.

My concern is, my minidisc player is really noisy - you can hear all the machine noises in the recordings, sometimes it will not even go for 10 seconds without 'putting' or giving 'whirring' noises. I'm just wondering, if I do not have access to a proper audio studio, what would be the best alternative for me to record music OR narration OR foley OR sound effects in the future? My first short film was quite narration heavy, and I also recorded most of my narration directly onto the minidisc player.

I think the other method for me right now would be to just record my audio onto miniDV tape through my camera then transfer it into the computer through firewire, but this is a pretty... weird way of getting around the problem.

Is DAT the proper format I should be using? Or are there other guerilla formats available that can transfer the audio digitally to the computer (as the minidisc recorders do not have digital in/out, my one is not a NetMD). I'm sceptical about minidisc players, I do not want to buy another one, because my friend also has a minidisc recorder that is just as noisy. What can I do?

Thank you for your time,
Dennis
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Old November 28th, 2004, 04:51 AM   #2
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Adobe Audition has a good noise reduction filter.

I use Audition 1.5, and have had great success with removing the type of noise you are talking about.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 07:42 AM   #3
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Why should there be a problem using your camer to record sound. Sounds like good lateral thinking to me. The recording will be as good as DAT, there's no need for a DAT recorder.

Jon
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Old November 28th, 2004, 09:45 AM   #4
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DV Records at 16bit, 48k so its already up thre with DAT and much higher than minidisk.

On top of that, there are no sync issues..

im currently lookin at a portable device which records straight to mp3 from its line input, as i do events, id like ot connect a recorder to the mixing desk and get sound straight off the PA.
It also copies straight across as an mp3 without the need to capture or re-record to PC...

that might be another solution for u

its not a bad way to record and its much cheaper than DAT and More reliable than minidisc as it records straight to SD card.

http://www.adata.com.tw/en/products-m-mp3-mp201.htm

and u can set your own bitrate through the input to record ur mp3 off the bat. 840mb on SD for 7 hours worth of recording stereo encoded down to 256kbps without skiping a beat.. pretty impressive.. whats better is that when im not using it for work, the missus uses it for mp3 playback on the train to and from work ;)
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Old November 28th, 2004, 10:09 AM   #5
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oh and the menu button is like the Iris dial on the XL2 ;)
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Old November 28th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #6
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Another idea could be to record to a laptop if you have one, that then skips the capturing part.

Jon
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Old November 28th, 2004, 03:51 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for the response everyone. So you're saying, it's ok to just record all post-audio straight into the camera (i.e. using miniDV tapes as if they were audio tapes, just recording hours of 'blank' video with sound)?

My question is, if I do use this method, how many times can I keep re-record over the same tape?

Peter, thanks for the link, I'm gonna check out more of these MP3 recorders around, see what I can find. The main thing now is the cost of media - with miniDV tape I'm not sure if I can keep recording over and over... also, every time I check things I have to rewind and fast forward around to hear it. But I'll take a look at those MP3/Memory recorders though... on a side note, anyone else had the noise problems with minidisc?

EDIT: Peter, do you know any other similar recorders/players around that may be more accessible to try/buy in New Zealand (or just basically, easily available)

Dennis
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Old November 28th, 2004, 05:33 PM   #8
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Just something add: Do you think it's wise for me to purchase ANOTHER (consumer) MD recorder/player? The model I have now is a really old model, the MZ-55 I believe, and I'm just wondering, what are other peoples' experience with portable minidisc recorders/players? Who knows, maybe my model was just a bad exception...

Dennis
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Old November 28th, 2004, 06:32 PM   #9
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Don't get another minidisk. As Peter said, your camera records better quality sound. Your camera is a much better (well made) piece of equipment. You already have the camera. Use the money to get a better mic or a boom, and some blank tapes at bulk prices.
You could get even better sound but it will be expensive. I wouldn't get a DAT because it's soon to be an obsolete medium. (Hard disk, i.e. laptop, etc. is better faster cheaper). The Greg Winter mod is fantastic but I don't know if it's available for your camera.
But a minidisk will be a step backward.
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Old November 28th, 2004, 07:15 PM   #10
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For sound, older discontinued camcorder models are definitely a great buy. I picked up 2 Canon ZR40s from ebay just for sound recording.

At $100 each, I just can't beat the price for that type of sound.

The cool thing is they each have their own remote controls, so you can turn them on/off from far away.

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Old November 29th, 2004, 02:31 AM   #11
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Wow, that's great. I'll record onto miniDV in the future then... now I have a question - how many times can I re-record over miniDV tape? Is it a bad practice (if I'm recording audio), or should I just use a new tape per recording?

Dennis
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Old November 29th, 2004, 03:18 AM   #12
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I made a test some time ago, regarding reusing miniDV tape.

I reused one tape 10 times without any loss in picture/audio quality.

The only thing I noticed, was that the first and last frame of each recording, was a combined picture of the last and the previous picture recorded.

But for a paid project, I would only use a new tape. They don't cost that much.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 03:23 AM   #13
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Thanks Trond, I'll do some experimentation with some tapes... I guess it's a good solution for now...

Dennis
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Old November 29th, 2004, 03:32 AM   #14
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I've been hesitating to respond to question about reusing tape because I haven't been doing that for many years so I don't know how it holds up.
The reason I don't reuse is mainly to keep the original recording in case the work/edit copy becomes corrupted or lost for any reason. Or maybe there is a problem in the transfer to the edit system.
I suppose that you could safely reuse it after the project is complete and delivered and aired and paid for and there's no chance of a revision or a director's cut or a sequel with a flashback scene or another project that could use that same ambience only longer... I think you get the idea. It's cheap insurance not to reuse it. But label it and catalog it.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 03:40 AM   #15
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Hmm... I guess it's a good idea to keep the tapes. Maybe I should buy tape in bulk...

Dennis
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