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Old January 10th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #1
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House Audio recorded to Analog tape?

I have a wedding in two weeks at my Church. I am also fortunate to be one of the sound guys that handles the mixer when needed. We have a tape deck that I believe is wired to a line out on the mixing board. We have never used it before. I was thinking of recording the entire service to tape this way and using this for the ambient sound and Priest during the ceremony. I also plan on having the groom miced with a wireless lapel . My question is. Do you think this sound will be acceptable, even if it is to analog tape (with potential for hiss) I will add all the audio together in post.

Thanks!
BK
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Old January 10th, 2005, 01:41 PM   #2
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If it's a good recorder, with high-quality chrome or metal tape, receiving a good signal, then it should be ok. Probably not any better than ok, but you should test it ahead of time to see if it meets your expectation.
Of MUCH greater concern is drift versus the video. And, a pitch change versus the deck you use for playback. Analog tape is terrible in this regard!! Do you have anything more stable you can record on? CD, DAT, another camera, flash recorder, anything?
If you go with the tape deck, you'll have to decided if you want to employ any noise-reduction during recording or playback. Sometimes this can be too harmful to the sound quality. Often you can employ mild EQ to combat hiss without hurting the frequencies you want to keep.
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Old January 10th, 2005, 02:27 PM   #3
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No, unfortunatly I don't have anything else. I'll probably just have to use my cameras on board mic for the ambient sound. Unlesss I could hook my laptop up somehow and capture into the mic input....?
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Old January 14th, 2005, 12:34 AM   #4
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The audio quality is not the issue, the drift is however.

Don't you have a back-up camcorder that you can use as an "audio-recorder"? It doesn't have to be digital.

VHS normal audio should be equivalent to audio-cassette, VHS HI-FI is on par with DV-audio. However, I believe you will need to send a picture feed to a VHS deck, whereas a VHS/SVHS camcorder has black already built in.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #5
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No, I don't have another camera. I am using my only 2 for the cermemony. I do have access to an IPod, but I don't believe there is a line-in on it. I will try and borrow my sisters Hi-8 camera and run a line out from the board into this.

Thanks for the advice...
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Old January 14th, 2005, 10:43 AM   #6
 
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Don't forget MD recorders, MP3 recorders, and any other digital source. In a real pinch, you can use a laptop and the Windows Media recorder too.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 12:23 PM   #7
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Hey Brent, generally two cameras should be enough for your audio needs as long as you can split the audio into two channels per camera, giving you a total of four potential channels. Use one wireless source per camera and then with the other available chanel use the onboard mike .

If you can only do one channel per camera, you might want to ask here about modifications to your camera so that you can have two separate audio feeds. If you do have a Hi-8 camcorder available and you want to use it as a back-up audio source you definitely need to test out the set-up well ahead of time for both audio level compatibility and to make sure the camcorder actually still works.

If you plan on going with a battery instead of a power supply for the Hi-8 Camcorder you will want to check out the run time of the battery, run it down, charge it up, and then run it down again and see how long it lasts. If no one is monitoring the camcorder you may want to darken the viewfinder brightness setting as that probably will then draw less current.

Finally, there was a topic on this forum several months ago about running a wireless feed from the audio board to your camcorder, is that an option or are you concerned the feed may be "sloppy" and therefore unuseable.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 03:37 PM   #8
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Cool, thanks for all the replies.
Here is my potential setup....

Stationary Sony MiniDv on tripod behind alter with frontal shot of bride and groom with onboard mike.

I will man my Canon GL2 from stage left of the alter also with onboard mic.

Groom will be miked with a lapel and an iRiver mp3 recorder in his pocket to catch the vows.

I will have the High8 camera (plugged in AC outlet) and try and run a line out from the mixing board (this will have the Preachers wireless mic, mic for soloist, and mic for lay readers) running into it. So for audio tracks in post, I'll have 4 channels of audio to tweak.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 07:07 PM   #9
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That should work, Brent. Of course, those onboard mics will be useful mainly for finding your way around and helping you to lip-sync the wild sound from the external recorders during post-production, plus for room tone.

BTW, the iPod can definitely be used for recording, but it requires an accessory like the $35 Griffin iTalk, something like what you are already doing with that iRiver.
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Old January 23rd, 2005, 08:29 PM   #10
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What I'm not liking about your set-up is the two most important feeds (the feed going into the HI-8 and the grooms River mike) are not being monitored by you.

I assume you will check the line level issues with the HI-8 before the shoot day and make sure the camera records and playsback for at least an hour, before the wedding?
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Old January 24th, 2005, 09:10 AM   #11
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If your laptop has line input that would be a good way of recording the audio from the mixer.
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Old January 24th, 2005, 11:39 AM   #12
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Is everybody using laptops on video shoots?
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Old January 24th, 2005, 01:11 PM   #13
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Everybody? I doubt it. Me? I try to bring my PowerBook along, mainly to make post-production in the field a real possibility, using Final Cut Pro. Also, it's my portable office/graphic design studio.

But so far I haven't used it for audio recording; it has Soundedit but that's wimpy...I'd prefer Logic or ProTools to be really comfortable. So I usually take the board feed right into my XL1, the 16-bit 44.1 KHz audio of DV is basically CD-quality...just don't overload it.

On laptops, the headphone jack is the line input. Problem is, on most computers, the sound card is so lousy you want to bypass that and use USB audio with the appropriate adapter/breakout box.

Some people have actually begun recording video directly onto computers and skipping the tape (and subsequent capture).
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Old January 24th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #14
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I prefer to always be a tape guy. (Edit, when it comes to location work)

I just can't imagine turning to my client, even if it only were to happen one out of 500 times and say, "um, the harddrive crashed, filled up, had a virus, and basically, your project doesn't exist."
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Old January 24th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #15
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Me too, I am a real throwback, dating back to the days when Sony and Ampex, and later Teac and ReVox, ruled the home audio market with their 1/4" reel-to-reel machines. And I still record my video on tape. But I have learned that sometimes we resist trends at our own peril. That's why I thought it would be relevant to bring up the harddrive shooters.

Having said that, I can't say I've NEVER had a problem with tape. I had just finished a shoot, using the same type of tape I always use, went to capture it in my computer and discovered that the tape was corrupt and loaded with all kinds of rectangular artifacts! Fortunately I was able to schedule a reshoot, had the talent dress the same and they actually spoke their dialogue better. (Whoof! survived that one!) Wouln't want that to happen on a one-time-only live event!

I have been in the habit of using one of my cameras when recording audio-only, but I also have the optiion of using my HHB CDR830. It uses ordinary (cheap) CD blanks, and has the advantage of immediately producing a recording that can be played back on anything that plays a CD. And it's as easy to use as a tape recorder.

I know that it's only a matter of time before I take the hint and follow the lead of the serious multitrack guys that use ProTools or Logic.
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