Interviews & Post-record clean up: Record loud w/noise, or quiet w/out? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 22nd, 2005, 02:33 PM   #1
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Interviews & Post-record clean up: Record loud w/noise, or quiet w/out?

I will be using a Hi-MD minidisc recorder, oktava mk-012 mic, rolls mx54s pro mix plus mixer. I was at some point planning on modding my oktava but I don't have enough time for that now (shoot coming up in about two weeks). So I have a relatively noisy mixer, and a quiet mic. So, should I up the gain as much as possible and get a very loud track with a lot of noise, or record with less gain hoping that I could fix it up in post? I've done a few tests on my own, but I thought to ask here too...every little bit of information helps.

Thanks,
Rob
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 07:21 PM   #2
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That mixer doesn't supply enough phantom voltage for that mic. That may be causing some of your noise problems. You should either use a mixer that supplies full 48-volt phantom power or an independent battery-powered phantom supply that puts out 48 volts.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 04:39 PM   #3
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I couldn't afford anything else at the time, and I still cannot. I did my research and I knew that the mic would be underpowered, but in my searches many had said that it ran fine on 12. That, with the combination of many others saying that the oktava was quiet, led me to believe that the problem could be fixed (if there was one) with the mic hack of which the instructions I gratefully possess now thanks to a fellow DVinfo.net'er. This is the situation I am in now. Unfortunate? Yes. but I cannot spend a dime, in fact I was getting ready to sell my equipment before I was approached for this project. Reality harshly enforces that money-for-school-comes-before-hobbies dictum.

Which method would you suggest?

Thanks for your response Jay,
Rob
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Old May 24th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #4
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Which model of Hi-MD recorder do you have? And how will you connect the mixer to it? That connection will be a crucial point for achieving as clean a recording as possible without overloading.
Generally speaking you should record as loud as you can without causing distortion on loud peaks. This distortion can occur at several points in the recording chain, but usually the two common trouble spots are: Overloading the input of the recorder, and setting the recording level controls too high on the recorder.
The recorder input can be overloaded if the signal coming from the mixer is too hot, that's why making the correct connection is very important. If the signal from the mixer is too hot, then turning down the recording level controls won't solve the problem. You'll still hear the distortion.
Setting the recording level controls correctly is usually easier since, once the input is being correctly fed, the recording meters give an accurate picture of how the signal is being recorded and listening with headphones gives you added assurance.
The best methods of "noise reduction" are to record in a quiet place and if you can't do that, then get the mic as close to the source as is practical.
If you've recorded a good strong signal with no distortion, then you have more to work with when doing EQ, noise reduction software and level adjustments.
Does your Oktava have the cardioid capsule or the hypercardioid? The cardioid cap on mine is very wide open and difficult to keep from picking up surrounding sounds. The hyper is much more effective, but as I said before, working in a quiet environment is best.
The Oktava is also very sensitive to air movements and handling noise. A windscreen and anything you can do for a shockmount is very helpful.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 09:23 PM   #5
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Its the MZ900. Now distortion is definately not a problem if I record line-in on the MD; with levels boosted to max gain on mixer and max volume on MD, i'll not go over. The only way i'd go over is if I use the mic input on the MD, and in that case I can get a very loud signal, but the noise is incredibly bad.

I do have the 3 caps, and i'll stick to the hyper thanks. Also, the shooting will be indoors, so i'll just have to be careful with the booming.

Today I borrowed a mixer/guitar amp/usb input device from my friend...alas, the phatom power was still too weak.

So should I stick with line in, instead of the noisier, louder mic input? Also I think I remember reading someone giving a tip about recording room noise for 30 seconds as a separate clip and then using that as a noise profile for canceling out noise. Is this worth my time? The sound will be recorded in 48KHz PCM.

Thanks again Jay
Rob
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Old May 25th, 2005, 07:47 AM   #6
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You should use the line input on the MD to match the line output on the mixer, as long as you can get a strong enough signal. Recording at -12db to -8db on the digital scale should give you a healthy level for editing.
You should always record at least 10 seconds of ambient sound for each setup you do that's substantially different. Substantially different can mean just changing your micing angle within the same room depending on what's generating the ambient noise. Even if you aren't specifically running noise reduction software on this clip to generate a noise profile, it's still very useful to have this room tone to cover or smooth any edits you'll have to do.
Depending on how you shoot this and whether this is scripted or an actual interview, it is also important to have a mixture of takes where no one overlaps their dialogue if possible, or that you get good clean responses separated from the interviewer's question. And shoot plenty of visual cutaways too, that will help not only with the video editing but with the audio editing as well.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 02:29 PM   #7
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Great advice Jay, Thanks again!
Whenever we finish the project I will post a copy online for everyone.

Thanks,
Rob Hester
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Old May 29th, 2005, 06:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Hester
I couldn't afford anything else at the time, and I still cannot. I did my research and I knew that the mic would be underpowered, but in my searches many had said that it ran fine on 12. That, with the combination of many others saying that the oktava was quiet, led me to believe that the problem could be fixed (if there was one) with the mic hack of which the instructions I gratefully possess now thanks to a fellow DVinfo.net'er. This is the situation I am in now. Unfortunate? Yes. but I cannot spend a dime, in fact I was getting ready to sell my equipment before I was approached for this project. Reality harshly enforces that money-for-school-comes-before-hobbies dictum.

Which method would you suggest?

Thanks for your response Jay,
Rob
1. The 012 isn't inordinately quiet even when receiving the required phantom power.

2. get a battery powered phantom supply.

Ty Ford
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