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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #1
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I Swear I Set It to XLR

I suspect at one time or another this may be something others have done. Recently while filming an interview (in a smallish room, which may have benefitted me as we'll find out) I shot an interview on my Sony Z-1. I recall with some certainty setting the input to XLR and wired up my talent with a nice SONY lav.

As my luck had it, I forgot my cans, but was familiar with where the VU meters should go as the talent was speaking, and everything looked fine.

I got home, only to discover that in spite of my recall, the input was set to the internal mics - NOT XLR.

The small room meant that the recording levels may be ok... but the room acoustics aren't so hot. I realize there is no "fix bad room acoustics" filter, but are there any tried and true tricks to eke whatever improvement out of this mess as is possible?

Appreciate any input, or commiseration.

Chris
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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:41 PM   #2
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Always bring headphones.

Try boosting the mid-range for more presence..
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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Duplicate post below....
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Old October 18th, 2009, 10:28 PM   #4
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The crux clearly is, as you said: "Always bring headphones." Period. (I just forgot them at home 1000 miles away - DOH!).

I'm experimenting with EQ and will also try your mid range suggestion, thanks.
Because the subject was so close to the camera (6 feet or so, awful interview setup!) it "may" yet work, albeit sub-optimally.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #5
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Another tip always use an on camera xlr mic instead of the internal, that way you'll never have to wonder if the menu is set to xlr. The for interview work you plug the lav into the second xlr giving you both backup and ambient. In addition buy backup ear buds and put them in your bag.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:46 AM   #6
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Yet another reason to always travel with your iPod. Those earphones are better than nothing in pinch.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 03:46 AM   #7
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Same again here. Earbuds make great backups for your cans being M.I.A.

Andrew
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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #8
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IF in doubt a quick check would be to give the on board mic a light tap with your finger. The meter will shoot up, quickly showing that you're on internal or not at all if you're on the external or XLR.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 05:44 AM   #9
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Second Brian's comment about tapping the camera mike.

I did the same thing at a music gig whilst under the hammer. I'm not sure whether I double-buttoned the selector wheel when the camera bounced forward on the tripod or did not set it off at all.

The camera was very high on a tall tripod I was forced to use when the organisers did not provide the high position I was assured they would. - Whatever, it was a lost cause, the most dreadful audio ever, strong winds, dust, big outdoors crowd, very airey.

Last edited by Bob Hart; October 19th, 2009 at 05:45 AM. Reason: error
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Old October 19th, 2009, 08:14 AM   #10
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I've done this too :-(

Having headphones doesn't help much unless they are very isolating - you hear enough of the talent direct, with room acoustics, not to realise that what you are recording is echoey too. This is one more benefit of doing a short test recording and playing it back, though this is easier with solid state media rather than tape.

N
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Old October 19th, 2009, 08:24 PM   #11
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All good advice, and I feel better knowing I'm not alone, though regret your situations as well. Earbuds will find a nice little place in my camera bag from this day on ! And now that I have been burnt, I will definitely be tapping the mic... the idea of an on camera shotgun isn't bad, but it is one more ting to carry around... actually though, in my case, it probably would have been a not bad choice, but for the back end pickup.

Thanks all.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 09:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Swanberg View Post
the idea of an on camera shotgun isn't bad, but it is one more ting to carry around... actually though, in my case, it probably would have been a not bad choice, but for the back end pickup.
I use an Oktava MK12 which is only 4 inches long and can remain on the camera and still fits in the bag. It basically forces you to look at the physical xlr connections. Anything menu driven is prone to such errors if you aren't careful.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 10:00 PM   #13
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And anything that is software driven can be prone to a bug in the programming of the code behind it all.

Andrew
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Old October 20th, 2009, 01:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Cofrancesco View Post
I use an Oktava MK12 which is only 4 inches long and can remain on the camera and still fits in the bag. It basically forces you to look at the physical xlr connections. Anything menu driven is prone to such errors if you aren't careful.
I own this mic, it's great and cheap. Just be sure to get a good shock mount for it, sensitive little bugger it is. Prone to handling noise. Also try and get one that's been reasonably QC'd.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 01:26 PM   #15
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I own a modded MK-012 and use the hyper as my main interior boom mic and concur in your comments about it. In the end though, hauling around an xlr mic to use to make sure I am using the XLR input seems like more work than just hooking up the lav and tapping the built in mic to make sure I am NOT using it, or anything on camera. That's the point of the lav in the first place.
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