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Old June 23rd, 2005, 12:35 AM   #1
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Sound solution

Hi everyone, i'm going to be traveling to a foreign country to do a shoot. I'm a bit worried about my sound solution. Here is what I have so far; 2 different 3ccd miniDV cameras. A beachtek DXA-8, a 60gb ipod, a 6gb Creative Jukebox, a laptop, a lav system, a shotgun. I'm going to be traveling around very busy cities so portability is key. We have a dedicated person for sound. Either we can hook up the beachtek to the cameras and plug all the microphones there (this would mean the sound guy has to be close and moving with the camera guy). Or we can simply leave the cameramen by themselves and record via the beachtek connected to the mp3/md player. Which option would be better, camera+xlr box, or XLR box plus mp3 player. THe mp3 players are great in that they have equilizer controls, high quality audio capturing ability, audio levels etc.

The benefit of XLR to mp3 player is that the sound guy is his own unit and won't be tied up with the cameramen. Speaking of camera men, obviously one is the primary, and the other is dedicated to b-roll. So would be safe to record audio via the mp3 players and later capture the audio and cue it up to the video? Or should we just play it safe and capture audio alongside video , the traditional way..?

I hope that makes sense, if not, please let me know and i will be glad to clear it up. I await you guys' response
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 01:49 AM   #2
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oh and i forgot to add, there will be only 2 sound sources, a shotty and lav.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 08:27 AM   #3
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Being tethered to the camera sucks, but you have to be realistic about your ability to keep everything labeled properly and snyc it up later if your going to try double system sound. I've seen people screw this up before, and believe me, it is no fun. If you go that route make sure you get a head slate and a tale slate. We also have the slate person announce the track number and time code before they clap. That's more important than announcing the scene and take numbers in my opinion. (Shouldn't it be obvious what scene it is? And who cares what number the take is? Why do people notate that?) If the track number is written on the slate (and visible to the camera -- you'd be amazed how often that gets screwed up) you have a pretty safe system. Make sure you record reference audio to the camera. Use the best on-camera mic you have access to. Often, the slate will dip out of frame just as the stick claps. Don't expect the cinematographer to catch that for you. He doesn't care. You can still sync to the clap that was recorded to camera though. That's why you need the reference audio.

I'm a little skeptical of the MP3 by the way. Lossy compression. If the preamps are good on the Jukebox I'd be inclined to use that. But then you say the MP3 player has a meter, so that's a tough choice. Is your budget maxed out? How about Hi-MD? That would free you from constantly having to download before shooting again. It's easier to catalog too. One disc, one tape. Pretty hard to screw that up.

Last edited by Marco Leavitt; June 23rd, 2005 at 08:50 AM.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 02:21 PM   #4
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Hey Marco, thanks for your input, i appreciate that very much. So, a HI-MD would be the perfect solution to all this then? Any reccomendations as to what model i shoudl be looking at?
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 03:38 PM   #5
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Check out minidisc.org. We use regular minidisc because SonicStage is still not Mac compatible unfortunately.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 05:44 PM   #6
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regular minidisc? I have one of those, but it doesnt' have a line out. Its certainly got a line in, but i have to use the headphone jack as a line out when i'm transfering audio. this is not an acceptable method since the headphone jack doesn't have some sort of pre-amp (my theory), so the audio recording from the md is extremely silent. This was different when i tried my mp3 players' line out which came out just fine. So should i just look for a md player that has dedicated line out?
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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:50 AM   #7
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the output level from a consumer headphone jack is close enought to line level. usually turn the headphone volume down about halfway and you should get a decent line-ish signal. headphone outputs are actually of higher amplitude than line (they have to make air move, after all...) so if you were getting nothing out of your headphone jack going into a line input youo were probably doing something wrong.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 11:25 PM   #8
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I know the iRivers take a bit to figure out but actually work very well.A 1 gig iRiver will give you over 7 hours recording time in stereo and over 14 hours in mono.That might be enough that you dont have to worry about offloading until the end of the day.If not, get 2 or 3, they are not that expensive.When you do transfer to the computer its very fast and digital not analog and real time.During all day shoots I offload to laptop at breaks and it only takes a couple of minutes.
What ever you choose as a solution ,pretest everything before you go so you are very familiar.
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Old June 27th, 2005, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Spiegel
regular minidisc? I have one of those, but it doesnt' have a line out.
You don't need a line out. Your device should have USB. Once you've recorded your work it's digital. Copy to computer via USB.

Good luck.

Dennis
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Old June 27th, 2005, 10:06 PM   #10
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Minidisc works fine for us because we are able to capture digitally. I recommended HiMD because it isn't restricted to an analog transfer. I would assume either the Jukebox or the MP3 recorder (if they allow digital transfers) would be better than capturing via the line out or headphone out from a regular minidisc. There is just no reason anymore to do an analog transfer.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 05:54 PM   #11
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i think we are going to go the way of the hi-md, anyone have any suggestiosn as to what model i should look at? budget is a factor, so anything that is the cheapest, but has the required features we would need..Thanks for the input btw.
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