Using stereo channels for different levels at

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Old May 19th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #1
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Using stereo channels for different levels

Ok here's my idea. I'm recording one microphone, and telling the camera to put it into both stereo channels. I can set the volume of each one separately, so is it a good idea to set them differently, and then use whichever one sounds best? I can set the headphones to mono so that I don't hear it louder in one ear. This way, I won't have to worry about audio levels as much, if the person is talking quietly I won't need to boost it as much, and if they're clipping I can use the quieter channel. Then I have two chances to get it right instead of just one (and I have enough to do without sitting there watching the audio level the whole time). Right now I have them 10db different.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 03:34 PM   #2
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This is exactly what I and many other people I know do when they don't have a dedicated sound man with a mixer. 10db difference might be a little too much depending on the dynamics of the person you're picking up.

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Old May 19th, 2010, 04:09 PM   #3
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I started doing this and then I stopped because the extra work in editing. If I do a dance recital and there's 25 acts with applause after each I'd have to remember to split the channel and duplicate the louder channel for the performance section, then cut and do the opposite for the applause. I now instead turn on my camera's limiter and I've found its not that noticeable to my ears when the highs of the applause get clipped by the limiter. Often clients don't want a lot of applause anyway so I might have 5 seconds and fade out to the next act.

Maybe I'm just getting lazy but my stuff isn't that high end.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 04:26 PM   #4
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That's how they do it in studio for animation. You'll see 2 mics. One is gained higher and one is lower and the sound engineer can later pick and choose which track (or blend them) depending on how loud the talent gets. This ensures that you will always get some level of audio that's appropriate. Yes, it's more work in post, but it just might save you from drunk Uncle Ted swallowing the mic and pinning your audio.
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