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Old September 9th, 2010, 10:14 PM   #1
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RODE SVM or Dedicated Recorder

I've been pleased with the RODE SVM for the past year on my 5Dmk2. I've done interviews with it on a boom wired back to the camera. Sounded great to my ears. Also shoot a lot of rock music and it works well there too. But as many of you know recently I fell victim to my own lens IS noise. Of course I had no way with what I had to hear it until too late.
If IS is off/and or the SVM is near talent, will this audio be recorded as well or better on the 5Dmk2 as on a Hn4 or other dedicated music recorder?
What's the best way to monitor via over the ears headphones the mics pickup? I could have corrected the recent mess if I had been able to hear the noise in pretests.
Guess i alwasy figured the weakest link to good sound was the mic not the recording device (in my case the Mk2).
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Old September 10th, 2010, 08:28 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what you mean by, "What's the best way to monitor via over the ears headphones the mics pickup?". You use headphones and then you hear what the mic is picking up.

My main piece of advice for recording dialogue, is to NOT use a stereo mic. Dialogue should be recorded with either a Shotgun for outside, or a hypercardioid for inside - both mics mono. If dialogue is recorded in stereo the voice will not be centered, meaning it's wavering from left to right. Also you can end up with phasing issues. A rode SVM is good for walking around at a party with your camcorder, but not for anything professional. An SVM is basically a better version of a camcorder mic. But if you are not working as a pro, and just want to walk around with a mic on your DSLR, then a Rode NTG-2 would reduce the amount of IS noise, because a Shotgun rejects noise from the side of the mic.

People who use small recorders like the H4N, are plugging mono mics into it to record dialogue. You put the mic on a boom pole within 2 feet of the actor's mouth, and the recorder goes in the audio bag, with the boom operator. There is no god way to avoid noise from your lens if the mic is on the camera.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #3
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Apparantly you're not to big on the RODE SVM. I didn't realize it was such a POS. What i meant was I have no way to monitor what the mic picks up realtime. I would i guess need a small mixer in line to monitor.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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Harry I'm not sayint the SVM is a POS. I'm saying that a STEREO mic is the wrong tool for picking up dialogue. A mono mic is the best tool. Even a Rode VideoMic (mono) would be much better.

Usually you have headphone jacks in the camera to monitor your audio. But I see you are using the 5DMII. Are you aware that with that camera you can't turn off the AGC? That is a big reason why you can hear the lens so much. AGC is "Auto Gain Compensation" That means that the camera turns up the recording level automatically during quiet times. So when nobody is talking or playing music, the camera turns up the level, and you can hear much more noise, and any sound the camera makes gets VERY LOUD. Newer Canon cameras have manual audio levels. BUT there are solutions for your problem.

Solution one: AGC defeating mixer.
The JuicedLink JL-DT454 mixer can defeat your AGC, leaving you ONE channel of usable audio. Bad news for a stereo mic, put perfect if you are using a MONO mic, which you should be anyway. JL-DT454 [JL-DT454] - $419.00 : juicedLink, Unique and Trusted Solutions for Audio and Video Production Watch the video and learn.

Solution Two: Firmware that gives you the ability to manually adjust the audio. MAGIC LANTERN will make you happy. Watch and learn: YouTube - Introduction to Magic Lantern


Even with the firmware fix, a mixer is a great idea. You can plug in headphones and hear everything and mke adjustments on the fly. You should never record anything without headphones on. I suggest the Sony 7506 cans.
Sony MDR-7506 Headphone MDR-7506 - B&H Photo Video

Now you have all the answers. All you need so some money. Good luck brother.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 11:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice Chad. The 5Dmk2 can turn off the AGC with the latest firmware. I only turn it off when it is an interview and the audio is predictable. I've boom the rode between two folks that were interviewed and it worked well for me. Must say i have much to learn.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:19 PM   #6
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Hello again Harry!

Just to elaborate a bit on what Chad was saying, the problem with stero on a moving camera (certainly for dialogue, but think pretty much for any kind of recording) is that the stereo image will shift as you pan the camera.

"So what?" you might say. After all, when you turn your head your ears turn as well.

Well, if you're in a large space, you get a sonic fix on the space pretty quicky and if you turn your head, your image of the total space stays pretty fixed and all is natural.And by the way, you usally lead the turn with your eyes more quickly than your ears, so the audio image doesn't shift quite as fast as the visual image.

When you play the video back, the screen is pretty much in front of you and it isn't likely that you'll turn your head very much at all while watching. But if the mic were on a panning camera, the stereo image would shift around even though the visual image is still right in front of your face. Not pleasant. Put another way, unless you're watching an Imax sized screen, the total audio/visual image of the listening space will be very different than the audio/visual image of the original performance space and the moving stereo image will be at odds with the space in which you're watching the playback. Not nice.

So Chad is absolutely right - stereo mics on moving cameras can create unintended bad sensations.
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