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Old November 16th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #1
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Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

Ok so I am shooting a commercial tomorrow for that Doritos Superbowl contest. My audio guy can not make it now so I will have to do it. I know the basic of audio but I am by no means a pro. I have a Sound Devices 302 mixer and a Marantz pmd 661 recorder. I am using one shotgun mic.

1.) Do i need to match the levels on the mixer with the levels on the recorder prior to recording?

2.) Should I have the Mic Attn turned all the way down on the Marantz 661 since im using the preamps on the mixer?

3.) Do I adjust my output audio using the sound device mixer or the Marantz? From my understanding I should set the sound device mixer so it just peaks at 0. Then leave it alone. Then adjust my output audio with the Marantz?

Please let me know how you would set this up if you were using this equipment. Thank you soo much! Im shooting in less then 12 hours.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

Or should I make life easy and just use the 661? The internal preamps should be enough
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Old November 16th, 2011, 10:58 PM   #3
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Re: Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

Hi Dave, are you going to record voices with your shotgun? If so you can't set any sound gear up then leave it alone .. no offence but you actually mean ignore it cause you'll be busy elsewhere :)

If this is an important one shot gig .. don't take any chances, call around for a pro sound guy or at the very least take your rig to a pro shop and let them set you up.

Can't your sound guy call around? You'll be flat out with the camera. HTH. Good luck.

Cheers.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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Re: Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

Only going to be recording voices...I will have a guy holding the boom but just not an audio expert.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:00 AM   #5
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Re: Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

Ok mate .. but the reality is you have to deliver the goods, even if you lose money.

Just rent a pro sound guy and let him do his thing while you concentrate on the pix. If the gig goes south you won't hear from the client again.

A proper professional should show you how he does it, so you'll learn more about sound too. Times a wastin .. get on it. HTH

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Old November 17th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #6
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Re: Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Brytus View Post
Ok so I am shooting a commercial tomorrow for that Doritos Superbowl contest. My audio guy can not make it now so I will have to do it. I know the basic of audio but I am by no means a pro. I have a Sound Devices 302 mixer and a Marantz pmd 661 recorder. I am using one shotgun mic.

1.) Do i need to match the levels on the mixer with the levels on the recorder prior to recording?

2.) Should I have the Mic Attn turned all the way down on the Marantz 661 since im using the preamps on the mixer?

3.) Do I adjust my output audio using the sound device mixer or the Marantz? From my understanding I should set the sound device mixer so it just peaks at 0. Then leave it alone. Then adjust my output audio with the Marantz?

Please let me know how you would set this up if you were using this equipment. Thank you soo much! Im shooting in less then 12 hours.
You've got it backwards. You set the RECORDER (or camera) inputs to the proper level and leave them alone, adjusting gain during the take with the mixer, not the other way around as you stated. Use the XLR line inputs on your recorder, record level on "manual." Turn the channel faders and channel gain of all the mixer channels all the way down (off). Send tone from the mixer to the recorder and adjust the recorder's input level controls until its meters read the tone at -20dBFS on the recorder's meters. Tape off the recorder's level controls so they can't move and leave them alone from then on, all further level adjustment during the take is done at the mixer. For the one input channel your mic is plugged into, open the channel fader pot and set it to unity gain (the mid-scale zero mark), do a sound check rehearsal with the mic in position with the talent as it will be during the scene and have them speak their lines as they will during the shoot. Adjust the input channel gain (trim) control so the mixer meter reads in the orange zone. as they speak. During the take, ride gain with the channel fader as necessary to keep the levels in the orange. Record 24bit, 48kHz PCM (wav). DO NOT record using MP3 compression.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: Need Audio help ASAP - Mixer and Recorder

By all means, switch the 661 to 'Line level', which is what the 302 outputs by default. (If an orange light is illuminated on the output side panel of the mixer, the output is attenuated, and will need to be changed... see the manual.)
"ride gain with the channel fader as necessary" -- Yes, but do so very conservatively if the operator is inexperienced. The 302s limiter should catch any unexpected peaks if set up properly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Brytus View Post
Only going to be recording voices...I will have a guy holding the boom but just not an audio expert.
NOT A GOOD IDEA! Many takes has been trashed by PAs or other inexperienced (organic life-form) 'boom holders', use a stand, or better yet, hire a pro.
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