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Old June 29th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #16
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

Let me be clear. A Y cable was not my first choice but there are times and situations that we run into that require hacked together solutions. For instance when one of my best ever corporate clients says to me while on the job doing run and gun coverage of a trade show, "hey I need you to interview these 2 exhibitors and I have someone to interview them" I do what I have to do. Best solution, Nope. Did it work and was the client happy with the result? Yes. Did I like doing it that way? Nope but I don't carry a mixer nor do I hire a audio guy unless it's specified to do so. In run and gun, sometimes things aren't what they are supposed to be.
Anyway for the few times I had to do it, it worked for me.
I suggested it because it's easy to carry an extra cable in the bag and in a pinch it can make the job happen.
I would have hated to tell my client I couldn't do what he asked for even at the last minute and possibly lose a client that put lots and lots of cash in my pocket over the years.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #17
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

Of course you don't refuse your client. But rather than going with the compromise solution it's far better to have the right tools standing by 'on the truck' so if an unexpected need arises you're prepared. Live by the Boy Scout's motto and always be ready to properly handle the worst case scenario.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 11:10 AM   #18
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

Have to say this is the exact reason I picked up a recorder like the Tascam DR-680. I usually only need 1 or 2 channels of audio but I've run into situations where, as Don mentioned, I've gotten to the job and "surprise, we had a last minute third guest panelist". I like to keep all channels separate until I get into post because in those situations with several speakers you sometimes get them talking over each other. And, it always seems they do that at the critical moments.

I'd opt to rent a recorder and capture all audio separately onto 3 discrete channels. Feed the mix out to the camera so you can sink in post. If the recorder you rent can't easily send a feed to the camera use the cameras internal mics to pick up sound to sync in post.

That's at least what I'd do. And, as always, there's a million ways to skin a cat.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 11:12 AM   #19
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Of course you don't refuse your client. But rather than going with the compromise solution it's far better to have the right tools standing by 'on the truck' so if an unexpected need arises you're prepared. Live by the Boy Scout's motto and always be ready to properly handle the worst case scenario.
Totally agree. I always say "if I bring it I may only have a 10% chance I'll use it. But, if I don't, there will be a 100% chance that I'll need it."
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Old June 29th, 2012, 01:21 PM   #20
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

I agree-better to have it and not need it than not have it and die for it. My first Sgt. in basic training taught me that 45 years ago. However, there are some situations where you can have a truckful of gear and still not be able to get to it. Case in point; downtown Chicago. For many of the hotels there are 2 ways to park. Park yourself and IF you're lucky get find a rather expensive parking lot 3 or 4 blocks away OR let them park your car and it's about an hours wages and you still can't get to it because they parked 2 to 3 blocks away.
Again it's not because I wanted to but necessity of the situation dictated. We've all had those moments where you do what it takes even knowing in your heart that it isn't exactly the right thing to do.
Nothing more to say on this one.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 02:52 PM   #21
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

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Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
For instance when one of my best ever corporate clients says to me while on the job doing run and gun coverage of a trade show, "hey I need you to interview these 2 exhibitors and I have someone to interview them"
In this scenario, instead of trying to juggle 3 lav mics, I would have set up one handheld, and let the interviewer handle the mic like how a news reporter does.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 04:07 PM   #22
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
I never really had that problem but then I almost always run my audio manually so I could adjust on the fly.
I never ran wired lavs and I don't run an XF series camera but I used the Y cable on a JVC5000U which only had 1 rear XLR (don't ask why) and the levels were very consistant. I ran that on PD150s and PD170s as well with constant levels between the 2 XLRs but again I run mostly manual so I just might have never noticed a difference.
If you're running AGC is there an adjustment in the menu somewhere for the 2 different channels so you can get them close? Also how much difference is there?
Don, thanks again, you solved my problem.

Each of the two inputs on the XF305 has its own gain control, so I just boosted the gain a little bit on the channel with the two mics and now the levels are all equal. To avoid problems in the field, I will make sure one of the Y mics is on me so I am not asking questions while the talent on the second Y mic is talking.

I will, of course, run some tests before using this in the field, but it seems to work perfectly for my application.

Thanks.
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Old June 29th, 2012, 08:27 PM   #23
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

I have a Tascam DR-07 for times like this. Its about the size of a wireless transmitter and you can plug Sennheiser style lavaliers into it. Set the low enough so it doesn't peak. Hit record and hold then sync in post.
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Old June 30th, 2012, 05:33 PM   #24
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

If the shoot is a professional paid gig then I would echo what others have said rent or buy a mixer. Test it out before hand to make sure there are no surprises. Even though there are other ways to get around a mixer, I wouldn't put myself at risk. There is little that can be done to fix audio problems in post.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #25
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

If you don't have a mixer, you might not have enough knowledge to avoid phasing artifacts with multiple mics picking up the same sound, so instead I'd recommend using a separate recorder for the third channel. That way you can fade up only whichever mic is in use for a particular segment.

I just did this yesterday; I usually only record two channels but yesterday I needed two lavs and a boom, so I recorded the extra channel on an h1 recorder. If you're buying a recorder for this purpose and want to stay cheap I'd recommend the DR-05 instead.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #26
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

What knowledge do I need to avoid phasing artifacts?
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #27
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

The best place to start learning how to avoid phasing (combing) artifacts is understanding the 3:1 rule:

3:1 rule
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:00 PM   #28
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Re: Record three lavs with 2 audio input camera

Thanks, Tom. Great article.

Since the three of us will be wearing wireless lavs, I will be sure to keep us at least three times apart from each other as the distance of the lav to their mouth.

Thanks again.
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