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All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.

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Old January 3rd, 2015, 01:57 PM   #16
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Glasgow , Scotland
Posts: 211
Re: HDV audio

Thanks Gary , yes I find the HDV output from my HVR-V1e good enough ; if I take the HDMI output straight to my TV it shows up as 1920x1080 , and from tape via Firewire into FCP it can be ingested into a 1920x1080 timeline , so it works for me . I've also shot stuff on it alongside a PDW 350 at work and it doesn't look obviously inferior alongside ( considering the difference in cost between the two cameras ) .

I've noticed that recently Z7's now seem to sell for around 1K or just a little more , pretty much what you'd pay for a new high end domestic palmcorder , so the next time I get a decent overtime cheque I'm going to look for one . The S270 only took my interest because of the 4ch audio .

I had been used , over the many years I shot with my DCR VX1000 to having on board stereo sound , then after it died and I picked up my JVC GY-DV500 camcorders , it was something of a culture shock going back to mono sound - something I had moved away from 10 years or more earlier . The camcorders , of course , had 2 channel audio , but I had just never got around to getting a stereo mic ( other than when I plugged in a mixer and had multiple mics connected , which 'could' be configured for stereo ) .

I only had the DV500's for about a year before I decided that 4:3 and SD was outdated and I needed to get HD and 16:9 , and I managed to find a buyer who wanted the 500's to film his football team and they were good enough .

Because we use XDCAM at work , I managed to borrow a PMW100 for a while , using an SD card adaptor , but wasn't impressed with the camera , mainly because of the poor depth of field and terrible viewfinder which made focussing very difficult .

In the end , I came across the V1e for sale locally , was able to shoot a short test tape on it and go home to view it , then bought it .

More than delighted with the size of the camera , image quality , and ease of use , the only drawback was the supplied mono mic . While not a major drawback , I had meant to get a stereo mic for a while - I feel that with most people playing back in stereo , it just adds another dimension to anything I shoot , and while proper technique is perhaps a little more demanding , it can only be beneficial .

If I'm honest , I shot most of the time with the onboard mic back in the days of my VX1000 , and never felt anything was wrong with the sound panning with the camera , but I do take onboard comments made on here that the soundstage moving can seem quite unnatural and disorienting . I suppose if I'm working handheld and moving around then there's little option but to have the mic mounted on the camera , but when tripod mounted then I can either have a separate mic stand beside the camera , which will not move , or mount the mic on a magic arm fixed to the tripod leg so it won't pan .

The above is all well and good as long as I'm using only the stereo mic . Clearly , if I need to mic a speaker , using a radiomic or whatever , then I need more channels of audio . Back in the old days of filming weddings , I used to use my Sony portable minidisc recorder to record pipers as the guests were arriving , but this was just so I could have a continuous soundtrack whilst starting and stopping the camera . These days I 'could' easily record the stereo ambient track onto the camera and plug my radiomic into the minidisc recorder , but this would create work lip-syncing later . Having looked at things , it seems that something like a Zoom H4n would record ambience well enough ( sync not critical ) and allow radiomic ( or shotgun ) to be recorded onto the video tape in sync with the picture . The interviewee can then be mono panned centre , but I will have the stereo base track with ambience - this is just my thinking ; I haven't tried it yet !

If this works well enough , then I'll probably get a Z7 in the not too distant future , and have a second camera for safety , as well as the possibility of getting a wide angle lens ; the advantages being reasonably compact size and using same batteries etc as the V1 . Otherwise I'll hold off for a bit until the S270's become more affordable .
Derek Heeps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2015, 09:46 AM   #17
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Cornsay Durham UK
Posts: 1,960
Re: HDV audio

I rarely record stereo to the camera and have certainly never recorded any dialogue stereo in my 35 years in TV and film.

My main stereo recorder for many years was a minidisc with a sony M/S mic and that was used to capture ambience and sound effects for adding in the edit or dubbing stages. I now use a marantz recorder but there are now numerous devices that can be a quick way of getting ambience for use in post.

Virtually all of the drama and doco's I have done for broadcast have always had mono dialogue or natural sound and I have added stereo backgrounds as and when required and there is always a problem of image shift if you record stereo on the camera as once edited the soundstage can go all over the place.

As for HDV it may look like xdcam at first generation but it falls apart pretty rapid once going thru post or transmission networks so that is why it tend not to be used for broadcast, the Z1 was only ever used in SD mode anyway and whilst xdcam is acceptable for most news at 35mbs it is still better to shoot 50 or 100mbs.

The HDMI out from HDV cameras is 1920x1080 but it only records in 1440x1080 as the bandwidth on the tape is just not there for full 1920 HD recording so you end up with stretched pixels.

HDV cameras are cheap as pretty much not many people tend to use tape these days and you can even get pro DVcam DSR450 cameras for next to nothing too.

Z7 and the S270 were as good as HDV got but I seem to recall them being dropped as soon as xdcam became more widely accepted but if you add an external recorder they can still do full HD via the HDMI or HD SDI outputs.
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Gary Nattrass is online now   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2015, 12:33 PM   #18
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,357
Re: HDV audio

What type of audio to record will depend on the intended final result. Mic on camcorder is generally the least desirable choice for most purposes, but it does provide ambient sound, and helps the sync of externally recorded audio. For the one-man-band shooter on a tight budget it may be the only practical choice. Stereo may be of little value for dialog or point sound sources, but quite useful for recording ensembles. And of course, fix-it-in-post costs time.

Consumer DV also allowed 4-channel, unlocked 32 kHz/12- bit audio, but most miniDV camcorder did not support it. I found it handy for wedding/event work with an XL1.

Products like the DataVideo DN-60 provided a way to add memory card recording to HDV camcorders. Some folks really like it, but they are not low priced.

FCP (e.g., ProRes formats) generally is not very efficient for storage - it is more an intermediate CODEC for editing purposes. However, I have no desire to debate the merits of FCP vs the alternatives.

Thankfully there are many choices, so we all can find and use that which meets our personal needs. Taht is good enough for one may not be for another.
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