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Old October 23rd, 2015, 12:41 PM   #16
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Re: How would you cue audio

"Not a clapper situation". I assume you said that because of the disruptivenes of it on an uncontrolled set like a tour. There are clapper aps for both android and i-phones. The reason I prefer my real wood clapper is because the aps are not loud enough for my taste. The phone option my help you though because you can put in whatever text you want then quickly change "take numbers". You would then hold it in front of the lens and slate it. You would get text info and a slate mark.

Personally, I like the suggestion of creating a scratch track with the head phone out, good stuff ;-)

Steve
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Old October 24th, 2015, 04:17 AM   #17
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Re: How would you cue audio

Yes Steve, I prefer to work as unobtrusively as possible and I am pretty sure others on a tour with me would soon get fed up with me yelling "Scene 7 take 2" and clapping the board every time I start the camcorder!:-)

Thanks for the tip about Android clapper apps., I will look into that, but a tablet is one more bit of kit I would have to carry, since I don't have a smart phone.

I need to think this through, but I think a combination of time stamp and a verbal cue is what I shall use since sync. shouldn't be a problem as I plan to use the camcorder audio where lip syc. is required. For me, the downfall of the timestamp on its own is that it gets lost during video transcoding, although the verbal cue will still be there. I shall not transcode the Zoom audio since it will be PCM, so the timestamp will be available in Cinelerra.

I have plenty of time to experiment, the next trip is not until next year and by then I hope I shall have it all worked out.

Thanks all.

Dave
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Old October 25th, 2015, 07:50 AM   #18
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Re: How would you cue audio

I don't think specifically using the camera's headphone out trick will work because the headphone output is active all the time on all my cameras.

However the concept of having a "flat line" of audio on most of the scratch track is a good idea. Perhaps using a headset mic with low sensitivity going to the scratch track, only showing strong audio when you verbally cue the camera file number after rolling, would serve to indicate the wide expanses of audio-only recording between the camera takes. It would also reduce the sound of you verbally cueing, since the mic would be right at your mouth.
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Old October 26th, 2015, 02:51 AM   #19
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Re: How would you cue audio

Hey Jay, this seems to have become stood on its head! :-)

The plan is, some of the time, to use the Zoom as a recording on-camera mike and feed the output from it into the camera, so I get a full length commentary plus some synchronised video and audio when I hit record on the camera. I can monitor via the camera's headphone out and quite easily speak into the mikes for a marker.

I don't expect to get useable quality voice all the time, although where I do I will use it, it's as much about not missing the useful information that only a local guide can impart and neither a guide book nor the internet seem to have, so I can incorporate it into my voice-over later, therefore the need to be able to identify which audio goes with what video.

Dave
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Old October 26th, 2015, 07:15 AM   #20
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Re: How would you cue audio

The traditional documentary method, without using a slate, is to use a mic tap. It's loud, but not heard by the people you're filming.
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Old October 26th, 2015, 08:01 AM   #21
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Re: How would you cue audio

I always use the camcorder as a dictaphone and say where shooting is taking place, so a simple microphone tap ought to be enough for me to find camcorder starts in the continuous audio after that.

Like I said, I have plenty to think about and some time to experiment before the next trip.

Dave
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Old October 26th, 2015, 09:00 AM   #22
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Re: How would you cue audio

Hi Dave, You misunderstood my comment.

I was talking about the suggestion first made by Greg and seconded by Steven about using one input channel of the Zoom H4n to be fed from the camera's headphone output as a "visual" scratch track on the NLE audio timeline.

Greg was assuming the camera's headphone output wouldn't be active when the camera wasn't actually rolling. None of my cameras work that way, the headphone output is always active.

If the camera's headphone output was only active while rolling, and that output was being sent to one channel of the H4n, it would show up as periods of silence (an audio flatline on the NLE), intermixed with periods when the audio being recorded by the other channel of the H4n and passed through the camera for sync recording would show up on the audio timeline. (It would also require making the correct cable and keeping the two recording channels of the Zoom and the headphone output of the camera split apart so you didn't create a feedback loop.)

This would allow for easily spotting the times when the camera is doing sync recording and the times when only the H4n is recording on its main input channel.

However, as I was commenting I don't think that would work since the camera's headphone output is always active in my experience.

So as a substitute I suggested using a low sensitivity headset mic to serve the same "visual" purpose on the NLE audio timeline. This would give mostly low ambient audio (almost a flatline) except when you audibly cued a camera file number when starting the camera. You would then be able to see these comment spikes easily, in order to know when the camera is rolling with sync audio fed from the main channel of the Zoom versus the larger periods of time when the Zoom is the only device recording.

I fully understood your plan to use the Zoom H4n as a full-time audio recorder, passing the audio from the Zoom on to the camera for sync recording when the camera is actually running.

I was just suggesting a way to visually find the points on the audio timeline when the camera rolls, in a way that gives more information than just a mic bump, but is also less obtrusive than loudly speaking out or having to look at your Zoom's main mic's audio track on the NLE that will be showing a constant stream of audio.

My suggested plan of a low-sensitivity headset mic for your cueing only, would fit in with what you've intended all along, except for it being an external mic connected to the Zoom if you only intended to exclusively use the H4n's built-in mics.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 02:36 AM   #23
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Re: How would you cue audio

Hi Jay,

The headphone output on my cameras is also live all the time, as you say.

I had more or less decided against the scratch track idea since Greg said IF I was feeding in an external signal and I wasn't planning to. Also I had forgotten that my as yet unused (except for checking that my idea would work) H4n will record four tracks, so it should be easy to add a third track. I read your post with that in mind and yes, misunderstood what you were saying.

Thanks for taking the time to explain further and clear it up for me.

Dave
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:10 AM   #24
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Re: How would you cue audio

You're welcome and good luck with the project.

Do you have a furry wind cover for the H4n built-in mics?

I also have an H4n, as well as the original H4, but I've never actually recorded 4-track audio. I need to read up on it and try it out sometime.

On a side note, because the original H4 didn't have any type of date/time function, it is used at my desk just to record a quarterly event via telephone with just one file that doesn't need a correct timestamp. I only record two channels of audio just to have one track at lower volume if someone loud blows out the main channel.

But the lack of date and time would be a killer in a project like yours, so it's good it was added in the H4n.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 08:30 AM   #25
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Re: How would you cue audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
Do you have a furry wind cover for the H4n built-in mics?
Yes I do, I bought a kit that had, amongst other things, windmuff, attenuator cable, remote control and shoe adaptor.

We just got back from one such trip, which made me decide on the recorder as an almost essential addition. But to throw a spanner in the works, for the first time ever, one of our guides used what he called a "whisper", a radio mike and we all had receivers with darned uncomfortable ear pieces. The units we had were branded "Quiet Voice". I was just thinking we may get that again, do you think it would be feasible to put the earpiece close to, or fix it to, one of the Zoom mikes? I could listen via monitoring headphones so I know what's going on. I wouldn't worry too much about fidelity, as long as I had the commentary so I could use it as the basis for my own voiceover.

Dave
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Old October 29th, 2015, 11:19 AM   #26
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Re: How would you cue audio

You'd probably get much better audio, and maybe less hassle with gaffer tape and rubber bands, if you can run a patch cord from the Quiet Voice receiver to an input on the Zoom. You will, of course, have to come up with the right connectors, and right gain staging. And you'll have to be sure there's no issue about various rights to record the guide's spiel. (For that matter, you'd probably have rights issues even if you just record the guide acoustically as you initially discussed.)

However, we may be over-complicating this situation. I originally got the impression that you wanted to use the actual audio recording, from times when the camera was off, in your final track. From what you've said immediately above, that is not the case.

So if you only want the "camera-off" audio so you can make notes later, and re-write it for your own voiceovers, why bother with double system at all? I think Gary's suggestion in post #5 was the simplest solution. Record single system for the synced parts of your final project, and let it go at that.

Then use an entirely separate -- and simple -- recorder to capture the commentary from the rest of the tour. You could even use something very simple, like a Sansa Clip in your pocket, to capture what the guide says, for later re-writing and re-voicing. No fuss, and no worries about trying to sync with the video.

Last edited by Greg Miller; October 29th, 2015 at 01:51 PM.
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