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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #16
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Well, the other guys may disagree, but to me it makes no sense to spend so much money on top-end mics and an excellent preamp, then feed that into a camcorder that compresses it into an mp3... it's 384 kbps, but it's mp3 nonetheless. I'd suggest a field recorder so that you can record your audio uncompressed, and preferrably 24bit so that you can actually make full use of those expensive mics!
Sound Devices has several nice models which of course implement their excellent preamps. I've got the Tascam HD-P2 and I'm quite happy with it. You can certainly record to the camera and achieve good results, but if I were about to get a couple of the best mics on the market, I'd certainly want to get the most out of them.

-pasty
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:17 AM   #17
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Wow, this is definitely getting more and more expensive haha. So you are saying let's say I got a Sound Devices 442 like Steve suggested, I should get a preamp too right? So does preamp equal field recorder or are those 2 different things? I'm getting more and more confused here.

And then let's say I record to the preamp/field recorder, how do I import them into the PC? Can I use Protools to edit the sound or am I thinking of the wrong software altogether?
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Old July 6th, 2006, 01:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Taidy
Wow, this is definitely getting more and more expensive haha. So you are saying let's say I got a Sound Devices 442 like Steve suggested, I should get a preamp too right? So does preamp equal field recorder or are those 2 different things? I'm getting more and more confused here.

And then let's say I record to the preamp/field recorder, how do I import them into the PC? Can I use Protools to edit the sound or am I thinking of the wrong software altogether?
Well, on the Tascam HD-P2, it records WAV files to a CF card which you can just toss in a card reader and pull it straight onto your computer. You can then edit in whatever audio suite you've got.

The Sound Devices 722 field recorder is actually less expensive than the 442 mixer. The 442 has 4 channels and some more advanced features (more tweakable), but the 722 looks to be a pretty sweet 2-channel option. The 722 has a 40GB internal hard drive which I'm sure you can probably just plug straight into your PC and edit right on there, and it also takes CF cards.

If you're using a Z1U, the only potential problem that comes to mind with a field recorder is syncing. Z1U can't sync with any sort of timecode that I'm aware of, so if you aren't experienced with syncing audio up to video, that could be a setback for you. That would be one major benefit to recording striaght onto the Z1U. Of course, even if you got the 722, it still has balanced outputs so you could use the preamps and go straight into the Z1U if you decided you didn't feel like syncing audio on any particular shoot.

Just some thoughts!

-pasty
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Old July 6th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #19
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Not taking those syncing factors into consideration, the 442 mixer would be better than the 772 right? Even though the latter has a hard drive. If I decide to get the 442, how would I import sound to the PC? One way is to feed it into the camera but I'm just wondering if there is any other way?
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Old July 6th, 2006, 06:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Taidy
Wow, this is definitely getting more and more expensive haha. So you are saying let's say I got a Sound Devices 442 like Steve suggested, I should get a preamp too right? So does preamp equal field recorder or are those 2 different things? I'm getting more and more confused here.

And then let's say I record to the preamp/field recorder, how do I import them into the PC? Can I use Protools to edit the sound or am I thinking of the wrong software altogether?
Mixers always have their own preamps so you don't necessarily need additional ones if you have a mixer. But you might want one anyway. It all depends on how many crew you have and how you're micing the shot. A large Hollywood production crew might have both a boom operator (sometimes even more than one) and a sound mixer (person). The boom op would have a preamp/headphone amp on his belt which takes the mic signal, and lets him hear it in his headphones so he can tell if everything is going as it should with mic aiming etc and also sends the signal along to a mixer (equipment) on the sound cart which in turn sends signal to the sound recorder. At the cart the mixer (the person) operates & monitors the mixer (equipment) and the recorder. With just a two-man, camera op and sound, ENG or documentary crew on the other hand, the sound person places the mics, operates the boom if one is used for the shot, and often carries the audio gear in a bag on his person. If it's single system sound he carries a mixer (equipment) OR a preamp but doesn't need both. That sends audio to the camera either wirelessly or through a breakaway tether cable. If it's double system sound he would carry the recorder instead of a mixer and he'd be busier than a one-armed paperhanger.

The 442 is a mixer, the 722 is a recorder. Different gear that does different things. If you have the 442 you still need some way to record the signal. You can either feed a recorder like the 722, 744, etc or you can record in camera. Using a separate recorder is called double-system sound while recording in camera is called single-system sound. Either way, you have to record it in something on the set to carry it back to the computer for your post production <g> and mixers by themselves don't record anything. IF you're using double system, whether you need BOTH a mixer and a recorder or just a recorder depends on how many mics your're using at once and other specifics of the shot.
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Old July 9th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #21
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Ok, thanks a lot for the info so far everyone. I've settled with the K-152 pole and now I'm wondering which shockmount should I get, maybe K-tek or PSC? Any recommendations?

I also hear that it is recommended to use the cut1 filter for Schoeps CMC641. Do I still need the filter if I use a shockmount or would it be sufficient?
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Old July 10th, 2006, 04:58 PM   #22
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Martin,

I'd recommend that you hunt down Jay Rose's book on Producing Great Sound for Digital Video. It will help you make smart choices about what to buy and in what order. In addition, it's a great place to start in learning how to use all those new toys, because, much like cameras, the microphone by itself doesn't make great sound. How you use it is critical too.

Good luck!
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Old July 10th, 2006, 10:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Taidy
Ok, thanks a lot for the info so far everyone. I've settled with the K-152 pole and now I'm wondering which shockmount should I get, maybe K-tek or PSC? Any recommendations?

I also hear that it is recommended to use the cut1 filter for Schoeps CMC641. Do I still need the filter if I use a shockmount or would it be sufficient?
The Cut one does work, but the 442 mixer has a pretty nice high pass filter. The use of one is a source of constant discussion professionally. Some do some don't.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 11th, 2006, 09:54 AM   #24
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I think you have made some great choices. Why? Sound is more
important than image in making your work professional. You will
spend the money ONCE and have tools that will always do a great job.

If you decide to leave the business, those mics will sell in a nano second
and for not much less than what you paid. Sometimes good mics go
up in value. Try that buying Samson or Nady ;)

My recommendation for a boom pole is van den Bergh. High end pro stuff.

If you move to the great outdoors (and I bet you will sometime in the
future) look into Rycote windscreen/shock mount systems.

www.locationsound.com is one vendor.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #25
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Hey Ralph, I got Jay's book along with his postproduction one. Really useful indeed! I also got Ty's small audio guide which should be handy on the set. I just leafed through it but it seems good to me. And Jacques, thanks for the suggestion, I'm actually tempted to ditch K-tek and go with vdB instead since the pricing doesn't seem to be that different. Interestingly, locationsound.com doesn't sell vdB poles.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #26
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Thanks Martin,

I've been writing articles for 20 years and (as a reader) found myself frustrated by a lot of 'how to" books. I specifically tried to break through that thing where you know they are trying to tell you something, but you just can't quite figure out what it is.

Good audio is not plug and play. Every setup offers new challenges. It's about knowing what to expect from tools as well as how to think about the best solutions for any given situation. I created the checklist on the back cover and index so readers can more easily find answers.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #27
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Martin,

First of all I think you should go have a look at this:

http://www.preciseaudio.com/Technical_1.htm

I wrote this several years ago, but it's still valid.

If you are going to spend so much money on high quality mics, it would be a waste to record them just on the Z1. HDV sound is not PCM and has high compression.

A very cheap alternative, which is usually overlooked, is recording double-system on a Sony MZ-RH10. It's a Hi-MD minidisc which records linear PCM, with no compression.

Link it to the Z1's headphone output (is there any other audio output on the Z1 that works during recording?) and monitor headphone from the RH10. You may even have a higher level output from it.

Only problem with working this way is that you will have to sync every scene, using clapper or the audio waveform.

If you go this path you should definitely work differently, using an external mixer like the Sound Devices, with proper external preamps (better than Sony's), LED metering, accurate limiters, proper level pots and proper monitoring. Then you can send your audio both to the camera and the mini-Disc.


Carlos
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #28
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Like I said before, this is getting more and more expensive haha. Thanks for the suggestion Carlos. But I have a question. If I use the RH10, so I plug it to the Z1 and then plug the headphone into the RH10 right? Where does the mixer come in then? Great article, by the way :-)
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Old July 12th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Taidy
Like I said before, this is getting more and more expensive haha. Thanks for the suggestion Carlos. But I have a question. If I use the RH10, so I plug it to the Z1 and then plug the headphone into the RH10 right? Where does the mixer come in then? Great article, by the way :-)
Everything in balance - it doesn't make a lot of sense to me to spend on the order of 4 or 5 kilobucks in microphones and mixer, etc, and then have the sound quality ultimately depend on quality of the A/D converters in a sub-$100 consumer grade recorder. For double system continuing with the same level of equipment as the camera, mics and mixer you've mentioned, etc, I'd look at HHB Portadisk if you're attracted to the minidisc format, Marantz 670, Sound Devices 702T, 722, or 744T, Tascam HD-P2 or similar offerings from Edirol. That covers the range from slightly sub 1 kilobuck up to around 5k. Of course if money is no object you could go for a HHB Portadrive or a Deva V, either of which will set you back circa 15 grand <grin>.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 06:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Taidy
Like I said before, this is getting more and more expensive haha. Thanks for the suggestion Carlos. But I have a question. If I use the RH10, so I plug it to the Z1 and then plug the headphone into the RH10 right? Where does the mixer come in then? Great article, by the way :-)
No really more expensive, but more analytical. The paths I suggest are two:

1) Plug the mic/s in the camera, feeding phantom from them. Set levels in camera too, using no internal filters. Then feed Sony RH10 from headphone output, though if there's any other audio output available it's much better. Then plug headphones in RH-10.

2) Plug mics into mixer or preamp, headphone can be plugged on camera (if you are close) or on mixer. Feed Z1 and RH-10 from mixer. If you can use a return cable for camera headphone output and plug into mixer, if it allows so.

I'm pleased you liked the article. Thanks!

Carlos
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