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Old May 2nd, 2006, 03:02 PM   #1
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Tactic to avoid overloading due to shouting?

Hello,

I shot a video yesterday of the "Immigration Day" marches in my small town (see http://coastsider.com/comments/1391_0_1_0_M/) and I'm wondering how I might do better next time with regard to the overloading of the mic due to shouting protesters. I lowered the levels in post but, of course, the distortion is still present.

I'm somewhat new to video, new to the fx1, and very new to sound issues, though I have Jay's book and am in the "flipping through it" stage.

I am using an FX1 with the Rode Videomic, shooting alone. Sound on Auto; Rode on wind setting. Not only alone but spontaneous--I was just driving down the road on the way to the dentist when I saw the protest and decided that my dental health could wait until another day--so I couldn't have gone back home for anything that I wouldn't want to always keep in the bag.

Speed is also important--I need to get this up online as soon as possible so anything too fancy (i.e. slow) in the editing process wouldn't work.

My only thought so far is that if I bought an XLR adapter and another mic (mounting both on the camera) I could record at two levels (normal and low) and use the low for the shouting (is there an easy/fast way to do that in editing?).

I thought of riding the manual sound level control on the fx1 but I wasn't abl eto wear headphones in this istuation--too much traffic, etc. Felt it was too dangerous.

Any better ideas? Anything I could do in post now to clean-up/mask the distortion? Trying to improve day by day!

Thanks,

--Darin
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 03:12 PM   #2
 
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You can't repair digital distortion, it's sorta like trying to "unbreak an egg."
What you can do, depending on the audio tools you have, is to round off the edges of the truncated files. Sound Forge with the Noise Reduction kit is great for this. Sound Soap Pro has some settings as well.
Using some light compression and hard limiting, you can somewhat mask the edges as well. You'll need to work with the EQ a bit. Bear in mind, I've not listened to your file.
Always wear headphones, even if just for a few minutes. Would you turn on your camera with manual focus and never look at the EVF or LCD? It's exactly the same thing. Turning on a cam without headphones is like shooting in manual without looking at your focus. You have no way of knowing what you'll get.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 01:12 AM   #3
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On the set, split the incoming mono source to stereo using a $2 from radio shack, XLR is more expensive ;) pan the audio mostly to one side (25%ish). If the shouting peaks the mic, the turned down side of the audio should still be intact for your use.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 03:11 AM   #4
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Outstanding, Cole.

Much better than my solution!

--Darin
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:11 AM   #5
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I started doing this after having to ADR some audio due to an actor blowing out the mic on a voice over...didn't catch it until editing :( Every scene after that was recorded this way.

mic: ATR55 by audio technica
cam: XL1s
wireless: Audio Technica split to rca to back of handle on camera
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 07:23 AM   #6
 
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Bear in mind that if you're using 4 channels on any DV camcorder, you're dealing with 12bit audio, so the dynamic range is now severely crippled compared to 16 or 24bit audio, not to mention a sampling of 32k vs 48k.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:08 AM   #7
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very true, I do always make sure to get the highest quality audio my equipment will allow, I shoot only L/R stereo with single input so I can get the full 16 bit sound from the camera...and because I am not recording separate sound, I don't have to worry about synch...external audio would arguably be much higher quality, but doesn't fit my current shooting style or crew size.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 04:03 PM   #8
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Hmmm. The fx1 doesn't seem to allow panning audio in-camera. (At least not that I can find. Might be a "Z1 only" feature.) Is there a less bulky solution than buying a Beachtek?

Doesn't the Rode Videomic record separate mono to each stereo track via the split 1/8 pin? Doesn't that mitigate any worries about splitting the audio signal?

Thanks,

--Darin
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin Boville
Hmmm. The fx1 doesn't seem to allow panning audio in-camera. (At least not that I can find. Might be a "Z1 only" feature.) Is there a less bulky solution than buying a Beachtek?

Doesn't the Rode Videomic record separate mono to each stereo track via the split 1/8 pin? Doesn't that mitigate any worries about splitting the audio signal?

Thanks,

--Darin
The idea of splitting the channels is you're recording essentially two copies of the same mono channel. You use manual audio level and set one channel to record at "normal" levels and the other at about 8dB lower. That way if you get hit with a sudden loud sound that drives the normally set channel into clipping and distortion, the other channel at the much lower level will still be okay and you can save the day by substituting the distorted audio with audio from the other track in post. But you're right, it doesn't look like the FX1 allows you to manually set the L&R channel levels independently of each other. You need an external mixer feeding the camera to do that.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 06:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin Boville
Hello,

I shot a video yesterday of the "Immigration Day" marches in my small town (see http://coastsider.com/comments/1391_0_1_0_M/) and I'm wondering how I might do better next time with regard to the overloading of the mic due to shouting protesters. I lowered the levels in post but, of course, the distortion is still present.

--Darin
Next time use a mixer with a good limiter to protect your peaks. A sound devices MixPre or 302 will help.

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