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Old May 23rd, 2009, 12:39 AM   #1
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blog about how to record sound on 5dmk2

much has been mentioned before in different places. But I wanted newbies to have it all in one short article with two very informative videos to explain...

Philip Bloom Blog Archive How to record sound with the Canon 5dmk2
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:53 AM   #2
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It's not clear that they ever play the sound from the H2n mics, or from the H2n mic preamps. The only thing that we hear for certain is the H2n recording the line level from a Sennheiser wireless system. If so, that takes the hiss of the mic preamps out of the equation. YMMV if you use low-sensitivity mics without a separate mixer or higher-end preamp.

It was a bit of a commercial, but there's still a lot of good advice in the Zacuto video.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 02:57 AM   #3
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When I read the zoom could record 10 hours I was sure you got it wrong as my h4 can only do about 3 before it dies, but then I saw they have a new improved version. I never regretted getting me a h4 to record additional sound during weddings though i would have been equally satisfied with the cheaper H2 but that came out after I purchased the H4.

I use mine whenever I'm not able to get sound through a wireless clipon mic, I sometimes position it on a tripod in front of a loudspeaker or just on a desk nearby the persons were I need to get their voices recorded. Also live perfomances in a church is ideal to use this thing for.

The video on the blog did appear as a commercial to me as well as they bearly scratch the surface explaining the possibilities or how to use the zoom and it seemed more to show off the possibilities of the Zacuto rigs. But it does give some usable info.

Also the Zoom h4's are known for their problems that they can cause noticeable synching problems as their internal clock, or whatever you call it, does not run at the same speed as a camera. Something you'd have to fix before you take it into your editing software. Don't know if they fixed that with the new version but the Zacuto video didn't mention that at all, once you know the right procedure for it it takes about 5 minutes to get it right but I found it a bit dissapointing that it was not mentioned.

About Pluraleyes to sync up the video/audio for multicam, it did look really simple and effective to use, would I spend 149 dollar for something that would take me 2 minutes to do myself, and that just once in the beginning of a project? I wouldn't but if time would be that critical then it is I guess a good investment.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 04:19 AM   #4
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When I read the zoom could record 10 hours I was sure you got it wrong as my h4 can only do about 3 before it dies, but then I saw they have a new improved version. I never regretted getting me a h4 to record additional sound during weddings though i would have been equally satisfied with the cheaper H2 but that came out after I purchased the H4.
I have an H2 & the battery life with regular alkaline batteries is around 3 hours but with the new Lithium batteries 10 hours is possible. I have been very happy with the sound quality of the H2 but it is a bit plastic & flimsy & would benefit from a better display & proper buttons for controls. However for the price it is great & I am happy that they did not compromise the sound quality to get to that low price point.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 09:05 AM   #5
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Also the Zoom h4's are known for their problems that they can cause noticeable synching problems as their internal clock, or whatever you call it, does not run at the same speed as a camera. Something you'd have to fix before you take it into your editing software. Don't know if they fixed that with the new version but the Zacuto video didn't mention that at all, once you know the right procedure for it it takes about 5 minutes to get it right but I found it a bit dissapointing that it was not mentioned.
I believe that the reason that they did not mention this was because they are using the H4"n" which does not have the audio drift problems of the H4. You do, however, have to change the speed to 99.9 when recording at 48Khz since the 5DmkII records at 44.1Khz. It really is as easy as they show to sync audio using the H4n. I picked one up a few weeks ago and couldn't be happier. I always pride myself on recording clean audio and with this external recorder, and a good set of wireless lav mics, I am truly amazed every time I sit down to edit.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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...You do, however, have to change the speed to 99.9 when recording at 48Khz since the 5DmkII records at 44.1Khz...
The audio sampling rate has nothing to do with it. If you slow your video down from 30.00 to 29.97fps (avoiding dropped frames on NTSC-based systems), then you also need to slow the audio down by 0.1%. If you don't slow the video, there's no need to slow the audio. (Real time is still real time.)
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 11:51 AM   #7
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Phil,

Great tip about Pluraleyes, Its exactly the kind of thing I've been looking. I'm going to try it asap.

As for the recorder I ended up spending a little more and getting the Sony PCM-D50 instead of the Zoom H4n. I looked at both in the shop side by side and found the Sony's better construction and the proper levels knob to be more useful than the extra XLR inputs of the Zoom. I've also read in multiple reviews that the new Zoom still has average quality XLR inputs especially when using the kind of phantom powered mics I have so I'd end up running a seperate mixer most of the time anyway, have you tested this yourself? If that isn't the case I might be tempted to get a H4n as a backup.

Dan
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:10 PM   #8
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excellent audio info for MKII

Great post, Phi, very clear and informative videos. I've already got the Zoom H4z and I'm really tempted by Pluraleyes.

I've done film in the past so a double-system is not that big a deal for me. It actually took me a little while to get used to recording both audio and video to a single camera.

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Phil,

...I've also read in multiple reviews that the new Zoom still has average quality XLR inputs especially when using the kind of phantom powered mics I have so I'd end up running a seperate mixer most of the time anyway, have you tested this yourself? If that isn't the case I might be tempted to get a H4n as a backup.

Dan
Dan,

I've only had limited experience with the Zoom H4N so far, but so far its internal mics do sound better than the XLR connected to an Oktava MK012.

That being said, to my untrained ear, the quality of Zoom's sound is excellent. I'm thinking of connecting IT to the boom pole on my next project rather than the Oktava.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:37 PM   #9
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Greg,

Thanks for that info, I'd love to know what Phil makes of the Zoom XLRs too.

I've been blown away with the quality of the Sony PCM-D50 internal mics and was thinking about doing a similar thing as you with a boom pole in the future.

In fact the great thing about both recorders is that they have a tripod mounting hole on the back.

Dan
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 01:42 PM   #10
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Personally, I'm thinking of getting a Sound Devices MM-1 (one channel preamp with headphone output) or the MP-1 (without phone out). Street cost new is $350 or $300, respectively. I could then patch that into the 5D with a pilot tone in the other channel, or into most any recorder. So far, I haven't needed more than mono field audio anyway.

The advantage is that I'd have a professional preamp in an indestructible package that would hold its value. Next would come mic upgrades. The recorder is third in line.

As long as you feed a nice, hot, clean signal to your recorder/camera, theoretically, the quality of the recorder isn't as important. It's kind of like using a cheap camera - they're terrible in low light, but can do a decent job with lots of light and good glass.
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 03:47 PM   #11
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Anyone have a chance to compare the Zoom H4N and Sony PCM-D50 with the Fostex FR-2LE or Edirol R-44?
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Old May 23rd, 2009, 05:22 PM   #12
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Anyone have a chance to compare the Zoom H4N and Sony PCM-D50 with the Fostex FR-2LE or Edirol R-44?

Edirol R-44 seems to be faster than Zoom H4n in terms of menu button response time.
We are getting a Edirol R-44 with a whole ENG bag for blooming sound.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 11:19 PM   #13
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Are these duel systems more preferable to the Beachtek that's coming out for the 5DM2?
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Old May 24th, 2009, 11:45 PM   #14
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Matthew,

I think it all depends on your type of work. For me doing run and gun news and features the Beachtek will make life much easier. For ultimate quality where you have the time dual sound will always win, with most of these recorders you can use much higher bitrates if you want to and they have better controls like too.

Money no object I would have a Beachtek, a top of the line Sound Devices mixer coupled and a high end audio recorder.

Dan
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Old May 25th, 2009, 03:29 AM   #15
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And with a mixer you can do both, feed a recorder and the camera... at least on my little Eng44.
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