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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:41 PM   #1
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Would this work and be worth it?

Hey guys. I've got a question I was wondering about. My mom would like to enlist the help of my self and my GL-2 to record her orchestra concerts. For optimized sound quality I want to set up some pro-quality XLR mics. Sure I could something like the MA-300 XLR Mic adapter, but that's around $250 most stores I have looked at, It took me a long time to get the GL-2 alone :) Could I use, say a 4 channel mixer and connect the output of that to my cams mic input? I could use a 1/4" to 1/8" plug adapter. Does anyone use a similar method? Is it advisable? Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks a lot!
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Old September 11th, 2003, 07:51 PM   #2
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I would run it into a dedicated audio recorder. Video Cams are not usually the best .
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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:21 AM   #3
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Nick,

Agree with Kieth but... Yes it would work IF your mixer has a "Mic" level out.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 05:21 AM   #4
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First, unless you have lots of camera angles and closeups, video of large band/orchestra performances are boring to watch. Watch the next few orchestra performances on TV (probably will be PBS or the arts channel) to see what video techniques they use.

Best recording sound with the GL2 would be using 16-bit mode, and using the MIC ATT setting (which will give a better noise floor).

Because the GL2 mic input is ubalanced, you should keep the leads to the mixer or balanced-to-unbalances converter short, so you would record from near the mixer.

The GL2 input is mic level, in the MIC ATT setting it needs about -30 dBV input to yield full record level. Most good mixers do have a mic level output option. If yours does not, you can buy a profesional quality in-line attenuator for about $35 or so from good audio shops or place like Markertek.

An external recorder may prove more convenient, your camcorder is not teathered to the mixer. I use MiniDISC, no problem syncing the sound to the video later, and the quality is near CD, much better than MP3.

Since you probably cannot afford to mic the orchestra professionally (with mics for each section) you will probably want a single point stereo mic, perhaps an AT-825, AT-822, or Sony ECM-MS-957 (I prefer the AT), located on a tall stand behind the conductor, in front of the audience. Get it at least 10' in the air, and use a shock mounting for the mic. The Sony and the 822 have a 1/8" mini plug connector, can plug directly into the camcorder or MiniDisc recorder. The 825 is balanced with XLR connectors.

Be sure you have appropriate rights to what ever you intend to distribute.

The Shure website mayhave some white papers and tips on recording orchestras.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 05:57 AM   #5
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Cutaways! Cutaways! Cutaways! and..... CUtaways!

Beg, steal or borrow any other cammie - Analoge or dv, don't worry. You really wanna a second roving cammie. You could lock off your XM2 on a tripod and pick up the roving cammie and do some "cutaways" - zoom to orch. or audience. Get some setup shots of the exterior that you can "cut-to" to cut out unwanted searching zooms. Get some of the crowd coming in. This is a really neat shot in slomo over one of the pieces. Can you get some rehearsal footage? Even short clips or even stills of the artists, you could use these as fade ins and outs at the appropriate times. Oh Yes shooting from one postion is truly boring from one camera. You're bound to make the cardinal sin of zooming in and out - I did - just to make the film look interesting. Forget it. It don't work. Been there done that.

Okay - Say you expect to have 1.5 to 2hrs of music/video footage, I'd estimate you'd want at least 25% to 50% of GOOD cutaway material to give yourself some options. So you're looking at 30mins to 45 mins of nothing other than EXTRA footage. You might even want to bump this up to 60mins - serious! Don't forget a 10 minute sequence could be created by a mixture of stills and external shots in SLOMO. Get it? This is hard work, but once done, it WILL pay off.

Getting a "mixed" version of the sound onto to disc or whatever is good if you have the technology to "synch" back to video. Otherwise violin bows will start and stop at the most unfortunate positions - yeah? I could say more . . but I won't . . except to say good luck and do do do look at how the pros do it. It is very simple on the eye AND you can do it too! Have fun!!!!

Grazie
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Old September 12th, 2003, 10:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies guys! You people are the best!
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Old September 13th, 2003, 05:09 AM   #7
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Bows stopping in the wrong place, fingers hitting the wrong keys/valves. A lot like lip sync for speakers, and a musician will spot it in a heartbeat, but it will not be as obvious to a non-musician - except for the timpani and gong that is <g>. Enjoy!
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