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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 20th, 2007, 11:06 AM   #1
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A1 ideal audio level.

Hey guys, heres an audio related one but in connection with the A1.
Picked up the G2 kit recently.
So i researched the settings for it in conjunction the A1 and everything
seems hunky dorey.
just checking in yere experience where exactly should i be aiming
for the levels to be on the A1.
is it just where the white notches hit the green (very technical) or further up into the green.
I dont want to find this out the hard way so would appreciate your advice from experience with the A1.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 07:28 AM   #2
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It will depend on the program material and its dynamic range, and how high transients run. Best is to have the actual audio recorded peak just below the max digital recording level.

The Green dot is at about 12 dB below clipping, So peaking above the -12 dB green dot, but not to the max dot is OK.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 10:20 AM   #3
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Yep, -12 is about where you want to be, though I've peaked up to around a -10 before with no problems. Between a -20 and -12 is best.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #4
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I'm getting really frustrated with the audio peaking on this camera. I guess regardless, some situations can be too loud for the camera?!? I have a NTG-1 and was shooting a concert in a local bar last week and then a wedding over the weekend. I'm in a panic now as apparently I captured wrong and I have peaking audio like crazy. Anytime the bass drum hits, it just shatters the audio. I don't think SoundForge can salvage this. The local bar thing isn't critical as that was really for practice, but the wedding can be a serious issue. Does anyone have any good tips with SoundForge on attempting to repair this audio?
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Old October 24th, 2007, 12:14 PM   #5
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You are probably overloading the mic preamp.

Use the MIC ATT setting for audio in loud venues and with hot mics. Turn MIC ATT off only if you cannot obtain normal record levels with it on.

Can't speak to Sound forge, but Adobe Audition has a some filters that may help with clipped sound.
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Old October 24th, 2007, 01:44 PM   #6
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Actually you can peak up to zero level without problems, that is: just kiss the zero. Basically the higher the levels the better as long as there is no clipping. Of course that is the problem...

For that reason a limiter is great, too bad Canon did not provide one. Maybe in the next version they improve the audio part in other ways too, mostly connection possibilities.
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Old October 26th, 2007, 05:41 PM   #7
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just did my first wedding with the g2 and the a1 today.

I now realise that at the speeches i need the audio levels set to auto.

i understand why manual is better but the sound levels in the room were just all over the place. people clapping loudly all of a sudden, people not holding mic close enough to their mouths etc.

it was iimpossible to consistently keep the levels from clipping.

flicked to auto and my problems were solved, to an extent.

i am aware of the camera tending to up the levels to hunt for sound when its quiet on auto mode but in a wedding environment its fine for me.

but thanks guys as im sure ill need to know and apply this info in a job soon.
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Old October 27th, 2007, 08:00 PM   #8
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Ger,

Sounds to me like were correct in using AGC.

It is there for a reason, for those situations where riding the levels in not practical, and for where maintaining an accurate dynamic range is not important, like most wedding receptions and similar events. You can records a t a level low enough not to clip, and adjust in post, but that adds time to the editing process, and most clients will not care.

It is all part of the decision making process for your circumstances.
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Old October 28th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #9
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but if you raise the levels in post don't you start to bring in unwanted floor noise? especially if you record low in some spots?

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Old November 2nd, 2007, 08:19 AM   #10
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If just adding gain, you do raise the noise with the desired signal, and most filters and typical noise reduction schemes only reduce "predictable" noise or specific potions of the noise spectrum. They also remove signal that matches the noise reduction profile used.

Careful application of gain or use of expansion on audio above the noise floor thus taking advantage of the fact that desire audio can mask the underlying noise often will result in am improved audio. But it takes work, and a bit of skill to do it well.

There is no really good substitute to getting good sound when you do the shoot, but field conditions do not always allow that - if nothing else, you may not have the time, staff, or gear to do it. The decision as to what to do is really one of answering the question; "Does it sound better after than before?" and meeting the client's expectation.
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