[A1] How to capture two wireless devices + Capture ambient & XLR input? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 25th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #1
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[A1] How to capture two wireless devices + Capture ambient & XLR input?

Hi,

Question #1

Is it possible to record two XLR devices onto the right and left audio channels?

Question #2

Is it possible to have XLR input turned on, but also capture ambient with on-board microphone?

(Alternatively, I would opt for ambient via XLR powered shotgun mic... in that case, the answer to the first question will answer my second. :)

Question #3

My co-worker and I will be interviewing folks, at a party, with a nice hand-held wireless microphone... Do you think it would be wise to setup a lapel microphone on my co-worker? We just want to be sure that we capture his questions -- that way he does not have to worry about moving the hand-held microphone back and forth between questions. What would you do?

Many many thanks for any help ya'll can give me. :)

Cheers,
Micky
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Old June 25th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #2
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Yes, No, Sounds Good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micky Hulse View Post
Question #1
Is it possible to record two XLR devices onto the right and left audio channels?
Yes. You've got two XLR ports and they can each be their own mono channel. So you can capture two separate audio sources through the XLR ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micky Hulse View Post
Question #2
Is it possible to have XLR input turned on, but also capture ambient with on-board microphone?
No, once you turn on the XLR ports your in-cam mic is disabled. Same if you plug a mic into the "Mic" plug underneath the shotgun holder, it disables the on-board mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micky Hulse View Post
Question #3
My co-worker and I will be interviewing folks, at a party, with a nice hand-held wireless microphone... Do you think it would be wise to setup a lapel microphone on my co-worker? We just want to be sure that we capture his questions -- that way he does not have to worry about moving the hand-held microphone back and forth between questions.
This approach definitely makes sense. You won't have the hesitation of moving the microphone back and forth and missing bits of each person's audio. It seems that that would be a very smooth workflow.

Good luck!
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Old June 25th, 2008, 03:16 PM   #3
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You want two mics into Channel 1 and another 2 into Channel 2? A total of four mics? You would have to have a 4-input mixer to do that. But if you mean one mic into Channel 1 and a second mic into Channel 2, yes, you can do that and you can control each audio gain individually.

You can not record from the built in camera mic and a second mic at the same time because the built-in mic is stereo and uses up both channels. What I do to get ambient sound when recording an interview or whatever is to use a short shotgun mounted on the camera, going into one channel, and my other mic, whether wireless or shotgun, goes into the second channel.

Re: the party interviews. If you have a handheld and another wireless, I most definitely use both if you want his questions. Unless he's an experienced interviewer and experienced in using the hand held, he will screw it up. Last year I shot a film critic interviewing Billy Bob Thornton and Virginia Madsen with a hand held mic. I spent a long time with him rehearsing, and probably told him a dozen times to hold the mic up to his own mouth when asking the questions and then in front of the talent for the response. But when the talent was getting close to our spot, I could tell from his nervousness that he was going to surely mess that up, and he did. I didn't have a lav with me, but what I did at the last minute was send the hand held into one channel instead of both and keep my shotgun into the second channel. Then I positioned myself to shoot over his shoulder at a slight angle, so my shotgun was about a foot and a half away, and even though he was off mic, it was OK. I'd say if the person is not a TV reporter, he will probably screw up the hand held, so use the lav and tell him where to put the handheld for talent interviews. Most people can do that, but they can't move the mic back and forth when needed.

By the way, I'm not knocking this critic dude--I was nervous too being that close to Virginia Madsen. She is one of those women who has only gotten hotter with age.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #4
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Wow! Thanks folks!

Great info. Sorry I have not responded sooner... Just got back from my weekend.

Excellent story Bill! I too would be nervous about shooting a star(s).

My co-worker is definitely not experienced interviewer.

I am going to shoot this gig in a couple hours... Blacking out tapes and testing mic setups now. I will post back later to let you all know how things went.

Thanks a billion!!!

Wish me luck!
Cheers,
Micky
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:27 AM   #5
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... Blacking out tapes and testing mic setups now. I will post back later to let you all know how things went.
Blacking out tapes? Do people still do that? I've never done it once in 19 years of shooting on tape. I thought that went out with the tube camera.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 11:35 AM   #6
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@Oren: Hehe, well, maybe I should not be wasting my time, but I do like to have a solid timecode on my tapes... Makes it easier for editing.

Is there a better way to lay down a solid timecode on a tape?

Btw, the two XLR inputs (hand-held mic and lav mic) work great! One on channel one, and the other on channel two. Sweeet! I can just dupe the channels later via FCP and all should be good.

Man, the A1 sure is nice.

Cheers,
Micky
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Old June 27th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #7
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Striping tapes is needless wear and tear on the tape and the heads, totally unnecessary unless you're doing old fashioned insert editing. The time code will be continuous as long as you don't rewind for playback and then go beyond where the last shot ended. The solution to that is to always shoot a few seconds of head and tail on each shot, as you should anyway. And if you take a tape out before it's finished and intend to reinsert it and record more later, simply record 5-10 seconds of bars so when you put it back in you can find the end easily, then back up into that rundown and your camera will pick up the time code, and there'll be no breaks.
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Old June 27th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #8
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If you only have a single mic, and it's resonably sensitive (i.e. not a deliberately short-range mic like a rock'n'roll stage vocal mic) a good technique is to hold the mic a fixed distance between interviewer and subject, so that both voices sound roughly equally loud. An omni-directional mic would be good for that, or a figure-8 would be ideal.

I've got a copy of some cine film of a BBC reporter interviewing a group of railwaymen in the 1970s. They are stood in a semi-circle, and the BBC man is holding one mic in the centre of the group. I only wish I had his recording to go with the film!
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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
Striping tapes is needless wear and tear on the tape and the heads, totally unnecessary unless you're ... <snip> ... then back up into that rundown and your camera will pick up the time code, and there'll be no breaks.
Ahhh, yes. Thanks for the info Bill!!! Great info. :)

God, I feel like an oldschool fool. I mean, I was taught to do this via college (about 5 years ago now.)

So, just to clarify... I should shoot bars to designate end of shoot (i.e. timecode will reset?)... And shoot head (i.e. extra footage of scene) at front and end of every clip... And just hit record to film the next scene and the timecode should be continuous? No rewinding a few seconds each time?

[EDIT]Doi, sounds like the bars just help as a visual cue for where a new scene/shoot begins, but still keeps the timecode intact.[/EDIT]

Sounds like I picked-up a bad habit from my college days.

If I do have to rewind a few seconds for each clip, just to make sure I do not break timecode, is there a quick way to rewind on the A1 without switching into playback VCR mode? For example, yesterday, I was doing a combo of street style interviews and quick b-roll shots... Not a lot of time to fiddle if you know what I mean. :D

Sorry if noob questions. :)

I really appreciate the clarification on this. You folks are going to save me a ton of time pre-production. :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
If you only have a single mic, and it's resonably sensitive (i.e. not a deliberately short-range mic like a rock'n'roll stage vocal mic) a good technique is to hold the mic a fixed distance between interviewer and subject, so that both voices sound roughly equally loud. An omni-directional mic would be good for that, or a figure-8 would be ideal.
Ooooh, nice call.

Sounds like I should have a few different hand-held mics in my kit... Sheesh, it would be so easy to swap a mic with the wireless adapter.

Actually, I did do something like that the other day (yesterday) at this event... The lav mic was getting a little rumble-y, so I was able to use the audio from the Cardioid Handheld Dynamic Microphone. More of unidirectional mic, but he was holding chest level and in the middle of the two-person interview. (I did have to turn-up the db to balance the audio with the rest of my clips. Not optimal, but met my output needs.)

Not to state obvious here, but one thing I have noticed with certain (omni-directional) mics, is to be weary of locations with a lot of ambient noise... I hate it when I get crap audio due to the surrounding noises. But then again, I am still learning how to capture the best audio possible (i.e. me = noob.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
I've got a copy of some cine film of a BBC reporter interviewing a group of railwaymen in the 1970s. They are stood in a semi-circle, and the BBC man is holding one mic in the centre of the group. I only wish I had his recording to go with the film!
Oooh, good call. :)

I love watching tele and movies and analyzing equipment used and/or editing techniques applied.

Oh, and btw, my shoot went pretty darn good! The only problem that I noticed was in very windy situations, the lapel mic would rumble slightly... And occasionally, there would be static feedback... I still need to learn how to get the best squelch settings and/or find the clearest channels.

Hehe, also, it was kinda tricky jumping between interviews (wireless mics) to b-roll. Both XLR inputs were wireless, and for b-roll I would try to switch XLR off and use on-board mic. Not optimal, but better than nothing. Strapping-on shotgun between interviews would have been time-consuming.

Hmm, I wonder if I can set one of the custom buttons to switch XLR input on/off? Currently, I have my two preset buttons doing Zebra(75) and show audio levels.

Oh, and I learned that I need a mono-pod! Interviewing tall people requires either a) superman arms, or B) tri/mono-pod. :D

Anyway, many thanks all for the tips! I owe you all several brews!

Have a great day!
Cheers,
Micky

Last edited by Micky Hulse; June 28th, 2008 at 10:00 PM.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micky Hulse View Post
Hmm, I wonder if I can set one of the custom buttons to switch XLR input on/off? Currently, I have my two preset buttons doing Zebra(75) and show audio levels.
Sadly, not on the present version. Lots of folks would like this, and the OIS, to be assignable. A couple more custom buttons would be good, too. Maybe on the XH-A2, if they ever do one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Micky Hulse View Post
Oh, and I learned that I need a mono-pod! Interviewing tall people requires either a) superman arms, or B) tri/mono-pod. :D
A tripod is essential. Every cameraman should have one. Nothing is quite so distracting (IMHO) as an interview where the frame won't stay still.
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Old July 1st, 2008, 11:10 AM   #11
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Micky,
You do not need to rewind a few seconds after each shot to set up the next one. Just hit record and go. The camera will keep your time code continuous.

Now, if you do go into VCR mode (maybe to review the last shot) and you are watching your last shot and then you go past the end of the shot and see blank tape - you've just lost your time code. So make sure that you go back and record over the very tail end of your last shot (why head-room is needed, or tail-room in this case) so you can pick the time code back up.

But if you leave the tape alone and keep recording, stopping and starting when and where you please, your time code will be fine.

Make sense?
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Old July 1st, 2008, 02:11 PM   #12
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Continuous Time Code

What if you use the "Record Review Button"?

Say you record some footage, go to VCR mode and play it, and end up playing tape past the end of the recorded footage. If you simply go back to a camera mode and hit the Record Review Button, it rewinds the tape and shows the last few seconds of recorded footage, then stops at the end of the last shot footage. Isn't that an easy way of picking up the time code?
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Old July 1st, 2008, 10:43 PM   #13
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Yes you can...

Here are a couple of my cameras using 2 azden wireless mics, and the shotgun mic.
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[A1] How to capture two wireless devices + Capture ambient & XLR input?-img_1364-new.jpg  
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 07:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian Frost View Post
What if you use the "Record Review Button"?

Say you record some footage, go to VCR mode and play it, and end up playing tape past the end of the recorded footage. If you simply go back to a camera mode and hit the Record Review Button, it rewinds the tape and shows the last few seconds of recorded footage, then stops at the end of the last shot footage. Isn't that an easy way of picking up the time code?
That's a good question, one that I don't have an answer to. I've never used that button and will go searching for it now. Thanks.
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Old July 2nd, 2008, 11:45 AM   #15
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End Search

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That's a good question, one that I don't have an answer to. I've never used that button and will go searching for it now. Thanks.
So long as you have not removed the tape from the camera in the mean time, the end-search button (on the top, under the LCD screen) will take you to the end of your last recording. BEWARE: if you recorded over an earlier part of the tape (deliberately or otherwise), this function will take you to the end of that clip, not to the end of the recorded part of the tape. E.g. you have 30 minutes of recording on the tape, you return to 05:30 and record 10 seconds, then play/fast-forward to another part of the tape. When you press end-search, the camera returns to 05:40. Been there, done that, had to change my T-shirt!
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