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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 September 16th, 2008, 01:12 PM   #1
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Shooting Live Band-Audio Help

I'm the drummer for the 1910 Fruitgum Company, we had gold records back in the late 60's.
I always wanted to tape and record one of our concerts. I decided on the Canon XH-A1.
Just got the Camera and looking forward for our next gig. My wife will be using the camera and being a event Photographer I'm sure she will do a good job.

My question is audio. I will be using 2 condenser M-Audio XLR mics. Using a line from the board would not be good as the mix used live is not the same as a studio MIX.
Should I use the mic attn to help with the sound levels. I also have a Tascam field recorder that I could bring into Final Cut Express. I understand it won't be perfect, just want something for myself and our web site 1910 Fruitgum Company
Thanks for any help
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Old September 16th, 2008, 05:30 PM   #2
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You will always get better sound with attenuation on - provided the volume pot does not have to be pushed beyond 75-80% to get decent levels.

my son is a drummer - here is a clip of his band - recorded using the XH-G1 with stock mic:

http://thenewrunaways.com/?p=100
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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:17 PM   #3
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Phillip,
I have always had issues with band recordings until I started using the Zoom H2. I think alot of the devices like this are ideal for band recording. No offense to Peter, but his clip is a classic example of the issues with using on camera audio, mainly clipping in the low end. The H2 does very good for the price, and good enough for my purposes. Here is a clip that I did of a very loud band with the H2.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #4
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Phillip... I remember you. I remember the 60s. May be one of the few who do. Glad to hear you're still doing it.

I understand that a live mix isn't the same as a studio mix but if there's a way you can capture the feed off the mixer I'd recommend it. I think it will be better than your two mics connected to the camera. The multiple mics on stage will invariably be in a better position to get the best sound. Even if all you get from the board is a stereo mix down, you might find that it sounds better than the camera stuff.

I'll also second turning on the mic attenuation. I shoot motor races and I don't think you'll be louder than that, and the attenuation makes a big difference.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #5
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Hi Bill,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Grant View Post
...a classic example of the issues with using on camera audio..
This is very timely for me. I went to a party on Saturday and as an afterthought grabbed my HV30. It turned out that the couple giving the party used it as an excuse for their band to practice, so I did some taping. I thought I'd get a decent audio track to cut to but even with attenuation and manual audio levels it was severely clipped. They weren't even that loud. I ended up using an old poorly recorded mp3 from their myspace page of the same song. I'm ordering an H2...

Clip:
~ R o S H a m B o ~
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Old September 16th, 2008, 11:05 PM   #6
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Yeah, Joel I go nowhere without the H2 anymore. I get 6.5 hrs of recording on a 4GB card. It is awesome. I really don't need anything more...
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Old September 17th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #7
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Philip,
Bottom line, two good condenser mikes, well placed in the room, A1 attenuated and manual gain.
You can test record a loud stereo at home to get an idea of how to set the level meters.

I’m a long time audio guy, and a guitar player with only one “vinyl” record. I have been working on music event video for the last year and have done numerous audio experiments. I agree that audio feeds from the board are the wrong “mix” for video work. I started using Shure SM81 or AKG 451 condenser mike pairs into an Apogee MiniMe (preamp and digitizer), then feeding an Maudio microtrack via SPDIF. I originally recorded 24 bit, 96K audio with the Apogee/microtrack, but on one occasion I just plugged two AKG 451’s into the XH A1, and ultimately ended up very good sound… comparable to the “high end” recording. So now I rely on the A1 / AKG 451 combination as my primary audio track, and just use the microtrack as a backup.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:08 AM   #8
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Room sound is usually as compromised as the desk sound - so, I do both. Just record the output from the desk - MD or CD or whatever, and then use that when you edit, with the room sound mixed in to give it the live sound. Smaller venues always mean the mix is lacking - usually drums as they're so loud without any amplification - but often guitars too, so having two mixes to blend works for me. If you can't record the main out of the desk, then I plug a Sennheiser transmitter into a spare output, and use a receiver on the camera to feed one track, using the other for on-board sound.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #9
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I use my Zoom H2 whenever possible and plugged into the line out from the mixer. Here's an example: DADA NOIR at C Venue Central - Edinburgh2008 Fringe Preview , recorded in 24 bit wav and converted to mp3 to add to the A1 video.

I remember those great 60's songs too!

Ian
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Old September 17th, 2008, 07:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for the help everyone.
I have a Tascam DR-1, is this OK or is the Zoom H2 better? 90% of our concerts are outside. Our sound is backlined (they supply sound engineers, monitor mixer, main mixer and all monitors and main speakers)
I will try using both overhead mics and Tascam on our next concert and will post my video and learn from that.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Thorstenson View Post
I will try using both overhead mics and Tascam on our next concert and will post my video and learn from that.
Philip, you probably will anyway but I'd be grateful if you could post to this thread. I'll subscribe to it and get notification when you post. Whenever that is. I'll be very interested to hear the result. Good luck with it :-)
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Old December 16th, 2008, 11:47 PM   #12
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How did the DR-1 work out? I have this recorder and been using it for other stuff. How do you like it for video work?
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Old December 19th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #13
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What exactly causes clipping? Is it the microphones or is it the the circuit board not being able to handle the signal??

I'm asking because I use two Audio Technica 4051a condenser mics with my A1 and have gotten clipping on high notes when there was a lot of noise being thrown at them (think bagipes). I don't think that the problem was related to the levels which I was controlling manually and had turned down. It seemed like it had to do with the amount of sound pressure hitting the capsules. Even when placing the mics relatively far from the instrument I would get this.

This disappointed me because the AT 4051a's are expensive mics.
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Old December 19th, 2008, 08:50 PM   #14
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I've actually recorded live band audio with the oboard mics, and with the att on it doesn't tend to clip... pretty nice. I wouldnt use it for an actual release, but the sound isn't bad.
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Old December 21st, 2008, 12:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Wright View Post
I use my Zoom H2 whenever possible and plugged into the line out from the mixer. Here's an example: DADA NOIR at C Venue Central - Edinburgh2008 Fringe Preview , recorded in 24 bit wav and converted to mp3 to add to the A1 video.

I remember those great 60's songs too!

Ian
Festival Video and Audio Previews - Festival Previews Ltd
in general, what kind of plug is the Line Out (or Track Out) on the majority of mixers? XLR, 1/4", 1/8"? i am extremely curious.
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