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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 February 7th, 2009, 06:09 PM   #1
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XHA1 Sound question

I just purchased my a1 about 10 days ago. Tomorrow I am fliming a barbershop quartet and will have minimal time to experiment. The Mic (s) will be a bout 3 feet away from the group. DO you think I will get better sound if I use one shotgun mic in stero mode or crossing two sepate mics (one in each xlr) withthe selector at ch1. From what I understrand this will give me stero. There is a heavy learning curb with this camera.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 11:37 PM   #2
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a shotgun should be fine. It will be in mono...

If you want stereo the go with two and cross them as you mentioned.

Your preference......I don't know how big of a difference it will make if they are all that close to the mic.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:27 AM   #3
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I belive you can get stero out of one shot gun mic. I think you just have to have the switch turned to ch 1/2.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 10:01 AM   #4
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I belive you can get stero out of one shot gun mic. I think you just have to have the switch turned to ch 1/2.
Not really. What you'll get is two channels of mono. To get stereo would require either a stereo mic or two mono mics.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #5
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Stereo implies the ability to identify sound sources left from right. Not possible with a mono shotgun mic. There are some stereo shotgun mics; e.g., AT-BP4029, or the former AT835ST, but I've not use them. Also, shotgun mics have direction patterns that include frequency-dependent side and back lobes that may introduce some artifacts in the recorded sound if the source is not appropriate for a shotgun mic.

What mic you need depends on the details of the venue. For a single mic 3 feet from the group performing in an 180 degree arc around the mic, I would consider something like an AT-825.

However, effective recording of vocal ensembles is a bit of an art. Spend some time browsing the tech information at the Shure web site for some ideas.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 06:59 AM   #6
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Audio ? for XHA1

Alright guys sorry to rehash this again but I have another shoot on Friday and this time the guy who handled the audio for me wont be around si I nned some advice from my fellow fourm members. I'm just tring to get a good understanding if the is any difference between recording in stero and recording on both channles. Don previously wrote:

"Stereo implies the ability to identify sound sources left from right. Not possible with a mono shotgun mic." If I am only using one shotgut mic, and I put the switch to channel two, it appears that I am getting sound from both channels. If i use to separte mics and cross then and have the switch on channel one, am i accomplishing the same thing except getting better sound? I have no way of experimenting with the sound prior to the shoot as I have no way of simulating the barbershop quartet that I wil be filming. LIke before, I will be in a controlled enviroment withthe mics jsut a few feet away from the group. Any help on this would be appreciated as I am tring to wrap my arms around the situation and only have two days left.

Last edited by Kevin Lewis; February 18th, 2009 at 08:08 AM.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:13 AM   #7
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If I am only using one shotgut mic, and I put the switch to channel two, it appears that I am getting sound from both channels. If i use to separte mics and cross then and have the switch on channel one, am i accomplishing the same thing except getting better sound?
You don't mention the make/model of the shotgun you are using but it's unlikely that it is a stereo mic. If you use the shotgun and place the switch in, as you call it, channel two, all you are doing is feeding the monaural output from the mic to both channels. It is not going to be stereo. If you want stereo, you will need to use two mics.

Don's description is thoroughly accurate, but let me simplify a bit of it for you. If the mic has a single XLR connector, it's mono. If it has two, it's stereo. It sounds like if you want stereo, you'll want to use two mics.

If you want to simulate the quartet, use your stereo. It'll be a poor substitute, but you can use it to approximate the situation. This will give you a chance to play around with your physical setup and your on-camera audio settings.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #8
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Tripp: I wil be using two different shotgun Mics- A sennheiser k3-U and a Rode NTG-2, If I do use two separate mics (one in each xlr) should I put the switch on Ch1 or CH1/2 if i'm looking for stero sound? Also, do you think there wil be a difference in the quailtiy and sound if I use 1 mic as opoosed to two creating stero? Hopefully i'm not being to confusing, i'm just tring to figure out ow to et the best sound as I will not get a second chance to film the group. ANd what worse is that I will have limited time with them and will not get a chance to experiment the sound with them.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #9
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Kevin, use a good set of headphones, flick the switch to CH1, this will ensure that both xlr inputs record, one for left stereo, one for right stereo, if you use headphones, you will hear CH1 in your left ear (i believe, i do not remember and cant test b/c the camera is being repaired) and CH2 in your right ear

pg 47-49 in your manual will give you some more reading on this

there will be a difference in sound, if you can, can you get the quartet to play twice, and record once with your mono shotgun and the second time with both mics
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Old February 18th, 2009, 09:11 AM   #10
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Jason thank you very much for your input. If time permits I will certainly ask the group to perform twice. This fourm has been a GREAT source of information. Also, since I will be using two different brands of mics (Seenuaser and Rode) do you think the quailty of the sound will be compormised?
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Old February 18th, 2009, 09:20 AM   #11
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im not all that knowledgeable of technicalities in sound and all the jargon with it, i just know if the sound is horrible or will work, i wouldnt think there would be a big noticeable difference being that they are both shotgun mics and are designed for the same function. i bet if you went in deep with an audio editor you might find some different patterns in the tracks.

but i think you are all good, remember your on-board mic pics up stereo, but you will get camera sounds, maybe have them play a third time and use your camera mic as a solo mic and just record audio,

i helped this guy out goes to my g/f's church b/c he was out of work, made an audition dvd for him, i had him play his songs multiple times so that i can record the audio through a variety of inputs,

you are welcome, this forum has and still is helping me out, i just need to start making money for what i do.

hope all goes well for you
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Old February 18th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #12
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Kevin,

Hard to say how the two mics will sound together. My guess is they won't be the same quality. But you will have choices in post if they are on seperate channels. You can use both if they sound the same and keep them on their respective channels, you can combine them, or you can use right or left channel only and put it to both L & R(mono).

Bottom line: You will have choices using two mics going to seperate channels. Only you will be able to answer your question when you review the audio in post.

For example, I shot something...ch1 went to shotgun mic, ch2 came from the sound board. When I reviewed in post....the out put gain was set too high...talking voice-perfect, singing was clipping....When the show started I could hear it in the house speakers. I ended up having better quality coming from the shotgun and in post I put left channel in both left and right. Hope this helps.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 09:54 AM   #13
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Michael: I have very little editing experience which is whats making this even tougher for me. I dont have a good enough understanding of whats possible in post, which is why i'm tring so hard to get it right on the front end. I downloaded the trial version of Sony Vegas to try and bring myself up to speed as it relates to whats possible when editing. Unfourtuneatly, I wont be able to bring myself fully up to speed prior to the event. All the advice that I have been given seems to make sense. I guess that I will just have to hope that time will allow for at least two takes.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 11:29 AM   #14
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just make sure that you set your audio levels so that there isnt any peaking, use the headphones i mentioned to hear each channel so that you can adjust , hopefully you can before the actual recording, if not, all is good, just tweak the dials while you hear
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Old February 19th, 2009, 04:59 AM   #15
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Kevin, look at it this way: Your camera records 3 different entities: video, audio ch1 and audio ch2. All these can be manipulated separatelly in the editor, or discarded if needed.

Often Audio ch1 and ch2 are locked together, as the signal recorded is in stereo. That means two similar microphones are used in a way that preserves some spatial information. Often one mic is aimed slightly left, other right.

Just as often those two channels are used to record "solo" tracks which are not spatially related (only in time). One typical exaple is using boom mic on ch1 and lavalier on ch2. They should be never used as "faux stereo" leaving them as is, but in the editor the better track is used and other discarded, or maybe they are mixed together the way it sounds best.

Most videos where separate microphones are used are not stereo. For example when using both boom mic and lavalier I would separate those to their own tracks, set the levels and send them both to a mono submix channel. This mono submix is further sent to master channel, which is 2 channels, but not stereo in this case but 2 identical mono tracks. DV video has no single track mono possibility, it is achieved by using the 2 channel "stereo" track as double mono.
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