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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 April 21st, 2009, 06:33 AM   #1
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Audio for School Concert

Hello All,

I have to film the school concert for my client, what would be the best way to record the sound? please help me.


Thanks
Matthew
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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There's a section dedicated to sound. They'll know. bBut off-hand, i'd say that unless it's supposed to sound like an amateur recording, you'll need to place microphones and get a mixing console.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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The simple method I use is to place an Omni condenser mic on a stand or hanging above the front of the stage. Use cable or wireless to get it to one channel of the camera. Get a feed from the mix board for the other channel of the camera. Blend the two in post.

From there you can get more complicated by using a multi-channel recording, mix it in post and synch it up to the video footage by matching waveforms.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:02 PM   #4
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I have videoed both a symphony orchestra and a 50 member chorus in a 900 seat concert hall that has excellent acoustics. I set up the camera in the first row of the balcony and use a matched pair of Rode NT5's small-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphones (about $450). These are XLR's, powered by the camera. I use a simple mic stand set a few feet to the right of the camera and connect them with 10 foot cables. I do not use a mixer, just the pre-amp controls on the camera (setting the audio level to M, of course) and balance watching the meters during the "warm-up" immediately prior to the performance. The resulting audio quality is incredible - this is the opinion of the conductors. And it is much better than with the on-camera mic.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 05:09 AM   #5
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I'd go along with John on this, but if speech is involved in the show or even solo singers you will need to get the mics close to the stage, if your mics and leads are balanced and phantom powered by the camera the length of lead won't matter, I do a lot of stage plays and the way I do it is to have one mic stand on the floor in front of the stage with an adaptor which will take two mics on top which I then cross over each other ie the left mic on right holder pointing left the right mic in left holder pointing right, this way the whole stage gets covered with no hole in the middle.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 10:52 PM   #6
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Mick, How long are your cables? The owner's manual says "a cable no longer than 3m" which seems ridiculously short.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 06:22 AM   #7
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John
There are 10 metres built into the hall front to back plus 5 to the mic and 5 to the camera making a total of 20mtrs no problems at all.
Years ago when when I used unbalanced mics and leads I had loads of problems picking up interference from the dimmer racks, then I bought a pair of audio-technica ATM33 mics and installed balanced leads which took care of all the problems.
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Old April 25th, 2009, 06:41 AM   #8
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If using XLR and balanced connections, long cable form a microphone is not a problem. Long unbalanced cables are a potential problem.

For High School-type concerts with an ensemble on a stage, I find that a single point stereo microphone, e.g., an AT-825 (but there are other makes and models as well) on a tall stand located a bit behind the conductor, but well in front of the audience, works well. Alternatively you can use a pair of mono microphones.

In the interest of minimizing audience noise, coughing, the impulsive sound of clapping, and other distraction, the use of directional (cardoid) microphones, with the audience to the rear, is appropriate.

Use manual level control, allow headroom for the audio peaks common to live concert performances, and try attend a rehearsal to test and perfect your technique.

I often use a separate recorder, such as a minidisc, MicroTrack or DR-100 to record the sound separately thus giving more mobility tot he camcorder, and sweetenn and sync the sound in post.

Note that some schools have a "professional" audio recording made of concerts that is then sold to parents, etc. If this is the case, you may be able to use their sound if yo work this out in advance.

If you have time, check out the resources at the Shure web site. They have a lot of information on mic placement and recording live performances.
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