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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old November 17th, 2004, 04:00 PM   #1
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Audio and User bits - help please

Hi all. I need to record sound for some very short movies I plan on shooting and I've been reading the XL2 manual but I'm not much wiser I'm afraid.

Am I correct in understanding that if I am recording dialogue and wish to put in say a music track later then I'd need to record with 12 bit?
I am confused with the different dials etc on the cam.

Also how is the mic that is supplied with the XL2? I won't be going for any other accessories so I hope the standard one supplied is good enough.

Finally, on page 45 of the manual I was looking at user bits. What exactly is a user bit? It says there are 16 possible characters to use - is this just used to label tapes or is there more to it?

Thanks for helping out ol' novice here :)
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Old November 17th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #2
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Hi Kevin,

<< Am I correct in understanding that if I am recording dialogue and wish to put in say a music track later then I'd need to record with 12 bit? >>

Only if that music track is going back to that exact same tape. Chances are, you're going to edit your video on your computer, in which case, depending on the software you're using, you can add your music track there, and do a final two-channel mix-down of all your tracks to a separate tape, such as an edit master.

<< I am confused with the different dials etc on the cam. >>

I recommend sitting down with the camera and the manual for a quiet hour or two by yourself and go through things step by step. It's just a familiarization process really.

<< Also how is the mic that is supplied with the XL2? I won't be going for any other accessories so I hope the standard one supplied is good enough. >>

Well, the camera itself is the single worst place to mount a microphone. But if that's all you've got, then it'll have to do. It's actually a pretty good mic.

<< What exactly is a user bit? It says there are 16 possible characters to use - is this just used to label tapes or is there more to it? >>

Others will offer their input here, but I've only employed user bits as a way to label tapes. You can get fairly inventive. Try entering DE AD BE EF -- and you'll get "dead beef." Hope this helps,
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Old November 18th, 2004, 01:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Chris,

So can I add music later on a PC even if I don't record in 12 bit or do I need those two other channels at all times to be free on all tapes?

"Dead Beef" - a haunted cow's tale.

As soon as I get some time (next week) i'll have a good play with the camera.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 01:56 AM   #4
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Hi Kevin,

<< So can I add music later on a PC even if I don't record in 12 bit >>

You can always add whatever you want later. Once it's in the computer, you can do anything you want with it.

<< do I need those two other channels at all times to be free on all tapes? >>

Nope.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 06:29 AM   #5
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OK but then how would you seperate tracks? I mean if i have the image with sound on tape how do i place in music without recording over the voices? in this way I'd need the other channels?
Also is it possible to edit out background noises i don't need?
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Old November 18th, 2004, 01:57 PM   #6
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Hi Kevin,

that is where computer editing software comes in handy. first you transfer your DV tape footage into the computer through the firewire cable. then you use an editing software package like Sony Vegas 5. then you can delete the audio so all you have is the footage and re-record all audio like a cartoon (that's how most of hollywood production is done). or you can add music to it using a different "track". you can have as many songs or sound fx in the background or foreground as you want it.

as for canon's miniDV cam, what those options are for is if you want edit using only the camera and an editing deck or dubbing in audio at the same time as when you are recording. For example if you were a newscaster you use the camera's stereo microphone to record the live event and input the reporter's mic into channel 3 and the audio feed from the news studio in another location into channel 4. that's one use for that function. there's many more types and usages you can think of.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 02:13 PM   #7
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Oh I see, thanks Yi :). I won't be able to re-dub if I do end up making some short films overseas, so I'll take care recording, try to keep it simple.
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Old November 18th, 2004, 06:10 PM   #8
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you can always grab a laptop. a NLE software is really indispensible when editing nowadays.
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Old November 19th, 2004, 01:37 AM   #9
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i do have a laptop but i need to buy an external hard drive and add an extra 512mb to it. i'm not sure if filming straight to it would be an easy thing when i'm out and about.
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