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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 May 3rd, 2006, 08:11 AM   #1
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Sound Advice

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum and new to the video world. I have made my living the past 20 years photographing the natural world. But I have acquired an XL2 and need lots of help!! First of all is my sound quality.

I have been filming ducks at our wetland in a blind. And as hard as I try it seems I have some extra sounds such as bumping or thumping for lack of a better word. I'm not if it's me or the way the microphone is mounted. Should I get the mic off the camera?? If so any suggestions would be apprecieated. Do they make an extension cord for the mic from Canon or do I need one to plug in elsewhere. I'm the one that feels like an amateur here...I'm not even sure what to ask!! Should I have the sound on manual and adjust? How do I know what's right?

Thanks so much

Richard
www.daybreakimagery.com

Richard
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 11:12 AM   #2
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richard,

you may ask this question to the forum "now hear this" under "tools od dv hdv production", but also search the archives before ask.

but quickly you need a shutgun mic connected XLR 2-3m cable with your camera (back of the cam, there is two XLR inputs for this), and you monitor it with headphone, sure that mic is far at least from 2-3m from you and camera.

generally it is recommended that you dont use the mic on camera, for the reasons you mentioned above,

alkim.
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 02:49 PM   #3
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Thank you for your help I will do just that.

Richard
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Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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You might not necessarily need to get the mic a whole 2-3 M away from your camera. On the XL2, you'll notice that the mic is already somewhat detached from your camera on an arm that is somewhat shock-absorbant. The problem is, every time you move your camera around, you sent low-frequency bumps through the camera and as these move through the different metals when they eventually get to the microphone arm, they are audiable and destracting. You can experiment with simply holding your mic, etc. But remember, these are only experiements to show what I'm explaining.

Though I do agree with the above poster. If you are filming wild life, you want it (I imagine) to be nearly silent and a full 2-3M may be desirable.

-Sam
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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:56 PM   #5
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Not only should you get the mic off of the camera, you should get a different mic.

As an avid bird recorder for many years, you can't beat a parabolic reflector for focused and isolated sounds. I bought a Sony 13" PBR (long discontinued) from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology about 13 years ago and I love it. A bigger unit would be better (more low frequencies), but it wouldn't be too portable. For simplicity, I currently insert a basic condenser mic from Radio Shack.

The smaller parabola is light enough to mount on my XL2. Check out my crazy test rig on my crappy website:

http://www.geocities.net/amjoyce2004
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #6
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Hello,
The link didn't work. I think you meant:

http://www.geocities.com/amjoyce2004/

I changed the .net to .com

By the way Andy, I am an amateur astronomer and I really liked your moon video. How did you do that with the XL2?

Sorry to get off topic.

Thanks,
Luke
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Old May 6th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #7
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Pretty cool set up, I'm not sure it would work in my blind though. I guess I need to investigate some shotgun microphones.

Richard
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Old May 6th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Day
Pretty cool set up, I'm not sure it would work in my blind though. I guess I need to investigate some shotgun microphones.

Richard
Shotgun mic's don't work like a telephoto lens for sound. They don't magnify a distant sound the way a long lens magnifys the image of a distant object. So I'd second Andy's suggestion you consider a parabolic mic. Shotguns (and all other conventional mics) need to be close to the subject for good results. In fact, for good dialog recording even a shotgun needs to be no more than about 18 to 24 inches from the subject. I realize you're looking for environmental sounds, not dialog, but even so you would need to be a lot closer to the birds than you're likely to be to get good, clear, strong recordings of their calls, wing beats, etc with a shotgun.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Springer
Hello,
The link didn't work. I think you meant:

http://www.geocities.com/amjoyce2004/

I changed the .net to .com

By the way Andy, I am an amateur astronomer and I really liked your moon video. How did you do that with the XL2?

Sorry to get off topic.

Thanks,
Luke
Sorry about the .com goof.

The moon video was one of the reasons I bought an XL2. I have better footage, but I keep forgetting to post it.

Here is the basic setup: 12" Newtonian telescope (prime focus) + 1.25" optical tube & 1.25" 25mm eyepiece + Canon EOS t-mount adapter + Canon EF XL2 adapter + Canon XL2 (sans lens) = clunky but effective lunar and planetary camera. The drift is not time lapse, it is caused by Earth's rotation in real time. The "seeing" wasn't so good that night. You should see the results on a good night! I have a little Mars clip, but it was also "swimming" in turbulence.

I also do some microscope work, but it takes more patience.
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Old May 9th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #10
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Parabolic mic

Hi there

I like the look of your rig there Andy. Did you calculate the the radius of the hemispere you constructed, or did you just do it? I would like to have a go myself as I am going to be filming wetland/seabirds fairly soon, and it might be a good way of getting some good sounds! If you did use the calculation route, where did you track down the info?

Now for something totally different.....
Huge concrete parabolic sound reflectors were built on the south coast of England ( aucoustic radar) just before WW2 and just before radar was invented. Using these structures aircraft could be heard a long way off. A microphone was positioned at the 'hot spot' of the reflector.
In a way thats what your reflector is doing 'concentrating' the sound energy. The invention of radar killed the idea stone dead.

You think your rig looks weird...check these out

http://www.dself.dsl.pipex.com/MUSEUM/COMMS/ear/ear.htm
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Old May 9th, 2006, 08:35 PM   #11
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The parabola is not homemade, just the couplers below to connect it to the camera. It is a Sony PBR-330 which has long been discontinued.

As far as aiming it, that's easy since the PBR is screwed into a small Manfrotto ball-and-socket joint and you can easily position it as you listen to adjust the parallax from the lens view.

By the way, that site on military reflectors is very amusing.
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