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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old December 26th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #1
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Seeking audio improvments

I shot/edited my first music video with my xl2. This was a live performance. I'm looking for some affordable suggestions on how to dramatically improve the audio. What equipment should I use next time? I'm using a wireless mic (40%) and the onboard mic (60%).

Thanks
Tim

video link: http://nrg.tv/videos/justin.htm
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Old December 26th, 2006, 03:16 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Suggs
I shot/edited my first music video with my xl2. This was a live performance. I'm looking for some affordable suggestions on how to dramatically improve the audio. What equipment should I use next time? I'm using a wireless mic (40%) and the onboard mic (60%).

Thanks
Tim

video link: http://nrg.tv/videos/justin.htm
Assuming there is a sound engineer at hand then you could ask for a line feed from the desk into the XL-2 and record that at 12bit, with your camera mic recording 'ambient' on the other two tracks...?

Alternatively get a mini disc recorder or something simliar for the desk feed and record front mic at 16 bit stereo, then mix together in your edit...

From my experience, it's worth getting your own sound engineer along to mix the show specifically for video, if the budget allows ?

If not, then the above methods may help you out, but having said that, you'll often find that house engineers in smaller venues will mix for the room sound and not always for a complete stereo picture, I.E. not necessarily putting every sound source through the desk, often leaving the high frequency sources to their own devices.

Oh and nice to hear a cover of 'I Will Follow'...
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Old January 12th, 2007, 11:35 AM   #3
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Hi Tim,

I'm new to videography, but I've been playing in bands and mixing live sound since the early 90's. Its very difficult to get good audio records of bands are performing live without giving any thought to making recordings. Like Allen said, getting a feed off of the bands mixing board is a great idea, but sometimes the band won't push a full mix through their PA. Even if they are running a full mix the audio levels are adjusted for live aplification not recording, so some instruments maybe be pounding loud while others totally buried.

When recording with a mono or stereo microphone, placement of the microphone is critical. Using the on-camera if you're running around getting close ups, on stage shots, etc. will result in audio that's obviously all over the place. Although that could be interesting during editing because you could bring up the levels of the drummer or guitarist just because of your proximity when your shooting.

Make a seperate audio-only recording using something like a Sony Minidisc recorder ($320) and Audio-Technical stereo microphone ($240). Goto the bands sound check and find a sweet spot where all of the instruments sound balanced. How close or far you set up from the stage may make and impact depending on how loud they run their personal amps and monitors.

I've had great results with these sony minidisc recorders.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

If you can work with the bands soundman, you can setup a 4 or 8 track recorder and record the sub-mixes independently. Its common for sound people to organize channels in into banks, like vocals, guitar, bass, drumps, keyboards, etc. Then they mix each of these banks into the main. By recording each bank on a multi-track recorder, you can rebalance the levels in post-production (i.e. knock down the vocals, bring up the guitar).

My 2 cents.

Todd
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Old January 12th, 2007, 01:37 PM   #4
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Thanks Todd. I'll give that a try. I was looking at the Sony PCM-D1, a little pricey but it looked like a nice tool. Have you had any experience with it?

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Old January 12th, 2007, 01:59 PM   #5
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I've never had much of a budget for "audio for video", that's why I went with the Sony Minidisc recorder in the first place, I could afford it.

I actually picked it up after I read the production notes from a film marker (sorry, can't remember his name) who made an amazing indie-film with nothing more than a couple Canon GL2s, Sony Minidisc, and an Audio-Technica shotgun mic. He basically said that the minidisc recorder recorded CD-quality sound at a fraction of the cost of big rig.

One thing I don't like about the minidisc recorder is that it requires the use of Sony SonicStage to transfer files to the PC. It also saves the data in a proprietry format on the disk so you can't just use it like an external hard drive. So that is sort of a pain, but once the files are transfer and saved as WAVs, the audio quality is great.

That Sony PCM-D1 look top knotch, but pretty pricy.

On my current budget, I would probably start with something like the Zoom HR Handy Recorder. I like its price, 16-bit/44.1kHz is good, but what I really like is that its a 4-channel recorder with XLR and 1/4" plugs.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home;jsessionid=FylWjNjkWy!219056255?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=445854&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

Being able to record using whatever sort of microphones or leaching off a mixer is always options I like to have.

Todd

Last edited by Todd Brassard; January 13th, 2007 at 07:56 AM.
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