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Old November 21st, 2001, 04:50 PM   #1
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XL-1 audio

Can anyone explain the practical difference between the three audio modes on the XL-1. I know that the 16-bit setting gives the "best" audio, and the 12-bit settings allow dubbing into the tape. If you're taping outdoors, and adding sound on the computer, those options don't really make a lot of difference, do they? Is it true that it is difficult to edit together footage shot in 12-bit (32Khz) and that shot in 16-bit (48Khz)?

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Old November 21st, 2001, 06:26 PM   #2
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16-bit allows wider frequency response (on the order of 22kHz compared to 15kHz for the 12-bit mode - if your mics/source are that good. Also, the 12-bit mode invlves some compression, so 16-bit should have a bit less distortion.

As for editing, 16-bit/48 kHz is more convenient if your sound card supports it (some cheap cards do not). In anycase upsampling/conversion will add minimal effort. Some capture software will upsample for you.
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Old November 21st, 2001, 08:39 PM   #3
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Be sure to read "Introduction to XL1 Audio" -- With basic explanations, XL1 shooters Jon Burkhart and Don Palomaki describe some introductory aspects of this camera's complex audio handling capabilities and their practical applications.

Go the XL1 Watchdog and choose Articles Menu > Microphones & Audio. See also an XL1 FAQ at http://www.dvinfo.net/xl1faq.htm Hope this helps,
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Old November 22nd, 2001, 07:28 AM   #4
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I second the advice about reading the info on Chris' website about the audio. Good article.

Practically speaking you will use the 16 bit setting most of the time on single source recordings. If you want to record more sources at once (i.e. different microphones on different subjects) you will use the 12 stereo 1 & 2 mode. If you are confused with that email me and I will give you a quick rundown on how to set it up and use it.
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Old June 22nd, 2004, 08:40 PM   #5
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Maybe a stupid question but I red the watchdog article and searched the forum and I'm not sure yet:

I have to record outdoors and later I will add music and a comment, with Final Cut Pro.

Can I set the audio to 16 bit, for best quality?
Or I have to stay at 12 bit because later I will add two further audio channels (music + comment).

I think the 12 bit is useful only if you want to record more than one source AT ONCE, isn't it?

And, if I set audio to 16 bit, and then add a music channel and another audio channel, the final footage can be transferred to tape?
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 05:22 AM   #6
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If you will be editing on a PC or other non-linear editing system rather than just adding the additional audio to the tape later without other editing, you can use 16-bit mode and add the audio in post production on you NLE.

With the XL1 family, 12-bit mode is best used whey you have more than 2 audio channel. I suspect that it is present in other camcorders mainly as a hold over before NLE became widely affordable and provided a way to add additional audio to previously recorded material..
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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #7
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I believe it's part of the DV spec.

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Old July 4th, 2004, 05:31 AM   #8
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The technical aspects mentioned previously are all certainly with merit. The underlying theme that emerges is repeated and I will do the same again. NLE is where the composition begins.
12 bit audio is like digital zoom. Avoid. If you really need a syncronous second audio track, take along a second camera and treat it like camera unit 2. Sync it later in post. The pitfalls of unbalanced audio in 12 bit mode does allow for a monitor track, but not a clean result.
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