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Old October 4th, 2001, 09:49 AM   #1
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What would be best audio setup for feature.

Hi there,
I'll be buying an xl-1s shortly and will commence shooting my first no budget feature. My main concern right now is audio seeing that I don't know much about it.

I'm thinking of getting a boom and shotgun mic and plugging that into the ma-200. I'm not sure if i can afford a mixer or not however.

With this setup, do you think I will get good audio for a feature? Or should I get some sort of external recorder? If not does anyone have any good suggestions for an inexpensive mixer? Or maybe someone can suggest a totally differenct setup that will give me great audio. I'll also be needing a wireless mic for a few of the scenes. Does anyone know approximately how much a lower end one would cost?

Any help will be greatly appreciated by myself and by yourself when you see the feature. It's going to be great!!!

Thanks.
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Old October 4th, 2001, 10:16 AM   #2
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how about minidisc

Would anyone suggest me recording on a minidisc recorder? I'm not sure what kind of sampling rate they have and if the quality is good or not.

Thanks again.
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Old October 4th, 2001, 11:28 AM   #3
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Howdy from Texas,

For your purposes I do *not* recommend a Mini-Disc recorder. Some event videographers like to use them for back-up audio, but that's because they've only got one shot at getting it right. You however can repeat your takes at leisure, plus you don't want to hassle with syncing this audio to your video in post. In your situation I would spend money on a portable field mixer than a Mini-Disc recorder.

If your feature really is low budget, consider an XL1 for a lot less money than an XL1S (unless you need some specific XL1S features).

Also you could probably do just fine with a less expensive MA-100 rather than the costly MA-200. You'll probably need only two XLR inputs anyway.

The XL1/XL1S has a four-channel audio mixer built right in, so you can probably get away without an external field mixer for now.

Your idea of a boom and a shotgun for feature filmmaking is pretty good. If you have the crew to do it, you're probably even better off with two booms with shotgun mics. You could record with these two mics set to 16-bit audio for highest quality, or consider using 12-bit audio with four channels, two from these mics and two from the stereo mic on the camera for ambient sound... there are a number of different ways you can configure XL1 audio. That's one of the primary strengths of the camera.

I guess my main concern for you is your budget... if you really don't have a lot of cash to spend on this, then lower your gear requirements a bit... an XL1 with MA-100 will suffice just fine instead of an XL1S with MA-200, which is overkill... spend the $2000 you save this way on food and comfort of your crew and talent... this alone will do much more for the overall quality of your feature than any hardware will. Hope this helps,
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Old October 4th, 2001, 05:19 PM   #4
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Chris - I am amazed at you.
Your replies are exhaustive and very informative.
You go to such great lengths to explain stuff to people; you have the patience of a saint.
OK I have only been present on *this* board a short time but my experience on all the boards I tune into: (this one, exposure, ofa etc) is that there always seems to be the first time poster who says "what camera should I buy, what film should I use, I cant think of ideas for my films". There are a lot of you out there who have terrific patience keeping replying at length to these newcomers. Thank you for that - coz I couldn't do it. (No disregard to Matermind, this wasnt one of those posts).
You must be stuck to your computer and this board the amount of time you put in.

I know you have been around for a while now, when I bought my excel-one a couple of years ago I noticed your watch-dog pages even then. You certainly have gained a wealth of experience and pass it on freely and unconditionally.

I, for one, thank you very much, sincerely meant.

Cheers and good health from Northern Ireland in these troubled times.
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Old October 5th, 2001, 07:37 AM   #5
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Thanks so much for the response. Very helpful.

In regards to me buying the xl1 over the xl-1s:
I'm actually buying it for my production company and not for this feature film alone. I will be using this camera for all our future productions, shorts, another feature, corporate videos, event coverage etc...so it is really a long term investment. I actually really like and can use the features this camera has over the xl1.

In regards to the audio, my main concern is that the camera actually records good quality audio using a boom. I've recorded audio in the past using the on board mic from the xl1 and it was a windy day so my audio sounded like it belonged in TWISTER or THE PERFECT STORM. I feel a little reassured that using a boom (actually two as you suggested) will give me good audio. I don't want to spend all my time doing adr for every scene of a feature.
I'll have a crew of about 10 people and that will include a sound recordist and she can monitor audio levels for me and getting two boom people is no problem, my producers have really strong arms **wink**

I really appreciate your forum Chris because it gives me the reassurance that I'll have reliable information and tech. support throughout making my film.

thanks.
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Old October 5th, 2001, 10:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for the kind words, Pryce! And it's not just me, but others like Don Palomaki and Nathan Gifford who have gone out of there way to help out new folksfor a long time now.

Mastermind:

<< I'll have reliable information and tech. support throughout making my film. >>

Hopefully this will come from many other forum members, not just me. And hopefully you'll contribute back and help out somebody else someday.

Regarding wind noise... get rid of that cheap, worthless "wind screen" on your XL1 and get a *real* Equalizer wind sock from LightWave Systems (see article on the Watchdog). This will go a long, long way to improving your audio outside on windy days!
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