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Old May 30th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #1
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Voice over tool

Ok folks, bear with me.
I will soon be voicing some of my work.
(poor captive audience.)
In lue of recording audio to tape,
I used the VO tool for the first time yesterday.

I have a SD Kona card and FCP 5 and a Mackie board.

I could not figure out anyway to record audio using the mic straight into the board or even into a line from the card.
I was able to record using the camera and the DV audio input. However it was a pain as the cam is an Ikegami 7A which is bulk to be moving around in the edit suite.
Is there some magic box that will do what the camera did?
thx
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Old May 30th, 2007, 01:04 PM   #2
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Gary,

All you need is a way to adapt whatever microphone you're using to the input required by your Mac.

If you have a simple mic with a mini-pin, you can literally just plug it to the sound input of your computer and record directly to the Mac's hard drive.

If you're using a more sophisticated mic - perhaps terminated in a balanced XLR connector - you need something that can adapt it's XLR output to a mini-pin for connection to the mac.

Or you can use a USB audio interface to provide mic input to the mac. When you hook one up, the Mac will suddenly "see" that new input in the Sound area of the control panel.

There are a thousand variations of this, using USB mic adaptors, actual audio mixers, etc. but at it's heart, all Mac's have audio inputs and can properly amplify mic levels to get a proper recording.

Just fiddle around a while, and check the manuals - it's pretty straightforward.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
all Mac's have audio inputs and can properly amplify mic levels to get a proper recording.
With all due respect Bill, I have to correct you on this. My iMac's audio input is line level only (but it does have a built in mic at the base). On a friend's dual G5 tower, he has to use a Griffin iMic device to plug the mic into so I suspect that his audio input is line level only as well.

I'm using a Tascam USB interface on my iMac.

-gb-
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #4
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I found a device that looks to solve my problem.
Is anyone familiar with this?

http://uk.gizmodo.com/lightsnake_for_mics.jpg

I just can't find a dealer.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #5
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My tascam us428 broke with the advent of 10.4.9...they changed the usb drivers somehow and the unit just stopped working (anyone with a fix should shout out now please :) ). Now I use an XLR > mono mini > stereo mini adaptor from my line level output of my Shure XLR Portable Mixer. Works like a champ...the trick for you will be to convert to line level to get into your computer at a recording friendly level.
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Old May 30th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #6
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For a value mic preamp, see ART Tube MP @ $70. I find the computer a little noisy for vo work, I instead use a video camera and then capture it to a computer. I also like visual cues provided by video to sort through takes. You can also move to a better acoustics location such as a car.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 03:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Boston View Post
With all due respect Bill, I have to correct you on this. My iMac's audio input is line level only (but it does have a built in mic at the base). On a friend's dual G5 tower, he has to use a Griffin iMic device to plug the mic into so I suspect that his audio input is line level only as well.

I'm using a Tascam USB interface on my iMac.

-gb-
Interesting.

Since I typically don't do direct audio recording on my Macs other than the firewire based stuff I do during production, I didnt' realize that macs are typically Line level input only - but that's what the Apple site says, so it appears you're absolutely correct Greg.

Seems odd to me though - since Macs MUST have the built in capability to take a mic level input and boost it to the proper level for all the iSight cameras little built in mics.

So the mic/line level conversion must already take place in some part of the hardware - odd they don't give the user access to it via a mic port.

Ah well, that's what's fun about computers - no matter how long you've been using them, there's ALWAYS something more to learn!

Thanks for the correction.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 04:12 PM   #8
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iSight goes through different circuitry than the audio input.
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Old May 31st, 2007, 04:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
Seems odd to me though - since Macs MUST have the built in capability to take a mic level input and boost it to the proper level for all the iSight cameras little built in mics.
The iSight is a firewire interface camera. So the audio comes in just as it would from a dv camera. I've done that before with an XL2 as the intermediate since the XL2's pre-amp wasn't too terrible. Plugged into the XLR on back of camera and fed the firewire audio in to FCP. Oddly enough, Soundtrack Pro won't accept DV audio as an input source. Maybe they changed that in FCS2, I don't know.

regards,

-gb-
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Old June 1st, 2007, 12:11 AM   #10
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The external iSight camera goes through FW, th einternal ones I have no clue how they've magically wired them in (iMacs, MacBooks). So I generalized and just said different circuitry (which FW *technically* is). :)
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Old June 1st, 2007, 08:51 AM   #11
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I'm far from an expert in such things on the Mac (yet), but my understanding of the architecture is that the audio stream from a video device like a camera isn't split out and treated as a Core Audio device. It's a single A/V stream to the OS.

To put it another way, I'm able to mix'n'match USB, FireWire and built-in audio interfaces by creating aggregate device sets in the Audio Midi Setup. That Audio Midi Setup doesn't see my HV20 when it's plugged in and otherwise functional in iMovie/FCE, so adding it to an aggregate device isn't an option.

The only way I can think of to get around the problem quickly, if all you have is the camera's mic, is to capture video, strip the audio track and import the audio track into your editor of choice.
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