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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 10:52 AM   #1
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MPEG 1 Audio Layer II

from the sony site:
The HDR-FX1 records audio in MPEG1 Audio Layer II while recording in HDV format that provides outstanding sound quality even when compressed.

this can't be good...thats worse then mp3 compression, i hope the pro camera is different
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 03:23 PM   #2
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It's part of the HDV spec and is the same as the JVC camera uses.
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Old October 22nd, 2004, 04:36 PM   #3
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i did not know this..this is very bad news for me...

naturally i would like the least amount of compression on my master audio
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Old October 23rd, 2004, 05:34 AM   #4
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In my understanding this does not NEED to be worse than MP3,
it all depends on bitrates. I pretty sure an MP2 at 512 kbps will
outdo an MP3 at 128 kbps for example. So the real question is,
what bitrate are they using.... ofcourse, you won't get it as
pristine as the uncompressed PCM 48 kHz/16 bit track in regular
DV mode.
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Old October 24th, 2004, 08:18 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Rob Lohman : In my understanding this does not NEED to be worse than MP3,
it all depends on bitrates. I pretty sure an MP2 at 512 kbps will
outdo an MP3 at 128 kbps for example. So the real question is,
what bitrate are they using.... ofcourse, you won't get it as
pristine as the uncompressed PCM 48 kHz/16 bit track in regular
DV mode. -->>>

If it's anything like the HD10u, then the audio will be 384kbps, 48kHz at 16 bit. If that's dissapointing, then you can always get a different cam that does better (or be resourceful and devise a work-around).

I'm sure if you want to get a camera like the FX1, the image quality is what you're really after, rather than the level of sound capture. After all; it is HD Video, not HD Audio.....
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Old October 24th, 2004, 11:04 PM   #6
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"I'm sure if you want to get a camera like the FX1, the image quality is what you're really after, rather than the level of sound capture. After all; it is HD Video, not HD Audio....."

i want dv pcm audio, don't want to take two steps foward with video only to take 2 steps back with audio...

since when is having a good picture an excuse to capture poor audio???
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Old October 25th, 2004, 03:29 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Robert Mann Z. :

i want dv pcm audio, don't want to take two steps foward with video only to take 2 steps back with audio...

since when is having a good picture an excuse to capture poor audio??? -->>>

Seems like you've solved you're dilemma about the value of possible purchase of the FX1 for you then.

It's always good to see people resolve an issue that could lead to disappointment in a product prior to their purchase of any equipment.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 05:52 AM   #8
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I doubt much people will hear the difference (especially from an
onboard camera mic that is capturing environment sounds)
between 384 kbps mpeg1 layer 2 audio and uncompressed PCM.
Even if you where to use a high quality mic to capture actors
performing their lines I doubt it will degrade that signal much.

And as said before if this is an issue why not get an external
recording device that is not compressed and sync that up later.

The end product is usually a mix between all sort of audio sources
and music and is compressed in the end as well. I don't hear (much)
people complain about Dolby Digital AC3/dts audio encoding on
a DVD (which for AC3 5.1 is 786 kps in total usually [ie. less than
150 kbps per channel]!) but the best ears. I know I don't hear
the difference, I know an audio buddy of mine does.

As people have said: focus on the story first. You are still going
to get an amazing picture and audio feed from such a camera
(with consideration to lighting and other production values), but
your movie will succeed or fail with the story.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 09:38 AM   #9
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working with compressed audio files does not give you much elbow room..nuff said on that

as far as sync audio to video, i haven't had to do this since my 16mm days and it adds way too much work in the post for me...
i don't shoot movies...so i don't have a the luxury of cine turn around time...

audio for me is just as important as video, i like the audio my dvx grabs, i may wait to see what else comes out next year, panasonic is not in the hdv group maybe they will, again break from the norm and provide affordable pro equipment
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Old October 25th, 2004, 09:53 AM   #10
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Layer 2 at 384 kbps is better quality than Layer 3 at same bitrate.
Never heard somebody telling me at the Cinema: "Hey!.Do you hear it? I should have been recorded with Mpeg1 Layer 2 for sure!! "
It is the same kind of discussion as CD audio against DAT...

Believe it or not, audio compressed with Layer 2 gets far less degraded than a 1440x1080 (?) image at 25 Mbps...
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Old October 25th, 2004, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
working with compressed audio files does not give you much elbow room
Generally speaking, the only problems with compressed audio are when a) you don't have a high enough bit-rate and/or b) you keep decompressing and recompressing. If your editing package decompresses HDV audio on input and keeps it uncompressed until the final output, it should be fine in 99.9% of cases.

Certainly I've dropped MP3 and Minidisk audio into movies I've edited and no-one's ever complained. And I've spoken to people who make a living doing sound work who've said that these days they're often emailed MP3 files at the last minute to drop into broadcast sound-tracks.
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Old October 25th, 2004, 11:52 AM   #12
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<<<-- I've spoken to people who make a living doing sound work -->>>

i'm one of them...i don't use audio compression ever in my projects, i can tell a difference and thats all that matters...
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Old October 26th, 2004, 12:32 AM   #13
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Wow! I only wish that I had the quality microphones, and control over their placement, and the 99% noise suppression kit on the camera motors and background noise etc etc etc so that my big remaining worry would be the mp2 compression artifacts I'm getting!

Given that the background music and foley can all be uncompressed audio, using the camera's high-bitrate mp2 on live audio is quite honestly a COMPLETE non-issue for me.

But as always, other people's milage will vary....
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Old October 26th, 2004, 02:00 AM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Graham Hickling : 99% noise suppression kit on the camera motors -->>>

we never use on camera mics...
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Old October 28th, 2004, 05:57 PM   #15
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<<<-- Originally posted by Juan M. M. Fiebelkorn

Never heard somebody telling me at the Cinema: "Hey!.Do you hear it? I should have been recorded with Mpeg1 Layer 2 for sure!! "

That's not the best argument. First, when you listen to Dolby Digital in a theatre, you are listening to one generation of encoding.
If you use the FX1 audio for production sound, it still needs to be processed many times 'till the final master. And on the final format, compressed again.

Second (IMHO, of course) Dolby Digital sounds awfull. The best test is to listen to the same DVD with DTS and DD soundtracks. I recommend "Master and Commander"for this test. Not my favorite movie, but the DTS soundtrack is wonderfull. Even my wife that doesn't care for sound notice the big difference.

We can argue that the FX1 is a consumer product. Fine, but the "pro" (?) level Z1 have the same problem. I do not get it. Give me at least 1 uncompressed channel (mono) and not two handicapped channels that are not even good for production dialoge, that is MONO.

Me? I'll go directly to ProTools.

cheers

Ric
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