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Old October 20th, 2006, 10:56 AM   #1
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Audio and the JVC

I'm trying to improve the quality of the audio I'm capturing on my JVC HD 100U.

So far I've usually had a shotgun mic or wireless connected directly to the xlr connections and recorded sound directly on the camcorder.

I confess my guilt to being someone who stresses over visuals and thinking of sound last. So I strive to mend my ways.

I know sound is a whole thread and field, but for one step I'm thinking I could hook my mics to a mixing board, have someone man the mixing board, then record from the mixing board to the camera.

At the risk of sounding dopey (not that I ever let that stop me) I would need a mixing board with an xlr connection IN (from the mic) and an xlr connection OUT (to feed to the camera), yes?

I haven't tried that with this camera, so I'm posting here.

As always, grateful for all your experience... if there's another thread that addresses, please to forgive........
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Old October 20th, 2006, 12:20 PM   #2
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mic placement and proximity is going to raise your audio quality far more then running a mic through a mixer then to your camera. Besides, it is most likely that any mixer you add won't be too much better then the pre amps on the cam itself (unless you get a really nice (read: expensive) mixer)
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Old October 20th, 2006, 04:46 PM   #3
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The best way to increase your audio quality would probably be to record audio to a separate digital recorder with synced timecode. That, and getting a boom op.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 07:10 PM   #4
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I already use the a shotgun mic on a bom, which helps. I feel my audio quality is not terrible, but it certainly could be improved.

I know there are a lot of factors in audio quality, but as far as equipment goes, I guess the next step would have to be the separate audio.

Of course, that would be worth it if I spent the $$ to get a separate recorder that's better quality audio than the camera.... plus have a good way to sync it back up.....

As Spock said to T'Pol '...perfectly, flawlessly logical....'
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Old October 20th, 2006, 11:10 PM   #5
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Yes, go the route of double sound. You wont regret it. I do it all myself and you can capture incredible sound quality without a whole sound crew. I use a Metric Halo ULN-2 straight to laptop. Also, time code is not really that essential as syncing up later is not that difficult at all. You just use on board mic as your guide track ( a good clap at the beginning of takes helps).

Rob
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Old October 21st, 2006, 01:08 AM   #6
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Korg D888

I bought a Korg D888 for this very thing. I didn't want to get tied to a laptop, or use the cameras audio inputs, so I got this. The sound quality is pretty good, good enough for me anyway. I just finished recording the score to a short film I'm working on. I will start recording foley with it this week. Very easy to use system, records into .wav format, usb into computers, good price point.
Cheers,
Jon
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Old October 21st, 2006, 01:24 AM   #7
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Yes, some might consider the laptop a pain in the ass. But I am so used to it now it is second nature and I am addicted to the great sound of the Metric Halo ULN-2. Sound is particularly important to me as I do a lot of foley and also music stuff. The Metric Halo software includes an incredibly simple and stable recording interface, the best I have used.

Rob
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Old October 21st, 2006, 02:44 PM   #8
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Two words: GOOD SOUNDMAN

To qualify just a bit; even the best separate recording system is not going to be better than a good soundman. Not only will he(she) make sure they use good microphones and recording techniques but they typically can also help with lighting and equipment in general. Just like anyone else I have many jobs that simply, and very unfornunately, don't have the budget for a soundman but if there is any possibility to hire one - just do it. I bet you anything that sound recorded by a good soundman straight to the camera will be better than a separate rigged system operated by the cameraman.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 06:24 PM   #9
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in my dreams

When I have some $$ to throw around I will hire a sound person, my equipment, theres, whatever. But for now, on my $2.95 budget films, I mostly shoot MOS and add everything later. One more point about the D888, it's 8 in and 8 out with 64 virtual tracks, so it's great for live sound, like a band or anything a PA is used for, or for recording sound with several mics. So I'm dreaming of a sound person, an ADP, an AD, and enough $$ to hire talented people for the positions...ahhh someday.
Jon
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Old October 21st, 2006, 07:30 PM   #10
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Jiri, this is not necessarily the case. I do sound recording as well so I am lucky to have the experience and equipment to do it properly. However, with today's technologies and a bit of determination it really is possible for one person to get sound which is as good as it gets. I have also used a soundman on gigs and wished sometimes I hadnt (though I know you did say GOOD soundman).

Rob
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Old October 21st, 2006, 09:20 PM   #11
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Robert, I have worked as a soundman in Toronto for five years on gigs such as CBC The Health Show, Venture and Market Place, CTV News, ABC, NBC, docs, corporate - you name it. My point was that even if you have a very good and expensive mike (and recorder or whatever other audio gear) but you are working alone, it won't be better than a soundman who can place various microphones (booms, lavs, etc.) where they work best and ride the levels. There is simply no substitute. As I mentioned before I often work alone too and I know that I am not always getting the best sound, regardless of equipment. If I cannot reach with the boom after the subject while operating the camera, I simply won't get the same results. I may move physically closer and try to get it on the camera mike but that may or may not work depending on circumstances. I may also force me to compromise with my shot in order to get the sound. I realize that we cannot always afford a bigger crew but what I was saying is, let's keep it in perspective. Instead of investing disproportioned amounts of money in equipment, it may be sometimes better to spend it in crew. That's all.
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Old October 21st, 2006, 10:19 PM   #12
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Jiri, we might be saying the same thing. It is just that I dont want to discourage people from striving for better sound. You can do a lot on your own but it took me about five years of experience to get there with it. I agree that you could blow a lot of money on expensive equipment and that it would be wasted if you did not put the effort into learning how to use it properly. This is difficult if you do not work with the equipment all the time and get the real world experience of sound recordists. So, yes, I do agree that if I had the budget for it I would always invest in a good sound person. Not having sure does force you to think real hard about how to get excellent sound. I have worked out ways of dealing with it which work for me.

Regards,

Rob
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Old October 21st, 2006, 11:28 PM   #13
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I hear you, Robert... I guess my point is to make people aware that even if they spend lots of money in high-end audio gear, they may still not get great results simply because it's not always possible and it's not always equal to the quality of equipment. My suggestion is - if you are a shooter, consider good wireless system (perhaps two) and a decent camera microphone. Always listen through good headphones (not the little ear bud on the camera) and if there is need for more complex audio, try to get a soundman.
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 01:25 AM   #14
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Good advice. If you are going to spend money do it on a great wireless system like Lectrosonics and say a Sanken Cos11 lapel mic which gives a great sound (quite like a boom mounted mic). Then you have mobility, can concentrate on your pictures and at least have the possibility of capturing great sound too.

I cant help thinking of my shoot tomorrow. Composer who plays "ruined Piano" - four of them are in his kitchen. As it is a very controlled environment I am doing sound an pictures. I am using Cos11 inside the pianos and a gefell omni to capture the big room sound. The two mixed together are awesome.

Rob
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Old October 22nd, 2006, 07:09 AM   #15
 
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Without the finances to hire a soundman, I've been using a couple of Presonus Comp16 compressor/limiters in my recording stream. This allows me to raise the volume above what I can record without limiting and increase my S/N. It also flattens out volume changes. It works a lot better than AGC built into some cams
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