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Old August 24th, 2003, 12:58 AM   #1
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Your suggestions - Creating the Setup

Hi all, first post here. I must say that I find this board an incredibly valuable tool and I'm glad I stumbled upon it at this point in time!

I'm gearing up to create a documentary that will start filming early next year for broadcast in early 2005 (ideally). I've exhausted myself doing some research and still have tons of work left to do, but at this early stage in the game I'm still deciding on some gear to acquire.

As far as cameras go, I've decided on at least one, possibly two XL1S', or perhaps the XL1S/GL2 combo a la Chris Ward's "Outwitting Hitler" (I know, he used a GL1, work with me. ; )

As far as editing goes, a G4 or G5 running FCP4.

Where I'm running into problems at the moment is audio. The audio has to be crisp. It's absolutely essential that we capture good sound.

There will be indoor and outdoors shots, consisting of everything from large public crowds to indoor private interviews.

I need suggestions for microphone setups and external DAT recorders. Brand names, links to reviews if possible...anything will do. I was never that audio oriented so I'm relying on your experience.

Suggestions on wireless lav mics and affordable boom solutions would be perfect. I'd love to know if there are any XL1S audio accessories that I need to buy as well.

Once again, I appreciate any and all help in this matter. I need to look at everything when preparing for filming and to be honest, it's all quite daunting on paper. Immense, really.

I would have posted this in the audio board, but I'm also open to any pointers concerning video, capturing for documentary, and capturing to conform to US (NTSC) broadcast standards.

Thanks again for your time, and I look forward to being an active member on this board!

Regards,

Rob Zeigler
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Old August 24th, 2003, 02:31 PM   #2
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http://www.dv.com/features/features_...eview/wilt0203 (you need to register)

Jay Rose writes that the Panasonic AG-DVX100 gives very good sound, so you might not need a DAT recorder if going to television. Mic placement and usage will likely be more helpful for getting clean sound.

There is also another article on the site which reviews many cameras, a mini-disc recorder, and a portable DAT machine. http://www.dv.com/features/features_...se_feature1102 Only the very expensive Sony camera (shoulder mounted), the MD, and the portable DAT are any good. The editor's guild magazine online reviews a portable MD recorder with some pro features.

If you're going to shoot a documentary, why not get something like a PD-150? It has good low light shooting and isn't tough to hold. dv.com's review of the panasonic dvx100 says that it has slightly better sensitivity and has excellent audio. Also consider the ergonomics of the cameras (the XL1 might be a bit tiring to hold) and the size and look of them (less fancy cameras will attract less attention).

dv.com has some information on audio recording and the audio forum there is great. dplay.com (jay rose's site) also has some information for audio recording.
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Old August 24th, 2003, 03:10 PM   #3
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Hi Glenn, thanks for those links!

The XL1S was a personal choice based on a couple of factors. The size doesn't bother me all that much - I actually found the size of the one I saw in person as quite comfortable compared to some larger JVC units I've used. I don't plan to hold it up for too long, either. The other factor was that, although I've owned Sony consumer camcorders before, the audio issues described in many articles (such as http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...o_Concerns.htm), just make me shy away from even hassling with the possibilities of malfunctions.

I also like the expandability of the XL1S for use in future documentaries. I like knowing that a lot of first and third party accessories are widely available.


I'm going to go register at dv.com. Thanks again!
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Old August 24th, 2003, 03:24 PM   #4
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First of all, welcome to the board Rob. Always nice to see another Floridian.

Now, as for using the XL1, I really suggest using a tripod for starters.

Now, I never did Interviews myself, but did edit a lot of them for SurfGuru.com. I can tell you where they went wrong. Most of the time, they relied on the cams mic, which really didn't cut it. They sometimes used a lav, but made the mistake of only using one on the interviewer, nothing on the interviewee. They also used a wired handheld, and ran it into an XLR adapter, maybe a Beachtek. That wasn't too bad.

What I have done in the past for my audio, was run my Azden wireless reciever into a Korg D12 digital recorder. It was great... could hold like 18 hours of CD quality audio. Downside was, it needed to be plugged in for power.

You are going about things the right way though. Capture your audio to a dedicated recorder that is meant for audio. Good luck with your project, and let me know if you need help. I'm not that far from you.
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Old August 24th, 2003, 04:34 PM   #5
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Keith,

Thanks for the welcome, and hello to you as well! Lovely weather down here, isn't it? (Sorry, just trying to make all of you in the north jealous :)

I did a search for the Kong D12 receiver (http://www.uncleikes.shoppingcartsplus.com/catalog/item/387836/106144.htm#image_1) and was wondering, what are the dimensions and weight of the unit? Are there any smaller units from Kong, perhaps with less features but similar quality recording for simple audio needs?

Tripod - definitely!! : )

As far as the wireless mics go, since you have some experience with them, can you recommend a good set to look into buying? 2 wireless lav mics, shotgun, and wireless receivers for the lavs.

Does the XL1S have the ability to connect that many mics? I'm assuming the MA-200 attachment is worth the investment as far as audio connections go (not to mention shoulder mounting/weight). Do you agree?

My apologies to the moderators if my topics are getting more into the audio threads of the forum! :)
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Old August 24th, 2003, 04:59 PM   #6
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Hey Rob... We'lll let the weather be our little secret, ok?

As far as the Korg, I believe it was about the same size as a phone book. The D12 was the old model, they are up to the D16 now, and seem to keep getting bigger. You might be able to find an old D8 on ebay. Again, the biggest downfall was that it wasn't battery powered and mobile. You might also look at Zoom digi recorders. I think they have a small 4 track for much less than Korg.

For wireless, I have always used the Azden WR22, about $300 for 2 lavs and reciever. I have been happy with them, but never really tried pushing them to the limit.

As for the Beachtek, alot of people swear by them. Me, I never used one. Like I said, I always tried to use a real audio recorder, and not the camera.
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Old August 24th, 2003, 05:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
As for the Beachtek, alot of people swear by them. Me, I never used one. Like I said, I always tried to use a real audio recorder, and not the camera.
Beackteks are great, I've never had any problems with them.
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Old August 24th, 2003, 06:01 PM   #8
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This thread is now teetering on the edge of being moved to the audio forum, but I have to ask...

Is the Beachtek not unlike the MA-200 accessory in that it provides the same type of connections?

Keith, I like the Azdens...love that price for the setup, too.

Thanks for the info. guys!
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Old August 24th, 2003, 06:54 PM   #9
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I believe the MA200 is also a shoulder rest as well. The beachtek just mounts to the cam to add a bridge between XLR connections and the cameras line in.
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