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Old January 23rd, 2007, 05:03 PM   #1
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EMERGENCY! Vision Mixers

I had hoped to be using a vision mixer to streamline our shoots of dramatic and musical performances at school, using a 3-camera setup.
Well, I just got off the phone with my teacher, and he tells me we got the money (800 and/or a little more) to get a vision mixer/live switch whatever you call it. He also told me bring in the model number and other specs etc tomorrow!

I had my eye on the Edirol V-1 vision mixer. Is this a good choice for the budget?
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:04 PM   #2
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There are some old threads on vision mixers if you do a search. Something like the Panasonic MX50 might be a good choice.

The Edirol V-1 might be annoying. Look through the manual and see what the process is for doing a cut. From what I remember of the V-4, you have to select your two shots (cutting from one to the other of course). Then you have to hit the "cut" transition button, *AND* you have to move the T-bar all the way to the other side.

On other mixers it's just one button, and you can't screw it up by not moving the T-bar all the way. When you screw it up on the Edirol, it will cut back to your original shot. *I just skimmed through the V-1 manual, and am not sure how you would perform a cut on it. Perhaps it is a wipe of 0.0 seconds.

2- Live edits are hard to pull off without having good camerapersons, and that can be hard in a high school where it's just students with little experience. Those with experience will eventually graduate. In my experience anyways, it always ends up that you need to mix stuff in post to cover mistakes. Perhaps a faster workflow would be to use multicam tools, like FCP5+ or Vegas/scripting (Ok, haven't tried this). And always have a master shot that you can cut to.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:09 PM   #3
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Yes I found a thread, but it didn't have anything too appealing except Edirol equipment. The Panasonic MX50 is way out of the budget.
And yes, I noticed that it didn't really have a simple cut transition. I though you would do the same, 0 second wipe.

My classmate thought multicamming in FCP would be good, but I'm not sure he can do that. I believe he has FCP Express. He mentioned something about it though...
Even so, we wanted to take time out of the editing, so a live switch would be great. We are all very good and experienced cameramen, so maybe we can pull it off. But it would only be good for now less than a year because, like you said, we're graduating.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 08:26 PM   #4
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Deleted post, sorry.
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Old January 24th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #5
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If you are willing to drop your live mix to S-video, consider a Panasonic MX-12. It was built for two live inputs, but does have a third video input. A bit tricky to access in a live shoot, but managable. As I remember, it doesn't require moving the T-bar to execute a cut.

My approach, however, would be to connect your cameras to a hard drive via firewire to a laptop computer (and then to an external hard drive) during the shoot. Then set up a multi-clip capture in FCP. This allows a rough mix in capture mode which can be refined after the multi-clip sequence is comitted to the timeline.

The only way to make this work on the first pass is to have all camera operators on a head set communication system. The cheap way is to use those consumer radio systems. Use four. One for the director and one for each camera person. Do not allow two way communication. The Director defines camera angles and the camera operators obey.

Think the shoot through. Resolve the sticky points before they can occur.

Best Wishes.
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