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Old January 3rd, 2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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XLR adapters and SOUND recording options for GH series

I shoot films, usually rehearsed scenes with actors although I have been known to shoot the odd documentary/ interview. I just got a GH1 and have a GH2 en route. I haven't yet handled a GH2. One question off the bat, does the GH2 have a headphone socket? I haven't heard that it does, can someone please respond with that info?

On looking into XLR adapters for the GH series I've come across a number of options, and I'd like to hear people's thoughts on getting good sound IN CAM. Having just completed a feature I can say that sync'ing sound is the BANE OF MY LIFE - I really hate doing it, but if I have to I will. What worries me more about location sound that is NOT recorded in IN CAM is the post production time it takes to Sync.

I have pro XLR mics/ radio mics with XLR connectors and I would like to use them. I also want to be able to operate this stuff if necessary, ON MY OWN> That is without a location sound operator as I hope to be able to produce smaller faster pieces without a crew following me about. One other thing is that I must keep an eye on budget.

An issue flagged by some is that cams can produce an auto gain which increases the noise in moments of silence. That may not be the correct explanation, but its an increased noise in silent moments. I understand that some XLR adapters produce a preamp signal that negates this. This is explained very well in the Juiced Link website:

JUICED LINK - JL-DT454 [JL-DT454] - $419.00 : juicedLink, Unique and Trusted Solutions for Audio and Video Production

and I understand this BEACHTEK does the same thing:

BeachTek DXA-5Da Passive DSLR Adapter

So to get crystal clear sound in with an XLR adapter, and monitor it via headphones it would seem I need to buy one of these? would that be correct?

Another option I am wondering about is to use one of these slightly pricey but highly recommended sound recorders. If on this option which would give a back up sound recording as a bonus do you think it would be possible to run sound through the recorder and to the camera (that is in the mic port via a simpler XLR adapter and out the Headphones port), allowing headphone monitoring en route as it were? This may be far fetched shoot me down for wishful thinking, if you like!

Olympus Ls10 or Ls11 - Olympus - LS-11

or

Sony PCM-M10 - Sony | Product Catalog Pro Audio

I'd really appreciate hearing peoples thoughts and about their own set ups on sound recording on the GH series. Thanks
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 04:18 PM   #2
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Why is syncing sound so bad? Do you have PluralEyes? I just ordered a Zoom H4N, and plan on getting PE. Apparently syncing is easy with it.
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 04:44 PM   #3
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ZOOM H4N - demo here - YouTube - Zoom H4n Is A Studio In The Palm Of Your Hand, But Weighs Much Less Than An Actual Studio

Ohhh I like it, thanks for the heads up on that Patrick. 2 XLR ports as well. Surely this could work the way the guy in the vid has it set up? The guy in the video must be recording with a mic set up going to camera.

This may be the ideal thing that I am looking for.

Just realised that PE is plural eyes, checking out a youtube video now!

As for Syncing. I've had to do hours of it. Lining up clapper to clap, if there's an easy quick way of doing it I'd love to know. Trying syncing a feature film. Phew.

thanks again!
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 04:52 PM   #4
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Thank the lord for forums!

If I had plural eyes a year ago I would have a huge chunk of my life back. Thanks again Patrick. Outstanding! I bow to your superior knowledge!

Pluraleyes demo - YouTube - Plural Eyes Canon 5D MK II Canon 7D
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Old January 3rd, 2011, 07:41 PM   #5
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sync'ing is not that big of a deal with decent onboard cam audio. A lot of people (myself included) are much faster than PE. Also, PE cannot handle audio drift which actually could be a problem with the panny cams (usually not the canons with the 12 min limit)
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Old January 4th, 2011, 02:11 AM   #6
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I will plug what I think is the best of the affordable small recorders. That being the Tascam DR100. I had the Zoom and exchanged it for the Tascam because I believe it holds two big advantages. 1) far better/more robust battery system. It has AA's as back up to the nLion. The Zoom's battery system is weak. 2) level dials. The Zoom uses menu based level controls. That's not viable for me -- to have to go into the menus to adjust the levels. The Tascam has nice sturdy knobs on the side that are easy to adjust. \

Sonically they're similar. I couldn't tell them apart.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #7
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From my point of view PE would be useful. I was in a situation where I was shooting every weekend capturing and doing "real work" during the week, and having to prep the next weekends shoot atthe same time. Anything to make life easier is of interest to me! sync'd perfect sound in camera is surely something to strive for? Then we can use sound into an external device as back up.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #8
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I am also considering what to do about sound for my GH2 when it arrives, and it is starting to be obvious to me that the best option for most will be the Tascam DR100. You can hook it up to the camera to record into the camera while also recording to its internal memory and it has phantom power when the Beachtek 5Da does not, has internal recording when the juicedlink does not, and from what I hear has better battery life and better level controls than the Zoom H4N (when i used the zoom the battery life and level controls seemed pretty bad). Oh and the Tascam seems to also be less expensive than all of the other above options.

As for pluraleyes, I've barely only used it briefly once, but from what I've heard, people who havent used it love the idea of it and people who have used it dont like it so much. I would definitely try it out quite a bit first before you base your workflow around it.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 05:53 PM   #9
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Thanks Noah. I think there's a trial of plural eyes, but iI'm not ready for syncing yet. On another feature film it would be very valuable.

I like the Tascam DR100 but its about 100- more expensive than the zoom H4N in the UK. I hear what you are saying re battery life on the zoom its been mentioned on a review. Both great devices though for sure.
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Old January 4th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #10
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Just got my Zoom H4N today in the mail =) One thing I really liked about the Zoom was the ability to record with the built-in stereo mics along with the XLR's. The DR-100 doesn't do that. This appealed to me because I film live comedy shows and whatnot. On my Canon XHA1 when using the XLR inputs the built-in mic gets defeated. I need the omnidirectional capability to pick up the crowd response along with the XLR's to pick up the board feed from the stage mic. Up until now I've been using a Rode NTG-2 to pick up crowd noise, which isn't ideal because it has a supercardiod polar pattern. Having a separate audio recorder is nice because if using a boom pole you're not tethered to the camera.
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Old January 6th, 2011, 07:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Yuan-Vogel View Post
I am also considering what to do about sound for my GH2 when it arrives, and it is starting to be obvious to me that the best option for most will be the Tascam DR100. You can hook it up to the camera to record into the camera while also recording to its internal memory and it has phantom power when the Beachtek 5Da does not, has internal recording when the juicedlink does not, and from what I hear has better battery life and better level controls than the Zoom H4N (when i used the zoom the battery life and level controls seemed pretty bad). Oh and the Tascam seems to also be less expensive than all of the other above options.
+1 on the DR-100, along with the level knobs (which is huge plus for me compared to zoom) and all other points made thus far, it's the way to go.
The only downer with regards to the GH2 and this setup is that you can't truly monitor what is being recorded into the GH2....why Panasonic, oh why is a headphone jack so difficult to include. Because the sound recorded by this little cam is actually pretty good, very usable. Of course using the DR-100 track and syncing is not the end of the world since you could use headphones from it.
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Old March 20th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #12
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Re: XLR adapters and SOUND recording options for GH series

I want to see if I could revive this thread. Has anyone used the Beachtek DXA-SLR with the GH2 yet?

I have a Zoom recorder (owned it for years before the GH2) but I've never been satisfied with it. Just too difficult to use as an audio recorder much less at the same time as recording video if I am doing audio and video alone. And the battery life is very poor. A fresh set of batteries is a must for each session. It should have been designed for 4 AA batteries not 2. On a tripod bound indoor interview shoot, the Zoom is fine.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:32 AM   #13
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Re: XLR adapters and SOUND recording options for GH series

Has anyone tried this mixer? The price seems to be right.

juicedLink CX211 Audio Mixer and Preamplifier CX211 B&H Photo
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Old March 21st, 2011, 10:52 AM   #14
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Re: XLR adapters and SOUND recording options for GH series

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Forrest View Post
Has anyone tried this mixer? The price seems to be right.

juicedLink CX211 Audio Mixer and Preamplifier CX211 B&H Photo
Jim, the price is good but it lacks phantom power and AGC disabling. Btw, *can* the gh1 or gh2 AGC be disable by third party devices?

Mainly this thing seems to be an XLR interface, but since it doesn't provide 48v I'm not sure what the point is unless you're using something like the ME66/K6 mic.

John Faihurst tested the more expensive version and got awesome results, so the units are great but the units you'd want cost more than the dedicated decks like the DR100.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 08:02 AM   #15
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Re: XLR adapters and SOUND recording options for GH series

When you say the unit lacks phantom power you mean that what ever mike you use has to be self powered. Wouldn't a wireless lav work if its powered by AA batteries like mine is?
Not sure you can disable the AGC on the camera, if you did, what level would it be set at.
On my Nikon D7000 there are various levels you can set the audio to but it is still an AGC but at least you can make it less sensitive,
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