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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old August 12th, 2007, 06:21 AM   #31
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In the case of guitar violin exposed here, i think only a multitrack recording (with a mic close to each instrument) can do the deal.

I think you should not involve the camera in a problem that is only related to audio recording, especially if you set the level of quality to "professional".

Purchase a multitrack firewire audio mixer that can record several tracks to a laptop and then you can eventually remix as per the taste of the audience.(one DVD for the violin guy and one for the guitar guy, so everybody is happy).

On my own, i use the ALESIS multimix firewire (12 tracks, but the software provided is limited to 8 track ).

This discussion would be the same if you put a small light on the camera and then compare with professional lighted studio and say "the camera is not keeping up in picture quality while compared with shot taken by a professional team".
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Old August 12th, 2007, 06:40 AM   #32
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The funny part being that, after all, my in-camera recorded sound actually is almost keeping up - which might put the radio professional in a not so good light, but anyway :)

Thanks Giroud!
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Old August 12th, 2007, 10:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Christopher, I understand perfectly your being anxious about an investment in a new camera that might not fulfill your expectations, but believe me - I'm the same; I spent a couple of months trying to make up my mind on which way to go - the Canon A1 (which I tested for 6 weeks) or the V1 (which I had for 2 weeks before the Canon, and returned because of the early 25p problems). Considering all pros and cons, I have chosen the V1 after all. As you can see in my sig, I also had a CCD-VX3 Hi8 camcorder before I entered the digital world. I can assure you the V1's audio is no worse than that of the other two. Yes, with the supplied mic it's a bit low - but still adequate; with a hotter mic it doesn't show any flaws in my opinion. The only thing lacking is the ability of a single mic feeding both channels with different levels throught single input (CH1) - but you can use an Y-cable to feed them separately as a work-around.

I have also seen the measurements showing a dramatic dive of response to the left of a threshold frequency as high as 1200 Hz; have no idea what was the purpose of the person publishing them because - as I said - I trust my own ears, and I could hear it easily should it actually be a V1's 'feature'.

When you analyze the graph I posted, please note I have also boosted the high frequencies - I did it to "lighten" the overall sound atmosphere of a live recording in a rather noisy venue (a church), with plenty of reverbs present. This might be the reason of my first impression that the other recording was reacher in basses, as it was absolutely flat. - when I have time, I might try to remove the high freq boost, adjust the loudness of the 2 recordings and only then compare them in the bass department again. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks, Piotr. You've obviously put the V1 through it's paces. Good to know it has lived up to your standards.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 10:40 AM   #34
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For me the only thing missing on cameras audio sections is enough bottom end cutoff, I've more than once wished for a good roll off of 18dB/octave or more. Would have helped when untalented talent start banging on desks, kicking my mic stand or thumping my mic to see if it's on.
You could always engage the "Wind" filter.

For me, at least, I would prefer to get the audio as clean as possible. If there's low frequency noise that needs to be removed, I can do that easily enough in post.

If a camera manufacturer wants to add a low end roll-off to a camera's audio, that's fine with me - so long as it can be turned off. Imagine what it would be like if your camera had a non-defeatable "feature" that crushed shadow detail.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 10:43 AM   #35
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Well I've listened and looked. (and sorry Chris this is getting WAY of anything V1).
It's still about audio. ;)

Really, though, it's fine with me. I'm learning from your discussion.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #36
 
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
I have also seen the measurements showing a dramatic dive of response to the left of a threshold frequency as high as 1200 Hz; have no idea what was the purpose of the person publishing them because - as I said - I trust my own ears, and I could hear it easily should it actually be a V1's 'feature'.
The person that published that "scientific examination" of the audio on the V1 had purchased a greymarket cam that had a problem. He was tweaked because he had no warranty and thusly developed an issue with Sony. This was one area in which he had some knowledge, and therefore published the "data."

After chasing my tail and testing for a day and a half, I realized what had taken place and felt the fool for having been sucked in. Owning 6 V1's, having had content (and audio) recorded on them broadcast on CNN and other outlets, coupled with roughly 3 dozen training products using audio from the cam in addition to my own tests based on the heavily slanted "tests" published leads me to be as happy with MPEG audio as anyone could be. Bob points out some excellent considerations, although they are not relevant to the original discussion. Bottom line? What do your ears tell you, and what do your eyes see?
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Old August 12th, 2007, 11:03 AM   #37
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The AT mic you're looking at has the same problem as the one you've got, well not so much the mic as what you think it can do for you. Take a look at the polar plot in Narrow. Nothing, it's a mono hypercardiod. No doubt a very good one but that's not the way to get a good stereo image.
Actually, the AT835ST is a stereo shotgun microphone. It has two capsules, one with a line cardioid polar pattern and one with a figure eight polar pattern. Each capsule's polar pattern is shown separately on the AT835ST page. The line cardioid is "Mid" and the figure eight is "Side."

The mic's stereo image is generated by a built in Mid-Side decoder. The M-S decoder can also be disabled so that each capsule's signal can be recorded separately, one on each stereo track.

Now, obviously, being a stereo shotgun mic, the AT835ST isn't going to give you the same stereo image as a non-shotgun stereo mic like the AT825. Which one you choose should depend on your needs.

If you want to know more about the AT835ST's audio characteristics and how it performs, you can look at the Electronic Musician magazine review.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 02:13 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle View Post
in addition to my own tests based on the heavily slanted "tests" published
Douglas,
Did your tests reveal the true frequency response? Thanks. Just curious.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #39
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Bottom line? What do your ears tell you, and what do your eyes see?
Douglas, I'm not sure whether these were just rhetorical questions - because I, for one, have already answered them many times: I am satisfied with my V1E, both the picture and sound. Having said that, I can hear some bass deficit - but certainly not as dramatic as "those measurements" imply.

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Douglas,
Did your tests reveal the true frequency response? Thanks. Just curious.
Like Lee, I believe some hard figures from an independent and competent source would only help those who - like Christopher - would like to make as educated decision on buying their new camera as only possible.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Christopher Lefchik View Post
Actually, the AT835ST is a stereo shotgun microphone. It has two capsules, one with a line cardioid polar pattern and one with a figure eight polar pattern. Each capsule's polar pattern is shown separately on the AT835ST page. The line cardioid is "Mid" and the figure eight is "Side."

The mic's stereo image is generated by a built in Mid-Side decoder. The M-S decoder can also be disabled so that each capsule's signal can be recorded separately, one on each stereo track.

Now, obviously, being a stereo shotgun mic, the AT835ST isn't going to give you the same stereo image as a non-shotgun stereo mic like the AT825. Which one you choose should depend on your needs.

If you want to know more about the AT835ST's audio characteristics and how it performs, you can look at the Electronic Musician magazine review.
No doubt in Normal the mic does a pretty good job, my comment was directed to what it does in Narrow. As I said (or hope what I said was understood as), what's wrong isn't the mic. It's the idea that sound is like like light. Move back from the subject and you need a longer focal length lens to get the shot framed the same. The same doesn't apply to sound. Certainly we can build very narrow angle pickup microphones but that only works over a decreasingly narrow part of the spectrum plus lots of things happen to the sound as it travels and reflects off walls. Phased array mics do a very good job of side rejection but once you get so far away from the sound source that you need that much side rejection any chance of getting a stereo image is gone.


Kind of interesting thing is we've got a Sanken CMS 10, an even more expensive stereo shotgun than the AT. Some time ago it went out in the field to record much the same as Piotr was recording. Same mistake was made. The mic was placed way back in the venue and switched to Narrow and the user complains "It's not stereo!".

The AT and Sanken mics are made to be used as versatile on camera mics. Outdoors in Wide they'll give you good stereo sound. Indoors switched to Narrow they'll give you very good side and rear rejection, great for speech in a 'live' room or if you're an ENG guy covering a live event good enough pickup for news. At a pinch in the right place in Wide / Stereo they'd no doubt do a pretty good job too, although as the article referenced does say there's better (and probably cheaper) mics that'll handle that role better.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 05:14 PM   #41
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Christopher, thanks for the article link. It helped me realize that - apart from the possiblity of switching the MS matrix off - my Edirol offers the very same capabilities that the AT835ST does, only for half the price...:)

Bob, do you mean that the focus (or narrow) mode simply switches the S capsule off, leaving you basically with a mono directional shotgun? If so, then I made an awful mistake indeed. I was trying to narrow, and not disable, the stereo ambience...

EDIT: Bob, actually I'd aprreciate your answer on the question above, because I'd like to avoid mistakes like this in future. The microphone's manual doesn't say it effectively works as mono when switched to narrow (FOCUS), but - using my ears - I can confirm your observation there is very little, if any, difference between the L and R channels.
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Last edited by Piotr Wozniacki; August 13th, 2007 at 06:38 AM.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
No doubt in Normal the mic does a pretty good job, my comment was directed to what it does in Narrow. As I said (or hope what I said was understood as), what's wrong isn't the mic. It's the idea that sound is like like light. Move back from the subject and you need a longer focal length lens to get the shot framed the same. The same doesn't apply to sound. Certainly we can build very narrow angle pickup microphones but that only works over a decreasingly narrow part of the spectrum plus lots of things happen to the sound as it travels and reflects off walls. Phased array mics do a very good job of side rejection but once you get so far away from the sound source that you need that much side rejection any chance of getting a stereo image is gone.
Ah, understood. Very good point.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Christopher, thanks for the article link. It helped me realize that - apart from the possiblity of switching the MS matrix off - my Edirol offers the very same capabilities that the AT835ST does.
You're welcome!
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