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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:38 PM   #1
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best sound with z1

majority of my projects are interviews
i have a senheiser system that i use the wireless mic to capture the audio
settings for my xlr are set to cut at 6db

problem i am facing is that for the most part when the person is talking the letter S is very sharp in recordings. and in compressions for web they start to sound like a wisp.

what settings should i use to make this smoother?
thanks for your help
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Old June 4th, 2008, 12:55 AM   #2
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I cannot speak to some of the more complicated compression issues, but sibilance (the sounds of a ssssssnake in s's) is often a quality of the microphone more than anything else. Next is proximity and the speaker's habits.

The compression scheme of the Z-1 in HD for audio is a weak point. I'd be curious if you experience the same issue shooting in DVCam.... where the audio is uncompressed in the Z-1.

My best guess is that your microphone selection/placement might use some adjusting.... but like I said at the top, I'll wait for others more experienced (Ty, Dan and Wayne come to mind readily) to chime in.

(ps. In interviews, why use a wireless if you can use a wired mic? If these are sit downs consider a hypercardiod and a static boom.)
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Old July 30th, 2008, 11:07 PM   #3
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When using an external microphone, ensure that the Z1's "Noise Reduction" (Noise Cancelling) is off. Otherwise it can actually introduce noise especially on sibillance. Guess how I learned that!
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:21 AM   #4
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Currently my Z1 is on loan in use as a sound recorder in MiniDV mode 48K for dialogue looping with a good mike and results are pleasing. Good clean, no-hiss audio. The esses are a bit crisp in places but could be pulled down as they are not overblown.

Last edited by Bob Hart; July 31st, 2008 at 03:24 AM. Reason: error
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Old July 31st, 2008, 08:33 AM   #5
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In an Interview situation I always make sure my trim setting in the camera is set to -18db which keeps pre-amp hiss to a minimum and also have noticed that running the audio where it barely hits red on my LCD audio meters works well for this MPEG audio situation, sure wish it was PCM audio but its not.Also always make sure that the phantom power on the XLR input that you are not using is turned off. One thing I learned early on with the Z1 is to run the audio as hot as you can(hitting the red on LCD meter and then in post bring it down a bit). It is also amazing the difference in mic selection with compressed audio. The difference in a ME66 to a Schoeps is day and night, and a wireless to a shotgun is also day and night. Allot of people would say B.S. to that idea but even a little variation in sound to me is a big difference especially dealing with compressed MPEG audio.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John M. McCloskey View Post
One thing I learned early on with the Z1 is to run the audio as hot as you can(hitting the red on LCD meter and then in post bring it down a bit).
Do you have a limiter or compressor in the audio chain then, or how do you prevent clipping? I know it's a trade-off with 16 bit recording, but going to high and result in clipping is worse in my book than staying low and add some gain later.

I've had consistently good results with audio from interviews with my Z1 in HDV mode using a field mixer. I have an SD302; with the limiter engaged I can safely run the recording levels in the camera a little higher. I would not rely on the Z1's built-in limiter, though.

- Martin
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Old July 31st, 2008, 01:37 PM   #7
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Absolutly a field mixer in the chain works better than a straight XLR input from mic to camera. But without a mixer, bumping the red meter on LCD meter always has given us a more dynamic range than running it low and introducing gain and pre-amp noise into the audio in post. Just what we have noticed over the years.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 02:20 PM   #8
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I slipped up and forgot to mention for the looping we are using a MixPre and the Z1 line-in audio is set to -12db for the 0db tone out of the MixPre to give us some headroom for the loud bits.

It is working fine to MiniDV audio and it is sweet when captured to the NLE and played back - no hiss.
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