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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 August 4th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #1
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Sony HVR-Z1U Audio Question

I'm considering the purchase of the Sony HVR-Z1U but have read that recorded audio does not sound good on the master tape but is fine when down-converted for editing. One of my uses of the camera would be to record a live event to tape but also to a DVD recorder via a Firewire Cable. Copies of the DVD master would be distributed at the event. Question: Will the audio recorded live on the DVD sound OK? Thanks for your help.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 09:30 PM   #2
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Yes.

Generally, the sound is fine on these cameras. Any sort of voice application sounds great. Those who are recording musical performances frequently think about a separate recorder and sync in post.

I've done this with a Z1 and Sound Devices 744T, end results were outstanding (a really good mic in the right place helps a lot!), but syncing was not what I expected. There are some old threads on the experiences I and others have had with this in the audio forum, but the short story is you can't depend on HDV timecode into your NLE and need other methods to achieve sync.

Never done in-camera down conversion to DV with this camera - kept it in HD through the edit, then converted to SD when I was done. Nice pictures!

I've never tried the specific application of down-conversion on the fly to output via firewire to a DVD recorder, but if you stay with the 16-bit audio it should be fine as well.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 09:34 PM   #3
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Z1U Audio

I will be recording music. Do you believe the audio will still be OK?
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Old August 5th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #4
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Several things on audio recording.

1) A good mic or a pair of them will always make a great difference, particularly when it is well placed. That is valid even for recording audio in the Z1 itself.

2) If you are recording music always try to use at least two microphones. Place them on a mic stand at such a distance that the mics will cover the combo group. That will depend upon how many instruments are being played, so there's not really a rule. Not too close, not too far. If the acoustics are good you can go farther. You will have to listen to a rehearsal and try different positions to see which sounds best.

3) Recording double-system (with separate audio recorder) is always the best way, and that is valid for ALL video cameras, including the most sophisticated HD Camera Alta cameras.

4) Use the on-camera audio as a guide to find the music parts and look at the waveforms to synchronize them with your double-system audio track.

5) If possible record non-stop takes of every song, both on video and audio, and then synchronize them all together on your editor. Then just pick the pieces you want for the final edition and put them on the upper video track. That should make synchronizing easier.

There are some professional audio recorders, from Marantz, that record onto CD, not DVD. Look for recorders that record PCM audio.
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