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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 28th, 2004, 01:23 AM   #1
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stereo - or two channel mono?

Have any of you PDX10 owners ever come across this? I'm hearing that the PDX 10 has a different firewire algorithm (Sony
Pro) which is two channel mono sound instead of one stereo channel. I'm told there is a distinct difference, though in my book 'two channel mono' is exactly what 'one channel stereo' is. You could have one mic in this room and the other mic down the hall. The stereo sound-stage would be ghastly, but it's still stereo.

So is it true that if you use the PDX10 in DVCAM mode on a simple firewire card you get the camera right channel in both channels after importing into Premiere 6.5 and Premiere shows it as 16Bit mono in the bin? I hear that it is ok in Premiere Pro.

I certainly didn't know that - and this is NOT detailed in the spec of the product - the specs PDF says only this this about audio:
Rec 48 kHz/16-bit, 32 kHz/12-bit.

When I tested the camera I had indeed used bog-standard Mini DV (as against Mini DVCAM tapes at 5x the price) and I had recorded in SP to give me an hour's testing rather than the 40 mins if I'd switched to DVCAM. But I had recorded using the on-board stereo microphones so would have expected to have captured the audio in stereo and see no reason to not have
done so.

Just maybe (why?) Sony have wired it such that upping the tape speed to DVCAM mode ignores one audio channel. Again, why would they do that? I must admit that in all my 5800 words of testing, carrying out that particular test didn't even occur to me.

Any thoughts anyone?

tom.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 08:22 AM   #2
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Tom,

I don't know if I got it right but there is indeed a problem capturing audio with the pdx-10. When I capture to Vegas 4, it only captures one channel of audio. If I capture with sclive, I get the normal two channels of stereo audio (48 kHz/16-bit). I am recording on regular tape in SP mode (60 min).
I have heard that most programs have problems capturing stereo audio from the pdx-10. Kind of bummed me out but sclive does it correctly as far as I can tell from the demo version.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 11:41 AM   #3
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This seems to be known bug affecting PC users with Vegas, something to do with the Windows Firewire implementation. It does not affect users of any video apps on the Mac.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 11:10 PM   #4
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I rang Sony about this because I was concerned about not capturing left and right channel in 48k. (It captures both at 32k)
The speed of the tape is not the issue.

They said it is not a fault but a deliberate design feature.
Other cameras that record stereo have a flag type message to indicate to the firewire that it is stereo.

On the PDX10, having two mono channels does not set this flag off and therefore records only one channel. This is of course only true of the consumer software (that includes premiere according to Sony) The advantage for the professional is a more controlled and superior sound recording. (supposedly)

In another recent thread on this board, it was suggested that we capture with ScenalyzerLive. I tried this prog and it works great.
Full stereo with no probs.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #5
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> The advantage for the professional is a
> more controlled and superior sound recording. (supposedly)

Nonsense. A data stream with two channels is a stereo data stream all over the world. It's just a stupid thing they did which combined with a stupid thing Microsoft did results in a stupid thing happening. Sorry it just pisses me that they gave you such a lame answer. Even if I don't prefer Premiere (I moved on to FCP), it's a professional product and they have no reason whatsoever to blame Adobe for a bug which is more Microsoft's responsibility. If they were bold enough to use Firewire in a way no one has ever used it before, they should at least have checked that it worked well on Windows with the standard driver.
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Old April 29th, 2004, 04:43 PM   #6
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Ignacio, i agreee with you!

I don't like that I have to use another program to get stereo or two channels.

To my shame, I found this problem to late and have one movie spoiled by editing a stereo sound in mono, which I found out to late. Thank you sony!

Besides that, stereo sound seemed not to sound very well in that unwished mono.
Since I found that, I then use Sclive and I don't have problems any more.

But it still is a weak point that Sony did not develop a more compatible audio for the Sony PDX10p AND don't offer any solution or additional software!

I also phoned with Sony and I got disappointing answers. They cannot explain this, nor can they explain why this should be better for any reason in any case! It is only disappointing.

For the rest I love my cam:-)
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Old April 29th, 2004, 05:59 PM   #7
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I agree with the setiment of Ignacio and Jan.
I would have thought that the honourable thing to do from Sony
was to provide either a patch or a suitable piece of software.
Many other companies are big enough to admit that there could be problems, and offer solutions to their customers.
When I contacted Sony about the problem I suggested that they could post something on their web site so others wouldn't have the same prob. (on the Australian site there are posts of possible problems that customers have encountered with some products) They said it was a good idea that should happen and have done nothing.
As Jan put it: "For the rest I love my cam:-) " ditto
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Old April 29th, 2004, 08:59 PM   #8
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Even though the Sony response is unprofessional, I think it's really Microsoft's fault. You will not suffer this problem on the Mac because Apple (you know, the guys who invented Firewire) wrote a good driver for their OS, which somehow seems to know how to treat the PDX10's data stream correctly.
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Old May 1st, 2004, 03:32 AM   #9
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Can we conclude that the problem can be solved with a good driver for the firewire?

Well we only have to wait for the company or person that will write it. Sony, Adobe Microsoft or third party or clever person.

An interesting idea. How can we invoke that?
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Old May 1st, 2004, 11:10 AM   #10
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I think so. Actually I think that clever ScenalyzerLive software bypasses the system's driver. Perhaps they can make a driver themselves for the system if enough people ask for it.
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