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Old July 23rd, 2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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EX1 as audio recording device, how´s that working for you?

Hi all!
So far I´ve only been shooting with my EX1 in non sync-sound situations, so if recording audio at all, I´ve only used the internal mics for "reference" sound.
I have some projects coming up that requires sync sound and will use a few different mics (ME66, Senn lav wireless & Oktava 102 Hypercardioid and no, not all at once, but these are those I have to work with) going through a field mixer (Mixpre) and into the EX1. For the next 2 weeks I have let a friend use the EX1 so I can´t run any tests with it, hence my question;
What´s the verdict on the EX1 as an audio recording device? Audio will reach camera at line level, does anyone know of any problems with this setup? does audio recorded in a proper way sound "good" or "right" on the EX1??

Magnus
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Old July 27th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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I shoot weddings, using 2 wireless mics, and a 416, and have been very pleased with the sound quality.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 12:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Magnus Eklof View Post
What´s the verdict on the EX1 as an audio recording device? Audio will reach camera at line level, does anyone know of any problems with this setup? does audio recorded in a proper way sound "good" or "right" on the EX1??
Mr BassPig has got some great technical info that demonstrates that the EX1 is very very good at doing audio, but relies upon you to set things up right. The Z1 is pretty bullet-proof and can make almost everything get through okay, but the EX1's audio is very very good, but can break if you push it.

Firstly: be very VERY aware that low frequency sounds (bass bins, wind noise, anything deep and loud) will make an awful tinkling noise on your audio. But if you use Bass Cut, it cuts too much bass. Keep out of the wind, fluff up your dead-cat, don't try to record in night clubs.

Secondly: there's a limiter in the audio channels. It will dip loud signals in the voice range and above, but not in the nice gentle way that the Z1 did. It will whack those loud bits down with a right-hander to their upper cheeks. So, watch that dynamic range, don't mic too close, don't over-drive the levels.

Thirdly: there's no 'line' and 'mic' settings in the input levels, just a long reel of negative numbers. I can't list any magic numbers for you, just test it out. This is what bakes my noodle and drives me bonkers.

But Finally - most important: the audio level controls are attached to the actual level controls by knicker-elastic. Twiddle a knob and it can take SECONDS for the audio level to respond. Ye gods, we'd be better off by semaphore. Heck, even Guzzi throttles were more responsive. Think Volvo Turbo lag. Wind up the level, wait, wait, and anticipate.... and THERE! Seconds later, you have the level you dialed.

Arrgh - just give me one hour alone with the EX1 design team in a sound proofed room and a stirrup pump.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #4
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Matt,

Great Post!

Do you know if any of these things have been addressed in the EX3?
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Old July 27th, 2008, 04:25 PM   #5
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Thanks for a great answer Matt! Just the kind of info I was after, will test it out when I get my camera back, thanks again!!

Magnus

PS. Sorry to hear about your noodle, having had my own baked a few times, I know how you must feel...
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Old July 27th, 2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Matt Daviss View Post
[...] the audio level controls are attached to the actual level controls by knicker-elastic [...]
It's kind of funny, actually, that while this camera finally provides a really nice lens and controls, the audio, once again, takes a back-seat to the rest of the camera.

Matt's advice is spot on, I would add one thing, it's still a good idea with this camera (as with most cameras) to use a professional mixer and feed the camera line level whenever possible, you get 1. a more gentle limiter, 2. better microphone preamps, 3. the ergonomics of mixer knobs and a nice visual display, and 4. more versatile monitoring options. That said, I often have to shoot solo doc style and I have not choice but to set the camera on auto audio and go with whatever I can get, but when I do formal interviews, or shoot narrative style, I use my mixer whenever I can and even sometimes do double system (a whole other story).
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Old July 27th, 2008, 10:18 PM   #7
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I like it

This is one of my favorite things on the EX. I like the way it sounds. I use a Rode NTG-2 right on the cam shock mount when the shoe is needed and the audio seems crystal to me.

Admittedly I don't come from an audio background so what sounds good to me may sound not so good to "trained" ears, but I know it has really been an improvement over the same mic on the Z1..... this is my experience... hope it helps.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 10:18 PM   #8
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i got this low freq humming sound in a room which had a fan on! I have no idea what I could have done to get rid of picking it up with the ME66. Should i have turned on the rollover?
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Old July 27th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #9
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The rollover (or LF Cut) takes out quite a lot of bass response, and is overkill to get rid of something like fan hum.

Much better to use noise reduction processes in a dedicated audio program like Soundforge or Adobe Audtion, or at the very least use a graphic equalizer when you can find the specific frequency where the hum is and reduce it 12 db or so by winding back the gain at that frequency.

Cheers Vaughan
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