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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old April 25th, 2013, 07:36 AM   #1
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EX1 and sound.

I have been today reminded just how good the on-camera mikes on the EX1 are.

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Old April 27th, 2013, 10:39 AM   #2
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Bob...G'Day Mate! I'm nicely surprised, too. Granted, this was a fairly isolated area and you weren't competing with a lot of 'spurious' external noise, e.g., trains, planes and automobiles. Of particular note, were the 'ambient' sounds of birds, etc. in the background. All captured very nicely.

Am I correct when saying the audio was captured with the 'internal' microphone of the EX1 and not a Sony provided small shotgun, like Sony includes with HXR-NX5U, correct?

I have a PMW-200 and went to the extra expense of purchasing the Sony ECM-MS2 microphone. I like the performance of the 'MS2' recorded to CH 1 & 2 and I always keep the 'internal' Mic on CH 3 & 4 as backup or for recording ambient background audio.

To be honest, I'm kind of a 'gear snob' regarding audio. I've spent twice as much $$ on audio equipment than I ever have on video. During my first 'gig' I was involved with creating a documentary. Low-budget doesn't begin to describe the effort. : ) I quickly discovered no matter how good the video, if the audio is crap, the overall production is pretty much crap. I have a 'good' audio kit, not 'Rock-Star' gear, but good equipment that does the job. I owe a lot of my audio 'knowledge' to the good people on this website.

Thanks for sharing!

Best regards,

J.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #3
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Re: EX1 and sound.

The mics themselves can be pretty good... - given a quiet environment. Though it would be nice to compare the sound with that from a properly shock-mounted good shotgun or boom mic.
Unfortunately there is almost no way to get away from camera mic 'handling noise' when touching the camera.
However, I do really like having the option to record the camera mics simultaneously on the PMW200 on tracks 3&4 with other mics connected to 1 & 2. Last week I was shooting some EPK footage in a recording studio, and was able to add a great feel for the dimension of the recording studio by combining a little bit of camera mic in with the 'cleaner' boom mic audio on tracks 1&2.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 12:20 PM   #4
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Re: EX1 and sound.

David...exactly! Being able to add a little room 'ambiance' to a track is a nice option when using 4-tracks of audio.

Regards,

J.
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Old April 27th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: EX1 and sound.

The in-camera mikes were used for this piece.

Normally I would use tripod, also for sound the mikes I have, small older ECM directionals, much older Sony C74, which still holds up quite well inside of a Rode muff now usable with the extention kit they made available. I also have Sony body mikes, again fairly old now but still good. If I have enough mixer channel space or another separate old DAT recorder, I will plant them discreetly as insurance against some sort of audio disaster. That role is now taken by a Zoom recorder if need be.

Like James, I am a bit of an ears person when it comes to audiovisual work. I had to overspend on an orchestral recording I did a few years back. I was counselled by contributors here on dvinfo to respect the work my musicians were doing and not just cobble something together. I ended up buying in three NT2a mikes. It hurt at the time but in retrospect I am glad now I did as they have been handy since. The figure-8 pattern has been extremely useful, strangely enough, even as a backup mike in a motor car..

In this instance, there was a bit of a hike in from a closed boundary gate plus I was a bit of a mess from allergy, full of polarimine and neither fit enough nor inclined to lug in extra gear. My interviewee is also nursing an injured back so I could not second him to carry any stuff.

I was also definitely not on top of my game as the absolutely sluggish composition and lens management visible in the clip by yours truly attests.

I was sitting off quite a way with the camera. Normally if I decide for the in-camera mikes, I will go as wide-angle as possible and get in amongst some sound neutral or deadening objects if I can.

I was totally expecting the sound to be pretty bad so was surprised just how much speech detail the camera was hearing from that distance, especially when my interviewee's back was turned. I brought the levels up in Premiere as needed but did no other graph work on the audio.

I was still dosed up when I cut the clip so it is a little rough for colour and levels. I shot it on BBC profile. Weather conditions were medium to bright overcast, 10am, sun at about 32 degrees north this time of year.

As for the vision, I was using an external ND6 with IR-750 filter plus one click of the camera internal ND to bring the camera lens aperture into a sweeter zone. This was to to avoid that dreadful blue to white bleed in the sky that happens around leaves on trees as backdrop if they are sharp in the image. It was moot on this occasion as the sky was bright overcast.

Last edited by Bob Hart; April 27th, 2013 at 08:33 PM. Reason: error
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Old April 28th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Bob...thank you for the very thorough description of your capture configuration.

For recording live musicians, I've got an impedance matched pair of AKG C 414 XLS and a matched pair of AKG C451Bs. Both are excellent microphones. I've used the 'C414s' in a classic 'Blumlein Array' (Figure 8 pattern) with excellent results.

Thanks for sharing,

J.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 03:07 AM   #7
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Re: EX1 and sound.

James.


This is a bit offtopic for the EX but might interest you as far as sound is concerned.

Here is a link to a clip which has some stills of the rig we put together with the NT2a mikes as a Decca Tree. Centre mike was switched to omni and was mixed to left and right channel. Left and right mikes were in figure 8 and to their own channels. Mixer was a SD-302. Recorder was a zoom H4n which is why you might be able to hear some digital artifacts.


The hardware was an extending garage lamp stand with a tee bar on top. Three window mops were attached with cable ties around plumbers foam lagging itself around the handles to the arms by the handle-ends and the mikes were supported in foam blocks strapped to the squeegee heads with cable ties. The cables were suspended at the top inside a foam loop to furthur insulate from mechanical effects of sound upon the stand.


For comparison, this clip was a similar mike arrangement except with a single NT2a as centre mike switched omni and left and right mikes were Sony C74 directionals set up as best we could do it to emulate the figure 8 by off miking them a bit by aiming across rather than at the wings of the orchestra and a little to the side so that the rear lobe also picked up some sound from the opposite orchestra wings.

It was recorded the week previously during the very first rehearsal so the playing is a bit ragged.


Last edited by Bob Hart; April 29th, 2013 at 03:13 AM. Reason: errors
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Old April 29th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #8
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Bob...that was great! Thank you for sharing. It's amazing what you can capture in a 'field recording' set-up. I also have the SD-302 and find it an excellent piece of kit.

The 'ol "Decca Tree" is still a great technique.

Best regards,

J.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 11:22 AM   #9
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Makes me miss my EX1r pre amps. They have a sweet sound for a video camera.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 05:42 PM   #10
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Re: EX1 and sound.

For the 1R, make sure you don't use your EVF if you have XLRs plugged in. EX1Rs have an issue where the LCoS viewfinder actually causes interference with the XLR ports.
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Old April 29th, 2013, 06:21 PM   #11
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Wasn't the interference just in the headphones feed?
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Old April 29th, 2013, 06:40 PM   #12
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Nope, Channel 1 had a lot of noise and Channel 2 had less noise, but it was still present. My rule of thumb was to always use the LCD.
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Old April 30th, 2013, 02:16 PM   #13
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Re: EX1 and sound.

Funny, I have noticed some noise in the headphones when the EVF is turned on, but I didn't get that on the recorded track.
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Old May 1st, 2013, 01:08 AM   #14
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Re: EX1 and sound.

The first time I checked, I did not plug in an XLR to test the noise, but when I plugged in XLRs, the noise was very noticeable from the XLR inputs.

I am aware of the headphone noise, but the XLRs are affected as well.
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