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Old June 23rd, 2005, 10:42 PM   #1
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Audio recording question, v6

Hi all,

I just got my new PD170 and copy of Vegas 6, and about to embark on my first freelance video gig (crossing over from web/print design). I searched a bit but didn't find what I was looking for... my apologies if I missed something obvious.

1) I would like to run Firewire into my CPU from the 170 (as if I were going to capture), but just record to an armed audio track instead of using the vidcap program to grab video and audio. I don't know how to get Vegas to see the camera/Firewire card as a record device. Is it possible?

2) If so, any thoughts on how much quality I'm going to lose? I have access to some VERY nice mics, but wonder about the camera being the weakest link in such a setup.

Thanks tons - this place is a great resource.
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Old June 23rd, 2005, 11:57 PM   #2
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the 170 has had all the issues of the 150's audio resolved.

i would recomend a small Berhinger Eurorack console mixer (one of the new units with in built FX and compressors and companders)
theyre dirt cheap.

from here, i would connect the XLR out, of the mixer to the cam and use the cam as a pseudo DAT.

in the studio, you can only capture as DV AVI from 1394, not audio only.

so capture your "footage", wack it on the timeline, highlight the clip and render out as 16bit 48k Wav

if using a PC with the mics in teh same lcation, just hook the mixer to the PC (depending on your PC soundcard this may not be the best option for a direct audio recording) as some soundcard are pretty crappy and have dodgy mic inputs
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Old June 24th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #3
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Scenalyzer lets you capture audio without having to capture video I believe. It's reaonably priced and is good for other reasons (optical scene detection... useful for DV without date/time, and analog sources).

As far as mixers go: Behringer UB-series seems to be the best bang for the buck. They kind of stole Mackie's preamp design and got sued, but settled out of court. So that's why they're as good and a third the price.

Anyways, look at the UB-series except for the 502 (no phantom). The FX units are a little nicer because the effects has a tone generator (helps to figure out levels). It may have a hard limiter. That might be mildly useful, although I've never tried it. Other than that, disable the FX right away because they are enabled by default.

2- Focus on the room first. Low reverb and low background noise would be ideal. There are a few posts in the audio forum about voice-over.
Add sound absorption material lowers reverb, or find a room with low reverb like a closet.
Low b/g noise depends on the room and turning stuff off, or moving noisy stuff away.

3- Oh yeah, the talent's delivery and the copy writing are much more important!
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Old June 24th, 2005, 01:40 AM   #4
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Thanks so much, fellas. I already own a little Behringer mixer and a nice effects unit for when I have Irish whistle gigs on the road... I was just hoping to stay away from that route because my sound card definately falls into the "crappy" category.

As far as I can tell, I don't think Scenalyzer is what I need; part of the reason I wanted to not use the video capture program was to be able to multitrack on occasion. I think my next best option sounds like getting a little 2- or 4-channel D/A audio converter to be able to get audio in via the 1394. I know there are nice units like http://www.zzounds.com/item--MDOFWSOLO you can do that with, I was just hoping the 170 could perform the same task and save me some cash.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 08:35 AM   #5
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If you want to capture directly to the vegas timeline, you'll need to input through your sound card - not firewire.

If you wish to input through firewire, your best option is scenalyzer as Vegas Capture will require you to also capture video and you can't go straight to the timeline via firewire.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Troxel
If you want to capture directly to the vegas timeline, you'll need to input through your sound card - not firewire.

If you wish to input through firewire, your best option is scenalyzer as Vegas Capture will require you to also capture video and you can't go straight to the timeline via firewire.

Wouldn't Vegas see a firewire audio interface same as a soundcard device and record from it? Maybe that would be a viable way to go if it does. If Vegas DOESN'T record through a firewire audio interface like it does a soundcard, I need to rethink my own strategy because I've been considering doing exactly that, replacing my Dell's Audigy with either a firewire or a PCI card multichannel audio interface in the near future and was under the impression there wouldn't be any problem.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #7
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Like I mentioned, I know for a fact that you can record directly onto Vegas timelines via the Firewire. I just finished a CD with a few friends where we did just that. The studio we used is a hard-disk recording setup, and the whole project was done in Vegas (which is becoming fairly popular in the pro audio recording world). The engineer could take several tracks in simultaneously, direct onto separate audio channels on the timeline. It was such a clean sound, we didn't even use a mixer in line - just good mics straight to the Firewire interface. I think it was an interface similar to this: http://www.zzounds.com/item--MTU896HD. Very slick.

My question was only whether or not I could use my camera as a 2-channel impersonator of such a setup.

<SHAMELESS PLUG>If anyone's interested in a 4-part vocal album comprised of mostly hymns with modern arrangements, see http://music.walkingman.us :) Be warned, the track samples currently available for preview are poor quality, and are from a pre-mastered proof of the album.</SHAMELESS PLUG>
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Old June 24th, 2005, 12:08 PM   #8
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If it's a soundcard that connects via firewire, then yes. If it's through a camera then no.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Troxel
If it's a soundcard that connects via firewire, then yes. If it's through a camera then no.
Excellent; thanks so much for your help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I've been considering ... either a firewire or a PCI card multichannel audio interface in the near future and was under the impression there wouldn't be any problem.
Sounds like you and I are headed in the same direction. FWIW, most pro audio engineers I've worked with are enthusiastic about the MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) interfaces. But they may be overkill depending on how much you're needing to bring in at once.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 02:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milo Skinner
Excellent; thanks so much for your help.


Sounds like you and I are headed in the same direction. FWIW, most pro audio engineers I've worked with are enthusiastic about the MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) interfaces. But they may be overkill depending on how much you're needing to bring in at once.
Yep, was thinking of exactly that pulling the Audigy and replacing it with either a MOTU firewire interface, the Edirol Fire101, a Delta 1010 PCI interface, or an Emu 1820m also PCI. Just out of curiosity, do you know if one goes with something like the MOTU on firewire, can one leave the current soundcard in the box to drive the existing mutlimedia speakers to playback the occasional commercial DD surround DVD or would you just dump it?
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #11
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I believe (but haven't done it) that you can leave the original card in... although I would personally dump it. In the studio we always use the MOTU for playback as well. By the way, I found out that the engineer who did our album hasn't always had the greatest success daisy-chaining Firewire devices (similar to folks who try to capture video directly onto an external Firewire hardrive), so he actually uses the MOTU 2408, which is a PCI interface. Might be worth considering if you make much use of external components.
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