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Old July 17th, 2005, 01:36 PM   #1
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Record Sound to Camera or Separate?

I'm not sure I understand the pros/cons of recording sound separately versus recording directly into the camera... Can someone explain?
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Old July 17th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #2
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Most cameras have very noisey (lots of hiss) preamps. Just about any recorder designed for capturing sound will be better, be it DAT, minidisc, or hard disc. About the only prosumer camera said to have good enough sound for theatrical release is the DVX100. MiniDV cams also do not lock the audio to picture and supposedly it can drift, but I've never experienced that, and neither has anyone else I know.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 03:04 PM   #3
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I've noticed drift the most, when capturing long clips. Keep it under 5 minutes, and the drift usually doesn't happen.
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Old July 17th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #4
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I wonder if anyone here can comment on the sound delivered by the HDV Sony FX1 or Z1? I know Spot uses the Z1 (and probably has used the FX1 too). These units also capture audio in compressed format due to HDV specs, so that probably affects things too. Also, I think that the audio is quite different between the two units.

Anyway, can anyone using the FX1/Z1 share what you are doing to capture the audio, and if you're doing it separately, what are you using? I realize that this may be entirely dependent on you're shooting needs.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 11:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Shawn Redford
I wonder if anyone here can comment on the sound delivered by the HDV Sony FX1 or Z1?
If you check out this article at

The FX1 supposedly does horrible with sound.

My friend just shot a pilot he's trying to sell using the Z1U and he didn't have any problems with his sound (the Z1U has XLR inputs which is a plus).

I can't say for certain, but I'd guess the Z1U is on par with the DVX100 for sound recording.

Though if recording sound to your camera is a major concern for you, I'd stay away from the FX1.
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Old July 23rd, 2005, 08:47 AM   #6
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Here's the thing. The HDV format specifies that the audio is MPEG2. That's compressed audio. Data has been removed. It's not as robust as linear PCM audio (which is what most uncompressed audio is).

Aside from that, there the issue of how well the audio circuits are built. The F1 has unbalanced audio inputs. The Z1 has balanced audio inputs. This does not guarantee that the Z1 will have better audio than the F1. It depends on how well the circuitry is implemented.

As to double system recording, it's done best when both camera and audio recorder are locked to the same SMPTE timecode. That requires that camera and reccorder HAVE timecode inputs and outputs.

I've heard separate digital audio recordings walk away from each other in less than 10 seconds when recorded on two separate digital audio reccorders that were not synchronized. Weird, but true.

The only thing you can do is try it with specific pieces of gear and see what happens.


Ty (audio is not trivial) Ford
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