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-   -   Recorder versus Using Mixer to Camera? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/97625-recorder-versus-using-mixer-camera.html)

Peter Moretti June 27th, 2007 04:59 AM

Recorder versus Using Mixer to Camera?
 
I'm trying to figure out the benefits of using a recorder versus sending the mixer output to the camera.

Shots will be talking head documentary style. Tentatively I've decided on: an HV-20, Sound Devices 302 mixer and Sennheiser MKH416 mic. Haven't researched lav mics yet.

Since the the HV-20 only has two audio tracks, I guess I need to use a recorder if I go the three or more mic route.

I know the camera is the cheapest part of the equation right now, but it's also the part that is most likely to be technologically improved upon. I see the mic, mixer and other equipment as more longterm investments.

So do you like recorders, find their worth it? If so, want to suggest any?

THANKS MUCH.

Daniel Epstein June 27th, 2007 08:02 AM

Since the HV20 doesn't have XLR inputs that I know of (without an adapter) (Looks like Stereo mini mic in) You will have to test your set up to see how well it works. Having a back up recording of the sound will mean additional time in Post but could be a lifesaver. Plan on using a manual slate since the HV20 and other HDV low end cams won't output Timecode. Are you sure you don't you at least want to get an XH-A1? Or something else with XLR's and good manual controls.

David Ennis June 27th, 2007 09:02 AM

Another consideration is that a lav will sound better than a mis-pointed or distant MKH416. So if it's going to be more than one interviewee you need a boom pole man. And if it's only you with one stationary interviewee at a time, you need a studio type setup with the mic in fixed position closely above and out of the shot, or have to not mind having the mic in the shot on a stand. Otherwise, you'll loose the benefit of having that very fine mic.

Peter Moretti June 27th, 2007 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein (Post 703594)
... Are you sure you don't you at least want to get an XH-A1? Or something else with XLR's and good manual controls.

Daniel, it's entirely possible that when it's all said and done, I'll wind up getting an A1 instead. And audio may be the deciding push for the A1.

Peter Moretti June 27th, 2007 12:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by David Ennis (Post 703616)
Another consideration is that a lav will sound better than a mis-pointed or distant MKH416. So if it's going to be more than one interviewee you need a boom pole man. And if it's only you with one stationary interviewee at a time, you need a studio type setup with the mic in fixed position closely above and out of the shot, or have to not mind having the mic in the shot on a stand. Otherwise, you'll loose the benefit of having that very fine mic.

Yes, a boom man is someone I'll need. Are there any lav mics that you'd recommend? It seems that the vast majority are omnidirectional, but for my uses I would think a cardiod pickup pattern would be better. There is also the wireless versus wired; I'm leaning towards wired.

Ron Priest June 27th, 2007 06:54 PM

Doesn't the A1 use a compressed audio encoder?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Moretti (Post 703724)
Daniel, it's entirely possible that when it's all said and done, I'll wind up getting an A1 instead. And audio may be the deciding push for the A1.

What audio format (compression) does the A1 use? It's a great camera, but I understood that the audio of these new HD cameras use an MP3 type of compression. Is this not correct?

Peter Moretti June 28th, 2007 03:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron Priest (Post 703885)
What audio format (compression) does the A1 use? It's a great camera, but I understood that the audio of these new HD cameras use an MP3 type of compression. Is this not correct?

Ron, I believe all HDV cameras use Mpeg 1 Layer 2 (aka MP2) for audio. Technically, it's not as good as DV audio, but practically speaking, its supposed to sound just as good.

Martin Pauly June 28th, 2007 11:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Moretti (Post 703535)
So do you like recorders, find their worth it? If so, want to suggest any?

I like recorders, because they allow me to record with a depth of 24 bits per sample. I also don't like the compression of HDV - you are right, MP2 isn't bad, but I've noticed that some processing filters (especially the noise reduction I use in Soundtrack Pro) works much better with uncompressed (or lossless) recordings than anything that had at some point been compressed. I don't have a scientific explanation for this, but could imagine that the compression artifacts leave a signature behind that somehow "confuses" other algorithms. This may or may not be important for your particular job.

As far as suggestions for specific recorders go, I have a small one "for the road", the M-Audio MicroTrack. Don't rely on its phantom power for your MKH416 mic, but then with the SD302 that you intend to buy (makes me jealous!) you won't need to. I am quite happy with it. Another popular choice seems to be the Zoom recorder.

- Martin

Chris Barcellos June 28th, 2007 12:15 PM

Peter:

This film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s3hDShqe18

I'm sound is affected by YouTube compression, but we were all real happy with the sound results.

Film was shot with a single Sennheiser ME 66 mounted on a boom, run through a field mixer. Camera was my HV20, Letus35 adapter, and we used DXA-4 Beachtek adapter.

We used this mixer:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Devices_MIXPRE

It supplies phantom power, and a 1k tone generator which we set at 12 on the camera's meter.

Sound guy was on top of everything.

Ty Ford June 28th, 2007 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Moretti (Post 703727)
Yes, a boom man is someone I'll need. Are there any lav mics that you'd recommend? It seems that the vast majority are omnidirectional, but for my uses I would think a cardiod pickup pattern would be better. There is also the wireless versus wired; I'm leaning towards wired.

cardioid lavs are very problematic. You really have to pay close attention to placement ALL THE TIME. It doesn't take much for them to slip out of position.

They are also more prone to wind and popping.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford June 28th, 2007 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Moretti (Post 704045)
Ron, I believe all HDV cameras use Mpeg 1 Layer 2 (aka MP2) for audio. Technically, it's not as good as DV audio, but practically speaking, its supposed to sound just as good.

Good ears can hear the difference between 384 kbps stereo that HDV audio records and 1500 kbps stereo, the data rate for 16-bit 48 kHz camera audio.

that's a 4:1 compression ratio, or you're using 25% of the data.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Gints Klimanis June 28th, 2007 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ty Ford (Post 704420)
Good ears can hear the difference between 384 kbps stereo that HDV audio records and 1500 kbps stereo, the data rate for 16-bit 48 kHz camera audio.

that's a 4:1 compression ratio, or you're using 25% of the data.

You don't even need great ears. Just run a file with a lot of white noise or transients. Bell chimes are great for exposiing artifacts. Luckily, most audio recorded for HDV isn't that tough on the compression algorithm. I just wish HDV had an option for uncompressed audio with a mild reduction in the video compression rate.

Steve House June 29th, 2007 03:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Moretti (Post 703727)
Yes, a boom man is someone I'll need. Are there any lav mics that you'd recommend? It seems that the vast majority are omnidirectional, but for my uses I would think a cardiod pickup pattern would be better. There is also the wireless versus wired; I'm leaning towards wired.

As Ty said, go with the omni lavs. Cardioid lavs are intended for sound reinforcment applications where feedback from PA speakers can be an issue. They're too touchy about positioning for general film and video dialog and broadcast uses - all it takes is for the talent to turn their head to look to the side and they're off mic. And go hard-wired whenever practical.

Peter Moretti June 30th, 2007 03:32 AM

Ty, Steve, et al,

What lav mics would you recommend for talking head interviews in the subject's house (probably livingroom rigged for taping)?

The interviewee will usually be one person, but two people sitting next to each other is a definite possibilty. The interviewer will be off camera.

Wired will not be a problem. I've read good things about the Sony EM44B and I believe the 55B. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as always. THANKS.

Ty Ford June 30th, 2007 05:31 AM

The 44 and 55 are OK. Visible, but OK.

There are many good lavs. The Sanken Cos 11, Countryman B6, EMW, Sony 77B and 88B, to name a few.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Dan Keaton June 30th, 2007 07:01 AM

Dear Ty,

I also have been very pleased with the Tram TR50.

What is your opinion of the TR50?

Ron Priest July 1st, 2007 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Moretti (Post 703535)
I'm trying to figure out the benefits of using a recorder versus sending the mixer output to the camera....So do you like recorders, find their worth it? If so, want to suggest any?
THANKS MUCH.

Well I'll soon find out. I've recently purchased the Edirol R4 which is a 4 channel recorder. I plan on using it at weddings and receptions. With the built in limiters I'm hoping to set the levels turn it on, and walk away and just concentrate on shooting video.

Ty Ford July 1st, 2007 06:29 PM

Hi Dan,

Haven't tried one yet.

Thanks,

Ty

Dan Keaton July 2nd, 2007 07:12 AM

Dear Ty,

I compared the Sanken Cos-11 to the Tram TR-50 side by side.

The dealer recommended the Sanken over the Tram.

To my ears, the Tram sounded better. Then, the very well respected dealer compared the two and agreed.

This was only one test, but I was surprised.

Carlos E. Martinez July 5th, 2007 05:15 AM

This discussion is very interesting, and it seems to repeat several issues I raised myself recently on this and other forums.

1) HDV sound. How bad is it and how you can get away with it? As I have been doing several recordings for the same project using HDV and DV cameras at the same time, I must say it doesn't seem to be too much of a compromise... as long as you are recording just dialogue.

2) External recorder. You may notice a difference if you use an external recorder and sync the audio later, using the camera audio simply as a guide. This is valid both for HDV and DV. If possible use a mixer and send the same audio for recorder and cameras, as on some situations the camera audio quality will be fine and you can use it, simplifying your editing. You will need quality monitor speakers to check that.

3) TC or slate. Clap slating is disturbing when use for documentaries. You can sync audio and video later looking at the audio spectrum, like what Avid provides. If you are organized you can even clap your hands on camera when beginning or ending your shot, which may prove less disturbing.

4) Tram mics are very good, butthey proved a bit fragile for field work, in my experience. Several died on me after some time. This may be related to mic/cable strain, whi ch some interviewees tend to push. AKG, PSC and Sony sound very good and seem to be take most field situations better.

Jim Boda July 5th, 2007 08:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan Keaton (Post 705800)
Dear Ty,

I compared the Sanken Cos-11 to the Tram TR-50 side by side.

The dealer recommended the Sanken over the Tram.

To my ears, the Tram sounded better. Then, the very well respected dealer compared the two and agreed.

This was only one test, but I was surprised.

I prefer the Sanken for multiple reasons. The Tram has alot of presence and picks up alot of clothing noise. It sounds better with the beastly windscreen in place. I don't want to use that beastly windscreen (unless I have to).

I prefer the top element in the Sanken. It's sound is a better match (for me) with the Shotgun mic. The real advantage is in being able to hide the mic. It fit's great taped between a woman's breasts or in the knot of a man's tie.

I always grab the Sanken over the Tram both for it's sound and visability.

Ty Ford July 5th, 2007 08:10 AM

Thanks Jim,

One of the most difficult things to track with lavs is their overall sound. The specific application determines the sound.

In free air lavs sound one way, but that changes rather dramatically when (and how) they are attached on a person.

Then there's how they sound plugged into different wireless xmitters. The front ends (preamps) of the xmitters vary widely. Some lavs sound better in some xmitters than others. Don't ask me for lists. I don't have them. Try it yourself.

Clothing noise is another factor, but again, that's also pursuant to how they are mounted. Is it mic rub or cable rub noise? Not much you can do witth mic rub noise except move the mic. I'm going to make a B R O A D generalization here and suggest that if something rubs ANY lav directly, you're going to hear it.

Cable noise, OTOH, may be mitigated or eliminated by G-taping a coil of lav cable close to the mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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