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Newbie in need of help !!!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Paul33, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. Paul33

    Paul33 Guest

    Hi ..... looking for some easy to digest advice here.

    I'm working with a bunch of fellow sports fans to produce a monthly DVD of game highlights mixed with interviews, fun features, etc. We have plenty of consumer level digital cameras, all of which do a perfectly decent job for us but we are struggling on sound ..... in particular when recording on the spot interviews with fans.

    We have been using the on-board camera mics but they simply don't shield out enough of the background noise to make the interviews audible ..... and they have no external mic sockets.

    I'd like us to use hand-held mics and some form of portable digital recording equipment but none of us have any experience in this field and we haven't a clue what to look for.

    We are running all this as a fund-raiser so we have no budget to speak of but we can find funds for something if it is of good value ....... ie: cheap but providing good quality sound !!!

    Can anybody offer some advice and/or recommendations ?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Dear Paul,

    Yes, you are describing the problem that everybody is currently having with our most current crop of consumer camcorders. NO EXTERNAL MICROPHONE INPUTS! What are these crazy Asians thinking? To me, this is the height of idiocy on their manufacturing end.

    What you need to do, what everybody is doing, is purchasing their cheapest little specialty external "microphone gizmo". You will have to then destroy the little piece of crap by removing its microphone . Then, you will have access to and can wire a suitable receptacle, to that crappy little mount. And you may discover that you may have to include a 20uF capacitor to block the direct current associated with condenser microphones. Only then, will you be able to feed the camcorder an external source. Of course it will want to see microphone level and you may need to use an output pad so as to knockdowns the level by 40 to 50 DB. There is still no way to disable the camcorder's built-in AVC (automatic volume control).

    Stupid cheap ass Japanese shenanigans
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. Paul33

    Paul33 Guest

    Errrrr ...... right :x !!!
  4. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Yeah, these newer consumer-level cameras are a pain.

    Often when I've been the soundman at gigs, the video guys want to take a separate DAT or minidisc sound recording from the 2-track output on my desk. They then sync it up later in post production. In most cases they are using pro cameras with full sound facilities, but usually still prefer to take an independent sound feed. When I last asked about why they do it this way, they said it made the editing easier for ducking sound under cut-in shots if the audio was from a separate source.
  5. zemlin

    zemlin Well-Known Member

    What's your budget for this (per recording system)?

    Whatever it is, it will be a major PITA because the video and audio won't be sync'd. You'll spend a lot of time in production getting the audio and video tracks lined up, and even then they won't say together for very long.

    If you're going to do much of this, the RIGHT solution is to sell your cameras on eBay and buy new cameras with external mic inputs. Also, make sure it's possible to DISABLE any sort of AGC or Automatic Gain Control, or automatic level setting on the audio input. Then you'll be able to record better audio without major editing headaches.
  6. Paul33

    Paul33 Guest

    Why would synced audio/video not stay synced ...... out of curiosity ?
  7. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Paul33, even though these small computerlike devices utilize quartz clocks which are highly accurate, there are still mechanical issues to deal with. Tape slips and stretches and due to digital glitches, occasionally drop and/or repeat frames. A one 30th of a second slip already loses lip sync. And without time code functioning as electronics sprocket holes, sync drifts regularly. This necessitates a fair amount of creativity and talent to keep multiple camera productions in sync. Basically, because everything is being clocked by these quartz oscillators, it is equivalent to Crystal sync when working with a NAGRA analog recorder with center track time code. So except for a little slipperiness here and there, once your multiple start points are established, synchronization should hold from 15 minutes to 1 hour in duration without the use of industry-standard SMPTE time code. All digital camcorders have and internal built-in time code that differs from SMPTE but is used by the software in a similar manner.

    Slipping and sliding my sync (don't pick up the soap)
    Ms. Remy Ann David

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