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Newbie video recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Unregistered, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Hi, i just wondered if it was possible to use an iphone 4s to video a bands live performance using a main out from the desk for the audio? (i have bought a 1/8" stereo jack to 2 1/4" mono) but not sure if this would work by connecting to the iphone's headphone input. (like i said, a complete newbie ;-) )

    at the moment this is the only means i have of video recording i have,

    Or if there is some sort of workaround i have a laptop, m-audio fast track ultra, Daw

    any help would be appreciated


  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    OK here goes, I don't do iPhone but that doesn't matter. In fact what I'm going to suggest will likely work much better for you than trying to plug something into an iPhone that's not designed to be plugged into an iPhone.

    It's great that you already have that laptop with the M-Audio Fast Track ultra! This is the best thing that could happen to you. That laptop and Fast Track records what's coming off of the audio console. Recommended settings are 24-bit but 16 is just fine and 48 kHz sample rate to uncompressed .wav. And if you like, even 96 kHz sampling rate 24 or 16 bit. 24 bit gives you the ability to record at slightly lower levels to prevent any kind of overload. Whereas with 16-bit, recording at too low level to prevent overload will put you closer to be noise floor. And here's the best part... then you can use your iPhone to shoot the video relying upon whatever crappy microphone that's going to overload. But that's OK because we're really not going to use that audio track all that much. What you WILL be able to do is to transfer that video into most any entry-level video editing program, in high definition (software capabilities required). Yeah, the audio will probably suck. But you'll also have that recording you made from the Fast Track. Sooooooo, you dragnet into the video editing program audio timeline. That will be sitting there next to the iPhone distorted audio track. You then will have to slip and slide your Fast Track, track in the video editing timeline while zooming in to get a proper synchronization with the distorted audio track. Then you can turn off that distorted audio track when you render out your video production. Actually, sometimes, mixing in a slight amount of that distorted audio track with the crowd noise can work quite well and actually sometimes the distortion can enhance the music. You just can't use it too much but it's not distorted, yeah go for it. And that works out really nice. The cool thing is, it will all hold synchronization once you've attained a synchronization. The extra bonus to this method is that you can actually go handheld right down there in front of the musicians without any wires! It's so cool to work this way. For extra fun, roll a second iPhone and just stick that in the back locked down wide. Then everybody will want to put your stuff on TV and the Internet.

    It's OK, this is an illness I have also.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Thanks alot for the positive response, and it really does make sense to do it the way you have suggested!!! We are doing a "wedding gig" for a friend and figure it would be a nice gesture to video the gig without them knowing and present them with a dvd... either way if it turns out rubbish we have nothing to lose as they dont know :)

    Im gonna make the changes you have suggested also when it comes to taking a main out into the FTU to DAW to which will no doubt improve sound quality.

    once again many thanks, and hope this post helps others like it has helped me

  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Doing it the way I described, can be a much more covert way and subversive way in which to capture this. You'll be like everybody else with their cameras/camcorders/cellphones/iPods/iPhone's getting some video of that festive occasion. The laptop at the PA mixer will also be rather innocuous. The most important thing you may have to adhere to is never stopping or interrupting your iPhone video camera much. Because when synchronizing to the soundtrack on the laptop, you want to have to do that as few times as possible since it's incredibly time-consuming to do. You can avert that by not stopping the camcorder/iPhone. You create one long contiguous capture. Then after you synchronizes to the audio track, you can render the entire piece out to a single uncompressed .AVI track. Then it's much faster to take that completed track and chop it down. You just have to take some long craps and smoke plenty of cigarettes while waiting for it to render out a couple of times over. But that's just a full evenings worth of work. In fact this method of working this way, is actually the method most often used in all sorts of video music and other event productions. The days of recording directly into the camcorder are no longer necessary. Everything is sync locked through quartz crystal clocks in everything we use today. So drift in a 1 1/2 hour production might possibly be 1-2 frames off. If you see and hear that happening, it's a simple matter to stop when you hear sync has broken, split the file and resynchronize, lather, rinse, repeat. So you can resynchronize the audio to video or vice versa. It's a great way to work and produce.

    I've been up to six camera jobs this way with multitrack audio.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. stereoqube

    stereoqube Active Member

    Yeah my plan is to be as covert as possible so i have a stand hidden behind me and intend to just leave it recording for the whole gig, luckily we are only doing the one set of 18 songs straight through, i trialed it on the last rehearsal we did and it came to around 1 and 3/4 hours with plenty of chat/disagreeing in between and the iphone can well cover the 17 gig it took up!!

    Do you think it would be advisable to try and cover/protect the mic input on phone? or just run with it capturing the heavily distorted sound, just bothered about damage.


    (i've now registered ;-) )
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Was the audio heavily distorted on your trial run-throughs already? If Celica may be indicating that it was? It's a very small capsule condenser microphone that can withstand incredibly high sound pressure levels probably easy on the order of 125-135 DB SBL. And that's why the mic can overload the front end of the preamp. That generally doesn't hurt the preamp bitches can't deliver to the subsequent next transistor in line and to the next, the next, the next ad infinitum. But if you really concern, I would say try something like a little cotton ball lightly taped over the microphone with a slight amount of pressure from the tape to compress the little cotton ball to be a little more dense but then again get to muddy and may be harder to synchronize without some kind of bashing crashing transients albeit distorted. You need those transients for synchronization purposes. My other recommendation might be take a piece of tape, sticky tape, something heavy like duct or electrical. Before you place it on the iPod and take the little square piece of tape and you take a pin and puncture it to create a very tiny hole opening that may help to retain some more high frequencies.

    So that was a 17 gig capture and your stereo audio recording, off the board at 48 kHz/16 bit will be in the 800-900 MB size.Higher 24-bit and double that if 96 kHz.

    We want to see what you did when you're done.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. stereoqube

    stereoqube Active Member

    After being helped out with all the information you provided i was really excited about the gig on Saturday, but as the day went on things just got from bad to worse and we have never had a gig like it.......... luckily the people listening had been drinking since early afternoon and thought we were good.

    The biggest "learn" from the day, was from now on we will check out venues beforehand, we were told that the venue had a great risen stage but when just 2 of us out of the 5 came up to rig up we were met with nothing more than quite a big drum riser!!!! literally we could only fit the drums on and due to really tight space had no other option than to put the 4x12's either side and bass amp. it was far from good.......... then after messing with the lighting rig for ages we found they weren't in the right order for dmx to work properly (soon sorted that though)
    next thing to go wrong was the drummer had gone sking and was due back that morning but yep you guessed it.......delayed, so with the singer as part of the wedding party we had lead guitar and bass for soundcheck! not good...
    and just when we thought things just couldn't get any worse, the lead singer/rhythm guitar pops his head in and to our dismay looked like a crock of sh1t, he had a really bad case of laryngitis and high fever but to be fair to him still wanted to perform rather than cancel............

    so as a sum up no video was ever taken as it wasn't a fair representation of the band, kind of gutted really but we have more gigs to come so will definately post something up.....
    This was certainly a day not to remember but im sure we will talk about it for a long time yet haha

    Daz :cool:
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Not only is that the joy of on location productions, it's generally the norm. Many jobs I've done have been a cold call. I haven't seen the venue. There was one instance that was particularly troublesome. I require 220 V single phase or 2 out of 3 of 208 three-phase. On this particular job, there was not ample power for both the PA company and my remote truck. All they could give me was 110 V. Luckily, I have a power transformer that allows me to take 110 and step up to 220. The only problem with that, is I now pulling twice the amount of current through a cable designed for half the amount of current. Toward the end of the gig, I suddenly noticed that my power cable is smoking in the grass. So it destroyed a $500 power cable literally melting it. I wasn't prepared to take 110 since they knew I needed 220 and that was going to be available. Well it wasn't at this church in southern North Carolina.

    Then there was this job for an all day rock 'n roll festival at RFK Stadium with 65,000 people. The PA company had handed me a microphone rundown list so that I would know what instruments, vocals, would be in what inputs. So the show begins. The first act starts and in no time, I realize I don't have lead vocal! First thing I assume is there is something wrong with my console? Quickly start re-patching. No vocal. Run out of the truck to the interface panel. Change inputs on the input panel... no vocal. OMG! I've got the radio station screaming at me and MTV. So I sent out my A 2 to find out what's happening with the PA company since we are hearing the lead singer in the PA system. Dave comes back and tells me they had problems with their microphone input and shoved it into an input that was not feeding me from the splitter. OMG! So 10 minutes later, I finally get the lead vocalist. It was like having a heart attack and stroke simultaneously!

    To make matters worse, the PA company was utilizing the BSS active splitters. I hate those things! And here's what happened... those splitters have internal microphone preamps. They can send out either microphone level or line level which is a 50 DB plus difference. Some instruments were coming to me at microphone level where others were coming to me at line level. OMG again! So either microphone seemed to be missing or are 100% distorted and unusable. And with each band, the problems just kept on moving around that way. And that's why I really prefer transformer splitters. I'd rather have another coil of wire in front of my fine preamps than a cheap preamp feeding my preamps. Line level coming in was not a problem to deal with unless you think it's supposed to be microphone level. Since I was pretty fast on the pushbuttons, after the first band, I got into the routine. But it was nightmarish the entire day and night.

    Another year, I was doing this incredible Jazz Festival with some of the best jazz musicians on the planet. One of the later acts of the day included numerous personnel from Earth Wind & Fire. I was all excited about them having known that they worked with George Massenburg for so many years. And then they started to play. OMG what the F U C K is going on? Everything was 100% full-blown unusable distortion from most everything on stage except the drum set. Everything was coming in at the right level but was fully distorted. So I sent Dave down again. He comes back and tells me the PA guys are having the same problems with the guys on stage. ??? What? So I actually leave the truck, walk right onto the stage and I can see that these guys have little mixers down by their feet with all their junk plugged into each one of their mixers. All the red lights were full on, on their mixers. So there was nothing that I, Dave or the PA company could do. At that point, I decided to have a sandwich and didn't bother mixing anymore as there really was nothing to mix except pure distortion and the drum set. Maybe they were upset with the PA guys? Maybe they were as stupid as I thought they were? And that was in 1996. I've never experienced anything like that ever or since. Even they could hear onstage how distorted things were because I could while standing on the stage with them. How unprofessional can you get?

    When I'm going into a venue I've never been to before, that's when you bring three times the amount of stuff that you know you'll be needing. On virtually all of my local jobs in the greater Baltimore Washington Metro region, I've always visited the venue as a pre-site inspection, weeks or days before the job. But even then, you still get curveballs. You come back the following day only to find that a major change has occurred. So instead of bringing three times the stuff I'll be needing I only bring twice the amount of stuff I'll need. When you work for a major television network, you quickly learn about redundancy and the need for it. There's a reason why you see the President with three microphones in front of him. That's because they're running a triple redundant system. They're not mixing or combining any of those microphones. And they're all going into separate mixers mostly SHURE mixers because they're made in America. But even those redundant systems when designed incorrectly can make for a network TV nightmare. Which happened for a presidential press conference with Ronnie Reagan in 1986 regarding the first Morimar Kadafi incident. 3 SHURE M-67's were utilized by the White House military staff through splitters for the NBC pool feed to the world. There was horrible crosstalk. So horrible the audio was unusable. Since NBC was feeding all of the other networks and the world, NBC and White House military audiovideo people tried to remedy the problem. They worked on it for nearly 3 hours with no luck. All of the other networks in the US and around the world are freaking out because they are not getting any microphone checks from us 2 hours before the speech. I knew what the problem was. So while they couldn't fix it, everybody is freaking out. So I tell my producer and director that I knew what the problem was. Everybody else proclaimed " what the hell is Remy going to do that hasn't been tried already?! " The producers who believed in me just said " just let Remy try ". It took me all of 10 minutes to redesign my engineering managers screwed up triple redundant system to a dual redundant system and no problems. And that's because I knew something about those SHURE M-67 mixers that no one else knew. Unbelievably, those mixers were feeding other incoming lines out of other microphone inputs. Audio coming out of microphone inputs? You better believe it. Almost unthinkable. Lousy design on SHURE's part but then they never intended those mixers to be utilized in 3 split functionality applications. I was a hero that day and my engineering manager ended up getting fired, for more reasons than just that. He actually got angry at me for screwing around with his wiring design. He threatened me that I would be blacklisted and would never work in the business again. I stayed on for another 14 years. Years later Allan apologized to me. He told me no one has ever let him live that down. I mean he couldn't help that he was stupid? But that's the real difference between audio and video people. The video guys only think they know about audio. Unfortunately, most don't. So even as just an audio engineer, there is discrimination to deal with at the network television level.

    Former NBC, VOA, PBS engineer
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a nightmare gig, but it still might have made a good video on the always glamorous music business.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yeah, both his and numerous ones of mine hawk. After all, variety is the spice of life. It also keeps you on your toes. You learn to move fast. Suddenly, which microphone in use makes no difference. You need a good supply of poppers. You wonder what you are doing in this business anyhow? It's all good. It's all fun. And when things DO go as planned, it's the most marvelous sensation of accomplishment. And then the beer.

    I like a 2 pound steamed lobster with my beer. Musicians have already supplied the clams.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  11. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Remy, you and I (and everyone else who's ever worked at this) know why This is Spinal Tap is so funny - because it's only slightly exaggerated.
  12. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    It's exaggerated?

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