Change to the way we record sound

8 replies [Last post]
Christian Lett
Offline
Joined: Apr 26 1999

Hello all.

Now we've upgraded our camera to the wonderful JVC GY-HD111E we need to upgrade our sound gear to match.

In the past we've either used a stand-mounted AKG C1000S mic, or a Sennheiser G2 lavalier radio mic. The C1000s is okay, but we need more directional control, so for the long mic I'm considering a Senn K6/ME66 combo (We'll obviously continue using the radio clip mic) but that's only because it comes recommended by many people. I'm quite sure there are others that might be better (we do corporate interviews, and the occasional short film).

So our sound guy can better monitor and control the levels we're thinking of inputting the mics directly into a small shoulder-slung mixer (namely this: [url]http://www.dv247.com/invt/33193/)[/url], which would then go line-level into the camera. We think this probably has better preamps than the camera so would also deliver better sound quality.

However, he is keen to record all sound off-camera into a solid state or hard disk recorder, as they record at 24-bit over the camera's 16-bit. I'm not sure though, since it will add complication to our post-production pipeline, having to manually sync the sound to each clip.

Your recommendations, experience, advice & thoughts are always appreciated.

Christian

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Christian Lett
Offline
Joined: Apr 26 1999

Is the Sennheiser MKH416 a good alternative to the K6/ME66? I think I saw it mentioned elsewhere.

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

Wisz
Offline
Joined: Jan 30 2001

Hi Christian

I'm sure John Willet will answer this thread soon.

The Sennheiser MKH416 would be an excellent alternative to the K6/ME66 combination as it is an well accepted industry standard microphone and is more sensitive than the K6/ME66 combination.

Although the K6/ME66 combination is much cheaper and different polar pattern modules can be used with the K6 power module.

These links may help you to decide:

http://www.dvcreators.net/shotgun-shootout/

http://www.microphone-data.com/default.asp (You will need to register for this one, but it's free).

Richard
Wisz Media Services

Richard Wisz Media Services

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001

For the recorder look at the Fostex FR-2 or the Tascam HD-P2 - there are timecode options on both.

I use the Fostex - excellent, but you need to watch battery life or use an external battery or DC for longer times.

Both the above are around the £900 mark.

The new Fostex FR-2LE is due out this autumn at £499 but no timecode option. I will review the LE as soon as it is available.

As far as mics go:-
MKH 60 - NKH 416 - K6/ME66 in that order, best first.

The MKH microphones will work even under damp conditions, unlike all other mics.

I hope this helps.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

Christian Lett
Offline
Joined: Apr 26 1999

Thanks for the replies.

I think we're going to go for the 416 as our mic of choice.

The Fostex has gotten some nods of approval from our sound guy - he rates Fostex highly from when he had a 16-track digital recorder back in the day (he uses Mackie at the moment). Does the timecode option sync up with the camera? If so how?

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
Christian Lett wrote:
I think we're going to go for the 416 as our mic of choice.

This is a much better mic. than the K6/ME66 (not as good as the MKH 60, though).

Don't forget the Rycote Softie or Windshield kit with ConnBox.

Christian Lett wrote:
The Fostex has gotten some nods of approval from our sound guy - ..... Does the timecode option sync up with the camera? If so how?

It's best to talk this over with SCV London, the Fostex dealer in the UK. I'm not sure if it runs as master, slave, or both - but SCV will give you all the info.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

DVdoctor
Offline
Joined: Apr 1 1999

This topic always brings the audio folks out from the shadows ;-)

There is no question upgrading from the cs1000 to a MKH 416 will be an improvement.

Here are a few comments to keep in mind, and they might stimulate more discussion

IMO you need to get the mkh onto a boom pole, and don't use it on the camera.
the whole concept of recording the audio to dedicated device has lots of advantages, but also will bring along with it the task of syncing it to the video inpost. This is easy if both the camera and audio recorder run with no stops but if you both stop and start it will take some playing around to keep lining up the clips each time.

In the days of timecode outputs on camcorders you could get a timecode dat and have they both linked. At one time John had a special box made that converted firewire timecode to smpte time code.

The other issue is you still want to have audio on your camera so that you have a guide track.

The issue then gets down to do you record with your new mic only to the independant recorder, and then use some cheap mic on the camorder, or do you link the two, and which do you monitor etc

One way is to feed the audio from your mkh not only to the independant recorder but also to the camcorder, have your sound guy monitor both via some sort of simple head phone switch, so you are cabled to the camcorder with headphone out and audio in.

Somepeople want to go with independant audio mainly to removed the wired link from the camcorder and the microphone. In this case depending on the mixer you use I have seen a clever setup where the sound guy had one of these sennheiser plug on transmitters and it was then connected to the camcorder wirelessly. There was no link back to the audio guy, he monitored the audio only with headphones on the independant recording, and the person running the camcorder had headphones just to make sure that audio was getting to the main camera. In this case you have sort of a belt and braces set up.

Unless you are doing a lot of audio post production, IMO you don't get all that much an improvement since the final product is going to be 16 48, so recording 24 bits sort of gets lost and you have to convert it for your final project

I do find that having the audio guy with a mixer and headphones that is controling the audio, and using the boom for the best possible position, is well worth it, and that making up a cable that links the mixer in the back to the camera, and a line back for headphonse works well, and eliminates all the syncing up in post. The tethering is not all that much a problem is you are carefull.

Anyway, we work with kids here, they do a number of productions of their own movies.
What we used for them was an xl1, a beach dx10 using the line outs, a MKH 416 on a boom pole, and when needed a senn wireless mic. or another boom pole with a k5/me66/64 We made up a dual rca and headphone cable of 25 feet, and that's what they used and it worked quite well. The sound guy got control of the audio, the camera man did not have to worry about audio, but they did not have to sync up the audio later

Just some thoughts

Sharyn

Christian Lett
Offline
Joined: Apr 26 1999

Hi all,

Just to let you know we decided on and added to our arsenal, an MKH 416 with Rycote windshield kit. We're really happy with it. Thanks for all the advice,

Christian

Christian Lett After Effects and Maya Artist www.quarterlightpictures.com

John Willett
John Willett's picture
Offline
Joined: Jun 1 2001
Christian Lett wrote:
Just to let you know we decided on and added to our arsenal, an MKH 416 with Rycote windshield kit. We're really happy with it. Thanks for all the advice,

I hope you got the Rycote ConnBox with the kit - it's essential for proper isolation of the mic.

It's not included in the kit as there are several options depending on the mic. used - the MKH 416 needs the ConnBox-1.

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.