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  #1  
Old 04-16-2003, 09:15 PM
Brad Ferguson Brad Ferguson is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Default recording location audio for video...

Maybe I am dreaming here.. but here is the scenario I'm going to face come September.

I'm going to be shooting a 20 minute project on DVC-PRO, and I want kickass location audio.

Is there any way to lock a portable protools setup to a camera, so that you have the audio already sync'd up with your video with some kind of timecode?

We will be editing on our brand spaking new Avid systems.. What would be nice is that once we get all of our edits layed down, to have the ability to bring in an EDL into protools and have it make the edits accordingly... Then all I would have to do is mix, and then smoothen out the transitions..

Is this possible? Am I dreaming? Am I talking about something that has already been covered before?

Any help would be awesome, and will earn your name in the credits. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2003, 11:14 PM
Bastiaan Bastiaan is offline
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

Fot the audio-recording....i would use a timecode DAT-recorder, synced to the camera for timecode.

Record very very very good what you record, and dont let the "scene 14 take 5" stuff go lazy. That is all dont to make it easier to sync up audio and video...

Do a laydown of your recorded audio BEFORE the editing starts!!!!!!

Then it can be edited


After it has been edited, they will make an OMFI-file for you, wich has a lowres video-image with it, and all the audio...Using Digitranslator, you can import this as a protools-session....

Dont exoect to have to mix only. You will have to fix up edits, change 2 peices of audio, so they sdound the same. Add soundeffects (birds, cars, radio) that sort of stuff....

Maybe also the musicmix isnt done, maybe some ADR, or some dubbing...all depends...
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Old 04-17-2003, 12:24 AM
jacko32 jacko32 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: georgia
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

record some nice room tone at all the locations that the piece will be shot at. When everyone is off the set or at least when the situation is best sonically....record a few minutes of wild sound (i think i just repeated myself)....you will be greatful that you had it sitting around in the end....
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Old 04-17-2003, 01:26 AM
marcusb marcusb is offline
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Location: Victoria, Australia
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

I second bastiaan. If you are doing location sound I would strongly suggest using a timecode DAT locked to the camera. On shoots i've worked on in the past i've had a small Shure field mixer (powered off a bunch of betacam batteries) and a Fostex portable timecode DAT.

The field mixer was used to mix usually no more than 2-3 radio mics, or a hardwired boom. Make sure you have some decent cans, and yes keep your eye on the ball the whole time, specially when you start getting into take 12 of some 5 minute dialog and you ears are hurting.

PTLE's lack of timecode support will make you useless for transfers or post sync, so your best to leave the transfer of the DAT to the film folks. They can sync it to the picture for you and provide you with an OMFI file.

However, by September hopefully ProTools 6 will be available and also the DV Toolkit which WILL give you the timecode sync features you'd need for post work.

Cheers,
Marcus
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Old 04-17-2003, 02:18 AM
gerax gerax is offline
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

I absolutely agree with the Timecode DAT opinion, though you can still get away with a non timecode one, as long as you make sure that all of the shoots are made at the same Sample Rate, which usually in the video standard is 48KHz (16 bit as AVIDS aren't 24 Bit capable yet).

That's how I did a full lenght movie for a low budget production; make sure you record all of the clapstick hits and the declared name of the take/scene, that will be essential if you don't have timecode, and keep notes of everything you can (I did a special "track sheet" for this kind of recordings).

One of the most important things IMO is to feed a reference track to the camera, so that they'll have a guide to edit the video and you'll have a reference for sync when you'll be editing the audio. It doesn't have to be pristine quality, just a mono track that will be printed on camera, and you can send it off an aux of the mixer. Same thing for a monitor line for the director.

I still haven't worked with DigiTarnslator, so I cannot comment on it (but it seems to be the right solution) however I asked for a .AVI of the edited (locked) picture with striped timecode and scene/take numbers, imported it in Pro Tools (using the Import Movie) and synced my audio to it. Then I added all of the backgrounds and special effects (doors, booms, cars screeches, birds, animals).

Another important issue is (as pointed above) get as much silence or "room tone" as you can, don't forget to print it: it will be usd to tie all of your dialog tracks and will serve as a background track; if the soundtrack will be mixed to stereo then try to record it using a MS setup, so that it will be stereo ready but will have mono compatibility.

Don't skimp on mics and preamps, just because it's location audio it doens't mean it hasn't got to be killer sounding.

I used a Sennheiser MKH416 Shotgun on a boom, Sennheiser Lavs (not very common in location audiobut really good), a pair of AKG boundary mics, a pair of Audio Technica for MS technique, and a Rode NT5 for indoor dialog.
Preamps were those on a Mackie VLZ mixer.

Hope this helps

L.G.
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2003, 05:16 AM
rogga_bogga
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

Since you're not shooting the film until September, I thought you might want to give this open letter to whoever you're going to work with. I've done a lot of location audio and this will help you prevent some of the problems that might show up...I hope. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

http://www.soundspeedmovie.com/resou...penletter.html

For mics I think the Sennheiser MKH50 is good for indoor dialogue and the MKH60 for outdoor.

Good luck with the project. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2003, 08:12 AM
N-G-NEER N-G-NEER is offline
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

Also try MD the format does not waiver at all and since you can't really work with TC this does not drift it keeps excellent time out on the east coast in the DC area I know of a number of video folks who use MD for just this purpose. The trick is come out of the Digital outs only. The A/D D/A convertors on most of the MD players are horrible. This is why MD's got a bad rap, but the recording is very good as good as a DAT without the tape issues like drift and warble and markers that are missing on one pass and there on the next etc. Good luck
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2003, 07:43 PM
marcusb marcusb is offline
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

I would recommend against MD as it doesn't really have the dynamic range you need for decent dialog work.

The ATRAC compression artefacts start to get very noticable with low level signals. Once you start getting -4 to -5db below 0dbFS it starts to get crunchy and in a dialog situation you will be having very quiet parts between words, or lines and stuff. You want something this is uncompressed and reasonably clean with low-level details.

Cheers,
Marcus
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2003, 09:18 PM
Brad Ferguson Brad Ferguson is offline
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

Thanks for all the help guys!

Cheers.
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2003, 11:51 PM
Freeheel Freeheel is offline
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Default Re: recording location audio for video...

Hey Brad, record your audio to the camera. You have two channels of locked to picture, time coded audio at 48 K 16 bit. The DVC Pro is a great sounding camera. (I assume you are using the name correctly- only panasonic makes DVC-pro) I am surprised your producer has not asked you to do it that way to begin with. Doing double system is a waste of time and energy. (except as a backup)
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