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joe 1008
04-29-2009, 08:29 AM
Hello Guys, thought it would be good to have a thread dedicated to audio.

How good is the audio of the GH1 in general terms?

What are the limitations?

What microphone should one choose?

Is there full audio level control?

Or do I have to work with external audio?

If so, is there any possibility to syncronize external audio?

LizaWitz
04-29-2009, 08:57 AM
Audio uses a Mic-in port, or on camera stereo mic. Don't know if you can disable gain control. Panasonic makes an accessory stereo mic that goes in the hot shoe.

I believe an external BeachTek or that Zoom h4n should make up for what the camera lacks. The latter would allow you to record 4 tracks... for syncing someone suggested running the audio out of the Zoom to the camera audio in.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
04-29-2009, 11:16 AM
Audio uses a Mic-in port, or on camera stereo mic. Don't know if you can disable gain control. Panasonic makes an accessory stereo mic that goes in the hot shoe.

I believe an external BeachTek or that Zoom h4n should make up for what the camera lacks. The latter would allow you to record 4 tracks... for syncing someone suggested running the audio out of the Zoom to the camera audio in.

Based on reports from the very low number of GH1 users, and from looking at the scant documentation (mostly in Japanese) provided by Panasonic, it appears extremely unlikely the GH1 allows disabling its automatic audio gain control. But it's still under investigation by users, so we'll have to wait a bit for absolute confirmation either way.

The specific BeachTek unit, initially designed for use for the Canon 5DM2, outputs an "inaudible" high frequency tone concurrent with your program audio, tricking the cam's auto audio gain to hold at a steady level. You can then use the input level controls on the BeachTek to adjust the levels for your mic/line inputs.
http://www.beachtek.com/dxa5d.html

However, it's unknown at this time if this BeachTek unit is compatible with the GH1. It _might_ work, but I don't know if it's been tested yet.

With an appropriately-wired 4-pole plug & audio signal you can input audio into the GH1's combination mic & remote control connector. However, without using a device such as this specific new BeackTek model (with its inaudible tone trick), any external audio will have it's levels (and thus its audio noise level) set and affected by the GH1's auto audio gain. This will often result in less than desirable audio performance (incorrect levels and/or too much noise/hiss/hum).

Whether or not Panasonic could or would change the GH1 (such as via a firmware fix) to allow disabling auto audio gain is unknown.

- Peter
www.peterdv.com (http://www.peterdv.com)

Eddy Robinson
04-29-2009, 11:33 AM
From what I've heard/seen, onboard audio is passable but don't expect too much. you'll need a special connector for the input, it's not regular stereo. Personally, I intend on using a Zoom H4n too - good quality, availability of powered external inputs, and so forth.

Syncing is easy. You can use s slate in the traditional manner (which is a little time-consuming to sync up in post, but will give you needed time to assess footage and sicover quality problems early), or alternatively grab a few frames of the Zoom's display to have a time reference. Unsure if you can set both the Zoom and the GH1 to time-of-day recording and have it stamped in the audio & video metadata, which would be a big timesaver.

As an audio guy I would always suggest handing the job of recording to another person if quality really matters.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
04-29-2009, 11:41 AM
... As an audio guy I would always suggest handing the job of recording to another person if quality really matters.

Yes, hire a sound person!!! :happy:

Here's why:
http://www.coffeyinteractive.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=1629

Remember: The soundtrack will account for at least 75% of the value & impact of your video/film!*

* The other "75%" is the writing, followed by the lighting, etc., etc. ;-)

Isaac_Brody
04-29-2009, 12:05 PM
Yes, hire a sound person!!! :happy:

Here's why:
http://www.coffeyinteractive.com/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=1629

Remember: The soundtrack will account for at least 75% of the value & impact of your video/film!*

* The other "75%" is the writing, followed by the lighting, etc., etc. ;-)


Nice post and reminder. Sound is one of those things I learned the hard way on one or two short films. It can totally destroy a film if treated like an afterthought.

androoow
04-29-2009, 02:10 PM
people can accept less than great visual images and be ok with it .. arty stuff and just poor shot... but bang out some nice visuals and add some crap recorded/muffled/distorted sound and people will scream foul.... the cake is a lie!

Gweilo66
04-29-2009, 04:03 PM
I'm very curious about the Bechtek approach. If the approach works, seems like it could be adapted to most recorders with ALC input. A Panasonic made integrated XLR breakout box option with built-in ALC defeat/bypass would be so great. However, there would also be a need for metering if ALC is disabled. Does the GH1 have any audio metering ability?

ChipG
04-29-2009, 05:15 PM
I have been thinking about making a small shoulder bag like the porta brace bag for a sound devices 744 mixer, recorder and wireless receivers but a really small version for a H4N with the sound devices mix pre and a pouch for 1 wireless reciever. Something about 2 inches thick and 6 inches long for fast in field on the go documetary shooting. Or even a belt clip type micro bag.

Would anyone have any input or suggestions?

edit: actually I'd leave the wireless receiver pouch off to save size and make the front all velcro so I can stick a receiver on it if need be.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
04-29-2009, 06:47 PM
I have been thinking about making a small shoulder bag like the porta brace bag for a sound devices 744 mixer, recorder and wireless receivers but a really small version for a H4N with the sound devices mix pre ...

But remember, the MixPre (& other mixers) doesn't do the new BeachTek's magic inaudible tone trick -- yet.

ChipG
04-30-2009, 12:22 AM
But remember, the MixPre (& other mixers) doesn't do the new BeachTek's magic inaudible tone trick -- yet.

Heh? Beachtec got rid of all the noise?

Gweilo66
04-30-2009, 03:54 PM
Would be good for someone with a cam to simulate an interview setting with a lav or overhead shotgun plugged in in a reasonably quiet room. This would give some sense of just how much "breathing and pumping" the ALC circuit is prone to. (My apologies if I've elicited unsuitable imagery;)

jamesmallonuk
05-01-2009, 07:56 AM
No one has mentioned anything about the audio controls. Does anyone know if it has auto gain. Anyone tried a mic onto fo the body like an mke400 or the mic that is sold as an accessory. I am guessing if you can control the audio it could be a great camera for documentary work with a decent small form mic attached.

AdrianF
05-01-2009, 08:18 AM
No one has mentioned anything about the audio controls. Does anyone know if it has auto gain. Anyone tried a mic onto fo the body like an mke400 or the mic that is sold as an accessory. I am guessing if you can control the audio it could be a great camera for documentary work with a decent small form mic attached.

Phil Blooms clip was using the Panasonic optional mic, if you have a look at his post about this. He also mentions no headphone jack. For me personally, I'll do dual system with a Zoom ( with some kind of pouch ) as recorder and use the onboard mic as backup. I'm not sure I like the idea of not monitoring whats being recorded, when it's your only sound.

Adrian

Gweilo66
05-02-2009, 11:42 AM
Ohhh...missed that it doesn't have headphone jack. :(
Maybe there's a line out? I think there are some basic boxes that convert line to headphone feed. One of the problems with dual sound (Zoom etc) in a one man setup is you don't have level readout in the viewfinder. I get the sense that basic manual control/monitoring of audio may be used to separate VDSLRs from pro(sumer) vidcams.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
05-02-2009, 06:35 PM
... Maybe there's a line [audio] out? ...

You bring up a good question. We've mostly discussed whether or not the GH1 has live _video_ out when it's recording (it does not).

But it would be useful to know: Does the GH1 output live line-level _audio_ (for example, the sound being picked-up by its built-in mics) via its special USB-to-RCA cable when the cam is in record mode?

Or does the audio-out go mute (as does the video-out) when recording? (Or is this a moot point if maybe the GH1 goes into "playback" mode when you plug the USB-to-RCA cable into the cam?)

Kholi, Hunter, Philip, etc.: Would you be able to do a quick check on this? Thanks!

squig
05-02-2009, 06:56 PM
Unless you have absolutely no money you should forget about using the onboard audio. No monitoring and 2.5mm mini jack input is a no go for me. Plus I expect the pre amp to sound pretty cheap.

The zoom H4n is the best option.

Does anybody have any experience with Audio Technica Lavs? I'm trying to decide between the AT's and the Sennheiser G2's.

Park Edwards
05-02-2009, 07:23 PM
The zoom H4n is the best option.

The H4 will do just as good. The h4n is newer, but doesn't necessarily mean it's the "best" option...

squig
05-02-2009, 07:36 PM
I'm hearing the pre-amps are much cleaner. And the 4 track recording is a big bonus. Plus the display is much better. I sold my H4 as soon as I saw the H4n. Hopefully the pre-amps are good enough that I won't have to get a sound devices pre.

Eddy Robinson
05-02-2009, 10:09 PM
Does anybody have any experience with Audio Technica Lavs? I'm trying to decide between the AT's and the Sennheiser G2's.

Get the Sennheisers, without question. At make good capsules but I don't like their wireless system. The G2s will stand up to the rigors of real-world shooting very well, I've used them for several years on several features and have no complaints.

squig
05-02-2009, 10:20 PM
:shocked: Are you sure about that? PM or email me at angibrowl -at - gmail if you want, it needn't be that expensive. Rode mics are from Australia if I recall correctly, and their NTG series is both good and affordable.

You might do much better to cast around for a decent sound person with good equipment than buy it all yourself and not be able to make the best use of it; and if equipment is a must-buy for whatever reason, there are still lots of options. You don't need Lectrosonics, for example; for about a quarter of the price you can get some Sennheiser wireless mics that'll give you 95% of the same results.

positive

I already have a rode NTG2. Yep they're made here and are cheaper here too. I want to get a sennheiser G2 system with 2 countryman B3 lavs. And I need a zoom H4n and maybe a rode NT3 and boom.

After doing some reading I'll definitely go with the sennheisers. What do you think of the B3s? I've read some other brands may be better but I can get the B3s a lot cheaper. I was a record producer in a past life so sound quality is very important to me but I'm used to getting very good results with cheaper equipment with some effort.

Eddy Robinson
05-02-2009, 10:26 PM
The H4 will do just as good. The h4n is newer, but doesn't necessarily mean it's the "best" option...

There's a lot that's better about it. Being able to adjust the polar patterns of the onboard mics (for 4 track recording @ 24/48) is huge. I'd still recommend using an external mixer unless the preamps have improved substantially, but you don't necessarily need a Sound Devices. There are a lot of more budget-friendly options available that will still sound very good. Analog mixing is a very mature technology.

squig
05-02-2009, 10:30 PM
I've looked around a bit but haven't found anything portable like the sound devices. I have a presonus digitube valve pre that I could rig up with a battery.

Eddy Robinson
05-02-2009, 10:40 PM
positive

I already have a rode NTG2. Yep they're made here and are cheaper here too. I want to get a sennheiser G2 system with 2 countryman B3 lavs. And I need a zoom H4n and maybe a rode NT3 and boom.

After doing some reading I'll definitely go with the sennheisers. What do you think of the B3s? I've read some other brands may be better but I can get the B3s a lot cheaper. I was a record producer in a past life so sound quality is very important to me but I'm used to getting very good results with cheaper equipment with some effort.

Yes, I rate the Sennheisers. The b3s are good...but if I were you, I'd try out with the Senn. capsules first. So much of a lavalier mic depends on where it's placed on the talent and so forth. You might be surprised to discover that the best investment you can make is a roll of breathable surgical tape which will really hold them in place even on an actor's sweaty chest (and gunk up your mic capsule, get used to cleaning them). Simply instructing your wardrobe people to avoid polyester or other synthetic fabrics (which rustle horribly) will also improve your sound by leaps and bounds. When you have the capsule securely taped under someone's sternum, it's going to sound a bit bassier no matter what capsule you use, but you can fix that with a dash of EQ later. Experiment with the transmit/receive settings for gain and you may be pleasantly surprised.

If you have an NTG2 then the NTG3 may be superfluous. As you'll know from past studio experience (me too) it's a game of diminishing returns: you pay a LOT for the final 5% improvement. Having said that I use a Schoeps CMIT-5u, but then sound was my primary trade for several years. Myself, I'd rent a boom, because they're cheap, and spend the money on someone who knew what to do with it - most people thing you just hold it up in the air and that a boom operator's main talent is being tall, which is just so much BS.

Bear in mind you're not recording in a studio, nor are you recording musical frequencies where alising might be a distraction. 24bit on the Zoom is great, 48Khz is more than adequate unless you are shooting a film about bats, violinists or opera singers. Of course 96KHz sounds a little better, but the real plus of 96khz is in post, where you can layer on lots of plugins without worrying about audio mung coming down below the nyquist threshold. For recording in real world locations it's highly unlikely that 48khz is going to hurt you, and the benefit (with the Zoom) is that you get 4 tracks instead of just two.

Get the remote control for the zoom, a mic stand and an extension and an extra sandbag/clamp, and stick that guy up above your shot (keep it in one place for the whole scene) and you'll have an absolutely awesome ambient track that you can then mix your boom/lav feed into later. Getting good ambience is half the battle, which is why in hollywood the trick for a long time was to mount a figure-8 capsule under the boom and use mid-side recording. It never sounds as good to just get room tone with the boom and mix it in afterwards. Use the Zoom's onboard for that and just roll off everything above ~15khz in post with a 6dB slope.

Eddy Robinson
05-02-2009, 10:48 PM
I've looked around a bit but haven't found anything portable like the sound devices. I have a presonus digitube valve pre that I could rig up with a battery.

Azden, Rolls at the cheap-yet-cheerful end, Wendt and PSC at the pricier-but affordable. Don't use a valve pre, the tonal characteristics will change depending on how long it's been on and how hot your set is (with lighting or exteriors in the balzing sun). I mean if you're going down the Sound Devices route you're talking a fair maount of money, and it's going to be limited by the quality of the /ad converters on the zoom. In that case you'd be better off getting an Edirol R-4 pro which combines the best of both worlds, and just buying a cheap matched pair of studio condensers and an x-y bar for your ambience (again, Rode has options here).

squig
05-02-2009, 10:56 PM
thx for the advice

I meant the rode NT3 hypercardioid for indoor work. I've read it sounds warmer than the Oktava although it is heavy. I can get it cheaper here than the Oktava. I'm planning on shooting solo most of the time so I'm using 2 lavs and a boom on a stand.

Ahh so you think the sennhesier lavs are decent? Most of the posts I've read have recommended to ditch them. But if we're just talking about a slightly warmer sound with the B3's then ok. I'm thinking of using Lavs for 90% of the film with the NTG2 and NT3 mostly just there as a backup. But if it were a choice between just using better quality lavs like the B3 or the sennheiser lavs and the rodes which way would you go? Keeping in mind I'll have the much bang for buck H4n as a backup too.

squig
05-02-2009, 11:01 PM
Azden, Rolls at the cheap-yet-cheerful end, Wendt and PSC at the pricier-but affordable. Don't use a valve pre, the tonal characteristics will change depending on how long it's been on and how hot your set is (with lighting or exteriors in the balzing sun). I mean if you're going down the Sound Devices route you're talking a fair maount of money, and it's going to be limited by the quality of the /ad converters on the zoom. In that case you'd be better off getting an Edirol R-4 pro which combines the best of both worlds, and just buying a cheap matched pair of studio condensers and an x-y bar for your ambience (again, Rode has options here).

Well I'm thinking the pre's on the H4n will probably be good enough for the mic's I'm using. And yeah the converters aren't exactly stellar. It's a lo-fi production with a 25k budget so I'm just going to squeeze as much quality as I can from lower end gear.

Eddy Robinson
05-02-2009, 11:23 PM
I'm planning on shooting solo most of the time so I'm using 2 lavs and a boom on a stand.

OK, well test out your NTG2 - it's not that long of a boom mic, and you might find it quite adequate for indoor work. The Schoeps I use is about the same length, and I use it all the time for everything except really long shots or very bright rooms.

boom on a stand, be careful. That sort of works but if your people move around you'll hear it straight away, just like you'd see it if they move out of the light in a night shot. You're really, really cutting down your options that way. I totally understand the solo impulse (I'm not that much of a people person myself, especially when I'm trying to be creative), but don't spread yourself too thin either. Realistically you're going to have a problem assessing audio quality properly when you're also trying to operate and review the camera. My experience is that if you are heavily focused on the visual or the aural elements it's easy to miss something awful in the other part of your sensorium and not discover it until post.


Ahh so you think the sennhesier lavs are decent? Most of the posts I've read have recommended to ditch them. But if we're just talking about a slightly warmer sound with the B3's then ok.

Sure they are. Look, of course you'd ditch them if you were being paid $600+ a day plus kit fees, but again it's diminishing returns. They don't sound like ass, they're just not as beautiful as something like a countryman or a sanken. If you have a lot of screaming and so on then they'll certainly break up less gracefully at high sound pressure levels, and the other brands have the added advantage of very tiny capsules. We're talking a diameter of 2mm instead of 5mm...but unless you need to fit them into the seam of a swimsuit, nobody's ever gonna see them, are they?

Don't get caught up with the spec obsession. I get it too, but to be honest once you get into paying pro prices everything is pretty damn good. The uber-expensive stuff is better, but it's also there to help you sell and/or assuage anxieties about your equipment and performance. It's a lot easier to feel confident with $50k worth of gear than with $5k, but as you surely know it won't make your production 9 times better or even twice as good. Don't forget that a lot of this gear is targeted at people who are getting hired onto project with big budgets. If the film is spending a million bucks a week or more, then yeah, the producer can legitimately say 'I want the best in the world' and it's easier to just turn up and have the top end stuff. You, on the other hand, are not going to be trying to run 7 wireless microphones on a set that's submerged in RF noise and has a star bitching about the need to wear a body pack and questioning whether you're going to eavesdrop on his phone calls.


I'm thinking of using Lavs for 90% of the film with the NTG2 and NT3 mostly just there as a backup. But if it were a choice between just using better quality lavs like the B3 or the sennheiser lavs and the rodes which way would you go?

No. If all your dialog is on lavaliers then it's going to sound like reality TV. You might as well just pumping the zoom on the lens and making sure the light is as flat and uninteresting as possible, because it'll sound exactly like Big Brother or Little Sister or whatever you have on TV in Strine.

do you know anyone with this kind of gear, or a friendly rental shop? If so borrow some for a day and record something both ways. Then listen to it afterwards, with or without a picture. Lavaliers are mega-useful but they're always, always going to sound like voice over. The longer it goes on, the more the audience will hate it even if they don't know why.

Really, do a sanity check on this. I know you want good audio, but unless you're living out in the Bush I bet there is someone near you that already does sound and who'll give you a deal. Do you know google groups? Try rec.arts.movies.production.sound - which is mostly made up of pro hollywood people - and ask them if they know anyone who'd help a no-budget film in Australia by recommending a good intern or boom op they've worked with. It is possible to do it all as a one-man show, but you'll go grey in the process. If you're not ashamed to be low-budget with a couple of actors, then don't be ashamed to do it with 1 or a few crew. As a matter of fact, having a people helping you out will make it a lot easier for you to boss the actors, which is not a bad thing.

Test the zoom for channel crosstalk before you commit to it. That's the one thing I'd worry about on something that small.

squig
05-02-2009, 11:48 PM
I haven't done my film sound reading yet so thanks for the tips.

Ok I'll limit the Lav use to moving shots and boom everything else. Do you think the onboard zoom mic's would sound far better than a lav? Because I could probably hide it in some shots. I haven't done my film sound reading yet so thanks for the tips.

I'll have a play with the NTG2 indoors, I can get the NT3 for around $150 US though which won't burn a huge hole in the budget.

I know what you're saying about the pro's and con's of flying solo. Chances are I'll have a lot of offers of help but I like to be ready for anything. People aren't always reliable particularly when you're paying them with beer and pizza.

Cazeaux
05-03-2009, 01:24 AM
Well, I was in Japan last week and managed to play with the GH1 a couple of times.
Despite that I couldn't swap to other language than Japaneese. I search for mic gain control but I couldn't find any.
On top of that, if the flash is out, the internal mic rotate to the back as it is mounted on the flash. I am not sure that an outside mic doesn't collid with the flash when getting out.

About the zooming, there is no auto zoom in and out as you can find on a video camera.

Beside, nice heavy beast with clear picture even in dark environment

Eddy Robinson
05-03-2009, 01:38 AM
Here's my advice; get a lav and borrow or rent a boom. wire up Mrs Squig or one of the squigettes for an afternoon and make an ass of yourself following them around recording what they say and do on both microphones. Then dump the results into the computer and edit it a few days later (in the real world there's usually a wait so you might as well get used to it).

Between your existing technical knowledge and the practical experience, you'll learn more from that process than from any book. The onboard zoom mics will give you good background ambience, you should imagine them as your main dialog mics. That's what the boom is for, but there are many reasons you might want to have a lav going as well. I don't always put them on the talent, I often hide them around the set if there's a noise I particularly want to pick up, like somone stirring tsugar into their coffee during an awkward silence.

Yeah, people aren't always reliable when its beer and pizza, but your equipment will never bring beer and pizza to you :-) I'd say you should have enough knowledge to know what you want done and how, but not expect to do it all yourself all the time, or you'll exhaust yourself and that's bad for your creativity. It's also unfair to your actors when you're doing things serially instead of having several people work in parallel. Part of directing is the ability to delegate.

DavidNJ
05-03-2009, 02:30 AM
From what I've heard/seen, onboard audio is passable but don't expect too much. you'll need a special connector for the input, it's not regular stereo. Personally, I intend on using a Zoom H4n too - good quality, availability of powered external inputs, and so forth.

Syncing is easy. You can use s slate in the traditional manner (which is a little time-consuming to sync up in post, but will give you needed time to assess footage and sicover quality problems early), or alternatively grab a few frames of the Zoom's display to have a time reference. Unsure if you can set both the Zoom and the GH1 to time-of-day recording and have it stamped in the audio & video metadata, which would be a big timesaver.

As an audio guy I would always suggest handing the job of recording to another person if quality really matters.

Fully concur...the advantage of using the on-camera audio is speed in post. Is this really an ENG camera? Since the cameras don't appear to have headphone jacks that would make monitoring impossible.

The Zoom H4n is popular because of its features, size, and price. You could use the on-camera audio to help align the off-camera audio.

androoow
05-03-2009, 04:14 AM
http://www.tascam.com/products/dr-100;9,12,3717,14.html

another contender for the portable digital recorder is the Tascam DR-100 been eyeing this up since start of year ..compared to the orig H4 , the tascam just seemed a much better machine , but now with the H4n , there isnt such a lead anymore... Build quality on Tascams seem to be better generally and i like the fact that the Tascam can use its rechargable lith-ion battery along with normal AA's .

That said , the Tascam is a bit more expensive (not much ) and dosn't come with the AC adaptor ..its a bit more !! anyone else been checking this model out???..one thing that annoys me on both is no digital in/outs on them :(

Toenis
05-03-2009, 05:20 AM
Please, please remember that any field recordist needs to monitor audio levels and those tabletop recorders do not provide. I mean that the LCDs on those are positioned so that you simply can nor read the meters when in bag or on the go. I 've owned and sold all recorders that I can not use from the bag. Specially so if you boom guy is the recordist too.

There is that new Maranz 661 that has level meters on top and Fostex FR2 LE and then there is that Edirol R44 (my personal favorite BTW).

Please think about wearable/bag/field level monitoring of any recorder before considering to get one and specially so if your boom operator will be the recordist too and specially so if you plan to monitor your levels when operating a camera (that's a bad idea but I have done this for far too many times).

I couldn't even live with that Sony PCM D1 because no one couldn't monitor the levels when moving around.

Cheers,
T

androoow
05-03-2009, 06:21 AM
Please, please remember that any field recordist needs to monitor audio levels and those tabletop recorders do not provide. I mean that the LCDs on those are positioned so that you simply can nor read the meters when in bag or on the go. .
T

a very very good point.. something i think many people who don't usually record sound in the field are over looking, coming from mainly a recording music background, its something i probably hadn't looked too much into.. however as a lower cost option than those side metering ones, its still gonna be better than onboard sound quality and like the camera itself, whilst not perfect.. people WILL be able to get around its limitations but i totally dig your point.

***goes away to replan sound capture budget :(

DavidNJ
05-03-2009, 06:26 AM
An interesting post. It brings up the issues of skills and workflow. How many people are in the sound team? Is there a sound team?

The Zoom H4n and Tascam DR-100 are much smaller and less expensive than the R44 which is nearly 3x the cost of the H4n.

Most people looking at the GH1 are probably coming from a HVX, HPX, HMC< XH-A1, DVX class of prosumer camera or maybe a HV20, SR11, HF200 consumer camera. In those instances onboard audio was the norm. I would imagine the R44 is often used with a breakaway cable recording on both the recorder and camera.

The hybrid video SLR problem is that the audio is on par with a $6-800 consumer camera. The Tascam DR-1 and Zoom H4n are the lost cost alternatives to record in a similar manner to the prosumer cameras. The Fostex FR2 LE and Marantz 661 would be a step in size and cost. The R44, Tascam HD-P2, Marantz 671, Korg MR-1000 would be in calls of recorders with the features a field recordist would expect (such as top controls and displays when in a bag) and are all in the $900-1000 range.

Eddy Robinson
05-03-2009, 12:30 PM
The onboard zoom mics will give you good background ambience, you should imagine them as your main dialog mics.

Er...you should NOT imagine them as your main dialog mics. Ever. This is what I get for posting at 1am with a big bottle of beer, sorry.

Eddy Robinson
05-03-2009, 12:44 PM
The Zoom H4n is popular because of its features, size, and price. You could use the on-camera audio to help align the off-camera audio.

Quite. It has limitations (particularly as a mixing device), so the thing to do is treat it as an awesome budget recorder. Think of the camera's onboard sound capability as a handy bonus rather than an end in itself.

Unless you're trying to be uber-stealthy, a $50 slate with the clapper on top is still a great, great investment. It worked for years on end with film cameras and analog tape recorders, long before we had powerful computer systems. It still works - if anything, better than before. If you get one with a color-striped clapper rather than a black-and-white, you can even use it as a reference card for your color correction on every shot, like the old Macbeth color cards shot at the beginning of a roll of film.

If you are being uber-stealthy, you can either record audio and sync up using the waveform from the camera and the recorder in your editing software (for some reason, every NLE I've ever used has waveform display turned off by default...which is idiotic) but it's much easier and faster if you have a click or a peak to align to. don't use a handclap or finger snap, because it's not consistent and if you're trying to match up image-only with the audio, it's not always obvious which frame the sound is on if the hands aren't at the right angle.

A good quality retractable pen has a decent click and won't attract any attention from passers-by, and you can easily see on which frame the button is all the way down. Alternatively, hold a cellphone up in front of the lens and press a button - it'll beep and a number will appear on the display, and you're set. there is actually a virtual slate for the iPhone if you are an apple afficionado.

AdrianF
05-03-2009, 01:21 PM
Another advantage of the pocket recorders like the Zoom/Microtrack etc. is that they can sometimes be used in place of a radio mic system, if you can't or don't want to use radio mics. Placing the recorder in a pocket with a wired lav and away you go.

Adrian

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
05-03-2009, 01:39 PM
... Does the GH1 output live line-level _audio_ (for example, the sound being picked-up by its built-in mics) via its special USB-to-RCA cable when the cam is in record mode? Or does the GH1's audio-out go mute (as does the video-out) when recording?

(This a moot point if the GH1 goes into "playback" mode when you plug the USB-to-RCA cable into the cam.)

Kholi, Hunter, Philip, etc.: Would you be able to do a quick check on this?

Bump. Can anyone verify this either way? My apologies if this has already been covered. Thanks!

Gweilo66
05-03-2009, 01:40 PM
Well..I have to say double rolling is a pain the arse in a one man band situation. Maybe no one is thinking along those lines? Even for interviews? I think having to go double system route with what is supposed to be small form factor shooting is defeating some of the purpose. To have onboard digital audio that you can't really work with is a lingering problem with these hybrid-cams. It wouldn't take much to make this situation much more workable. I doubt the lacking here is an accident. If it's true that there is no video monitor out during shooting, that seems like a problem too. I would like to know about the audio line out posibility but it seems unlikely based on how it handles video.

DavidNJ
05-03-2009, 01:57 PM
The H4n and DR100 are pretty small and can fit in your pocket (is there a holder?). So they aren't that bad. And if you're mic'ing yourself you would just wear a lav.

Gweilo66
05-03-2009, 02:18 PM
Well..I'm talking about miking an on camera subject, not myself. You won't have rolling confirmation or meters in the viewfinder. So every start and stop in a doco situation means remembering to roll audio. And in post you will have to conform/keep track of audio only files. Maybe it's worth it for the imaging options, even without live external visual monitor. It's just irritating when a product gets so close to what really makes sense. At least there is an external mic in...hampered as it is.

Kholi
05-03-2009, 03:07 PM
Quite. It has limitations (particularly as a mixing device), so the thing to do is treat it as an awesome budget recorder. Think of the camera's onboard sound capability as a handy bonus rather than an end in itself.

Unless you're trying to be uber-stealthy, a $50 slate with the clapper on top is still a great, great investment. It worked for years on end with film cameras and analog tape recorders, long before we had powerful computer systems. It still works - if anything, better than before. If you get one with a color-striped clapper rather than a black-and-white, you can even use it as a reference card for your color correction on every shot, like the old Macbeth color cards shot at the beginning of a roll of film.

If you are being uber-stealthy, you can either record audio and sync up using the waveform from the camera and the recorder in your editing software (for some reason, every NLE I've ever used has waveform display turned off by default...which is idiotic) but it's much easier and faster if you have a click or a peak to align to. don't use a handclap or finger snap, because it's not consistent and if you're trying to match up image-only with the audio, it's not always obvious which frame the sound is on if the hands aren't at the right angle.

A good quality retractable pen has a decent click and won't attract any attention from passers-by, and you can easily see on which frame the button is all the way down. Alternatively, hold a cellphone up in front of the lens and press a button - it'll beep and a number will appear on the display, and you're set. there is actually a virtual slate for the iPhone if you are an apple afficionado.

Awesome advice, Eddy. There'll be some real workarounds for audio or some real spending, choose one.

I'm STILL slating with the RED ONE and running reference sound into camera. That's just how it is, man. The Pen and Phone tricks are really nice solutions!

You could potentially put a color chart on the iPhone and tweak it so it reads properly.

Tried and true methods still work til this day. I'm going to look into the DXA-5d from Beachtek and the H4N Zoom as my audio option, not just for this camera but for disreet RED shooting as well.

Gweilo66
05-03-2009, 04:23 PM
I guess this sums it up pretty well. If you have a Red type operation, double system workflow probably is de rigeur. I just think a sub $2k video camera that basically pushes you to shoot like film is annoying. Maybe next version Panny can add another $500 to the price and properly handle audio and skip the mess. Or offer a breakoutbox/component that can disable ALC with XLR ins and adds audio (and video?) monitoring. This would make it a teriffic video journalism tool for reporter crews.
What do you think, Panny?

xbourque
05-03-2009, 04:55 PM
Don't forget JuicedLink adapters.

http://www.juicedlink.com/index_files/CX_camcorder_XLR_microphone_adapter_audio_mixers.h tm

I have one for my Canon HV20 and used it with wired lavs (AT803 and Sony ECM77). The results are great for interviews. Very low hiss and plenty good dynamic range.

If you can turn off the auto-gain on the GH1 and monitor the sound with the line-out, my guess is that a JuicedLink will be plenty good to compensate the crappy on-camera preamp.

Otherwise, I can see JuicedLink or BeachTek coming out with a unit that includes VU meters, a headphone jack and the "inaudible" tone to keep levels constant.

- Xavier

Kholi
05-03-2009, 04:56 PM
beachtek has something like that for the 5D. I suspect it works with the GH-1 as well. Might be an interesting alternative.

It'd be cool to shoot GH-1 B camera with the Beachtek 5D module boxed in for all audio.

Then again, might just be better to grab the H4N and some lavs. Who knows.

squig
05-03-2009, 05:26 PM
it's not the camera forcing us to shoot like film most of us just prefer it that way. The zoom has a lot more to offer than even a 10k video camera.

Gweilo66
05-03-2009, 07:55 PM
Ah..guess I prefer sync sound.

DavidNJ
05-03-2009, 08:03 PM
Ah..guess I prefer sync sound.

Then I would stick with a camcorder...probably an HMC150.

Gweilo66
05-03-2009, 10:37 PM
Hopefully someone will post whether there is a line out for audio..during recording. And maybe the stealth signal beachtek can tame any ALC weirdness.

AdrianF
05-04-2009, 12:59 AM
Some kind of line out during recording would be a must really, otherwise how do you monitor what's being recorded? One point on using the Zoom/portables with a lav on talent is you can't monitor what's being recorded.

Adrian

squig
05-04-2009, 01:50 AM
Some kind of line out during recording would be a must really, otherwise how do you monitor what's being recorded? One point on using the Zoom/portables with a lav on talent is you can't monitor what's being recorded.

Adrian

why not?

Toenis
05-04-2009, 02:04 AM
why not?

I think he meant that when you use portable recorder on talent you can not monitor the audio. Like you put an iRiver pocket recorder with a lav on your talent and let it roll.

squig
05-04-2009, 02:09 AM
ahh got it. unless you tether them

AdrianF
05-04-2009, 02:39 AM
I think he meant that when you use portable recorder on talent you can not monitor the audio. Like you put an iRiver pocket recorder with a lav on your talent and let it roll.

Yeah, that's exactly what I meant. It's a viable option though in some situations.

Adrian

Gweilo66
05-04-2009, 09:41 AM
Hmmm...never thought of putting the recorder with the talent. Kind of what the Zaxcom transmitters do with their built-in backup recording. It's an interesting idea if the environment is hostile to generic wireless mics. Maybe split the mic and set one channel lower as a backup against overload. Not what I woudl want to do gernerally but in certain situations, a good trick for the back pocket..literally.

Park Edwards
05-04-2009, 10:23 AM
you can monitor the sound through the zoom. it has a headphone jack and a line out.

AdrianF
05-04-2009, 10:52 AM
Yes you can. The only problem is that, in this situation, the on camera talent would have to have a sound man permanently attached to them, which could be a real problem for the script writers.

Park Edwards
05-04-2009, 12:51 PM
I'm not sure we're on the same page. You want to attach the H4n/H4 to the talent?

divide
05-04-2009, 01:15 PM
you can monitor the sound through the zoom. it has a headphone jack and a line out.

..You are talking about the GH1, right ? I didn't not see anything like headphone jack on it. Where did you saw that ?

ChipG
05-04-2009, 01:16 PM
..You are talking about the GH1, right ? I didn't not see anything like headphone jack on it. Where did you saw that ?

Zoom H4N, not the camera.

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
05-04-2009, 01:21 PM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I noticed that in the camera-original GH1 720p60 MJPEG QuickTime clips that Kholi posted here:
http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showpost.php?p=1627120&postcount=867

... the QT player movie inspector window says the MJPEG files' audio spec is "16-bit Integer (Big Endian), Stereo, 16.000 kHz".

Do the GH1's AVCHD files have "16.000 kHz" audio tracks, too?

divide
05-04-2009, 01:29 PM
ChipG: k !
Peter: of course not :) It's 48Khz, Stereo, 192Kbps AC3

ChipG
05-04-2009, 01:34 PM
The GH1 has audio and records stereo, the monitor headphone reference was for the Zoom H4 and not the camera.

AdrianF
05-04-2009, 02:49 PM
I'm not sure we're on the same page. You want to attach the H4n/H4 to the talent?
No we're not on the same page:happy:! I had suggested that the Zoom could be used in place of a radio mic in certain situations and therefore the idea of a sound man desperately checking levels whilst being trailed behind the actor/interviewee came to mind.

I'll get my coat.

Park Edwards
05-04-2009, 02:51 PM
Wireless lav?

squig
05-04-2009, 04:23 PM
but if you have no budget attaching a H2 to the talent could be an option. You'd have to check levels before and after the shot but you wouldn't have to worry about rf interference. Olympus make an even smaller recorder and there are some others. I think I'm gonna forget wireless altogether and try this instead

Park Edwards
05-04-2009, 04:27 PM
creating shortcuts is going to bite you in the end man.

squig
05-04-2009, 04:40 PM
most likely

AdrianF
05-05-2009, 03:19 AM
but if you have no budget attaching a H2 to the talent could be an option. You'd have to check levels before and after the shot but you wouldn't have to worry about rf interference. Olympus make an even smaller recorder and there are some others. I think I'm gonna forget wireless altogether and try this instead

If you really want to go down this route, you might want to look at a different recorder. I've got an H2, which I've tried this out on and it works ok. One problem with it is, that using it with external mics tends to cause a bit of background hiss, which I've not been able to remove. If you search around it's well documented for this recorder. The other thing is once you've checked your levels you'll need to lock the recorder buttons, just incase the record stop button gets accidentally knocked. This works on the H2, but I don't think it's particularly fail safe.

Like Car3o says, you'll be taking a shortcut, which can sometimes cause problems.

squig
05-05-2009, 05:56 AM
I'll just stick with the H4n and the rode on a boom and hire some sennheiser G2s at weekend rates when I need them.

DavidNJ
05-05-2009, 06:20 AM
Either way...the camera doesn't have a useful on camera mic or mic input more than consumer camcorder. However, I can't imagine anyone using this camera in a tight production deadline requiring XDCAM, DVCProHD, or AVC Intra output. This is a camera when you are more concerned with the image than the process. In that case, an external recorded is fine. If you can afford $1500 for the camera plus sticks, lenses, etc. the cost of an H4n or DR-100 shouldn't break the bank.

ppshooky
05-06-2009, 12:36 PM
Will the mic input work with a 5.0/.1 surround sound mic? Or will it just playback in 2.0/.1 stereo?

Eddy Robinson
05-06-2009, 01:26 PM
Yes you can. The only problem is that, in this situation, the on camera talent would have to have a sound man permanently attached to them, which could be a real problem for the script writers.

Screw them. Have you noticed that in any movie-about-movies which feature a sound guy, they ALWAYS die/get fired first? I was so pissed off when I went to see King Kong.

:badputer:

DavidNJ
05-06-2009, 01:35 PM
Screw them. Have you noticed that in any movie-about-movies which feature a sound guy, they ALWAYS die/get fired first? I was so pissed off when I went to see King Kong.

Just theater mimicking life? :)

When the audio is being recorded on the talent you aren't monitoring it. So that is a risk many production environments won't accept.

However, I've seen many event videographers never wear a headphone. In that case, it is the same.

Eddy Robinson
05-06-2009, 01:35 PM
One problem with (Zoom Hxx) is, that using it with external mics tends to cause a bit of background hiss, which I've not been able to remove. If you search around it's well documented for this recorder.

It's not uncommon on cheaper phantom-powered mic inputs, even on much more expensive recorders like the Tascam P2. I gather it's been improved on the newer model, but haven't got one to test.

If the hiss is consistent, it's relatively easy to remove it in post, using noise fingerprint reduction in a tool like Adobe Audition. Be careful not to overdo it though, or you'll get something that sounds like it was recorded inside a bathtub.

Eddy Robinson
05-06-2009, 01:40 PM
When the audio is being recorded on the talent you aren't monitoring it. So that is a risk many production environments won't accept.

Quite. I've done the like occasionally though; if you point out that doing so and verifying the quality afterwards will take less production time than the alternative, that's usually a winning argument.

An example of this would be a wide shot which must take place next to a running truck, where the spark gap of a the engine creates wide-frequency electrical noise which will swamp any wireless signal.

DavidNJ
05-06-2009, 01:57 PM
If the hiss is consistent, it's relatively easy to remove it in post, using noise fingerprint reduction in a tool like Adobe Audition. Be careful not to overdo it though, or you'll get something that sounds like it was recorded inside a bathtub.

While this works, it is next to impossible to avoid removing some of the actual sound you want. Audition has a 'keep noise' radio button in noise removal to hear what you are losing. To lose the noise of of the actual voice is gone also.

A quite mic amp is far and away the best solution. I am still using my Korg MR-1s. Although the Editrol R4 with 4 channel recording is nice.

The Editrol has all sorts of low cut filters and graphic equalizers. However, I'm pretty sure they are applied after the signal is digitized. In that case, processing in Audition or the equivalent seems the way to go.

Park Edwards
05-06-2009, 05:14 PM
the beachtek can't monitor audio can it?

Park Edwards
05-06-2009, 07:07 PM
what if you used the audio out from the composite cables to check the audio? someone with the camera try that? wondering if it will feed live audio out until you start to record or maybe it won't cause it's not sending a video signal.

Kholi
05-06-2009, 07:38 PM
H4N has a headhone jack. Hotshoe on the camera with the h4n will be good with wire headsets. I'm searching for a decent pair of wireless headphones that have small transmitter and built in reciever.

Only thing is I don't know if the headset jack is a continuous feed.

DavidNJ
05-06-2009, 09:01 PM
I find this discussion a little funny. If you are a serious enough videographer to frequent this forum, a videographer who appreciates the difference between the GH1 and high end consumer (and low end prosumer) camcorders, it is hard to see how the on board sound would be acceptable.

Then the question becomes do you require 48v phantom power and how big a unit do you want. The Zoom H4n claims to have fixed the mic amp quality issue that existed in early models (reported in this thread). The Tascam DR100 is about the same price with similar features. Next step up is a Fostex FR2 LE, Marantz 661, the Tascam HD-P2, Marantz 671, Editrol R44, Korg MR-1000. If you don't need XLR and phantom power support or will use an external device to provide it, there are an assortment of Sony and other recorders that can be used. If your budget is higher there are is another selection. The more expensive units are configured for use from a bad by a field recording person. The smaller ones aren't.

All of the recorders have a headphone jack. They vary on how you adjust the audio and what filters and adjustments they contain. Virtually all support 24-bit@96khz. The more expensive units support 24-bit@192khz. All uncompressed PCM. Most camcorders with XLR input support 24bit@48khz uncompressed PCM. Panasonic doesn't appear to specify the audio for the GH1 but AVCHD uses a lossy Dolby Digital compression. That is probably used on the GH1.

The H4n is about $350. The Korg MR-1000, Editrol R44, Tascam HD-P2 are $900-1000. There are others that are in the $2000-3000 range.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/542280.jpghttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/404262.jpghttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/432017.jpghttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/594741.jpghttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/599285.jpghttp://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/600761.jpg
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/485879.jpg

Some of these recorders offer multiple low cut filters and even graphic equalizers. However, since I think they are applied digitally applying them in post with higher end audio software would probably provide a better result.

Do any of these units provide analog audio enhancements before A/D conversion?

PappasArts
05-06-2009, 11:08 PM
what if you used the audio out from the composite cables to check the audio? someone with the camera try that? wondering if it will feed live audio out until you start to record or maybe it won't cause it's not sending a video signal.

I was wondering this too. If the composite video is output, is the audio as well. You could get a converter, and hook headphones to that.

Kholi, does the audio come out live on the audio output?

Peter J. DeCrescenzo
05-06-2009, 11:28 PM
I was wondering this too. If the composite video is output, is the audio as well. You could get a converter, and hook headphones to that. Kholi, does the audio come out live on the audio output?

Yeah, Kholi (and Hunter & Phil, etc.), some of us have been asking you to confirm this for days now ... how much are we paying you again?! :)

Um, yeah, I'd like to know, too! :happy:

Kholi
05-06-2009, 11:34 PM
Sorry guys! My camera is gone until tomorrow morning, and I haven't bothered with the video out simply because it didn't stay up anyway.

I'll see if the audio comes out but I already doubt it once the camera is recording.

I guess because I've already resigned myself to the H4N as my audio recorder may be the reason I haven't bothered messing with the audio.

squig
05-07-2009, 01:03 AM
I'm with David. Look at the size of the GH1. where are you gonna fit XLRs, decent converters, manual controls, and metering. And recorders like the H4n have features you won't get in a 10k camera. Not to mention the precious bits the audio would steal from the picture.

DavidNJ
05-07-2009, 05:44 AM
This is what David uses:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/485878.jpg + http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images150x150/406897.jpg

xbourque
05-07-2009, 06:41 AM
I'm with David. Look at the size of the GH1. where are you gonna fit XLRs, decent converters, manual controls, and metering. And recorders like the H4n have features you won't get in a 10k camera. Not to mention the precious bits the audio would steal from the picture.


My Canon HV20 is about the same size as the GH1 and has manual level controls (in a menu) and metering (on screen). Size is not a valid excuse.

-- Xavier

AdrianF
05-07-2009, 07:06 AM
My Canon HV20 is about the same size as the GH1 and has manual level controls (in a menu) and metering (on screen). Size is not a valid excuse.

So my wife keeps telling me. Really though, having XLR, external level meters and controls does make working with audio a lot quicker and reliable, than having to fumble around with mini jacks and internal settings. The small amount of extra time you have to spend in post, is pretty negligible IMO considering the benefits gained in sound quality.

Adrian

AdrianF
05-07-2009, 07:23 AM
It's not uncommon on cheaper phantom-powered mic inputs, even on much more expensive recorders like the Tascam P2. I gather it's been improved on the newer model, but haven't got one to test.

If the hiss is consistent, it's relatively easy to remove it in post, using noise fingerprint reduction in a tool like Adobe Audition. Be careful not to overdo it though, or you'll get something that sounds like it was recorded inside a bathtub.

Eddy, the problem I have with the H2 I think is related to the way I connect the mics. When I'm using a battery powered condenser, I'll plug the XLR into an XLR to 3.5 cable and I think this might be the week point in the chain. The noise is vary variable, which I can treat in Digital Performer, but it still is a bit of a pain. I suppose a mixer might work, but then that justs defeats the object of having a small recorder.

ryansheffer
05-07-2009, 08:26 AM
One of the main reasons I chose the H4N was its ability to be used as a USB sound device. That is a huge advantage if you ever need to record narration or if you're a musician. Similar sound devices cost nearly the same amount without a microphone or the ability to be a stand alone recorder.

DavidNJ
05-07-2009, 08:32 AM
One of the main reasons I chose the H4N was its ability to be used as a USB sound device. That is a huge advantage if you ever need to record narration or if you're a musician. Similar sound devices cost nearly the same amount without a microphone or the ability to be a stand alone recorder.


E-Mu Tracker Pre: http://www.emu.com/products/product.asp?category=610&subcategory=611&product=17511

USB powered, Phantom Power, 2 XLR or 5v stereo mic input. $150 list. I got mine for $130 with free shipping. Note, now owned by Creative, support is only by e-mail and the software was last updated in 2007.

http://images.americas.creative.com/images/products/inline/emu_tracker_front.jpghttp://images.americas.creative.com/images/products/inline/emu_tracker_rear.jpg

plasmasmp
05-07-2009, 08:44 AM
I have an 0404 USB and I love it.

DavidNJ
05-07-2009, 09:29 AM
I have an 0404 USB and I love it.

A nice unit. The Tracker Pre is USB powered, which lets it run off the laptop. I also like the the 48v switch rather than button. However, the 48v LEDs and the additional level LEDs are nice.

Nitsuj
05-07-2009, 10:49 AM
How about a mic? What do you guys use and recommend? I love the looks of this BH kit I found however the $800 tag is really steep for my budget. Anybody know of a kit that has all this (mount/grip, softie, boompole) and is good? I'm basically getting the GH1, Macbook Pro, and the audio recording equipment all at the same time. I'm thinking the H4N but the Tascam DR-100 looks good too for the phantom power. I gotta watch my spending after the camera and the macbook.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/421933-REG/Sennheiser_ME66BK_ME66_K6_Shotgun_Microphone.html

DavidNJ
05-07-2009, 11:22 AM
I thought we weren't going to have religious discussions here. :)

The Rode blimp pretty much renders the Rycote softie obsolete.

K-tek stuff is very good...

I have an ME66. The big advantage is the battery power. In practice, I use(d) the ME64 more often. Right now this former dealer is selling these Peluso's on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/PELUSO-CEMC6-STUDIO-MICROPHONE_W0QQitemZ270383340242QQcmdZViewItemQQpt ZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3ef41a5ad2&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A13 18|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50 (http://cgi.ebay.com/PELUSO-CEMC6-STUDIO-MICROPHONE_W0QQitemZ270383340242QQcmdZViewItemQQpt ZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3ef41a5ad2&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50) for $210. You could add a hyper cardioid capsule.

An Audix shock mount for $25 from Musician's Friend is nice when you aren't using the blimp.

I got my last cables made by Lava Cable. He make them to order, good prices, wide selection. http://www.lavacable.com/mic_gepco.html. There are other sources also.

Either of the recorders should be fine.

Are you taking the Macbook into the field? If not, doesn't using a laptop come at a premium in price while offering lower performance, more limited display and storage options?

And what about editing software, lights, grip equipment, tripod, etc.? My rule of thumb is that the camera is about 20% of the total expense.

Nitsuj
05-07-2009, 11:43 AM
I have the lights, grip equipment, and software already. Mobility is my reason for the new Macbook. As far as the tripod... well... I have a bad excuse for one but I have my eye on a Miller. I plan on upgrading my tripod at a later time and doing most run-n-gun til then. The tripod I have my sights on is ... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/407387-REG/Miller_1643_1643_Miller_Solo_DV.html

I will look into the audio equipment now and see what is working for you.

stephenvv
05-07-2009, 12:08 PM
My Canon HV20 is about the same size as the GH1 and has manual level controls (in a menu) and metering (on screen). Size is not a valid excuse.

-- Xavier

As does my HV30 - but also crappy preamps, monitoring lacks stereo split, terrible limit and ground loop noise.

So I just got a Zoom H4n (improved preamps and other better features than earlier models).

Androwski
05-07-2009, 12:31 PM
I was a record producer in a past life

Cool! A lot of record producers switch to filmmaking, I wonder why? What is/was your artist name? Did you release any vinyls or just digital?

Sorry for being OT...

squig
05-07-2009, 01:36 PM
I produced an album for a group called PNAU. We did a 12" single on vinyl. I got bored and needed something more challenging and I have a few stories to tell.

The rode and Oktava mic's are well regarded and not too expensive. I have the NTG1, thought it was an NTG2, that's the powered one. I'm gonna get an NT3 for indoors.

xbourque
05-08-2009, 10:01 AM
As does my HV30 - but also crappy preamps, monitoring lacks stereo split, terrible limit and ground loop noise.

So I just got a Zoom H4n (improved preamps and other better features than earlier models).

My HV20 with a JuicedLink preamp sounds actually very decent if you dial the in-camera gain to about 25%. The only part of the chain that is unbalanced is about 6 inches of cable between the amp and the camera. No hiss. (Note that JuicedLinks actually have good *preamps* unlike most BeachTeks who are only passive adapters... and will probably sound bad with cameras that have crap preamps such as the HV20).

My point was, if a little cam like the HV20 can have manual gain, on screen level metering and a headphone jack for live monitoring, so can stills/motion hybrids such as the GH1.

These features are not expensive to add, are not complex technically, and do not require vast amounts of volume for the hardware.

When coupled with a good preamp with balanced XLR inputs and actual physical gain controls, these features actually make on-board audio recording *plausible* for at least *some* scenarios.

Dual system is fine when doing fiction-type work when you can slate and resync everything in post.

For run-and-gun or one-man-band photojournalists, having sync-sound is actually a benefit, believe it or not. :-)


- Xavier

timbook2
05-20-2009, 05:28 AM
Cool! A lot of record producers switch to filmmaking, I wonder why? What is/was your artist name? Did you release any vinyls or just digital?

Sorry for being OT...

I also was a record producer with own label, publishing company etc....its a dead business. So is filmmusic, which I did a lot ( as composer).
back to the topic: isnt the Tascam better than the Zoom ? I mean the buttons and handling on the Tascam seem so much better and less menue driven!

I am still unsure which one to get. One of the two for sure but.....

Park Edwards
05-20-2009, 09:35 AM
m-audio microtrack 2...thats' what i have.

fretwire
05-20-2009, 10:48 AM
So what's the problem with using the H4N with a mic on a boom? I think this was mentioned once and no one said anything about it.

I think a lot of you are thinking that you have to have the H4N somewhere near the actors, but you can easily plug a mic into it and run a boom.

Lauri Showler
09-04-2009, 10:07 AM
GH1 audio auto level is horrible!

Just finished a very quick project (I'm not going to post it here it's too embarassing). Visually it's OK but the sound.........

I didn't use the built in mikes, I know how bad they are. I used A Senheisser MKE 300 with wind shield. The subject was about 2 meters away, there was a lot of background noise going on, air conditioner and a man digging up the paving. (not ideal conditions I know, but it had to be done there and then).

While it picked up the voice fine, the auto level control is so fast and dramatic, any slight pause in the voice and the backround is boosted up to rediculous levels.

Honestly, this combined with the fact that you cannot monitor the sound live meens this camera is for (lovely) vision only. Honestly, I never known anyhting as bad even on domestic mini DV camcorders the auto audio gain was nothing like this.

Am going to buy an external audio recorder.

Ozpeter
09-04-2009, 05:51 PM
I wonder whether the MKE300 was too sensitive. I've found the GH1 sound to be no worse than expectation (and I'm a recording engineer). Definitely better when used with the Rode SVM but it was necessary to reduce the level with its -10dB switch. It does knock down peaks very fast but doesn't seem to increase the volume of quiet bits to silly levels.

But indeed, serious audio requires a serious external audio system.

Brasilian
09-05-2009, 11:09 AM
So if I understand correctly, the uncontrolable auto-gain makes external (I have Zoom H4n) a must to record live music. I am new and just wondering how hard is it to sync in post? I have seen so many video's where it seems clearly not to match at (at times) although seemed like it was acceptable as being inevidable. Any thoughts?

Ozpeter
09-05-2009, 05:39 PM
Shouldn't be that hard. I recently illegally video'd a cello recital (as a test not for distribution) and it was the work of a couple of minutes to sync it to the separate (legal!) audio recording. The scale of the problem partly depends on how similar the clocks of the camera and recorder are. They are bound to gradually drift apart. If the drift is fast, it will show sooner rather than later. If it's slow, you might not need to correct in real situations. Correction can be by stretching/shrinking the audio or by splitting the audio at inconspicuous points just before the difference becomes noticable, and re-dragging it into sync as required.

Brasilian
09-05-2009, 06:50 PM
Thanks Oz, that makes total sense. Was not thinking about the ability to split like that, only about the poor sync that I often see in video's and would not work for me and how to aviod at all cost.
Taping (and Sync) something like a Cello would seem to be even harder with all those cool overtones.

Ozpeter
09-05-2009, 06:53 PM
The hard bit was hand-holding the GH1 dead still throughout a 25 minute piece, while also attending to the audio recording which was was for FM radio broadcast! The latter was fortunately ok, the former had its earthquake moments....!

PaulWM
09-06-2009, 09:50 AM
So on that score, do any of the small/portable recording devices have a clear advantage over the others when it comes to synching the sound? e.g. is it worth purchasing the slightly more expensive Zoom H4n instead of a Zoom H4 because it gives relatively better synch accuracy? Also, is this all academic if the device is only being used for capturing say short takes on a low budget drama?

senomar
09-06-2009, 10:31 AM
didn't go through all the messages to see if anyone else mentioned it... but i've been using the olympus LS-10. i'm no audio expert, but have had good results, other than the audio sync problem. gh1 should be here next week, and it will be one of the first things put to the test, i'm sure. i also have a lav mic that plugs into the LS-10, and a tascam tm-st1. the tascam should work with the gh1, so that will be nice.

as a guy a few posts back says, it's been a matter of cutting out sections of the audio to re-sync. i tried quite a lot to just change the speed of the audio - - the theory being that both units are in sync with themselves, and therefore an overall reduction in audio (or slow down of video) would do the trick - - but that never seemed to pan out. maybe someone has some insight on that?

Ozpeter
09-06-2009, 05:48 PM
As I see it, sync accuracy is all down to the clock chip on each device. The GH1 clock runs at a certain speed - how accurate it is I have no idea. Each audio device also happens to run at a certain speed (and that can well vary from one otherwise identical device to another). Say the GH1 actually runs a bit slow. Then you need to find an audio device that also happens to run a bit slow. If you bought a really expensive audio device with a very accurate clock, it might be too accurate for the GH1, if you get my drift (ouch).

If you want properly synchronised audio, you need to use audio and video equipment with timecode support. Otherwise it's a lottery. However, if you are doing something other than event-type work with long takes, holding sync for a matter of seconds or even a minute or two isn't going to be a problem. The problem then becomes that for every shot you've got to line up the audio later, yawn.

Kerplunk
09-06-2009, 06:31 PM
Or, if you want to avoid the "yawn" you could try PluralEyes. Philip Bloom wrote a tutorial showing how he synced 13 separate takes from a Canon 5D Mark II and a Zoom H4n completely automatically and calls it "magic.

http://philipbloom.co.uk/2009/07/26/tutorial-on-syncing-sound-with-the-5dmk2-and-pluraleyes-for-fcp/

http://www.singularsoftware.com/

SteveF
09-06-2009, 06:48 PM
Hello,

I'll give a 2nd vote to Plural Eyes software.

I just did a test project (about 15 min long) with two cameras (GH1 and another) and an LS-10 and Plural Eyes put them perfectly together in under a minute.

mhood
09-06-2009, 06:50 PM
Is there a Windows version and/or equivalent?

sirk
09-07-2009, 09:24 AM
I shot this one afternoon:
http://www.vimeo.com/6303210

I used the GH1 for video and a Canon XL1S without the lens (pretty convenient when using the neck strap and a long audio cable) for audio. We recorded simultanously with both cameras. In this particular video, the microphone is directly attached to the Canon, therefore there is a bit noise in the background, but that is totally acceptable. I did not nearly master the volumes, it was just something we did for fun, but it was good practice for audio/video sync in post. I'd say, cheapest way is to get a camcorder without audiogain and plug a mic in and use it as a recorder. Mini-DV also records seperate clips, so you won't have to cut a huge band in to scenes.

Good day sir.

Brasilian
09-09-2009, 09:43 PM
As I see it, sync accuracy is all down to the clock chip on each device. The GH1 clock runs at a certain speed - how accurate it is I have no idea. Each audio device also happens to run at a certain speed (and that can well vary from one otherwise identical device to another). Say the GH1 actually runs a bit slow. Then you need to find an audio device that also happens to run a bit slow. If you bought a really expensive audio device with a very accurate clock, it might be too accurate for the GH1, if you get my drift (ouch).

If you want properly synchronised audio, you need to use audio and video equipment with timecode support. Otherwise it's a lottery. However, if you are doing something other than event-type work with long takes, holding sync for a matter of seconds or even a minute or two isn't going to be a problem. The problem then becomes that for every shot you've got to line up the audio later, yawn.
Where you wrote:

"If you want properly synchronised audio, you need to use audio and video equipment with timecode support. Otherwise it's a lottery."

That is a serious concern for me. I want to have virtually perfect audio sync with GH1 and Zoom H4n. I have been encouraged by the Eddy R and others that feel for live music the outboard H4n is a must. However, I must have "properly synchronized audio." as there will be multiple singers close ups etc.

Wondering if I had not better keep saving for two HMC 150's and track the live audio on them with the ability to have the adjustable gain.

Two camera, live music in churches and coffeehouse environments are the goal.

Additionally, what are the entry points for Video/New SLR's w/ video capabilities with time code if that is clearly a better option because sync of audio is essential as I am a major critic of imperfect audio sync on live music video.

Mucho thanks for any thought

Ben_B
09-09-2009, 11:53 PM
doing a classroom shoot with the GH1 tomorrow...probably on-camera sound....going to hope for the best...sound quality is not a must, I'm just capturing some stuff that's going on, just using the Gh1 because the image will be a little nicer than with the Eviro cam they have...will let you know how it goes. Bringing zoom H2 along just in case cause it's what I have access to but not optimistic about it's sound quality at distance.

Ozpeter
09-10-2009, 01:31 AM
Timecode video and audio is a whole other thing costwise.

I'm not trying to dissuade you from using an external device - I've done it myself for a 20 minutes or more continuous shot - what I'm trying to emphasise is that if audio and video from non-timecode devices does not sync, it doesn't mean that there's something wrong with one or the other. To get it to sync you have to go to a bit of time and trouble - and depending on the devices it might even be hardly any - but it shouldn't be a huge amount (IMHO). If people have got good results with the H4N then that's encouraging. But because of possible variations in clocks between devices, you can't necessarily expect an identical result.

Brasilian
09-10-2009, 01:41 PM
Thanks for continued feedback - looking forward to more reports on success and/or difficulty with audio sync with GH1/H4n. Music of course will have more challenges as it is not as simple to "cut and pull" with a metered rhythm, as it would be with say, a staged scene, not being as rhythm dependent, although certainly still important.

devin wheeler
09-14-2009, 07:02 PM
not sure if these questions have been asked yet on this post sorry if they where...

if i use the sennhiser mke 400...i have to have an adapter to use with the gh1?

it seems like I read some where saying that you cant monitor the audio via headphones while recording...? is this a issue (particularly with the mic above; not having a headphone jack on the mic itself)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/534023-REG/Sennheiser_MKE_400_MKE_400_Compact_Video.html

link to the mic at b&h

thank you,
devin

Barry_Green
09-14-2009, 08:54 PM
There is no headphone jack on the GH1, so no monitoring of audio live at all.

For serious use, you would probably want to look into a JuicedLink box, or a Zoom H4N external recorder. Both will let you use that mic, and will also allow live monitoring.

Ben_B
09-14-2009, 10:09 PM
I went ahead and ordered the Røde videomic..it's on it's way. I'll swing by radio shack and pick up an adapter and use it just to get slightly better sound at distance for basic stuff and make syncing maybe a bit easier...will probably be doing dual system for anything too serious...am planning on trying out the pluraleyes final cut plugin.

devin wheeler
09-14-2009, 10:17 PM
thanks for the info barry i had thought i had heard something like that...

ill check out the ones you have listed
thanks