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milkMADE
08-13-2010, 12:48 PM
Hey guys this is my first post. Loving this forum btw..

I've read pretty much all I can read about the terrible AGC in T2i's and 7Ds. I've also read about the hacks and temporary solutions. I really don't want to go the mp3 route as I don't have a cage or figrig or anything like that to hold it all together..That and its just bulky and not very elegant..

Anyway I got my first major gig this weekend. I'll be filming an outdoor concert venue near the beach. I'm supposed to film the DJ doing his thing and crowd dancing and having a good time. It's REALLY loud there..I haven't been able to do many tests to reproduce what its going to be like...

So this leads to my question. I'm not doing the hack and I can't afford a H4N right now...With that in mind, should I invest in a Rode Videomic or use the built in mic?

Again its going to be a loud party atmosphere with constant sound. Because of the constant sound will the problem's of the AGC hiss even rear its head? Is the hiss only during silent moments?

I'm capturing small short clips with some sound bites here and there, not long continuous shots... The audio is secondary but still important for certain situations and sound bites, as all of it will eventually edited into a short 2 minute movie.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Should I buy the Rode, stick with internal or go another route? :huh:

ps. where can I find the galvin films picture style to download?

Skippa
08-13-2010, 01:54 PM
Invest in the Rode VM. I have one w/ my Canon T2i. To get rid of the hiss you hear w/ the audio, put the audio into Audacity when you're in post, add an HPF, and problem solved.

milkMADE
08-13-2010, 02:31 PM
I'm about to buy it from Amazon.com...I got an hour left to get overnight shipping for tomorrow...


Is this a good purchase for t2i, for reals for reals?

I've read mixed things..I just dropped $600 this week on a lens and filters..I want to buy this but only if it will give a big improvement over the internal stock mic.

Nathan.Buxton
08-13-2010, 03:58 PM
Why would you even consider using the internal mic? ANYTHING would be an improvement on that thing. I'm pretty sure my $20 webcam has better sound quality than the t2i's internal mic.

slavo
08-13-2010, 04:41 PM
You can always rent equipment and try it before you buy it.

GreatScott
08-13-2010, 05:46 PM
The Rode Video Mic is definitely an improvement but definitely not a solution.
I have one and have used it in a similar situation.

Basically you will get the opposite effect. Instead of hiss you will have loud distorted unusable audio.

Recording direct to your laptop would be a better option.

Alex H.
08-13-2010, 06:09 PM
Cutting it a little close by troubleshooting your audio right before your "major gig," aren't you?

There are two truths here:

1) The Rode VideoMic is a marked improvement for T2i audio, especially with the new version of the mic that has -10dB and -20dB cuts.

2) Recording audio straight to the T2i is generally a terrible idea. It has a rough AGC that causes all sorts of audio problems. You'll get hiss when the sound level drops down, and distortion when it's really loud.

Honestly, you'd be much better off renting a decent recorder for the weekend, and then syncing that audio to your video in post. Big jobs, and small ones as well, call for lots of pre-planning and making sure that you have the gear you need to do it right the first time.

If you still must run with nothing but the VideoMic, do some testing before you go to the shoot so you know what to expect. That may mean cranking up the stereo in your living room and shooting around that. And assuming you got the new version of the mic, you may need to utilize the pad switches that can be found inside the battery compartment.

draven4
08-13-2010, 06:38 PM
First off I would say that I live and die for audio with the Zoom H4N. If you're doing a client gig you need to think about seriously getting one. But as you mentioned above you said that's out of the question for now. Then I would say it might sound dumb but if you don't have money try using a DVX if you still have one to record your audio.

milkMADE
08-14-2010, 01:32 AM
Cutting it a little close by troubleshooting your audio right before your "major gig," aren't you?


To be honest, I was under impression I wasn't required to record sound at all. I ordered and got all the equipment I thought I needed well in advance. Up until this point, I've shot with audio off for this client, as I've done everything in post, adding music and sfx etc. when editing for the final product anyway..

Was told mid week that I would need sound but wasn't clear. Finally got back to me yesterday, hence the late post. It's basically event coverage and I'm supposed to get sound from the DJ's set. So it's going to be really loud. My first idea was to get a line-in from the board the DJ's going into so I can just record his set..But no one has gotten back to me on that..But I'm assuming they want some sound bites from the crowd and people cheering so I figured I had to scramble and get something going on the mic front..Like I said I cant afford a h4n at this point..So I went to next thing I knew and that was the Rode Videomic I've read lots about since I got turned onto DSLR video..anyway..


To everyone else, thanks so much for your input. It turns out I ordered the rodemic but for some reason it didn't go through in time and would be shipping next week. So in the end I canceled the order and I'm glad I did, especially after reading this. I guess I'm just going to have to rent an h4n or something..I got a day to figure it out..Thanks again guys, I really love this forum.


Big jobs, and small ones as well, call for lots of pre-planning and making sure that you have the gear you need to do it right the first time.I 100% agree with you, you're preaching to the choir... This is a test job for me and this client..So if they like the outcome they will start to plan and film more events, in turn using me more and getting a bigger budget for that. They haven't been really clear on exactly what they want up to this point because it's a first for them too. All I know is I'm handing the footage over to someone else to edit, (crappy I know, I personally shoot to edit) but if things progress I'll be getting editing time as well, so I'm optimistic...

Anyway, I'm not at that point in my life where I can buy everything I *think* I need but yet only what I know I need. As I said, I bought a lens and filters this week, I also got a battery grip and the Z96 led light. I bought every item I knew I needed..I was waiting to hear back from the client before I bought any audio equipment because I hadn't needed any up until this point. I'm glad I asked though because they would have never said anything if I didn't.

sorry to beat a dead horse, but thanks guys. I'm scheduled to start Sunday evening. So I have a day and a half to come up with a decent audio solution..

This place George's Camera (I'm in San Diego) sells H4ns..they rent lens and stuff..I wonder if they rent audio equipment?

Derkoi
08-14-2010, 04:05 AM
Check out my latest film. Shot with the T2i and a Rode videomic attached to the hot shoe all the way. No correction in post.

FLA6-Uhc_ig

Alex H.
08-14-2010, 07:06 AM
milkMade, I really wasn't trying to be critical for the sake of being critical. Sound is one of those things that tends to come last but can also destroy the project first, and too often folks cram at the last minute - like an exam they're not ready to take - to work out a sound solution.

I understand your situation, which is why I suggested renting. Heck, I'm not at a point where I can buy everything I'd like to have in my kit. I rent lighting when I need it, since I can't afford to purchase yet.

And the VideoMic may not be a bad purchase for you in the end. I have one with my T2i, even though I have a full second-system audio kit. The VideoMic gets better scratch audio than the pinhole mic on the camera, and occasionally gets something that you can use as a subtle layer underneath the mix. Until there's a firmware update for the T2i that defeats the AGC (like they now have for the 5DmkII), audio on the T2i is simply going to suck.

Alex H.
08-14-2010, 07:10 AM
Check out my latest film. Shot with the T2i and a Rode videomic attached to the hot shoe all the way. No correction in post.

Honestly? The sound wasn't that great. It sounded like it had a nasty ACG compression on it (because it did). It's (barely) workable when the actors are right in front of the camera, but the wider shots in the apartment were problematic.

Other than that (and the overblown door and windows), that's a really fun short film. I watched to the end!

milkMADE
08-14-2010, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the input guys..Still learning a lot..

Got another question..It's really off topic but since you're all here I thought I'd ask..

Sorry if this is a really noob question, but this style of contract is new to me..I'm on a retainer to shoot for 3 hours of video, basically event coverage. Like I said I'd be handing it off to someone else to edit to make a short 2-3 minute movie. Now the question is, (they havent got back to me, frustrating) do you think they are expecting me to turn in, literally 3 hours - 180 minutes - of footage?

I just figured I needed to film as much as I needed to get coverage...but if I'm hired to shoot for 3 hours, do they expect 3 hours of footage?

Again, event coverage is new to me..Still learning whats what..

Alex H.
08-14-2010, 01:17 PM
Sorry if this is a really noob question, but this style of contract is new to me..I'm on a retainer to shoot for 3 hours of video, basically event coverage. Like I said I'd be handing it off to someone else to edit to make a short 2-3 minute movie. Now the question is, (they havent got back to me, frustrating) do you think they are expecting me to turn in, literally 3 hours - 180 minutes - of footage?

I just figured I needed to film as much as I needed to get coverage...but if I'm hired to shoot for 3 hours, do they expect 3 hours of footage?

Again, event coverage is new to me..Still learning whats what..

That really depends on what the goal is for the final video. Sorry that the clients are so non-communicative, because they're really the only ones who can tell you what they want in the end.

Since the one thing you do know is that the end-target is a 3-ish-minute video, then I'd say 3 hours of video is going to be way too much (and with a T2i, you'd have to have at least 4 16GB cards). You need to shoot enough to tell the story of what went on that night. Just give the editor enough to work with in establishing context and exploring the people who were there.

Since you're getting so little info from the clients, it may help to show up early and speak with them, just to get some idea of what - specifically - they need. Do they want any sound bytes from attendees? Do they just want something promotional for a regular concert series?

It's a rough situation, and one that I've been in several times. The challenge with being asked/hired to produce a video with no more direction than "make us a video" tends to require shooting way too much footage. Since you're passing the footage off to another editor, you'll want to cover your bases without shooting too much. The last thing you want is an editor cursing you for handing him/her 180 minutes of footage when all that was needed was about 15-20 minutes.

milkMADE
08-14-2010, 01:48 PM
Thanks for all the insight C2V, you're awesome. It just randomly hit me last night that one 16GB (class10) card might not be enough - I've never needed to shoot hours and hours before..So I'm trying to scramble to purchase a second one or find out I even need too..

I wish stores carried Trascend products..Can only find it online. But I guess it's good to have 2 16gb cards regardless of this job huh?

Alex H.
08-14-2010, 02:07 PM
Thanks for all the insight C2V, you're awesome. It just randomly hit me last night that one 16GB (class10) card might not be enough - I've never needed to shoot hours and hours before..So I'm trying to scramble to purchase a second one or find out I even need too..

I wish stores carried Trascend products..Can only find it online. But I guess it's good to have 2 16gb cards regardless of this job huh?


Always good to have a second card. Or third. But I have a feeling that 40 minutes will be ample for what you're shooting.

Or take your laptop and an external drive and offload the card if you fill it up. You'll need to get the footage to the editor on a drive anyway.

milkMADE
08-14-2010, 03:36 PM
Ok so this camera place will rent me an H4n for $25 a day and I need to put down the total cost of the recorder for a deposit...so $300.

I know it has a built in mic, but should I get a shotgun or something..or an external mic to plug into it?. My gut feeling is this is already overkill..I just feel like they dont need it but no one is getting back to me..frustrating..

I dont even know how im going to rig it at this point either...

Scalar
08-15-2010, 07:24 AM
I didn't read the full thread to catch what you were recording, but think about what you're recording for a moment and you should know. Static shots where you can position the H4n elsewhere? Interview/spoken word where you might want a lapel mic on one channel and a boom or overhead on another? Run & Gun and so perhaps a mic on your rig is the answer (running a cable to H4n on your hip) etc...

Also be sure to put thought into how you will sync cues between the camera & H4n for alignment in post, but I'm sure you can work that out if you haven't already.

milkMADE
08-15-2010, 02:55 PM
I decided I'm just going to set the H4n down right in front of the stage (on the floor or on top of the dj table) pointing out at the crowd. That way I'm free to move around and get shots around the vicinity, and get a good pick-up of the entire event - crowd cheers, dj's set etc.

Is this a bad idea? it sounds decent in my head and at this point most practical. I'm using a bodypod and I got a light in the hotshot mount on top of the camera. There is no way for me to mount the h4n on this short of a notice..

I feel like its the best I can do at this point. I think I'm just going to leave it on stereo and hit record. What do you guys think?

GreatScott
08-15-2010, 03:33 PM
Will there be a sound booth?

If so, go 4 track mode, get stereo line out from the mixer and ambience with the internal mics.

From stage is not ideal.

milkMADE
08-15-2010, 04:05 PM
Will there be a sound booth?

If so, go 4 track mode, get stereo line out from the mixer and ambience with the internal mics.

From stage is not ideal.


I was thinking about doing this but I've been doing some quick research in the last few hours. I read something about a line out from the DJ/mixer is too hot for the h4n? It was over my head..

You're talking about like running an RCA stereo (red and white) to mini jack into the the line in on the side of the h4n right? Do I have to set anything? Or do I just plug it in, change it to 4 channel and hit record?

GreatScott
08-15-2010, 07:02 PM
The 4 channel mode should allow you to use RCA out of a mixer to 1/4" on bottom of H4N and you can balance levels internally.

There are several ways to pad a hot signal but RCA to 1/4" should do the job.

Just make sure you find a sweet spot for the internal mics to pickup the ambient signal.

This would take a moment to set up and get levels but once you do it should be good to go.

milkMADE
08-18-2010, 12:42 AM
All was for not. I really appreciate the help to everyone who chimed in.

I rented it for nothing. I met up early with the sound engineer and explained what I wanted to do. He thought it was a great idea and was really impressed with the h4n. He knew exactly what I wanted to do and we were ready to go on the same page.


Well the DJ's entourage was very difficult and refused to let me record any audio...and in the end prevented me from recording video on stage..They kicked me off the stage even though I was hired by the venue to shoot him. I had my press badge and media pass and the guy didn't care. So I couldnt get any of the closeups I wanted..(was forced to be discrete and shoot from the side or from within the crowd, really dangerous I might ad. Camera got wet and I got knocked around like a rag doll and I'm a big 6'3 190-200 lbs)

Anyway, it was quite a learning experience. And I hope I get I second crack with better communication the next time around.

Derkoi
08-18-2010, 12:52 AM
Well the DJ's entourage was very difficult and refused to let me record any audio...and in the end prevented me from recording video on stage..They kicked me off the stage even though I was hired by the venue to shoot him. I had my press badge and media pass and the guy didn't care.

Wow must of been a big name DJ, I'd have walked.

milkMADE
08-18-2010, 12:56 AM
Wow must of been a big name DJ, I'd have walked.


Very big DJ, I'd say international. I don't want to say his name because I'm not trying to throw him under the bus. I could understand why he didn't want the audio recorded, he did afterall drop 3 new unreleased tracks..But the lengths his entourage went to not let me shoot video was ridiculous..Especially after I said how I was hired to shoot him by the venue...

I dunno if they were doing on there own or because of him..I think they were just trying to be important douche-bags. He had bottle service on stage and 5-6 entourage guys just standing there...but yet no room for me to shoot...

Derkoi
08-18-2010, 12:58 AM
Very big DJ, I'd say international. I don't want to say his name because I'm not trying to throw him under the bus. I could understand why he didn't want the audio recorded, he did afterall drop 3 new unreleased tracks..But the lengths his entourage went to not let me shoot video was ridiculous..Especially after I said how I was hired to shoot him by the venue...

I dunno if they were doing on there own or because of him..I think they were just trying to be important douche-bags. He had bottle service on stage and 5-6 entourage guys just standing there...but yet no room for me to shoot...

Sounds an ass to me. Doesn't deserve to be where he is.