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    Requirements for Netflix Audio?
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    Senior Member JoeJITSU's Avatar
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    Were shooting a Documentary and I want to go as low as budget possible for a audio field engineer as I can. So Im thinking of just using my Tascam or Zoom H4N as a field recorder. Can someone point me in the right direction on what settings would need to be used when using a boom mic attached to it?
    Filming this on our own and we cant afford an audio guy for this project.

    Thabks
    Philip Bloom Certified Cinematographer




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    Senior Member abreu-canedo's Avatar
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    I believe they want all their audio at 4K


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    #3
    Senior Member JoeJITSU's Avatar
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    LOL
    Philip Bloom Certified Cinematographer




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    For delivery, Netflix wants 24-bit/48kHz audio. But there's so so much more to it than that. And the better the audio you record on set/location, the less time and money you'll have to spend during post and quality control.

    So I'd focus more on mic placement, audio levels, and noise mitigation than on recording device.

    Dig through the specs, QC, and other info here, but note that for audio the main issues revolve around post:
    https://backlothelp.netflix.com/hc/en-us

    Good luck!
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeJITSU View Post
    Were shooting a Documentary and I want to go as low as budget possible for a audio field engineer as I can. So Im thinking of just using my Tascam or Zoom H4N as a field recorder.
    Most people will forgive all kinds of video sins. Bad pans, crappy zooms, shakes, noise, washed out colors, people will sit through an amazing assault of video sins. The Blair Witch Project. Need I say more?

    But if the dialog isn't clear, or it's hard to understand for any reason, people will get up and leave, change the channel, etc. I'm one of those people. I'm not going to watch the most awesome visuals, the best CGI, the most saturated colors, the deepest shadows... without good audio. Not worth my time. Sorry.

    The problem with using a cheap recorder like that Zoom, is that it doesn't have a lot of clean gain available. And if you're using a cheap recorder, you're likely using an equally cheap mic. And cheap mics usually aren't very sensitive, and thus require a lot of good clean gain to be useful. Pairing the need for lots of clean gain together with a lack of available clean gain just gives you noise. Often, a lot of noise.

    But if that's the choice you're stuck with, about all you can do is 24 bit / 48kHz and best of luck. Concentrate on your mic placement to get the most out of it that you can.


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    I seem to remember reading that the Tascam's don't record true 24 bit audio, and that you're just as well off recording 16 bit (I'm not positive if that's accurate or where Zoom stand in meeting up to their stated specs). If memory serves me correctly, the Zoom H4n doesn't have gain, just levels, and eats through batteries.

    I have a Tascam DR-100 mark 1 that I use with an Audio-Technica 897 shotgun mic, and to get decent audio signal I have to crank the levels and gain to max. The Tascam's preamps are significantly better than my old Beachtek XLR adapter, but they're still not that clean.


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    Senior Member JoeJITSU's Avatar
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    Thanks so much guys for your input. Is there a recorder mixer that you guys recommend? I have a Rode NTG3 for the Boom.
    Philip Bloom Certified Cinematographer




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    My suggestion is to add a used Sound Devices Mixpre (some have sold on eBay for <$300). This will provide great gain for the mic and quality limiters, then record line out into your Tascam recorder. (If using Zoom H4n to go line level in you need an attenuator and an XLR to TRS adapter). Sell the Mixpre afterwards for almost what you paid for it (but don't be surprised if you decide to keep it). If budget permits I'd get the newer Sound Devices Mixpre-D. Another benefit of using a mixer is you can simultaneously feed audio to camera as a scratch track for sync. If you are using a camera with decent audio (not a DSLR) you may well end up with useable camera audio


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    2 quick points. If you were using the H4n would it be better to record at 96/24 rather than 48/24?

    If it's mainly interview based then getting a reasonable shotgun mic is essential ( with a windjammer) but also get a lapel mic. Record both on two tracks and remember to get atmos recordings in every location


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    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    2 quick points. If you were using the H4n would it be better to record at 96/24 rather than 48/24?

    If it's mainly interview based then getting a reasonable shotgun mic is essential ( with a windjammer) but also get a lapel mic. Record both on two tracks and remember to get atmos recordings in every location
    48/24. 96 is more for special effects work.


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