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Thread: 1st-time buyer DV cam, Audio concerns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default 1st-time buyer DV cam, Audio concerns

    I need a low--budget ($200 - $400) DV camcorder that will be used primarily for capturing performances of musical acts for demos. (I am one of the musicians.) In one scenario, I would like to set the camera on a tripod, patch the audio into the PA mixer, turn it on, and go perform. While my video needs are not demanding (other users may like better than barrell-srapings for picture, however), I would like the audio to be quite good, so that someone wearing headphones will get a decent approximation of our sound. I have an i-Mac G5 for editing with FW connection.

    Could only find one recorder in this price range that accepts external sound source: a Canon ZR800. I am concerned about the audio quality, and perhaps even the video. Any advice? Are there other, better cameras to meet these needs? thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    You might have a problem getting your mixer output level low enough so as not to swamp the auto level control in the camcorder - it will probably pump the levels like crazy to try and control the peaks and it will sound bad.
    You need a camcorder with manual level controls. I've used a Sony HC7 in manual mode with an Alesis Firewire mixer and it works fine, but the price is more than double your limit.
    Trouble is, for a band the output from a mixer can be very raw and harsh unless you re-balance and equalise it for video.
    Best option is to record video and audio separately if possible, tweak the audio until you get the sound you want then marry the two on your Mac.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007


    Thank you. I have decided to get a Sony DCR HC38, and record audio seperately, as you suggest. This decision has prompted me to upgrade my portable digital recorder, something I have needed to do for some time anyway (to assist in songwriting).

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