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Thread: Sound Advice Needed

  1. Default Sound Advice Needed

    Hi, can anyone out there help me please ? As a hobby I video a concert where the sound is produced for the audience through a mixer (Pro mixer).
    My camera is a Sony HVR-Z1
    Historically I film the entire 3 hour show onto around 5 tapes, at the same time the show audio is recorded onto CD's via the show mixer.
    Then at edit stage using Pinnacle Studio, I dub the CD recorded audio onto the finished film whilst at the same time keeping the audio from the mike for audience reaction between acts.
    It will be appreciated that although the end result is very good quality audio by the time I have sorted the best acts from three performances I am close to cracking up !!!
    So, I am desperate to make my life easier and hoping someone can tell me if the following scenario is possible ?
    I wish to connect a mike to input 1 and the mixer desk to input 2 on my Z1, then record all the footage onto a Firestore FS-4 Pro HD. I am going to try to use the camera gain controls to mix the audio as I film.
    Is this a good idea? or should I be looking to buy a Mix-Pre or something similar to mix before the camera? as this is a hobby I don't want to spend too much.
    This is a very hopeful Bob, now off to find some more headache tablets

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Hi Bob,

    There's no reason why your system shouldn't work providing that you can split your inputs such that one channel can accept mic level and the other channel accept line level, at the same time. I don't know if the Z1 can do this. It's also a far from idiot-proof means of recording and very difficult without jogging the camera.
    You will also lose any form of stereo since you'll have to mix down to mono in post production.

    If you have someone who is just doing the video sound, then I would suggest getting a (relatively) cheap mixer, such as a Mackie VLZ and mixing the output from the PA with a bit of atmos from a mic in the auditorium, then outputting them into the camcorder. A possible drawback is that the PA output might be ever so slightly out of sync with the room mic, depending on the size of the hall and the location of your live mics. In a live situation it shouldn't be too tragic though.

    Personally I would beg/steal/borrow a second camera, have it locked off on a wide shot of the stage and input the PA directly into the left/right audio tracks on that. Then have a pair of mics pointing left and right in the auditorium being fed into your main camcorder, mixing the lot in post.

    Yes, mixing "live" is the quickest and simplest way of recording but (and it's a big but) one mistake and the whole recording's buggered. As for the gear... The Sound Devices Mix-pre is a t'riffic mixer but, if I remember, it only has two inputs, so you would have to get a mono-output from the PA mixer, not always that easy.

    Something like this: Mackie 1202 VLZ PRO Compact Mixer - UK Exclusive Mega Deal Andertons Music Co Guildford Surrey

  3. Default

    Thanks Guru

    Certainly the Mackie is OK on price, I would just need to con someone to give me a hand, as this is a labour of love, this may not be easy to achieve.
    Also I do have a spare PD150 which I could use for your second suggestion, I will have to check that I can sort everything in edit with Studio and I take your point about having the security of all the recordings raw to edit later, (in case the sound guy goes off for a beer).
    I will give this some thought.

    Cheers again for the quick reply.
    All the best

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Warsop, Nottinghamshire.
    Blog Entries


    Hi Bob.

    I've done alot of this type of thing, and I can assure you that the way you're doing it now is by far the safest way working. The advantages you may gain in trying to mix onboard as you film will (and this is certain at some time or another) certainly be outweighed by the one time you really screw up and get it all wrong.

    Guru's suggestion of the second cam with mic's is best, cheapest and probably most reliable... as long as you have someone to either change tapes or as you suggest, use a firestore.

  5. Default

    Thanks Andy, I will give the second camera a try first.

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