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Thread: Is what i'm recording too loud?

  1. #1

    Default Is what i'm recording too loud?

    Hi Guys,

    (My first post so let me know if i've left any obvious info out)

    I have a Sony Handycam DCR-SR72E currently editing with adobe premiere elements (i know i know...full version is on its way). I am attempting to record a friends band during their rehearsals but am having difficulties. It will record for about 20-30 secs then it will stop, a message appears saying "buffering overflow" then "recovering data" it will then be ready to start recording again.

    The audio that i do capture, when viewed on my editing program, is very 'hissy' and 'tinny' and there also doesn't appear to be a lot of data there (judging by the lack of any 'waves')

    Is what i'm recording too loud for the internal mic on this camera? and is there a way to record loud music at close quaters with this camera?

    thanks for your help
    Ian

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    I wouldn't have thought that loud audio would cause a problem like this. Yours is a HDD cam isn't it? I think there must be a deeper underlying problem with the camera. Does it function properly at low volumes?

    The main problem you're going to face even with a fully functioning camera is the auto level kicking in to limit the volume. Auto functions never work all that well and you will be dissapointed with the results. Most likely you're going to end up with a distorted mess. A much better way forward would be to record straight off their sound desk if at all possible, so you can control levels properly.

  3. #3

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    Hi Andy thanks for the response,

    It is a HDD yes and it was/is fine at lower volumes - before, in between and after the band were playing the recordings are fine.

    Sony have said it is turning itself off was due to the Drop Sensor - but i had it on a tripod so there was no risk there, unless the sensors were mistaking the vibrations of sound as physical vibrations (if that makes any sense whatsoever)?? I am going to film them again this weekend so will try it with the drop sensor turned off.

    Would an additional mic help me get better quality recording? i would assume yes but the ones compatible with the DCR-SR72 all talk about gathering as much sound as possible and low sound levels are the last of my worries!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ianmorris82 View Post
    ...Would an additional mic help me get better quality recording?...
    Very possibly.... if only because you may be able to place the mic a little further away with an appropriate lead. Probably not though in reality, unless your camera has manual controls for mic levels. The camera will most likely attempt to boost quiet sounds and limit loudness. Automatic systems like this are generally poor, so manual control is really a must.

    As I hinted before, the best way by far would be to get the band's sound tech to do the recording for you straight off his desk. (Assuming they use one that is!)

    One other way that might keep costs down would be to nip to your local secondhand store and buy a cheap DV camcorder (our local store knocks them out from 60 these days) and place that one at the back of the room. The added bonus would be you would have a B camera to cut away to now and then.
    Last edited by Andy Lockwood; 10-03-2008 at 07:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Lockwood View Post

    One other way that might keep costs down would be to nip to your local secondhand store and buy a cheap DV camcorder (our local store knocks them out from 60 these days) and place that one at the back of the room. The added bonus would be you would have a B camera to cut away to now and then.
    And another way would be to get a digital recorder (I'm considering a Zoom H2 at the moment) or even cheaper, a MiniDisc recorder (you can pick them up for 15 from eBay) + mic.

    However, recording bands is tricky and as Andy says the desk is the best bet.

    But even hat has underlying problems. In the average small venue, not everything goes through the desk and you'll not get the "real" balance, so you still might need to mix in some sounds from other sources.
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    ... or even cheaper, a MiniDisc recorder (you can pick them up for 15 from eBay) + mic....
    I'm famously against MiniDisc recording. There was a long and protracted discussion on here a year or two ago. I remember my issue was time sync. I attempted a mini disc recording and found there was significant drift time wise between the MD and video. Others though disputed that.

    I'm very much in favour of multi track recording - a camera linked into the desk and others static collecting ambient then mixing it all together. I guess it all comes down to how much gear you have or can afford.

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    I've got a Zoom H2 and can recomend it, Tim. The cheapest (reliable) place I found was at Thomann.de If you can afford it though, the Marantz PMD660 is really cool! On the (now rare) occasions when I work as a soundie I always have the H2 connected to the mixer so that I can record sound even if the camera isn't running.

    Like Andy I bought a minidisc a few years ago and found that it occasionally wandered a bit when syncing with longer tracks, a problem I've not had with the H2. You'll probably find that the secondhand camcorder idea might well be the cheapest way to go and it will be frame-accurate (providing that there's no defect with the camcorder).
    There are some people who get a bit dreamy-eyed when talking about mini-disc but, don't forget, mini-disc will have to be converted (usually converted to analogue and then re-digitised) before you can import it into your edit suite, which will involve a slight drop in quality and a large risk of sync problems. Gadgets like the H2 can record directly in 48khz wav files so there's no quality loss.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 10-03-2008 at 12:55 PM.

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    Odd it only happens in loud situations. Buffer overflow - hmmm - sounds like data isnt getting written to disc fast enough. Maybe just maybe the loud vibes are upsetting the drive, after all it is a mechanical device - maybe ? ? ? ?

  9. #9

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    thanks for the response's guys. Update on my problem - I went to the bands rehearsal last night, I turned the camera's Drop Sensor off and got a much better recording but i'm still getting an error message - this time it is 'Data Error' and again it is stopping the recording. Any ideas?

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    Andy and Guru, thanks for your input. I'm not at all dreamy eyed myself about the MiniDisc - it was just a cheap solution and gave me the opportunity to have one mic near the source and use the on-camera for ambient (also if either cut out at any point there is still some sound). I've not had a problem with drift (and I understand that even two digital sources will drift unless physically time synced) but I've never recorded anything long enough for that to matter - I tend to record in short bursts on camera but leave the MD recording, chop up and sync later.

    However, I do have a problem with the additional noise (esp hiss) introduced by conversion to analogue then back to digital and a particular problem last weekend where loud sections of a choir I recorded introduced the sort of digital watery noise you get when you're over zealous with FFT noise reduction. It's not audible direct from the MD player, but however I transfer it occurs in the wav.

    Whilst I'm no pro and what I do doesn't really matter in the great scheme of things I don't want the frustration of getting home and discovering I've giot an unusable soundtrack. Hence my decision to look around for a digital alternative. I'll investigate the PMD660.

    Edit (removed commenta bout H2)
    Last edited by TimStannard; 10-05-2008 at 11:00 AM.
    Tim

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