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Thread: Ugh n00b problems never end

  1. #1

    Default Ugh n00b problems never end

    so a friend of mine has been on pbs and hgtv, she makes homemade soap, teaches other people how to make it at workshops, etc.

    i'm going to try to make a short video w her similar to her spot on hgtv:



    they had two cameras and two cameramen running on that one. one did the face/body shots and the other did all the close ups of the soap making action, so she was able to improvise and do her thing in a natural, fluid manner without breaking for a bunch of retakes. (notice how her monologue continues across cuts, it works really well and keeps things flowing in the viewers mind, mine anyway).

    my first challenge is how to do that with just one camera? have her complete her sentences on camera, then shoot the close ups of the action after she's done talking and edit it all around later? what's the typical sequence of events while you're shooting something like this?

    also, sound quality is important to me. i've got a canon zr900 which has a single mic input (and a pair of builtin stereo mics too). there's a place close by that will rent me a higher end shotgun condenser mic for $30/day but i can't figure out how to get the sound into my camera. i definitely want to use a nice condenser mic so i dont get any hum/noise from long runs of unbalanced cables, but all the mixers and mic preamps i've looked at that provide the necessary phantom power only output line level signals and my camera only has a mic level input.

    my next "brilliant" idea was to use something like a behringer 802 mixer for phantom power and just record the main mix out into my laptop with audacity (and sync the video and separate audio tracks in post) but then i realize my laptop doesn't have a frickin line in!!! only mic in and headphone out. grrrrr!

    so... now the only thing i can think of would be to get a usb/firewire sound adapter that has xlr inputs and phantom power, but those things are expensive too, $150-500 US.

    frustration....................................... .

    any ideas?
    Super Cheap - Canon ZR900, Aiptek A-HD, Premiere Pro CS4, Avidemux, VirtualDub, Audacity, GIMP

  2. #2

    Default

    i guess a more general question is, what's the best way to get good sound with a low-end camcorder that doesn't have line inputs? do you just have to record separately and sync the audio and video in post?
    Super Cheap - Canon ZR900, Aiptek A-HD, Premiere Pro CS4, Avidemux, VirtualDub, Audacity, GIMP

  3. #3

    Default

    what do you guys think about this?

    Blue Microphones Icicle USB Converter / Mic Preamp from audioMIDI.com

    it's a small xlr-to-usb interface, im guessing w a small A/D converter inside.

    or maybe something like this:

    http://www.music123.com/TASCAM-US-12...68882.Music123

    but that's half the cost of a decent shotgun mic. so many choices...
    Last edited by sasha; 01-06-2009 at 04:13 AM.
    Super Cheap - Canon ZR900, Aiptek A-HD, Premiere Pro CS4, Avidemux, VirtualDub, Audacity, GIMP

  4. #4

    Default

    ok i think i made a decision, i'm going to get this m-audio external sound box, it connects to your pc over usb and it supports 2 xlr mic inputs with phantom power, all powered off the usb bus, woohoo!

    M-Audio MobilePre USB Review by Douglas Edge : audioMIDI.com

    the user reviews seem really good too, and i've had good luck with m-audio internal sound cards before.

    and i'm probably going to stick with renting a good mic for now. at least that will give me a little personal experience between a good mic and a cheap one before i make any more decisions.
    Super Cheap - Canon ZR900, Aiptek A-HD, Premiere Pro CS4, Avidemux, VirtualDub, Audacity, GIMP

  5. #5
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    Default

    ... and your point is...?

  6. #6

    Default

    just rambling i guess
    Super Cheap - Canon ZR900, Aiptek A-HD, Premiere Pro CS4, Avidemux, VirtualDub, Audacity, GIMP

  7. #7

    Default

    Hi Sasha,

    You may also want to look at the CEntrance MicPort Pro USB mic preamp, which offers 24/96 audio and 48V phantom power. This is what BBC field reporters use. Whilst it costs a bit more than other portable USB mic preamps, it sounds as good as much more expensive analogue preamps, from my experience. Here is a link to more information:

    CEntrance, Inc. / Products / MicPort Pro

    Best of luck on your project.

  8. #8
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    Sasha - I think you have gone sound crazy !!!!

    Throwing money can fix anything but may be over the top.

    Are you aware you can use XLR balanced mics with a ' ordinary ' unbalnced input? I did so for years.

    If I were shooting the fragrent lady on a budget I would first try a 50 sm58 strategically placed above and out of shot. Your camera may still record one track from the internal mic - keep that to mix in some ' lively' sound if needed.

    Next I mght try a lav mic - very cheap on e bay.

    A good s gun mic well placed may give the best sound and you can plug into your camera with an adaptor if it is self powered as many are.

    As for shooting this - the safest way is to do the whole thing twice from 2 angles - edit.

    Film making is as much about gaffa tape and botching as it is about sexy bespoke kit.

  9. #9

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    I might be going overboard, but I'm not sure where the sweet spot of price and performance is and I'd rather err on the side of too good as long as it fits within my budget.

    I wanted to use balanced inputs because I've had problems in the past with weird noise coming in on unbalanced mic cables. I've been using a cheap desktop mic plugged into my laptop to record my son's reading progress and it gets a nasty hum/electronic noise if i extend the cord out more than 2 or 3 feet. Maybe that's just because I've got a shitty input on my laptop or there is a lot of RF stuff going on with the sound chipset so close to all the other stuff in there.

    I've only owned one real studio condenser mic before (that left along with the exgirlfriend) so my mic experiences are really limited... I've been reading a lot though about mics on this forum and a couple others and everyone is always railing about how you can't get decent sound with anything less than a sennheiser mke-300, or with anything under US $250.

    I'll take a look at an SM58 like you mentioned, a friend of mine goes to the Art Institute next door to my job, I'm hoping she might be able to check out audio gear for the weekend some time.

    Hmm.... I'll definitely let you know how it goes one way or another. I'd like to make a video with all the different mics I have access to.... I saw one of those on youtube it was interesting but some people were commenting that some of the mics could be made to sound better with different techniques and the guy didn't give any info about he set everything up.

    I also want to experiment with hanging moving blankets and/or rigid fiberglass panels... we'll see.

    I feel good knowing I've got good inputs coming though
    Super Cheap - Canon ZR900, Aiptek A-HD, Premiere Pro CS4, Avidemux, VirtualDub, Audacity, GIMP

  10. #10
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    This may be helpfull.

    I just did this after I realised I used all my mics in making this.

    http://www.videoforums.co.uk/sound-r...t-results.html

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