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DVCPRO50 audio weak

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Steve Brame
DVCPRO50 audio weak
on Jan 15, 2011 at 3:15:33 pm

We've received some tapes recorded in DVCPRO50, and have rented an AJ-SD93 deck to capture from. The tapes were recorded on an AJ-SDX900 camera. When playing the tapes on the deck, the lav mic's audio is around -30dB. Thinking that it may have been recorded that low, we got together with the operator and his camera, and played them in it. In camera the meters hover at -6dB. Why the difference in the deck's playback? We're capturing via firewire, so there's no audio level adjustment possible on the input side. I guess we could record the audio separately via analog, but I wanted to see if there was any idea out there as to why the deck would see the audio at such a low level.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Chad Brewer
Re: DVCPRO50 audio weak
on Jan 15, 2011 at 11:26:49 pm

I'm not too familiar with this model, but have you checked menu item 750 to insure that audio attenuation for DV playback is turned off?

Many of the Panasonic decks have menu based settings that affect the audio output levels and considering you rented the deck, you may want to check that menu setting and/or restore the deck to its factory default settings and see if anything changes.

That's just my guess...

Chad Brewer
Senior Broadcast Videotape Operator
TeleVersions, LLC


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Steve Brame
Re: DVCPRO50 audio weak
on Jan 16, 2011 at 12:43:54 am

The problem being that the VU meter on the deck is showing -30dB, and that setting only affects firewire output, and only seems to attenuate audio that needs attenuation. A -30dB signal wouldn't need it. At any rate, I gave it a try, and there's no difference. I have some other tapes that are playing at -6dB or hotter, so I'm pretty sure it isn't a deck malfunction. I'm beginning to think I read the meters on the camera incorrectly, and they were actually recorded at at low level. Fortunately, I can boost them in edit, and they still sound pretty clean.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Chad Brewer
Re: DVCPRO50 audio weak
on Jan 16, 2011 at 1:16:48 am

Good news you can still work with the audio and its not low beyond repair.

My next question was going to be whether the playback off the camara was boosted to disguise a low recorded lav level.

Nonetheless, good news you don't have to reshoot anything...

Chad Brewer
Senior Broadcast Videotape Operator
TeleVersions, LLC


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Mark Suszko
Re: DVCPRO50 audio weak
on Jan 16, 2011 at 9:24:15 pm

Are you experiencing some phase cancellation during playback, perhaps? What happens when you break out the multiple channels and solo them one at a time?


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Steve Brame
Re: DVCPRO50 audio weak
on Jan 17, 2011 at 12:04:19 am

Nope...I've been soloing the pertinent channel, and it's hovering at -30dB on the deck's VU meter regardless of what I do. It was recorded low. I've already spanked the operator for it. As an alternative to caturing it low via firewire, and then boosting in edit, I've run the audio from the deck through an M-Audio Fast Track Pro that we have, and boosted the signal with the Fast Track so that it captures at -6dB. Problem solved.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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