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How are people doing DSLR audio?

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John Bauwens
How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:28:44 pm

So how is everyone doing DSLR audio currently? I just got to the party and was looking for a way to run XLR mics into a T3i, preferably with sync sound. I was checking out the tascam dr-60d. Are there any other methods I should be looking at?


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Rob Manning
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:37:39 pm

Buy Rich Harrington's book, "From Still to Motion".

http://library.creativecow.net/harrington_richard/DSLR-Sync-Sound-Workflow/...

Search dual source audio on the web, there should be lots of tutorials.

In the case of a two step box like the Zoom, TASCAM, Sony, one can feed the line level to the camera, but, there are gain structure considerations in some cases and Sescom offers several buffered cables specific to the gear being used for connectivity.

http://audio-video-supply.markertek.com/search#w=sescom%20dslr

HTHs

Rob Manning


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John Bauwens
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 5:50:28 pm

Thanks that video is pretty great. I did a good bit of research before, and just wanted to check what other people were doing currently and fish for any input before I committed to something.

You can also overcome the AGC issues with a piece of free firmware called Magic Lantern for the T3i. Bought four of those things for that reason.


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Rob Manning
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 6, 2013 at 8:34:29 pm

I'm sure you have a grasp, dual source audio is requisite and synched after the fact with either a slate or using Plural Eyes (Red Giant).

It is functional and accomplishes the task but basic compared to time code camera synch on higher end set ups.

The larger issues once gain and source are ironed out is mic placement, body pack, boom and operator, off camera stands, subject movement etc.

Rich Harrington and others have a lot of stuff online, Adobe, Lynda, Video Cop and of course here at CC.

Search the tutorials links, I'm sure a lot of stuff is already in place.

HTHs

RM


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Dan Asselin
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 27, 2013 at 8:24:17 pm

John I thought the T3i had a manual audio setting, which overcomes the AGC, built in. I have used Lantern on my T3i but only for the automatic continuous recording.


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 7, 2013 at 5:41:13 pm

I shoot presentation and training videos, and I've been using XLR audio adapters ( BeachTek and JuicedLink ) to feed audio to my DSLR cameras for several years now. The audio quality is very good, especially with my Panasonic GH2/GH3 cameras.

I used to shoot with a Canon 60D, but switched to Panasonic GHx cameras a couple of years ago because they produce a higher quality video and audio recording. The GH3 has a noise-floor equivalent to a Zoom H4n recorder, which is about -63 dB.

The key to obtaining high quality DSLR audio is to feed your camera a strong audio signal ( -30 dB to -20 dB ) and set your camera's audio level as low as possible. This means you need to use a good external mic pre-amp like a JuicedLink Riggy unit or a professional mixer like the Sound Devices MixPre-D.

You can also use Sennheiser G3 UHF wireless systems, and feed the receiver output directly into your camera. The receiver output is adjustable over a wide dB range, so you may have to do some tests to determine the best settings for your camera. With my GH3 I use -18 dB on the transmitter and -6 dB on the receiver with the GH3 audio level set to 1.

For narrative film-making I use a dual system with a Sound Devices MixPre-D that is then fed to a Sony PCM-M10 recorder that is tucked into the front of the audio bag. Everything is slated, which makes it very easy to sync the audio tracks with the camera video.


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Rob Manning
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 7, 2013 at 5:58:36 pm

Thanks!

RM


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John Doggett-Williams
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 7, 2013 at 11:42:16 pm

Good answer Guy, have you used the Zoom H4n recorder directly into the GH2? I have done so and find the hiss (on the camera recording) annoying. Also, when using the GH2/3's do you ever zoom? I'm not great with manual zooming.

John Doggett-Williams
http://www.fineeyeproductions.com


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Bill Bruner
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 8, 2013 at 10:20:46 am

I used to run my mics into a Tascam DR-40, and then into my cameras with a $27 Sescom LN2MIC-TASD100 cable.

But I gave that up when I discovered that with decent quality pro mics, gain control and the GH2's (and now the GH3's) preamps, I could get rid of noticeable hiss and room noise.

Now I run sound from self-powered pro XLR mics directly into the camera with a $17 Hosa MIT-156 XLR to 3.5mm transformer/adapter. No more forgetting to turn the recorder on, no more ungainly rigs like this:



Instead, the mic plugs directly into the camera, like this:



And this:



A lot simpler.

Hope this is helpful,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 9, 2013 at 2:37:40 pm

[John Doggett-Williams] "have you used the Zoom H4n recorder directly into the GH2?

I haven't had great results with the Zoom H4n compared to using an actual pre-amp. The JuicedLink Riggy pre-amp is one of the least expensive ways of obtaining high quality audio for your DSLR camera.

[John Doggett-Williams] I have done so and find the hiss (on the camera recording) annoying.

You must set your camera's audio level as low as possible and then feed your camera a strong signal to achieve "noise free" audio.

[John Doggett-Williams] Also, when using the GH2/3's do you ever zoom? I'm not great with manual zooming."

I don't own any parfocal zoom lenses, so my focus goes out every time I zoom. Very few DSLR lenses are parfocal, so unless I want to rent a real PL mount Cine zoom there's no point.

I might buy the new Panasonic 14-140mm zoom just because it's one of the few parfocal lenses in the Panasonic lens line-up.


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John Bauwens
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:46:37 pm

Thanks for everyone's input. Last question I have is in regards to the post production of the whole thing. While I appreciate the input about the Panasonic line, I have lenses and such that make it tough.

So I can run one or two xlr mics into whatever box I end up getting (I like what I hear about the Tascam DR-60D) and I can run a 1/8 inch line into the camera body? What does that send to the camera?


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Rob Manning
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 12, 2013 at 7:47:19 am

H4N for example, a stereo signal (around 10 kΩ impedance) set independently with the volume control which would be used for headphones otherwise -10dB consumer (versus +4dB) if there is not a separate line output.

As noted, noise floor and gain structure are task one from source (line) and on camera input.

A closed back set of headphones is recommended to gauge playback.

RM


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Bill Bruner
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 14, 2013 at 10:23:17 am

John - to connect a Tascam to your DSLR you'll need an attenuating cable that matches the output of your recorder to the input of your camera. I bought a $27 Sescom LN2MIC-TASDR100 from Adorama to connect the Tascam DR-40 to my GH3 and it delivered clean, hum-free audio to the camera.


Good luck!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Rob Manning
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 15, 2013 at 4:45:14 pm

Hi Bill I did mention this as well: "In the case of a two step box like the Zoom, TASCAM, Sony, one can feed the line level to the camera, but, there are gain structure considerations in some cases and Sescom offers several buffered cables specific to the gear being used for connectivity.

http://audio-video-supply.markertek.com/search#w=sescom%20dslr "

Your site is very informative BTW, great stuff.

Thanks!

Rob Manning


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John Doggett-Williams
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 17, 2013 at 1:57:19 am

Thanks Guy and Bill, the answers are great butafter following all the blogs last year I went out and bought a H4N which at $400 which now seems a waste. I think I'm stuck with it while I do love it as a recorder it is cumbersome and requires that audio post.

I must admit I'm finding the GH2 problematic at many levels. I have a problem with the monitor - it is not wysiwyg. I am using a flowmotion patch, the touch screen focus disappears, I worry about my ability to manual focus especially in low light. Anyway enough whinging.. thanks again.

John Doggett-Williams
http://www.fineeyeproductions.com


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John Bauwens
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Sep 17, 2013 at 2:02:57 am

Thanks everyone for the input. After talking and trying out a few devices, I am going with the JuicedLink box and running sync sound directly into the body. There people are incredible by the way.


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manuel lazaro
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Jul 8, 2014 at 4:22:41 am

Hi Guy,

I am having a bit of a dilema with recording sound directly to my Canon 7D. Let me start off my mentioning that most of my work will go directly online so not wanting to record with an external recorder is more of a personal choice because I am a one man band.

With that said, I have tried several forms of attempting to obtain clean audio directly to my Canon 7D. One of the best ways I have achieved this is by using my sennheiser EW 100 G2 wireless system. I set my camera audio to the lowest setting and increase the gain from the wireless receiver or transmitter. This provides good clean audio when using a lav or a hand held wireless mic.

Now to my dilema. I have not been able to achieve the same quality audio as mentioned above using my Rode NTG-2 shotgun mic. The Rode NTG 2 is a condenser mic which means it runs off a AA battery When I connect the Rode NTG 2 directly to the camera via an XLR to Mini adapter I get lots of white noise during my recordings. I have also tried using a Beachtek and JuiceLink preamp but have had no success. Perhaps I am not setting up the preamps correctly but I don't I am since they are pretty basic to use. I have tried many different forms of set up to the above mentioned preamp devices but no luck. I still get lots of white noise and the only way I have been able to get rid of the white nose is using FCP X and analyzing the audio. The solution has been to bring down the background noise in FXP X to achieve cleaner audio but it is not as crisp and sometimes sounds like someone is speaking underwater.

Would you happen to know if I invest in a Sound Device Mix Pre D will I encounter the same issues? Is there a better solution out there? Do I have my setting wrong on the preamps? Are there specific setting that perhaps is causing the white noise or is that white noise normal and will show up even using the Sound Device Mix Pre D? If the white noise is there, what are you or your coworkers using to get rid of the white noise? Can you advice on set up for recording on a Canon 7D without using an external recorder?

Your reply will be greatly appreciated and I look forward to hearing from you or a member of your staff. Thank you in advance. Feel free to phone it you prefer.

Best,

Manuel Lazaro
954-625-5359
mlazaro27@msn.com

Camera: Canon 7D
Audio: Set to Manuel at lowest level. (have tried all different levels)
Mic: Rode NTG 2 (have tried directly to cam and preamps)


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John Doggett-Williams
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Jul 8, 2014 at 5:05:09 am

Yes audio is still problematic with DSLR's, others may have better suggestions but it sounds like an attenuator (also known as a pad) may help with the 7D, it is usually used when taking a feed from a mixing desk, it's avoids distortion. It is cumbersome though.

I've now changed my mind from an earlier post where I said the H4N zoom (separate recorder) was problematic. It records beautiful sound and is quick to download and it's rarely a problem syncing audio in post. But, despite its good reputation, I have had some problems syncing with FCP X. If you can afford plural eyes it ceases to become an issue.

John Doggett-Williams
http://www.fineeyeproductions.com


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Jim Watt
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Oct 7, 2013 at 11:10:18 pm

If you want excellent audio the Tascam DR60D is the way to go. with a cage you have a very slick easy to use configuration. You can double record with a sync tone into your camera and the quality of the audio in the Tascam is far superior to anything you can record directly to your camera regardless of the quality of your microphones.

jw

Producer/DP, HD series, "Discoveries...America", "Discoveries...Ireland", "Discoveries...Spain",
"Discoveries...Argentina", Discoveries...India", "Discoveries...Asia", "Discoveries...Africa"


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John Doggett-Williams
Re: How are people doing DSLR audio?
on Oct 7, 2013 at 11:45:04 pm

Looks awesome and I have a soft spot for Tascam. Also well balanced physically for DSLR's.
Has anybody used one with a GH2 and it's 2.5mm input? The Zoom H4n has beautiful audio
but is awkward to connect.

John Doggett-Williams
http://www.fineeyeproductions.com


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