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Canon 7D & Zoom H4N: AGC? Sescom cable?

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Matt Campbell
Canon 7D & Zoom H4N: AGC? Sescom cable?
on Nov 19, 2013 at 4:44:46 pm

So I've recently purchased the 1/8" splitter cable from Sescom with in-line attenuater. I had been simply sync'ing audio n video in Premiere via clapper. No big deal and works well. But now with this cable, I had planned to continue to sync with external audio using the in-camera audio as a higher quality reference for sync. But once I set this up and used it, recording in-camera audio with my Zoom (boom mic and LAV in stereo Mode via inputs 1 & 2) the in-camera audio levels matched up with the external audio WAV files from the Zoom. On the 7D, I took the manual audio level all the way down, and brought it up 1 notch to get proper metering levels.

Is the 7D still using AGC even with the Zoom now feeding it external audio? I had assumed yes and that in-camera was to only be for reference, but after recording and doing the mix in Audition, both in-camera audio and external audio are almost identical.

Can anyone explain? Is the in-camera audio ok to use,, or should I still only use that as reference and sync external audio for final mix?

OSX 10.7.5 with a 3.39 Ghz Intel Core i7 on a built up Hackintosh
16 GB of RAM with OSX on SSD, (2) internal HDDs RAID'd 1 for project files and External RAID 5 for all project assets (media, GFX, stills, etc.)
BMD Decklink Studio 2, FSI BM210, KRK Rokit 5s, Mackie 802


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Bill Bruner
Re: Canon 7D & Zoom H4N: AGC? Sescom cable?
on Nov 20, 2013 at 9:12:37 am

Hi Matt, I use Sescom cables with my Zoom H1 and Tascam DR-40 external recorders in precisely the same way.

As you describe your setup, your 7D's AGC is not disabled, and should be bringing the gain up during quiet portions of your soundtrack. That said, if you're listening to your in-camera track through headphones, and you don't hear elevated room noise during gaps in dialogue, and you can save some time in post, I'd say go for it.

It may not be good enough for theatrical projection or broadcast, but it'll definitely be good enough for YouTube or Vimeo.

Cheers,

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Matt Campbell
Re: Canon 7D & Zoom H4N: AGC? Sescom cable?
on Nov 20, 2013 at 3:11:37 pm

Thanks Bill. I went back and took a much deeper look at the two. After extracting both stereo files (in-camera & zoom) to 2 mono tracks (1 for each mic) was able to see that the in-camera audio levels at room tone were much higher at around -35 or so, not too bad. And the Zooms room tone levels were around -45. But yes, as you said I think this is totally acceptable for our newbiz pitch videos. After a little sweetening in Audition and with SFX and music, you don't notice any ambient nat sound. That room tone is drowned out.

But being the perfectionist I am, I'm going to go back and use the external audio from the merged clips. Better safe than sorry!

And good to know about the AGC. But that cable is great and make for better reference audio.

thx again.

OSX 10.7.5 with a 3.39 Ghz Intel Core i7 on a built up Hackintosh
16 GB of RAM with OSX on SSD, (2) internal HDDs RAID'd 1 for project files and External RAID 5 for all project assets (media, GFX, stills, etc.)
BMD Decklink Studio 2, FSI BM210, KRK Rokit 5s, Mackie 802


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