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audio on Canon 7D

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Nick 2746
audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 6, 2009 at 3:01:41 pm

I am documentary fim maker and have just bought the 7D camera and am really please with the ease with which I can film street, market scenes and other shots.

However, there will be times when I would like to use it for short interviews (under 10 min)as well, using an external mic. However, the in camera sound seems to suffer from AGS, which picks up ambient sounds if there is a pause in speech. It also sounds a bit compressedto me.

Recording sound separately would be a better option and I believe some folks are already doing that. But that is not perfect either for sync sound as some test, demonstrated on youtube, have indicated that in a 10 min clip there could be 7-8 frames lag between H4N audio and the in camera audio.

How anyone found a better solution for sync sound recordings?

Thanks.


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Ryan Orr
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 6, 2009 at 4:20:50 pm

Well, if you're on a Mac, use FCP, and don't mind shelling out some cash, you can get http://www.singularsoftware.com/autosync/. From what has been said, it works very well. If your not using FCP, well...I'm sure they are working to get PluralEyes working on other NLEs.

*Possible Solution*

In your NLE of choice, would it be possible to change the speed of the audio by a percentage to match the video? Like, if you have to speed up the audio by 99.98% or something. Wouldn't that work? I know in Premiere you can do that, and even have the option of keeping the pitch.

From a guy not knowing exactly about this problem, I am actually stunned that it's only 7-8 frames off when recording for 10 minutes. Neato.


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Nick 2746
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 6, 2009 at 4:59:18 pm

Thanks Ryan for your suggestion. Yes, I am using FCP on Mac and I might try changing the spped of the seperately recorded audio, which seems a better option. Even if Plural Eyes lines up the first sync point where the person starts speaking, it may not be able to contol the drifting audio. Hard to know without giving it a go.

I haven't got Zoom4N yet, have been using miniDisk so far. But it has 44.1 KHz audio, as opposed to 48 KHz on 7D!! So, I thought before I invest in a Zoom it might be worth checking various possibilities.

Thanks.



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Richard Harrington
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 6, 2009 at 7:46:36 pm

Plural Eyes works well on Mac for FCP

You can generally change the speed or drop a few frames along the way

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and ATS:iWork


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Nick 2746
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 6, 2009 at 11:04:00 pm

Thanks Richard. I believe that Beachteck make an audio gadget that controls the behaviour of the audio AGC in Canon 5D (or 7D?). The gadget is quite costly. Have you seen it at work? Is it worth the investment? If this really works then it will avoid the need for carrying a seperate recorder like the Zoom H4N for recording interviews.

Nick



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Robbie Carman
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 7, 2009 at 1:33:40 am

[Nick 2746] "Beachteck make an audio gadget that controls the behaviour of the audio AGC"

It does in fact override the AGC on the camera, but really not your best choice I think in terms of audio preamps. I have one of the Beachteck's (somewhere) and the preamps are really really noisey. I mean really noisy. I would check out the JuicedLink family of preamps.

The H4N which I've used a bunch is an awesome recorder, while not fixing the whole sync issue will get you much higher quality audio (bit depth and sample rate) than the built in audio or when using a preamp. Just make sure you bring a slate along, then even if you don't use plural eyes things can be synced manually



Robbie Carman
----------------
Colorist and Author
Check out my new Books:
Video Made on a Mac
Apple Pro Training Series DVDSP




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Matt Gottshalk
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 7, 2009 at 2:51:00 am

Yup, seems the H4N has been the "go to" choice for many with the 7D.

Love mine.

McGee Digital Media Inc.
24P HD Production and Post
http://www.mcgeedigitalmedia.com


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Bruce Sharpe
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 11, 2009 at 4:31:20 pm

I'm jumping in a little late here, but you can definitely get reliable, drift-free sync between the 7D and external audio, as long as the external audio has reasonable clock accuracy. Like many others on this thread I highly recommend the Zoom H4n. We have measured it and it can hold sync to within one video frame for 100 minutes.

There is possibly another issue that is causing the drift you are seeing. Final Cut has a quirk that causes drift but can be avoided with a little care. You just have to make sure that the frame rate of the Easy Setup you are using matches the frame rate of your clips. If it doesn't, change your Easy Setup, restart Final Cut and create your sequence again.

On the Canon 5D the drift is known as the 99.9% problem. On the 7D it is the 100.1% problem. The solution is the same. See this blog post and video tutorial for more information.

Bruce Sharpe
Singular Software


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Nick 2746
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 11, 2009 at 6:05:27 pm

Bruce, many thanks or your very helpful reply. I have just got a Zoom H4N, which I will be using with Rode NTG1. Very pleaed with it.

I will be shooting an event about 1 hr long on Sunday, indoors, so will see how the sync issue works out. We are on PAL system here and most of the discussions on this forum and on others tend to be about NTSC. Still they are helpful.

I am aware that I can only film in 12 min chunks but that should be fine so long as the camera doesn't shut down due to overheating. I think that filming this event will enable me to learn more about the capabilities and limitations of 7D.

Thanks again for your helpful contribution.



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Ryan Orr
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 7, 2009 at 3:33:50 pm

On the Magic Lantern's Wiki Page, under the Vimeo video, there is a list of things that their firmware update addresses, which includes audio level.

http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magic_Lantern_Firmware_Wiki

Intriguing. Does that mean you can essentially disable the AGC in the camera and control the lvls yourself? Idk...if so that would be a really good step in the right direction.

Honestly, I would get a separate audio recording device and do it that way anyway. I like the Alesis ProTrack for the iPod Touch. For me, having a recorder that can take xlr (phantomed if need be) and 1/4 jack cables, 16-bit, 44.1kHz or 22kHz stereo digital audio...sheer audio gold. It would work with my fictional iPod touch that I imaginably own.



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Gord Stephen
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 8, 2009 at 4:21:49 am

[Ryan Orr] "I like the Alesis ProTrack for the iPod Touch."

... That's just cool. Give me that over an 'iPhone video stabilizer grip' any day...

Gord


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Ryan Orr
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Dec 8, 2009 at 8:58:55 pm

"... That's just cool. Give me that over an 'iPhone video stabilizer grip' any day...
"


That way, you could itemize the iPod Touch in your budget and write it off in your taxes...and it would be legit. :)


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cow
Jiri Fiala
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Feb 4, 2010 at 9:01:44 am

I have shot a doc with our 7D. Unless you really have to, don't shoot interviews with 7D. It's fantastic for B-roll, but any longer take (than, say, 2 minutes) WILL introduce sync issues with sound no matter what. This has been covered on various blogs. DSLR make great pictures, but we cannot expect them to behave like a all-purpose HD camera for USD1700.


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Nick 2746
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Feb 4, 2010 at 9:25:12 am

Thanks Jiri. Since my original question I have shot lots of interviews in PAL using H4N and had no synch problems at all. I wonder if it doesn't work in NTSC!



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Nathan Jongewaard
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Feb 16, 2010 at 9:58:31 pm

Hi - so I take it you're using 48kHz on the H4N when shooting PAL? I have to do some PAL work soon (first time), so I want to make sure it will work - thanks!


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christopher hicken
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Feb 27, 2010 at 8:36:48 pm

I was wondering, does this sync issue include using an external mic plugged into the camera ?

I love the way the footage looks, but I also need to shoot interviews for my projects using wireless mics.


Thanks.

C.


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Josh Sliffe
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on May 2, 2010 at 8:05:38 am

WOah speak for yourself.. wow you are out of the loop my friend. 7d is GREAT for interviews! I've done mannnny.

Go on vimeo and just check out one of the thousands of interview vids from 7d's.

other than interviews watch the house season finale to see a full episode shot off a 5dmkii

there are also many films out there shot on these cameras also.

Just because you can't get out of it what you want.. doesn't mean other people can't.


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Jiri Fiala
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on May 2, 2010 at 9:55:10 am

Fear not my friend, I know how to get great picture from 7D, but it's simply not that convenient for interview shooting. You have to stop in 12 or so minute chunks during interviews (which is okay if you plan your questions carefully). The sync error may or may not be a 7D or FCP issue, but it's there:

http://blog.youdownwithfcp.com/2010/03/24/fcp-quirk-importing-25fps-audio-o...

It is not, however, present with DV/HDV setups, for me anyway.



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Josh Sliffe
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Sep 27, 2011 at 3:05:32 pm

oh boy lol ... i won't even go into why your syncing is screwed up over time... but just know there are pro's who don't run into those problems.

and btw ... any solution you use... or camera... has work arounds involved... whether you recognize them or not.

as far as interviews and 12 minutes... good lord man... how long is one question... just stop it and start it after every question or two... and use pluraleyes to sync everything in post... what the hell is the problem here. it's totally worth pushing your thumb down twice every question.

Just please no one listen to this guy... if you want great looking stuff for super cheap and super EASY.. email me and i'll teach you whatever i know.


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Neil David
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:48:27 pm

Hey Josh
Really like the work you have been doing on vimeo. You have managed to produce great sound to go with the great pictures from the 7d. I have a question for you as Im about to film some interviews for a documentary with a 7d. I have the h4n and a rode ntg2 but I get very low levels on the sound?? What set up do you use for recording such great dialogue?? Your help would be appreciated. Thanks


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Josh Sliffe
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Sep 27, 2011 at 3:12:45 pm

typically i use a h4n with sennheiser e300 g3 wireless packs for "on location" interviews...
( )
anything you've seen that looks like it was done a studio was done with a h4n+shure ksm137 ( )

as far as your low signal level... is your input volume on the h4n turned up all the way? or at least to 60+?

also make sure you don't have a pad on at the mic... like anything saying -6db or -12db... make sure it's at 0.

other than that... getting a mic with a higher "signal level"... or buying a small little pre amp to boost the signal... but i'de recommend a new mic before a preamp.

if you like the audio quality of any of the outdoor interviews i've done that was with the sennheiser wireless system... so i'de say scrape up some money and buy that. Gotta have clean audio...


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Neil David
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on Sep 27, 2011 at 4:30:51 pm

Hey thanks for this I think I will have a look at the sennheiser e300 g3 wireless packs into my h4n.
You mentioned the sure mic for studio type recording - do you just have this out of camera sight on a mic stand?
Really appreciate you taking the time to respond.


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Matthew Nothelfer
Re: audio on Canon 7D
on May 22, 2011 at 1:57:32 am

Don't know what you're doing to your footage/audio, but I synch my stuff up just fine and it doesn't drift.

You're making a goof somehow in post.


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