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Magic Lantern + 550D + Rode Videomic tests

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Jonnie Lewis
Magic Lantern + 550D + Rode Videomic tests
on Aug 30, 2012 at 9:01:00 am

Hello all,

I recently installed Magic Lantern so that I could turn the AGC off on my 550D.

I don't have headphones to monitor the audio, so I've been experimenting with different gain controls and watching the audio levels meters to establish the best sound quality.

Here's a video I shot of my lovely mother rambling into the camera so I could carry out some tests. The Rode Videomic is mounted on top of the camera, and I was using a 50mm f1.8 from about 6ft away:







You can see the audio settings in the bottom right - I started out at 20dB, and moved all the way up to 32 + (36, 36) dB. She was talking quite quietly, but it was only at around 32 + (18, 18) dB or 32 + (24, 24) dB that you begin to hear her clearly. At these levels I can hear a little bit of a hiss if I turn up the volume on my laptop - I wonder if I'd be better keeping the gain levels a little bit lower and then boosting the volume in post?

AGC must have been bumping up the gain to about 32 + (30, 30) dB before.

Any thoughts appreciated.

Thanks,
Jonnie.


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Magic Lantern + 550D + Rode Videomic tests
on Aug 30, 2012 at 10:18:55 pm

Background "hiss" when recording sound on an HDSLR is common. This is due to the poor quality of the audio pre-amps in the cameras.

Recording at a lower db setting in the camera won't get rid of the hiss, when you lift the levels in post they'll just come back up with the foreground levels.

Solutions are to record audio through a Juicelink or Beachtek adaptor on the camera or better still dual record the audio on a separate digital audio recorder such as a Tascam DR-100 or Zoom H4 and re-sync with Plural Eyes in post or manually using a slate or clap at the beginning or end of each take.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Jonnie Lewis
Re: Magic Lantern + 550D + Rode Videomic tests
on Aug 31, 2012 at 1:35:57 pm

Great advice, thanks.

I have an extension cord for my shotgun mic, presumably if I place the microphone closer to the audio source I'll be able to keep the gain slightly lower and also reduce the hiss?

Thanks again.


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Phil Balsdon
Re: Magic Lantern + 550D + Rode Videomic tests
on Aug 31, 2012 at 10:13:34 pm

That will definitely help. Every time you halve the distance between the mic and the source you improve the audio level of the source by four times.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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