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Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder

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Thomas1075
Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 19, 2007 at 12:32:17 am

I can't believe it but I got hired for another sound gig. This time there is one scene where it will be impossible to run audio from the mixer into the camera, so I will have to rely only of the use a DAT recorder.

I guess I will simply take my two XLR out puts from the mixer and plug them into the DAT recorder. I believe it will be an old Tascam DA-P1. Since I am such a newbie, I would not even get into the whole TimeCode debate, I will just rely on the slate clap to synch it in post later.

For the more traditional interior scenes I would like to just feed the audio to the camera from the mixer. But the director asked me if I can also do a back up on DAT now when we have the DAT recorder.

So my new question: how do I do that? Since I would still like to run 2 XLR input from mixer to camera and then also to the DAT recorder? Is there a special cable or do I have to choose between either the camera or the DAT?

Best regards,
Thomas


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Will Salley
Re: Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 19, 2007 at 3:02:43 am

It all depends on the field mixer you will be using. Some have redundant outputs, many do not. If the one you have does not, use a passive (or active) line splitter and make sure the two devices don't cause any crosstalk between the them (camera and DAT). The better splitters have isolation transformers to prevent noise.





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Tim Mirande
Re: Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 19, 2007 at 12:27:20 pm

I occasionally use my Fostex FR-2 for this:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=Search&A=details&Q=&sku=3...

It has an optional time code card as well. It's a tad on the expensive side but given that it records to Compact Flash or Microdrive, the workflow is a snap. It has also proven to be pretty reliable too. Personally, I haven't used it 'in lieu of' but rather as 'a backup to' recording to the camera. Sometimes a touch of paranoia isn't a bad thing! HTH.

Tim

Anything worth doing is worth over-doing!


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edward  chick
Re: Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 19, 2007 at 5:08:11 pm

What kind of mixer are you using?


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Thomas1075
Re: Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 19, 2007 at 5:13:22 pm

Not entirely sure what kind of mixer they are renting for me. It will either be a SQN 5S or a Sound Devices 442. But I will probably be the SQN since most rental companies have many of those lying around.
Thomas


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edward  chick
Re: Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 19, 2007 at 11:21:15 pm

The Tascam DA-P1 also accepts RCA line level input. If you do not have enough XLR outs, you could take 3.5m m (such as a headphone or tape out) 3.5mm to rca male y cable would be needed. Not sure what direct outs the SQN series offers. The SD442 has two hirose outs, as well as xlr and ta3. Take your pick on the outs.


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Thomas1075
Re: Need advice feeding field recorder to a DAT back up recorder
on Mar 23, 2007 at 12:46:16 am

Hi there,
I thought I wanted to follow up after the gig with a little feed back of how it went and what did work and what didn't work.

The mixer I got was an old work horse SQN 4S, but the model had oddly 2 XLR out along with the hirose out. Of course the DP didn't want me to feed audio directly into the Sony F900, which was Ok for me sine I had the DAT recorder which by the way was a HHB PORTADAT PDR1000TC.

I knew that the director had a tight deadline for editing, and feeding directly to the camera would have saved a lot of post production work. But no producer was on set to make the call, so the DP did. I could only advice that it would be be cumbersome to convert the DAT to WAV files and then synch them up. But I was overruled.

At times it was very dark on set, and on my DAT recorder I could activate lights in the display, but not on the mixer which was so annoying.

The wireless lavs were excellent, I can't remember the brand, but they were awesome.

In the very wide shots I wired up the to actors with wireless lavs, and got OK results. Sometimes a litle clothing noise, but I had a good lav mic kit to make adjustments with.

When we punched in on one actor I boomed to get clear and crisp dialogue since I still think the best audio comes from a shotgun or something similar. On the other track I still used the wireless lav for the other actor and when they turned around I swapped.

Mixer wise I was happy to see that this old SQN had both hirose out and two XLR out. So I pluged the 2 XLR out to the DAT and the hirose I wanted to run to camera but since this wasn't an option, I unplugged them again.

I had some problems with the DAT. When I ran 1Kz tone, I usually set levels at 20db. But for some reason, The DAT wouldn't allow me to adjust beyond this level. So therefore I ran tone in at the maximum 12db. So all dialogue was recorded up to 12db. which I find odd. I hope I didn't screw anything up since there were no peaks beyond this 12db level on the DAT. Perhaps it was because of its limiters? I did some tests what I had recorded and played it back and it sounded OK in headphones.

As for the other part of this DAT machine it also had a TC generator. I didn't know how to use it so I didn't use it. Plus we didn't have a TC slate. But perhaps it could have been a help to get the TC from camera??
I relied on just hit record and wait a little bit and then recorded the clap from the slate to synch up later in post.

But all in all I was a happy camper. Of course, the real exam is when an editor or a dialogue editor gets the material and listen to it. I have on my last jobs, insisted to get feed back on the sound I have recorded good and bad, since this is the only way I really can lean plus of course on this awesome website.

One question I have i what do you do when one character speaks very loudly at times then suddenly almost whisper. In some books I have read that once you have set your levels, you shouldn't fade up and down (or what the right term is). But I did, since otherwise the almost shouting would clip (perhaps not since I used limiters), but then you wouldn't be able to hear when the character whisper. The problems with that is of course that the noise floor also increases as with the fading up.

What do yo guys do at these situations????

Best regards,
Thomas



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