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Tom Maloney
field recorders
on May 1, 2008 at 1:43:11 pm

Hope the likes of Ty and compnay can help me out here. Most of my work I use a Sound Devices 302 and take the output directly to a video camera. upon importing into FCP I get 1 track and the L & R channel how ever I setup the output from the 302. My question is If were to use a 4 track recorder like the one Sound Devices makes what do I get upon importing into FCP ? 4 completly different mono tracks ? or 2 tracks usng left and right channels. Sorry if my question seems lame, trying to do a little research before I purchase a recorder( never used one before ) don't know to go with 2 or 4 tracks. I guess I am confused between tracks and channels

Thanks all

Tom


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Peter Perry
Re: field recorders
on May 1, 2008 at 4:22:32 pm

Hi Tom,
I'm not Ty, but I'll give this a shot.
If I understand your question correctly, what you want is to have split audio from your camera into FCP.
FCP should have way to either split the audio while capturing, or to do it once the stereo file is on the timeline. I know Premiere Pro does.
Maybe someone in here knows FCP ( I don't). If not try posting this in the FCP forum.
As long as you have each mic sent to only one channel on your 302, you should be able to get split audio once in FCP.
Peter



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Ty Ford
Re: field recorders
on May 1, 2008 at 10:16:34 pm

Hello Tom and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum,

The Sound Devices 744t (and new 788T) can record as four (or eight) separate files or as a poly wav files. A poly wav file shows up as one file icon, but has multiple tracks, all linked together.

When you import it into FCP, it distributes the files all in sync with each other and on the timeline. It's VERY cool.

As regards stereo tracks in FCP, you can unlink them even if they come in as a stereo pair.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Bouke Vahl
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 2, 2008 at 2:42:11 pm

BWF and FCP play nice now.
BUT, you need TC from the camera to sync your recorder, or vice versa.
All fine if you are shooting with a decent camera, just impossible with a prosumer one. (As those don't have TC out...)
In that case you need to slave the camera to your recorder..
BUT, those pesky cheapo cams do not have a TC in option...

AUX TC to the rescue. The TC out on a decent BWF recorder can be fed into one of the audio channels of the cam.
BUT (it's getting tedious now, i know...), FCP cannot read that by itself.
BUT (last time, i promise), there is a tool that can help here:
(shameless self promotion follows:)
http://www.videotoolshed.com/?page=products&pID=26

This is not for you to buy, the FCP house should do it.
I'm just mentioning for you to remember for that one time you need it. Before using tricks like this, DO consult with the producer/post house.

Of course there are more reasons to use AUX TC
It's always a good idea to have the BWF recorder be the master TC generator, as normally you record way more audio than the video camera shoots. Also, using AUX TC the tape can run in record run TC, thus making ingesting in post way easier. (I'm an editor, and i HATE free run recordings...)




Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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Tom Maloney
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 3, 2008 at 12:55:07 pm

Thanks to all for the great insite. Guess Like anythng else I see I am going to have to get some time and hands on with a field recorder. This is what amazes me with audio, always something new to learn

Thanks again
Tom

" EVERY DAY IS A GIFT, which is why we call it the present"

Alfred Hitchcock


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George Burbano
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 3, 2008 at 1:31:51 pm

Actually you dont need TC from the camera to match with the audio recorder, you just need a reference. While I use the Ambient TC Slate RF, its really just a luxury. But 1 of the 2 should have a TC. Getting a recorder that keeps TC is a great thing and more necessary than a camera with TC.
Get a good old clap slate, or use a cheap photo flash or clap your hands loud to get a reference. In FC then import both the audio and the video, adj the Aux TC function for the video clip, line it up with the reference clap to sound and viola ....perfect match..

As far as the recorder goes, the 722 and 744T, depends on what you really need. 1 does 2 channels the other 4 and the new 788 does 8 Channels. Again, you dont need the 4 or 8 unless you are dead set on seperating the audio for each talent. While this is nice, not necessary.It is nice to have your talent's audio on each track, but do you really need 4 or 8 most dialogue occurs between 2 people. Getting a good sound mixer to go along with the Recorder is a nice feature. Want 4 channels without spending an extra $1500 on another 2 channels? Get a good 4 ch mixer feed 2 channels directly into the camera with appropriate levels, record the other 2 channels on your recorder and again,you have all audio..

I did alot of research on this to record a few music videos, and did make a good size investment. I purchased a 722T, and an ambient TC Slate RF. I recorded the music as a master on the 722T, and used that along with the TC recording with my HVX. No problem..works fantastic. Hope this helps..



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Bouke Vahl
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 3, 2008 at 2:23:45 pm

Georg,
Although you are right that a simple hand clap can do the trick, real life is different. Very different...
Do not forget, i'm an editor, i get to do all the ingesting/ syncing.
Manual syncing takes time. If everything is done right, not that much, but at least 30 seconds if everything is perfectly organized. Most of the time it is way more, as cam and sound do not start rolling at the same time or another problem arises.
Ever tried to eye-match 10 minutes of audio on a talking head where you have no idea if there is in fact a match?
(you know it's the same text, but from what take?)

Of course there must be some reference, otherwise you have to manually find out what shot goes with what audiofile.
Most used trick is to set the cam in TOD that is app. the sound recorders TC. But, cheapo cams can't do that, thus every tape starts with 00:00:00:00.


If there is nothing in metadata to sync, the following WILL happen:

Clap is in the preroll of the camera (A LOT of camera ops do not realize that they are not running the moment they have pressed the button)

Clap is outside of the frame and the cam mic isn't working...
(really, it happens...)

Clap is in the preroll time when batch digitizing the tapes (FCP isn't able to do a preroll on CTL, or there is a control track break, so you'll loose 5 seconds from the beginning after ingesting)

Camera is stopped/started after the clap (cam op thought he could save some tape while moving to another position, battery change, etc...)

and more...

Worst thing is TC breaks in a tape, and you get a HVR-10 to ingest on FCP. While with a decent editing recorder you can stop / set inpoint, preroll and start over after a break within 15 seconds, doing such (automated ingest) with a cheapo HDV deck takes up to 3 minutes, and fails 1 out of five times.
That means babysitting the entire ingest. (Again, concert registration, 4 cams for about 2 hours. If all is well, this can be done unattended in a day. If not, this takes up to two days WITH an assistant.

I have got the T-shirts...

In reality, manual syncing is only possible with very simple shoots.
Even then it can go horribly wrong. I recently did a simple presentation, two cams, not even an external audio recorder.
Cams where not TC synced but were rolling in TOD. It took way longer to ingest (and i am using pro decks) and sync the material than to edit the piece. (one cam without sound, multiple takes with exact the same framing when sometimes one of the cams wasn't running...)


My advice, always get a decent budget to shoot in a way all files match. (and are able to sync even after a camera stop).
It will take extra money on the shoot, but a few simple mistakes will cost 10 times more to fix in post.

end rant...




Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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George Burbano
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 5, 2008 at 1:21:29 am

I agree with alot that you said. But I can beat that edit in 10 sec. or less if the sound and video are recorded properly and with an accurate reference or 1 has the TC with a reference. It really is not that complicated nor does it take that much once you practice. You are right... though. It must be shot correctly and carefully. I dont like to discourage anyone with so called "Cheapo-Cams" If you have the reference it doesnt matter what the TC is.. Many films and Tv shows have been shot without any TC, only ref Claps.. My point was that while there are some luxuries such as TC slates, TC input/output on higher end cams etc... it isnt that necessary. It's nice but not that complicated..

1. So for those that are recording either in a dual audio setup, where the cam and an external recorder is doing sound. This is my advise.
a. Always roll the camera first, for at least 5-10 secs. before calling for audio to roll, hit the reference, then roll that for 5-10 secs before calling for action..

*you can never go wrong if you allow this time.. ** Many of us dont need that much time, but if you are just starting then give yourself the time*

As far as tapes go, never use a tape that hasnt been pre-striped.. That is before you use the tape, record a blank screen on the deck or camcorder, till the end. This way you will never have a timecode break..

As far as Cams go, **avoid using TOD (time of day) Use Recorded Time)

Have someone write the Shot Sheet. (Write down the shot, TC start, Audio TC, etc..) The Sound person should be giving you a sound sheet also..)

tks

George




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Ty Ford
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 5, 2008 at 2:16:33 am

Hello George,

Can you please explain why TOD (time of day) time code is not good to use?

Thanks,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Bouke Vahl
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 5, 2008 at 3:06:53 pm

Ty,
From my perspective, it slows down the ingest tremendously, and on most systems you loose the first 5 seconds of a shot.
(of course this is only true for tape based ingest. For file based ingest TOD is no problem)

TOD should only be used in a few situations:
If the recording is VERY LONG and you might want to know the time something happened.
If you REALLY, REALLY need to know what time something happened.
If you are shooting with multiple cams/recorders and have no other means of syncing them. (even if you lock the cams at the beginning of the day, at the end there will be a 4 frame offset.




Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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Bouke Vahl
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 5, 2008 at 3:32:54 pm

George,
Not to start a fight here, but you're obviously in a way different market than i am...
First:
[George Burbano] "But I can beat that edit in 10 sec. or less if the sound and video are recorded properly"
I beg to differ. Your proper workflow suggests running the cam 5 to 10 secs before sound. That means playback of app. 12 seconds before you get your cue. Then, place a marker or whatever (depending on your system).
Next, open sound file, find the cue, another 5 seconds at least. Insert, check for sync. At least another 5 seconds.
Make subclip and rename, (also depending on your system), another few seconds.
That is at least 25 seconds, even in a well prepared situation. No big deal when you're doing just a few clips, but when you have 100 shots and you have to finished your edit in half a day, spending almost an hour on syncing alone is, well, impossible (besides, that costs about 100 bucks over here...)
But this is not my main point:

[George Burbano] "As far as tapes go, never use a tape that hasnt been pre-striped.. That is before you use the tape, record a blank screen on the deck or camcorder, till the end. This way you will never have a timecode break.."
This is plain wrong. The only reason to pre-stripe is to give cams without a decent TC generator the ability to NOT have all tapes a zero based TC. All cams do assemble edits. If the cam op. looks back and does not park in the previous recorded footage but somewhere in the black, there will be (although a small) TC break, and definitly a control track break crapping out the batch digitizing.
Besides, when people use crap cameras that cannot even set a proper TC, they are definitly too cheap to hire somebody to pre-stripe their 2.31 dollar tapes for an hour in a deck that costs 10 times more than the cam...
With 20+ years of experience, i have never ever seen a cam original come in pre-striped....

This also isn't my main point...

[George Burbano] "Have someone write the Shot Sheet. (Write down the shot, TC start, Audio TC, etc..) The Sound person should be giving you a sound sheet also..)"
HUH? Another person on the shoot? Who's going to pay for that?
If you can manage a cable between the sound recorder and the cam, recording the LTC on one of the sound tracks is FREE.
If not, a transmitter (legal!) that can do the same without a cable costs, like 400 bucks? With that you save the labour AND the syncing problem. That's an absolute no-brainer.

The only time i've seen sound sheets are on high end (well, for me, in the industry it's mid end) docu's (budgets around 150K). Even there, the sound guy made them, not somebody else.

99% of the business has budgets under 20K (i must admit that's a wild guess). Speed is important. On most of the stuff i edit i do not even get to see the rough material.
No client of mine is willing to pay for me to manually sync, as it is way cheaper to transmit the sound to the camera, or have another system of syncing the sound recordings to the image.

Your suggestions are quite helpfull for those who have no budget but want to put in a lot of effort to get the best results.
Perhaps there are some old farts around that do not know any better and are willing to pay for lack of equipment, but i have never met them in my world.

Peace,



Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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George Burbano
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 6, 2008 at 9:57:27 pm

NO fight here, you are disagreeing with me, on advise that I provided to a person who was seeking advise on a recorder, and is obviously not a pro-cinematographer or audio engineer.

The advise to use pre-striped tapes was to avoid timecode breaks, when you pre-record on a tape a base timecode is placed by the recorder. If you accidentally stop, review and then dont find the exact place of the last clip, if you didnt prestripe, your camera would place a new timecode, and you get a timecode break. This was advise to novices, and yes this happens with pros, even the most seasoned..

The advise on recording ahead of time, was again directed at someone who is not a seasoned pro, to allow him/herself plenty of time and ensure a good timecode reference. That is all , this advise is not for seasoned pros- cause many of us who shoot, know when to cue the camera, the audio and call for action, with no problem.

Besides, when people use crap cameras that cannot even set a proper TC

Wait in many of these forums people are using cams, in the range of $4000-9000 USD, that puts many people here in the Sony Z1U, Pan HVX- Sony PD-170, FX1, V1U, etc... These arent crap cams like you said, these are cams that are perfectly suitable for the things that these people are using. While there are many people here who have a variety of higher end, sony's, varis etc... as well as some arri's my advise was for someone who perhaps doesnt own a Varicam, and still wants to make it work.

(Bouke)Your suggestions are quite helpfull for those who have no budget but want to put in a lot of effort to get the best results.
Perhaps there are some old farts around that do not know any better and are willing to pay for lack of equipment, but i have never met them in my world.


That is exactly what my advise was for, people who want to do the best they can, with what they have. Not everyone here, is working on Million dollar films, commercials, or movies. Many are just trying to get into the industry.

Old farts arent the ones who dont know better, They should know better, it's the young guys who are just starting, that dont know better, and that is why many visit here. The cow is a great source of info for many, but quite often some info is wrong. I dont know everything, Im far from perfect but what I said does work, I have used it and so have many others.

In my world, "NYC world" I have met people who are willing to pay for lack of equipment, they do it well with what they have, they work hard and as they get better and make money they can pay for more equipment. If you havent met them in your world, either you are living with people born with a silver spoon, or just havent visited the world outside your block.That is fine, but I dont say I speak for anyone other than myself. You seem to be speaking for many.

Im not fighting with you either, but all this person wanted was some advise on a recorder and timecode. When I searched for this advise years ago, I didnt get anyone telling me that Im too cheap to buy anything, or Im in a different world..

I got good advise, from people who were willing to help, and teach. I practiced, and when I made mistakes, I learned from them.

Anyway I think we both occupied way too much writing time and effort on the Cow, for this subject. I wish you well, as well as Tom, whose head is probably spinning. I know mine is getting there.

be well

George




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bouke vahl
Re: field recorders, warning, sales pitch...
on May 7, 2008 at 1:59:46 pm

yeah, poor Tom...

Don't misunderstand me. My normal jobs aren't high profile.
But, (at least over here), low end stuff is NOT cheaper than the good stuff. It takes more labour to get the job done, and since labour is more expensive than decent gear, i do not see the logic in using cheapo cams. Of course there are situations (very long shooting time, unattended cams, risk situations, amateurs using the equipment) that cheapo cams have their place. But in normal operation, if you want quality, having decent gear does pay off.

What i don't get from your situation, over here it nowadays is NOT common to have a sound person on the job. Most shoots have one lav that the cam op puts on the talent, the boom (sometimes over a mixer) is held by the director or (if available) intern.

The whole reason i've developed my AUX TC reader is to make it possible on low cost shoots to have maximum efficiency.
Using it for muliple take music video shoots is great.
One channel of music for playback on set, the other one LTC, no fuzz finding back what shot goes where.
(Alough that's a situation where almost never a sound person is present, as it's playback only...)
Multicam with unconnected cams and BWF recorders where the second reason.

All in all, in my world (and my opinion!) cheap gear does not mean low cost. The cost just shifts (luckily more money for me, although i always have to explain why things aren't running as smooth as normally...)



Bouke

http://www.videoToolShed.com
smart tools for video pro's


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