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Robin Probyn
MP3 player
on Aug 23, 2008 at 10:00:45 pm

On a recent job we used a mini plug feed from the mixer into a consumer MP3 player.. to mic in.

The sound was very distorted,but ok for transcription at low volume... would that be a line to mic level problem? the player is consumer but was over $100.. so I think its a fairly good one..

Also there was a request for same time code as camera onto the MP3 audio... is there any way to do this with a consumer level player?

Thanks



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 2:32:57 am

[Robin Probyn] "On a recent job we used a mini plug feed from the mixer into a consumer MP3 player.. to mic in.

The sound was very distorted,but ok for transcription at low volume... would that be a line to mic level problem? the player is consumer but was over $100.. so I think its a fairly good one..

Also there was a request for same time code as camera onto the MP3 audio... is there any way to do this with a consumer level player?"


Hello Robin and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Yes, you probably fed line level into a mic level input. There could also have been impedance problems and mono/stereo problems.

Tough one, but doable. Where's the TC coming from? Can you pad it down to mic level? Then get some sort of Y cable to get TC on one input and mic level audio on the other. You want the TC to be lower in level; maybe -12. You'd need a mixer with a spare mic level output.

The Sony MZ100 Minidisc recorder can be adjusted from mic to -10, I think. I know it records at 44.1 16-bit.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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






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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 7:41:49 am

Thanks for the replies.

At the end of the day it sounds like a hassle,and with all the other hassles I just dont need it :)

Is this a common request?

Thanks

Robin



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 9:31:43 am

Hello Robin,

It is when you're doing extemporaneous interviews and you have no idea what people will say. You send the time code stamped files to a transcription service and they type out what was said with time code so you can read whet they said, pick the ones you want and locate them on the source tape by using the time code.

The system works pretty well, but sometimes the best takes on paper don't look so good on camera.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Will Salley
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 4:56:35 am

[Robin Probyn] "Also there was a request for same time code as camera onto the MP3 audio... is there any way to do this with a consumer level player? "

I'm fairly sure this won't work. I've tried to record audio time code to a recorder and the reader had a hard time resolving the time code. I think it might have to do with the heavy compression encoded in the recorder. The recorder I used had no way to increase the bit rate, which was fixed at 128kbs stereo, which means the mono TC track was 64kbs. A much higher bit rate may yield satisfactory results, but I'd certainly do some tests.



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 9:24:38 am

I recorded split audio/mp3 on my Sound Devices 744T for a client who asked for that. They wanted it for transcription purposes. I asked them about the compression issue and if they had done it before. He assured me they had. I did it as described before and got n complaints from them.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 5:06:10 pm

This mixer has a mini plug out for A channel and B channel... besides the usual XLR out.I can change the out put from line to mic but then my main XLR out sound will change to that level also.. but I want to keep the sound going onto tape as line level out from the mixer.

No idea how the TC would be got from this miniplug out,or I would need a BNC to mini plug from TC out from the camera? I can see why people want it,but what did they do before MP3 players and broadband?

Thanks again



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 6:32:59 pm

What mixer?

They used audio cassette in the past.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 6:53:35 pm

Its a Japanese one made by Sigma, 302,they sell in the US under the Kame name.. sort of standard one in Japan..good mixer..

But dont know if the TC would come out from the miniplug .. is there such a cable as BNC to mini..and would that work from TC out?

Could I take audio from mixer..TC from camera... into a Y connector into the MP3 player... sorry if this is totally mad.!!!



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 7:33:11 pm

[Robin Probyn] "Could I take audio from mixer..TC from camera... into a Y connector into the MP3 player... sorry if this is totally mad.!!!"

That was my suggestion. TC is nasty and may bleed in your mixer. Try it and see.

Ty Ford

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






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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 7:37:43 pm

so when I down load the file into a computer.. how do I see the TC?

Thanks



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 7:40:00 pm

play that track out to a time code reader.

Ty

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






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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 7:53:52 pm

Sorry I dont know too much..Iam actually the camera guy,but the sound gear is mine,and the sound people I know have no idea how to do this.

I just have the camera and the mixer,and a consumer,but fairly good,MP3 player.. no TC reader etc.. to be honest if its a hassle Iam ready to just say I cant do it.

Is this something that wold be considered normal in the US,and that every sound person should be able to supply.Another poster said it couldnt be done when he tried.. I dont want to be the grumpy guy..but work conditions are generally getting worse ie 6 day shoots becoming 4 days.. that Iam not really sure I want extra futzzing around with more cables/gear than needed. to save the prod co a few more bucks :)

Thanks!



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Rodney Morris
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 8:16:14 pm

I use a Zoom H4 ($300) for this purpose. Record split track mp3 Ch.1 mixed audio Ch.2 TC. At the end of the shoot, plug in the USB cable from the H4 to producer's computer, transfer the files and you're done. However, even with TC padded (with a simple Shure attenuator/pad barrel adapter. A line to mic adapter would be better, but to my shame I don't have one.) I still get bleed over into Ch. 1. Wasn't a problem for the transcription house, as far as I know.

Yes in the "old" days (ie. just a couple of years ago) we used cassette tape.

BTW - transciption recordings are a separate, billable item. That usually separates the serious clients from the "I just want to milk you for all I can get" clients.

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 8:28:14 pm

Ok thanks for your reply..

Who makes the Zoom H4? ... so its impossible on a regular consumer MP3 player? do you take the TC from the camera?

Thanks



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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 8:31:26 pm

what do you charge for the MP3 recording and up load etc?

Thanks



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Ty Ford
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 8:18:38 pm

[Robin Probyn] "I just have the camera and the mixer,and a consumer,but fairly good,MP3 player.. no TC reader etc.. to be honest if its a hassle Iam ready to just say I cant do it.

***Perhaps a local sound person could help you.

Is this something that wold be considered normal in the US,and that every sound person should be able to supply.Another poster said it couldnt be done when he tried.. I dont want to be the grumpy guy..but work conditions are generally getting worse ie 6 day shoots becoming 4 days.. that Iam not really sure I want extra futzzing around with more cables/gear than needed. to save the prod co a few more bucks :)
"


***Not everyday, but as I said earlier, very helpful with extemporaneous talent.

Regards,

Ty

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






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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 8:25:11 pm

I do work with local sound guys.. but they dont know how to do this.. but thanks for the info ..



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Rodney Morris
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 24, 2008 at 11:58:41 pm

Well, the mic input on a consumer mp3 player is likely to be a mono input, which means you won't be able to record split track. You HAVE to be able to do split track to record TC for the time code reader to work. IF the mic input is a stereo input, then it is possible. As was stated earlier, you'll need a Y-cable and then feed a mic level mono audio feed into one side and a mic level TC feed into the other. There is still a question of whether or not there will be any cross bleed from the TC onto the audio track. My guess is there will be, but it may not be too bad. As far as the bit rate question is concerned - I'm not sure. But I would give it a shot before I bought a separate recorder.

The Zoom H4 is made by the Samson company. It has two XLR inputs, but they seem to be mic level only.

I generally charge $25 for timecode transcription recording unless it's for the networks. Network news pays a flat rate of $75 for an audio package rental (mixer, mics, etc...) which includes a transcription recorder.

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 25, 2008 at 12:52:08 am

Hi there

Ok thanks.. it is a stereo player.So does the TC come direct from TC out of the camera.. I guess it must?

Is a Y cable a 2 mini plug cable into one? I dont think I can get mic level out from the mixer,unless I change the whole output level to mic.. so it going to give me mic level to the camera also... isnt line level better.. I always have it set to line.?

So the audio and the TC automatically go to separate channels through the mic in of the MP3 player?

Thanks again for the info!



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Rodney Morris
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 25, 2008 at 1:20:41 am

You must confirm that the mic input is a stereo input. Just because it is a stereo player doesn't mean that the input is stereo. Sorry to be beating the same drum, but it is important.

The timecode comes from the TC Out from the camera.

I'm assuming that the input is a 1/8" input. I can't remember if you specified this earlier. The Y cable would need to be one male stereo mini (1/8") connector to two female mono mini connectors. Actually the two female mono connectors can be any unbalanced type (1/4", RCA, etc...) but they must terminate into the male stereo 1/8" plug.

The audio and TC will automatically go to seperate channels of the recorder assuming that the input is stereo and the Y cable is wired correctly.

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Rodney Morris
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 25, 2008 at 1:37:28 am

Forgot to mention that, yes, you generally want to use line level feeds from your mixer to the camera. But if you are in a bind and have to switch to mic level for the sake of the transcription feed, you'll be OK. Just remember to monitor the audio carefully at the camera. If you keep the feed line level then you'll need a line to mic adapter, but that will likely include yet more adapters to go from 1/8" to XLR (most line to mic adapters are XLR), then from XLR to whatever connector you have on the Y cable. It gets a bit complicated...

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Robin Probyn
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 25, 2008 at 2:27:15 am

Ok thanks again for all your help... is this becoming an expecting thing these days.. are there people who just say no cant do it?



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Rodney Morris
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 25, 2008 at 12:12:56 pm

I only get transcription requests a few times a year.

Freelance Sound Technician/Mixer


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Stuart Nimmo
Re: MP3 player
on Aug 27, 2008 at 11:26:09 am

Yes it can be done, at least it can certainly be fed to a Sony MD Walkman as two mono tracks. I made up a splitter cable feeding camera audio out and TC out to a stereo mini jack that sent the two feeds separately to each MD track. Doubtless this could be achieved to MP3 with the right impedance.

It's a while since I used it but as far as I can remember the TC signal was over strong and needed to be reduced to avoid bleeding. Otherwise all that was needed was to remember to record it to the MD as well as shoot to tape! With a TC reader It was very useful for translation transcripts.

http://www.GluedTo.Tv


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