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Allen Zagel
Forget wireless - I got other problems
on Mar 16, 2009 at 4:16:56 pm

Hi
thanks to those who replied to my Wireless thread.

So I get a call yesterday to come down and shoot another dance party. I just got my DSR-250 back from Sony so I figured it would be a good time to make sure everything's okay. Everything was so rushed I wasn't really prepared, and I didn't hae time to bone up on the manuals. BIG Mistake!

When I got home and got everything into Vegas, the audio track was 1 solid red line that filled the track. Horrible. Except for the first part when we tested the mic's speaking and clapping. that was fine, until the band started!

I'm not sure of the terminology but Major clipping and over modulation. Not clear at all. See link for a sample below.

I had a lot to put in here but after (what's that old sayuing? If everything else fails, read the manual! ugh!) I re-read the manuals because I haven't used the PDM-660 for years, and forgot about the front mic control on the 250. It's all my fault! Yea I admit it.

The PDM-660 had a separate line imput we didn't use for the mixer. the 250 had a front level control that I completely forgot about!

Basically my question is can I clean this up? I must have 30-40 Audio FX in Vegas and I'm trying and trying to see which one I can use to help this situation.

I had the Track EQ - Track Compressor set to hard limiter -6db, ExpressFX Audio Restoration. But I can't seem to get the audio cleaned up.

Is this a lost cause?

Here's a link to a sample I put up. It's mixed down (3 tracks worth) and 44.1 PCM with no FX at all. It's only a 20 sec clip.

http://www.azagel.com/Saj/Test-6-nofx-pcm.wav

Can anyone offer any suggestions please?
Allen

ASX Media Group, Inc.
http://www.asxvideo.com
NEW DVD - Europe, Trains-n-Trams


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Forget wireless - I got other problems
on Mar 17, 2009 at 6:43:20 am

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't think you'll be able to salvage the vocals. The instruments sound alright (from the clip you linked to), but they might be distorted as well in other songs.

Distortion/clipping is something that is there to stay - the SPL was so high that it literally either overloaded the microphone (not too likely) or made the microphone produce more voltage than something else further along in the signal chain could handle (much more likely). Either of those being the case, you are stuck with it.

Any efforts that you make to salvage the vocals will also have an impact on the rest of the audio. I think that you should figure out what your time is worth to you and decide whether or not it is worth your time to try and fix this track or work on another project. Maybe let the group know that you goofed and will do another video for a reduced price, etc.

The easiest way to ensure a clean capture when the audio levels may be all over the place is to plan to record in mono (most people don't even really understand what "stereo" means, anyway). Set one channel so that "normal", speaking levels are around 3/4 of the way up the meters, on average, and then set the second channel so that the music reads about the same on the second channel's meters. That way, during the loud parts, you have a usable track.

Best of luck!

Wolf
<><


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Allen Zagel
Re: Forget wireless - I got other problems
on Mar 18, 2009 at 12:42:44 pm

Hi Wolf

Thanks. Actually it wasn't a 'paid' job thankfully. It was one of those "if it comes out okay, we'll talk". Would have been some music vids for You Tube and the like.

Actually after I got home and the stuff into the timeline, I did what I should have done first. Read the manuals.

Oh it was my fault and now I know what I did so the nice part is I'll never do that again! ha ha

Gives me a chance to try all of my Audio FX's just to see what they do though. So I'm really not in any trouble. Nothing gained, nothing lost except for a few upset people, myself being #1.

Allen

ASX Media Group, Inc.
http://www.asxvideo.com
NEW DVD - Europe, Trains-n-Trams


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Terry Mikkelsen
Re: Forget wireless - I got other problems
on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:21:32 pm

Yes, once the data is corrupt it is not recoverable. Sometimes an individual sample or two can have the waveform "redrawn" and sound more pleasing, but not an entire program.
When checking mics you have three separate and distinct functions that need to be completed.
1. Initial check. Like your clap test, this is just to see if everything works. That's all, just making sure the signal chain is complete.
2. Level check. Reproduce the loudest portion of audio for 1-2 minutes. During this time you set the levels that are needed to aquire good clean signal, while maximizing your A/D signal to avoid quantization errors. After this is complete, lower your input signal 3-9dB. (Everyone gets a little hyped when if comes time to do the real thing, and it will tend to get louder than rehearsal.)
3. With little ambient noise, listen back to your rehearsal recording (with GOOD quality headphones) and ensure the quality is what is needed and expected. This may require mic placements to be changed after which you go back to step one.

Tech-T Productions
http://www.technical-t.com


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Allen Zagel
Re: Forget wireless - I got other problems
on Mar 18, 2009 at 1:52:02 pm

Hi Terry

Thanks for the info. mY headphones is the Sony MDR-7506.

We did the 'clap' test. Everything sounded good.

What I mess up on "Big-Time" was the mic-line disaster. Stupid me plugged the band's mixer into the mic XLR left channer and my Rode NT3 into the right channel. I totally forgot about the mini 'line-in' plug on the Marantz PDM660 being in such a hurry and not paying attention.

Actually the shotgun I had on the camera wasn't all that bad, but I neglected to tweak the front level control on the DSR-250. It's been a while since I had to seriously record audio. However I did have the camera menu set to -12db so that saved me a little.

I should have known better.

Allen

ASX Media Group, Inc.
http://www.asxvideo.com
NEW DVD - Europe, Trains-n-Trams


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