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About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice

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Dan Regembo
About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice
on Dec 2, 2014 at 5:25:59 pm

I would like to record a group of between 3-5 people sitting at a round table using a recorder such as a DR-680 and using Pyle Pro PMEM1 ear set microphones (a boom microphone would be too distracting in my situation). My question is: would this system output a file which contains 6 disecrate channels or does the recorder mix everything down into a two channel stereo audio file? Ideally, I would like the ability to lower or mute one channel (of the six) in post to correct for a situation where you have two people talking at the same time. I would like to lower or mute one of the voices in post to create clearer audio.

Is this possible using only the DR-680? Or is this only possible using some kind of audio interface in conjunction with a computer?

I will be a participant in conversation so I won't be able monitor the sound for levels as closely as if there was a dedicated "sound guy" present.

Sorry for the noob-ness of this question but Creative Cow seems to be my best bet for an answer. Thanks!


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Bruce Watson
Re: About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice
on Dec 2, 2014 at 5:59:51 pm

[Dan Regembo] "would this system output a file which contains 6 discrete channels or does the recorder mix everything down into a two channel stereo audio file?"

IIRC, the DR-680 will do either, even both, depending on how you set it up.

[Dan Regembo] "Ideally, I would like the ability to lower or mute one channel (of the six) in post to correct for a situation where you have two people talking at the same time. I would like to lower or mute one of the voices in post to create clearer audio."

It takes a really talented field mixer to ride levels in real time. Since you won't have that person available, post is your friend. Any good audio editor or DAW will let you raise and lower levels for each individual channel at will.

One of the interesting things about recording dialog is how people tend to start out louder than they finish (they run out of air). This too you can correct in post.


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Dan Regembo
Re: About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice
on Dec 2, 2014 at 7:15:30 pm

sorry for the typo in the title.

@bruce - Thanks for your reply. Wow, that's a relief to hear that I don't need a computer at the time of the recording session.

Do you think my choice of microphone is a wise one? The PMEM1 is a generic Countryman B6 style ear set. It seems to get favorable reviews on Amazon. At $14 the PMEM1 is about all I can afford since I will purchase 4 or 5 of them. Do you feel the PMEM1 is a wise choice instead of a cheap lav microphone? I realize the PMEM1 won't produce rich warm tones but my main concern is intelligibility and prevention of room and other random noises. It seems to me like a lav microphone would be a riskier choice due to people turning their head sideways, rustling of clothing, and pickup random sounds due to the lav sitting further away from the subjects mouth than an ear set stye mic would.

I will be using this setup to do oral history sessions interviewing groups of older folks in my home town. I plan on seating them in a semi-circle around one side of a large round table. I will record video using two iPhones placed on tripods on in each corner of the room. (I hope to replace the iPhones with better cameras as funds allow) I will also use a Panasonic G6 with a 14mm f2.5 Lumix lens (or the 14-42 kit lens) placed in the center panning back and forth as needed. The subjects will be lit with two Linko Flora umbrella style light banks in each corner of the room so lighting should be pretty good. I don't really care about the earset microphones being visible since the audio is the most important aspect for this project.

I also am doing research into soundproofing the room as best I can.

Again, thanks for your reply. I am looking forward to everybody's thoughts on this project as there may be something I am overlooking.


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Ty Ford
Re: About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice
on Dec 2, 2014 at 9:48:32 pm

Hello Dan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

The recorder will record up to eight iso tracks. I can't tell you about the mic.

Your audio software will need to be able to handle polywav files. Most do, but please check first.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice
on Dec 8, 2014 at 8:33:49 pm

The DR680 has 6 discrete inputs 4 phantom powered XLR and 2 1/4 TRS phantom powered. The other 2 "tracks" are an internally recorded mix down of the 6 inputs.

2 recorders can be "ganged" together for 12 tracks and one can act as the control for the other, nice feature.

The mixed down output can be sent to a camera, or wirelessly to multiple cameras for a scratch track.

A versatile recorder, available for less $ now than when I bought it. I have used it for a while and though it's not built as rugged as a Sound Devices product, with a good case I have had zero reliability issues while recording 2~6 tracks of dialogue to synch with camera audio.

The only "feature" I wish it had would be able to "bounce" a track so I could record it at a lower volume at the same time. The 60D does this, perhaps the 70D as well, it's smaller and a 4 track, so could be a future purchase.

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Rob Neidig
Re: About recording a group of people using DR-680 and lavs or ear set mice
on Dec 9, 2014 at 3:53:33 pm

Malcolm,

You could always just use a splitter and send a source to two different tracks, setting the levels of one lower than the other. A simple "Y" XLR cable available from your favorite retailer would do the trick.

I agree the DR-680 is a great device. If you have a mic pre that can output SPDIF, you can also record to tracks 7&8. Note that the 680 does not play nicely with certain devices' SPDIF outputs, though :>(

Have fun!

Rob

Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


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