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Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera

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Al Herr
Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera
on Feb 18, 2016 at 5:16:50 pm

Hello All,

I read the cow tutorial but I still can't figure out where I'm going wrong with capturing strong audio.

I'm using a JVC GY-HM 170 UA found on BH photo.
The small shot gun mic is going into input 1 XLR.
The lav mic into input 2.

I have input one on -48v and the lav on MIC not LINE.

In settings I don't know what to put Input 1 Mic Ref. on : =44db etc..,?
I've got the overall Ref Level set to -20db.
There's also a setting for Audio on Full AUTO or SW Set????

I will be shooting speakers who are anywhere from 5-20 feet away who will not be using a microphone because the room is small. So the lav will be on the facilitator.

Any help appreciated.
AL

alchemyvideo.biz


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Richard Crowley
Re: Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera
on Feb 18, 2016 at 6:10:32 pm
Last Edited By Richard Crowley on Feb 18, 2016 at 6:11:54 pm

"-48V" doesn't sound right. Phantom power is +48V. Do you mean -48dB?

What lav microphone? It isn't particularly helpful to omit details like that.

If you need more mic gain, then set the internal adjustments for maximum gain, and then back them off if you run into trouble. Trying to set things by the numbers is a dubious pursuit.

It is probably heresy to say this here, but if you are just shooting documentary-level stuff, I say don't be afraid to use auto-level for well miced speech.

Of course be sure to experiment with all the gear and all the settings well in advance of needing to use them so that you will be familiar with all your options and how to use them.

IMHO, you are fundamentally doing the wrong thing by trying to use a distant mic technique, ESPECIALLY in a small room. Unless you want it to sound like you were recording in an echo-chamber. "5-20 feet away" is just completely unreasonable, IME. Quite possibly not even good enough for "transcription-quality" audio recording. Much less any higher-quality expectation.

Unless the speakers are just getting up to speak for a minute or two, I would much prefer to put the lav on the speakers and let the facilitator fend for themselves. Unless the facilitator dialog is equally important, in which case I would dump the shotgun completely and use a second lav. Wired or wireless.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera
on Feb 18, 2016 at 6:22:15 pm

I viewed a couple of your video resumes. Fancy graphics and effects, video was good, but I have to say that the audio was pretty sub-standard. Any time I hear that near-echo audio I think: "these people just used the microphone on the camera and didn't care enough to mic this properly."

No shotgun microphone will perform well in the presence of near reflections. It is just the nature of the beast. For distant micing indoors, we use hyper-cardioid microphones because they are not as sensitive to near reflections.

And when I say "distant" I mean 18 inches, and maybe 24 inches if you are pushing your luck. If you can't get the microphone that close, then use a clip-on lav. At least if you want people to take your audio seriously.

And if you have more than one person, or if the subject(s) are moving around, then you need a boom operator with good headphones to monitor the audio to keep the microphone aimed at the subject's mouth.

And a wired microphone is ALWAYS better than wireless. A $30 cable ALWAYS sounds better and is infinitely more reliable than a $3000 wireless microphone kit.

And last, but not least, ALWAYS monitor your audio while shooting. ALWAYS! Recording audio without monitoring and metering is like framing and focusing without a viewfinder!


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Al Herr
Re: Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera
on Feb 18, 2016 at 7:07:06 pm

Yes I meant +48v phantom.

Shotgun mic - the one that came with the camera - XLR inputs on top handle adaptor.
Lav - Samson32 UHF Diversity

Environment: Rectangle room with about 40 people jammed in it. Very little space to use but they know that. There just isn't space for a boom mic and I have no control. The speaker who I know doesn't rove much, will wear the wireless mic and that goes to Camera 1 in the back of the room, about 50 feet away. I'm on closeups and can get in people's faces if needed. That's what they want. When people get up to speak IT WILL ONLY BE FOR A MOMENT OR 2. Main speaker has the lav. Sound capture isn't ideal but I think it's covered well enough for this since I'm allowed to move closer to people. They just didn't choose a good space for this. Echo is not a factor, it would be opposite, too much absorption.

On the top handle XLR until that screws into top of camera:
When not using a lav on the camera: I have Channel 1 and 2 BOTH set to input #1, +48v
But With the lav I have Channel one on input #1 (the mic that came with cam) and Channel 2 set MIC not Line. Right?

In my cam settings I have under Audio a setting called "Input 1 Mic. ref." with choices from -32db up to -62db and another setting "Ref. Level" with choices of -20db down to -12db settings and don't know what I should try those on. This is a new cam and I'm not sure what those do.
Thanks,
Al

alchemyvideo.biz


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Richard Crowley
Re: Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera
on Feb 18, 2016 at 7:44:55 pm

I would assume the the lower numbers for input sensitivity indicate MORE gain. So I would think that the -62dB setting would make the input MOST sensitive and the -32dB would make it LEAST sensitive. For distant micing where you are dealing with low signals, I would think you would want as much sensitivity/gain as you can get. Now there may be a point where too much gain starts increasing the noise and the signal-to-noise ratio starts going south again. So there may well be a "sweet spot" which only you can determine by experimentation.

Dunno what "Ref Level" means? Does it actually change the audio level of what is recorded? Does it change how the metering displays levels? Does it change how the auto-level feature works. You can determine all these things for yourself by spending an hour playing with all the audio settings on your camera.


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Al Herr
Re: Audio Setup - Lavalier, New Camera
on Feb 18, 2016 at 11:07:37 pm

Ok Thanks.
I'll do some testing.
Al

alchemyvideo.biz


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