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Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions

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Isa Jacobson
Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Apr 7, 2011 at 5:05:40 pm

I really thought someone else would have found this. If I record audio on manual, the levels peak very easily, but pulling the clips into FCP, the levels are very low and need to be normalised. Any clue what I can do?

Also, I saw a review about the fantastic lo-lux mode, but I've found this camera really tough and ridiculously noisy in lowlux mode. How do you get beyond the noise?

I looked at one forum entry about lousy noise levels on 1080 and I haven't found that a problem, but am inclined to take the general advice and shoot 720 next time. Is that the general advice?

Isa


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Apr 8, 2011 at 8:18:01 pm

Isa,
"I really thought someone else would have found this. If I record audio on manual, the levels peak very easily, but pulling the clips into FCP, the levels are very low and need to be normalised. Any clue what I can do?"

I'm not sure what you mean by "normalize".
Without know what you are trying to record, and what your final output is, it is hard to give specific advice. What are you setting your peaks at? And what is generating the peaks?
Manual is the way to go. All any automatic mode is going to do for you is kill your dynamic range.

"Also, I saw a review about the fantastic lo-lux mode, but I've found this camera really tough and ridiculously noisy in lowlux mode. How do you get beyond the noise?"

Add lights.
I think you're suffering from unrealistic expectations.
This camera has 3 x 1/4 inch CCD's. That is not a lot of light gathering surface. Couple that with the maximum aperture of the lens, and the fact you're dividing the light transmitted through the lens three ways with a prism before it gets to the CCD's. Image pickups generate random electron noise when they are not sufficiently stimulated by light falling on the surface. Upping the gain magnifies this noise. Some tricky digital filters built into the camera can reduce this somewhat, but there is no magic that makes this just go away.
More light, faster glass with bigger apertures, bigger image sensors is the only cure for this.
Shooting 720 unless you need a bigger frame for final delivery, and shutting off the image stabilizer may help some.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...


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Adam Duplay
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Apr 8, 2011 at 8:45:00 pm

Regarding your audio issue... I too find that this JVC line of cameras records very low audio relative to similar models from Canon or Sony.

Anyone else experienced this or have a workflow suggestion?

Adam Duplay


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Apr 8, 2011 at 10:42:40 pm

Adam,
I have not experienced this.
It's hard to objectively judge without using a test tone.
If there is a level difference, there are several places it could be happening.

1khz tone should be recorded in manual mode at a standard level like -12 on all channels.
This tone should be played back and set for unity if the playback is adjustable.
If the playback device has a fixed playback level, note the level and see if there is a major (more than +/- 3db) difference.
Depending on how you are capturing, there may be an input adjustment. This should be set for unity if one exists.
If your capture is FW or a media card you should get the -12 record level on your capture/ingest in your NLE.

Did a quick test using my JVC gy-110U
Recorded bars/tone @ -12.
This tape went into FCP using Log and Capture and a JVC BR-50 deck via FW. With this set-up the playback audio level is fixed.
Resulting clip plays back about one needles width below -12 (lets call it -13) in FCP on the FCP meter. At this level, it shows up on my mixer @ -0 (analog).
Opening the clip directly with QT Pro 7.6.3 results in a -0 (analog) level on my mixer, which for practical purposes is about the same as -12 digital.
Long story short, I'm seeing unity gain.

Scott Sheriff
Director
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com

I have a system, it has stuff in it, and stuff hooked to it. I have a camera, it can record stuff. I read the manuals, and know how to use this stuff and lots of other stuff too.
You should be suitably impressed...


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Isa Jacobson
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Apr 11, 2011 at 4:04:45 pm

Thanks, Scott

I was working with a cameraman last week and we were discussing this and now my levels seem higher, so I've no clue if he adjusted something in my menu settings and I'm waiting for him to get back to me. I even tried just leaving it on auto (never again - sound distorted).

Isa


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Andy Urtusuastegui
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Apr 16, 2011 at 4:43:28 am

There are Audio level settings -12 or -20db reference.

If you are using on automatic, try setting the audio to -12db setting
You will have less dynamic range, but generally the sound level will be higher.

Also, 720p is much cleaner in my opinion. T
ry setting the detail level down to -6 and it will be clean and you will not lose much detail in 720p mode.


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Tim Short
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Aug 9, 2011 at 2:22:08 pm

There is certainly a problem with the metering on this camera - it peals into red even with low level volumes
Shame - widh they's fix it

Be a bit kinder


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Kirsty Bond
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Dec 15, 2011 at 8:48:17 am

Hi, I've got the same camera and am heading to Africa with it tomorrow so need a quick answer. Has anyone found a solution to the sound problem? I'm no sound expert so forgive me if this sounds ignorant:
Should I just use the levels as my gauge anyway and boost the sound in post? Or, let the levels peak the whole time while recording (because when the sound is imported, it does not distort even though the levels appear to be peaking ino the red on the camera display).
Fast help would be much appreciated!
Thanks,
Kirsty


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Isa Jacobson
Re: Low sound levels on HM 100 & other questions
on Dec 15, 2011 at 6:12:03 pm

Hi Kirsty
I seem to have found a compromise by trusting what I hear on the headphones. I push the level till it peaks in the red. If it does peak now and then I'm ok, but I don't let it stay in the red. I don't feel comfortable doing that. And anything I record is boostable. I've had no problems with distorted audio either.

Lots of luck. Not sure where you're going in Africa - I'm in South Africa.

ISA

Isa


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