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Professional Audio Evaluation


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#1 Glen Alexander

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 09:36 AM

Read about it here... on May 28.

http://www.sounddevi...ameras/red-one/


"....Our brief listening test of the microphone inputs verified that they are not suitable for anything but a scratch track, especially when phantom is activated......"

I do not work for Sound Devices, but they make some of the absolute best professional recording equipment for audio on the market, period.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 08 June 2008 - 09:39 AM.

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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 11:59 AM

I love the way they've built a -10 device and padded it in the adapter cables to make it look pro!

P
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#3 Glen Alexander

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 12:17 PM

did some marketing person come up with that red meter segment? someone who has no idea what a log scale is... :lol:

you're in the noise floor at red segment 1, segement 2 still in the noise floor, segment 3 still in the noise floor... but "....it goes all the way to eleven...."
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 03:31 PM

> segement 2 still in the noise floor, segment 3 still in the noise floor

Don't worry, so are the bottom five bits of the picture.

P
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#5 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 08 June 2008 - 10:11 PM

Doesn't it seem a little odd that they say this:

"Our brief listening test of the microphone inputs verified that they are not suitable for anything but a scratch track, especially when phantom is activated. Whether microphone preamplifier performance is a hardware issue or something that will change in the future with a firmware revision is unclear."

and then at the end they say:

"For most dialog applications, the Red One’s near 16-bit audio performance is similar to many of the digital pro-sumer and pro cameras we have tested. This is perfectly acceptable for dialog, especially when hit with a good, clean line-level signal. Sound Devices recommends dual-system sound for critical applications."

??? Seems like at first they are saying that it's crap and then later say that it's fine as long as you give it a good clean signal... Also, is the 16 bits what they measure the camera as, or is that what they think the spec is for the camera? (red says it's 24bit)

I've only had one problem getting clean audio onto my RED and that was my fault because I had set the mixer up incorrectly.

Matthew

Edited by Matthew Rogers, 08 June 2008 - 10:12 PM.

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#6 Glen Alexander

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 08:38 PM

Doesn't it seem a little odd that they say this:

"Our brief listening test of the microphone inputs verified that they are not suitable for anything but a scratch track, especially when phantom is activated. Whether microphone preamplifier performance is a hardware issue or something that will change in the future with a firmware revision is unclear."

and then at the end they say:

"For most dialog applications, the Red One’s near 16-bit audio performance is similar to many of the digital pro-sumer and pro cameras we have tested. This is perfectly acceptable for dialog, especially when hit with a good, clean line-level signal. Sound Devices recommends dual-system sound for critical applications."

??? Seems like at first they are saying that it's crap and then later say that it's fine as long as you give it a good clean signal... Also, is the 16 bits what they measure the camera as, or is that what they think the spec is for the camera? (red says it's 24bit)

I've only had one problem getting clean audio onto my RED and that was my fault because I had set the mixer up incorrectly.

Matthew


I interpret it, that if you are paying that much for a camera, there is an expectation of better performance since there much less mechanical vibrations and noise. As well as being able to record great sound on camera without relying on another external sound device.

If one aspect is prosumer, there would be a similar philosphy for most other aspects of the product. If the audio design is typically prosumer, the rest of the design is most likely geared that way as well, prosumer. Rarely, well, never have I ever seen or heard of products that mix and match philosophies, you pretty much get what you pay, sometimes you are paying for a great product, sometimes marketing which doesn't mean great product.
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#7 Daniel Sheehy

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Posted 09 June 2008 - 09:07 PM

Doesn't it seem a little odd that they say this:

"Our brief listening test of the microphone inputs verified that they are not suitable for anything but a scratch track, especially when phantom is activated. Whether microphone preamplifier performance is a hardware issue or something that will change in the future with a firmware revision is unclear."

and then at the end they say:

"For most dialog applications, the Red One?s near 16-bit audio performance is similar to many of the digital pro-sumer and pro cameras we have tested. This is perfectly acceptable for dialog, especially when hit with a good, clean line-level signal. Sound Devices recommends dual-system sound for critical applications."

??? Seems like at first they are saying that it's crap and then later say that it's fine as long as you give it a good clean signal... Also, is the 16 bits what they measure the camera as, or is that what they think the spec is for the camera? (red says it's 24bit)

I've only had one problem getting clean audio onto my RED and that was my fault because I had set the mixer up incorrectly.

Matthew

I read the report to mean they were unimpressed with the mic level inputs, but OKed the line level inputs...
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

Yes, that's what it said. Mr Rogers seems to have confused the two.

24-bit is genuinely tough. Almost no real world mic/preamp combo really has 24 bits of noise floor and even if you/ did, you'd be able to hear people coughing in Lesotho.

P
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#9 Glen Alexander

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:13 PM

we're going to put the aaton cantar X2 through it's paces this weekend, 24bit/96khz and the preamps are very impressive.

Edited by Glen Alexander, 10 June 2008 - 01:14 PM.

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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 01:54 PM

Well, if you manage to ascertain that the mic preamps have an inherent self noise of -144dB or better please let us know.

And yes I know that's impossible.

P
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#11 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:23 PM

In the feature film, upper budget TV, commercial and doc world, cameras, (even HD cameras) DO NOT record the main sound mix. HD cameras will maybe record sound as a scratch track. Any professional higher-end sound mixer will record to his own sound recorder(s). So what is the big deal?

I suspect this is the Nth attempt to smear RED.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 10 June 2008 - 02:26 PM.

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#12 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:25 PM

Speaking of crappy audio inputs, ever shot with an HVX200? :P

There's an audible beeping that goes onto the track. I've heard it on a couple of different cameras.
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#13 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:29 PM

I suspect this is the Nth attempt to smear RED.


Since when is independent evaluation an "attempt to smear" anyone? In that case, I guess 30%+ of review critics were trying to smear Chronicles of Narnia:Prince Caspian.
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#14 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:36 PM

Since when is independent evaluation an "attempt to smear" anyone? In that case, I guess 30%+ of review critics were trying to smear Chronicles of Narnia:Prince Caspian.


Huh, trying to evaluate the main-sound-mix-recording capabilities of a camera that wasn't designed to record the main-sound-mix in the first place?

Are you kidding me?

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 10 June 2008 - 02:40 PM.

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#15 Chris Kenny

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:41 PM

The phantom power isn't great (or at least it wasn't the last time we tried it, a couple of firmware builds ago), and there's no built-in limiting, but with an external field mixer to address those problems (one of these, say), we've found it's perfectly fine for dialog recording. I have no trouble believing it falls short of the Sound Devices recorders, but I suspect that's true of virtually all on-camera audio recording. It's just really hard to keep your audio totally clean inside a device which has so much else going on, electrically.

I do wish Red had put some sort of digital audio input on the camera, so you could digitize audio using some nice external device with its own power supply, but still get the workflow benefits of single-system sound. (This should be theoretically possible to do with the current hardware though the USB port, with an appropriate firmware update, but I'm not aware of any plans to Red's part on do this.)
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#16 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 02:44 PM

Are you kidding me?


No, not kidding. I saw similar reviews of the audio capabilities of the Canon XL2 and the Panasonic DVX100/HVX200. Why is it so hard to believe? There are a lot of newbies out there that think they can buy a camera package and go make a movie. These reviews help people to get a reality check. Don't assume everyone has your knowledge...you weren't born knowing what you know either.
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#17 Glen Alexander

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:39 PM

Well, if you manage to ascertain that the mic preamps have an inherent self noise of -144dB or better please let us know.

And yes I know that's impossible.

P

:lol:

but it goes the way eleven...

we're getting a setup with sound guy who mics music not just vocals for film. the mics have been well tested from 20 to 20khz. testing subsonic and hypersonic compression with sound that have a wide instantaneous bandwidth. the compressed impulse response should tell most everything.
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#18 Glen Alexander

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 03:47 PM

Speaking of crappy audio inputs, ever shot with an HVX200? :P

There's an audible beeping that goes onto the track. I've heard it on a couple of different cameras.


well economy of scale, what' cost of HVX $5K?? cost of red +++30k ready to shoot? for 4 or 5 times the cost and get mediocre audio is ripoff.

scratch tracks for film, well yeah, there is a lot of mechanical vibration, etc. what's moving in a digital camera to cause that much degradation? hard drive moving? pulling focus? these don't compare to shoving 24 to 50fps of film through a gate. one environment is a hospital, another is a constant earthquake.
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#19 Chris Kenny

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 04:02 PM

what's moving in a digital camera to cause that much degradation? hard drive moving? pulling focus? these don't compare to shoving 24 to 50fps of film through a gate. one environment is a hospital, another is a constant earthquake.


Not much is moving. And with secure connections, there's not much reason mechanical vibration should impact electronic sound recording anyway. What's happening is that inside the same enclosure, and connected to the same power supply, are about 70 watts worth of high-performance digital electronics, generating electrical noise that can easily work its way into the analog audio signal before it gets digitized.
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#20 Glen Alexander

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Posted 10 June 2008 - 04:06 PM

are about 70 watts worth of high-performance digital electronics, generating electrical noise that can easily work its way into the analog audio signal before it gets digitized.


so then i would suggest someone has a poor thermal design and not electrically isolated the sensitive A/Ds. there's also probably all kinds of ground loops, transients running wild, high frequency clock jitter spewing everywhere.
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