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Crystal Sync question about Zoom H4n or even Marantz PMD660


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#1 Samuel Berger

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 06:56 PM

Howdy folks,

I'm completely new to filming with sound. I have a Canon 814XL for Super 8 and an Eclair NPR for 16mm which I'm thinking of sending to Bernie for Ultra 16 conversion. I'd love to know how to get sync sound if I'm using something like the H4n. I already own a Marantz PMD-660 which I bought back in 2005 I think. Back then I was getting into film but life got complicated and I never moved forward. I'm actually done moving around the globe for now and want to film with actual film again. So how would I accomplish sync sound using one of the aforementioned recorders, and either the Super 8 or 16mm cameras? Should I get rid of the Marantz and get an H4n instead? Would love some input, thanks!
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#2 Ian Cooper

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 04:07 AM

Doing sync sound with the Canon is probably more tricky as the camera speed will vary, and you can't be sure exactly what speed it's running at to start with.

Does the NPR have a crystal sync motor? If it does, then both the Marantz and the H4n are digital sound recorders so will already record and playback at a fixed constant speed. All you need to do is provide a visual & audio sync at the beginning (or end) of each shot so you can align the sound and pictures during editing.

If you're in NTSC land and have film telecined then you'll need the camera speed to be set at 23.976fps else you'll find the sound and pictures will gradually drift apart. If you're in PAL land then it's easiest to set the camera speed to 25fps (and have it telecined at 25fps!).
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#3 Samuel Berger

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:20 PM

Doing sync sound with the Canon is probably more tricky as the camera speed will vary, and you can't be sure exactly what speed it's running at to start with.

Does the NPR have a crystal sync motor? If it does, then both the Marantz and the H4n are digital sound recorders so will already record and playback at a fixed constant speed. All you need to do is provide a visual & audio sync at the beginning (or end) of each shot so you can align the sound and pictures during editing.

If you're in NTSC land and have film telecined then you'll need the camera speed to be set at 23.976fps else you'll find the sound and pictures will gradually drift apart. If you're in PAL land then it's easiest to set the camera speed to 25fps (and have it telecined at 25fps!).


Ian thanks for the reply. My Eclair has a setting for 24fps. I wonder if that speed is actually 23.976fps. Actually I wonder if it really matters since I'll likely use Cinelicious for transfer. Can't they adjust that speed in the process? I'm really curious about this. I'm giving up on the Canon 814XLS for now and concentrating on learning my way around the NPR since that is what my project will be shot on.

Sam
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#4 Ian Cooper

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 03:38 PM

Ian thanks for the reply. My Eclair has a setting for 24fps. I wonder if that speed is actually 23.976fps. Actually I wonder if it really matters since I'll likely use Cinelicious for transfer. Can't they adjust that speed in the process? I'm really curious about this. I'm giving up on the Canon 814XLS for now and concentrating on learning my way around the NPR since that is what my project will be shot on.

Sam


It will likely depend on the motor - there are a number of different types. If you were shooting something to be printed and projected then you'd want to crystal sync actually at 24fps. The motor on my NPR will sync at "24" or "25" only, but does have an additional input where I could feed an external clock signal for it to lock and sync to - so I could get it to lock to 23.976 that way if necessary.

If you shoot at 24fps then have it telecined to NTSC it will actually be transferred at 23.976fps so will be 0.1% slower. For fairly short shots it probably won't be noticable, but if you were to shoot a full 400ft roll of film in one go (40*400=16,000 frames) that will be a difference of 16 frames, or 2/3 of a second by the end of the shot - that will definately be noticable!!

Probably be best to discuss the situation with Cinelicious directly before you start shooting, rather than make assumptions and find you've got problems to sort out afterwards.
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#5 Paul Korver

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:20 AM

Ian thanks for the reply. My Eclair has a setting for 24fps. I wonder if that speed is actually 23.976fps. Actually I wonder if it really matters since I'll likely use Cinelicious for transfer. Can't they adjust that speed in the process? I'm really curious about this. I'm giving up on the Canon 814XLS for now and concentrating on learning my way around the NPR since that is what my project will be shot on.

Sam


I Sam. Glad you're considering using Cinelicious. We can transfer to any standard frame rate (23.98 psf, 24p, 25p 29.97 etc), additionally we can convert between frame rates. However, if your camera isn't crystal synced then it may run at slightly non-standard rate, and or the frame rate may drift over time. Those issues can be dealt with as well but not in an ideal or easy way. It's aways easiest to shoot with a crystal synced camera if you're shooting sync sound. But if you're willing to deal with more the possibility of having to slip audio, and or resample audio or picture to account for off frame rates or drift then it's not necessary. We have a lot of clients shooting sync sound with non-sync cameras that don't mind it. That said none of those clients are shooting feature length projects.

-Paul
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#6 Samuel Berger

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 11:37 AM

Howdy Paul, thanks for the reply. I'm certainly going to shoot with a crystal sync motor. I'm picking up my Eclair NPR from my parents' place next month and sending it off to Bernie, for Ultra 16 conversion. My one worry is whether the motor is still working as it should. If not I'll need to find a replacement somewhere, because I'd definitely need crystal sync.

I have your rate card, is that 20 roll deal for 400 ft spools or 100ft daylight reels? Also, what are the student discount options? Thanks.

Sam
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

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