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#1 Roger Sherman

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 07:17 PM

This question is mostly a question about recording high quality sound while shooting solo. I'm going on a two week documentary shoot (high end PBS) at the end of August with no crew, just myself. I'll probably be shooting with an EX-1, but would change to the best combination of gear, including a full size camera, if that's the best solution. I need to record three tracks of audio, two radio mics and an onboard mic. I've done lots of research, looked into many possibilities with help from the folks at Abel and Gothan and DPs and sound recordists. there seems to be no ideal situation, like a camera that has four inputs that one can monitor in the view finder and control levels.

Here's what it's come down to:
1. The onboard mic connects to the camera xlr, the two radios connect to a Sound Devices 702T recording iso. an out to the camera feeds guide track back to the 2nd input in the camera so I can monitor those tracks. I can wear the 702 on my belt and glance down to see levels. the mics get time code from the camera. (does the EX-1 generate good,solid time code? small cameras sometimes do not.) I can rig it so when I hit record on the camera, the 702 rolls. The problem is it's two recording devices, two sets of cards to dump, possible tech complications.

I've looked into the Pix 240, which seems like an amazing recorder, but level control is not easy to see or control.

2. the good old, just share two tracks of sound with the onboard and one radio. this has the least potential for screw up but sharing the track with two mics is fraught.

Compromises at every turn.
Does anyone have any other alternatives? I'm looking especially for people with extensive experience shooting as one-man-band.

thanks so much for your insights,
Roger
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#2 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 09:40 PM

Since you require 3 audio tracks, I assume you are doing interviews and want an iso on the interviewer and another on the subject, plus an ambient mike?

Another way to consider doing it is with two mikes and do not isolate either microphone as much and use more omni microphones as well. The result is either microphone can double as an ambient mike in between comments, and either mike could theoretically have the other person's sound level high enough that it can used if necessary.

And if you are outdoors, you might be able to get a bit of stereo sound as well.

Some mikes fall apart at relatively short distances, especially digital sends, however I recall a few years back having success with a lapel mike on one person's shoulder that doubled as a back up for the other person sitting next to them.

One man banding and going with three audio channels is kind of freaky. You may just have to go with some type of field audio recorder with three inputs so you can just go directly to that, and then to the camera send 2 iso's only. I'm assuming something out there records three channels, no?
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#3 Rick Cook

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 12:19 AM

I work solo on a regular basis, shooting similar situations for a local pbs show. I shoot on my HDX900, which records 4 channels. What I typically do is run one mic into each of the cameras 2 XLR inputs, and in the menu assign the Front mic input as channel 3. The only draw back to this method is that the HDX has no manual controls for channels 3 & 4, so they are running with ACG. The audio is still pretty usable as a onboard scratch track, or room noise. Also (not that it matters much with AGC) you can swap between having levels visible for tracks 1&2 or 3&4 in the viewfinder.
I prefer to do it this way so that I know all of the audio is on the tape. My editor also prefers this for obvious reasons.
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#4 Charles Tomaras

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 07:53 PM

Hey Roger,

Don't think the EX1 is the best solution for your shoot from a one man band sound perspective. If you went with something like a Panasonic HDX-900 or equivalent file based camera you would be able to make use of the built in RF slot and use a Lectrosonics SR two channel receiver without having to think too hard about it, turn it on and off etc. You would still have a front mic input and two additional rear XLR's you could make use of. You could dump the additional SD702 recorder as it's not gonna record RF/lav mics with any more fidelity than any of the current generation cameras. Keep the 702 for grabbing some wild sound with a nice mic if you wish but don't needlessly complicate your shoot with another machine around your waist! Any of the full size cameras will record four channels of audio.

My two cents...hope you are well!

Charlie



This question is mostly a question about recording high quality sound while shooting solo. I'm going on a two week documentary shoot (high end PBS) at the end of August with no crew, just myself. I'll probably be shooting with an EX-1, but would change to the best combination of gear, including a full size camera, if that's the best solution. I need to record three tracks of audio, two radio mics and an onboard mic. I've done lots of research, looked into many possibilities with help from the folks at Abel and Gothan and DPs and sound recordists. there seems to be no ideal situation, like a camera that has four inputs that one can monitor in the view finder and control levels.

Here's what it's come down to:
1. The onboard mic connects to the camera xlr, the two radios connect to a Sound Devices 702T recording iso. an out to the camera feeds guide track back to the 2nd input in the camera so I can monitor those tracks. I can wear the 702 on my belt and glance down to see levels. the mics get time code from the camera. (does the EX-1 generate good,solid time code? small cameras sometimes do not.) I can rig it so when I hit record on the camera, the 702 rolls. The problem is it's two recording devices, two sets of cards to dump, possible tech complications.

I've looked into the Pix 240, which seems like an amazing recorder, but level control is not easy to see or control.

2. the good old, just share two tracks of sound with the onboard and one radio. this has the least potential for screw up but sharing the track with two mics is fraught.

Compromises at every turn.
Does anyone have any other alternatives? I'm looking especially for people with extensive experience shooting as one-man-band.

thanks so much for your insights,
Roger


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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:21 AM

Most of the P2 Panasonics will record 4 channel audio including the new budget price HPX250 which offers more control over the audio recording than the HPX200 did. 2 of the channels are limited to only working with the internal microphone but the other 2 can be anything.

The HPX370 could record 3 independant channels and the 4th a on camera audio.

Hope that helps slightly.

love

Freya
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#6 Chris Burke

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 08:19 PM

the ex1 does not have time code.
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#7 Charles Tomaras

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 10:45 PM

the ex1 does not have time code.


Correction... EX1 does indeed have full smpte TC, it just does not have external TC input or output. The EX3 included this functionality.
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#8 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 09:45 PM

I can highly recommend the PIX240 if you have to one-man band it. Feed one or two audio channels into the camera (and have them recorded through the video feed) and then run the remaining (and most important) audio channels into the PIX itself.

You'll come out with a single set of ProRes/DNxHD files, with three tracks of sync sound, and a drag and drop archiving and editing workflow.

Highly recommended.
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Metropolis Post

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Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

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Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc