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Best way to record sound during filming?

sound sync

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#1 Immanuel Wirt

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 08:29 PM

Hello to everyone here, Im altogether new to cinematography. I like taking photographs on 35mm film, which is why I thought starting out with super 8 may be a good idea. I have already read a lot on the web and here on the forum, but I still have several questions. I suppose the best way to learn this process of making a movie will be to try and look at the results. Is there a good book or something about filming on super 8 that would be worth reading? At the moment Im recording my first cassette in my Bauer A512 which is nice and fun. Only the eyecup is missing. Has anybody an idea to find (or make) a replacement part? Another question before I start with my topic as such, is it better to avoid using the internal daylight filter even with tungsten film (using an external filter instead) as they have aged and might affect the picture quality? How to record sound during filming? This seems to be the most complicated issue to me. Is this quite cumbersome to do this? I just want to be able to record sound automatically when I press the shutter and to stop recording when I stop filming. It needs to be portable and something affordable. Does this sync speed issue really matter considering I would be filming only short takes of less than 30 seconds? What equipment other than a microphone would I need? Thank you Immanuel Germany
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#2 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:35 PM

I can recommend your countryman Juergen Lossau's book Super8. Also check out Filmvorführerforum, the Schmalfilm forum.

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#3 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:36 PM

I can recommend your countryman Juergen Lossau's book Super8. Also check out Filmvorführerforum, the Schmalfilm forum.

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#4 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 09:39 PM

If you want to work with sync audio the way you speak of then you will need this http://www.logmar.dk/

The older cameras don't run at perfect speed for audio.


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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:24 AM

If you want to work with sync audio the way you speak of then you will need this http://www.logmar.dk/

The older cameras don't run at perfect speed for audio.

Nonsense...get a stable power supply and use head and tail slating. I've done it with more or less perfect sync.


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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 03:07 AM

Depends how long you run for, I guess. Most super8 takes I've ever seen have been fairly short, under the "Good grief this is costing me ten dollars a second" rule.

 

P


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#7 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:01 AM

Depends how long you run for, I guess. Most super8 takes I've ever seen have been fairly short, under the "Good grief this is costing me ten dollars a second" rule.

 

P

Well, if you shoot Kodak, your take isnt going to be longer than 2:30 anyhow. And it wont drift enough in that time if you head and tail slate. 400' foot supermag loads with Wittner? I have no idea.


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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:10 AM

Eh, I dunno, I've never tried it - but I fear some s8 cameras would drift if you ran a whole mag. A few tens of seconds you might get away with.

 

But okay, if you head and tail slate and you're willing to screw around matching the duration in Sound Forge, yes. If it were just speech, I might choose to just snip the audio to fit and avoid the artifacting.

 

Overall, possibly not entirely ideal. I wonder if some s8 cameras could be trivially modified for crystal sync. Oughtn't to be rocket science.

 

P


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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 05:40 AM

Eh, I dunno, I've never tried it - but I fear some s8 cameras would drift if you ran a whole mag. A few tens of seconds you might get away with.

 

But okay, if you head and tail slate and you're willing to screw around matching the duration in Sound Forge, yes. If it were just speech, I might choose to just snip the audio to fit and avoid the artifacting.

 

Overall, possibly not entirely ideal. I wonder if some s8 cameras could be trivially modified for crystal sync. Oughtn't to be rocket science.

 

P

 

People have done whole carts and on some cameras if you slate head and tails and timestretch the audio, it does indeed remain in sync. In fact some people found their cameras were so consistent that after they had done a whole cart they were able to calculate the values for the time stretch and found the cameras ran at a consistent (wrong) speed and they no longer needed to slate head and tails but could just slate once and enter the value for the time stretch. Super8 cameras have stable supplies as they are usually battery powered and their tiny mechanisms work in their favor.

 

If it's just speech you are unlikely to notice any artifacting. Movies have been sped up for the European market for years without even doing any time stretch. By doing timestretch it's going to be even less noticeable than a speed change.

 

It used to be that there were crystal motors available for a few of the Super8 cameras but I doubt such services are still available at this point.

 

Freya


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#10 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:05 PM

 

...In fact some people found their cameras were so consistent that after they had done a whole cart they were able to calculate the values for the time stretch and found the cameras ran at a consistent (wrong) speed and they no longer needed to slate head and tails but could just slate once and enter the value for the time stretch. 

 

Haha, this is comical...but clever. So Super 8 cameras are consistent...at being off sync. :D


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#11 Freya Black

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:12 PM

Haha, this is comical...but clever. So Super 8 cameras are consistent...at being off sync. :D

 

Obviously it depends on the model and the condition of the camera,and even then the speed will vary from camera to camera but yes they can be consistent at the speed they do run at, at least for 50ft.

 

Freya


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#12 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 12:16 PM

 

Obviously it depends on the model and the condition of the camera,and even then the speed will vary from camera to camera but yes they can be consistent at the speed they do run at, at least for 50ft.

 

Freya

When I last shot Super 8 for dialog, I recall not even needing the tail slate in most cases. I kept my takes short though (shot < 2:1 ratio to keep film cost down and basically didn't film whole scenes but only clips at a time). I also used an AC supply so I wouldnt have batteries crap out on me. 

 

I honestly think shooting even a 2:30 clip seems unlikely on S8 for narrative work. Too risky that your scene won't be done before the cartridge is. 


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#13 Immanuel Wirt

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:04 PM

I can recommend your countryman Juergen Lossau's book Super8. Also check out Filmvorführerforum, the Schmalfilm forum.

Jean-Louis

 


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#14 Pavan Deep

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 01:13 PM

For most shot lengths of under 12 seconds you should be fine, as many have suggested here all you really have to do is mark the beginning and end of each shot. Or simply start the camera and audio at the same time, many people have created devices to start and stop the camera and audio at the same time. You may have fiddle about with your audio in the NLE by shortening it or stretching it. I have filmed entire cartridges and shot both visuals and sound and have had good sync.

 

 

Pav


Edited by Pav Deep, 27 April 2014 - 01:16 PM.

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#15 Immanuel Wirt

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:23 PM

Thank you for all your Answers, they're all really helpful. I was having some issues posting.That's also why my post was one chunk of text.                                                                                                                                   

Anyway about the sound syncing, I will just be taking short dialogs. And recording ambient sounds for nature shots where the syncing is not a problem.                                                                                                            

The footage will be send in for scanning so I can edit it on my PC. But when taking the shot, as described in the latest reply, something that will record when I start filming would be nice. So I don't need to start/stop recording to devices at the same time. The camera has a sync port, maybe I can connect the recorder to the camera so that it will start recording as I start filming?


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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 02:58 PM

There may be a way to make that happen, but it'll depend very much on the facilities available on your audio recorder and camera. Not many audio recorders (at least of the reasonably small and low cost type you may be considering) have the facility to easily start recording externally, unless you're willing to dismantle the thing and start making connections to the PCBs inside.

 

A little ingenuity may be required.

 

P


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#17 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:46 PM

But when taking the shot, as described in the latest reply, something that will record when I start filming would be nice. So I don't need to start/stop recording to devices at the same time. The camera has a sync port, maybe I can connect the recorder to the camera so that it will start recording as I start filming?

I dont see what the big deal is with a slate. I love S8 but many shooters are so cheap and lazy that many wont even use a light meter! Comeon now, why waste costs on film and then worry about something as minor as using a slate and eating up 5 seconds of film? As Phil said, you will not have a low cost solution to get exact timing sync on both devices without serious money or electronic savvy. I'm a Computer Science major and EE minor and I still wouldnt risk tinkering around on old cameras with no schematics and potentially britlle soldering joints, etc. It just isnt worth it.


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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:59 PM

If it were me, I wouldn't be worried about slating for its own sake, as much as I'd be thinking about ease and convenience. Sometimes there isn't another person.

 

I'd be somewhat hopeful that it would be possible to get some sort of start/stop indication out of a super8 camera; it's likely to be much simpler technology than a modern digital audio recorder. Getting that control signal into the recorder is another issue. Perhaps some of them have LANC, or something?


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#19 Perry Paolantonio

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 05:59 PM

Snap your fingers in front of the lens. Shot slated.

 

(if you want to get fancy, once for head, twice for tail, so you know which snap is which in your audio)


Edited by Perry Paolantonio, 27 April 2014 - 05:59 PM.

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#20 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 06:05 PM

One piece of kit that some documentary sound recordists used was a device that had a small light bulb (torch type), which when illuminated sent tone to the audio recorder. The camera was pointed at the recordist, who flashed the light at the camera and the sync bleep was recorded on the Nagra. Single operators should be able to manage this, perhaps using an LED instead of the small bulb.


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