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Can I record a shotgun microphone into a line input?


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#1 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 07:15 AM

I have this old cassette recorder I would like to test with a couple of microphones. It has left and right mirophone inputs (1/4" inch jacks) which I have read are mono and line inputs (1/8" jacks) which I have read are stereo. I assume if I were using 1 mic I could use a cable splitter and combine the left and right mono tracks onto 1 stereo track.

 

However if I wanted to record with 2 separate microphones at the same time, could I record into the stereo line inputs, manually raise the levels enough to get close to 0db and get feasibly good results?

 

I also considered using 1/4" stereo jacks into the mono inputs, but I imagine that doesn't work?


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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 07:36 AM

You'd need an amp to bring the microphones up to line levels. You can use two mono tracks as stereo tracks, the 1/8" jack line in is likely to be doing the same thing, but there are two track inputs on that connector which are feeding to the same tracks.

 

On a different budget level, sound mixers often can output to both line level and mic levels.


Edited by Brian Drysdale, 04 May 2016 - 07:37 AM.

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#3 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 08:28 AM

For using the 2 mono tracks as stereo would I be doing something like splitting the track in audio software and then panning each track to left and right?


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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 09:33 AM

More or less, although any panning etc should probably be left to a later stage.


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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 09:53 AM

I still record that way, though into the camera. I use an 'iRig Pre' pre-amplifier ($40) which has a phantom XLR and 1/8" plugs on the other end. I then run the picture in sync through HDMI to my Shogun and record audio and video there. In your case, it sounds like you'd need something similar to the iRig, and then a 1/8" TRRS to 1/4" converter.


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#6 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 04 May 2016 - 11:51 PM

 

How much money do you have access to and what can you sell those other mics for? Better to start with a solid pre/A2D and work your way up. The current set up you're mentioning right now is a recipe for white noise disaster.


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#7 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 12:50 PM

The microphones I have are brand new. They're mid-range Audio Technica shotgun mics that I bought last year, don't remember model number. The only thing that is old is the cassette recorder itself, which is a Sony TC-D5M. I got it specifically because I wanted the sound of analog recording with the cassette tape "hiss" and "crackle" in the background.
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#8 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 02:18 PM

One thing that'd make the recording process easier is recording your stuff in WAV, then looping it through that thing if possible to pick up the coloration. Ease of digital, sound of tape, best of both worlds.


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#9 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 11:47 AM

One thing that'd make the recording process easier is recording your stuff in WAV, then looping it through that thing if possible to pick up the coloration. Ease of digital, sound of tape, best of both worlds.

That seems like a good idea. I'll try running my phone through the line input and playing a music file and see if it will record onto a tape.


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#10 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 01:29 PM

 

 

That seems like a good idea. I'll try running my phone through the line input and playing a music file and see if it will record onto a tape.

One thing I've done for the tape sound in the past is playing a source through a Sony Walkman with an FM transmitter and recording its headphone output straight into my interface. For a song, it sounded great.

 

Is VHS coloration also a consideration for you? If so, I have a method for that as well, just ask.


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#11 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 03:31 PM

 

Is VHS coloration also a consideration for you? If so, I have a method for that as well, just ask.

Yea I'd be interested to know about that.


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#12 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 03:52 PM

You'll need to purchase a DVD/VCR combo that lets you record DVDs on to VHS tapes, along with blank DVDs and tapes. Also grab a low quality VCR from a thrift store or your parent's basement. The biggest expense to get the coloration back to your PC is an RCA video capture card.

 

Now burn a DVD of your footage/audio, put that DVD into the combo player and record to the tape. Now you have an analog source of things you digitally recorded. Use your low quality VCR (for extra coloration if needed) and hook it up to your capture card to get the analog signal converted back to digital. Play the tape and record the feed onto your computer and the process is completed.

 

May need some tinkering in post to get it exactly how you want, but this overall method has been amazing for me. If you want a sample of how it looks, I messed around with the credits score of the first Pokemon movie and gave it that coloration to enhance my illusion, give it a look here:

http://www.mediafire...VHS_Credits.mp4

 

If you have any questions lemme know.


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#13 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 09:33 PM

Thanks for the info, seems like you had fun with this. A bit over the top for what I am looking for now, If I decide I want the VHS look I will probably try flipping through some VHS tapes to a look that I like and then try to replicate it with a plugin in editing software.

 

I really hated Kung Fury so I don't know if I want to go that route though :P


Edited by Gabe Agoado, 06 May 2016 - 09:35 PM.

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#14 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 06 May 2016 - 10:21 PM

 

 

Thanks for the info, seems like you had fun with this. A bit over the top for what I am looking for now, If I decide I want the VHS look I will probably try flipping through some VHS tapes to a look that I like and then try to replicate it with a plugin in editing software.

 

I really hated Kung Fury so I don't know if I want to go that route though :P

The sound or visual is over the top? If it's the sound, keep in mind I specifically went with a REALLY messed up VCR, others wont be as extreme on the sound. I seriously advise against plug-ins for emulating any form of tape coloration, just find different VCRs to see what's right for you (really cheap at thrift stores). Plug-ins don't get you quite there, and if someone points out that you used a filter it really cheeses up your efforts.

 

And I agree with your comment on Kung Fury for the most part. Felt like a Youtuber with a kickstarter rather than a filmmaker with an experiment.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 06 May 2016 - 10:22 PM.

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#15 Gabe Agoado

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 12:10 PM

Not the sound, I liked the sound quite a bit, thought it worked. I think the color of the video you have works great for the cartoon. I was thinking of the typical quality I'm used to seeing in a live action movie on VHS. The analog sound has been something I've been wanting to try for a year as a stylistic choice, and it will have a purpose in the movie. I'm already shooting the movie in 16mm and going to scan it at at least 3k resolution though, so the VHS trick might be taking away the benefit of a high resolution scan imo. I do have a VHS player lying around though, so might give it a shot just for fun, don't want to do it if it's not going to have a purpose in the movie.


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