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camera choice and sound


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#1 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 04:57 AM

Can someone explain to me in basic terms about sound process in terms of camera choice and budget. I know this should be posted on the sound site or on another forum but I am trying to get my head around DOP responsibilites and camera choice on set for sound

So on cheap productions they record sound via a mike into whatever and use the clap from the clap board to sync sound - easy . So my job is to make sure we have the clap and the markers are correct - then someone can sync them in post based on notes taken by a PA

but for the bigger ones I am trying to understand issues especially for MV - it seems most people bring DAT masters or Minidisc or CD - how does this impact us forcing (jamming) timecode from the camera and I have seen guys link sped up tracks etc into different channels - so channel 1 goes to camera and channel 2 goes to speakers etc and maybe somewhere else?

This affects my camera rental decision or does it, even my old arri has a sound sync connector on it

hope this question makes sense? It is a mess in my mind :)

thanks


Rolfe
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 June 2005 - 11:43 AM

In 35mm production, camera and sound recording are generally separate, whether or not a DAT recorder is used versus a Nagra, etc.

If they use a TC recorder, they may use a TC slate ("smart slate") that has to be occasionally jam synced to the recorder. All it takes is the 2nd AC handing the slate to the sound person when he saya "oh-oh, it needs to be rejammed..."

A TC slate is still clapped (marked) but the idea is that the numbers of the slate are now visible on a frame of film, and can be lined with with the TC of the audio in post, rather than lining up the sound and image of the clap. Goes a little faster.

More complex is a system like Aatoncode or Arricode where TC is being burned onto the edge of film and I assume it's the same TC on the sound recorder, so in that case, the camera and the recorder probably need to be occasionally jam-synced. I'm not sure since I've never used Aatoncode or Arricode myself, but the idea is to speed up the syncing of dailies even more by use of a reader in the telecine.

As far as a 35mm camera goes, generally the minimal requirement is that it is quiet for sound recording and it is crystal-sync. The newer cameras tend to be quieter and offer crystal-sync at more speeds beyond 24 & 25 fps. But obviously there's no sync sound once you shoot at off-speeds anyway; crystal-sync at high speeds are more for avoiding flicker.

You can use a TC slate with any sync-sound camera, even a basic Arri-BL. Not much point in using it with an MOS camera with a wild motor since you wouldn't record sync sound for those shots anyway. The TC slate is really the responsibility of the sound department; they usually provide it, maintain it, etc.

The sync connectors on old cameras are pre-crystal-sync technology and isn't really used any more. They might still be used for other purposes though (perhaps sycning camera to a projector, etc.) The invention of crystal-sync allowed the camera and recorder to be separate. So if your camera only has a constant-speed motor, not a crystal-sync motor, it probably would be discouraged on a film shoot except for your own, or for non-dialogue scenes under lights where flicker is not a concern.
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