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camcorder models w/good audio

untriangulated's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 days ago
Joined: 11/25/2009 - 6:26am

Hello,

I am looking for a camcorder with good video and really, really, really good sound (manual audio control is a must). It will be used to record concerts and operas.

This would be a purchase for a professional organization, and while our budget -- like anyone's -- is somewhat limited, I am not looking for a bargain-basement deal. The sound is the most important thing.

Any advice?




Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

Untriangulated asks:

Hello,

I am looking for a camcorder with good video and really, really, really good sound (manual audio control is a must). It will be used to record concerts and operas.

Are you going to use just one camera from one fixed position? Seldom would a fixed position which was potentially good for video be the optimum position for a stereo ( on-board ) mic. If the single camera changes physical position, the audio perspective will also ( annoyingly ) change.

I have audiorecorded a number of classical concerts and operas and I can't imagine not having a minimum of three high quality condenser mics ( preferably more ), optimally placed and mixed by someone who has the skill to do so and who has no other responsibilities.

If you have a single comcorder or more, you'd best be obtaining your sound from a specific audio mix source, maybe even be recording your sound " double system "; ie to a digital audio recorder as a master. You can use the onboard cameracordermic to record a " guide track " which will assist you to maintain sync " in post ".

Rick Crampton


untriangulated's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 days ago
Joined: 11/25/2009 - 6:26am

Since the audio is our first and foremost priority, we already record the audio of all of our performances with a minimum of three high quality condenser mics (preferably more),
optimally placed and mixed by someone who has the skill to do so and
who has no other responsibilities.

What I am looking for is a way to have a some record of the visual aspect that would not have atrocious sound quality, in addition to what we are doing in terms of audio already. We are not looking to shoot professional, feature-length films here, but we would like to have some video record of, for example, the staging in an opera. However, since the focus is on the music here, we cannot invest in something that would not have good audio quality.

The camcorder would be used from one fixed position for the lenght of the performance. Since we already have professional audio recordings, the video recording should have good sound (though I realize it will never be as good as the one fully dedicated to audio) and nice image quality. If we could plug an external mic or two into the camcorder, that would probably be a good thing.

Of course, I realize that it is possible to record the audio and video separately and then sync them, but I am not sure how to do that, and we do not have staff to fully dedicate to video production at the moment (unlike the audio in that respect). So ultimately, we are shooting for -- at this point in time -- grade A+ audio (which we have already) and grade B video.


XTR-91's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: 12/06/2008 - 8:57pm

Have you considered purchasing a budget-priced camcorder and getting a 'double-pass', a separate digital sound recording device, for recording audio? May not be the best option with your budget, but will generally provide the best quality and ease of recording. Some recorders are virtually microphones of their own that also serve as a recording device with audio inputs.


untriangulated's picture
Last seen: 5 years 3 days ago
Joined: 11/25/2009 - 6:26am

@XTR-91

Yes, I've considered that option... If I understand correctly, you mean to make two separate files: one budget-priced audio/video and the other high-quality audio.

I think this is a viable option, but I don't know how to sync the audio and video up afterwards to make one file.


Rick Crampton's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 week ago
Joined: 08/20/2009 - 1:08pm

u<span style="text-decoration: underline;">ntriangulated, you say:</span>

The camcorder would be used from one fixed position for the lenght of the performance. Since we already have professional audio recordings, the video recording should have good sound (though I realize it will never be as good as the one fully dedicated to audio) and nice image quality. If we could plug an external mic or two into the camcorder, that would probably be a good thing.

Okay. At minimum, you need a camcorder with switchable balanced line-in audio jax. You should make every effort to get a balanced pair of stereo lines run from your recording console to the camcorder.Hopefully, your camcorderwill havea defeatable AGC ( automaticvolume control ). There are MANY camcorders in the mid-priced range which record " better-than-CD-quality " PCM digital audio.Purchasing a couple high quality mics, just for the camcorder would not give you anything close to what you can get from the recording mixer. Save the money and pay a bit more for the camcorder!

Rick Crampton