Built-in Mike Mix-up

In Loren Alldrin’s February 1997 “Sound Track” column, he repeatedly recommends mixing the audio signal from an external mike with my camcorder’s built-in mike.


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Would you please ask Mr. Alldrin to explain how he does this? On every camcorder that I’ve seen, including my own, the built-in mike is disabled whenever an external audio source is plugged into it.

Rod Garside

Tuolumne, California

You caught me, Rod. I failed to mention that the technique of mixing an external mike with the built-in mike requires a camcorder with a detachable mike (such as the Canon L2). If you have a camcorder with a traditional built-in mike, consider purchasing an inexpensive accessory mike to attach to the camcorder. You can then mix this with an external mike through a simple passive mixer.


Volunteers of America

I just read the February, 1997 “Viewfinder” column entitled “A Video Exercise in Good Will,” and all of us here at Capital Community Television admire your call to volunteer for non-profit organizations. The reasons you cite for doing so are right on target. The outreach budgets of these organizations are stretched very thin, and they need all the volunteer help they can get. And volunteering just makes you feel good.

You might be interested in knowing that this kind of volunteerism happens all the time at public-access television centers across the nation.

Good work on your column!

Rosa Leonardi

Salem, Oregon

Affordable Nonlinear?

Sometime during the last year your magazine made a point of “shifting gears” from just plain camcording to video processing with computers, including nonlinear editing. A great move!

But you have not yet accomplished your goal. With each article I read in Videomaker concerning nonlinear editing, I come out just short of how to put it all together. Some of the professional publications deal with this issue, but they don’t address the low-end systems that I and most of your readers are concerned with.

Will someone please start from scratch and describe in detail what is needed to put together an affordable nonlinear editing system?

William Druschel

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Until very recently, the phrase “affordable nonlinear editing system” was a contradiction in terms, and most good-quality systems are still quite expensive. But now that nonlinear-editing components (and even turnkey systems) are coming down to a reasonable price level, you can be sure that Videomaker will cover them.

–The Editors

Faster, Faster

In the review of our PowerScript PostScript character generator in the February,1997 issue of Videomaker, you pointed out that “the PowerScript does have one serious flaw: processing speed.”

We have good news: we are releasing an upgrade to the product that includes improvements in speed and user interface (among other enhancements). This no-charge upgrade greatly speeds operation. It will be made available automatically to registered owners.

Moe Rubenzahl


Campbell, California

Film vs. Video

I can relate to Vincent Albanese’s return to 8mm filmmaking (“In Box,” February, 1997). It’s true that no NTSC image can rival an original Kodachrome shown on a six-foot-wide screen. It’s also true that portable video projectors further degrade an already-fuzzy VHS image. And it’s true that getting into video making (even at the consumer level) will set you back about $7000 for Hi8 and S-VHS.

But with video your creative options are much greater than with hobbyist Super8 or 16mm film equipment. With video, you can make cuts, A/B rolls, transitions, titles–and with a PC, animations and “morphs.” And it’s not a financial disaster if you make a lot of errors, as most–if not all–hobbyists do during the learning process.

To do on film what you can do on video would break your bank. Think of the lab costs, the cost of the release print and the cost of making copies. And an 8mm film dub is just as fuzzy as a bad VHS copy.

So, Vincent, by all means enjoy film production and the camaraderie of your club. But bear in mind what you could be enjoying within the much wider horizons of videomaking.

David Fuller

Nawaimo, B.C., Canada


In the February, 1997 article on music libraries, we published some incorrect information about the music library from Gene Michael Productions.

We stated that Gene Michael Productions has a 14-volume set of production-music CDs. Currently, they have over 52 volumes. We said that they carried a CD of sound-alike music. Actually, they stopped carrying that demo/sampler of sound-alike music in early 1995. Finally, we said that their CDs were $75 each. As of July 15, 1996, their CDs are $85 each, with quantity purchase discounts starting at three CDs.

We regret publishing these errors.

–The Editors

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.