Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › External Mic issues on Canon GL2 – need assistance badly.
- This topic has 14 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 14 years, 11 months ago by Anonymous.
June 13, 2006 at 6:00 AM #41053AnonymousInactive
We just finished shooting our first short film on the GL2 and we loved the camera, but butchered the audio.
We rented a senheisser (sp?) shotgun mic with boom and attached it to the GL2 for dialogue. Some of it turned out just OK, but most was horribly clipped. We got left channel audio, and a horrible hum on the right channel.
In post we used Sony Vegas to switch all to left channel, but still had a hum and the vocals were real tinny sounding from clipping. We did what we could, but it just doesnt sound good.
So now we are going for try number two. We still have the GL2, but we bought a Audio Technica mic and boom ($70) to attach to the camera.
What do we have to do to avoid the audio issues we had before? What on camera settings should we watch for? What about boom placement? Any and all advice welcomed.
We loved the look of our film, but the sound is killing us.
Oh and by the way, these are no budget shorts, so we cannot afford to hire a sound guy or DAT machine.
June 13, 2006 at 7:35 AM #174999AnonymousInactive
Well the next shoot is all outdoors in the woods.
So your saying buy a headphone and watch the levels.
For dialogue, should the mic be really close to the actors, or several feet overhead?
Forgive me if I am wrong, but I have been told that most dialogue should be taped in mono not stereo, and that most shotgun mics are mono.
June 13, 2006 at 7:57 AM #175000AnonymousInactive
Sorry, I am backwards in this. What is a Lav?
June 13, 2006 at 8:13 AM #175001AnonymousInactive
When you guys were recording were you using XLR (balanced) mics and cables or were you just using the 1/8 pins (unbalanced) plugged directly into the camera? If you were using the unbalanced 1/8 pin cable youre problem with hiss and hum is there. You can get away with using unbalanced mics and cables up to about 8 feet without having too much of a problem. If you were out there longer, the cables actually start picking up unwanted RF signals and your sound quality starts to tank drastically. Using XLR mics and cables doesnt have that problem. In order to do that you need Cannons MA-300 XLR adapter which attaches to your camera and you then plug your XLR mics in there.
compusolver also mentioned headphones. YOU HAVE TO USE THOSE! Its your first and best way to see if something doesnt sound right. If you would have had those, you would have heard the hum and hiss right away and could have corrected the problem on the spot. The last thing is to watch the levels. The GL2 has two options. It can self adjust the gain in auto mode based on the audio signal present or you can manually adjust each channel. I only use manual because you can control it and maintain the level perfectly. When you use the auto setting, what happens is if the camera isnt picking up any audio, it tells itself that it needs to turn the gain up because its always trying to maintain a certain level. Of course then when some talks all of a sudden the first split seconds the gain is too high thus resulting in a quick pop which is what youre probably hearing. Of course then the camera turns the gain down but by then its too late.
If yon can address these points you should be fine.
June 13, 2006 at 9:22 AM #175002AnonymousInactive
First off let me thank both of you way ahead of time. This is the best "not to technical" advice I have heard from any forum I have posted on. If your ever in Cincinnati I’ll buy you a beer 🙂
Second, to answer your question, we did use the regular small pin 1/8th plugged directly into the camera and we had long cables, proably like 15-20 feet. So there is that hum.
Where can I buy that adapter for the GL2, and how much is it?
For the scene below, what would be the best audio solution, shotgun mic or lav?
There will be extensive back and forth dialogue.
EXT. WOODED CLEARING – NIGHT
Four college students sit on logs around a roaring campfire, their tents and equipment just slightly behind them. 360 degrees all around them is a dense forest.
June 13, 2006 at 9:37 AM #175003AnonymousInactive
Boy… the real neat and clean way to go it would be to use UHF wireless. I’m sure you’re not going to want to spend all that money unless of course that isn’t an issue, but there is a chance that you could rent one or two from a camera retailer/supply store or even maybe where you rented the mic you used. Then all you do is mount the body pack on a person and mount the small little lav mic and on the other end you just mount the receiver to the camera and from that receiver there would be a 1/8′ pin cable (very short) that plugs into the camera. All it takes is a little bit of sound checking and don’t have to fool around with any bulky mics and booms let alone cables. The sound from these wireless mics are very impressive and very high quality.
I have 3 wireless setups of which one is a duel channel receiver and I just did a high school musical in stereo and it sounded perfect. You just need to make sure everything is set up correctly.
BTW: That adapter I was referring to is like $150.00 but then you will have to get XLR mics and cables too. I would look into renting a wireless outfit. It will be a WHOLE LOT easier. 😉
June 13, 2006 at 9:44 AM #175004AnonymousInactive
What would a wireless mic setup cost me? If I bought the adapter and say 4 mics?
I dont have a lot of money, but we have 10 people invested in my production company, and split 10 ways it may be afordable.
Also, how do you hide lapel mics?
June 13, 2006 at 9:58 AM #175005AnonymousInactive
Well I have a duel Azden 200UPR and a single 100HT which gives me 3 mics. I am a event/wedding vid guy so I use two cameras and mount one on each camera. If you want to use 4 mics then you will need 4 recievers and if you are just using one camera you will need some kind of mixer too because you can only use 2 mics per camera with out one.
The link below will take you to the Azden toy store. Click around and look for UHF videography. The prices are listed there BUT… don’t buy them from there, go to the next link below and order from there. This is pretty much all of us heres favorit store. They are called B&H and they have very good prices but more importantly they are VERY reputible.
To answer you question, you’re probably looking at $1,700.00 to $2000.00 for 4 mics, transmitters and a mixer. Give or take of course.
June 13, 2006 at 10:02 AM #175006AnonymousInactive
Wow, that is prohibitably more expensive than buying a shotgun mic, headphone, and mixer.
June 13, 2006 at 10:08 AM #175007AnonymousInactive
Yeah.. that’s why I suggested renting.
I know there is a store here in Milwaukee that does that. They rent cameras, mics, tripods… the whole nine yards. Maybe you can find someone there?
June 13, 2006 at 10:49 AM #175008AnonymousInactive
Well the Audia-Technica boom mike we bought is mono and has a 1/8" connector to attach to the GL2. As long as we keep the line length under 8 feet, and listen to the recording via headphones to adjust levels, we should be OK correct?
June 13, 2006 at 11:11 AM #175009AnonymousInactive
Good point on the lavs being exposed. You could maybe try hiding these in clever places too (if possible). If you statigically place these in certain areas to get good coverage AND do some trial sound checks, you might be able to pull it off.
With all due respect, doing voiceovers and dubbing in a studio after the fact is very difficult to do. Ambient sounds, emotions and voice inflections just wouldnt match that well versus live audio. People also can spot lip syncing a mile away. You dont want your final product to end up looking like those old Japanese Godzilla movies. X-D
The bottom line is if you are after high end Hollywood quality, the best way to really go would be to do like the pros do. Get a high end mic on a nice boom, have that plugged into its own sound recording device which should be manned and monitored and put it all together in post.
All in all though… if you make sure that you use the right equipment and monitor the sound as you go, you should be able to get pretty good results. Sound checks, volume meters and headphones are the key.
June 13, 2006 at 12:55 PM #175010AnonymousInactive
You guys have been wonderfully helpful. Many thanks to you both.
November 5, 2007 at 2:59 PM #175011bugmenotParticipant
Typically, even though I just shoot documentaries and am in high school, I find audio to be the most challenge and also most important aspect to my films. The best way to take audio is either a lavalier (wired or wireless) and a shotgun. If you can, record one or both of these to an external capture device and sync them in the edit. If this doesn’t work for you (I typically find it too time consuming), you can still record with a boom or shotgun in the left channel and use a program like Audacity to copy it to stereo. This can also assist marginally with low volume (though it seems you have high volume clipping) as it gives a fuller and broader sound that I find drastically improves some of my situations.
November 6, 2007 at 11:31 AM #175012faqvideoParticipant
Directional microphones, like Sennheiser shotgun, are… directional. It means that a pick up does not depend solely on how far the mic is from the person’s mouth, but how well it is pointed at the person’s mouth as well. It’s very critical. And the pick up from beneath is usually better than from above.
I don’t see although how you can pick up from below in the set around campfire. Setting lav mics on every talent and mixing would probably be a preferable solution, although expensive.
As for stereo vs. mono recording, I would recommend stereo. It takes twice as long at post production stage, but gives you more opportunities to clear audio between the remarks on each channel separately.
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