Recording vocals & piano with Sony HDR-SR12

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    • #41825

      I’m about to embark on my first video project involving recording a live classical vocalist with piano accompaniment. I’ll be using the Sony HDR-SR12 and shooting in Full HD. As it stands, I can connect a standard mic (I’m considering the SM58) through the one mic input on the camera. However, this project requires excellent sound and I’m presuming that I’ll need to connect up a mixer with three separate mics (one for vocals, two for stereo piano)?

      Could anyone shed some light on what I’ll need to achieve this? And how it’ll all connect together?



    • #176817

      I’d run seperate mics (one for each instrument or vocal, to a mixer ( I have a peavy pv6 usb and an older bose system) and run the usb out to my macbook into either Audacity, Garageband, or Soundtrack…. and also from the soundboard to the mic jack on the camcorder.

      The main problem with the mic jack on the camera is if there are any pauses in the music, the camera on auto, tries to up the gain on the mic and it mucks things up.. so use manual mic levels….. the soundboard to the laptop doesn’t do that…. and is your backup…

      sorry, I have both sr12 and hc1, the sr12 doesn’t do manual mic levels…. you definitely want a laptop or external sound recorder to have a backup to use in post… pauses in audio will muck up the volume levels in camera…

    • #176818

      A few questions I’d like to ask before beginning – such as, 1. What is your budget on this? 2. What is your role? 3. Freelance videographer that does stuff of this sort, audio recorder, or sound manager for the entirebuilding?

      If it’s a theatre type of building – good chance it has a great sound system, and probably a few high-quality microphones that it already has.You could simply plug in to the sound system, depending on how far your camera is from any usable output, which you’ll need to convert to mic level.

      If there’s no sound system, you’re pretty much on your own. The Sure SM57 and SM58 are great microphones. For high quality, you’ll want at least two, one for piano and one for vocalist. For enhancement, one for singer and two for piano is great for stereo. This is only if budgetpermits. You’ll also want to plug into XLR inputs, which is accomplished by an XLR preamp box – Juicedlink is optimal.

    • #176819

      “the camera on auto, tries to up the gain on the mic and it mucks things up.. so use manual mic levels….. the soundboard to the laptop doesn’t do that”

      You can say that again. With a video camera, though, it doesn’t levy the volume as much (it only changes when it gets to high), unlike the DSLR cameras with actual autogain. Computers are positively the worst sound recorder, as far as good audio level and S/N ratio – it can add all kind of things. You can only hope that the new microphone you bought is enough of professional quality AND works fine with your computer. You could say that it’s a bad preamp, but recording at line level is no exception. I getA LOTof stuff added when trying to run line level sound from my Church’s audio system into my computer.

      My advice is also not to buy a cheap mixer, particularly if it’s realistic/radioshack brand. My $30 one adds a lot ofnoise and the controls are also noisy.

    • #176820

      Thanks for your replies. Very insightful.

      XTR-91, to answer your questions. 1. My budget is non-existent, it’s low budget, however, I do have an SM58, a SE1a condenser mic, an M-Audio “Audio Buddy” pre-amp, a couple of mic stands and an old 8 track recorder (digital) – Roland VS-840. I hadn’t even considered using a stand-alone recorder as an option for this project (I’m clearly not thinking straight!). Of course it makes much more sense to do it this way and then synchronise it in POST, than to run it through the camera. 2. My role is videographer – but I’m new to the game, I’ve never done a setup like this before but I have recorded live music/bands before so I suppose I’m just putting the two together.

      The building is a large hall.

      If anyone has any other ideas or advice – it would be gratefully received as always.

    • #176821

      I do have one other question. If I do go ahead and record vocals on say, track 1, piano on track 2 and 3 (stereo), how should I mix these in the final edit? Should one piano track be LEFT, the other piano track RIGHT, and then vocals in the MIDDLE?

    • #176822

      You’ll want voice track on center and stereo channels for the piano set accordingly. Do not record voice strictly on one channel and think you can fix it in post – both channels will be occupied bypiano sound, and rearranging would break the effect.

      Condensers will work fine, and definitely your better option, if the sound recording’s not live.

    • #176823

      Silly as it sounds (no pun intended), I recorded a couple of classical concerts on my SR11 using the built in mic, and it sounded pretty good on DVD – Here is a sample:

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