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Thread started 03 Dec 2013 (Tuesday) 08:59
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Options and audio for a kids recital

 
sporadic
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Dec 03, 2013 08:59 |  #1

It's that time of year when many of our little ones hit the stage and perform. Being a dad with active kids and a love for photography, I've been able to easily justify gear for the "still world". This year with our 5th grader in chorus and the little one doing skits at school, its time for me to jump into the video world. To date, our video memories have been with camcorders and cellphones. I've dabbled around with shooting video on my 7D, but am on the fence between using it or a camcorder. The latter of course being more "dummy proof" and able to record the events continuously in a trade off for quality. The camcorder we have is a Samsung HMX-Q10. Nothing spectacular by any means, but does decent 720p video. I honestly think it would suit our needs with video quality provided there's enough light. The weak-point for both of course is audio. I've watched way too many home movies with muddy sound and noise of people rustling around, banging on things, etc... I would really love to actually hear my kids with some clarity!

Which brings me to audio. The budget is kinda tight given its Christmas. I just picked up a set of Vanguard 263AT legs and a SBH-250 head for my photography needs, so I'm limiting myself to around $100-$150 on this. Would it be worth picking up a Tascam DR-05 and using the built-in mics? Could I just set this at the foot of the stage on a table-top tripod if they let me or does it need to be positioned differently? Or would I be better off with a shotgun condenser fed directly into my 7D, monitoring levels with Magic Lantern? I'm not even away of a mic option in that price range. I'm planning to setup in the back center of the room as to not to interfere with anyone else.

Our first event is a week from today (next Tuesday), so lots of practice for me between now and then. Appreciate and feedback, thanks much!!


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artyman
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Dec 03, 2013 09:30 |  #2

Using a shotgun on the camera at the back is going to pick up any audience noise, the mike at stage would be preferable I think in this situation.


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ericcrazyman
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Dec 03, 2013 09:59 |  #3

You could rent a sennheiser wireless kit for about 35 bucks a day.


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sporadic
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Dec 03, 2013 12:31 |  #4

Looking at 3-4 events this season, so would prefer putting my money towards something I can re-use vs renting gear. I'm leaning towards picking up a recorder as I dabble in music and could use it there as well. Currently considering the Tascam line (DR-05, DR-07mkii, DR-40). I guess I'm just trying to justify the cost of one and how far I want to go. The DR-40 looks like a nice little piece of gear with plenty of room for me to grow into. I have a SM57 laying around but doubt it would be useful for this task. I guess I'm really trying to sell myself on how well the built-in mics of these little units will perform. I assume proper level setup and positioning will outweigh mic differences. It's not like I'm recording a professional symphony, maybe I'll just stick my camcorder. Just trying to get the most out of my gear possibly justify a new toy :) Thanks!


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John ­ Sims
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Dec 04, 2013 03:50 |  #5

DR40 as it has the advantage of XLR sockets with phantom power.

A recorder is useful in so many situations that it is a must have. You can shove it in a talents pocket with a lav attached or use the onboard mics (which are very good) and locate the recorder closer to the action.

I even use mine on the camera rig connected to the camera as ambient mics. If you don't have audio monitoring on your camera (or a Juiced Link) you can split the audio out from the recorder through an attenuated splitter and listen to the audio.


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sporadic
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Dec 04, 2013 10:07 |  #6

Ended up grabbing a killer deal on a DR-05 during one of Amazon's Lightning deals today - https://photography-on-the.net …hp?goto=newpost​&t=1346228. At the price I paid, I could resell it in the future at minimum loss and upgrade to a DR-40 if I decide its something I really want to get into. Appreciate the feedback, thanks!!


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John ­ Sims
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Dec 04, 2013 17:48 |  #7

Great little tool. I've been very pleased with mine and probably wouldn't part with it despite other kit. The onboard mics are really good (almost too good in some situations), battery life is great and its cheap enough to risk in situations where you wouldn't want to expose more exotic kit. It does exactly what it says on the box. :-)


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agl99
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Dec 05, 2013 00:22 as a reply to  @ John Sims's post |  #8

I got the dr-05 and its a great low cost recorder. I have not used it for my kids piano recital yet, but I have used it for other things and I'm very happy with it. It has some nice features, set it on 'auto level' and it will set the peek to the loudest sounds. It even records 2 seconds before you push the button so you wont miss anything if the music suddenly starts. You can also use it to tune your guitar. I recommend it over the in camera option. This weekend I'll be recording that recital and I plan to place it right up front near the piano somewhere on a mic stand or something.




  
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agl99
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Dec 12, 2013 00:03 as a reply to  @ agl99's post |  #9

I wanted to follow-up. I used the dr-05 this past weekend and the results were great. I recorded my kids piano recital. Basically, I placed the unit up on the stage before the show and started recording and then turned it off after. The challenge is syncing up the sound later. With the 5dmkii you can only record in 4gb segments, so you have to compensate for the gaps when combining the video. Besides the extra work, the sound is perfect and because it is up near the piano you get a really full sound and minimal noises from people moving their feet and stuff. My daughter watched the video and exclaimed that is was just like being there.




  
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SYS
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Dec 12, 2013 09:12 |  #10

agl99 wrote in post #16520814 (external link)
I wanted to follow-up. I used the dr-05 this past weekend and the results were great. I recorded my kids piano recital. Basically, I placed the unit up on the stage before the show and started recording and then turned it off after. The challenge is syncing up the sound later. With the 5dmkii you can only record in 4gb segments, so you have to compensate for the gaps when combining the video. Besides the extra work, the sound is perfect and because it is up near the piano you get a really full sound and minimal noises from people moving their feet and stuff. My daughter watched the video and exclaimed that is was just like being there.

Good that it worked out. In spite of the fact that I already have two Tascams (DR-07 MKII and DR-100 MKII), I decided to get the Tascam DR-40 when it was offered with free Pluraleye 3 software. The software itself is worth $179 so it was hard to resist. I'll probably end up selling the DR-40 itself as I don't plan on using the 4-track recording. You might want to look into Pluraleye for your work.



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Dec 14, 2013 21:46 |  #11

mic on stage is the win. nouf' said.


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myke2241
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Dec 23, 2013 00:49 |  #12

seems like there are no audio guys here. setting the gain to auto is going to give you extra pre amp noise and can pump up the noise floor when you don't want it. My advice would be switch to manual and turn on the limiters. also for syncing the audio just clap in plain sight when sound and the camera are speeding. that will help you in post.


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John ­ Sims
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Dec 23, 2013 03:43 |  #13

myke2241 wrote in post #16548335 (external link)
seems like there are no audio guys here. setting the gain to auto is going to give you extra pre amp noise and can pump up the noise floor when you don't want it. My advice would be switch to manual and turn on the limiters. also for syncing the audio just clap in plain sight when sound and the camera are speeding. that will help you in post.

But then a simple recorder doesn't have limiters and, being remote of the operator, not practical to adjust manually. Also, I can see some nut case roaming about giving a single hand clap immediately prior to a child's piano recital is going to go down like a lead balloon, and probably get you thrown out.

There are techniques when you have full access and all the gear, and techniques when you are just one of a crowd with budget equipment. The two aren't necessarily the same.

Auto gain is like auto iso, not great if you can avoid it, but they both give you something to work with subsequently. Over blown sound or not enough gain are both going to give you issues which would be more onerous in post.


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myke2241
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Dec 30, 2013 00:57 |  #14

John Sims wrote in post #16548461 (external link)
But then a simple recorder doesn't have limiters and, being remote of the operator, not practical to adjust manually. Also, I can see some nut case roaming about giving a single hand clap immediately prior to a child's piano recital is going to go down like a lead balloon, and probably get you thrown out.

There are techniques when you have full access and all the gear, and techniques when you are just one of a crowd with budget equipment. The two aren't necessarily the same.

Auto gain is like auto iso, not great if you can avoid it, but they both give you something to work with subsequently. Over blown sound or not enough gain are both going to give you issues which would be more onerous in post.

Pretty much ever handheld has limiters these days. even the old sony handheld dat recorders had limiters and those things are 20 years old.

Start speeding while people are walking. trim the sag in post. doesn't matter that you look crazy. most people won't even notice.

as professional sound editor and someone who uses their ears everyday i will tell you avoid auto gain. by turning auto gain on not only are you going to add noise but your also going to remove the dynamics of the performance and that is just the start. its not as simple as thinking its like ISO. i would much rather gain something up then try to fix some weird pumping. BTW auto gain will clip since it has a slow attack.

at the end of the day none of which matters. if you don't understand how to use your equipment or how it works, your most likely not going to get a good results and in this case a not so great recording. so you really need to spend some time doing test recordings.


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agl99
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Jan 21, 2014 11:40 as a reply to  @ myke2241's post |  #15

The DR-05 has three level controls...peak reduction, auto level and limiter. The auto level is what you use for a concert when you can't stay to manually adjust it. What you do is manually set the level to maximum and then the unit automatically moves the gain down as the noise level increases, but it doesn't move back up. Perfect for a piano recital. The unit I purchased needed a firmware upgrade to get the better gain control and unfortunately in the process they took away functionality from the tuner which originally told you what octave the note was in. Otherwise, I'm really happy with it. I'm using audacity to edit my audio...really like that program too even though it has a few oddities to it.




  
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Options and audio for a kids recital
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