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07-17-2012, 12:29 PM - 1 Like   #1
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K-30 audio option - a separate recorder

In regards to the K-30 lacking both a stereo mic or external mic port, I'm not sure it's as much an issue now as I used to think it was. After trying a Røde video mic on my D7000, apart from reducing AF motor noise it leaves wanting just as much as the inbuilt mic anyway for anything reasonably distant from the camera, and hence also the mic. Alternatively there's a shotgun mic, which is not as distance-limited but still not perfect. Or a wireless 'lavalier' lapel-mic type of setup with a transmitter and then the reciever plugged into the camera. A boom mic on a long armature is getting into pro-territory by needing a separate operator or special setup etc. All connected to, mounted on or plugged into the camera.

Then there's the separate recorder - which doesn't need any mic port at all, and mediocre internal audio recorded by the camera is just to help sync the proper audio taken with the recorder, so neither of those things matter any more. There are a couple of models on the market and I just got myself this particular one - the Zoom H2n:



For those willing/able to go the extra hassle to sync separate audio with video in an editor (click your fingers!), ideally without too much actual real hassle with something like Final Cut, this may be the best method of all anyway even if your camera does actually have an external mic port like the K-5 (you can still plug the line-out from the H2n into the camera and use it as a standard external mounted stereo mic). But it works even better using its own far more in-depth audio options than those built-in to a camera, amongst whch as you can see from the top of the unit you can flick a switch between MS-stereo or 2 channel stereo to 4 channel surround with its 5 microphones.

It effectively means you have an armless surround/stereo boom mic to get right into the action where the sound actually is while the camera stays at a distance - so you can just set it down in the middle of a table to record everyone around it equally well while the camera is off to the side filming, or mount it on a tripod in the middle of a group (a band or family etc) while walking around with the camera. Or put it in your pocket (or clip onto your belt with the accessory pouch) and plug a hands-free lapel-mic into the line-in port instead of using a wireless lavalier transmitter to the camera.

After trying the other option of an external mic mounted on the camera which actually makes the camera more awkward and intimidating anyway, I've decided this separate audio recorder is the better option for myself so a camera having mono-only audio or lacking an external mic port is no longer an issue or negative for me. Especially now as an added bonus it's 'backwards-compatible' so it will now also give video from my mono-only GXR a whole new lease of life!

07-17-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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Hi,

thanks for the tip on that, it has 11 5* reviews at amazon UK! How hard is it to sync the audio with the video? I have been doing videos with my panasonic bridge which has good sound, so not needed to do it yet, however, I do have Corel VideoStudio pro x3. Is it fiddly to try and sync it up in general?

Thanks!
07-17-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by TJWest Quote
Hi,

thanks for the tip on that, it has 11 5* reviews at amazon UK! How hard is it to sync the audio with the video? I have been doing videos with my panasonic bridge which has good sound, so not needed to do it yet, however, I do have Corel VideoStudio pro x3. Is it fiddly to try and sync it up in general?

Thanks!
It isn't hard to sync, but it helps to have something like a clapboard make a sound at the beginning that you can match it too.
07-17-2012, 12:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It isn't hard to sync, but it helps to have something like a clapboard make a sound at the beginning that you can match it too.
brilliant idea!

07-17-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
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You can actually get a clapboard app for iPhone or iPad (I assume Android too) which you can write in all the details like they do on proper movie scenes/takes, or even like Adam did wth printed out sheets in the K-30 review videos for example. So you either flick the iPhone/iPad to make it go clap, or just tap it.

If you don't need a clapboard or app, just use the triple finger click. Three clicks unevenly timed helps you sync it better than a single click (or hand clap).
07-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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One other thing which also gives this unit an advantage over in-camera audio is that you can also use it as a USB-mic connected to your computer as well to do podcast or add high quality voice-over etc on top of already edited video - depending on your voice of course.
07-17-2012, 01:58 PM   #7
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Ha! H2N - I have one of those! Works great too!
07-17-2012, 01:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthony mazzeri Quote
You can actually get a clapboard app for iPhone or iPad (I assume Android too) which you can write in all the details like they do on proper movie scenes/takes, or even like Adam did wth printed out sheets in the K-30 review videos for example. So you either flick the iPhone/iPad to make it go clap, or just tap it.

If you don't need a clapboard or app, just use the triple finger click. Three clicks unevenly timed helps you sync it better than a single click (or hand clap).
When you say finger click, do you mean snapping the fingers? Good tip on unevenly done as well.

07-17-2012, 02:08 PM   #9
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Zoom H2N is definitely a nice unit. I'm also liking their H4N.
07-17-2012, 02:17 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I think the problem with snapping your fingers vs a clapboard or simply clapping your hands together in front of the camera is that it's easier to see the clapboard arm close to match the sound with the motion. I'd think snapping your fingers is a little more ambiguous matching the motion with the sound.
07-17-2012, 02:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TJWest Quote
When you say finger click, do you mean snapping the fingers? Good tip on unevenly done as well.
Yep, that's exactly what I meant. I just wrote clicking instead of themore commonly used snapping because I was thinking of the Addams Family theme song.
07-17-2012, 02:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by anthony mazzeri Quote
Yep, that's exactly what I meant. I just wrote clicking instead of themore commonly used snapping because I was thinking of the Addams Family theme song.
LOL I almost wrote that into my response then thought...nah, probably doesn't know it! Wrong I was!
07-17-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
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And if folk just wanted to try-out the good ideas above - before spending money buying a quality separate recorder... If you have a Canon SX10-20-etc - those can record Audio-Only in WAV - at 1100/2200/4400kHz quality levels. There's mic-level adjustment, and adjustable On/Off wind-filter. The sound is good stereo - but recording is VERY sensitive to touching or moving the camera once recording is running.

I use my SX10 in parallel with my Fuji HS10's HD video - the HS10 is only Mono audio, and no mic input.

For editing, I'm using Kdenlive (similar level to Windows Vegas Pro) in Linux. The clicks are a good way to line the audio up - but it isn't too difficult without - particularly with the shorter clips where the Canon was left recording audio between video clips. The HS10's mono shows (as it's still with the video) the "location" of the audio - place the stereo audio-only on a bar below - make it Audio-2, say. Run the video with the audios alternately until just-about in-sync. Then adjust Audio-2 to fit - lip-sync or or 'visible noise cause' in the video, by using Left-Right arrows to fine-tune the sync. Clip the audio to same length as the video, and lock them. At the end of the task - delete the mono audio (the video's original) from Audio-1, before rendering.

Not, perhaps, the most "Pro" way to do it - but it works... You can also use the "recorder camera" to build up a stock of "background sounds" - busy street, crowd, harbour, industrial noises, birdsong, so on.

Regards, Dave.
07-17-2012, 04:46 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
It isn't hard to sync, but it helps to have something like a clapboard make a sound at the beginning that you can match it too.

Geez! Is that the real purpose of those things? And here I always thought they weren't smart enough to realize the last last take was a 'print'.
07-18-2012, 09:13 AM   #15
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This is a really interesting thread, even though I don't have a K30. Thanks!
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