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Filming solo performances in the studio Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 9th September 2011
  #1
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api2500's Avatar
Filming solo performances in the studio

Hey everyone, I know Gearslutz is strictly an audio forum, but I have a plan to try and film some of the solo artists I work with during recording, and I'm sure that a few of you would have done the same.

I just have a few questions.

First one would be concerning the camera. I'm looking for something budget, wide angle, second hand is a possibility, and I'm considering getting two to provide a bit more visual interest. Both would be static. Around £200 for the one or £400 for the pair including tripods would be ideal. Cheaper would be ideal, but it has to look professional.

And during filming I would be obviously recording in 48khz, but should I record two versions, one in 48khz and one in 44khz or should do it in 48khz and then downsample?

These recordings are most likely be done on location either in their house, outdoors, studio or performance venue through my Macbook Pro and my Sapphire 6.

Any of your suggestions or tips would be really helpful!
Old 9th September 2011
  #2
It's a bit hard to find 8mm film these days, you will have better luck with 16mm. Those are available with optical sound, not too good. It's best to strip it in post with SMPTE code and then time match the digital (or analog) audio later.

That's how Woodstock was done.

These days it's pretty easy if you get one of those $300 HD video cams. It's not film though.
Old 9th September 2011
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
mslim's Avatar
 

Like Jim I'm a long time film guy and still think it's the medium of choice for feature films, but at your price range, I'd go digital video. Look for something w/ two XLR inputs. Use one for the on-board mic (which will suck but give you a reference) and feed the other from your board. If you wanted stereo, dump the on-board mic and feed L-R from your board.

I think most, if not all the DV cams record at 48khz. I'm not conversant w/ sample conversion options.

On the camera your budget is not very realistic. If I were setting out to do what you describe, I would peruse the "used" classifieds for a Sony PD-170 or a Panasonic DVX100. These were about $4k new and go for $700-1500 USD.

I wouldn't worry about having two cameras. I would just do multiple passes with different angles maybe even handheld if it compliments the style of music.

Get at least two batteries w/ the camera package and don't scrimp on a tripod. Look at the Manfrotto's first and maybe Cartoni. I don't know if Sachtler has anything in the DVcam line but they make a good product. Make your lighting simple but interesting. Google "three point lighting".

Find some whiz kid with Final Cut Pro that knows how to use it and have him/her do your edit, titles, and effects. Output to DVD and you're in business with your solo artist recordings.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.
Old 9th September 2011
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by api2500 View Post
Hey everyone, I know Gearslutz is strictly an audio forum, but I have a plan to try and film some of the solo artists I work with during recording, and I'm sure that a few of you would have done the same.

I just have a few questions.

First one would be concerning the camera. I'm looking for something budget, wide angle, second hand is a possibility, and I'm considering getting two to provide a bit more visual interest. Both would be static. Around £200 for the one or £400 for the pair including tripods would be ideal. Cheaper would be ideal, but it has to look professional.

And during filming I would be obviously recording in 48khz, but should I record two versions, one in 48khz and one in 44khz or should do it in 48khz and then downsample?

These recordings are most likely be done on location either in their house, outdoors, studio or performance venue through my Macbook Pro and my Sapphire 6.

Any of your suggestions or tips would be really helpful!
filming? do you mean digital or actual film film ?
digital would look pro and easy to put on dvd.
you can get good quality digital cameras in that price range.
else rent something even fancier if you need it.
digital can run for a long time unattended.
real film will be shorter and take more babysitting.

i would record at 44.1 not 48 and downrez to 44.1.
Better: record at 88.2 (or 176.4) and 192.
Old 10th September 2011
  #5
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Matti's Avatar
The DVD would be 48kHz like the digital cameras.

Matti
Old 12th September 2011
  #6
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api2500's Avatar
@Jim Williams. My budget can grow. Just got a tax rebate through. . But I forgot all about SMPTE... :facepalm...

@mslim. I totally forgot about lighting. We touched upon lighting during a filming module at university, but like everything there, it wasn't very indepth. I will need to factor lighting in. Tips on lights anyone? I could always rent them from uni. But there is a like a stupid return policy and I CBA with dealing with them.

The reason I am doing two versions is because 1 is going on my online portfolio, the second is obviously for their release.

Ok, I'd prefer to go digital, because I've used DV Tapes and my experience of them is a bit cumbersome. Anything on the calibre of the Panasonic DVX100 available digitally?
Old 12th September 2011
  #7
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Matti's Avatar
It is digital

Matti
Old 12th September 2011
  #8
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api2500's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti View Post
It is digital

Matti
Facepalm. Thanks! I'm going to start looking into it. Anything on a lower budget if I choose to get two?
Old 12th September 2011
  #9
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I would look for something with HD capability, but cannot guide you further.
New DSLR's are actually an option.

Matti
Old 13th September 2011
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

I shoot a bunch of stuff with DSLR's. They can handle low light better (depending on what you get stuck using). However (as you can find through a google search about their video capability) they have their downsides such as rolling-shutter issues but as long as there isn't crazy movement going on you'll be fine.

The other big downside (for Canon/Nikon) is the file length-limit. They're stuck at around 11-12min max. The Panasonic GH2 can go as long as the card/battery allows. I just shot a concert with mine and another one for 2.5hrs straight, no overheating issues at all either.

They're about $999/ea with a standard lens but they're beautiful cameras. Clap within view of both of them and within earshot of the mics and you'll be all set for sync. I did full 18track audio in Nuendo for the same 2.5 hr show and didn't have any drift issues.

For quality/cost it's your best option. Spending $1000 on a real video camera (usually card based) gets you a mediocre palm-sized camera that "can" do 1080p - but don't be fooled that higher resolution = high quality. The dslr's will certainly do better with color info and bit-depth for the price point. You'll have to deal with their workflow (transcoding avchd into pro res for final cut) but it's not rocket science once you go through it a few times.

Hope that helps! PM if you need any further details!
Old 15th September 2011
  #11
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api2500's Avatar
@Drum9uy

Didn't think about getting DSLRs. I think I have an old Panasonic one but I'm not sure what the video is like on that... But I see what you mean about dropping the same money on a video camera. And there is plenty of DSLR filming on Sound on Sound.

Tripod and lights to address now...
Old 20th September 2011
  #12
Gear Head
 
anodecathode's Avatar
 

I have a Cannon 7D that works great in the studio. Make sure to budget for some nice glass. The 50mm 1.2 is worth the extra $$ and works great in low light.
If you plan on lock down shots then any decent DSLR tripod should do, but if there will some movement you should opt for one with a fluid filled head. (The DSLRs tend to "warp" the image on quick pans and any sudden movement. You can use a warp stabilizer plug-in to fix it in post but it's kinda a pain.) Manfrotto makes a few tripods that work great. I picked up the 504 Video Tripod with Fluid Head. Works great with the 7D.
You will need a separate audio recording device since the 7D is not equipped with any external audio inputs. As for syncing the audio to the clips, the Plural Eyes application will alleviate some of the headache though it is not perfect.
Old 20th September 2011
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anodecathode View Post
I have a Cannon 7D that works great in the studio. Make sure to budget for some nice glass. The 50mm 1.2 is worth the extra $$ and works great in low light.
If you plan on lock down shots then any decent DSLR tripod should do, but if there will some movement you should opt for one with a fluid filled head. (The DSLRs tend to "warp" the image on quick pans and any sudden movement. You can use a warp stabilizer plug-in to fix it in post but it's kinda a pain.) Manfrotto makes a few tripods that work great. I picked up the 504 Video Tripod with Fluid Head. Works great with the 7D.
You will need a separate audio recording device since the 7D is not equipped with any external audio inputs. As for syncing the audio to the clips, the Plural Eyes application will alleviate some of the headache though it is not perfect.
it does have a mic input doesn't it? My T2i does, though it isn't ideal, I use a Zoom H4n with an added shotgun mic. Plural Eyes was an absolute nightmare with our project on a 7d/H4n, the same guy makes Dual Eyes though which is made for a 7D/H4n and it was a perfect solution! He offers a 30 day uncrippled trial so you can see for yourself if it fits your needs.
Pulling focus is always the hardest part with the DSLRs, so if you're not moving around a lot and your subject stays put you should be okay to set and forget the focus.
Old 20th September 2011
  #14
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Matti's Avatar
About the sound part, he is filming in his studio if I understand
-I would use those recordings and mixes for this.
-PluralEyes is fine imo

Matti
Old 23rd September 2011
  #15
Gear Head
 
anodecathode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy.c. View Post
it does have a mic input doesn't it? My T2i does, though it isn't ideal
Ah, that's right it does have a mini connection but the quality is so bad it's almost unusable. Dual eyes looks pretty cool. Will have to check it out. Thanks for the tip.
Old 23rd September 2011
  #16
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Matti's Avatar
Keep the camera build in mic open for reference as the PluralEyes will look for similar waveforms to match

Matti
Old 23rd September 2011
  #17
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Matti's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy.c. View Post
Plural Eyes was an absolute nightmare with our project on a 7d/H4n,
Never let me down -DualEyes is a cut down version of Plural, you'll have
to learn some basics anyway...

Matti
Old 23rd September 2011
  #18
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api2500's Avatar
I love how GS have already suggested more gear I have to get my head around. Haha. I thought it was going to be a simple SMPTE job.

I will look into Plural Eyes etc.

Now I have decided. To stick with two static cameras and stretch my budget a bit. Mainly because I'm not a videographer and I cannot be bothered to do two passes and not have them match up etc.

I do want it to be wide angle. Wider than a typical 16:9 shot. I imagine most DSLRs can do that if not with extra lenses.

Ideas for lighting gear?
Old 23rd September 2011
  #19
Gear Head
 
anodecathode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by api2500 View Post

Ideas for lighting gear?
I'd go with Lowel. They're gonna be the best bang for your buck. The DV kits are nice. Would recommend you get a soft box which are included in the DV kits.
http://www.lowel.com/kits_vip.html
Old 23rd September 2011
  #20
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Matti's Avatar
16:9 is a format, not an angle of the lens

Matti
Old 23rd September 2011
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

hi, been there, done that, beautiful results at facebook.com/saciestudio

I use a EOS 60D w/ kit 18-200mm lens + 50mm 1.4 (1/3 price of 1.2)

cheap Halogen lighting ("garden lights") + Tungsten WB and lots of fiddling in post to get the blues and greens right.

kind regards
Old 24th September 2011
  #22
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api2500's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matti View Post
16:9 is a format, not an angle of the lens

Matti
Ok. So what format/lens should I be looking at then?
Old 24th September 2011
  #23
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Matti's Avatar
Usually those cameras come with a zoom lens by default, so you can adjust the
angle of the lens

Matti
Old 24th September 2011
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

For simple applications like you want, the lens are not going to make a difference on the format. You choose the format on the camera, and even the older SD cameras will probably have the 16:9 option. I'll recommend that you get a video camera with a 16:9 LCD, that will mean it's the camera's native format.
That said, although their LCD is not 16:9, all HDSLRs will be 16:9 in video by default and usually have a SD option in 640x480 (SD, non-wide, non-standard as the standard is 720x480 as in DVDs, with 2 non-square pixel sizes for wide or not).

If you got the cards space and computer it's better to record in HD and downscale after.

Ill repeat about the halogen lights, here in Brazil 5 of them costed me less than 150 USD, 3x 300W plus 2x 500W, with lamps and wiring bought separately. The studio lighting solutions suggested above costs some 10 times more. Color correction is easy after you get the principles (that took me some time).
Old 26th September 2011
  #25
Registered User
 

Having jobs where I edited over 40 hours of tape, from 6 cameras, on an old Media 100 edit suite; where the two video tracks and 2gig file size limit made the process worse than having your finger nails pulled out, I can appreciate the need for programs such as Pluraleyes. However synchronising audio tracks is not that difficult. If you are not doing a lot, I would save your money.

If you go down the second hand DV camera route, try to check the operation time, drum run and threading times. Some cameras allow you to view this information in the menu and it will tell you how much use (how worn) the camera has had.

It might be worth checking out the Creative Cow forum for tips and info' about the video side of things.
Old 27th September 2011
  #26
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If you do choose to go the DSLR route , have a play with different apertures and get the feel for how it affects the depth of field .
IMHO it's an important part of the "creative" process .
Old 11th October 2011
  #27
Gear Head
 
anodecathode's Avatar
 

Speaking of DOF, the 50mm 1.2 does amazing DOF.
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