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"AVCHD (Audio format: Dolby Digital 2ch)" ...good enough?
Old 8th April 2017
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
"AVCHD (Audio format: Dolby Digital 2ch)" ...good enough?

I got a Tascam field recorder (DR-60D) but the stupid thing has a recessed tripod mount that lo and behold won't mount on my tripod (Vangaurd Alta Pro w/ PH32 head). I say stupid because if you remove its shoe and try to screw it into the bottom, it can't even accept its own mount.

So now I'm wondering whether it's even needed. My camera (Panasonic G85) has a stereo mic input (and I have an AT8024 mic), but the camera's specs say:

Audio compression
  • AVCHD | Dolby Digital (2 ch).
  • MP4 | AAC (2 ch)

I certainly can't afford a Sound Devices setup. Is it still worth using a cheap field recorder just so I can get 24bit/48kHz WAV audio? Some scenes will just have ambient sound. Some will have dialogue.

Last edited by jscomposer; 8th April 2017 at 11:03 PM.. Reason: equipment details
Old 8th April 2017
  #2
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 

If the recorder is a DR-60D or DR-70D, there should be two 1/4x20 attaching points... a female on the bottom (tripod mount) and a male on the top (camera mount). If your tripos had a non-standard socket, you'll need adapter(s). Check Markertek (http://www.markertek.com) for options.

If your camera has a 1/8TRS input jack, you can jump the signal from the DR series into the camera for scratch audio/backup with a short 1/8TRS M-M cable. The DR series Tascams take pretty much any balanced or unbalanced input, and, especially using an external 5v LiPo battery into the "Bus Power" socket, will run all day.

If it's not a DR-60 or 70, I can't offer help. Broadcast .WAV or .AIF files are significantly better for edit and processing than the much more "lossy" files from AVCHD or .MP4. A lot depends on your final output distribution destination(s), and your personal preference.

One old guy's opinion, of course. I do own a DR-60D, and a Roland Edirol R09HR bitbucket.

HB
Old 8th April 2017
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
It's the DR-60D. The tripod is a Vanguard Alta Pro with PH32 pan head. Quite standard afiak. Looking at reviews on B&H for the DR-60D, I'm not the only one who encountered this issue.

Anyway, this is for a short film/music video that's likely going on instagram and youtube.
Old 8th April 2017
  #4
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jscomposer View Post
I got a Tascam field recorder but the stupid thing has a recessed tripod mount that lo and behold won't mount on my tripod. I say stupid because if you remove its shoe and try to screw it into the bottom, it can't even accept its own mount.

So now I'm wondering whether it's even needed. My camera has a stereo mic input, but the specs say:

Audio compression
  • AVCHD | Dolby Digital (2 ch).
  • MP4 | AAC (2 ch)

I certainly can't afford a Sound Devices setup. Is it still worth using a cheap field recorder just so I can get 24bit/48kHz WAV audio? Some scenes will just have ambient sound. Some will have dialogue.
Without knowing your specific camera, many have audio subsystems with marginal noise performance and little headroom. This can make it tricky to get optimum levels.

I'm not sure why you need to mount the recorder on the tripod if you're not in a run and gun situation.

You didn't mention your mic configuration, that might also be an issue.

Fran
Old 8th April 2017
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Thread Starter
Camera: Panasonic G85
Mic: AT8024

I guess it's semi run n gun. I'm shooting alone, mostly in public. NYC. Those scenes will just be ambient sounds and faint passerby mutterings. I can mount the camera on the recorder. It'd be convenient to mount that unit as a whole to the tripod for tripod shots.

For indoors with dialog I have an AKG P170, Tascam TM-PC1, or Studio Projects B3.
Old 10th April 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
 
hbphotoav's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jscomposer View Post
It's the DR-60D. The tripod is a Vanguard Alta Pro with PH32 pan head. Quite standard afiak. Looking at reviews on B&H for the DR-60D, I'm not the only one who encountered this issue.

Anyway, this is for a short film/music video that's likely going on instagram and youtube.
I'm on three different Manfrotto lightweights and a Matthews DV. All have 1/4x20 threaded studs, and all provide firm attachments to my DR-60D. The top connector screws firmly into either of my three Sonys (2x Z1U; 1x Z5U, with Atomos recorders) or Nikon D800. All are regularly used with tripods. Sorry yours doesn't seem to work as well.

I did have a situation arise with some short Chinese-sourced "tabletop" mic stands (4) from American Music Supply... I lost one of the OEM mic clips and, when I tried to use a standard 3/8-to-5/8 bushing to adapt another clip, it wouldn't "grab". It slipped on and off with no purchase. When I removed the OEM clip on a second stand to see what was what, upon rotating it off, I was amused to see a layer of shrink-wrap shrunk down upon the supposedly 3/8s stud. I'm still not sure what the dimension actually is... but now that I'm hip to the workaround, I'm good to go.

HB

Last edited by hbphotoav; 10th April 2017 at 01:55 PM..
Old 10th April 2017
  #7
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by jscomposer View Post
Camera: Panasonic G85
Mic: AT8024

I guess it's semi run n gun. I'm shooting alone, mostly in public. NYC. Those scenes will just be ambient sounds and faint passerby mutterings. I can mount the camera on the recorder. It'd be convenient to mount that unit as a whole to the tripod for tripod shots.

For indoors with dialog I have an AKG P170, Tascam TM-PC1, or Studio Projects B3.
Some time ago I did a comparo between a Zoom H6 and a GH3: Lumix GH3 Audio vs Zoom H6 | Homebrewed Music

The GH4 gave a bump up in quality to the audio compared to the GH3, I would hope that the G85 inherited this improved audio. If the output of the AT8024 is sufficient to let you turn the G85 mic input to its lowest gain, I think you'll be OK with that setup for street sounds. "Faint passerby mutterings" sounds like a challenge, though.

For your indoor mics you'll need to use the recorder to power the mics and handle the XLR connection, or add a preamp of some kind to get the audio into the camera.

Fran
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