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What can I do better next time??? Please read.
Old 22nd January 2016
  #1
Here for the gear
 

What can I do better next time??? Please read.

I need help with recording vocalists for self-tape auditions.

Hi...

What's the best way to videotape a singer as clean, noise-free and distortion-free as possible WHEN ---> the songs have extreme dynamics (very soft moments to full on belting)???

Here's the situation....

(To record dialogue only, I set up my Sennheiser MKH50 (hypercardioid) about 12"-18" above the talent on a boom arm, set my levels and we're good to go. I'm using a DSLR with the recording volume level manually set to 25% and my external pre-amp is set to high gain and I adjust mic level accordingly. No issues at all for dialogue, but I obviously I had to make adjustments to tape this singer.)

SO.... when I taped her a few nights ago for a Broadway audition, I knew that I had to back that mic off, reduce pre-amp gain and turn on the limiter to make sure there was zero distortion during the high volume moments. (Holding a mic and working it is not an option - because it was a musical theatre audition.)

The result during those soft moments, though, was the worst signal-to-noise ration I've ever heard.

So...today I'm trying to find a better solution when I need to tape another singer with songs that are extremely dynamic.

I'd appreciate any useful advice you have. THANKS!!!


- Paul -
Old 25th January 2016
  #2
Gear Addict
 

Microphone is fine, DSLR for a dynamic recording and such a great mic: crap.
I would record on an external recorder. What preamp are you using? If decent, even a Zoom H4n connected to it's line input will be a great improvement. Then all you need to do is record a decent scratch track on the camera or use a clapperboard and sync it up in post.

If you really need to use the DSLR for audio, be aware that most DSLRs have mic inputs, so in that case a preamp should have mic-out level.
Old 25th January 2016
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newmann View Post
Microphone is fine, DSLR for a dynamic recording and such a great mic: crap.
I would record on an external recorder. What preamp are you using? If decent, even a Zoom H4n connected to it's line input will be a great improvement. Then all you need to do is record a decent scratch track on the camera or use a clapperboard and sync it up in post.

If you really need to use the DSLR for audio, be aware that most DSLRs have mic inputs, so in that case a preamp should have mic-out level.
I NEVER use the DSLR's built-in mic.
The preamp I'm using is a Beachtek DXA-SLR Pro going into my DSLR which gain is set to 25%.
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Old 26th January 2016
  #4
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PatrickFaith's Avatar
 

Cheapest thing by far is get an hour of recording time at a local studio and tell them you need to record video at the same time for a audition(some places don't like video recorded but they should be cool if they know it's for a audition). Studio time for auditions is cheap, just ask around. Don't bother with any of your mics aside from the junk mic built into the camera, you will use that junk audio track to line up the session track. If you don't know protools get a price from them to do three songs (if it's too much get the wav file from them and get someone on the Internet to do it - again cheap).

The other extreme is find a very large room with good acoustics. Place the mic about 2 feet out and have a decent recorder (i.e. Zoom is on the bottom end, anything lower should not be considered). Again use the built in mic on the camera so you can align the sound in something like Adobe audition (I'd recommend protools though if you need to modify the files ... If the person sounds great on raw files without protools your artist would be exceptional). For the artist have them were closed headphones, so they adjust their distance from the mic when they push hard on volume. (You also should be wearing headphones).
Old 1st February 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG67 View Post
I NEVER use the DSLR's built-in mic.
The preamp I'm using is a Beachtek DXA-SLR Pro going into my DSLR which gain is set to 25%.
I don't know if they have gotten better but my two experiences with Beachtek have not been good. I sent one back and the other one was limited in frequency response (no bass and a hyped high end) and distorted on any sounds louder than about -5 dBFS. I used it with our Sony HD video camera FX-7. I now do all my audio recording on a separate unit and sync them together in post.

FWIW

I second the suggestion to not use a DSLR for critical audio.
Old 2nd February 2016
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickFaith View Post
Cheapest thing by far is get an hour of recording time at a local studio and tell them you need to record video at the same time for a audition(some places don't like video recorded but they should be cool if they know it's for a audition). Studio time for auditions is cheap, just ask around. Don't bother with any of your mics aside from the junk mic built into the camera, you will use that junk audio track to line up the session track. If you don't know protools get a price from them to do three songs (if it's too much get the wav file from them and get someone on the Internet to do it - again cheap).

The other extreme is find a very large room with good acoustics. Place the mic about 2 feet out and have a decent recorder (i.e. Zoom is on the bottom end, anything lower should not be considered). Again use the built in mic on the camera so you can align the sound in something like Adobe audition (I'd recommend protools though if you need to modify the files ... If the person sounds great on raw files without protools your artist would be exceptional). For the artist have them were closed headphones, so they adjust their distance from the mic when they push hard on volume. (You also should be wearing headphones).
This is for a Broadway theatre audition, so renting a studio and shooting her in the booth with headphones on would not work for this purpose. Thanks, though, for your input.
Old 2nd February 2016
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I don't know if they have gotten better but my two experiences with Beachtek have not been good. I sent one back and the other one was limited in frequency response (no bass and a hyped high end) and distorted on any sounds louder than about -5 dBFS. I used it with our Sony HD video camera FX-7. I now do all my audio recording on a separate unit and sync them together in post...
With what unit do your record your audio?
Old 6th February 2016
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by PG67 View Post
With what unit do your record your audio?

Tascam DR-100 MKII. Good quiet preamps and easy to use.
Old 4th March 2016
  #9
Here for the gear
 

I would have recorded in an external recorder!
Old 17th May 2017
  #10
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Update: I'm now using a Zoom H5 (instead of the Beachtek) going into my Canon 80D.
Although I am very happy with it, I just pre-ordered Sound Devices' new MicPre3.
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