Author Topic: Sound Troubles  (Read 5457 times)

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matt35mm

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Sound Troubles
« on: April 05, 2004, 03:43:39 PM »
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(sigh)

Okay, so I've been recording directly into the DV camera (through a $200 mic and XLR into the camera)... and it sounded okay--just a bit too much hiss.

So I bought a pre-amp.  Now, the pre-amp works GREAT, when I'm listening through headphones attached to the pre-amp.  It boosts the mic signal while adding only minimal hiss.  Exactly what I wanted.

But... when I attach that to the camera, the hiss grows at an exponential rate.  I expected to be able to record at a low level and then just boost the mic signal.  I expected it to be minimal hiss plus minimal hiss.  Why is the hiss growing at that exponential rate?

The connections are all XLR... if anyone could help out, I'd love that.

Thanks.

metroshane

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2004, 06:54:43 PM »
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The lower the sound level (with exception of peaking) will bring out the hiss.  The levels are there so you can get maximum sound without clipping.  Also, make sure  your headphones are plugged into the last stage of audio...the camera...or else you're just listening to what's leaving the mixer.
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matt35mm

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2004, 07:10:39 PM »
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The problem is that the lowest level of hiss is still kinda too loud.

See, when I listen through the headphones from the pre-amp, it sounds perfect.  But when I listen to it through the camera--which I do for normal practice--the hiss is enormous.  I've done a bunch of tests and the best results that I can get are still too hissy.  This is because the Total Harmonic Distortion on the camera is very high.

I know that if I recorded to at DAT, it would be a lot better--but I can't afford that right now.

Does anybody at least know of a good Mac program to deal with hiss?

Outpatient_Cowboy

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2004, 10:59:46 PM »
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Final Cut has some pretty decent audio filters, it does take a shitload of work to get it all out, at that point you might just want to shoot with the on board mic.
I'm surprised you got your mic XLR- I have a really old die hard GL-1, it's like the ford escort of cameras, cant get it to break. I bought a 200 dollar mic that just hot shoed in, worked wonderfully.  
How are you converting to XLR? Mini-jack?
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Outpatient_Cowboy

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2004, 11:00:32 PM »
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Final Cut has some pretty decent audio filters, it does take a shitload of work to get it all out, at that point you might just want to shoot with the on board mic.
I'm surprised you got your mic XLR- I have a really old die hard GL-1, it's like the ford escort of cameras, cant get it to break. I bought a 200 dollar mic that just hot shoed in, worked wonderfully.  
How are you converting to XLR? Mini-jack?
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matt35mm

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2004, 11:24:12 PM »
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Nah, it's direct XLR into a GL-2 via an XLR-adaptor.  The XLR-adaptor is hardwired through the hotshoe, but it sounds pretty much as if it had an onboard XLR-input.

But I get the full benefits of XLR cabling and a decent mic (the $200, or maybe it was $250, one).  The mic sounds GREAT, it's just the hiss from the camera, which is there no matter what I do.  So it's not the XLR-adaptor, it's not the mic, it's just the camera.  I could take away all that stuff and record "silence" and it's still too much hiss.

metroshane

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2004, 10:51:16 AM »
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The answer is very obviously snakes.  You've got a snake somewhere in the camera.  Try getting a mongoose.
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mutinyco

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2004, 01:51:49 PM »
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You said you're on Mac. Are you using a tower or PowerBook? If you're using a laptop, what editing software have you got? If you've got Final Cut Pro 4, then record all of your sound directly onto the computer as if it were a DAT. You could do it with the tower, too, if all of the shooting was at one location. The sound'll be fine, plus you'll have saved yourself a step by already having it on your computer in a compatible file.
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matt35mm

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2004, 02:51:42 PM »
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Snakes?  Mongoose?

I am, alas, not recording into the computer.  The sound... sounds okay.  It's really not THAT BAD... but it could be better and I PAID for it to be better.  It's good enough for now anyway.  There's a little bit of hiss.

mutinyco

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2004, 05:30:15 PM »
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So, basically, you're not making Apocalypse Now I take it? You'll be fine. A, this problem will be more noticeable and troubling to you, as the creator, than to any spectator. B, learn from this experience for your next film.
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Ghostboy

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2004, 08:02:06 PM »
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Unless you're planning on distributing this in any way (e.g. festivals, DVD, etc.), in which case the hiss WILL distract the audience as much as the creator. I learned the hard way. There's a common belief that people will forgive a bad picture but won't forgive bad sound, and I try to keep this in mind when I'm running filter after filter over sound files, trying to clean it up the best I can without forking over the cash for Pro Tools.

SoNowThen

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2004, 08:06:15 PM »
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Quote from: metroshane
The answer is very obviously snakes.  You've got a snake somewhere in the camera.  Try getting a mongoose.


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let it be me.

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well done
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mutinyco

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2004, 08:32:28 PM »
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psssttt... avoid film festivals! :)
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Sound Troubles
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2004, 09:04:49 PM »
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Quote from: mutinyco
psssttt... avoid film festivals! :)

Out of curiosity, why?

mutinyco

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Sound Troubles
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2004, 09:21:33 PM »
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I kind of feel like they're a scam. I have yet to show any of my work in a festival, and I can't say I miss it. There are plenty of other ways to make contacts and get your work seen. I have the same general opinion about film schools.

Although, I should admit, I would have no problem entering a finished feature film into a festival -- as a way to premiere it. But I'm not terribly interested in the scene, generally speaking.
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