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Dealing with loud sounds

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by scottz, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I recorded some video the other night at a concert with my E-PL1. The video portion turned out nice, but due to the volume of the music, the audio was horribly distorted. Since there is no gain control on the camera, how can this be dealt with?
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Were you using an external mic? If not, then please do. :) Get a good 3.5mm stereo mic (and the EMA-1 adapter if you don't have it) and use some good foam cushioning on the mic. Also, make sure that whatever you mount the mic on is rubberized so it doesn't pick up sounds of equipment moving or being used.

    If you get the SEMA-1 adapter, it will come with a little stereo condenser mic. This is not a bad mic, and can be hung from a rubber band. In my city the ONLY way you can get an EMA-1 is to get it in the SEMA-1 set with included mic, so that's always a good kit mic to start with. ;)

    But maybe you already have better audio mics you're using... I don't know since you didn't state. :) If so, then I apologize.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    No, I was using the built in mic, and standing only 3 feet from the stage. The amp volume was just too much. My first thought was using an external mic with an inline gain control, but that would make the camera awkward to use, and my primary use was shooting stills.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    One thing about the E-PLx series, is they only have a mono mic built-in. That makes it even worse than the built-in mic situation already is. ;)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    Perhaps someone makes (or you could create) some sort of hotshoe mount for your external mic.
     
  6. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    A compact hotshoe mounted mic with adjustable gain would be awesome. I'll have to check into that.

    Sent from my DROID2 using Mu-43 App
     
  7. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
  8. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    You definitely don't want a shotgun mic for concert recording. A shotgun mic picks up sound in a very narrow field directly where the mic is aimed. For concert recording you want mics that are omnidirectional or cardiod. As for sound levels, I'm working on the same problem. I got some horribly distorted audio at an outdoor free concert, very disappointing. I picked up the sema-1 and will give it a try with some mics that I have and report back. I'm not sure if a mic preamp or attenuator might be required, since the camera offers no input volume control or meters.
     
  9. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    Over the last couple of days I've been reading about ways to get good audio and pretty much decided to get a Tascam DR-2D recorder. Apart from having decent built in mics for general recording it also records an extra (safety) track at a lower level so if your main levels are wrong you still have something salvageable. Since it's been replaced there are some good prices around too. It has a thread-mount so can be attached using a hotshoe adapter or bracket.

    This page audiotranskription.de - Second Comparison of Current Digital Recorders was helpful, and the sample recordings of the church organ made the decision for me.

    I had started off looking at the Zoom range but ended up preferring the sound of the Tascam - also I read that the Zoom's can time drift which would be annoying on longer shots.
     
  10. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    However, I don't understand the point of a stereo mic like the EMA-1, which has a separation of what, two inches or so? I'd much rather have a mic with separation closer to a human head, though obviously you'll pay a size penalty.

    I tried taking some concert video the other day with the G2, it wasn't a very loud venue but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it came through: [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_9kbYupvTA]MC Frontalot: Tongue Clucking Grammarian - YouTube[/ame]
     
  11. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Had exactly the same problem with the Olympus E-P1 and the Sony A33. Since there is no gain control, the camera will distort even with an external mic. If you want good audio straight from the camera, there is no other choice but to buy Panasonic.
     
  12. Leesound

    Leesound Mu-43 Regular

    32
    Feb 12, 2011
    London
    Well ask a sound engineer that has to mix it for Broadcast's ever tightening specifications and reasons to fail, video (audio) and he'll say hire a sound guy :) I spent 5 days with CEDAR last week making basic dialogue on a well funded programme be intelligible, so much cheaper to not give the 18 year old pre PA a boom and mic job?

    As my film chums say noone leaves a cinema whistling a 2 shot
     
  13. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    Actually, it is possible to fairly accurately reproduce the stereo effect by using coincident cardiod mics, and it's a very commonly used technique (called XY). Unless the mics are separated by a head (or reasonable equivalent) you would have to get about 30" between omni mics to get the same effect.

    Getting back to the original subject, it would be possible to use an in-line pre-amp to attenuate the signal, but that's another layer of gear. As soon as I can try out the SEMA with a good loud PA I'll report back if that would really be neccessary.
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    @Promit:: The EMA-1 is not a stereo mic, it is an adapter to plug in a 3.5mm stereo mic into. You can use any kind of mic with it. The SEMA-1 is a mic kit which includes both the EMA-1 as well as an Olympus stereo condensor mic. This can be plugged in so it sits on the camera, or it can be used with the included 3.5mm extension cord to clip your mic on a boom stick, tie clip, etc. It does not have to be inches away. :)
     
  15. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    You can also use a 3.5mm attenuator plug, here is one example, there are other sources out there.

    Core Sound Attenuator Cables

    I have some that are only the plug part, (no cable) they come in various degrees of attenuation, and work very well.
     
  16. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    Core sound states that these attenuators can't be used between mics and their "plug in power" which the EMA-1 supplies to the olympus stereo mics. It sounds like you would need a battery box between the attenuator and the mics for this to work properly. I'm not sure if the power from the EMA-1 would have any effect on the attenuator (or the results).
     
  17. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    I finally got out to test my theory... Yes, it is possible to get quality audio from a loud source with the E-PM1. My source was a live performance in downtown Las Vegas, a heavily amplified rock'n'roll cover band called Arena. Video recoded with the internal mics was badly clipped and unlistenable, as expected. I tried out the SEMA-1 with the included olympus T mic attached directly to the camera... This resulted in better loud noise handling, but also introduced some wind noise. If using this mic outdoors I would definately recommend a windsock. Much improved results were obtained once I combined some of my audio taping rig with the pen and the EMA-1.

    Here's the setup: Pen E-PM1 > EMA-1 mic input > Church Audio 9v battery box (mic power) > Church Audio CAFS Omni stereo mini mics. I held the battery box next to the camera in my left hand and placed the mics over my ears. I'm very pleased with the audio reproduction, and is setup resulted in no audio clipping, even at close range of the speakers when the music was loud enough to feel the bass. I'll post a link once I get it cut up and uploaded somewhere.
     
  18. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The biggest problem with all of the DSLRs shooting video is the poor audio. If the camera has stereo mics they are so small and so close together that they are no better than a single mono would have been. Cheap camcorders have the same issue.

    If you want good sound you have to use a good mic , no way around it. They make digital audio recorders with built in mics and they work much better than the camera's mics but the best solution is a true mic that feeds into the camera's mic input{if it has one} or records to an audio recorder. I have a Tascam DR100 and run xlr mics to it. Works great but it is cumbersome and an added expense.

    You will have to sync your audio to your video if you use a separate audio recorder. The cheap and easy way is to clap your hands together in front of the lens. There are also cheap iPad/iPhone apps that you can use. I have one on my iPad and use it all the time.
     
  19. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
  20. Jez

    Jez New to Mu-43

    9
    Oct 1, 2012