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Video with Loud Sounds Possible on EPM-1

Discussion in 'Video to Share' started by atomic, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    My first video share...

    This recording was taken on Nov 26th on Fremont St in Las Vegas of a loud amplified cover band (Arena). Unlike my prior attempts with the E-PM1 built in mics, I'm pleased with the audio quality. The internal mics are easily overloaded causing nasty distortion (clipping) that ruins the entire video. Using an external mic adapter and a good set of powered mics, the levels are kept in check (no clipping) even at this loud rock show. I'm about 10-15 feet from the stage.

    Focus drops out more than I'd like with the 20mm, I'm not sure I'd do any better focusing manually so close to the camera body. Any tips (technique or equipment) in this thread are appreciated.

    Here's my setup: PEN E-PM1 + Panasonic 20mm (AF) + EMA-1 hotshoe external mic adapter + Church Audio UBB Battery Box (mic power) + Church Audio CAFS Omni mini stereo mics.

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKwiMkh80wQ]Arena (band) - Bad Medicine - Fremont Street Las Vegas - YouTube[/ame]
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For any video where quality is important, always use manual focus. The only cameras which Autofocus well with video are camcorders. I used to shoot video professionally, and never once have I used or owned a "real" video camera which even has any kind of AF. There's a reason for that. ;)

    Yes, I agree that the 20mm is definitely not the ideal lens for manual focus. However, it's still going to be better than anything that the camera can do. Remember that video is still recording AS you are focusing, unlike a still photo. When you focus, you need to be direct and exact, going straight to focus rather than hunting back and forth until you find focus like a CDAF system does. Manual focus and a bit of practice will allow you to do this. When you zoom in and out, you should be able to naturally re-focus along with the zoom at the same rate. Practice this a while on your own before you take the camera out on the field. In actuality, it's not so much a focusing technique as much as a zoom technique. Most people know how to manually focus, but not being used to zooming smoothly and in time with focus is where most people need practice.

    Other than the focus though, your video looks and sounds great!
     
  3. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Good job Atomic, the video looks good and sounds great. Like Ned said, manual focus would be ideal. Since I don't own one, not sure how responsive the 20mm be. You could do a test video, try turning on C-AF+TR. I would be interested in the results with the combo you're using.
     
  4. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    Thanks for the tips guys! It will be a while before I get back to Vegas to try it out there, and free outdoor concerts are rare here, especially in winter. I'll practice with manual focus and try out those settings next time I get to record a show.
     
  5. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I don't know if the EPM1 is the same in this respect but the EPL1 has horrible recording quality. I don't know why, when it is PCM 44.1khz 16 bit they should have done something to it that completely messes up the recording. Using the internal mic it applies an idiotically configured limiting/compression system that the user has no control over.
    Whilst atomic has done well to avoid the clipping issue and the audio achieves its most important goals, the audio quality in the posted video is not 'great'. It might be fine for what you want.
    One possible audio solution - Olympus' LS series of hand holdable recorders with built in mics are very good and not tooo expensive. Zoom do a similar thing that are good value. Might not be easy to use along with holding the camera though.
    From a single point among the crowd you might not get a 'hi-fi' recording whatever you do.
     
  6. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    Actually, the Olympus LS and Zoom recorders would give better level control and a higher bitrate, but the audio reproduction would be no more accurate - at least using the built in mics. I am not trying to attain studio clarity or professional soundboard matrix sound. I am looking to recreate what it sounds like to a member of the audience in the location that I stand. For that, this setup sounds "great" to my ears. Sure, if you do the audio equvalent of pixel peaking you may find issues in the final product as compressed for realtime web playback on YouTube, but that is not a fault of the camera or the setup, it's a compromise to allow sharing with a wider audience.
     
  7. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    652
    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    I don't disagree with any of what you say. There's more factors than just the YouTube sound mangler though. I expect there is some sort of limiter/compressor stuff going on in the EPM1 (or does it bypass that if an external mic is used?) and if you can't control that then permanently adding any processing that you can't control isn't ideal. The levels lurch about in a manner typical of insensitive dynamic processing - although some of this could be the PA.
    Like I sort of said you might not get a better sound in that situation.
    And of course you are at the mercy of the sound being made.
    And I don't know what anyone is listening to this through, I have quite a good route from my computer to my ears.
     
  8. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    224
    Nov 3, 2011
    Alright Spuff, you've got my curiousity. I've been listening subjectively to the recording through a pair os Sennheiser HD555s with my aging aural passsages and I haven't noticed what you are referring to. I do know that the internal mics have dynamic level control (which fails miserably against loud music), but I didn't notice the levels wandering with the SEMA-1. Perhaps now that you have brought it to my attention I will notice it more next time I listen. I haven't got time to do this immediately, bit when I get some time I will extract the audio from the avchd without altering it (if I can find a way to do this) and we can look at the waveforms and see what is going on. I would like to know, for instance, if the E-PM1 is doing more to mess with my audio than a GH2/3 would... Or for that matter an OM-D or EPL-5... This might influence my next body purchase (even if I don't hear the differences, others may).

    Quite honestly, though, I am quite pleased with the results I am getting, regardless of any technical flaws I may discover. It is hard to find single cam audience shot youtube videos with audio that sounds as good. While I have more experience with live audio recording than photo/videography I am certainly an amateur/hobbyist on both counts. For what I am doing, taking web clips to accompany articles on my blog, this setup is certainly good enough.