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a few technical questions
Old 24th March 2003
  #1
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hollywood_steve's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question a few technical questions

Hey,

I've been contacted with a possible offer of some work recording the audio for live band video productions. This is not anything that I have done before or even considered, so I want to do a little research before I even begin any discussions. A few preliminary questions.

*Assuming that the videos are shot on video (not film), what are the most common formats used for both 1) tracking, and 2) final delivery of product?

*Any sort of live band video will require a PA system and their typical shoots take place on a "showcase" stage that includes a decent PA. On most types of location recording, there are often two mixes, one for the live audience and another for the recording. But when the only purpose of the PA system is to facilitate the video production, there is no need for a separate room mix, is there?

*what is the most widely accepted method of sync'ing audio to video for live music videos?

I hate coming off as such a blatant "newbie" but when it comes to video production, that's what I am. I'd appreciate any responses to these questions. Thanks.

steve
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Old 25th March 2003
  #2
Gear Nut
 
gregrw's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Take all this with grains of salt, as I really haven't done video, other than duplication...

> what are the most common formats used for both 1) tracking, and

For video, it was Betacam SP a few years ago. That may have switched to DV or DVCam (neither to be confused with DVD.)

For audio, I think DA-88 was always the prefered choice. Note that video people prefer the 16-bit format with timecode...so the DA-38, DA-78hr and ADAT are out. The DA-88 and DA-98 (NOT DA-98hr) are preferred. But then, if you're mixing it yourself, I suppose any format that wil chase SMPTE is fine.

> 2) final delivery of product?

Probably the same as above. I know that some stuff would be shot on Betacam SP, dumped into an Avid or Media 100 and then dubbed to Digital Betacam. Audio would be mixed from whatever the multitrack format was into 2 tracks of the DigiBeta. For a surround mix, use a 16-bit DA-88 with SMPTE.

>Any sort of live band video will require a PA system

Yup. And an audience.

> and their typical shoots take place on a "showcase" stage that includes a decent PA.

I haven't done it, but this makes sense.

> On most types of location recording, there are often two mixes, one for the live audience and another for the recording.

In a perfect world, sure. In my world, I run the P.A., monitors and recording. But then, I'm in my own little world! :-)

> But when the only purpose of the PA system is to facilitate the video production, there is no need for a separate room mix, is there?

I see what you're saying. But I would think you'd want a P.A. and audience, so that the energy of a live performance is captured on tape. So I'd say hire a good P.A. company and promote the show so that there is a good-sized crowd.

> what is the most widely accepted method of sync'ing audio to video for live music videos?

SMPTE, I would imagine. In the USA, it would be 29.97 fps. (I don't know if that is the dropframe, or non or what. That stuff always confused me!) In Europe, 25. For film, 24.

Maybe someone else can fill in any details. Best of luck!

-GRW
Old 26th March 2003
  #3
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Steve,

Well, first off, you're asking all the right questions. That's key to any production.

The most common format used in audio for video is the DTRS system. The delivery format can be DTRS for stem mixing (5.1, etc), or TC DAT or mix to the video media itself.

The band will only need a monitor rig, if there isn't an audience. Don't bother with a full PA system if you don't need it. You could use the PA system to facilitate the audio for video mix but, you are better off setting up in a separate mix in a room away from the band if you want to optimize your tracking potential. Not to say, you cannot do it in the room with the band, it's much better to know what you got when you're tracking, then to deal with it after the fact.

Usually you would get SMPTE TC (most of the time it's 29.97 DF) and video black aka house sync (if recording to digital audio) from the video folks. You could record the TC or pre strip the proper TC and have the audio record machines chase the video TC. You may not want to do that if you're worried about the TC you're getting from the video department. Jam synching comes to mind as a possible alternative. Remember to set the DTRS TC correctly. because the DTRS machines will not record the TC if it isn't the exact frame rate, et cetera, etc.

Like Greg stated, Betacam SP is (was) a standard format for video. Digi-Beta is a popular format. DVCAM is becoming more and more popular with the projects I'm working on. I have and use a Sony DSR1500 DVCAM deck on all my video projects.

There's some truth to the use of the DA88 over other types of DTRS, but 24 bit 48K or better is not a bad step towards DVD production, etc. We use DA98HRs, DA78HRs, DA88s. ProTools and the MX2424 is another way to do about it.

If there isn't an audience, don't bother with the PA system and concentrate on making the band's monitors sound awesome, unless you want to create a huge sound in the room to be captured by your room mics!

I hope this helped and good luck with your discussions.
Old 7th April 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
The answer to your questions really depends on the quality and budget the performer demands.

I have done video stuff where I furnish a live to two mix and that is it. For multi-track stuff, half the video people I've worked with just jam sync at the end. I worked a big 3 camera shoot (where they ran tc for themselves) a couple years back for a PBS documentary of a performing organization. We ran multitrack and a live stereo mix. At the end, they just wanted a DAT of the live mix. Didn't even care about timecode.

When I must rely on sync, I like to use a hard disc recorder. Set to chase and leave it alone... Its the easiest thing out there. My usual for this is the Tascam 2424. I find that if you are doing audio post, most of the vidiots out there want timestamped files that have been outputed from your DAW. This sometimes means OMF, or OpenTL EDLs or SDII or BWAV. That way they don't need to load anything in to their rig in real time. They'd rather have files that they can drag and drop in to their project.

Cameras: Most people use video. The really good folks still use BetaSP or even DigiBeta. The lower-end folks I've seen are using DV cameras like the Canon XL-1.

Make sure your PA and monitors are kept under control. Audience mics can be made useless by a bad FOH mix. If the monitors are feeding back, this will also ruin the recording (and I've seen both happen).

Good luck.

--Ben
Old 9th April 2003
  #5
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I think DA-88 was always the prefered choice. Note that video people prefer the 16-bit format with timecode...so the DA-38, DA-78hr and ADAT are out
For the record, A DA 78 will lock to time code, as well as record TC to its own TC track. It will also record at 16 bit. Same goes for the DA 98 HR.
Old 9th April 2003
  #6
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
One more thing, A very cool thing to do with multi - track dates is to have an "extra" DAxx deck synced up and record stem mixes to it. Stereo Voxs, Stereo Drums and Bass, Stereo Ban,Stereo Ambience, or whatever. It can make for a very cool "safety" or quick ruff mix tape. Two days later when the client wants all the footage, with no ambience, or with the vocals up or down, you do not need to re set up an entire mix, just pop the tape in one machiene and an 8 channel mixer, do an offset and you are running.. why tie up 5 decs and your main console for half a day when one DA and a 8 channel "wackie or better" strapped to a CD burner will do?
Old 9th April 2003
  #7
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That's an excellent idea!

I use a DA98HR as my stem mix and it's also the lead DTRS, handling the TC and video sync. Tracks 1 thru 48+ is on the DA78HRs or whatever SMPTE TC recorder you're using.
Old 10th April 2003
  #8
Gear Nut
 
gregrw's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Smith
For the record, A DA 78 will lock to time code, as well as record TC to its own TC track. It will also record at 16 bit. Same goes for the DA 98 HR.
Very true. However...how to say this gracefully...I think we've all worked with our share of video people. Some of them, though not all, have indeed earned the name "vidiots." If a soundman showed up with something other than a DA-88, the video people might freak out. Or, handing over a 24-bit DTRS tape, which will then be inserted into a 16-bit machine will only cause grave confusion. ("Why won't your tape play on my DA-88? Damn soundmen!!!")

Food for thought...

-GRW
Old 10th April 2003
  #9
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Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Even though I prefer to use DA88s when my clients need a 16bit recording, why not use the DA78HR @ 16bit?
Old 10th April 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
According to Tascam, the DA-78 truncates at 16 bits... I've considered this as I think that the DA-78 all in all has pretty good sounding converters (I think it sounds better than the MX 2424).

When I was going to do a gig at 16 bit, I called Tascam and that is what they told me. You may consider using external converters if you want to work at 16 bits. Then again, many of those these days truncate as well (the Panasonic WZ-AD96 is a perfect example).

--Ben
Old 10th April 2003
  #11
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wildplum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
"According to Tascam, the DA-78 truncates at 16 bits... "

I think you were given bad information. The DA-78 truncates only if you don't turn on its dither function. It will dither to 16 bits. It also allows a choice of two kinds of dither. I own three of them and can verify that its dither function does work.
Old 10th April 2003
  #12
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Exactly.
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