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Re: Church sound

On Sun, 2009-03-15 at 11:02 -0700, jdow wrote:
> You even have problems when recording if you have a little Logitech
> style video camera and a microphone to the computer input. The audio
> will drift away from the video causing loss of lip sync with remarkable
> rapidity.

Ooh, but that's amongst my pet hates for digital video!  The number of
times I've had to put up with something out of lipsync...  It's
distracting, and makes it very hard to lipread.  Everybody does it, to
some degree.  It's how you tell apart some similar sounding words.

I'm sure if we could see the person voicing the adverts on our local TV
station for "national (channel) nine news at six (pm)," we wouldn't all
by thinking we heard him say "national nine nudes at six," this past
fortnight.  That's been highly amusing to some of us, but trying to work
out what someone's saying in the middle of a speech really throws off
your concentration.

Computer editing may be quite nifty for some things, but I find it
really falls apart when you have to edit anything lengthy.  Lipsync is
something that really suffers, in that regards.  The other being how
slow the whole thing can be to work with when its having to manage that
many gigabytes of data.  The average home PC isn't too bad for editing
video shorts, but you need to beef up a system quite expensively to make
it nice to work on a production that's an hour long, or more.

>> The benefit of standalone video gear is generally that it "just works".
>> There's no fiddling around trying to figure out what to do with the
>> software, which of the gazillion options you need or should never use.
>> No time consuming importing and rendering.

> Use a firewire connection from a real camera with microphones attached.
> Or use SDI video connections with embeded or AES/EBU digital audio that
> has been properly synchronized with the video at the source. Otherwise
> you'll look like the crumby YouTube videos with unsynchronized audio and
> video.

I've generally found analogue into a DVD/HDD recorder to work quite
well.  Bad equipment not withstanding, but with hundreds of hours of
video recorded that way, I've not encountered it.  Certain playback
devices, on the other hand, can throw lipsync out on perfectly synced
original material.

But on the digital side, sometimes you'll find a camera and recorder
that doesn't work well when you connect them via firewire (glitches
every now and then, or the recorder continues to complain that there's
nothing connected, or wants to control the cameras's VCR rather than
just record the video out).  I haven't found a good reason for it, I
think it's just another of those strange compatibility issues, and
manufacturers trying to make "too helpful" technology.

Of course, once you get into this sort of thing, it's quite easy to hook
two cameras up to a recorder, and live switch between them.  Which makes
things far less boring to watch, and gives you a way out of some filming
difficulties (e.g. simply switch to a wide shot, rather than fumble
around trying to follow someone in closeup when you don't have a super
tripod; or switching to the input signal for a video projection, rather
than filming off a screen, as someone uses a visual aid during their
speech).  Likewise, if you have a sound system, you can record mixed
audio, rather than take it from one source which might be in the worst
place possible to record from (e.g. the camera mike, or a mike on one
person who does the main speaking, but isn't the sole source of audio).
That sort of thing's easy to do in the analogue domain.

>> But, if you're /that good/ at producing a recording, in the first place,
>> that you don't need to edit.  And you're an organisation that sells off
>> quite a few copies of your recordings.  Having a bank of five DVD
>> recorders patched up to your camera means that you can record live, and
>> distribute several discs straight away.  I've seen churches that do that
>> sort of thing.  The operators need to know little more than how to start
>> and stop recording.

> That's a good way to capture your edit source, too, if you record 420
> or better. But that uses a lot of disk fast if you are trying to do HD.
> Of course, HD is not "zero budget" so I presume you're using SD. For
> NTSC that bogeys out to about 2.5 megabytes an hour for 422 video plus
> some modest amount for the audio.

I think you mean gigabytes...  And truly high-def does that in minutes,
not hours.  And therein lay another problem with using a computer:  Hard
drives fill up very rapidly with video data.  You want a whopping great
big one to accommodate recording *and* editing.  And even bigger if
you're likely to leave last weeks recording on file to be worked on next

Unless you have a need for HD, and a means a way to give your viewers HD
on a format that they can watch in HD (which precludes ordinary DVDs),
then there's little point to it.  Sure, if you have a special occasion
that you want to archive for posterity, do it.  But ordinarily, for
simple video production, keep everything in the same format (same
definition input, recording, any editing, and duplications).

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