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Quick AUDIO fix question (post production)


Turboguard
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On 2/4/2019 at 8:31 PM, Adam Kuźniar said:

How about you post the issue and your fix for someone else to find in the future if they encounter it again? 

THIS!

I hate it when people edit threads to remove info. 

You never know when it might be useful to someone else (or even yourself!) in the future. 

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In the interest of making this thread useful (and not feeling the need to start a new one) @IronFilm Do you know of an inline preamp that has 3.5mm in and 3.5mm out? The 3.5mm input on the p4k is really quiet. For scratch audio, I've been trying to use the cheap and cheerful Rode Videomicro, but even with BM's new firmware that supposedly lifts that input 6db, it's still maxing out around -18db.

I'd love a device the size of an AAA battery that just adds some power.

I'm aware that mic needs plug-on power, which is why it's so quiet. But there must be a device that can provide that power between the camera and the mic.

Kind of like this, but 3.5mm instead of XLR (and obviously no phantom power)

IK_multimedia_irig_pre_microfoon_voorver

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I'm trying to keep the kit small for some hand held stuff. So while I do have the VMP,  which has it's own preamp, I'd like to only use the micro. 

The headphone amplifiers you mention look like they'll get the job done. I also saw this, for quite a bit more, but it comes with a lav, and has 2 inputs so could be nice. It adds 20db to your source.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Saramonic-Lavalier-Microphone-Smartphones-Camcorders/dp/B07MBC6248/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1549440568&sr=8-2-fkmr0&keywords=LavMic+Premium+Miniature+Audio+Mixer+with+Lavalier+Microphone+Kit+for+DSLRs%2C

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Just now, Anaconda_ said:

I'm trying to keep the kit small for some hand held stuff. So while I do have the VMP,  which has it's own preamp, I'd like to only use the micro. 

The headphone amplifiers you mention look like they'll get the job done.

The Rode Micro plus 3.5mm pre amp will likely be as big if not even bigger than just getting a Rode VMP

 

1 minute ago, Anaconda_ said:

I haven't had a great experience with Saramonic as a brand, but they're dirt cheap enough not to care if it doesn't work out for you. 

 

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That's why I'm wondering if there's one the size of an AAA battery a sits inline. It'll add only a touch of weight. The Saramonic, or the ones you've mentioned, can also be velcrod to the underside of the camera, so the size addition would be minimal.

Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.

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For anyone else reading this who is looking for an external preamp and wants more features than the headphone amps as previously mentioned (I wanted a -20dB safety track), my advice would be that if you only want a single shotgun mic to just get a Rode VMP instead of mucking around with those external mic-preamps.

I bought the Beachtek Dxa-Micro-Pro to use with my XC10 and Rode Video Micro and to keep the setup small and flexible.  I didn't want to be buying disposable 9V batteries for it all the time (both for cost as well as environmental reasons) so I did the research and got the biggest capacity rechargeable 9V batteries, didn't know how many batteries it would use but I figured it was more than two a day so searched the earth for a 9V charger with more than two slots.  

I was getting battery life of sometimes only 15 minutes, sometimes more, but I didn't know if it was the Beachtek, the batteries, or the charger.  I did tests and kept notes by recording time lapses with my phone that included a clock.  The battery shop blamed the charger so I bought one from them and discovered it wasn't the charger.  Then I found some anecdotal accounts of what the battery life was and realised that I was getting about what I should have been.  What I didn't know through all this was that the battery life on this thing is abysmal, and this was even without it sending phantom power to the XLR.  The Rode VMP+ gets something like 19 hours from its single rechargeable battery, and I was getting something like an hour or two.  So, for my shoots I would have to have been carting around maybe half-a-dozen batteries, a large charger, and the Beachtek.

In the end I just bought a VMP+ and had a smaller, lighter, simpler setup that I don't have to fuss with, and it charges over USB!

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38 minutes ago, kye said:

I bought the Beachtek Dxa-Micro-Pro to use with my XC10 and Rode Video Micro and to keep the setup small and flexible.  I didn't want to be buying disposable 9V batteries for it all the time (both for cost as well as environmental reasons) so I did the research and got the biggest capacity rechargeable 9V batteries, didn't know how many batteries it would use but I figured it was more than two a day so searched the earth for a 9V charger with more than two slots.  

 

If anybody wants cheap but decent quality rechargeable 9V batteries then buy Soshine 9V direct from China, after much experimentation, it is what I ended up settling on to power all my older Lectrosonics gear

40 minutes ago, kye said:

In the end I just bought a VMP+ and had a smaller, lighter, simpler setup that I don't have to fuss with, and it charges over USB!

Agreed, you should have just gone straight to the VMP

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13 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Agreed, you should have just gone straight to the VMP

At the time I was contemplating going for a Mid-Side configuration so I could record the isolation of a shotgun mic and the ambience of a stereo pair at the same time, so I would have needed two mics to both be powered, so it made sense from that perspective.

The VMP is kind of a compromise in that sense, although having a safety track has saved by butt more than once.  

Actually, I've been meaning to ask you - is there an in-line attenuator that you'd recommend that only attenuates one channel?  I've found that the safety track attenuation from the VMP+ isn't sufficient sometimes and I'd like it to be quieter.  IIRC the VMP+ safety channel is 20dB down, so maybe something like 40dB down?  I'd rather have a quiet and slightly noisier safety track than one that has clipped, so I'm willing to trade-off quality for safety on my safety track if that makes sense.

If there isn't one you'd recommend then I'll have to just make one, but the DIY connectors etc tend to be bulky so a professionally made one would be nicer :)    Either if there's a standard safety track attenuator that attenuates the already attenuated signal from the VMP+, or one that has a huge attenuation on it and I turn the VMP+ to both channels just being normal levels.

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22 hours ago, kye said:

If there isn't one you'd recommend then I'll have to just make one, but the DIY connectors etc tend to be bulky so a professionally made one would be nicer :) 

DIY would be smaller. Split the mono to stereo, attach a resistor to one, then wire a stereo jack at the end for the camera input. 

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I missed that some people actually wanted to see what I was up to with this thread. So I’ll try to make this quick, cause it might not be super interesting.

I shot a 2.5h long performance of Cabaret on Jan 30th. I didn’t know I had to do audio but see my set up below for scratch audio. Anyway, their own audio station broke down and they didn’t record sound for me. On top of that through out the whole performance 70% of the cast’s lavs wouldn’t work. (It was a small intimate place so for being there watching it, I don’t think anyone really cared). Anyway, because of this, I tried my best to watch audio meters on the P4K jumping between 80-100% through out the show. 

 

So bla bla, next day, because their own audio was non-exsistent I had to use my own for the final delivery, and in my DAW the wave form was all over the place obviously. So my question for this thread was

 

“Is there an easy way to make the lows and highs just normalize towards say -12dB?”

 

I know “normalize” might not be the correct term here.

 

Anyway, I ended up just going through the whole file manually adjusting volume. Then cleaning it up and mastering it. It took a few hours but yeah, it’s done now. 

2C3A2B33-2DD3-409C-8401-F177784F1E09.jpeg

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I am not sure why most suggesting Rode mics for cold shoe mics.

The best solution for me and my use is the MKE 440, plain and simple.

Then the MKE400 for lower (and smaller) and Azden DMX-30 for higher (and a dual purpose, as it is stereo/mono switchable) are very good solutions.

The VideoMicro is the one Rode I own, great for the money, but with a ton of limitations that most people do not even realize.

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9 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I am not sure why most suggesting Rode mics for cold shoe mics.

The best solution for me and my use is the MKE 440, plain and simple.

Then the MKE400 for lower (and smaller) and Azden DMX-30 for higher (and a dual purpose, as it is stereo/mono switchable) are very good solutions.

The VideoMicro is the one Rode I own, great for the money, but with a ton of limitations that most people do not even realize.

I bought this mic years ago (2012-13 maybe?), it’s an NTG2 and was on flash sale at BH. Again, not an audio guy so used it for scratch for the OG pocket back then. 

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3 minutes ago, Turboguard said:

I bought this mic years ago (2012-13 maybe?), it’s an NTG2 and was on flash sale at BH. Again, not an audio guy so used it for scratch for the OG pocket back then. 

It is a good and cheap solution, even better than the ones presented here, but..

..I was reffering to Rode Video series mics, great when first produced, but there are many solutions for in camera cold shoe mics these days, with unique, or better, characteristics.

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9 hours ago, Kisaha said:

It is a good and cheap solution, even better than the ones presented here, but..

..I was reffering to Rode Video series mics, great when first produced, but there are many solutions for in camera cold shoe mics these days, with unique, or better, characteristics.

I went down a several-hundred-dollar dead end before switching to Rode.  I'm sure there are alternatives that are better, but considering the Rode VMP range has been battle-tested by the vloggers the world over, and the VMP+ update basically addressed every issue that vloggers had, Rode seems like the safe choice.   Plus with 19 hour battery life, if you can charge it daily then you can turn it on when you wake up and still have it available all day without having to carry extra batteries.

It even turns on and off automatically, so apart from charging it I basically don't even think about it.  I couldn't have bought any other mic and had that certainty.

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