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Martin Matěj

Camera Gain setting question and cheapest recorder with automix

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Hello,

i wanted to ask if there is difference between setting gain on my camera to -12 db and then boosting the gain while editing in fcpx if the sound is not loud enough or just trying to set the gain in camera so the peaks are somewhere between -12 db and -6 db? 

 

and I also wanted to ask what would be the cheapest recorder with automix feature? Is the zoom f8n the “cheapest” way?

thanks

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47 minutes ago, Martin Matěj said:

i wanted to ask if there is difference between setting gain on my camera to -12 db and then boosting the gain while editing in fcpx if the sound is not loud enough or just trying to set the gain in camera so the peaks are somewhere between -12 db and -6 db? 

When you record a sound it gets digitised, and the quieter it is when it is digitised the lower the quality is, even after you boost the gain in post.  So this would suggest that you try and keep the levels up during recording.  

However, sound levels jump around with huge variations, and if you clip a sound (where the sound goes above 100% or 0dB) then that data is clipped and lost forever, so that's an argument for keeping the levels down while recording.

In practice, there's a sweet spot in the middle where the risk of clipping a sudden loud sound is low, and the quality loss is also very low.  This is why there are rules of thumb like keep your loudest peaks around -12 or -6 or whatever.  

Hope that makes sense :)

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5 hours ago, Martin Matěj said:

i wanted to ask if there is difference between setting gain on my camera to -12 db and then boosting the gain while editing in fcpx if the sound is not loud enough

If you're running your levels very low then you'll be in post pulling up high the inherent noise floor in your equipment as well. 

However, with modern pro audio equipment there is much less of a risk in "recording too low" than there was in the distant past. (not like say when they had to recorder to tape or 8bit, and had only a very narrow margin between peaking and the noise floor below)

 

5 hours ago, Martin Matěj said:

and I also wanted to ask what would be the cheapest recorder with automix feature? Is the zoom f8n the “cheapest” way?


Yes, the Zoom F8n is the cheapest method if buying new. 

Although the discontinued Zoom F8 would be even cheaper if buying secondhand. 

However if you're going to be very very heavily relying upon Automix (perhaps for a regular live segment for instance) then you should consider instead the Sound Devices 688 with Dugan Automix

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