The Movi and Sound Recording

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rorick Edge, Jun 10, 2018.

  1. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    There are a good number of people who want to use the Movi with a mike mounted on a Movi Hoodie to record both image and sound at the same time.

    Having tried it, I want to explain why I’ve decided to completely separate Movi image capture and sound recording and to stop using the Hoodie.

    I’ve found that almost invariably I want to capture image and record sound from different positions.

    For example, yesterday I used the Movi at a NY subway station. The shots that I made with the Movi + a mike mounted on the Hoodie resulted in sound that was far too diffuse/directionless/muddy.

    Recording station announcements with my mike close to platform speakers or speakers inside a car, and subway doors opening and closing with the mike a couple of feet away from the doors, made a huge difference in quality. So did recording the sound of incoming and departing trains with two mikes in stereo.

    Similarly, if I am recording a subway musician, or indeed any musician, I want to be able to move around with the Movi, but I want the mike in one place, which means on a tripod of some kind, even if it’s a Joby GorillaPod.

    Another example. Some time ago, I recorded a scene in front of a NY church, while the church bells were ringing, a few feet from a busy street. The sound of vehicles on the street destroyed the scene. So I went back on a quieter day and recorded the bells, well down a side street. I also took that recording into audio editing software and cut everything below 200Hz, which got rid of NY low frequency sounds but was below the frequency of the church bells. Yes, this took some effort, but it made a huge difference, especially given that I was adding narration on top.

    Another example. I shot a scene that included a lighthouse in fog and its foghorn half a mile away. The on-camera sound sucked. I went out to the lighthouse and recorded the audio used in the shot about 30 feet from the lighthouse. Again, a huge difference.

    My conclusion is that video sound, like video image, has to be created rather than passively recorded.

    Speaking of tripods, I may use the Movi as a tripod replacement in some situations, but I’m not sold on using a mike on the Hoodie even then. If I’m doing an interview, I want to be using either a mike on a boom or a lavalier, not a mike on the Movi, which is guaranteed to result in inferior sound.

    On the question of mike to subject distance for interviews and vloggers, Mark Wallace has made a couple of quite good videos for Adorama’s YouTube channel, in which he demonstrates the clear sound advantages of getting the mike next to the person talking rather than the camera.

    For me, the problem gets worse when one is talking about recording directly to an iPhone to an app like Filmic Pro. A stand alone recorder, even a fairly inexpensive one, offers both noticeably better audio quality and more control over the recording.

    Basically, I’ve decided that I want the Movi to do a great job of recording video, period.

    Of course, I’m just expressing my personal conclusions in this post, knowing that there are many who disagree. I’d be delighted if others post on this subject. New Movi users may find various perspectives helpful.

    Cheers

    P.S. If you’re interested in vlogging, check out Nelson Sullivan’s work from the mid-1980s, who may have invented the idea. You’ll even run into some footage of Ru Paul, who I don’t know anything about except that almost 40 years later she is apparently famous. Link here: https://www.youtube.com/user/5ninthavenueproject

    And if you’re interested in where the idea of vloggjng came from conceptually, check out a 1967 fictional documentary called David Holzman’s Diary; https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Holzman's_Diary
     
    #1 Rorick Edge, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  2. Darrin Altman

    Darrin Altman Member

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    Hey Rorick, hope you’re well. Good thoughts on audio. Back in my past life I would be doing it just like you say. I never used a mic connected to my camera. I was thrown a screwball and need assistance getting around now. So the hoodie and mic connected to my iPhone is the only practical solution.

    I believe you use Filmic Pro. I have the iPhone X and I’m using the Rode Videomicro. I have the sc7 cable going to the Apple lightning adapter to my iPhone. What settings should I be using to get the best quality audio? Up until now I have only used the default settings. PCM I believe. I also see options for which mic on the iPhone. I’m under the impression that once I plug in the Rode, that is used?? Thanks for any advice.
     
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  3. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi Darrin,

    First, I want to say that I think your video on Huntington Beach in the Showcase forum makes it pretty clear that you know a lot more than most of us. I’m most comfortable with sound and I have a lot to learn on the video side.

    In Filmic Pro, I go to Audio Settings and choose PCM/WAV 48kHz.

    I’m finding that if I plug in a mike to the Lightning connection, Filmic Pro selects it by default. You can confirm this by going into Filmic Pro Settings > Audio, where you can choose the audio source. Your Rode mike should show as an option, and if it is plugged in it is probably already selected by default.
     
    #3 Rorick Edge, Jun 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  4. Darrin Altman

    Darrin Altman Member

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    Thanks Rorick. I guess by default I have the best settings. BTW, you are too kind. I did have my own professional video production company about 10 years ago and did a lot of fun and good work. I just try to have fun now. Thank goodness for the Movi and iPhone video quality. My cameras and equipment 10 years ago needed a production van to be carried around, and now I'm getting really good quality video with gear I hold in a small Peak Design bag. Amazing really.
     
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  5. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I think your opinion is very valid, Rorick -- it's a bit like using the nose mic on a pro level video camera -- it's good for nat sound (aka ambient sound) but not really the best for getting the sound required for post.

    So I know several professional TV videographers and they would never dream of NOT using the nose mic for nat sound, but also never dream of not using "second system" recording for the audio they know they'll need when it comes to the editing suite.

    I keep thinking, "Wow....the iPhone is really intended to be a phone but it does so much more" -- but clearly it has its limitations and audio recording is one of them. Even with a Lightning to X (where X might be a Senn MKE 400), it's always going to be a nose mic and not the same as a Senn MKH 416 on a boom with a competent sound guy recording on a Sound Devices 788T-SSD.

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
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  6. John Woody

    John Woody Member

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    Very interesting thread. Learning is fun. Thought I would chime in. To me the Movi is my independent tool for gathering great shots. It’s small and relatively cheap compared to my old pro equipment. Matched with iPhone X it allows me to go everywhere, stay out of the way, gather my 4K shots and have fun in the edit room with my lazy cat! I have had pretty good success with my Sennheiser MKE 400 and my expensive Sony wireless system. Again... it’s all me, no other crew member or assist, just me. Over the years my lovely Beatrice (best wife ever) has gripped for me especially holding the Sony XLR Transmitter with my Sennheiser shotgun. Just can’t pay her enough though!

    As you may have heard I use Mavis camera app. The controls including mic settings like matching mic polar specs is handy. But as a shooter using false color, zebras, focus peaks, on-screen scopes while recording are really so similar to what i used with my pro cameras.

    To me... getting a decent shot, getting decent and usuable sound... all by myself... a one person run and gun shooter... is paramount. As by publisher/marketing wiz daughter reminded me the other day...”dad... your videos are too long! Make them less than one minute and ready for Instagram!” Geez... all that trouble for a odd shaped short video on a social media platform!

    My two cents.

    John Woody
    https://vimeo.com/channels/iedithd/103764341
     
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  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi John,

    I plan to try making an Instagram video. A one minute limit sounds like a fun challenge.

    Also, about a week ago the Wall Street Journal said that Instagram may soon increase allowed length up to as much as an hour.
     
    #7 Rorick Edge, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  8. John Woods

    John Woods New Member

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    I’m very interested in filming live music and wonder how to set up a mic (remote?) to get the best sound. Do you do this wirelessly? Is it going to a separate file? If so how / where do you sync it up with the vid?

    Newbie guy here to the Movi and audio / video do be gentle.
     
  9. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi,

    What do you currently have in terms of gear to do this and what kind of music do you want to record?
     
    #9 Rorick Edge, Jun 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I use a Sennheiser SKP 300 G3 connected to a Sennheiser MK 416, then just the normal lav mic receiver EW100 ENG G3 receiver.
    See e.g. https://www.avshop.ca/sound-amp-pa-...MI8MznvqXN2wIVRGB-Ch1J-w2EEAQYAiABEgLkAfD_BwE (I'm up in Canada on vacation, hence the .ca link).

    The output of the receiver can either be to an XLR connector, or a high-impedance TRS jack.

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
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  11. John Woods

    John Woods New Member

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    So far, an iPhone X, Movi with a Moment wide lens. So looking for advice on a setup and / or workflow. This is just a fun hobby, not a career. Thanks!
     
  12. John Woods

    John Woods New Member

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    Thanks, I’ll check it out!
     
  13. John Woody

    John Woody Member

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    Hi John,

    Are you planning to shoot mostly acoustical musicians? Or full electric bands? Or both! I like a fun hobby career!

    John Woody
     
  14. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I should mention that mic'ing a group of musicians can be quite tricky -- books have been written about the subject -- the last time I did it (way out in the boreal forest of Saskatchewan, don't ask...) I used eight Sennheiser lav mics clipped to various things each with its own transmitter and receiver feeding into separate channels of a Sound Devices 788T with pre-mixer.

    If you're just looking for a general sound from the group, then a good omni mic works pretty well, but your results may vary.

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  15. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi John,

    I think that the key here is to record to a device that has its own analogue to digital converter, which converts the microphone’s analogue signal to a digital signal, and its own preamp. This sidesteps the converter and preamp in a smartphone or other camera, which is the single biggest thing that you can do to improve audio quality.

    The cheapest solution is a Zoom or Tascam portable recorder. These sell for US$100 to $250 depending on features. These recorders have come a long way in recent years and they come with built-in microphones. The built-in mikes are OK, and you can purchase and plug in your own mike if you decide at some point that you want to use a higher quality microphone.

    The next level is an audio interface that connects to a laptop computer or to an iOS device such as an iPad, iPhone or iPod. Examples include the Apogee One (US$250) and Apogee Duet, which will work with both computers and, with a connector, iOS devices. Apogee has an excellent reputation in the audio recording world. The Apogee One has a built-in microphone and you can also use your own mike. If you don’t need to connect to an iOS device, but only to a laptop, there are many more audio interfaces you can use, at a variety of prices, by companies like Focusrite, RME, Sound Devices, etc. These all require you to use your own mike. If you record to a laptop, GarageBand, which if I recall is free, is fine as recording software. It is basically a simplified and less confusing version of Logic Pro X, which is an industry standard but also has a significant learning curve. GarageBand is completely adequate for your purposes.

    You could also consider a higher-end stand-alone recorder. Zoom makes a couple, and Sound Devices recently introduced its excellent MixPre series. You have to supply your own mike and we’re talking about a fair bit more money compared to the basic portable recorders and the Apogee One audio interface discussed above. If you’re prepared to spend the money, I think that the Sound Devices MixPre-3, at US$650 plus batteries, memory cards, etc., is outstanding value.

    If you purchase a microphone, and want to record a group of musicians, I agree with Andy that an omnidirectional mike is a good choice. You could also use a cardiod mike. It’s worth learning the difference between omnidirectional and cardiod mikes and thinking about which would be best for what you want to record.

    When and if you feel the need, you could purchase a second mike and record in stereo. On stereo recording, look up A-B Spaced, X/Y, ORTF and Mid-Side, which are specific ways to record in stereo. Note that there is no benefit to recording in stereo if you are recording a single sound source, such as a singer or player of a single instrument. There are some cases where one can use more than one mike to record a single instrument, such as a piano or drums, but at that point we’re into a pretty esoteric discussion.

    With any of these options, the most important thing, assuming that you are recording acoustic music, is to make sure that the mike is close to the musicians. Sound quality deteriorates rapidly the farther a mike is from the sound you are recording. Contrary to what many people think, a shotgun mike does not act like a zoom lens and does not change this fact of physics.

    Re your reference to wireless.. Personally, I use wired mikes, including when using lavalier mikes. The sound quality is better than wireless, and wireless requires additional gear and financial outlay and introduces complications. The view of the professional sound house that I purchase gear from, and that is the rental house for a lot of major film and video productions, is that wired should be used unless there is a good reason why it won’t work. Andy’s example in the post immediately above, where he was using eight lavalier mikes and eight sets of wireless transmitters and receivers, is the kind of situation where wireless may well make sense, but it doesn’t sound to me like you’ll be running into that kind of problem in the near future.

    If you are recording to something other than the iPhone on your Movi, you need to sync the video and sound. Look up using a hand clap or clapperboard to do this, as well as what a “scratch track” is and how to use one to sync image and audio.

    Good luck!

    P.S. What I personally use, depending on circumstances:
    Sound Devices field recorder
    Lectrosonics PDR (Portable Digital Recorder)
    DPA d:vice AD converter & preamp for iOS devices
    Sound Devices audio interface
    Schoeps omnidirectional & hypercardiod microphones
    DPA omnidirectional lavalier microphones
    Final Cut Pro X, Logic Pro X, iZotope RX, iZotope Ozone
     
    #15 Rorick Edge, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  16. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    I've also found that PluralEyes is pretty good for synchronizing multiple cameras' audio -- it syncs based on just the audio waveforms, but as Rorick says, some distinguishing feature (a handclap) or drum beat makes it much easier to sync. I used PluralEyes for several years on Final Cut Pro 7, but then when FCP X came out, I made the jump to Adobe Premiere (that's a whole separate discussion thread!)

    Sound Devices makes excellent pre-amps, mixers, and recorders, but as Rorick points out there are other worthy vendors, like Zoom.
    Sheops ("Sheps") mics are excellent -- I just happen to have grown up using Senn's -- but both are excellent.

    Andy

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     
  17. Darrin Altman

    Darrin Altman Member

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    Hi John. Moment posted a great video showing how they edit their footage using Premiere Pro. From what I understand from what you wrote, you are just starting out and need/want to learn how to take the videos from your iPhone and edit them, as well as capture good audio and synch with the video. Learning to use video editing software is so much fun. I started learning over 20 years ago. My advice, use a microphone attached to your iPhone for now, (I use a Rode Videomicro attached to the hoodie on the Movi CR) and learn how to edit the video. Then, once you are comfortable with editing, you will understand how to synch up higher quality audio recorded separately, to your video and unlink and remove the audio recorded by your iPhone or camera. For $20 a month I highly recommend signing up for Premiere Pro CC. They have a lot of tutorials on video and audio. Video editing is a great hobby. I apologize if I am wrong and you are already familiar with editing. Here is the link to Moment’s video on YouTube.
     
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  18. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    If you’re on Windows, Premier Pro is probably the way to go. If you’re on a Mac, I think that iMovie, which is free, is a perfectly good way to start with video editing. Just as GarageBand is a simplified but capable version of Logic Pro, iMovie is a simplified but capable version of Final Cut. There are awfully good videos on YouTube that were edited in iMovie.

    The mikes generally used for video are relatively compact small diaphragm condenser mikes and can get expensive very quickly. I kind of regret mentioning Schoeps mikes above. I actually wouldn’t recommend them for beginner, casual use. They are frigging expensive, even second-hand.

    For recording live music in particular, you can get very good quality and save a boatload of money by using a large diaphragm mike costing US$100-$250. These mikes, of which Shure is probably the best-known brand, offer a huge cost-to-quality return. For example, Shure’s SM57, in production since 1965 and apparently one of the world’s best-selling mikes to this day, costs US$99.

    My concrete suggestions for someone starting out making live music videos:

    Audio recorder: Apogee One + an iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac laptop, or a Zoom H4n Pro (the latter is the cheapest Zoom with an XLR mike connection aka keeping one’s options open)
    Mike: the recorder’s built-in mike or a large diaphragm Shure or similar
    Video editor: on Windows, Premier Pro; on Mac, iMovie to start
     
    #18 Rorick Edge, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  19. Darrin Altman

    Darrin Altman Member

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    I totally blame Rorick for the extra work and the expense (Andy didn’t help either, so I am including him in this), but he was right. I purchased a Zoom H1n recorder and shot videos of my recent family vacation to Carlsbad CA using the Movi, my iPhone X and the Zoom. The audio quality is great, and I have to admit it was nice not having the microphone attached to my iPhone and on the Movi. I shoot a lot of short clips so my only concern was syncing the video and audio. I downloaded the RedGiant Plural Eyes trial and unfortunately (thanks Andy) it works great and makes syncing a simple task. I probably only added a few minutes to my editing workflow. When shooting, I’m sure I will get used to starting the Zoom prior to shooting, and probably leave it recording for longer periods of time and not stopping it every time I stop the Movi. All in all I am very happy I gave this all a try. I only shoot for fun, and mainly family stuff, but I do like to get the best results I can.
     
    #19 Darrin Altman, Jun 21, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  20. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Just for the record, that be "PluralEyes" from RedGiant (although I confess to liking "Purple Eyes" better! :rolleyes:

    Andy.

    Forensic Software & sUAV / Drone Analyst : Photographer : Videographer : Pilot (Portland, Oregon, USA): Trees=2, Ground=1, Props=11. :(
    The Ground Is The Limit™
    ---------- Forensic Drone Analyst : Forensic sUAV Analyst : Forensic Unmanned Aircraft Analyst : Forensic Drone Expert
     

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