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Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Lesson 20 of 39

Double System Sound

Victor Ha

Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

20. Double System Sound

Lesson Info

Double System Sound

Double system sound means that I'm capturing sound to another device that is not my camera. That means automatically I've dedicated myself in post to doing what's called syncing, okay? Syncing is easier with a tool called Pluralize, all right? Pluralize. Oh, yeah, it's actually Pluralize. We'll talk about it. Okay. So here I have Tascam, a lavalier, and my syncing tool, okay? And we're gonna do a quick live demo here, and I'm gonna run myself my own lav, and I'm gonna do a quick little capture, and I'm gonna show you a sync, and I'm gonna do it in the allotted time. All right. Okay. So I'm gonna run this demo for y'all right now. Okay, I've turned my recorder on. First thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna hit that record button once. All recorders work the same. You hit it once, you get a monitor, so it's gonna now actually give you levels. And you can see here, you can see here how my levels are bumping up and down, okay? Bump bump bump. Hello, hey, my name is Victor here. I am at Creative...

Live, okay? So for you folks at home, you'll be able to see it. On the bottom right hand corner usually of every recorder, there's always an indication of where your last level peaked at, okay? So one second. And here my last level peaked at negative four, okay? So it's right here at negative four. It's gonna keep bumping. And as I raise my levels, as I adjust my levels and level myself out, that number in this corner right here is going to change, okay? So I'm gonna do a quick level. Hi, my name is Victor. Check, toast, toast, toast. Hello, hello, hello. And I'm way too loud. Okay, check check check check check check, and I'm right at where I wanna be, just roughly around negative 12. I like to hit at negative or just slightly past it, okay? If I hit at zero, I'll do what's called clipping, and that's not good. Okay, so now I'll hit record, and now it's recording. Hi, my name is Victor Ha, and I am here today at Creative Live. I'm standing in front of my live studio audience and my two hosts, and all of you folks at home are all having a great time. Okay, let's stop it. And then I'm going to kick out of Keynote, and you're just gonna need to bear with me while I get myself set up here. Okay. All right, we're good to go. So what I'm gonna do, guys, is I'm gonna plug myself in. I'm gonna take this recorder, I'm gonna plug it into my recorder, or into my computer. And now I'm gonna run a quick copy. So... If you guys actually listen to this now... [Victor on Recording] Hi, my name is Victor Ha, and I am here today at Creative Live. I'm standing in front of my live studio audience and my two hosts, and all of you folks at home are all having a great time. Okay. How did that sound to you? It sounded great, didn't it? This solution can cost you maybe between $100 and $ depending on the lav mic you buy, okay? It's an affordable solution. So for the cost of a set of wireless lavs, which is $600, you can get six poor man lav setups, six poor man lav setups, and mic six different people, okay? Now, there's one caveat. You can't control your levels live. The minute you set your levels and you record, you're done. You gotta just hope you guys set a good level. But for corporate profiles and interviews and that sorta stuff, hey, you guys can do a corporate profile now, okay? So I'm gonna do one more thing. Okay, I'm just gonna set up my camera over here. And then I'm gonna do a record to my camera, and then I'm gonna do a record to the recorder, and we're gonna do a quick little sync so you guys can see that process, okay? So bear with me just a minute. I'm going to just go ahead and set this up, and it's gonna take me a couple seconds. Okay, so I can answer a question right now as I'm working if you guys have one. Yes, we have so many questions. Just where to begin with the questions. So I'll start with a question which came in from Ninja Tech who wanted to know why you prefer to record at 16-bit versus 24-bit for the extra head room. So if I record at 16-bit versus 24-bit, the program that I use to sync sometimes has trouble syncing 24-bit sound files. So I'm capped by Pluralize at the moment. I tried to do 24-bit a while back, and it wouldn't digest the file properly. So that's the reason. And that's pretty much it. So I'm actually rolling footage as we speak right now. Okay, I'm gonna go ahead and kick out this recorder. Okay, so, I'm gonna turn myself back on here, I'm gonna clip myself back up. Camera's running. So in the older world, we'd have to go, all right, I've got camera rolling, I've got sound speed, there's my sync, right? And I'm gonna talk. So if I don't use Pluralize, I need a sync of some kind, or a clap of some kind, to show the spike in the audio files to hand sync. But if I'm gonna use Pluralize, I can sometimes get away with not doing that at all, all right? So I'm recording. You know, I've just talked a little bit. I'm gonna stop now, okay? I'm gonna stop this guy. I'm gonna pop out that file. Now, the thing here, guys, is I started recording this file, I started recording this file when I said, okay, I'm recording, and then I took a couple seconds to actually record my... Give me one second. My cartridge is missing. Okay. I took a second to record my other file here, okay? So what I'm gonna do here... Just plug this back in. Go to my storage. We've got Photo Renegade, who wonders, when you're working in a event space or something, can you get away with intentionally setting the sound levels too low and then bring them up in post production and still get good sound quality when faced with an unpredictable scenario? What do you do when you're not in control of the scenario? Okay, when you're not in control of the scenario, you wanna set a level for the room. You've gotta set a level for the room. And if you're recording talent in that room and you're trying to set the level for the room, you've got to find a focus, okay? So if I, for example, am gonna be recording you, and there's a bustle in the room, what I need to make sure of is I get a good level on you and ditch the room. I don't care about the room. The last thing you wanna do is set your level low and bump them in post, because we have something called signal to noise. You guys have all experienced signal to noise. When you increase your ISO, what happens? You get noise, right? When you increase your ISO, you get noise. What is ISO doing? It's increasing the sensitivity of your sensor. It's increasing the level of signal and it's creating more noise as a result of it. So if you record a very low, quiet whisper, and you record it this much, and then you try to bump it to something that sounds like this, what you're gonna invariably hear is (makes static noises) because of it. That's why you don't wanna record at a lower level. You wanna bring that level to the room. You wanna record specifically, okay? So here we go. Let's do this. And... Cool. So what I've done for myself here is I'm gonna give you guys, we're gonna look at the bottom line right here, okay? I type in the date, year first. I type in a reference. Okay, and I go... That's how I organize all my files. If you guys take a look, I've been really busy, haven't I, for Creative Live. Okay, so I go ahead and I put in what I do. That way if I need to search something, I know in what keyword to search for and I know in what general month and date to look for. And inside of that folder, I make two other folders. I go camera, and I number the camera, and I go audio recorder, and I number the recorder. That way if I have multiples, I can do that. So I'm gonna go ahead and I'm going to pick the sound file that I got and drop it in the audio recorder, and then I'm gonna go to the camera file that I've got, and I'm gonna drop that in camera one. So theoretically, guys, if you start doing this in real life, what you have to do is asset manage. You have to, have to, have to, have to, have to asset manage. Because if you have hundreds of camera files and a hundred sound files and you throw 'em all into one directory and you don't asset manage, you're gonna be in for a world of hurt, okay? So what I do here is I asset manage everything. I go through and do the work prior, beforehand while it's all still fresh in my brain. And then what I'm gonna do is jump into a program called Pluralize, and Pluralize will do the syncing for me, okay? So I'm gonna go here, and I can drag the files into Pluralize. It'll populate my camera file, it'll populate my recorder file, and here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna sync. Boom. Done. The beautiful thing about Pluralize, guys, beautiful thing about Pluralize at this point. Remember I talked earlier today about recording the entire reception. A reception can be three or four hours long. I'm gonna be jumping in and out of still and motion for that entire three hours. If I put the track of the reception into Pluralize and I put all the camera files that I've captured during the reception into Pluralize, it will sync them all up. Because you're basing it off the camera audio... Yes. ...and that's how it syncs up. I recorded my camera file, and the camera file has an embedded sound file which I use as reference sound inside of Pluralize to create my sync, okay? So here I'm gonna round you, I'm gonna round third base here. I'm gonna export. So I click right up here to export timeline. It's gonna give me another window. I'm in Premiere Pro, so I'm gonna go ahead and click Premiere Pro. I'm gonna export and make things, those are all checked. Click Export. It's gonna ask me where I want to put it, so I'm gonna put it back into my sound test folder. Click Open. It's gonna export it. Now I go over straight into Premiere. Now, this is not an editing class, guys, so I'm just gonna jump in and we're gonna show you how that looks, but if you really wanna learn editing, I encourage you actually spend three days learning editing, either in Creative Live. You know, it's a great tool, great place to learn. Okay, so here we go. In the projects, I'm gonna create a new project, I'm gonna title that projects Creative Live Sound Test. I'm gonna browse and put that into where I have all my other files and then click OK. You're gonna get a pop-up window. Don't freak out here. What are we shooting? We're shooting digital SLRs. What resolution are we at? We're at 1080. What frame rate are we at? Twenty-four. Pretty simple, okay? And then you can name your sequence down here. Sound test. Okay. So now we're into the interface. So just so that you guys can follow what I'm doing here, this is my project folder, this is my preview window, this is my source monitor, here's my timeline, okay? So when I go ahead and I wanna import, editing this day, these days is not destructive, which means if I select a file, it will only point to that file and reference that file, just like Lightroom. Just like Lightroom, okay? So if I go ahead and import, I can double click or hit Command + I or File Import, all right? I'm gonna come into Desktop, I'm gonna come down here to my sound test, I'm gonna go to where it actually output it, and it gave me an export, which is a .xml, and that's fancy terms, that's just fancy terms for hey, use this file, okay? The minute I do that, it's gonna import all the files. Boom, got everything right there. So now we're at the end. I have two sequences. One's a synced sequence and one is synced replaced. So we're gonna look down at the timeline here and you're gonna take a look. Synced sequence gives me the entire sequence with the camera audio and the production audio. Synced replaced gives me the camera file without the camera audio. I like to use synced sequence because there are sometimes stuff in the camera audio that helps me clue in or know what else is happening. It's just good to have it as reference, okay? So here we go. Drumroll please. Let's scrub to here. Let's go ahead and kill the camera sound, or camera audio, and hit play. [Victor on Recording] So here I am. Speed. Here's my sync, right? And I'm gonna talk. So if I don't use Pluralize, I need a sync of some kind or a clap of some kind to show the spike in the audio file to hand sync. But if I'm gonna use Pluralize, I can sometimes get away with not doing... And that was magic in front of your very eyes, guys. All right? (audience applauds) Yes! Whew! Got a little dicey with the card reader, but... But the whole purpose, the whole purpose of doing that live for you was to prove to you that you can get production sound from a simple recorder that costs you $ that you set properly with a lav mic that you spend somewhere around $30 or $40 for. Did the audio sound good? Yes. Did it sound good to you? Yes. Will it sound good to some other people? Who knows. But it will sound good to you, and it gets your job done.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

If you own a DSLR camera, you already own a powerful filmmaking tool. Ready to learn how to use it? Join CreativeLive and Victor Ha for a course that will cover the core principles of capturing video with your DSLR.

Through hands-on demos - including how to create compelling video interviews - Victor will guide you through the core techniques of DSLR filmmaking. You’ll learn how to apply the compositional skills of still photography to taking video. You’ll also learn about how to navigate the video-capturing features of your DSLR, choose the right gear for your filmmaking needs, and incorporate audio into your shoots. From framing shots to producing simple projects to spatial relationships, the skills you gain in this course will leave you ready and inspired to create high-quality, engaging film projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Victors White Board Notes - High Resolution

Pre-Production Planner


Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!