Getting Sound onto a Red Epic

92 posts in this topic

#: 1   Posted

I have heard that it is next to impossible to get sound onto a Red Epic. What is the deal with that? Has anyone succeeded? If so, then how did you do it?

I would like to attach a Lectrosonics IFB to the camera, seta level, and walk away. Is that possible ? ?

Somebody suggested that I try this adapter:

http://actionproducts.ch/shop/product_info.php?products_id=157

Action Products Epic Audio Adapter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 2   Posted

I did it a couple days ago. There aparently are no settings for line/mic level and all there is is a input level slider. Also the input is a stereo 1/8.

I fed a -20db sine to the wireless and set the camera level using my camera wireless reciever's level knob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 3   Posted

For a reference track, I put a Sennheiser G2 on it and tweaked the level so the peaks stayed out of trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 4   Posted

Page 12 of the Red Epic manual says the following:

The RED EPIC can record up to two discreet channels of microphone level uncompressed 24-bit, 48 KHz audio (four channels of microphone level or line level audio inputs when equipped with a PRO I/O Module), that are synchronized with video and timecode, to REDMAG 1.8” SSD media.

Input signals are routed via a high quality pre-amplifier and soft clip limiter in order to achieve the desired audio reference / recording level and to maximize dynamic range.

To assist with audio reference level setup, the camera provides a color-coded 4dB per division Peak Level meter in the Graphical User Interface with 0dBu (-20dBFS) and +4dBu (-16dBFS) Witness Marks. Meter range is –36dBu to +20dBu (-56dBFS to 0dBFS) with audio input type and audio input clipping indication.

Audio monitor output options include a 2-channel headphone output on the camera Brain and 2-channel line level analog outputs from the optional PRO I/O Module, plus 2-channel and 4-channel 24-bit 48KHz uncompressed digital audio embedded in the HD-SDI and HDMI outputs.

MICROPHONE LEVEL ANALOG INPUTS

The recording level of Microphone inputs are affected by the sensitivity of the microphone and the Gain setting of the camera’s pre-amplifier. Available pre-amplifier range is +8dB to +62dB, with a default value of +32dB. The camera operator should choose a Gain value that aligns the input signal to the 0dBu reference line drawn through the camera’s peak meter (or +4dBu line if referencing to that level).

This setting provides up to 30dB of input signal headroom above reference 0dBu level before clipping (26dB for +4dBu reference level) and maximizes the signal to noise ratio of the 24-bit digital recording.

LINE LEVEL ANALOG INPUTS

The recording level of Line inputs are affected only by the signal provided by the field production sound mixer or other external line level source. The sound mixer operator should choose a mixer output level that aligns a reference tone signal to the 0dBu (0.775 volts RMS / -20dBFS) reference mark drawn through the camera’s Peak Meter, or if using +4dB as reference level, a mixer output level that aligns a reference tone signal to the +4dBu (1.23 Volts RMS / -16dBFS) reference mark.

The 0dBu setting provides up to 24dB of input signal headroom above reference level before clipping (20dB for +4dBu reference level) and the maximum signal to noise ratio for the 24-bit digital recording.

I agree with John's advice: just throw a scratch mix to it, keep the levels a little lower than normal, and it should be OK at least for syncing. I'm not a fan of using these cameras for actual sound master recordings.

Further research on the Red user group indicates that the camera is set up only for mike-level signals (at the moment), so the only recourse is to put a pad in line or send a mike-level signal to camera. I suspect changing the camera to accept line-level signals would be a hardware mod, and I think audio is very low on their priority list at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 5   Posted

Hey all,

I did a 2 camera shoot with an epic and a scarlet art week and put a Lectro IFB for a scratch track and had massive issues with range. The Ifb unit in to headphones a couple of feet away from the cameras worked flawlessly but when mounted on the side there was constant splatting and 'fringing'.

I can only assume that these camera put out a lot of RF hash.

We ended up running a cable to each camera and this worked perfectly with tone at a reference of -40 dbfs.

Cheers

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 6   Posted

The irony is that guys on the RED forums will do just about anything to try to do the sound themselves. They call it Run and Gun, which to them means not so much a quickly-moving shoot, as meaning "no sound guy." One even referred to a Production Mixer as "extra baggage." I'm not clear how any RED, even the Scarlet, could be thought to be appropriate for run and gun style shooting in any case. Now, merely owning a camera means not only that you're a Cinematographer but a Production Mixer as well. End of rant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 7   Posted

I had success running a mono hop through a Wooden Camera A Box, but the user interface on the Epic is not friendly for mixers. Also keep in mind that the 1/8" mini jacks on the Epic are wired like an XLR, so you won't be able to run a standard 1/8" mini TRS out from your scratch rx into the camera directly. You'll need an XLR adapter like the A-Box or equivalent, or else you simply won't get a signal into the camera. Set mic/line on the rx, don't bother in camera.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 8   Posted

I had success running a mono hop through a Wooden Camera A Box, but the user interface on the Epic is not friendly for mixers. Also keep in mind that the 1/8" mini jacks on the Epic are wired like an XLR, so you won't be able to run a standard 1/8" mini TRS out from your scratch rx into the camera directly. You'll need an XLR adapter like the A-Box or equivalent, or else you simply won't get a signal into the camera. Set mic/line on the rx, don't bother in camera.

I don't think this is right. My experience with the epic the other day tells me that the mini jack on the camera is wired for stereo. It is not wired like an xlr.

Tip is left

Ring is right

someone correct me if im wrong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 9   Posted

From the Wooden Camera site regarding the A-Box:

"Adapts mini 3.5mm balanced audio inputs to industry standard XLR."

Where on a standard TRS unbalanced 3.5mm you are right, that is a stereo signal. However, my understanding is that the balanced XLR is Pin 1 = Ground, Pin 2 = Hot, & Pin 3 = Cold, thereby creating a balanced mono connection for one individual channel, not a stereo connection with L&R channels respectively.

I attempted to use a standard, unbalanced TRS 3.5 mm cable directly from rx to camera mic input that failed to transport an audio signal in either one of the individual channels. When the A-box was put to use, the blanaced version of the XLR to TRS cable transmits signal properly, since the flow is now XLR to TRS balanced mono - Ground, Hot, Cold.

I believe the difference is in the cabling. Otherwise, a TRS 3.5mm directly from rx to camera should have transmitted the same signal as the following layout, which worked for me on set for a week:

TRS 3.5mm from rx to XLR, then XLR into A-Box to TRS 3.5mm into camera. This layout worked, where direct 3.5mm to camera mic channels one and two did not.

It also doesn't make sense to have a stereo channel on both mic one (1) and mic two (2) inputs. This would mean that mic channel one could accept a stereo signal, and mic channel two could also accept a stereo signal, instead of two balanced mono channels that make up Right and Left, Stereo.

Please correct me if I'm wrong and I'll happily update my posts so as not to confuse other readers with any falsities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 10   Posted

The irony is that guys on the RED forums will do just about anything to try to do the sound themselves. They call it Run and Gun, which to them means not so much a quickly-moving shoot, as meaning "no sound guy." One even referred to a Production Mixer as "extra baggage." I'm not clear how any RED, even the Scarlet, could be thought to be appropriate for run and gun style shooting in any case.

I agree 100%, Arnold. It's appalling, the amount of ignorance that goes on over there. I'm constantly baffled by the overall belief that sound is either easy or unimportant. The number of users who want to slap a cheap mike on top of the camera and use that for their shoots is incredible.

Why would anybody want to spend upwards of $40,000 for a camera, at least $20,000 for a lens, plus $5,000 for a tripod and head, plus another $5000 for storage and power... and then skimp on sound? 90% of their problems with timecode and sound could be solved simply by hiring a pro.

There are a handful of people who do get it, and I also personally know some Red shooters who are good, solid guys who get the importance of good sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 11   Posted

I agree 100%, Arnold. It's appalling, the amount of ignorance that goes on over there. I'm constantly baffled by the overall belief that sound is either easy or unimportant. The number of users who want to slap a cheap mike on top of the camera and use that for their shoots is incredible.

Guys and gals, I don't get upset anymore over this mentality - let them die the painful death their methodology will deliver....

With regards to "the death of wireless" -- well, I guess they are stoking their own fire.... These are idiots / pretenders that are on the fringe anyway..... anyone who has done a professional shoot even ONCE would know that wireless mics are here to stay for a long long time...

Frankly, with the Alexa leaping to the forefront of desirable HD tools, at least around here.... I would venture to say that perhaps RED and it's newer models might well be on the steady decline. Andf this new Canon that is coming out will have quite an impact in the near future..... ( at least we'll have professional XLR Ins for a change... )

MF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 12   Posted

By "death of wireless" are you referring to the article on Zacuto's website?

I'm not convinced that the C300 will take over. As I understand it, despite having a 4K sensor, it only outputs HD. I think we're moving into a 4K world. Didn't someone preview an 8K TV at CES?

Guys and gals, I don't get upset anymore over this mentality - let them die the painful death their methodology will deliver....

With regards to "the death of wireless" -- well, I guess they are stoking their own fire.... These are idiots / pretenders that are on the fringe anyway..... anyone who has done a professional shoot even ONCE would know that wireless mics are here to stay for a long long time...

Frankly, with the Alexa leaping to the forefront of desirable HD tools, at least around here.... I would venture to say that perhaps RED and it's newer models might well be on the steady decline. Andf this new Canon that is coming out will have quite an impact in the near future..... ( at least we'll have professional XLR Ins for a change... )

MF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 13   Posted

On the Epic shoot I did the shooter had the Wooden box mentioned above.

I imagine if you wired up an XLR to TRS with all three pins properly connected it would work as well. An XLR to TS might also work fine if you connected pin three to ground, and as the ring pin would then be shorted to the sleeve on the camera input, that should work. Then, again, we're talking about a Red, so who knows what methodology they've employed when it comes to the audio circuits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 14   Posted

I imagine if you wired up an XLR to TRS with all three pins properly connected it would work as well.

It will.

Best regards,

Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 15   Posted

I was hard wired to an Epic this week both TC and audio. During set up everything was working fine. Camera dept. did a power down to reboot from a lock-up. Didn't think anything about it, but when we went to roll, couldn't get any sound. I unhooked everything, they do a reboot but couldn't get the sound to come back. The camera has a box that has two xlr connects that go to two cables to hook into the 1/8th plugs. I had unhooked at the xlr, but forgot the 1/8th. After going without audio for first interview, AC pulls out just one of the 1/8th plugs and plugs it back in and sound comes back on both channels. The rest of the shoot goes off without a hitch. Audio was recorded on 744, epic sound was for scratch only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 16   Posted

It will.

Best regards,

Jim

It cannot be wired as a standard TRS. You need to wire it for unbalanced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 17   Posted

From the manual:

epicaudio1.png

epicaudio2.png

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 18   Posted

guess I was wrong.

the camera guy I worked with thought they were stereo inputs, not balanced inputs....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 19   Posted

With regards to "the death of wireless" -- well, I guess they are stoking their own fire.... These are idiots / pretenders that are on the fringe anyway..... anyone who has done a professional shoot even ONCE would know that wireless mics are here to stay for a long long time...

This is as stupid as the guys who buy digital cameras and say, "wow, I can shoot at an ISO of 12,000! That means I won't have to light it -- I'll just use available light!"

facepalm.gif

I'm not convinced that the C300 will take over. As I understand it, despite having a 4K sensor, it only outputs HD. I think we're moving into a 4K world. Didn't someone preview an 8K TV at CES?

Thoughtful piece on CNet about 4K TV sets: Why 4K TVs Are Stupid.

I keep saying, nobody can really see really good HD at home anyway, not on marginal consumer sets, highly-compressed cable, or problematic broadcasts. 99% of the sets out there can't even do 10-bit color. I think they need to perfect HD before we move on to a higher standard.

I do think 4K makes sense for theatrical delivery, but I'm dubious of the need for it on a set below 72" in an average home. And I'm even more skeptical about how they're going to deliver 4K programs to consumers. 4K is 52 megabytes per frame (1.2GB per second!), which is a huge, huge amount of bandwidth. Even assuming drastic compression, it's still many times greater than, say Blu-ray HD quality -- which we also can't see on cable or satellite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 20   Posted

Just out of interest...how would/do you deliver 4K theatrically? Hard-drive array? Compressed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 21   Posted

Just out of interest...how would/do you deliver 4K theatrically? Hard-drive array? Compressed?

Both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 22   Posted

Just out of interest...how would/do you deliver 4K theatrically? Hard-drive array? Compressed?

They've been delivering 4K DCP files for some time now. I think Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the first movies to get a fairly wide 4K release. They usually use all encrypted JPEG2000 files, slap the files on portable Firewire or eSATA drives, and ship them to theaters in bright orange Pelican cases. I saw a big stack of those drives in a (completely empty) theater lobby out here in the valley a few weeks ago, at the end of a late-night show, and I was sorely tempted to walk away with a few. No security at all.

Note that Dragon Tattoo was shot with a Red One and a Red Epic, and is a visually-arresting movie that's already been nominated for ASC awards and several Oscars. Director David Fincher is a big Red fan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 23   Posted

The camera guys that refer to sound engineers as "extra baggage" are the same that like to tell you a shot's MOS just because they think sound just gets in their way. They'll tell themselves that post audio will have time and resources to clean up their mess, when in actuality, it could have been quicker, cheaper, and more authentic to just roll the audio half of the time. They don't see the Big Picture of the production or the story, those camera ops just see the picture, period. Maybe they watch everything on Mute... I dunno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 24   Posted

When I used to work on indi films I had some fun with the acronyms....

ADR = Additional Doe Required (that always got the producer thinking)

M.O.S. = Moron on Set (when the DP tried to tell me when not to do my job, and made me feel unwelcome)

I'm going back to my beer now and promise not to post anymore tonight!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#: 25   Posted

" guess I was wrong. "

Thus my strong belief: < HAT > ::)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now