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Hey Friends,

 

First post here. Just have a quick question regarding an audio issue on the Red Weapon 8K camera. Got an email this morning from the DP saying there's weird signal noise over the scratch track on the footage. We were shooting 23.98, I jammed with a Denecke lockit and was using a Sound Device 788t recorder for the project. I had 1 UCR411a hop on the Red sending a mono-feed/scratch-track to Ch-1 and was sending mic level to the camera.

 

Basically what it sounds like is that the Timecode signal itself was being ingested into the audio/scratch track. I'm wondering if this is an internal setting on the Red Weapon 8K, or if anyone has experienced anything like this before? TC was sync'd so post can pull my ISO's and overlay just fine, but I'm working with the same Red Weapon 8K again this week and would love to find a reason for this audio issue, and hopefully a fix. Could it be a potential firmware issue with the Camera? I'm going to read the manual today and see if there's any internal settings that might have caused this.

 

Any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

Evan

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I understand that you want to solve this and I sympathize. I was a bit like that, too. But I have stopped reading camera manuals, because 

a. there are new ones all the time and 

b. my job is sound not camera. You make sure that whatever comes out of the 411a sounds awesome, the rest is a camera issue and the camera dept probably outnumbers the sound dept anyway, so why is this your job?

and with the TC link they don't really need sound on camera other than for their own pleasure (instant playback with sound), so let the dp who complained about it deal with it

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Hey Constantin,

 

Thanks for such an awesome reply. Sound guys represent! We were also shooting with an FS7, scratch track was just fine on that camera, it definitely wasn't the 411a, but I just hate finding an issue and not having a solution for it. I do feel like it's on the camera end, and most likely something with the Weapon's internal settings. 99.9% sure it was actual time-code signal embedded on the scratch track though which is just really odd. 

 

You're also right, scratch track is more a personal preference and really isn't needed especially when TC is sync'd, but for the future I'm always interested in finding a workaround just so everyone can be happy. 

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Make sure you turn phantom power off in the camera audio menu as that does induce noise on the mic inputs.

 

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I had an issue come up today with a Weapon with the latest firmware update which allows internal recording simultaneously of Raw and some other hi-res codec (can't remember).  two tracks sent to cam (yes... as reference/scratch), were recoded to the Raw files, but no audio recorded to the other codec.  Audio was displaying on cam entire time, no menu settings to enable / disable audio record individually for each format, time code input accurate on both files.  Firmware issue likely but be aware.

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Hello,

 

- You and the cam department should test the roundtrip before a shoot.

- Be aware that with the Beta Firmware you can get some mixed results. Allways use RELEASE BUILD for serious jobs. The Prores files should also get the audio if you have it on the RAW file.

- The stereo minijack input from the Weapon base expander (wich are not the same inputs as the Epic's) are just for scratch audio. The noise level is not made for clean audio (there is also a lot of RF/Wifi signal going on if you plan to use a RX G3 HF).

- You should check the audio input level. Line is way to hot, Mic could be to low.

- TC feed with the appropriate  cable (TC/Genlock/Trigger) will not bleed in your audio channel.

- Consider the audio input of the base expender as another low quality DSLR mic input.

- If you need better audio quality on camera, choose one of the professional audio module made for the Weapon.

 

Pat

 

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Firstly editors do seem to prefer a mix sent to the camera so they and hear the words

during the edit and not rely on syncing/using the sound files

 

Secondly it's a RED so yeah!

 

mike

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23 hours ago, mikewest said:

Firstly editors do seem to prefer a mix sent to the camera so they and hear the words

during the edit and not rely on syncing/using the sound files

 

Secondly it's a RED so yeah!

 

mike

Hi Mike,

 

Do you find this to be the case on narrative projects where the camera audio will definitely not be used?

 

The only time I have ever heard of an editor using camera audio for the edit turned out to be a total nightmare, as it wasn't possible to match back the production audio to follow the EDL created. A disastrous cost in time later to get all the original sound files with ISOs into the chopped up timeline.

 

The very first argument I make when not running sound to camera is that syncing sound must be the first step before editing.

 

Am I wrong? Has something changed in the years since this exchange occurred? Better software? This was about 8 years ago.

 

Robert

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The Red Weapon, another audio step backward.  At least with the Epic you had a pair of Balanced, mic level inputs.

The Weapon, without the 'pro' back, has only a single Stereo Mini Jack.  Remember firstly, this is now an UN-Balanced 2 channel input.

Treat it like a DSLR.  Just being unbalanced has issues.

A simple "adaptor cable" may not do the job.  

When feeding from a mixer (2 balanced line XLRs at Mic Level) I have had only occasional success with an adaptor.

However, my only reliable solution is to use a Beachtek box.  Just like feeding a DSLR.

Nextly,  monitoring.  The headphone jack doesn't tell you much, or give you much in the way of "confidence".

The only real 'tell' is to have an SDI stream direct from camera to an SDI monitor with Audio.

This is the only thing that will provide what is actually being recorded.

On that note, I have had troubles with having a monitor (I use Convergence Design 7Q) hooked up to a RED that some how induces noise.

Turns out to be some kind of ground loop - that magically disappeared when an isolation transformer was put on the SDI feed.

In the old days this was called a "Hum Bucker" ONLY useful for analog video.  You must now use one designed for SDI.  This one is little and works great:

http://www.allenavionics.com/AVI_Trans/hd-VIT-75.htm

 

Sound is all our fault.  

Get camera to go to Battery power, and disconnect from everything else external, record some sound, play it back to a battery powered SDI monitor connected direct to camera.  No power supplies.  No other connections.  If the sound is good.  It is good.  If it gets bad when other things are hooked up, it's somebody else's department.

Everybody expects sound to be perfect, everywhere:  ISO tracks, feed to multiple cameras, feed to Comtek, feed to Video village.

Remember, it's a RED.

And in the end it's still all our fault..... 

 

M*

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Simply put:  Red is a camera that requires we record double system. 

 

I carry just about all audio connections known to man, but don't plan to buy a $150 iso transformer so a particular poorly-designed video connection works correctly -- even if the issue shows up as the audio stream within the video connection.

 

Ground loops do seem especially bothersome with the newest Reds and I have no issue in conveying this information to my clients.  Word needs to get out that Red has these issues or there is even less likelihood that they'll ever get addressed.  

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I've had problems with the Epic and Scarlett and ended up making custom unbalanced cables, (I think I floated the ring terminal) which worked 'most' of the time.. being fed from a Comtek or G2/3, but its still a RED and I guess they still have their RED moments.  The Red audio is only OK for a reference track .. if that.

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Bashing RED is just stupid and very unprofessional.

Stupid is also wanting to feed a professional audio to a DSLR unballanced stereo minijack.

If you need good audio on a Weapon (It's a movie camera) because you have to feed a mix for the editor then use the right module.

Do your job and ask for it or use your recorder.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Patrick Tresch said:

Bashing RED is just stupid and very unprofessional.

Stupid is also wanting to feed a professional audio to a DSLR unballanced stereo minijack.

If you need good audio on a Weapon (It's a movie camera) because you have to feed a mix for the editor then use the right module.

Do your job and ask for it or use your recorder.

 

More than a bit defensive.  

 

"Stupid and unprofessional"?  Such posturing only reflects badly on those who feel it necessary to defend an imperfect camera. 

 

You seem to be confusing a discussion of the shortcomings we in audio need to deal with in respect to a given camera, with bashing.  This Red version has demonstrated issues with ground loops and these discussions contain information that helps others.  

 

Many sound mixers have zero input about camera packages and some producers insist on using camera audio.  In both of those instances we need to be prepared with both knowledge and gear.  Toward that end, we are sharing the information necessary to make this camera perform better audio-wise under real world conditions.

 

This is not the "Red Fanboy Defense Forum.". That's well represented elsewhere on the net.

 

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"Remember, it's a Red" is bashing and not informative in any way.

This attitude is a shame.

Yes I'm a fan of the tool I use every day. The people I work with know that a camera is not an audio recorder so they don't expect it to have professional sound. Just enough to synch with pluraleyes or to have a sound track for playback.

 

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John is correct.

While the red can record some wonderful video,it seems that audio was an afterthought,,,or just badly designed......You must not be a soundman.

Sooner or later it will burn you if you are a sound guy.

While most of the time it works fine,,,The red cannot reliably record audio "just enough to sync with plural eyes".... it will pretend it is recording audio and record NOTHING usable,or nothing at all.

  that is why we treat it like a film camera..... slate...

  remember,,,,its a red.

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Patrick, we know you're a fan of the Red camera. But it is not the responsibility of the sound mixer to make sure that the CAMERA has the correct module with professional grade audio inputs.

 

This responsibility falls on the camera department, and to tell a group of sound mixers to ask for said module when too many times we don't even know what camera we are working with until the day of the shoot is ridiculous.

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12 hours ago, Robert Bluemke said:

..too many times we don't even know what camera we are working with until the day of the shoot is ridiculous.

 

That's the problem. I don't work like that. I do prep in close collaboration with the sound "department", we all work together the end of the day. So there is no need to blame a specific manufacturer (Red is an easy and JWsound beloved target even if Arri/Sony/... has also a lot of flaws).

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1 hour ago, Patrick Tresch said:

 

That's the problem. I don't work like that. I do prep in close collaboration with the sound "department", we all work together the end of the day. So there is no need to blame a specific manufacturer (Red is an easy and JWsound beloved target even if Arri/Sony/... has also a lot of flaws).

 

Patrick, I commend you for being a team player who considers the entire team rather than just operating within a bubble.  As focused as you are on crewing the proper way, it appears you have no awareness of how much such approaches vary.

 

You lose points, however, for calling sound mixers who deal with all those variables, "stupid and unprofessional."

 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, John Blankenship said:

You lose points, however, for calling sound mixers who deal with all those variables, "stupid and unprofessional."

 

 

You'r right. Point taken.

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Patrick, the Red cameras are badly designed sound wise, period. Picture wise the camera crews I work with say similar things about the usability of their design also. Granted they have been instrumental in moving camera technology forward and can shoot "8K" but they pale in overall design and functionality compared to the likes of Arri etc.

 

One thing that hasn't been mention in this thread and is the worst thing about Red cameras for sound has nothing to do with on board rec of a scratch track or otherwise, it's their very poor design in regards to cooling. The fans and their control systems have always been less than ideal and the latest 8k versions are some of the worst of the lot. The 8K sensor and the heap of processing that goes with it creates heat, think quiet dialogue, think rolling resets, think warm locations, think about all those lovely performances lost to some "stupid" as poorly designed camera for sound.

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21 hours ago, cjh said:

...they pale in overall design and functionality compared to the likes of Arri etc.

 

;-)

 

Arri had to create the mini AND the Alexa 65 to be on par with what RED achieved in a smaller package.

 

RED pushed the use of R3D compressed RAW wich makes lowbudget at highest quality possible for a lot of folks. And R3D raw is trillion better to color correction than what Alexa used during years as their master codec : Prores... ! 

Alexa does some tricks to the signals processing as RED is transparent. You need to know how to work with R3D to get best results (no rocket science involved).

Resolution matters yes (look at all the fuss about Dunkirk's resolution). It's not to make an oversharpened look to the picture (what Arri does to the lack of resolution and 4k digital blowup) but to get a smoother picture. I'm happy with 6k in S35mm format.

The ergonomics is essencial to RED. Arri people believed in the ENG camera form (or SR3 form). RED wanted to have it modular since the creation of the Epic Body in 2011.

Arri did Hack the computre of RED's CEO Jim Jannard in 2011. Sorry I had to put this in ;-)

There are no modules for the Alexa mini (no battery plates) you need to add velcro (wich was the advice of Arri engeneer) or put it on some rods.

I've a well ballanced setup wich shoots RAW since 2012 (5k and now 6k)  on my shoulder that is 9 kilogramm all rigged with some primes!

 

Bad design? Mostly bad users setup...

 

I've worked a lot to get rid of the cooling issue since Epic's day. I've created a solution : the FanPlate. But it looks that no sound man was bugged by the fan sound as there was really poor interest to tackle the issue and even to try it out! Didn't they have time for prep?

 

I must laugh when I hear that there are still people that can't use properly one of the best digital camera that has been built up to day!

You need to love the tool you work with. People can love Arri, most do. But don't call "X" shit because your afraid to use it.

 

And yes, a camera is not a sound recorder.

 

Patrick

 

Epic in 2012

fotografia-2.jpg

 

 

Weapon in 2017

Weapon_Pat_zpshwv80uqz.jpg

 

Weapon_EVF_BM_zpsx6cq4gol.jpg
 

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