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Getting Sound onto a Red Epic

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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.

remember Mark- " When it Sounds Good- It Looks Better"

dont skimp on sound-hire a pro

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So I have my first Epic shoot coming up in a week for HBO, some feature about boxing or something like that...

Anyhow, I've never had the opportunity to work with one of the Epic and after spending the day doing some research and learning about these cameras, I find I'm feeling the same way about them as when the first RED Ones came out. Really, 3.5mm audio in??? What, was the TA-3 too bulky? Probably so, they needed more room for heat sinks...

I have to talk with the camera op and producer tomorrow to see what they are expecting. Right out of the gate I'm thinking that sending a scratch track via G2 unit should satisfy edits need for audio on the camera, but the "money will be in the bag" as we like to say.

From my initial talks with the woman that hired me these are some sit down interviews and some B-roll at the Olympic Training Center so I'll record using my 552's recorder. I have an SB-3 to supply TC, but here's a question for those that know these cameras. Will the Epic hold TC long enough to be separated from the SB-3 for a short time and still be reliable? I could re-sync between interviews or even just hard wire TC in for the sit downs. At this point I have to assume they have the proper 4 pin Lemo to BNC connector. Then I could supply both the 552 and Epic with TC for edit. It's a single camera shoot so it shouldn't be that hard. Or did I just bring down the wrath of the Stupid Camera Gods upon myself?

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So I have my first Epic shoot coming up in a week for HBO, some feature about boxing or something like that...

Anyhow, I've never had the opportunity to work with one of the Epic and after spending the day doing some research and learning about these cameras, I find I'm feeling the same way about them as when the first RED Ones came out. Really, 3.5mm audio in??? What, was the TA-3 too bulky? Probably so, they needed more room for heat sinks...

I have to talk with the camera op and producer tomorrow to see what they are expecting. Right out of the gate I'm thinking that sending a scratch track via G2 unit should satisfy edits need for audio on the camera, but the "money will be in the bag" as we like to say.

From my initial talks with the woman that hired me these are some sit down interviews and some B-roll at the Olympic Training Center so I'll record using my 552's recorder. I have an SB-3 to supply TC, but here's a question for those that know these cameras. Will the Epic hold TC long enough to be separated from the SB-3 for a short time and still be reliable? I could re-sync between interviews or even just hard wire TC in for the sit downs. At this point I have to assume they have the proper 4 pin Lemo to BNC connector. Then I could supply both the 552 and Epic with TC for edit. It's a single camera shoot so it shouldn't be that hard. Or did I just bring down the wrath of the Stupid Camera Gods upon myself?

Chas, I'm going make two observations:

  1. Don't forget that your hop from G2 to the cam will still require a Wooden Camera A-Box or equivalent (see previous posts in this thread).
  2. Don't ever 'assume' anything on a shoot, particularly regarding cabling (4 pin Lemo to BNC). Find out.

And good luck!

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I'm not assuming anything (I've been doing audio for about 15 years, but thanks). I'll be talking with them tomorrow. It was too late to talk with them today (MST vs EST).

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The epic will hold sync, at lease til the battery needs changing. When receiving TC, a green TC will light up and then go out when TC is unplugged from the camera. But no locked chain like the Red One. Have a smart slate and show it often. After that it's a wing and a prayer.

Scott....

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When using the G2/3 receiver, make sure the camera end of the plug is UNBALANCED, Using a stereo 3.5mm plug at that end will result in no audio.... however the Epic will 'sense' a connection, posably fooling the Cam op into thinking 'we have audio'. Double check with headphones, there are small meter disply as well if activated. Everything is in the menu, including a level adj. which the privious models did not have.

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I'm not assuming anything (I've been doing audio for about 15 years, but thanks). I'll be talking with them tomorrow. It was too late to talk with them today (MST vs EST).

I didn't mean to offend. Was just trying to lend a helpful hand. Again, best of luck!

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Oh, no offense at all, I was just letting you know that I'm not a total newbie to this industry. One of the best lessons to learn doing this job is that you better have a thick skin. Otherwise you'll go home crying every night! ;)

So after talking with the camera op and producer today I got some more info about the shoot. It's pretty much what I was thinking. Some sit down interviews with an up coming boxing star training for the 2012 London games. Talk with him, his trainer, his father and maybe a few others that we run across at the OTC in Colorado Springs, CO. Then follow him through his training. Basically he always has a mic on (except for when he's in the ring training, then the trainer has it) and boom everything else. So I'll record to my 552. It's a run & gun style shoot. So I'll take my SB-3 and tee off the TC out, one side to my 552 and the other to a wireless hop over to the camera. Anyone see any issues with that plan?

The camera is going to be a rental (either from here in Denver or one coming in from NY), so I can tell them exactly what I want in the package. I'll ask for both the A-Box and the 4 pin lemo to BNC inputs cable. Here's the funny part, the producer said that they don't really need a scratch track to the camera. They just sync the audio tracks and then edit. Obviously TC is really important here. OK, but the producer thought a scratch track would be a good idea. Not sure what I'll do with that. But I'll be talking with them again next week once they decide which camera they are going to get. I can't imagine that a rental house wouldn't have the extra bits (TC in cable and A-Box) for the camera. Again, I'll find out.

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Well I talked with the rental house today. The 4 pin Lemo to BNC's comes standard with the rental package. Thank You!

And they got me an A-Box. The rental guy had no clue what that was, but I told them who made it and he found it. But that too will be in the package. So it looks like all my needs for this camera will be met. Should be a straight forward shoot I hope. And I'm going to have to rely on the cmera ops knowledge of the menus to get me through them. GAHK!

Maybe I should have told the guy no to bother with the A-Box and told the prod company that there wasn't an A-Box to be had, so no scratch track...

Wish me luck!

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Early tests here show that the A Box is a good idea. It cant be that expensive to rent, as it retails for $200 or so.

If the camera locks up, you may have to disconnect both the xlr in lines to the A box, and the mini plug from the camera, reboot it, then re patch both sets of cables.

This has been needed at least once with an Epic.

No experience yet on the stability of the TC... will be doing more tests "soon"

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Yes, there's been much talk about the Epic audio lock-ups on the RedUser forum. I believe the last couple of software updates have solved this problem. As far as I know, there's no timecode issues with the Epic provided you jam it from an onboard box and rejam after every drive change or reboot.

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Yes, there's been much talk about the Epic audio lock-ups on the RedUser forum. I believe the last couple of software updates have solved this problem. As far as I know, there's no timecode issues with the Epic provided you jam it from an onboard box and rejam after every drive change or reboot.

So Marc, are you saying that I should just jam sync it and not feed it continous TC via wireless feed?

Also, since the producer said that they have never used or had a scratch track before on other shoots with the Epic and that the camera might lock up because of incoming audio, I might bin the whole idea of a scratch track, even though I know they'd love it in edit.

Thoughts, ideas, experiences?

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If they've given you the thumbs up to go without a scratch track, I'd say treat it as a film shoot and enjoy.

With both time code and a slate clap you're well covered. Since it's still a Red I'd give it a continuous time code feed.

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So Marc, are you saying that I should just jam sync it and not feed it continous TC via wireless feed?

Yes, that has worked fine for me on Alexa, Red One, and Epic shoots. Camera jams to TC box; TC box jammed from recorder. Slate jammed from recorder. I rejam everything after lunch, or if the recorder powers down (which I try not to do). Remind the AC to rejam the camera in the event of a power reboot or a crash. In the past couple of years, I haven't seen a need to rejam every time a drive is changed, but that was an issue in the early days.

Also, since the producer said that they have never used or had a scratch track before on other shoots with the Epic and that the camera might lock up because of incoming audio, I might bin the whole idea of a scratch track, even though I know they'd love it in edit.

The scratch track is totally a decision by post. If they don't need it, no problem. I've done shoots with and without it. Ideally, they should do a test prior to the shoot and see if sound causes lock ups.

I mean no disrespect to Red, but I have seen Red crashes and lock ups without any audio at all, so the camera does this sometimes. I think the cameras can make beautiful pictures, and they're better every day, but it is a computer-based product with an operating system. Crap is gonna happen.

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Well the shoot went pretty well. I did a double system kind of deal. I recorded at my 552 as there was only ever the need for two channels to be recorded. Lav on subject, boom on everything else. Then I also feed a left and right to the camera via the A-Box. Set levels to it and it worked out pretty well. Pretty easy really. The producer wanted to see if this was possible and if it would work out.

As it turns out, this shoot was also a test to see if the Epic is a viable format for HBO Sports to shoot on. I misunderstood the producer when we talked on the phone about what they had done in the past. The next shoot will be based around the Alexa. Kind of an expensive way to go about testing it out. From a visual stand point, the Epic did it's job pretty well. Lots of high frame rate shots. But there was a lot of sync sound stuff as well. I recorded over 40 tracks. Some of them over 40 minutes in length for the sit down interviews.

As there is no playback available on these cameras we had to do some quick scrub through checks after the media was off loaded to massive drives. That takes a while actually. So I couldn't always get a a good listen in, but what I did hear sounded good. Of course I was also backing that up with my own recordings that we off loaded after the shoot.

I kept it all synced via my Denecke SB-3 to my 552 TC in and then I'd spike the camera every time it's battery was changed.I used my iPod Touch with JumpStart LTC to start the Time of Day TC. Once the clock in the SB-3 was started I didn't resync the iPod app again.

So if they don't like the sound on the Epic recordings, then they can just use the ones recorded at the 552.

Also, as it turns out, that 4 pin lemo to 3 BNCs, the yellow is the TC, not the white. Green in Gen lock and I'm not sure what the white one was, but it didn't work when I tried to feed TC to the white BNC.

We had no lock ups or any problems. Over all, the shoot went well.

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As there is no playback available on these cameras we had to do some quick scrub through checks after the media was off loaded to massive drives.

Playback for Epic/Scarlet is available in camera now, but not for audio. You have to load the clips into Redcine-X app to preview the audio embedded in the R3D files. RED says this is on the horizon, but I'm not holding my breath that it will be ready soon.

I had a shoot with Epic this past weekend and so say there were a few quirks is an understatement. It's an amazing cinema camera, for sure. However, like any cinema camera, you'll need to record second system. Epic/Scarlet shoots are no exception.

I was lucky enough to have access to the camera before rolling so I could enable unbalanced analog audio in (balanced signal in isn't supported yet..also, phantom power isn't available either *sigh*) and fed a mono line level mix out to one of the 3.5mm TRS mic inputs.

I found around 24-30db gain on Epic to be the sweet spot, anything higher than that and the noise was pretty bad in camera. At least, I think it was because the headphone amp on Epic is TERRIBLE. You have to crank output all the way up to -1db to get a good HP signal.

I recorded as close to -6db as I could on the mix which gave me about 12db of headroom on camera. I wanted to be sure there was no clipping, but I think that was slightly low in the end. Good enough for a scratch track, I suppose. No complaints from the client so I'm fine with that.

I stayed tethered to camera the whole time and didn't have a need for TC, but soon I will be experimenting with my Zaxnet via my Nomad to ERX1TCDs on a Scarlet.

I think that's the best, most lightweight time code and scratch track solution available for these cameras right now.

Overall, Epic never once shut down or locked up. I think once I get comfortable with the (lack of) sound options on Epic/Scarlet everything will work out fine. Just a whole new set of hurdles and workarounds I'll have to incorporate into my bag of tricks. Nothing new in that regard, I suppose.

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Playback for Epic/Scarlet is available in camera now, but not for audio. You have to load the clips into Redcine-X app to preview the audio embedded in the R3D files. RED says this is on the horizon, but I'm not holding my breath that it will be ready soon.

There are quite a few users complaining that Adobe Premiere is unable to read the audio embedded in Red files at the moment. I'm not sure whose fault this is -- Red's or Adobe's. I'm not convinced recording on the camera is good for anything except a backup.

I recorded as close to -6db as I could on the mix which gave me about 12db of headroom on camera. I wanted to be sure there was no clipping, but I think that was slightly low in the end. Good enough for a scratch track, I suppose.

Careful reading of the manual reveals that there is a built-in limiter in the Red Epic and the Red Scarlet which is non-defeatable. There's no info as to when the limiter kicks in, or what its settings are.

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There are quite a few users complaining that Adobe Premiere is unable to read the audio embedded in Red files at the moment. I'm not sure whose fault this is -- Red's or Adobe's. I'm not convinced recording on the camera is good for anything except a backup.

I agree completely. I'm pretty sure with CS6s impending release at NAB 2012, they'll have this worked out. At least I hope they do because it is possible to get audio playback with this hack involving files from Lightroom 4:

ok guys...I GOT AUDIO TO WORK IN PREMIERE PRO CS5.5!!!!... scared.gif but it takes a specific weird trick that you have to do in a specific order for it to work (not sure why but I am posting exactly what worked for me). This is on a window machine. But I believe it should work on a MAC....

Here are the steps: (please follow them precisely)

1) download and install LightRoom 4

2) move C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5\Plug-ins\Common\ImporterRED.prmto new backup folder of your choice

3) move C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5\32\ImporterREDServer.exeto new backup folder of your choice

4) now copy C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4\Support\DynamicLinkMediaServer\dynamiclinkmedias erver\1.0\Plug-ins\Common\ImporterRED.prm to

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5\Plug-ins\Common

5) Copy C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4\Support\DynamicLinkMediaServer\dynamiclinkmedias erver\1.0\ImporterREDServer.exe to

C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5\32

6) launch Premiere Cs 5.5...you will now notice that NONE of your R3d are loading anymore....don't panic! Close Premiere and follow the next step

7) copy ONLY the original ImporterRED.prm that you copied initially to a backup folder and replace the existing (broken) one.

8) launch Premiere you can load your Epic file with audio support!

I have not tested its stability enough yet...but I have been editing for an hour and I have had no Problems. THANKS David McGavran for the hint!!!! :)

I don't want to start a new thread on this until other people confirm that it is working for them or until David says it's ok to advertise this. Keep in mind this is UNSUPORTED BY ADOBE!

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do you guys have the problem of the epic or scarlet camera disabling audio when they power up? i have this problem and every time they change battery i have to un-plug and plug my audio cable in to get the camera to enable audio?

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