[Linux-aus] Re: A/V recordings and publishing

Silvia Pfeiffer silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 31 11:17:02 UTC 2007

It depends on the amount of effort that you want to put in how much
gear you will need.


I would certainly recommend an expensive tripod - it needs to be heavy
to be stable and smooth for panning and tilting. Trust me: it makes a
world of a difference!

Then, you will need a DV camera - consumer-quality will be plenty.
Don't go for a DVD camera - their recording capacity is 30 min only.
They are thus good to capture random walk-around footage, but not

Finally, hook up a headphone to your camera to be able to hear what it records.

This is the baseline equipment, really (btw: camera & tripod were
hired for LCA). Record to DV tapes, later hook up the camera to your
computer, use Kino to rip and edit (mostly trim front and back), use
ffmpeg2theora to transcode, and you're done.


The only problem with this equipment is that you will not get good
sound unless you are able to hook up to a PA output. Here is where the
complexity starts, since most theatres don't provide you with such
output (Clancy did at LCA). All the art in video production is in the

A first step to improving the sound is by using lapel mics (make sure
your camera can take mic input). (BTW: we also rented the lapel mics
for LCA). These give you the speaker in perfect sound quality.

What you may still be worrying about is the questions and the laptop sound.

To get the questions, you need wireless handheld mics. But now you
have two sound sources that need mixing. Well, the cheapest approach
to that is a Beachtek XLR adapter, which you screw under your camera
onto the tripod and takes 2 inputs to mix down to one with mic output.

If you're really keen and want to get the laptop sound, too, you end
out with three inputs (as we did at LCA) and now you need a proper
mixer to take all the signals in.


Another improvement to make is the medium onto which you record. DV
tapes are rather hard to handle and take ages to rip. We wanted a
simpler process and thus bought some consumer DVD recorders that we'd
hook up to the firewire output of the cameras to do recording.

Of course you want to monitor that the recording is actually
happening, so we also bought some small black/white TVs, which we got
from Toys'R'US for under $20.

You can throw the DVDs into any computer and transcode from there.
They are also a good back-up medium. And they require lots less
storage than DV tapes and are much easier to organise.

And this is my preferred future setup for SLUG: DV camera, tripod,
lapel mic, DVD recorder, TV.


Hope this helps.


On 1/30/07, Janet Hawtin <lucychili at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 1/30/07, Silvia Pfeiffer <silviapfeiffer1 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'm not trying to paint everyone black here, but life has taught me
> > some lessons.
> fair enough =) wear and tear and suchlike.
> do you have some suggestions for what kind of tech n00b lug recording
> types should aim for ? is it ok to post the kinds of tech that is
> needed per recording space?
> that gives folks somewhere to start? =)
> cheers
> janet

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