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Using minidisc with a video camera

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I have been using my minidisc fro almost two years now recording audio for podcasting.

But I've lately begun to explore video and have used the minidisc as a recording source for out and about work -- such as shooting video at a street parade while also recording audio to minidisc. My camera then was simple (still) digital camera set to video mode and I worked with a camera on a monopod and a microphone attached to that.

I didn't use the minidisc audio in the hope of syncing it during a later edit -- only for ambiance and voice over interviews.

I now own a JVC mini-dv camcorder which has a built in mic socket which takes all my minidisc mikes so there is no need to make use of the minidisc as a recording option to make up for poor sound quality.

However... I was wondering if I could still make use of the minidisc player at the same time as I am shooting video.

While having a separate audio recording is a handy resource if I want to edit up audio for sharing as mp3 audio, I was wondering if I could harness the minidisc player also as a portable sound unit to compliment my video. I'm especially thinking that since my minidisc player offers automatic gain I'd really like that working for my end video product.

The other advantage of using the minidisc to record would be that I would be able to monitor my sound by listening to audio while I shoot video.

To achieve this all I need do is route the microphones through the minidisc to the jack on my camcorder by running a lead from the earphone outlet.

But I can find no literature on this "hack" -- even though, to me, it seems self evident. Most audio on most DIY videos on platforms like YouTube are awful quality. In fact,web published video's weakest attribute is audio. There's all this bandwidth on the web carrying moving images with rotten sound quality.

Of course the downside is that I need to worry about two battery supplies and two discs. but I've found that it's preferable to run the minisdisc on RECORD most of the time and only shoot video with the final edit in mind. That way I don't miss anything that later may be useful.

So does anyone knows if a rig such as this would have drawbacks or if other's have reviewed and utilized such a work up before?

For those interested in the topic of running audio by yourself there's an interesting book which, as far as I can make out, doesn't mention minidiscs: Audio for Single Camera Operation By Tony Grant (available on the web in preview shots)

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be cautious of samplerate... MD is 44.1, video is usually 48... it might not be an issue except for lengthy recordings though (might go out of sync).

While I know how sample rate can effect the way your do your editing later on after you have imported the audio file -- I'm suggesting that I am simply flushing the audio sound through the MiniDisc en route to the video camera. So the "sound" is as it is rather than being digital or formatted by kHz.

I'm tricking the camcorder's audio input.

Of course I'd probably lose the later option to edit separate stereo audio channels (I haven't got that far yet) but it's still going to be better audio -- I was hoping -- than audio that had not be 'gained' to level it out.

Thats' the point of the hack -- considering that we're talking about single camera and sound operation and me with a limit of two hands and set of ears.

Unfortunately so much MD chat is geared to music recording and live recording out and about of people talking and doing stuff is neglected. I think the format rocks at that level and I'm trying to push the envelope.

So -- if you can imagine the rig: I've got the camera on tripod (or on a monopod -- a converted extended walking stick/trekking pole that I use.) and attached to my belt or suspended from a strap over my shoulder is a pouch bag which carries the MD recorder. My microphone is either attached to the pod or free moving in my left hand as I operate the camera with the right .

The mic's input runs to the MD and from there a cable outlet carries that sound to the camera mic input. I also run earphones from the MD (something I cannot do on my camera). So I advance with MD recording at all times while selectively shooting video. I have the event all on MD as well as a series of video shots and sequences I can deploy later on in an edit.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I do this for recording live bands.

I know the video camera will not be able to take the audio to well so I usually ask if I can do a soundboard recording on the minidisc.

You can see a recording here when you click the video recording

I have never had a problem at all unless the sound go so loud the camera turned itself of as self preservation. Then I just re sync it in adobe premiere

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I do this for recording live bands.

Actually I'm not sure what you do.I assume you are saying that you record separately from the video shoot and sync it later? That may be possible with one shot setup but not if the camera is moving from sequence to sequence.

Syncing would be a tad more complicated I'd guess.

My point was to record both on the MD and the camcorder at the same time through the minidisc recorder acting as a sort of preamp for the camera.

PS: I see where you use Visivox in your recording rig. I do too.

Edited by ratbagradio
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