Zoom H2 + Canon 5D Mark II + RedHead Windscreen + High Winds + Audio Sync

December 13, 2009

Holy windblast Batman !!!…, this is the windiest day I’ve seen on Maui in a long time, and Zoom H2 did great. I’m very impressed with the audio quality in this tiny little pocket rocket.

My set ups are usually very simple and this test was the same. The Zoom H2 was mounted to the middle priced Joby gorrilla pod ( love this thing ) and the RedHead windscreen was near by to cut this devistating wind noise down to nearly nothing. Some wind noise did get through to the sensitive mics but I suspect you will never be using your Zoom H2 in these types of extreme conditions. And if you do, you should still be fine.

My Canon 5D Mark II was just situated on the small backpack I use to carry all this wonderfully powerful technology and that’s about it. Simple

Syncing the Zoom H2 to the Canon 5D Mark II is a breeze as well. The most important thing is to clearly slate each shot. An example for me. ” Zoom H2 and Canon Mark II with 50mm lens at Kuau bay, take 1 ” followed by a loud clap of the hands in front of the Zoom H2 and Canon Mark II that are recording.

My Zoom H2 and Canon 5D Mark II audio sync workflow:

1. Once you bring the two clips into your computer, take a min and name all your files. Eg : Video file name : KuauBay50mmT1 Audio file name : KuauBay50mmT1 and so on.. This is THE most important habit to create for yourself as once you have tons of clips in there it’s increasingly difficult to find what you are looking for. “Where the heck is the audio for this clip !!, I know I have it somewhere !” You don’t want to be this guy…

2. I use Premiere CS 4 but this will be the same in Final cut, Sony Vegas, etc..
Load your video clip into the viewer and scrub to the point that you clapped. Once you are near it, use your keyboard arrows to scrub forwards or backward frame by frame until you hear the very first instance of the clap sound. Toggle left to right to make sure you aren’t 2 frames in. On the first frame mark your ‘in’ point usually by just hitting “I” and quickly go to the end of the clip, or wherever you want to end and hit “O” to mark your out point. Now you can drag your clip into the timeline and it’s ready for audio. Do the same with your audio clip and drag it into the timeline. When you drag it near the start point of the video clip, it should “snap” into place, if not, put the playhead at the beginning of the video and it should snap to that !

Done. Now you can delete the audio that the camera captured and you are left with the beautiful audio of the Zoom H2.

I first purchased the Zoom H4n and didn’t think much of the H2 but now that I have one my mind is expanding, I may have to get another one and here’s why :

Say I’m shooting my indy film and I’m just doing some guerrilla shooting on the streets or whatever. I’d probably be using my Zoom H4n to capture the actors performance but why not add a few more mics to the “mix” it will save me from doing it later.

I’d just slate and mark all the mics on the first take and run them off into the scene before “action”. Maybe hide one 100ft away capturing distant traffic. Maybe hide one in a tree, capturing the rustling leaves or anything else that helps add audio depth and dimension to the scene.
Sure I can “fix it later in post” or in this case add sounds. But for the price of two Zoom H2′s, why not just do it now ? I love it.

Details :
Camera : Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: 85mm Canon non “L” version
Sound: Zoom H2 handheld recorder
Windscreen: Redhead Windscreen “Gunmetal” color
Legs : Joby gorilla pod
Music: Buddah bar & The Cure

Edited and Color graded in Adobe Premiere CS4. I just play with the channel mixer to taste, add a little noise.

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