Canon HDV XL H1 4 channel audio capture- HELP!

Posted by dev101 
Canon HDV XL H1 4 channel audio capture- HELP!
April 05, 2009 01:21PM
ok so of course I need help right away! I am trying to capture audio from a Canon XL H1. The first 2 audio tracks have are the board mic, the 3rd audio track has no sound and the 4th has the interview. And I can capture the first 2 audio tracks in HDV on to final cut pro 6.0.5. But cannot get the much needed 4th audio track.
The footage is in HDV, not DV. So I can't change the preset. And the footage was shot in 24f.

I have a Macbook Pro and am connecting with firewire 400.
I can listen to the 4th audio track on the camera through the head phones, so I know its there. The most common answer I've hear is that I can capture it in two passes, But I can't find anywhere that can capture the second two tracks in HDV mode. I've tried to trick it and switch it to DV mode and then capture the second two tracks but it give me a no video error.

The only work around I've seen is recording the audio out on the monitoring headphone jack. But there has to be a way to capture audio track 4. Please help!! I have about 80 hours of footage, and a Canon VIXIA HV30, if you can suggest a work flow that I can capture the 4th audio track I would be very appreciative.
Also we would like to convert it to apple pre res 4:2:2.
And I understand that we will need to do a 3:2 pulling out in cinema tools.

PLEASE HELP! I needed this yesterday of course. Thanks
Re: Canon HDV XL H1 4 channel audio capture- HELP!
April 05, 2009 02:10PM
Audio channels 3 and 4 aren't delivered over the Firewire port. They only come out through the analog spigots.

But the larger issue is that when you record four tracks of audio on an HDV tape, the audio signal gets compressed all to hell. In two-channel mode the compression is pretty bad ? 192 kbps per channel, MPEG-1 layer II ? but in four-channel mode it drops to 96 kbps per channel. It's unacceptable to my ears.

The XL H1 is a great little camera, but only for recording picture. Don't even bother putting audio on it. Get yourself a four-channel recorder (I use the Edirol R4 Pro) and just shoot dual-system sound. It's a tiny bit more work in post, because you have to sync all your rushes, but it's a small price to pay for acceptable sound.

Re: Canon HDV XL H1 4 channel audio capture- HELP!
April 05, 2009 10:58PM
Hi you have a good point, unfortunately I'm just the editor. The camera/ sound guy, washed his hands of this and left me to figure it out.

I've found two ways of getting that audio. but I'll take any suggesting because I might be doing something to the signal I don't want to do.

First I can use the AJA IO HD box, I can connect it to my Macbook Pro via firewire 800 and hope fully capture all 4 audio tracks at once. it seems to be the the best answer. Tomorrow I will try and rent one. And then test it.

I have found another work around. I'm capturing in FCP through firewire as usually, and then from the XL H1's RCA channel 4 output I have a RCA to XLR cable going in to a PreSonus FIREBOX that connects to the Macbook pro via 6 pin firewire. Then inside quicktime I can capture audio track 4 independently at the same time as capturing in FCP, and it seems to work!
But the draw back is I still have to sync them up. So I will still try the AJA io HD BOX. then with my 80 hours of footage I don't have to deal with 80 separate aiff files.
What do you think, am I killing my audio signal?
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