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Canon GL2 [XM2] vs. XL1s

Which Camera produces better quality picture?

Canon XL2 [GL2 U.S.]53%[ 9 ]
Canon XL1S47%[ 8 ]

Total Votes : 17

Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:04pm

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SFX-Spaz

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Hello!

I know I already posted a topic about this, but I am having THE HARDEST TIME making a decision. Everyone at the forums has been saying go for the xl2, but then there was one person on the forums who specifically compared these two and said the XL1S was better. I also have read good reviews of the XL1S, and was wondering if I could get some help from you guys. I'm going for the best quality picture, I have lighting so that isn't an issue. In your opinion, which one should I choose?
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:28pm

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pboniface

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hmmm.... Well, here is one argument for it...

Used in "proper movies"....

XM2... None Spring to mind..

XL1s ... 28 Days Later....

The XL1s with its choice of Interchangeable Canon Lenses is probably a better choice...

Just Jealousy speaking here, but how come a lot of people here can afford XL1s and are using ALAMDv not After Effects of its expensive (Overpriced?) counterparts...

Or is there a lot of people using school/college equipment.. If only I had the cash for an XL1s
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:29pm

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SFX-Spaz

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Wait...wait. 28 days later was filmed with the XL1S?!

-j, who is about to pee his pants
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:29pm

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TAP2

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Perhaps they raided the camera shops with shotguns and forced the retailers to hand them over...

That's what I'm planning on doing...
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:30pm

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TAP2

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Yep, 28 Days later was filmed with an XL1S

It's great quality on DVD, but apparently it was VERY poor at the cinema
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:30pm

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pboniface

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Yes.. Danny Boyle used a grand total of 5 of them for the entire film.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:33pm

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TAP2

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I give him much respect for showing people like us that it can be done without using cameras with a £xxxxxxxxxxxxxx price tag...
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:35pm

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SFX-Spaz

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Wait, if I wanted to create great picture quality with the xl1s, what new lens would you suggest I buy...?


-j
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:38pm

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TAP2

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Although I know absolutely nothing about lenses, here is some advice biggrin

It depends, what overall film effect you are after. You can change specific lenses and filters depending on the scene you want to film.
You also may want a widescreen lense biggrin

It also helps if you have things like UV filters, to get even better picture quality.
Posted: Mon, 22nd Dec 2003, 11:42pm

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SFX-Spaz

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Well, here is my main question. I don't care what the look of the camera is, but do ANY of the lenses that you can buy for the xl1s change the quality of the camera itself? Thank you so much!

-j
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 1:23am

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Marek

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lenses are just gonna change the view. Its not gonna add any quality unless the lense has the ability to change the framerate and resolution wink
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 1:43am

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Kid

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The quality of the lens makes a huge difference. In fact it is one of the main reasons professional DV cameras are so much better than amatuer and semi pro ones like the xl1s.

Secondly you seem to be a little confused with versions. The XL1 and XL1s are the 2 versions with interchangable lenses. There are pal and ntsc versions of each. The XM2 and GL2 have different model numbers because they are slightly different and not just the pal and ntsc versions of the same camera. (however one is pal and one is ntsc) The XL2 will be the next version of the XL1s.

The XL1s is technically inferior to the GL2/XM2 because it is slightly older and various features and the encoding have been updated. However the XL1s does have added features of allowing interchangable lenses and an optional thing for xlr audio inputs.

So people may immediatly think, oh I can buy a lens for the XL1s which makes it much better BUT this is wrong. Good quality lenses are very expensive, so you can expect to pay not only a grand extra for the ability to change lenses but the same again on lenses that make it worthwhile doing.

I very much doubt that anyone here will actually make use of this ability properly and I have seen some people get cheap nasty lenses and stick them on making it look worse!

The most common lenses people are going to want to use, they would be much better buying good quality adapter lenses which they can stick on the front of the XM2 and have the same effect.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 2:40am

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SFX-Spaz

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Kid wrote:

However the XL1s does have added features of allowing interchangable lenses and an optional thing for xlr audio inputs.
Wait wait, so the GL2 does not support xlr microphones?
Bah, I must be really confused...

Question : Does the GL2 have XLR inputs, so you could attatch a mic to the gl2, instead of using the onboard kind. Say I wanted to use a fishpole: Would I be able to hook a mic with xlr connections to the GL2 for use?

thanks,
-j
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 2:57am

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Aculag

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There are adapters for both cameras to support XLR. I use the MA-100 with my XL1s, and it works great. It's just another 150 bucks to spend. As for the lens issue, from what I understand, the Manual lens for the XL1s does improve the picture quality slightly. And I personally think it's the best of the lenses, due to the fact that everything is manual on it. If you're not going to buy an extra lens, buy a GL2.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 3:26am

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SFX-Spaz

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Where'd you find it for $150 bucks?! I only see like $195

thanks!

-j
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 7:26am

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anonymous

Here's something to consider:

The XL1s has three 270K gross pixel, 1/3" CCDs [effective runs at 250K each].

The GL2 has three 410K gross pixel, 1/4" CCDs [effective runs at 380K each].

So, the GL2 has more pixels per CCD, but the XL1s has the bigger CCD to begin with. Basically, up to you from here.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 12:24pm

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Kid

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Er bigger ccd is worse. Its pixels that count.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Dec 2003, 3:17pm

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wdy

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Marek wrote:

lenses are just gonna change the view. Its not gonna add any quality unless the lense has the ability to change the framerate and resolution wink
Yes lenses may change the view...although what you will need for the camera is a UV lens which is must have it not only protects your original lens but also stops dirt, dust and scratches building up on that. If you damage your original lens its not as simple as you think, you cannot replace it as it is a component literly attached to the camera you will not be able to fix it. Therefore don't take the chances and get UV Lens and slap it on, it will not change your view or quality of your picture but it will protect your lens. The UV Filter is also threaded so you can add other lenses and filters off of that.
Posted: Sat, 27th Dec 2003, 11:40pm

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gent23mj

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I have recently bought a GL2 and must say that it is an excellent camcorder. If you are not interested in changnig lenses for dynamic shooting, then there is no CONSIDERABLE difference, so go with the GL2
Posted: Sun, 28th Dec 2003, 2:16pm

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adamlightandmagic

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I find it unfortunate that Aculag and SFX-Spaz would pay 150-200 bucks for something that will let an XLR mic be recorded to your camera.
A simpler path would be to buy a separate DI device (i.e. Behringer UltraDI100), plug your XLR mic into that and then pass the audio via a jack to your camera's input. A nice £30 total. Easy, eh?

Adam.
Posted: Sun, 28th Dec 2003, 6:16pm

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Kid

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Well no because then you lose the benifits of having an xlr mic!
Posted: Sun, 28th Dec 2003, 6:18pm

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wdy

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I'm hopefully purchasing my Canon GL-2 sometime this holiday smile
Posted: Sun, 28th Dec 2003, 7:05pm

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adamlightandmagic

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Kid, please tell me why you think you lose the benefit of the xlr input. I work in audio and would like to extinguish any myths that may be going round about this.

Thanks,
Adam.
Posted: Sun, 28th Dec 2003, 8:52pm

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pboniface

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Of you are using a microphone some way away from the camera (I.E. on a boom, or handheld for a news broadcast etc.) then you should always use a balanced microphone (Normally XLR) and a fully balanced (Twin and screen) microphone cable. A normal cable can act as an aerial and may pick up radio interference. A balanced microphone and cable cancels out any radio transmissions leaving you with good clean audio.
if however you only have a short cable run, any benefit from XLR is essentially pointless. Better spending your money on a decent windshield and blimp...
Posted: Sun, 28th Dec 2003, 8:59pm

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Joshua Davies

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We used both an XL1S and an XM2 for our promo. The XM2 produces a better quality picture in every situation - its a shame it doesn't have a manual focus ring.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 1:51am

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Kid

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adamlightandmagic wrote:

Kid, please tell me why you think you lose the benefit of the xlr input. I work in audio and would like to extinguish any myths that may be going round about this.

Thanks,
Adam.
xlr is less susceptable to noise. Basically it has a positive and negative version of the signal rather than a signal and return loop. This means that any noise is applied to both lines and cancelled out.

Maybe working in audio could explain your crazy zooming for any video conversion technique. razz
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:00am

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adamlightandmagic

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Check pboniface's answer. I use XLR and jack cables everyday and the difference isn't worth bothering about. Noise isn't a problem unless you've got bad cables or you're trying to get the most out of the higher registers in post. But then, that's why some films use a lot of gating.
Don't let Canon or whoever tell you what you need. Do plenty research and ask people around here for alternatives. You can get plenty of good DI units that will do the job just as well. Even that Behringer I mentioned can remove nasty elements.
And if you can't get rid of the noise, you should let someone else deal with that side of things.

Adam.

P.S. The zooming idea was thought up for that other guys needs. It works. Never had a problem with it. I prefer widescreen output anyway. Check my film ratio on here!
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:23am

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Kid

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why don't YOU check pbiniface's answer? it seems to answer your question. What is the point of having a clsoe external xlr mic and running it through some audio device to minijack rather then using the built in mic! If you are using a boom then this tells you why xlr is better.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:27am

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adamlightandmagic

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pboniface said,
A balanced microphone and cable cancels out any radio transmissions leaving you with good clean audio.
That's it. So, using a DI changes nothing. If anything it will be better. You just have to have a good cable on the other side of your mic and camera.

Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:33am

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Kid

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No you fool. Radio transmissions isn't just your local fm station. Every cable sends out a radio signal. Every cable also picks up any nearby radio signals. This means that any run of cable will pick up noise unless, like in xlr cables it's setup not to.

I'm sorry to sound harsh but you are being particularly dim today.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:34am

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adamlightandmagic

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Well duh. Get shielded and balanced stuff.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:36am

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Kid

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If its a standard minijack it isn't balanced, that's the whole point of xlr!
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:36am

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adamlightandmagic

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who's got a minijack?
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:42am

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Kid

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The xm2 has a minijack mic input, most cams have that or the 3 way thing or some have the small one which is used in walkman headphones which I like to call a mini mini jack. Guitars have the standard size thing which I guess is called simply a jack.

There are 2 sizes of minijack btw, one is more standard than the other and that is the one that most cams have.

I am mojo jojo, mojo jojo is my name and you will respect my authoritah!
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:44am

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adamlightandmagic

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Didn't realise the XM2 had a minijack. That sucks. How much extra money does a 6.5mm jack point cost to install? Damn cheapos...

Well, I thank god I don't use my camera for main audio. I'll leave that to real equipment.

Peace,
Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:45am

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er-no

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Having now used both cameras in question.
I prefer the XM2 model.
However, I don't really have much to scream and moan about, I have access to both the cameras. Although the university I go to are a bit sucky on lending out the cameras to a first year over the Xmas holiday.

Still. XM2/GL2 gets my vote smile
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:47am

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Kid

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I would like you to show me a cam that has the full size jack! Anyway, it doesn't matter what size it is the point is that xlr is balanced and the normal one isn't.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:50am

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adamlightandmagic

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The point is that there is no balanced input. And Canon are very happy to charge people 195 smackers for, what I consider, basic inputs. This doesn't sound like a good service to offer your customers. It shouldn't cost more than £30-40 for a device like that to be installed. I find that really disgusting of Canon. And whoever else that does the same.

Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:52am

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Kid

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Well not really. If you compare the price to a proper pro camera then you will see that you are actually getting a lot for a low price. It really hits the value point which is why it has done so well.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 2:56am

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adamlightandmagic

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For the same price, I could get a tiny multitrack machine with an XLR point and 24-bit 96khz recording. You'll also still have plenty of cash leftover and the quality will be better.
That's why I think they're cheating people. Like I said, it's all about researching into things. And 24-bit gives a nice bit of headroom to work with ahead of noise. wink

Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:01am

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er-no

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The XM2's minijack is very good.

Canon aren't ripping people off. The XM2 is one of, if not the best miniDV camera available.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:02am

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Kid

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Well perhaps you could get that for the same price but then you have to add the cost of the digital inputs to get that into the computer and the time you spend messing about syncing it up.

Remember that the xlr option is just that, an option for people who need better audio.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:05am

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adamlightandmagic

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People make a lot of fuss when it comes to syncing up audio, but it's so easy it's not funny. neutral Just use a basic clapper boy or digital "blip" to mark the audio on the camera and audio. Just like timecode. wink

Er-no - We're talking about the audio side of things where it concerns the XLR pack that they (Canon) charge $195 for. That same amount of money could be put towards a genuine audio device that would produce better sounding audio.

Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:10am

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Kid

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Syncing audio is not just about lining up the start. If it was that easy then it would be simple. The point is that timing is not that accurate and that is why professional devices have locked audio.

Secondly, sampling at a higher bitrate and converting down as you suggest is more complicated and would give a slightly lower quality result.

Yes, there are plenty of ways to plug in an xlr mic to a camera without getting the proper add-on but the add-on provides the best method to get that audio for those that it is important to and also is a lot cheaper than the next best alternative which is a pro camera with xlr inputs or a seperate device with proper timecoded audio recording.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:17am

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adamlightandmagic

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Kid, I've synced up audio before and it works. I shot a music video with live audio and then synched up recordings on an external machine. It works and it's so simple. I send all the recordings via scsi to a burner and then to a cdrw disc. Then to the comp where I pull the recordings together. Easy.

Secondly, sampling at a higher bitrate and converting down as you suggest is more complicated and would give a slightly lower quality result.
1. Converting the audio is a simple process.
a) Either an external program will do it for you (Premiere, Vegas, etc.)
b) Or your NLE program will do that as you render.

2. Lower quality results? Not true. Recordings done at higher and higher bitrates (etc.) and then mixed to 16-bit 48/44.1kHz will always sound better than if it had been recorded at those above rates.


Peace,
Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:22am

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Kid

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A) Syncing audio can be easy if you are lucky or alternatly it can be very tricky if you arn't.

B)Sampling at 44kHz will sound better than sampling at 48kHz or 96kHz and then re-sampling down. This is for the same reason that resizing images creates jaggies and requires antialiasing.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:26am

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adamlightandmagic

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A) Syncing audio can be easy if you are lucky or alternatly it can be very tricky if you arn't.
You don't believe me then. My process is just a fluke? Try actually using it and then tell me what you think. If you've had bad experiences with the process, I'll understand. Otherwise, why shoot down the idea?

B)Sampling at 44kHz will sound better than sampling at 48kHz or 96kHz and then re-sampling down. This is for the same reason that resizing images creates jaggies and requires antialiasing.
Do you think recording artists still record at 44khz? Why do you think they invest in digital audio with rates up to 192Khz?

Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:28am

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Kid

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A) yes it is a fluke. If you really want I can send you an audio sample which wont match right up with it's video. It totally depends on what you are recording with and if it is a short recording.

B) you are not a recording artist
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:31am

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adamlightandmagic

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1. I've used the technique 3 times and it's still working. Your audio sample is not necesary because it will be nothing like what I record.

2. I am a recording artist. And I could be on the following label at some point this coming year - http://www.wickerman-records.tk

Do not assume. neutral

Peace,
Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:34am

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Kid

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oooh a record label with a free domain, how professional!
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:36am

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adamlightandmagic

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Labels have to start somewhere. And I'm also an Audio engineer, which is why I'm on about the audio.

Why do you criticise about this label when you know nothing about them?

Peace,
Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:37am

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Kid

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Well because you are trying to use their credability to further your own and they don't have any. Where do you work as a sound engineer btw and why don't they use xlrs?
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:40am

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adamlightandmagic

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You're just trying to insult me and anything related, now.

Their credibility lies with the people I see in the city of Glasgow in Scotland. The label has only been around since March. Credibility lies with the people involved.

I am currently a volunteered SE at a studio in my hometown. Why don't they use Xlr? You're obviously not serious.

PEACE,
Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:44am

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Kid

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I'm not trying to put you or anyone else down. You are trying to use things as credentials to further your side of the argument, I am simply trying to ascertain whether they actually mean anything or if you are just name dropping.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:48am

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adamlightandmagic

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I'm not about to pry into your background. I was just getting the simple point about ext. audio recordings, across. And the only reason I dropped the name was because you said I wasn't a recording artist. Something you don't know. Just check my profile for the things I'd done prior to 2002. My old website has that, at least.

Adam.
Posted: Mon, 29th Dec 2003, 3:37pm

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wdy

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You guys are really dueling this one out eh..
Posted: Tue, 30th Dec 2003, 2:39am

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Kid

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heh