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Patrick Cooper

Cannot join video with splitting / joining software

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I used to use a program called HJSplit to join video segments together that were previously split. It used to work flawlessly but not anymore. Ive been doing some experimenting recently and it will no longer join the individual segments together. I gave the following file name extensions to the segments – .001, .002, .003 and .004. What happens is that these days, HJSplit will only produce video from the first segment (.001) and will ignore the others in the same folder – hence no joining takes place.

I came across this extensive list of other splitting / joining programs.

https://www.topbestalternatives.com/hjsplit/

I downloaded FFSJ and have that a try but I get the same result as HJSplit, even though it indicated that it had joined four parts. Though it did not. It just created a video from the first segment.

When I view the video segments in their folder in Windows 7, the .001 segment has a different thumbnail compared to the other segments. It looks like a bunch of steps that are stacked vertically. The rest of the segments show a blank page as their thumbnails. There's something else I notice with the individual (split) video segments that I have. When I click on the file name of the first segment (the .001 file) it says: "WinRAR Archive". However, when I click on the second file, it simply says: "002 File." And the third file says: "003 File" etc. Not sure if this is related to the problems I'm having with the joining programs that only seem to work with the first file while ignoring the others.

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Mike, I could do exactly the same with my NLE software (Sony Movie Studio.) The problem is the video footage would be rendered twice (once individually and then twice altogether) which would lead to a slight reduction in quality. The reason why I want to do the splitting and joining is because I'm working on a 20 minute wedding video and my pc cannot render long duration HD videos (it even struggles to render 6 minute HD videos.) My plan was to split the video into smaller segments with Sony Movie Studio and render each one individually so that it's less taxing on the computer. And then later join them together with a splitting / joining program (hopefully preserving the full quality.) Ive recently found out that in order to use these joining programs, the parameters of the different video segments need to be identical, and unfortunately, I can't get the bitrate to stay the same for each segment (despite me selecting a fixed bitrate with Sony Movie Studio.) 

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On 2/7/2018 at 5:37 PM, Patrick Cooper said:

Mike, I could do exactly the same with my NLE software (Sony Movie Studio.) The problem is the video footage would be rendered twice (once individually and then twice altogether) which would lead to a slight reduction in quality. The reason why I want to do the splitting and joining is because I'm working on a 20 minute wedding video and my pc cannot render long duration HD videos (it even struggles to render 6 minute HD videos.) My plan was to split the video into smaller segments with Sony Movie Studio and render each one individually so that it's less taxing on the computer. And then later join them together with a splitting / joining program (hopefully preserving the full quality.) Ive recently found out that in order to use these joining programs, the parameters of the different video segments need to be identical, and unfortunately, I can't get the bitrate to stay the same for each segment (despite me selecting a fixed bitrate with Sony Movie Studio.) 

Patrick, rendering twice in 1080p mp4 is such a tiny, infintesimal loss of quality, neither you or your client will see it. 

I think you've got your priorities in the wrong place, you're counting pixels rather than focusing on the beauty that's there and will continue to be there in the footage, as well as telling a story with it. 

I do TWO renders every wedding video, one a color-correction and sound-mix pass on the raw footage (I mix sound I recorded from the DJ system using a Tascam digital audio recorder with lav mic during the ceremony and my camera's built-in mic for ambience to create a rich, crisp sound), then a second pass to render out the final edit, and the visual quality is still gorgeous, BETTER in many instances than the raw footage, because I brightened up dark shots and tweaked the color balance to perfection.

Cyberlink Power Director uses SVRT (Smart Video Rendering Technology) so, no matter how long the movie is, it renders as one big file and quickly.

I hope you charged enough for that wedding video to justify the purchase of a faster PC with more RAM.  I don't know what hardware your current PC has, but you can get an HP laptop with 2.7 ghz processor and 8 gigs of SDRAM for $379 now at Brandsmart.  You need this speed and especially this amount of RAM to smoothly work with HD video.  You might be able to squeak by with 4 gigs of RAM, but why chance it, spend $50 extra and go 8.  If your computer only has 2 gigs or less of RAM, that's the problem.

Also, what's the final delivery format to the client?  Blu-ray?  The mp4 file on thumb drive?  DVD?  If DVD, THAT'S where you'll lose quality, down-rezzing the 1080p HD mp4 to 480p SD mpeg2.

This is a video I did as a THREE-PASS render, the final pass to convert the high-quality 1080p mp4 to low-quality 1080p mp4 to stay within free Vimeo's 500mb per week upload limit, and I think it STILL looks pretty damn good, fairly transparent to the original footage.

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Mike, beautiful work! I could learn a lot from you with regards to colour grading. Yea I admit I am being over fussy about rendering twice. Ive done the same thing in the past with a 15 minute video and that looked fine played back on a TV. I bet you're going to be surprised to hear this but I shot and edited this video for free. It was for a family member's wedding. I used a two camera set up for the church ceremony but as it was a small venue, I was forced to have the second camera at the back of the church. I played the video to the married couple today and they really enjoyed it. I haven't handed them a copy of the file yet but when I do, it'll be on a usb thumb drive. 

Call me a sucker for punishment but the only other wedding video Ive shot was also done for free - for my sister a few years ago. I found it to be a lot of work - both the shooting and the editing. On both weddings, I was asked to do the filming. 

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Thanks, Patrick!  As far as color grading, I get it pretty close to right IN THE CAMERA (a few shots typically need to be brightened up a bit). 

When I get to each location, I assess the light, determine whether added light is even needed (outdoors during the day it's typically not) and experiement with the camera and its on-camera light to get what I feel is a pleasing average brightness and color balance between ambient light and camera-mounted light.  When there are bright windows outside or uplighting inside, manual exposure is a must, lest the image go dark every time one of those bright light sources enters the frame, screams AMATEUR HOME VIDEO.

I use a Genaray 7500T LED light on the camera, which is a nice bright wide-beam light with 200-watt illumination at its maximum brightness, is dimmable and color-balance controllable, from cool blue 6500K daylight down to warm yellow-orange 2500K candle-light.  I use a 9-hour battery on it which lasts a whole event if one uses the light only when one is shooting.

When the light in the room is warm yellow-orange incandescent, typically 3200K or maybe a little warmer, because the LED light is a bit greenish when color-balanced to warm, I add a plastic sheet of half-stop pink gel in front of the light, between the panel of LEDs and the clear plastic diffuser panel to hold the gel in place.  I typically set the camera's white balance to 3200K "bulb", then tweak the color dial on the light untilI I feel its white-balance is a perfect, slightly blueish-white, balances nicely with the slightly warmer ambient light in the background. 

This room was on the cool-blue side thanks to the daylight pouring in through the windows and the blue neon strip up above the chandeliers, so I was able to turn the light's color dial all the way to blueish 6500K daylight without the pink filter gel and I set the camera's white-balance switch also to daylight.

When the daylight out the windows falls to black at night, then, unless there's uplighting, I let the LED light and the canera's auto-exposure do the work.

As far as the people, that wild uncontrollable variable, talking to the DJ/MC beforehand to get a sense of what's going to happen helps alleviate one's anxiety and helps one plan the shoot.

I also shoot a lot of cutaways and inserts, like people's reactions, shot with the main camera before or after something happens and the second camera during too, 'cuz one never knows when one is going to need 'em in the editing, to cover up an exposure change or if someone happens to be standing in front of the subject, forcing us to move the camera to see the subject.

Probably sounds like a lot of work, but it becomes instinctual, second-nature, after a few of these events lol.  I've found getting the image pretty close to right in the camera saves a lot of time and aggravation in editing as well as maximizes the image quality.  Time and experience boosts one's confidence to CHARGE for this video service, maybe not charge relatives but charge people referred BY relatives.

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Ah very handy that you can alter the colour temperature of the camera light, and dimmable too - sounds pretty versatile. I was using ambient light only during both the church ceremony and the reception with 1600iso and old, manual film lenses with large maximum apertures. 1600iso looks pretty clean in video mode on my Panasonic G6. Yea I made sure my white balance was correct and I was always using manual exposure (at least on the G6.) And oh yes cutaways are so useful. With my sister's wedding from a few years ago, I cannot believe that I did not shoot any cutaways during the church ceremony! I was certainly regretting it during the editing stage. There was a moment or two when people paused in front of the camera during recording and I ended using shots like that as crude cutaways. I learned my lesson by specifically shooting a bunch of cutaways in the recent wedding last year, though I could have shot more. 

I admit I'm not knowledgeable about audio. I was forced to use my camera's onboard mic for all the dialogue which obviously does not produce great quality audio. I note that you mentioned you use a lav mic (those are the small kind that attaches to someone's clothing, right?) I'm guessing they would only pick up that particular person's voice the best and may not record someone else's voice a few meters away as well? 

 

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2 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

Ah very handy that you can alter the colour temperature of the camera light, and dimmable too - sounds pretty versatile. I was using ambient light only during both the church ceremony and the reception with 1600iso and old, manual film lenses with large maximum apertures. 1600iso looks pretty clean in video mode on my Panasonic G6. Yea I made sure my white balance was correct and I was always using manual exposure (at least on the G6.) And oh yes cutaways are so useful. With my sister's wedding from a few years ago, I cannot believe that I did not shoot any cutaways during the church ceremony! I was certainly regretting it during the editing stage. There was a moment or two when people paused in front of the camera during recording and I ended using shots like that as crude cutaways. I learned my lesson by specifically shooting a bunch of cutaways in the recent wedding last year, though I could have shot more. 

I admit I'm not knowledgeable about audio. I was forced to use my camera's onboard mic for all the dialogue which obviously does not produce great quality audio. I note that you mentioned you use a lav mic (those are the small kind that attaches to someone's clothing, right?) I'm guessing they would only pick up that particular person's voice the best and may not record someone else's voice a few meters away as well? 

 

Congrats on these learning experiences!

Cutaways:  Yes, after these long church ceremonies, when the still photographer is posing people for formals, I'm shooting flowers, stained-glass windows, Jesus on the cross or the Star of David, anything that I feel might be relevant and useful, as cutaways/inserts.  Before the ceremony, if time allows, I'm shooting closeups of people in the congregation.  I try to get their attention, wave to them, say "Hello!  You're in the movie!  Did you always want to be a movie star?", which makes them squirm a bit, but they look into the camera and smile, which is what I need, to insert them into the ceremony looking like they're paying attention lol.

Audio:  A lav mic, if placed low on the groom's lapel, like down around his bottom rib, picks up him, his bride and the officiant fairly evenly.  If his bride is soft-spoken, one can always boost her level up by doing a rubber-band at her vows during editing.  My camera has two XLRs, so I hook the lav up to right channel 2, let the camera's built-in mic be left channel 1, then mix the two together in 2-channel mono if or as needed during editing. 

If time permits, I also hook up my Tascam digital audio recorder to the house and/or DJ sound system to record a direct feed, which I then sync up to and mix with the lav mic and camera's built-in mic if or as needed.  This makes a HUGE improvement in the closeup presence and clarity of ALL the sound, including Bible readings and officiant's voice during the ceremony as well as toasts and dances during the reception, plus the DJ/MC's incidental in-between festivities music gives me a music bed for shots of people getting served dinner if a buffet, hanging out at the bar or anywhere else I need continuous music. 

The Tascam digital audio recorder runs on 4 AA batteries, I use Amazon Basics rechargeables, which I change out during dinner, and records audio in PCM .wav format to an SD card.  It has 4 XLR and 1 1/8" inputs.  I just use the XLRs.  I have two sets of every type of audio connector cable:  XLR to XLR, 1/4" to XLR and RCA to XLR, which covers every type of audio configuration a DJ or house system will send me, x 2 for stereo if the church and/or DJ is running a stereo mix.

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Mike....I think your WB needs attention My friend.Thats whats Important all the other stuff is just the other stuff. This simply does not look Balanced.I see cyberlink changed there Free stock Music. But...........All in all good Job. Not being negative man. remember for 30 + years I spotted 491 TV shows and 37 Feature films and worked with before and after color corrections. Again Good Job. Hope your wedding Business thrives. Over the years I was asked to do weddings. stills and video I just had to say no. it was about the Mother in law.

ROFL. You have More guts than I. I can shoot Top models,Movie and Music stars with No problem. could never do a wedding.

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Laurin:  No problem and I agree.  Ok, in what WAY does my white-balance need work?  Is my white-balance too cool?  Too warm?  Information, please.  Please be specific. 

If too blue, this is how it looked to the naked eye.  There WAS a lot of blue here, receding blue daylight out the windows, the girl's blue dress, the blue neon on the ceiling above, etc., while the chandeliers are warm yellow.  In this situation, I felt this was the most pleasing average overall white-balance.  I wanted to capture reality as closely as possible to as faithfully as possible preserve these people's memories.  In a primarily incandescent-lit or candle-lit situation, things would naturally look warmer yellow.  Lol I suppose these things don't have to absolutely accurately represent reality; there's a certain amount of fantasy and show-biz to them too.

From the standard-definition days, before I had HD editing capability, here's a more warm primarily incandescent-lit situation:

Lol Laurin, I'd much RATHER be shooting movie stars or top models.  They at least know how to PERFORM for the camera and they can do a take 2.  Of course these are just ordinary people getting dolled up for one special day in their lives.  I'm not (yet) connected in that industry and therefore don't (yet) get opportunities like that, so I gotta make money somehow. 

None of this, including stock, is making me financially rich or even comfortable, so while I'll keep doing it, if I want to stay in photography and video at all, what I'm leaning toward doing now is being a camera operator and/or AV tech in big corporate events hosted by pharmaceutical companies, banks, etc., organizations making billions of dollars a year and thus have big expense accounts which they use as tax write-offs to pay us lowly contractors $300-$450 a day for 4-5 day per event stretches.

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Mike, that's good to know that a single lav mic is pretty versatile in picking up a range of people. I did notice in the last two weddings I attended that the priest's voice is generally louder than the bride and groom's. I don't have a camera with XLR inputs though I guess a lav mic could send an audio signal to a recording device remotely. By the way, do you bother adjusting the audio levels manually or does leaving it on auto do a sufficient job?

I am thinking of shooting wedding videos for money. I was wondering if you had any tips on advertising / attracting clients? I guess a website would help there. 

 

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Hi Patrick, most cameras have a 1/8" mini jack which, given a 1/8" mini or XLR to 1/8" mini cable, a lav mic will hook into too!  Do get some type of external audio recorder with a second mic too...JUST TO COVER YOUR ASS, in the event the lav mic cuts out or the sound quality from the lav is muffled or otherwise crap.

I hate dealing with wacky brides and their mothers to try and collect their money.  Many of them demand the moon on a shoestring budget and then, after weeks of haggling, negotiation, after I bent over backwards for them, dropped my price and/or threw in free extras, they tell me they found someone $50 cheaper or they're having Uncle Charley video their wedding for free, so those weeks I spent marketing to them trying to collect a deposit from them were a collossal waste of time.  INFURIATING!  SCREW THAT!

If you want to go that route, collect 50% deposit, non-refundable unless you royally screw up or due to car trouble or an act of God were not able to show up, then 50% remainder either the week before the wedding or the day of.  If they reneg on that, fine, no problem, when they pay the remainder, you'll be happy to deliver the video.  If they pay by check, allow 48 hours to verify their check cleared before delivering the video. 

I don't pay for advertising only to be abused like that.  I contacted OTHER VENDORS who are paying for advertising or who are getting such steady work through word-of-mouth that they don't need to pay for advertising either, mainly other videographers, photographers and DJ/MCs, through bridal guides.  I showed them samples of my work, they liked it and we were off and running.  I let them handle the booking and I concentrate on what I do and do well, shooting and editing.  Since they take a cut, a percentage of what they're paying me, I make a little less money that way, but I'm spending almost zero time marketing, which I like.  They send me a text or a 2-minute phone call asking if I'm available on a particular day, if I am I say yes, maybe they e-mail me a contract to e-sign, I do, I write it down on my calender and I'm booked. 

Plus wacky brides and their mothers like a one-stop shopping package deal.  They typically get a cheaper price that way, it simplifies the process for them, booking all these services at once instead of having to hunt up each vendor separately, and they know, since all we vemdors are a team which has already harmoniously worked together, their event will run smoothly.

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Mike. 34 Years ago we Hire this sought after Video guy to shoot My wife and My wedding, On the roof at sunset overlooking Beverly Hills. I hire the best Players from the Tonight show band. we did the best of the best with everything 150 guests from all over the country..........The Guy Lost half the tape, He charged $3500. I almost had the SOB shot or beatup. all we got were the table comments, Thats it.

 

I know everyone was in Blue. You did a fine job with what you had to do. I simply could not or would not even try. proud of ya.I don't even go to weddings It drives me crazy watching Photographers doing stupid things. Theres a Guy here in town That gets $350,000 to do a wedding. he is booked a year in advance He does the arab community here in Bev Hills. he Is seriously One of the most handsome men I've ever seen and Probably the best salesman on the Planet. 5 assistants,4 still Cameras,3 Video, sound,Makeup ,flowers, many Backdrops,Best Locations...   everything In a monster truck. he doesn't shot a frame. It's a front. Totally amazing. met him Years ago at My Camera store.He sells the Job and hires the best crew around.A huge production.

BTW.. I have a ZOOM H4D sound recorder. it was a gift and never used it. If anyone can use it. Your crossfades are Nice.

Make an offer.https://www.amazon.com/Zoom-H4N-Digital-Multitrack-Recorder/dp/B01DPOXS8I/ref=pd_day0_267_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B01DPOXS8I&pd_rd_r=9QG275P7B4MW3D023EJ0&pd_rd_w=CcymE&pd_rd_wg=p4pGE&psc=1&refRID=9QG275P7B4MW3D023EJ0

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Laurin:  Thanks.

$350,000 for a wedding photo/video PRODUCTION:  Whew!  And here I am in South Florida, killing myself for a few hundred $$ per wedding, having to work a second job as a security officer, the only job I could find that is time-flexible so I can schedule myself week to week and take these free-lance gigs when they come along, for $10.50 an hour, because the wedding business doesn't pay well enough to live on, feeling rather disgusted with everything at the moment, wanting to do something else completely different that pays better. 

Good salesman there in rich Beverly Hills!  Gotta love that entertainment industry and those beefy residual checks!  I shoulda got out there when I was younger and went for writing and directing episodic TV, which mighta led to movies, or at least directing commercials and music videos!

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Mike, good tip about having an external recorder with mic as backup to the lav mic. I guess there's always the chance that the groom may forget to attach the lav mic!

Are these bridal guides part of an online resource or are they publications? I admit I haven't heard of these before. I wonder if there's something similar here in Australia. 

Gosh, you're getting hundreds of dollars for wedding shoots? Is that the normal rate in South Florida or is that after commission is taken? I was in Michigan last year and they charge thousands for a wedding video over there. Same with just about any state in Australia. I have heard of some couples hiring wedding videographers from different states - that could be an option to get a higher rate perhaps? Sometimes they'll even fly them over. You should be paid much higher for your work. 

Laurin, that really sucks that your wedding videographer lost all that footage. Sounds like he was plain careless to me. 

 

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The bridal guides might be online as well as printed.  Then there are websites like The Knot, Wedding Wire, etc.  They all want you to pay for an expensive ad, but if you contact and build a relationship with other vendors who advertise in there, you don't have to.  

Yeah, mere hundred$ seems to be the going rate for a wedding video in South Florida, even when I've booked them myself.  Brides and their families are all on an extremely low budget.  One bride even had the gall to say to me "after we paid for all the flowers and decorations, we don't have any money to pay you".  I should've said "then I don't have any time to work for you".  Stupidly, I worked for her cheap.

You can charge thou$and$ here, but then you won't be working very much, maybe only one wedding per year, if that, so you better have a high-paying day job.  Or you have to be forking out $$ for a posh office in Boca or Weston to wine and dine your prospects. 

I'm trying to make up the difference by doing bulk, a lot of work, cheap.  I'm pretty fast and efficient.  I can usually turn out a wedding video within a week.

I'm doing other short-form videos now too which are fairly easy to squeeze in between wedding videos and are fun to edit as well as fairly lucrative, are also bringing in hundred$.  I'm working on a celebrity golf tournament video as well as a real estate property video now.  Short-form is the way to go as far as editing--fewer cuts!  Blessings are happening.

Thanks everyone.

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3 hours ago, Patrick Cooper said:

Mike, good tip about having an external recorder with mic as backup to the lav mic. I guess there's always the chance that the groom may forget to attach the lav mic!

Are these bridal guides part of an online resource or are they publications? I admit I haven't heard of these before. I wonder if there's something similar here in Australia. 

Gosh, you're getting hundreds of dollars for wedding shoots? Is that the normal rate in South Florida or is that after commission is taken? I was in Michigan last year and they charge thousands for a wedding video over there. Same with just about any state in Australia. I have heard of some couples hiring wedding videographers from different states - that could be an option to get a higher rate perhaps? Sometimes they'll even fly them over. You should be paid much higher for your work. 

Laurin, that really sucks that your wedding videographer lost all that footage. Sounds like he was plain careless to me. 

 

Sorry, But Most wedding Photographers especially doing video aren't the sharpest pencils in the box. Traditionally Pretty well Known Lots of very Upscale websites for wedding guys. Not any I've seen in the few 100 Dollars range.Ya make money By selling prints to everyone there.

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21 hours ago, Mike Kuhlman said:

I'm doing other short-form videos now too which are fairly easy to squeeze in between wedding videos and are fun to edit as well as fairly lucrative, are also bringing in hundred$.  I'm working on a celebrity golf tournament video as well as a real estate property video now.  Short-form is the way to go as far as editing--fewer cuts!  Blessings are happening.

 

Oh very nice. The golf tournament sounds like a big gig. I could see a lot of potential there for scenery shots in between the main action (if it's a large, attractive golf course.)

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Funerals:  Yes, Laurin!  I've done a few of those!  Haitian funerals are emotional to say the least!  The women just scream and wail!

Watching my own brother die of cancer and then attending and filming his memorial service (a video my family and I NEVER watch anymore) as well as others', I'm like "why would anyone want to REMEMBER this, their loved one's FUNERAL?".  They're so somber and forlorn with so much grief!  It's more important to remember our loved ones when they were HERE, when they were ALIVE and WELL! 

I'm trying to get into doing LIFE STORY videos, interviewing surviving family members, having them recall their memories of their deceased loved one, with still pictures and video clips.  Nothing brings the departed back alive like VIDEO, seeing them MOVE, recalling their HUMOR, hearing the sound of their VOICE!

I want to get into transferring old movie FILMS too as a small side business.

Cool audio recorder, Laurin.  Here's the one I'm using:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00OY6718K/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1518667830&sr=8-3&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=tascam+dr-70d&dpPl=1&dpID=41sfLV-3QvL&ref=plSrch

Does the same thing as yours, records up to 4 channels of audio as .wav files through 4 XLRs or one 1/8" mini.  It has a dual 2-channel recording mode, records channels 1 & 2 to one .wav file at whatever level you set and simultaneously records channels 3 & 4, the same audio as channels 1 & 2, to a second .wav file about 6db lower in level, very useful when you're not sure how loud the sound is going to be and want to avoid distortion.

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Mike, sounds like an impressive piece of audio kit. I admit I know little about audio (I know more about cameras and photography lol.) In a wedding scenario, do you manually adjust the audio levels? I think a potential challenge (with regards to adjusting the levels) is that there could be a difference in loudness between the priest and the bride and groom within the church service. With the wedding I shot recently, the priest had a loud, booming voice and the bride and groom were a bit softer in comparison when they spoke. In a situation like that, would you set the levels somewhere in between the two?

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Patrick, in the camera, I leave levels set to automatic (and still have to rubber-band the levels up and down in editing). 

In the Tascam external audio recorder, manual is the only option, so I typically set the level to about 10 o'clock (35%) on the dials for ceremony, 9 o'clock (25%) on the dials for reception/party, which is louder.

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"Watching my own brother die of cancer and then attending and filming his memorial service (a video my family and I NEVER watch anymore) as well as others', I'm like "why would anyone want to REMEMBER this, their loved one's FUNERAL?".  They're so somber and forlorn with so much grief!  It's more important to remember our loved ones when they were HERE, when they were ALIVE and WELL!  "

What I meant was showing and editing to "Show the persons Life" and as everyone will attest to a funeral is the ending. incorporating stills from The persons Life. I don't see a project Like that as sad. It's Joyous. beats the heck out of yellowing Photos........When digital first Hit I started a Photo retouching BIZ fixing Old torn yellow Pics. Made a Lot of Money and sold it.

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