5 Camcorder: sound levels

Manual or auto

Having plugged your sound feeds you must control the level at which they're recorded. Each track usually has the switchable option of manual or auto level. Do not rely on this auto function producing the ‘correct’ level of recorded sound. The auto method of operation is simply designed to increase the channel gain to amplify low level sound, and decrease it for high level sound.

Examples of these two extremes are:

(a) A mic held too closely to a person's mouth will result in the background level falling and rising following the raising and lowering of his/her voice.

(b) Conversely, with a mic at a conventional distance from a person's mouth so that it does not appear in shot, but whilst working in an ...

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