6 Camcorder: sound metering

The recorder normally has a couple of meters, one for each track, which indicate levels and/or numbers, and wiggle in time with your sound input/s. But can you rely on them to provide you with useful information? Certainly not, unless you're also listening on headphones. A wiggling meter simply indicates a varying level of noise being recorded on that track. Whether it's the sound you want, or spurious noise being generated by your timecode circuitry, mobile phone or RF interference, can only be determined by listening.

Unfortunately, the quality of meters on camcorders often leaves a lot to be desired. Historically, they were volume unit (VU) meters, and invariably one of the cheaper components. However, since they ...

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