Whilst working on my short-film for assignment 3, I have been using my Tascom digital audio recorder and shotgun microphone for better audio reproduction. This has been a continuing learning-curve as the instruction manual tells you where to find each function in it’s menu system; but doesn’t explain what the functions do or what they are for; so it has been a plain matter of try it and see. One big problem that I have been suffering from is the sound volume which has been consistently very low and this resulted in having to re-shoot the entire first scene of my telephone conversation with Sarah as the audio content was too low when I came to add it and edit it in Final-Cut-Pro. After much trial and error I finally located the problem, it appeared that the factory setting for all the mic inputs for recording was on low gain. When listening through the headphones this was not obvious and I had to figure it out through the menu system trying various setting combinations until I hit on the right function and setting. My setting the gain to high I can make finer adjustments on the gain dial for each of the four mics that the Tascom can operate. I figured out how to operate the shotgun mic a couple of months ago and at the time thought that the mic sensitivity was purely controlled from the four dials on the front of the unit, I was wrong. Unfortunately I have already shot a lot using the Tascom set to the low gain setting but as this does not contain dialogue I think I can deal with it.
I reshot the scene with myself and Sarah on the phone with improved mic sensitivity settings on my Tascom and when I edited my shots together I overlapped the sound on some of the shots and I found a feature in Final-Cut-Pro amongst the ‘Effects’ options for audio that could alter the sound of our voices as if heard through a telephone which I used sparingly for subtlety. I also bled the audio from one shot across to the other when using this telephone tone feature. I am probably exploring techniques that will be covered in the next section and next assignment; but perhaps it can help give me a head start.