Good points. 24 Bit can help minimize artifacts and quantization noise, but as mentioned the noise floor of the location and the signal chain can all impact any benefits you might gain with 24 bit. I have found 24 bit to be very useful in post. You can do a lot with nicely recorded 24 bit 48K tracks.The fact that an audio file is 24 bit tells you nothing about how it really sounds. I can record 24 bit via the analog audio input of my laptop or on a low-cost file recorder and end up with audio that is inferior in every way to that recorded by a used DAT machine @ 16 bit. The bit width is like a videotape format--just a container. You can record very nice looking video on DVCAM and you can record unwatchable crap with a low end camera--the format is the same. As I've mentioned, there is not yet available a 24 bit A-to-D that gives you a real 24 bits of resolution, even in the ultra high end audio world. And as I've also opined, the audible difference between a good 16 bit recording of most field production audio and a 24 bit recording of the same scene would be nil. Why? 1: The background noise floor of this noisy world we live in. 2: the analog audio electronics in all video camcorders and most audio recorders under $2000 or so have so much noise and distortion themselves that the added resolution is wasted--the only real difference in a 16 bit and a 24 bit recording they'd make is that the 24 bit one would take up more storage. (By the way, there are no 24 bit DAT machines--the DAT spec is 16 bit.)
Red will cross into many shooting situations, so I guess we'll see a wide variety of audio approaches. For narrative and any kind of controlled shooting situation it is highly recommended that an audio professional be brought in to handle the task as it will almost always improve the audio being recorded and save time in post. Obviously, there are times when run and gunning just does not allow for this kind of thing. In those cases, care should still be taken to make sure you have a proper run and gun audio system in place. Solutions will appear in the next few months I'm sure. The pimping of the Red camera has barely begun. By this time next year, there will be some cool products on the market.For taking the signal of a microphone and recording it on a camcorder (F900 was mentioned), using an external mixer makes for an audibly better recording. There are two major reasons for this: first, the preamps in even a small mixer like a SD 302 or even a Shure FP33 are far cleaner and lower distortion that those in the F900, and there is the previously discussed matter of low-level analog audio amplification going on within the chassis of a device also doing high speed digital image processing--the proximity to those circuits is a real problem. The control of the audio signal in the mixer is more precise, low roll-off filters are available and easily auditioned, the headphone circuit of the mixer is much cleaner and capable of higher levels w/o distortion. Metering is immediately available. Dynamics control is usually included, either on output (FP33) or both (302, 442). The 2nd reason for using a mixer is that having worked the audio as discussed within the mixer, the user can now feed it to the camera as a much more easily recordable signal, at a good level (stay out of the noise floor mud), without big peaks (momentary distortion) and with a way, via a return feed, to immediately evaluate if there is a problem with the mix feed or how the camera is dealing w/ the sound by switching between the two on the mixer. Recording a mic directly to the camera will always have its place on certain sorts of shoots, but it will never make for as high fidelity and easily controlled and monitored track as one done via a mixer.
Philip Perkins CAS[/QUOTE]