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Hi there,

I know several people who have missed loads of their lectures in the past semester. I also know that it is probably that other people I know will miss lectures in the future.

With these two facts in mind I have decided to see whether or not it is feasible both technically and financially to record the lectures on a DV camera and then burn a CD with the lectures.

My problems are thus:
a) How large would a lecture be if recorded? (a lecture is 50 mins long)
b) Is it feasible to record the sound separately and then add it to the video track later?
c) What other issues am I obviously ignorant of that really need to be thought about?

I really apreciate any help that can be given. I can also expand on any of the information if needs be.

Lord Evil
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Putting the lectures on CD is certainly feasible, though VHS probably makes more sense because you wouldn't have to encode them and anybody with a VHS deck could watch them.

a) on CD size would depend on the amount of compression used and the type and quality of that compression,... but go with VHS to start. I guess if you were selling lots of these it might be easier/cheaper to record CDs than VHS in volume, but maybe you could rent them.

b)Yes, it's possible to record the sound separately. Ideally, it should be synched though, which means it would be nice to have it coming from a trustworthy source. Otherwise, you'll get some drift which you'll have to cut out. Perfect synch probably isn't that big of deal for this application though so removing a couple frames here and there is probably all you would have to do "worst case scenario".

c)Okay, in my experience the camera could be your friend. You tell the prof what you're going to do but frame it in the sense of recording his great moments of insight for posterity,... not to sell to those that missed class and perhaps you can set up a tripod nice and close. Closer is better. Maybe profs that spit out the same lectures year after year even like the idea of recording them on video. Who knows.

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a) How large would a lecture be if recorded? (a lecture is 50 mins long)

Larger than a CD...you'd have to do in on DVD. My question is, though, why would you want to transfer it to CD? Why not just put it on VHS?

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b) Is it feasible to record the sound separately and then add it to the video track later?

Well, yes, possible, but why, again, would you want to do this? Why not just make sure to capture good audio on the shoot?

***************************
c) What other issues am I obviously ignorant of that really need to be thought about?

I feel like your leaving something out here. Do you want to sell this? As a college professor, I can tell you that recording a lecture for one semester, will do a student in the following semesters little good. Teachers may cover the basics, but most, if they're good, will work off of class questions and such. Hence, different semesters get slightly different material, outside of the basics, that would most-likely be on a test for that semester, and that semester only.

Caat
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ok here's the skinny on the professor recordings

DV tapes are 1 hour, so the length is perfect
so thats good

i wouldn't bother asking the professor nuthin
cuz it's much easier to beg forgiveness
then to ask permission

put your DV camera in your backpack (be sure to let it breathe)
and plug in a nice microphone in the External Mic jack
cuz i guarantee you the mic on your DV camera sucks
(relative to buying one specific), plus you can point it
and if you're being all stealth
you can string it inside your jacket sleeve

so what you'll end up with is an hour of lecture
and a completely forgettable lecture
(ohh my gawd i love OmniWeb's spell check)

so here's what i would do to "add value"
especially on the 'important' lectures

TAKE NOTES
take good notes
get together with someone else that takes good notes
and
make a 50 minute iMovie
(or you know, four 12minute parts)
and just make the slightest effort
to either use that DV to shoot your notes
or just draw em again, nice and big
and import them and use that as your "video"

(technical detail:
plug in DV camera with firewire
import the whole movie, video of inside of bag, audio of prof
<apple+J> extract the audio from the section you're working on
delete the video
now you have a 'blank' video with the whole lecture in audio
(you could at this point export the "movie" to make a QuickTime
movie, and drag it right into iTunes which MIRACLE OF LUCKY-LUCKies
recognizes .mov files...and burn that sucker)
or
if you wanna be BA
put the notes on the video
with the lecture
BUY TOAST FOR OS X
and make a video CD so people can watch the lecture
notes and all
on their fancy schmancy DVD players.
and if you don't wanna buy TOAST
then just make HIGH QUALITY movies
(each 12 minute segment about 150MB)
and burn the lecture to CD ROM and people
can pop those suckers into any computer with a CDrom drive)

do it once.. and you'll see it doesn't take long at all
you could have product in a few hours
go to the computer lab
and while you're pulling the lecture to the harddrive
work on another machine
transferring the notes
that way, when the IMPORT is done
you'll be all set to toss in the documents

or just send me the tape
and i'll do it for you
($5 per CD, 20 CD minimum
72 hour turnaround, shipping not included)
:)
;)
$)

:][
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i wouldn't bother asking the professor nuthin cuz it's much easier to beg forgiveness then to ask permission

Gosh, MrHerring, being a professor, I have to disagree with you on this one. If someone were to ask for permission in advance, and had good reason for wanting to tape my lecture, I wouldn't have any problem with it. But if someone were to do something like that behind my back, I'd have big problems with it.

I don't think it's really in anyone's best interest to teach students to be "sneaky." Going to college is partially about learning to be an adult, and how to live and get along in the adult world. As a video instructor, I would be hard pressed to teach my video students to tape someone without their knowledge...it's simply not professional, or legal. As a video producer, it is standard operating procedure to get a release form from anyone you are videotaping, outside of your average, "people in public" type of thing. If they are speaking, a release form is required.

Furthermore, although I appreciate the fact that you were very complete in repsponding to the questions asked, I get the sense that you're more interested in getting his or her business, rather than giving the best all around advice for the questions asked. It is my understanding that soliciting business on the Fool Discussion boards is a "no, no."

Respectfully,
Caat
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Hi there,

I'll clarify the position and fill in some of the blanks.

First of all it would be CDs rather than VHS because a) the only cameras available are DV and b) more students at our uni have access to a computer with a CD drive than a TV with a video machine. (I did some checking of this before posting with the people who would probably end up using the material)

Second this is a pilot of one lecture at the moment. Both the prof and myself don't feel up to doing a whole 24 lectures over a 12 week semester. There is no need to plan for more than one lecture, if anything comes of this it won't be until September 2002.

Thirdly is the issue about sound. The professor was worried that because of his lecturing style any sound recorded by the camera would get two much background noise. The other associated problem with lecturing style is that it is quite mobile and is pretty much composed ad lib during the lecture dealing with points as raised or being side tracked by thoughts as they come to him.

Next issue. The course being taught this semester just ended, was brand new. The problem with this is that anyone who missed lectures (I missed about 4 of 24 because of a hospitalisation) had a hard time catching up because the lectures were made up on the spot and the professor didn't always remember what had been covered in explicit detail. Other students helped me to catch up but it was time consuming to get everyone to bring in notes. Therefore the idea of recording each lecture means that the professors can have an exact copy of their lecture to hand to students who have valid reasons for missing large numbers of lectures.

The other thing with recording visuals as well as that sometimes stuff gets written on boards or there is body language that conveys meaning. Basically the recording of both audio and visual covers pretty much all of the bases.

If you can see a problem comming then let me know. If anyone needs more information please ask.

Thanks for help so far and hopefully thanks for what will come in the future.

Lord Evil
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Hey Evil.

Yes, more info helps. I not sure I understand your point about access to CD. Are you talking about the students who will view it, or who will transfer it for you? If you are talking about transfer, then I still stand by VHS. VHS machines are so plentiful and so cheap, it's not even funny. (Especially since I paid $700 for my first one!). The fact that the cameras are DV doesn't make a difference. I assume that you're talking about MiniDV. If so, this is the easiest thing in the world. Get any VHS player with RCA inputs and hook the camera up to it directly. Push play on the camera...push record on the Deck...you're off.

The issue of sound.
If I were doing this, I would put a lavalier mic on the professor. For the student questions, you can record them separately and edit them in, but the most important information will be the prof...and he'll be clean and on tape without extraneous noise.

Remember, one of the first rules of video production is 'don't make it harder than it needs to be.' And one of the worst rules is "...we'll fix it in post." Do whatever you can to get the best quality on the shoot itself. You'll save yourself a lot of time, and you'll thank yourself for it later.

Good Luck,
Caat
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uhh...caat, don't be lame.

--------------lordEvil said-----------------
Hi there,

I'll clarify the position and fill in some of the blanks.

First of all it would be CDs rather than VHS because a) the only cameras available are DV and b) more students at our uni have access to a computer with a CD drive than a TV with a video machine. (I did some checking of this before posting with the people who would probably end up using the material)

[enough said, cds are smaller cheaper and the players for them are more plentiful in the "market". If you wanted to be really spiffy you could make it a dual purpose CD, so that if it's in a walkman or whatever it plays the AudioTrack and if it's in a computer you can choose to listen to the audio track OR watch the quicktime video]


Second this is a pilot of one lecture at the moment. Both the prof and myself don't feel up to doing a whole 24 lectures over a 12 week semester. There is no need to plan for more than one lecture, if anything comes of this it won't be until September 2002.

[ok..

Thirdly is the issue about sound. The professor was worried that because of his lecturing style any sound recorded by the camera would get two much background noise. The other associated problem with lecturing style is that it is quite mobile and is pretty much composed ad lib during the lecture dealing with points as raised or being side tracked by thoughts as they come to him.

[great... gotta love those well prepared professors huh? gosh think how much information could be taught if, like uhh lesson plans and outlines were made. Most of my professors at uc had wireless mics connected to room speakers, could you set that up with gear from the AudioVideo department? cuz then you could even just pull the audio out of the receiver before it hits the speakers. or you could plug the line out from the receiver directly into the "line in" on the camera. Or you could just plug a tape recorder into the speaker set-up and be free to move the camera wherever you want and then just dub the sound in after... but expect minor headaches getting the audio together with the video, after the fact. Laying the audio from a clip on mic right onto the tape as you videotape will make the whole process wayyy easier]

Next issue. The course being taught this semester just ended, was brand new. The problem with this is that anyone who missed lectures (I missed about 4 of 24 because of a hospitalisation) had a hard time catching up because the lectures were made up on the spot and the professor didn't always remember what had been covered in explicit detail.

[and how much is tuition?]

Other students helped me to catch up but it was time consuming to get everyone to bring in notes. Therefore the idea of recording each lecture means that the professors can have an exact copy of their lecture to hand to students who have valid reasons for missing large numbers of lectures.

[it sounds like a simple tripod in the front row, with a wireless clip-on mic should do the trick, especially if the professor can remember to get out of the way when writing stuff on the board.]

The other thing with recording visuals as well as that sometimes stuff gets written on boards or there is body language that conveys meaning. Basically the recording of both audio and visual covers pretty much all of the bases.

If you can see a problem comming then let me know. If anyone needs more information please ask.

Thanks for help so far and hopefully thanks for what will come in the future.

Lord Evil

[ ][ ]
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Hi there,

further clarification....

The students who will need to access the material will all have CD drives. The computers available throughout the university all have CD ROM drives, some have CD RW and some even DVD/CDRW combo drives. The point is that the student can borrow the CDs from the professor and then watch it in the library with headphones take notes and then return the CD. It also means that kids without TVs and computers aren't disadvantaged because they can't afford it.

Thanks for the input Caat.

To address Herring's ideas and comments....

The idea of separate tracks is interesting but for a pilot probably a bit over the top. If the professor wants to do something from Sep 2002 then I have lots of time to refine the more elegant and 'insanely great' solution.


The issue of speakers in lecture rooms is a more university politics issue, with some lecture locations still unaware of what an overhead projector is. The problem is that some lecture halls are modern and some date from the 1970s. The money isn't an issue it is more a case of demand for speakers and the size of the room justifying the cost.

The work done in lectures is the core course you can probably get a basic 50%, or less, pass if you attended all lectures and never did any reading. The tution or seminars, as they are called over here in the UK, expands on the lectures with a breadth of knowledge that helps the student aim towards the 75%+ region of the grade scale.

To move to the setup I was considering it goes something like this. I was gonna position the camera from the student's perspective but to either the far left or the far right. This would not distract either the professor or the students. For sound I was thinking of either a cordless mic or a directional mic. This way there are no wires and at the same time as being able to shoot the prof, I can also get anything that is written on the board.

Any further suggestions or questions?

Lord Evil
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a) How large would a lecture be if recorded? (a lecture is 50 mins long)
Larger than a CD...you'd have to do in on DVD. My question is, though, why would you want to transfer it to CD? Why not just put it on VHS?


Larger than a CD? I don't think so. I have half-hour videos that compress to under a hundred megabytes. That means I could fit at least 3 hours of video on a CD. Maybe not perfect quality, but good enough for this.

I'll hazard a guess as to why not VHS - it is a PITA to duplicate, and the quality sucks.

Compared to spitting out CD-ROMs or VideoCDs every 8 minutes, duplicating video-tape in real-time is not pleasant at all.

I think VideoCD is the way to go. I think more people have PCs or DVD players than have VHS recorders. I don't know anyone without facilties for playing VideoCD, but I know plenty of people without VHS.

David


David
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put your DV camera in your backpack (be sure to let it breathe)
and plug in a nice microphone in the External Mic jack
cuz i guarantee you the mic on your DV camera sucks
(relative to buying one specific), plus you can point it
and if you're being all stealth
you can string it inside your jacket sleeve


yeah, and a couple of other helpers:

1. miniature dektop tripod

2. wireless FM microsphone

The wireless is great. If you have permission, you bug the lecturer with a lapel mic, and put the FM receiver on the camera. Sound is beamed direct to the camera in-synch.

If not a lapel Mic, you can get a standard wireless vocal mic, but they are more bulky.

Failing a wireless mic, a shotgun is the way to go to filter out the sounds of coughing and smaky smores being smacked up in the background.

David
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I don't think it's really in anyone's best interest to teach students to be "sneaky." Going to college is partially about learning to be an adult, and how to live and get along in the adult world. As a video instructor, I would be hard pressed to teach my video students to tape someone without their knowledge...it's simply not professional, or legal. As a video producer, it is standard operating procedure to get a release form from anyone you are videotaping, outside of your average, "people in public" type of thing. If they are speaking, a release form is required.


Yes.

Taping without permission is like gutter journalism. I always go to great lengths to make sure filming is allowed or accepted by the subjects.

It may not seem like much, but after a while you realize how serious it is having the power to record anybody, even if it seems innocuous.

Respect.

David
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Yes, more info helps. I not sure I understand your point about access to CD. Are you talking about the students who will view it, or who will transfer it for you? If you are talking about transfer, then I still stand by VHS. VHS machines are so plentiful and so cheap, it's not even funny. (Especially since I paid $700 for my first one!). The fact that the cameras are DV doesn't make a difference. I assume that you're talking about MiniDV. If so, this is the easiest thing in the world. Get any VHS player with RCA inputs and hook the camera up to it directly. Push play on the camera...push record on the Deck...you're off.

And then it takes an hour to duplicate an hour's footage. Only 8 minutes for a CD.

i think you are greatly over-estimating how many people use VHS. In my experience (in Australia, admittedly), computers are a more popular technology than videotape - especially among University students.

Schools are chock full of computers, but it can be nearly impossible to find a VHS deck if you are looking. have to book one out from AV services or something, instead of just going to the library or multimedia lab to watch a CD or DVD.


The issue of sound.
If I were doing this, I would put a lavalier mic on the professor. For the student questions, you can record them separately and edit them in, but the most important information will be the prof...and he'll be clean and on tape without extraneous noise.


Also, it might be a good idea to make a double-adapter for two microphones. One for the lavier, and one for a "room mic" to catch the ambiance (ha! snacky) and the student's questions. just record tham as a left and right channel on the same audio track - then mix them later with FCP or whatever.

David
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The other thing with recording visuals as well as that sometimes stuff gets written on boards or there is body language that conveys meaning. Basically the recording of both audio and visual covers pretty much all of the bases.


Another tip:

Do you have those self-photocopying whiteboards

Anyway - if the prof draws any diagrams on the board, you scan the sheets (ask him for hardcopies) and then just cut these into the video footage, so students can clearly see the drawings.

David
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To move to the setup I was considering it goes something like this. I was gonna position the camera from the student's perspective but to either the far left or the far right. This would not distract either the professor or the students. For sound I was thinking of either a cordless mic or a directional mic. This way there are no wires and at the same time as being able to shoot the prof, I can also get anything that is written on the board.

Yes.

Booms or psuedo-booms can be a good idea. For example, a shotgun mounted over the lecturer.

You obviously don't want a boom operator, so it would be more like an overhead fixed mount.

For the audience, you could use a cardoid or omnidirectional Mic, and just hang it from the ceiling above them by the cord or something - to get even coverage of the audience sound - without the mic being next to someone noisy and spoiling the sound.

David
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i think you are greatly over-estimating how many people use VHS. In my experience (in Australia, admittedly), computers are a more popular technology than videotape - especially among University students.

Perhaps. Or, perhaps it just depend upon the area. I say this only from my personal experience as a professor. When I ask my students about access, I can't recall one who has ever said that they didn't have access to a VCR but, down to the semester, I always have students who say they don't have access to a computer.

Admittedly, they may be talking about what they have at home, vs. what they can get at school, I don't know. I just know that when I want to give an assignment from one of my CDs, they ask me if they can't have it on video instead. Like I say, maybe the area makes a difference.

Caat
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Perhaps. Or, perhaps it just depend upon the area. I say this only from my personal experience as a professor. When I ask my students about access, I can't recall one who has ever said that they didn't have access to a VCR
-Caat

-----------

could it be because you teach video editing?
][
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could it be because you teach video editing?

****************************
Video editing is now done on a computer.


In addition to video editing, I also teach things like:

Film Appreciation
Acting for Film and TV
Sex, Marriage and the Family
Adult Development

So, in answer to your question...I'm thinking not.

Caat
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Film Appreciation
Acting for Film and TV
Sex, Marriage and the Family
Adult Development

So, in answer to your question...I'm thinking not.

Caat

-------------

o.......hhhhh k-k-kay...

and you don't thinnk that maybe JUST MAYBE
students that take FILM APPRECIATION
and ACTING FOR FILM AND TV
might JUST MIGHT
skew a little more toward
OWNING A VCR
than the "aver--"

ahh... <stepping away from the bunny>

forget i said anything...

it's cool...

<click>
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