Beachtek adaptor at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old September 4th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 99
Beachtek adaptor

Hi guys. I need some advice. I'm thinking about buying the Beachtek adaptor DXA-6 but I'm having second thoughts whether it will be worth it.

I currently own a Rode Videomic for exteriors and a Rode NT3 for interiors. The NT3 is connected to the camcorder with a simple xlr to 3.5mm adaptor cable. The Beachtek would obviously be used with the NT3 as the Videomic doesn't have XLR connections although I may upgrade the shotgun to an XLR in the future. I have doubts because:

1. At the moment I can't see myself using 2 mics at the same time.
2. At the moment the only xlr I have is for interiors and I haven't as yet had the need to run cables > 5 metres (the cut off for need of balanced output)
3. The NT3 can be battery powered.

The reason why I'm thinking of the Beachtek is essentially for potential future projects (longer cables, although I may be being overly optimistic - I'm presently a one man band) and for phantom power, thereby giving greater scope for better mics. The other reason is that I'm going to New York soon and the Beachtek is so much cheaper than in the UK.

So I guess what I'm asking is, all things being equal, would the sound quality from the NT3 be that much better going through the Beachtek adaptor with phantom power compared to the current adaptor with battery power? Would it be a really noticeable improvement in my current situation?

Someone suggested that because the Beachtek doesn't have preamps then I shouldn't see too much difference. However, the NT3 is a really hot mic so are preamps that important for dialogue recording?

Thanks for any help.
Mark Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 09:36 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fareham, UK
Posts: 131
Mark ...

I started off using a BeachTek DXA-4 (no phantom power), running two NT3s into it with excellent results. I've used in-line XLR adaptors and transformers in the past and they are fine but are more likely to come adrift and cause noise and hum due to poor connection than the BeachTek.

But for the same price (or less) than the BeachTek, you can buy a reasonable portable mike mixer which will allow you more control over level and tonal quality and give you much more flexibility for the future.

I have a Behringer UBB1002 mains/battery mixer so I can mix up to 5 XLR mikes on very long balanced cables for stage work. The mixer is wired to one or two cameras using phono to min-jack cables and the quality is excellent. You might also want to look at small digital mixers such as the Alesis 8 and 12 track firewire or USB mixers. These are a bit more expensive, but also give you the option of recording multiple channels into a laptop at higher quality than DV/HDV can deliver, and you can re-mix in post.

So its as well to know where you are going with this before parting with the cash.

Tony
Tony Neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #3
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Makati, Metro Manila
Posts: 2,706
Images: 32
If you really want to improve your audio, look for these things in the device you purchase:
  • Ability to set levels manually
  • Ability to easily monitor your levels
  • Good pre-amps
  • A decent limiter - for audio overload
  • Phantom power - which allows better mics
The trick is to get it all in a simple package without breaking the bank. The beachteks starts you down that road, but I don't think you'll really experience a significant improvement with your equipment. If you were looking to upgrade your mics then the DXA-6 makes more sense. The DXA-6VU makes even more sense since it has the level meters. The DXA-FX or inexpensive mixer is further down that road and can be a decent compromise.

If you're serious about improving audio quality, the next level up is the Sound Devices MixPre/US$700 and the Sound Devices 302 Mixer/US$1300. And it goes on from there.
__________________
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
Michael Wisniewski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 11:12 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Neal View Post
Mark ...


I have a Behringer UBB1002 mains/battery mixer so I can mix up to 5 XLR mikes on very long balanced cables for stage work. The mixer is wired to one or two cameras using phono to min-jack cables and the quality is excellent. You might also want to look at small digital mixers such as the Alesis 8 and 12 track firewire or USB mixers. These are a bit more expensive, but also give you the option of recording multiple channels into a laptop at higher quality than DV/HDV can deliver, and you can re-mix in post.

So its as well to know where you are going with this before parting with the cash.

Tony
Tony:

I was looking at this set up, having had learned the benefit of a field mixer in a shoot I did a couple of months back. In that case I used mixer and my DXA-4, running line out from the field mixer via another XLR cable. I looke at the UBB1002, and noted that line feed would be coming in as you indicated. One of the benefits I liked about the set up we used was that sound man/boom man could be pretty remote from camera. How long a line have you been able to run with the that type of cable without having issues ?
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Tony:

I was looking at this set up, having had learned the benefit of a field mixer in a shoot I did a couple of months back. In that case I used mixer and my DXA-4, running line out from the field mixer via another XLR cable. I looke at the UBB1002, and noted that line feed would be coming in as you indicated. One of the benefits I liked about the set up we used was that sound man/boom man could be pretty remote from camera. How long a line have you been able to run with the that type of cable without having issues ?
More than you're likely to ever need <grin>. I've seen references to hundreds of feet for balanced mic level cables up to several thousand feet for balanced line level,
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 11:38 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
More than you're likely to ever need <grin>. I've seen references to hundreds of feet for balanced mic level cables up to several thousand feet for balanced line level,
My question was probably a bit confusing. It appears that the run between the UBB1002 is not XLR balanced cable. I don't know if that is needed, and I am no sound tech, but will that create a problem at greater distances from the camera, using longer phono to minijack cables he indicates runs between camera and mixer ?

Example: In one shot, I was at camera 20 feet away from mixer, being held by boom pole operator, sound guy. Who was monitoring sound and operating boom pole. Can we get that same type of remoteness with the phono mini jack type cable ?
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
My question was probably a bit confusing. It appears that the run between the UBB1002 is not XLR balanced cable. ...In one shot, I was at camera 20 feet away from mixer, being held by boom pole operator, sound guy. Who was monitoring sound and operating boom pole. Can we get that same type of remoteness with the phono mini jack type cable ?
The answer is .... maybe. It all depends on the environment and the amount of potential intereference present. 20 is pushing it for unbalanced if you have motors, flourescent lights, cell phones, etc in the immediate vicinity.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fareham, UK
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
Tony:

I was looking at this set up, having had learned the benefit of a field mixer in a shoot I did a couple of months back. In that case I used mixer and my DXA-4, running line out from the field mixer via another XLR cable. I looke at the UBB1002, and noted that line feed would be coming in as you indicated. One of the benefits I liked about the set up we used was that sound man/boom man could be pretty remote from camera. How long a line have you been able to run with the that type of cable without having issues ?
Chris ...

My mixer is always next to the camera so the cable is only a coupe of feet long at most. But don't forget we are talking about a line-level signal from the mixer to the camera, which is much less prone to interference from external sources so longer runs with a good quality camera may not be a problem.

Another option is to use an analogue or digital audio recorder, or preferably use a second DV camcorder to record just the audio from the mixer using the DXA-4 - any old camcorder will do. Audio recorded on DV is much easier to sync up in the edit - and it stays in sync.

Tony
Tony Neal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 06:04 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Neal View Post
Chris ...

....
Another option is to use an analogue or digital audio recorder, or preferably use a second DV camcorder to record just the audio from the mixer using the DXA-4 - any old camcorder will do. Audio recorded on DV is much easier to sync up in the edit - and it stays in sync.

Tony
Not to be contrary but that doesn't make a lot of sense. DV cameras are not noted for their audio circuit quality ... far too often it seems the manufacturer has treated audio as the ugly stepchild. Nor is there any reason for an audio-only signal recorded on DV tape and captured into the computer to be any easier to sync up than would be a BWF file recorded at 48kHz sample rate on a good quality audio recorder. If anything I'd expect sync to drift WORSE with audio recorded on "any old camcorder" since the stability of the sync clock is the determining factor in sync drift and a beatup old camcorder is more liable to have a wonkier clock frequency than a current generation audio recorder.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 4th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Elk Grove CA
Posts: 6,838
Thanks all for the info guys. The nice thing about the unit we were using in that shoot was that it did run balanced from the mixer to the camera. I do have a plug powered Yamaha mixer that is set up the same way as the UBB1002, and I will experiment a bit to see what kind of sound I can get out of it before I commit to the UBB1002. The only reason I considered that one was the battery power.....
__________________
Chris J. Barcellos
Chris Barcellos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 7th, 2007, 02:04 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Kansas City KS
Posts: 60
Mark, I've used an NT3 with a Beachtek (DXA-8) providing the phantom power and the catch was that the NT3 draws about 8 mA, compared to the 2 mA that something like a AT 897 draws. You have to monitor your sound carefully because the sound doesn't fade away at the end of the battery's life, it drops off a cliff; one moment it's there, and the next, it's gone.
Jim Schweer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 8th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 99
Thanks for the comments and info. Much appreciated.
Mark Howells is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:07 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network