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Old October 4th, 2007, 08:01 PM   #1
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Newbie question about the SD302

After searching this forum, I've decided on the SD302 for a field mixer. Primarily I'm hoping to use it for documentary sit down interviews. Possibly for film shorts later. My question is, can the SD302 work like my old beachtek and hook up to my HV20 by a 1/8 inch jack? Or what about an XHA1 which is on my horizon? Or do I need to buy something else too, like a DAT or a laptop? I know these questions sound ludicriously simple but please keep in mind I have NO experience in this area and did not see a neophyte answer in the online manual.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #2
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There are multiple ways of doing this.

Personally, I would use the "Mix Out/Tape Output", which is an unbalanced stereo output. So all you need is a cable.

I recommend that you contact the dealer from whom you purchased the 302 or will purchase it from.

If you bought it used, just call one of the reputable audio dealers or one of the DVInfo.net sponsors.

A good alternative would be to call Sound Devices directly, they are very helpful. They are the best source of advice.

There are other ways, such as to use the XLR Mic/Line outputs, but I like the Mix Out/Tape Out solution better.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for responding. I haven't bought the 302 yet. I was going to buy it from BH later in the week when they open up again. But before I bought it I just wanted to be sure there weren't any other costs that I did not understand. So from what you're saying, (and pardon me if I'm wrong) I'm gathering that all I'll need to buy is a cable that goes from the tapeout to my HV20. Therefore it's like the Beachtek? Or am I making an incorrect assumption.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 10:01 PM   #4
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The 302 is a wonderful piece of gear. It's is so far above any Beachtek on the market.

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Ty Ford
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Old October 5th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #5
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Beauty and the Beast?

Hi Matt,

Well, your SD302 certainly is the top of the line. But I'd guess the most common workflow is to feed the SD302 output into a better device than your HV20 - no way are the two devices on par regarding audio fidelity. A more likely workflow scenario is to output the SD302 into something comparable like the 7 Series recorders from Sound Designs.
http://www.sounddevices.com/products/7.htm
Then in the editing process, output the audio from something like the SD702 (via a digital signal) into your computer to maintain audio integrity. Otherwise, if you always plan to run the audio through your HV20, perhaps you'll want to consider a less expensive field mixer.

FYI - for many, something like the HV20 is more of a portable gun-and-run camera, where most would have a separate audio engineer when working with a high-end field mixer like the SD302. IMHO, it's hard enough for the cameraman to capture good video without having to also ride contols on an external device. If you're a one man show, you might even forget about mixing until post, recording all 4 channels in real-time (SD442 and SD744T). But I digress - good luck with your SD302, from all I've heard you'll love it.

Michael
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Old October 5th, 2007, 03:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Buys View Post
After searching this forum, I've decided on the SD302 for a field mixer. Primarily I'm hoping to use it for documentary sit down interviews. Possibly for film shorts later. My question is, can the SD302 work like my old beachtek and hook up to my HV20 by a 1/8 inch jack? Or what about an XHA1 which is on my horizon? Or do I need to buy something else too, like a DAT or a laptop? I know these questions sound ludicriously simple but please keep in mind I have NO experience in this area and did not see a neophyte answer in the online manual.
Your 302's balanced XLR outputs can be adjusted to send either line or mic level signal but the unbalanced Tape Outs are line level only. AFAIK, your HV20 external audio input only accepts mic level so that means you'll need to feed it from the 302's XLRs. And that means in turn that you'll need a dual XLR-F to stereo 1/8 adapter cable such as the Hosa YXF-247. http://hosatech.com/hosa/products/yx...d_yxf-305.html
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Old October 5th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #7
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I feel lucky I posted a few basic questions here before buying. It sounds like the SD302 might not be what I need. Although I have an HV20 right now, I'm planning on spending about eight thousand dollars more on camera and sound equipment. I have all the mics, tripods, merlins, I need. I also have a motu unicorn and a beachtek that has served me well. Here's my situation.
I want to do a documentary on this good/crazy chemistry professor who's going to Tanzania to start up a drug manufacturing plant for generic Aids drugs. It would be the first and only plant of its type and it's such a great story I think good things may come of it. They don't even have electricity in the area he's working on.
I want to follow him around and interview various UN types. I figured I would get the A1 since it's compatible with the HV20 but it sounds like the SD302 does not work well with it. I'm curious what other people might do if they were in my shoes. Unfortunately for this doc I will have to be cameraman and sound man. I'll have three weeks there in March. The advice I see around here seems that audio technology is a better long term investment than camera technology and I wouldn't mind owning something that could handle sound for a theatrical release five years from now.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #8
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Dear Matt,

The Sound Devices is a great piece of gear. I highly recommend that you purchase it.

Yes, Steve House is right concerning the Mix Out/Tape Out being line level.(Steve's advice is always right on).

You will love the 302, if you purchase one. It will last you for years and will never be second rate. Later, it will work well with a Sound Devices "7 Series" recorder.

So, I am certain that Sound Devices or an audio house/dealer can make a proper cable, with attenuator's built in to convert the line level to mic level.

I have the Beachtek DXA-8 and the 302. I bought the DXA-8 first. It certainly is handy to have it mounted just below the camera. But the Sound Devices 302 is in a different league, and has the features that you need for more professional sound work.

In other words, the Beachtek DXA-8 will get you started, but if you ever need to do more professional sound work, or be more flexible, the Sound Devices 302 will be appreciated.

As an example, the Beachtek DXA-8 does not allow you to monitor the levels (there are no level LEDs).

Matt, I sent you a private email with more information.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Buys View Post
...It sounds like the SD302 might not be what I need. ...I figured I would get the A1 since it's compatible with the HV20 but it sounds like the SD302 does not work well with it. ...
Don't let the need for an adjustment in the setup menu of the 302 and the purchase of a $10 cable dissuade you from getting it. The HV20 needs a mic level signal presented on a 1/8 stereo plug. The A1 has XLR connectors. All that means is you'd use a different cable with the A1, that's no big deal. The 302's tape outs are line level only but you can always get an in-line pad if you wanted to use them. It's XLR connectors can be selected for either line level or mic level if you want to go that route. Sorry if you got the impression that the 302 wouldn't work well with the A1 - actually it's just going to be a matter of setting them up properly.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 09:09 AM   #10
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I hope I'm not hijacking the thread here by asking...

I've been very interested in buying this mixer but I am trying to decide whether to buy this, or the Sony DMXP01.

There really aren't too many reviews on the Sony DMXP01, and the Sound Devices is unanimously decided to be a great company for mixers. But I'm wondering which unit would perform better when compared? Has anyone here used a DMXP01?

I know it's not really fair to compare these units together since the DMXP01 is valued at twice the cost of the SD302. But I hope we can set aside price for a moment because these are the options I'm considering.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 10:17 AM   #11
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Craig,

Does your camera have a digital audio I/O?

A post very similar to this one keeps popping up here. Over in the location sound forums, nobody's talking about this mixer. And they are working with some cameras that actually have digital audio I/Os.

It's either way too early for its time or a "because we can" product to demonstrate the company's technical prowess.

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Ty Ford
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Old October 5th, 2007, 10:20 AM   #12
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Dear Craig,

I would be a little worried about the delays caused by the analog to digital conversion, if I was using a digital mixer.
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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:08 AM   #13
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Dan,

Interesting thought.

I wonder if the camcorders with digital audio I/O automatically compensate.

If the Zaxcom wireless, which takes 3.2 mSec for the analog/digital-digital analog conversions, can be used as a model, then half of that (the first A/D conversion), would be 1.6 mSec.

I can't find my slide rule at the moment. How many frames is that?

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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:48 AM   #14
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Dear Ty,

I searched my Sound Devices 744t manual for the delay (or latency) figures. I could not find them. But I did read this somewhere in the past.

What I remember from what I read, and from my experience with ADC (Analog to Digital Converters), the delay is based on the number of samples per second. Higher sample rates, such as 192k have the lowest delay.

The obvious: whenever going from analog to digital, or digital to analog, there will be a delay, if both are involved, there will be two delays.

The Sony unit only goes up to 96k, which is more than adequate for great sound, but this is double the delay time of 192k.

Personally, I would prefer a high quality analog mixer such as the Sound Devices 302 or 442 over a digital mixer. But the delay may be so small that it does not really matter.

At 60 frames per second, I calculate that each frame would be 16.667 milliseconds (1 second / 60 frames = .016667). So 1.6 ms would be 1/10 of a frame, (if you had 60 frames per second). My math and theory are subject to corrections (which are most welcome).
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Old October 5th, 2007, 02:43 PM   #15
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Hmmm. I'm guessing my camcorder doesn't have digital audio I/O. I really have no idea what that is, all I can see is that my XLR inputs are balanced (of course). What type of camcorders usually do? Shoulder-mount cams > 10K?

Are there any handheld camcorders that have digital audio I/O? Perhaps the Canon XH-A1 or the Sony Z1U or XD Cam EX?

I looked through the specs on my cam, the Sony V1U and couldn't really find anything that stood out about that.
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