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Old October 12th, 2007, 02:44 AM   #1
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Do You Need a Mixer If You're Not Mixing?

I am purchasing a SD 302 mixer and a SD 702T recorder. When I am only recording two channels, does the 302 mixer add any real functionality or should I just use the 702T recorder by itself?

Looking at the specs, the 702T provides phantom power and has limiters. Sound Devices says: "While the 702T is a very capable recorder by itself, it truly excels when used in conjunction with an outboard audio mixer such as Sound Devices’ own 442 or 302."

But when I'm not mixing, shouldn't I limit the amount of electronics the signal goes through?

My set up will be a double system going to both an HV-20 (or XH-A1) and the 702T.

P.S. One obvious question that just became very apparent is can you record double without a mixer?

Sorry for all these simple questions, but it's going to take about three weeks for the components to arrive. THANKS MUCH!

Last edited by Peter Moretti; October 12th, 2007 at 05:28 AM.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 04:03 AM   #2
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hey, snap! I now have a 702T to back-end my 302 (previously a Fostex FR2).

one reason my 302 won't be going anywhere is it can provide T-power which the 702T cannot (I have 415T and a 416T and haven't splashed out on adapters). Also, the L/C/R switches on the 302 are a lot more immediately accessible than the 702T's rotary menu.

you don't "need" a mixer (I was a Nagra 4.2 mixerless one man show back in the day) just like you don't "need" timecode.

the 702T also lacks faders, but you might find just the gain controls + limiters are adequate if you wanted to ditch the 302. you'll also be losing an additional channel (3 if you count the configurable return) and lot of flexibility.

If it was a toss up between losing the 302 or losing the 702T then, sure, the 302 would have to go.

As for introducing additional noise, I use line between the 302 and 702T so it's not particularly an issue.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 05:49 AM   #3
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I have both SD302 and SD722 and have not used them together so far. When I have used SD722 the SD302 has been tied up to a camera. SD722 has been more or less running on its own fed by different set of mics, at 24 bits to give some headroom safety, converted and adjusted to 16/48 afterwards.

The plus side of using them together would be better meter visibility, adjustable limiters and better ergonomics (exepting the bulk) in general, better monitoring options and of course 3 mic lines in.

I do not think there would be any quality concerns, both machines have better s/n ratios than any video audio standard. Besides feeding line signal from SD302 to SD702 bypasses the mic preamps of the recorder, so the signal does not go thru more processing, just via 2 more XLR plugs and a piece of cable.

I think it is possible to get line signal out of SD702 while recording, so it could be used as a pass-thru recorder/mixer of sorts.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 07:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
I...
My set up will be a double system going to both an HV-20 (or XH-A1) and the 702T.

P.S. One obvious question that just became very apparent is can you record double without a mixer?

...!

"Double system" doesn't mean the audio is recorded twice. It merely means that one device, the camera, is recording picture while a separate device, the audio recorder, is recording sound, then the two independent recordings are married together in post production using slates or timecode to align them. When shooting double system with film cameras it's not even possible to record sound to camera. (The rare single-system exceptions were sound Super-8 cameras sold back in the 60's and earlier some sound-capable 16mm cameras made for the old newsreels). Video carried forward the film conventions so yes, you can do double system without a mixer simply by feeding the mics directly to the audio recorder mic inputs and not sending audio to the camera at all. The camera won't be recording any scratch or guide tracks for you but in a classic double system setup, whether the picture is being shot on film or on video, the camera doesn't record any audio anyway.
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Old October 12th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Peter Moretti View Post
I am purchasing a SD 302 mixer and a SD 702T recorder. When I am only recording two channels, does the 302 mixer add any real functionality or should I just use the 702T recorder by itself?
THANKS MUCH!
I think you have to look closely at whether or not you will be mixing. When I work as a mixer, there are many times when I need to make small adjustments during a shot even if only one person is talking.

Having the knobs easily accessible, as they are on my Sound Devices 442, allows that to happen. The input controls on my Sound Devices 744T aren't as accessible, although I have done it.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old October 12th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #6
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Having the knobs easily accessible, as they are on my Sound Devices 442, allows that to happen. The input controls on my Sound Devices 744T aren't as accessible, although I have done it.
I agree 100% with what everybody here points out. When I bought my Deva, I sold my Wendt X4. The current Deva models (5.8) allow you to mix and adjust all the levels with handy large pots on the front of the unit. My Deva IV, only allows four channels to be adjusted. If for some reason (and I can't think of any over the shoulder work I've done where this is the case), I had to mix more than the four channels, then I would be trouble since the other four channels are adjusted through on-screen faders.

If you feel comfortable adjusting the 702 levels without a mixer, go for it. However, if I recall Tascam put the same level adjustment on the unit that they had on their DA-P1. There would be no way I would use the DA-P1 adjustment knobs to adjust levels during an interview, I used a mixer for that. But, try and see if you feel comfortable without the mixer. If so, who cares what we think. ;-)

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Old October 12th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #7
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"Double system" doesn't mean the audio is recorded twice. It merely means that one device, the camera, is recording picture while a separate device, the audio recorder, is recording sound, then the two independent recordings are married together in post production using slates or timecode to align them. When shooting double system with film cameras it's not even possible to record sound to camera. (The rare single-system exceptions were sound Super-8 cameras sold back in the 60's and earlier some sound-capable 16mm cameras made for the old newsreels). Video carried forward the film conventions so yes, you can do double system without a mixer simply by feeding the mics directly to the audio recorder mic inputs and not sending audio to the camera at all. The camera won't be recording any scratch or guide tracks for you but in a classic double system setup, whether the picture is being shot on film or on video, the camera doesn't record any audio anyway.
That's pretty embarrassing. I've been using the wrong terminology to describe what I'm trying to do.

I'd like to simultaneously record to both the camera and the recorder, so I have the option of using the camera's auido track as a guide for synching the recorder's sound with the video. I'll also have the camera's audio track as a backup.

What would be the correct terminology to describe this? And can it be done accurately without using a mixer and just the 702T? I read in Petri's post and SD's webiste that the 702T does have analog line out.

Thanks very much.
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Old October 13th, 2007, 12:52 AM   #8
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Can't go wrong with either.

Last edited by Brooks Harrington; October 13th, 2007 at 02:13 AM.
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Old October 13th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #9
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In certain situations I send from the 702T's Line 1 Tape Out (minijack) to wireless transmitter. Anyone in range who wants the signal can have it.
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Old October 13th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #10
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That's pretty embarrassing. ..... I read in Petri's post and SD's webiste that the 702T does have analog line out.
I'm also a bit embarrassed, I kept thinking that you had the Tascam HD-P2, I'm not sure why I was confusing the two, but I was... Anyhow, ignore my post on the adjustments, they aren't applicable to you. ;-)

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Old October 13th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #11
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That's pretty embarrassing. I've been using the wrong terminology to describe what I'm trying to do.

I'd like to simultaneously record to both the camera and the recorder, so I have the option of using the camera's auido track as a guide for synching the recorder's sound with the video. I'll also have the camera's audio track as a backup.

What would be the correct terminology to describe this? And can it be done accurately without using a mixer and just the 702T? I read in Petri's post and SD's webiste that the 702T does have analog line out.

Thanks very much.
I don't know if there is any standard terminology. I'd call it single system with external backup if you plan to primarily use the camera audio or double system with camera scratch tracks if you plan to primarily use the 702's audio, I suppose.

The 702t does have several analog output options at both balanced pro and unbalanced consumer levels and track assignment monitoring is one of the configuration options. You can send the inputs channels directly to the output bus, send the recording track assignments to the output bus as recorded, or monitor the tracks post recording to the output bus (the last introduces about a 12 second delay between the input and output signals, the first 2 configurations have no delay). So setup the 702 to send track assignments A & B to its output bus and send your choice of output over to the camera. It'll be line level at either 0dBu or -10 dBv, depending on the output you select, so you need to pick the appropriate input to your camera for it
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Old October 13th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #12
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Well, if you're recording M/S stereo, which I do, the 302 gives you the ability to control the apparent stereo spread by adjusting the relative gain of inputs 1 & 2.
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Old October 14th, 2007, 10:11 AM   #13
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Same with SD722 (702). Even more convenient, with line 2 pot.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:23 AM   #14
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Sorry guys, one more ?.

Since the 702T already has limiters, do the 302's limiters add any extra benefit or are they essentially redundant?
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Old October 25th, 2007, 05:29 AM   #15
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Peter, they are redundant. However, if you're feeding the audio from the 302 to the 702, you would want to enable the limiters on the 302 and disengage/disable the limiters on the 702. That way you don't run the risk of overdriving/clipping the preamp stage in the mixer.

Wayne
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