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Old November 14th, 2007, 02:08 PM   #1
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Using PD170 with SQN mixer line or mic level?

Hello board

I am doing something (sound for drama) with a PD170 this weekend and I am wondering about the best approach to getting audio onto it.

I am using quality equipment and my mixer is an SQN. I wonder how to get the best results from the PD170. Should I go in at mic level or should I engage the pads on the camera and go in at line level?

Usually I would favor line level but if I am going through the preamps on the camera and they effectively just engage a 60 db pad for line level then it might be better to go in at mic level. Had this problem as you may remember with the sony V1 hdv camera but this time I have no time for mucking about.

You see in my book the switch (on camera) to line level should bypass the preamps all together... something tells me it wont though.

Also if I am to lay my 0db 1Khz at -12dbfs and engage the mixer limiter at +8db am I going to be happy, (ok happy might be asking too much), with the result on the pd170?

Oh and do the camera audio input meters actualy tell you anything in terms of numbers or are they just plain bar graphs like on the V1?

Cheers Jim
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Old November 17th, 2007, 04:06 PM   #2
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Update

I'll answer this myself.
Todays shoot went well and I found the PD170 worked well with the inputs set to line level and the SQN mixer output set to line level.

The audio quality on the PD170 seems ok when levels are kept within the optimum range. Peaking between -12 and -4 dbfs.

Limiter overshoots are to be avoided and proved fatal on occurance. For most dialogue though keeping the level up to about -8 dbfs (measured on the anologue PPM) acheived usable audio.

The other camera on the shoot is a Cannon XL1 and I my first iimpression is that it sounds better as an audio recorder. Could be the headphone outputs though. We will have to have a listen in post to be sure.

Incedently I ran both pairs of outputs to the two cameras. That is basically a y-split as the ten pin and the xlr outs are driven by the same line amplifier. However as the output of the mixer is a far lower impedance than the input loads of the cameras it worked fine.

That was just a side point in responce to your comments Ty about your SD442 having 3 seperate outs etc.
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Old November 19th, 2007, 05:06 AM   #3
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Talking with my self! uh oh

OK I really am bibbling on too my self now...

Further to the above and after a second days shooting I would like to add, if anyone's interested, that the PD170 was far more sensitive to being pushed audio wise. I had both camera lined up the same but when things got loud the Sony cracked first.
This could be an impedance thing as the two cameras may well have differing loads on the mixer output which was feeding both cameras without any electronic buffering between them.(I shot some stuff with one at a time too though).

So my impression is that the sony may be best for picture but the cannon is better for sound and that working with the Sony requires one to keep the levels up for good sound but to lower the onboard levels for screams etc.. Not great.

OK I'll get a life and stop this chat.
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