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Old January 27th, 2008, 07:08 PM   #1
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Mixer Necessary?

i asked a couple of people who just couldnt answer.

I'm using the 302 mixer with only one boom, then going straight into the hvx through line in.

Instead, i want to use the mic plugged straight into the 702 recorder.

What benefits would i lose bypassing the mixer all together if im only using one mic?
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Old January 27th, 2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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First off, you're not providing quite enough information - at least for ME to help you properly. Someone else might understand, but I don't.

A LOT of manufacturers use numbers like 302 and 702 - but I can't tell precisely what gear you're talking about.

Generally, a mixer between the microphone allows two things.

a) simpler level control. Typically camcorders and even professional cameras have smaller, less easy to use audio level controls. Plus when the camera op's head is pressed to the viewfinder, you generally can't control ANYTHING until a take is completed. So you're losing the ability to easily ride volume during recording.

and b) a mixer will typically provide phantom power allowing the use of condenser mics - which are much more sensitive than the typical dynamics that don't require power. Some pro cameras provide phantom - many "consumer or prosumer" camera's do not.

You can get around this by powering mics that need phantom with dedicated power adaptors, but most people use that function at the mixer.

A mixer also typically provides better monitoring choices in areas like headphone gain, and access to EQ that can help sound in poor recording situations like boosting the highs slightly on a mic burried under clothes - etc, etc, etc,

For anything more specific, you'll need to be more specific on the gear you're using and what you're trying to do.
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Old January 27th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #3
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thank you bill. I'm using the sennheiser 416p plugged into the sound devices 302 mixer then sending that into the panasonic hvx200 through line in.

I dont want the mixer tethered to the camera anymore and now want to plug the 416 mic straight into the sound devices 702 recorder. no more mixer in the chain. the 702 recorder does have limiting, and a low cut switch and phantom powering.

Since i'm using one microphone only, i figured that i dont need the mixer anymore, but instead i can plug the mic straight into the recorder.

thanks
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Old January 27th, 2008, 09:20 PM   #4
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You could obviously get away with not using a mixer at all, but being a sound mixer (and having it be my job), I'd keep the 302 in between.

First of all, you'd have better gain stage control and precision with the 302 when it comes to adjustments. Second, the meters on the 702 are not fully detailed. So you would not have a quick and accurate reference, only the nice bright LED colours (which can become misleading). When it comes to limiting your mic inputs, I believe that level are restricted to -3dbfs or -6dbfs.. I can't remember what it is exactly, but I do know it's an issue.
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Old January 28th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #5
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mixers are more than knobs that let you vary the volume.

1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limiters have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't use them.


Regards,

Ty
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Old January 29th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #6
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hi,

i just ran a test with the senn 416 straight into the Sound Devices 702, and recorded whispering and yelling at 24bit 48khz, sounds awesome. I do understand that the mixer is necessary when plugging in three sources, but i learned that if using one microphone or even two, that the mixer is not necessary. The limiter and the low cut in the 702 are excellent.
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Old January 30th, 2008, 07:23 AM   #7
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Hi Roshdi,

I guess you don't do sound for a living. As good as the 702 is, the knobs aren't particularly well-positioned so that they can be adjusted during a scene.

As a normal practice, a good mixer will change gain to follow the person speaking even when there is only one person speaking. That, my friend, is part of the craft of a sound person.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 30th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #8
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hi ty, the knob seems to be the major problem for most users. i dont do sound for living but i do ride again. In one test, i whispered then yelled without changing gain at all and the 702 picked them up beautifully. I do notice the volume knobs are small but i guess it depends how much a person is willing to put up with. I'm having to camera operate while a friend will be doing sound. Its not his field at all but he is researching and practicing. I'm trying to make it simpler, and if he decides that the knobs are too small then i'll have to provide him with the 302, even for one mic input going into the 702

thanks
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Old January 30th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #9
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That would be a good choice.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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