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Old March 24th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #1
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ENG 44 mixer better than most on-board pre amps?

Can one benefit from mixers like the ENG 44 when compared to camcorder`s built-in mic pre amps. Specially for the gain/noise issues?
We are in the need of better sound for inputting to every possible device from line level balanced XLRs to 3.5mm mic input on consumer gear.
I`m assuming that the SignVideo ENG 44 can output mic level stereo signals to consumer cams too.

Thanks in advance,
T
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Old March 24th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi View Post
Can one benefit from mixers like the ENG 44 when compared to camcorder`s built-in mic pre amps. Specially for the gain/noise issues?
We are in the need of better sound for inputting to every possible device from line level balanced XLRs to 3.5mm mic input on consumer gear.
I`m assuming that the SignVideo ENG 44 can output mic level stereo signals to consumer cams too.

Thanks in advance,
T
Hi:

I have never heard of that mixer or brand. It looks like a cross between a knockoff of the SD 442 and the PSC line, probably the location audio equivalent of a Behringer. Never having tried one, I would suspect that it probably sounds like any other cheap mixer, not great but probably still better sounding than the camera's audio section.

On a $7,000.00 camera like the Sony EX-1, I would be willing to bet that about $20.00 of manufacturing funds go into the audio section. Camcorders have always had miserable quality sound, so almost anything, including a Triscuit cracker box that you drew some knobs on will sound better than almost any sub U.S. $10,000.00 camcorder.

Dan
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Old March 24th, 2008, 06:33 PM   #3
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I reviewed the ENG-44 about a year ago. The review is in my "other gear" folder in my OnLine Archive.

I don't recall if it has mic level outputs.

It's is no Sound Devices 442, although to the inexperienced eye, it might (during a hangover) be mistaken for one.

There are no free rides with audio.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 24th, 2008, 07:00 PM   #4
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Ty, your review is the only writeup on that device that I`ve read many times.
The ENG 44 has auxiliary 1/8" unbalanced mic level stereo output jack that I assume is compatible with consumer/prosumer recorders like PCM D50 and camcorders with 3.5mm mic input. I`ve been on a quest to get a system working with all our gear but still haven`t decided if a mixer to cam or a good recorder with good preamp for boom op will be better choice.
Once you told me what would be the best cost effective solution for two man EFP crew but I canīt find that post any more.
Basically Iīd like to get two channel mix with high gain option that has mic level output I can`t see that in the specs on MixPre for example.

Thanks,
T
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Old March 24th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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Hello Toenis,

Hope you are doing well.

Try the Sound Devices 302. Get an adapter for the end of your snake.
A pair of female XLR to RCA male cables. A Y combiner adaptor with two female RCA jacks on one end and a 1/8" TRS male on the other.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi View Post
Basically I´d like to get two channel mix with high gain option that has mic level output I can`t see that in the specs on MixPre for example.Thanks,
T
Hello Toenis,
The ENG-44 has two XLR outputs, both are combined line/mic switchable. You also have a auxiliary 1/8" unbalanced mic level stereo output jack for other equipment. Actually a lot of possibilities. Quality wise? there is no 'free ride' like Ty said, but you can make a decent recording with it, good battery life too.

If you do not need to full open the amp the sound is better. Gain/noise compared with camera [mic in], the [mic in] in the ENG-44 connected to [line in] on camera is better.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #7
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Would running your mixer's XLR output into your camera's 1/8" jack through this adaptor:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=160632&is=REG

work as well as Ty's XLR-RCA-TRS solution?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:58 AM   #8
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if the cable being only 12" long before the XLRs would be a benefit rather than a hassle, then yes.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #9
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Couldn't you run common XLR cables from the mixer to the adaptor?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 11:19 AM   #10
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Hello Jim,

Common XLR cables do not provide a headphone return. Good mixers have a headphone return so the operator of the mixer plugs headphones into the mixer. There's a switch on the mixer that allows the operator to hear the mixer or the headphone return from the camera.

If you are not listening to the camera headphone return, you don't have a clue as to what's really happening.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 27th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #11
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Toenis, I might have the chance to use an ENG-44 on Saturday. I'll post again if I do.

OT- Dan, the EX-1 actually has the best sound I've heard for a camera in its price range, comparable to medium-range DAT imo. What really won me over was - they put a decent headphone amp in! It's not like monitoring an HVX where you stop from time to time and think, "God, I hope the recording doesn't actually sound like this . . "
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Old March 27th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #12
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Oh well, in the one and a half grand range I`m thinking of getting the SD 702 recorder instead of all other equipment passing the wireless stage to camera and getting a decent mixer and recorder instead of feeding 302 mixer directly to camera. Am I missing something here?

Thanks,
T
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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi View Post
Oh well, in the one and a half grand range I`m thinking of getting the SD 702 recorder instead of all other equipment passing the wireless stage to camera and getting a decent mixer and recorder instead of feeding 302 mixer directly to camera. Am I missing something here?

Thanks,
T
So you're saying you will double record (record to the 702) with a 302 mixer and wireless rather than going directly to camera for audio? That will work and sound better than any camera audio you use.

What camera will you be using>

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 27th, 2008, 02:50 PM   #14
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Ty, actually I`m trying to say that if maybe it is wise to invest to 702 recorder instead of 302 Mixer and wireless mixer-to-camcorder connection a la ATW 1800 series. So that our sound guy can set his levels and go booming with only 702 recorder without mixer. BTW Camcorders are Canon XH A1 and occasionally some miniplug stereo mic-in camcorders like HV20.
But I actually don`t like the idea to record to external devices because of all the syncing work required that by itself equates in more $$$ but then again I`m frightened by all the talk about HDV mpeg2 compressed sound.
We are trying to sustain a small team and if needed hire a sound crew but for occasional short films and events we are trying to be self contained with cleverly hidden wireless mics on set with "sound planned" scenes. So far we have been using some really cheap AT pro88 wireless stuff without balaned audio but it doesn`t do the real money jobs.

Thanks,
T
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