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Old July 26th, 2003, 09:57 AM   #1
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VX2000-BeachTek-line in

I'll be shooting a promo piece for a shipboard entertainer. He wants me to take the audio from a board/mixer - don't know specifically what type of unit. It would be XLR line level. If I pick up the BeachTek DXA-4 is it a good solution for this job? It sounds like it from what I've read but there's no substitute for hearing it from someone who does it regularly. And, if I used 1/8th inch to XLR adapters on my cheap mics, would the BeachTek add anything to what I get now going straight to the mic-in port? (Other than two mics at once). I don't mean in relation to this shoot, but generally. Thanks.

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Old July 26th, 2003, 12:45 PM   #2
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The Beachtek is a passive device. Basically a input transformer and an attenuator. So it won't do anything really worthwhile but allow you to attenuate microphone inputs, block DC voltage from the camcorder, and adapt the XLR to 1/8" minijack.

You don't really need a beachtek to take the sound board feed. But it may cost as much for the in-line Shure adapters as the Beachtek costs. An isolating and impedance matching transformer and a switchable attenuator from Shure will cost you around $80 to $100 dollars. A simple XLR to minijack cable will solve the connector conversion problem.

The good part about using a Beachtek (or my much preferred Sign Video XLR adapter) is that you get two channels plus auxiliary minijack inputs, a ground lifter, a mono/stereo switch, and individual variable input attenuators.

Please note that all of these passive devices do reduce the signal by a small amount and reduce the bandwidth of the signal. Not enough to normally worry about but the effect is there.
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Old July 26th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #3
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I use this Beachtek on my VX-2000 when recording our operas, taking the feed from the house board. I have gone with a mono feed before, and more recently had them run stereo for me. It works great. You should be aware however that the pots on the Beachtek have click stops, and aren't really suitable to continuously adjust levels as you record. IIRC, the Beachtek manual says as much.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 06:04 AM   #4
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Thank you both for your helpful replies. Mike, I assume you would use your preferred Sign Video adapter any time you didn't need multiple inputs?
Boyd, when you say "stereo" feed, do you mean to one BeachTek input or is it two line level signals each using one of the XLR inputs? (Or either. As you can see this isn't my strong suit).

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Old July 27th, 2003, 06:58 AM   #5
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Thank you both for your helpful replies. Mike, I assume you would use your preferred Sign Video adapter any time you didn't need multiple inputs?
Boyd, when you say "stereo" feed, do you mean to one BeachTek input or is it two line level signals each using one of the XLR inputs? (Or either. As you can see this isn't my strong suit).

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Old July 27th, 2003, 08:43 AM   #6
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The sound guy separated out the left and right channel mikes, then mixed the pit to both channels. I had one XLR at line level plugged into each channel. But if you're using a mono feed with only one XLR, you can flip a switch on the Beachtek box to send the same signal to both channels. The XLR's are mono, so there would be no way to get a stereo feed using only one of them.

FWIW, since we do opera we don't use any sort of amplification. The feed from the sound board is normally used for stage monitors to help the singers hear the orchestra, and a mix of orchestra and singers which is sent to backstage areas like the dressing rooms, etc.
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Old July 27th, 2003, 01:52 PM   #7
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The Sign Video adapter is Stereo and can mix both XLR and Minijack inputs if you want.

The attenuators are good quality potentiometers without steps so you can adjust levels on the fly.

Sign Video products were originally distributed by Studio 1. I've got just about everything they've made over the years and the products are solid.

The XLR adaptors I've bought were for use at a local community college where they receive harsh treatment. Never a failure. I continue to purchase them whenever the ole budget allows.
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