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Old August 5th, 2008, 08:54 PM   #1
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Lots of Mics/1 mixer/1 Cam

I'm looking for some advice on the right piece of equipment to get that will solve my problem. I want to send 6 - 8 wireless microphone feeds to one camera w/ 2 channel XLR BeachTech. I'd also like to send it to an R-09 recorder as a back-up.

Will this mixer do it: Behringer XENYX 2222FX

Or should I be looking at something else?
Thanks
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Old August 6th, 2008, 03:23 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Scott Routt View Post
I'm looking for some advice on the right piece of equipment to get that will solve my problem. I want to send 6 - 8 wireless microphone feeds to one camera w/ 2 channel XLR BeachTech. I'd also like to send it to an R-09 recorder as a back-up.

Will this mixer do it: Behringer XENYX 2222FX

Or should I be looking at something else?
If you are going to be using that many wireless channels, you really need to do double-audio prior to the mix-down. There are so many issues you can face using 6 to 8 channels of audio that I wouldn't chance not putting all the audio down on separate tracks, doing a mix and feeding a mix to the camera. To do this, you need to look at the Aaton Cantar, Sound Devices 788, or Zaxcom Deva. If later you need to pull out any of the wireless units out of the mix, or you want to remix it, you have each wireless unit on it's own recorded track. Not knowing what it is you are doing or for how long, you might consider renting one of these recorders. Both Coffey Sound and Trew Audio will rent these devices to you and ship them to your location in the US. Outside the US, you will need to look at a professional audio store. In the UK there is Everything Audio, not sure about other locations.

Wayne

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Old August 6th, 2008, 08:42 AM   #3
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I'm with Wayne on this one. From the top of my head:

- If you combine multiple receivers on one channel, the "normal" noise coming from each of them will add up quickly to an untolerable level.

- A single bad signal can ruin all your good ones. Whether it's noise due to poor reception or a person talking off-screen in another room, it'll affect the good audio that you want to record.

- With multiple people in close proximity, a single voice will be picked up by multiple mics, all at a different distance to the sound source. You will want the ability to isolate a single mic in the audio mix to avoid things such as comb filtering.

- Martin
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Old August 6th, 2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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Definitely need to run a separate audio recorder. If you were looking at the Xenyx that tells me that you don't need to be terribly mobile and you've got some money to work with.

If you're on a tight budget, here's what I'd do:

Go to E-Bay and purchase a used Alesis ADAT XT or LE. It should run you about $300 right now off E-Bay (I just sold two a couple months ago for $650 for both with lots of extra cables and remote controls). Then pick up a Behringer Ultragain Pro-8 ADA8000 (it'll run you $200 new from zZounds.com and less on E-Bay). You can hook this up to the Alesis ADAT using two optical cables and get a separate track for each of 8 mics. So now you've got an 8 channel professional grade audio recording system for under $500.

If your budget allows for a little more expense, then do exactly the same thing, but replace the ADAT XT with the Alesis HD24. It's a 24 channel hard drive based recorder. You should expect to pay between $800 and $1000 for a good used one on E-Bay and around $1600 for a new one. With three of the Behringer units you can get 24 separate channels of recording with only one A/D conversion in a six-unit rack box. About the tightest system you can get for a 24 track mobile recording studio and all for around $1500-$1600. Tascam makes similar 24 track hard drive recorders, so compare prices. I prefer the Alesis myself--they were the original developers of the ADAT system.

There are a myriad of options for getting the sound into your computer off of either of those recorders. I'd recommend the M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge ($399 new from zZounds.com, less on E-Bay) because it will allow you to use the ADAT optical cables and it means you'll stay within the digital realm and not have to do another D/A/A/D conversion. There are other options for ADAT optical interfaces, but none are as-good-for-the-price as the M-Audio ProFire Lightbridge. If you get the HD24, then you can also pick up a firewire hard drive caddy for about $175-$200 that will allow you to drop the Alesis formatted hard drive directly into your computer and transfer files back and forth that way. Also, if you get the HD24, it's got a built in FTP server so if you know what you're doing with networking stuff, you can actually transfer the files off of the machine via a Cat-5 cable and a cheap networking hub. It's slow, but the cheapest option if you use the HD24.

(Oh, and FWIW, the HD24 and 3 Behringer units option runs just fine off a 400Watt power inverter plugged into your car/truck's cigarette lighter for when you've got those truly mobile locations).
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Old August 6th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #5
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Darn it! I knew you guys would give me a lots of good reasons for why I simplifying the process. It made a lot of sense too.

Of course I wasn't really fair in not saying what it was for. Maybe your advice still rings true.

There are only two reason why I myself would want to hook up more than two microphones to a camera.

The first is for legal depositions. I've never done one, but if I do. I think I'll be required to get everyone's good audio on one camera with absolutely no editing. So you got probably 4 - 6 guys sitting around a table. They're going to want wireless on some of them. Maybe they can stand for shotgun mics being pointed at the other directions. So on the low end, I have to get 4 microphones into one camera.

The other thing I do is make a cheapo cable tv show. Its no problem with two guests, but add a third or fourth and I've got problems, even more problems if the guests are musicaly inclined to perform. The only thing I've been able to do with four guests and one camera is to use two wireless mics and two iRivers.

So in other words, I'm not talking about the cooler stuff that you guys do. All the talent would be in front of me, so I'd know who had their microphone turned.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #6
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Scott,

There are a couple of excellent threads on the subject of deposition recording on this forum. Can't quite remember where i read them, but one of our attorney members weighed in with a really good description of the process.

..... OK - found it!

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...gal+deposition

Take a look.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 01:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Beisner View Post
If you get the HD24, then you can also pick up a firewire hard drive caddy for about $175-$200 that will allow you to drop the Alesis formatted hard drive directly into your computer and transfer files back and forth that way. Also, if you get the HD24, it's got a built in FTP server so if you know what you're doing with networking stuff, you can actually transfer the files off of the machine via a Cat-5 cable and a cheap networking hub. It's slow, but the cheapest option if you use the HD24.
I'm a very happy HD24 owner. The one thing I don't like is the way I have to move the audio into my computer (a Mac):

- Connecting the drive with the audio data directly to a computer doesn't work because of the proprietary formatting of the drive (to optimize audio recordings with a constant transfer rate).

- Alesis makes a FireWire interface called "FirePort" that allows you to hook up a HD24-formatted drive to a Mac or PC. You still need Alesis's software to access the data, because of the formatting. Sadly, last time I checked they still didn't support the latest Mac OS X version (Leopard). It sort of works, but with problems (such as reading the wrong tracks from a recording).

- The FTP server works, but I see my HD24 crash about one times out of four that I try that route. And it's rather slow.

- Haven't tried the ADAT optical route. I'd be limited to real time.

The Fireport is really a great idea, if only Alesis could make the software to work more reliably.

Other than that, I have nothing but good things to say about the HD24 - it's a great recorder that has served me very well. I just wish there were better options for getting the audio out of it.

Of course, all this may not be of any use for the OP and his legal depositions...

- Martin
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Old August 6th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Scott Routt View Post
The first is for legal depositions. I've never done one, but if I do. I think I'll be required to get everyone's good audio on one camera with absolutely no editing. So you got probably 4 - 6 guys sitting around a table. They're going to want wireless on some of them. Maybe they can stand for shotgun mics being pointed at the other directions. So on the low end, I have to get 4 microphones into one camera.

The other thing I do is make a cheapo cable tv show. Its no problem with two guests, but add a third or fourth and I've got problems, even more problems if the guests are musicaly inclined to perform. The only thing I've been able to do with four guests and one camera is to use two wireless mics and two iRivers.

For legal depositions the Xenyx mixer would probably work quite well--I think the FX version of that mixer has a noise gate that you can assign to each channel. What you'd do then is simply make sure that it was activated for each channel and set it to a level where the random grunt or sniff was cut, but all actual speaking was received. It'll also help to prevent the noise from having lots of mics open at once. For the TV show, in my opinion, you'd still want another recording source.

Martin, sorry to hear about your troubles with the HD24--I've not actually used the Fireport myself so I can't speak to it's pros/cons (I'm of the old school that likes the analog outboard gear...tube processors, EQ's, etc. so I always run my audio back out analog for mastering anyway) but I've not had the unit crash on FTP before. That's odd. Might want to check into a firmware upgrade?
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Old August 7th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #9
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thanks for the legal link. So am I understanding the equipment I was looking at would do the job as long as there's a noise gate on it?
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Old August 8th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #10
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Yes, it will work, but you'll want a gate on each channel. Just double checked that mixer and unfortunately, it doesn't have a gate as one of the FX options. My mistake.

Behringer also makes a very inexpensive 4 channel gate, the XR4400, which would work. zZounds carries it for $99.95. You'd need two to make 8 channels obviously, but it's still a very good price for a decent piece of gear.

http://www.zzounds.com/item--BEHXR4400
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