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Old September 4th, 2008, 02:20 PM   #1
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Microphones - Mixer - Camera - (Connexions)

Hi there,

Been reading you people for a few days. Just wanna say in the first place thanks to everybody for sharing their knowledge with the less experienced ones.

My question is pretty obvious maybe for most of you but have been checking and searching other past threads and couldnt find the right answer.

Well, the thing is that tomorrow I am going to be sound recordist for a short film and need to make sure of some stuff. We are mainly gonna be shooting outside. there's two main characters and little bit of dialogues between them.
We are going to be using either the SoundDevices MixPre or SoundDevices 302, and almost for sure just one microphone (sennheiser 416). The camera will be the sony Z1.

Well, need to know how to do the proper connexions between the mixer and the camera to get an optimum recording as I am not going to be able to double system for the sound (low budget). So after connecting the mic to one of the inputs of the mixer whats/which will be the right way to send that signal into the camera:

1) Do i use two xlr into the camera outputs to record into the two channels (channel 1 and channel 2)? What that will make? 1 stereo track (left and right)? two mono tracks (will they be independent for postproduction)? Maybe using Eng Breakaway cable or just two xlr would be fine? (sorry but need to clarify some concepts) What are the settings behind the gain inputs for (LCR)? I know it means Left Centre and Right, How do i have to set those up?

What if I want to connect two microphones and want those two tracks to be independent for post? (is that possible), can i do that by connecting the output 1 from the mixer to the channel 1 on the camera and the output 2 from the mixer to channel 2 on the camera? (all of that supposing that i have both microphones connected into the 2 different inputs of the mixer)... How will you set the LCR setting in case that this is important to achieve what i mean? So if this is possible, How will it work whenever I am capturing it into the computer, do i get two audio tracks, or is it left is one channel (track -microphone) and right is the other channel (track 2 - microphone 2)

Too many questions I know,

Let me know if im forgetting something or if you need more info

Sorry If I haven't explained myself properly, I have tried the best i could, Forgive my ignorance and the possible incongruities.
Thanks in advance
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Old September 4th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #2
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Welcome to this forum, Vvicente!

I often use the same setup that you have in mind (SD 302 mixer, MKH416 mic, and Sony Z1U camera), so let me take a shot at answering at least some of your questions.

For the connection between the mixer and the camera, a Breakaway cable is very convenient. It's really just a combination of two XLR cables (to send audio to the camera) and an additional return path to send the camera's audio back to the mixer, such that you can monitor audio over its complete path with headphones connected to the mixer. A breakaway cable has a quick disconnect, which is highly convenient when you set up or move around, but three separate cables will give you just the same recording and monitoring capability.

When you set the mic channel to "Center" on the SD302 (i.e., the "C" in "LCR"), it will output the signal equally strong on both outputs. This is what I recommend when using a single microphone. On the Z1U, you may want to adjust your audio levels such that one is a little lower than the other; that way, you have a backup track (the lower one) if you get an unexpected loud noise which might clip the more sensitive track. In postproduction, you can then use the louder track and discard the other one, unless of course clipping occured and you need the backup for portions of your audio.

Two mono tracks or one stereo track, well, that's really just two different interpretations of the same recording. You can easily split a stereo file into two mono files, or combine two mono files into one stereo file. How this is captured or converted really depends on your software, but it's not really anything you can screw up during recording. You'll record two tracks.

With two mics, you have the right idea: on the SD302, switch one to "Left" and the other one to "Right", so that you record them on separate tracks. You lose the ability to record the lower-level "backup" track, of course.

Let's see, what else. Turn phantom power (48V) on on the SD302 for the MKH416. Turn it off at the camera. Turn the camera inputs to XLR under "MIC SELECT", and turn the sensitivity to "line level" ("INPUT 1 LEVEL" and "INPUT 2 LEVEL"). "XLR CH SELECT" should be set to "CH1", such that each input is recorded separately - otherwise, only one input is used and routed to both tracks inside the camera.

I think that should do the job. Don't hesitate to ask if anything is unclear, or if you have other questions left.

Good luck for your project!

- Martin
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Old September 4th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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Martin, what can i say? Thank you so much for your amazing explanation, also for spending so much time too. you just clarify what I was more or less guessing but needed it to confirm. Just hearing it from someone with experience and also using the same gear makes me feel more calm and more confident to approach the recordings.

Obviously thanks to that, now I can concentrate on getting good and accurate recordings. I will keep you update.
Cheers
Vicente
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Old September 5th, 2008, 07:40 AM   #4
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Hi again,
Been checking ENG breakaway leads:

Professional Sound Services: PSC ENG Breakaway Cable (Alpha Mix) 25'

PSC 15' ENG Breakaway Cable (442) from TAI Audio (800) 486-6444

So with something like this will be ok, but i dont understand, the end of the lead on the right,

12 CONTACT PLUG W/PIN INSERT - HR10A-10P-12P

where I would connect that into the MIxPre or the 302?

Thanks again
Vicente
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Old September 5th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #5
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12 pin cable adaptor

Yes, you need the reverse of what happens at the camera end. I've got it for my MixPre. It has two XLR3 females for L & R output of the mixer plus a 3.5mm jack to go in the return audio socket. I got mine from SQN.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vvicente Villaescusa View Post
Hi again,
Been checking ENG breakaway leads:

Professional Sound Services: PSC ENG Breakaway Cable (Alpha Mix) •25'

PSC 15' ENG Breakaway Cable (442) from TAI Audio (800) 486-6444

So with something like this will be ok, but i dont understand, the end of the lead on the right,

12 CONTACT PLUG W/PIN INSERT - HR10A-10P-12P

where I would connect that into the MIxPre or the 302?

Thanks again
Vicente

For a MixPre or 302 the cable should look like this...
Trew Audio - Cables, Connectors & Adapters - BETACAM Break-away Cables - Remote Audio ENG Break-Away Cable for Shure FP33/32A, Sound Devices MixPre, 302 and Wendt X2 Neither of those mixers have the mutlipin Hirose output connector.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Hey there all, thanks for helping me out, I sort out the thing with the breakaway cable.

But I have just found out that the mixer we are using its going to be SQN with 4 channels, dont know yet if its going to be the SQN Series IV or series IVe or even the mini. The thing is that the producer told me he would handle the hiring and everything but he's got no idea about it, and its not that I am an expert but at least i am very interested (obviously)

Well the thing is that with this mixer, even though is "better", as it has got more options so it gets a little bit more complicated at least for me.

I guess I have to select line level between "mic or line" options for the outputs of the mixer, thats sort of clear...

Just having a look at the manual online so its a bit hard to work it out. Just wondering to have good recording with just one microphone, the "gang" have to be selected at 0 (left), (is that to have independent faders for the channels 1 and 2?). Then there are more options like "phase" and "mat" (where should I leave them). What if I wanna use two microphones, lets say on channel 1 and channel 2 and I want them to be independent...

Thanks again
Vicente
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Old September 5th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #8
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SQN settings

A few things to think about. Yes, keep ganging to 0. Phase switch to normal (not 'Inv). Don't switch anything labled 'Matrix' or MS on. On the side will be your routing switchers/faders. For one mic you can have it going to both L & R (centre position of switch), if 2 mics put one on each. Yes, line out level. What might prove irritating is depending on the age of the SQN it might have a 10 pin multicore output with a screw fitting rather than the 12 pin. You can get adaptors. Tone out of the mixer goes on the camera aroung the -20 mark. I'm not bothering to explain the 'why' and wherefore' for all these settings, as I don't want to swamp you! The headphone monitor switch either to 'mono' (or L+R) or 'stereo'. Got batteries for the mixer? 6 or 8 AA cells. Mic powering settings underneath. Check your mic for what it needs. Best of luck, matey!!! If I've forgotten anything, I'm sure the other guys on the site will fill in.
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Old September 7th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #9
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Hey, Nick, thank you very much, the shooting went actually really good. Still a little nervous as I wanna see how the tracks sound on post, but hopefully well.
Cheers to all
Vicente
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