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Old February 15th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #16
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Hey Christopher,
FYI the FP-32 is stereo. it has 3 inputs and stereo output like the 33 and 32A. Shure had some sort of naming convention which told you how many inputs and outputs the mixer had. 3 in 1 out is a 31. They broke the naming convention with the 33 and some other mixers so it doesn't work anymore. One thing to be slightly concerned about with the old 31 is the Line output of older models had some trouble matching up with Sony broadcast cameras and decks which would cause the input to overload on the recording deck. In my opinion it was a Sony design issue but Shure had to modify the design a little to keep it from happening. I recall having to solder some resistors inline with the XLR outputs to drop the output a little. Not sure what the Shure factory mod ended up being. Best to check with Shure if they remember. The FP 32 was a big improvement, The FP-32A I would avoid and the FP33 is pretty good.
Since the 31 has VU meters while most of the digital gear is peak you will find you need to run your levels on the mixer fairly low to get good deflection on your digital recorders.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Christopher Glavan View Post
Hi all,

I just purchased a Shure FP-31 (no flaming), and am looking for a bag. I've been looking at the koala-1 from kata and the petrol psmb. Both good, but I'd like some alternatives in the same or lower price range. What do you guys use? What can I get away with? What features do I really need in a mixer bag as opposed to ones that are just nice to have?

Chris
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Old February 15th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Daniel Epstein View Post
Hey Christopher,
FYI the FP-32 is stereo. it has 3 inputs and stereo output like the 33 and 32A. Shure had some sort of naming convention which told you how many inputs and outputs the mixer had. 3 in 1 out is a 31. They broke the naming convention with the 33 and some other mixers so it doesn't work anymore. One thing to be slightly concerned about with the old 31 is the Line output of older models had some trouble matching up with Sony broadcast cameras and decks which would cause the input to overload on the recording deck. In my opinion it was a Sony design issue but Shure had to modify the design a little to keep it from happening. I recall having to solder some resistors inline with the XLR outputs to drop the output a little. Not sure what the Shure factory mod ended up being. Best to check with Shure if they remember. The FP 32 was a big improvement, The FP-32A I would avoid and the FP33 is pretty good.
Since the 31 has VU meters while most of the digital gear is peak you will find you need to run your levels on the mixer fairly low to get good deflection on your digital recorders.
You seem to know what you are talking about. May I ask a question if you don't mind and Chris this maybe insightful to you as well and I don't mean to try to invade your thread. But Daniel would it be in my best interest to go with a newer mixer that has LED instead of VU meters? I'm new to the world of film but I have been using studio/recording gear for awhile and you know its all digital but since this field mixing/recording it could be a slight different. I see most people go with the Sound Device 302 and it was another mixer a guy had on here but I can't think of it but it looked similar to the 302. I will continue to do more research because I would rather wait and save instead of just buy something so I can have a mixer you know. Ok I'm done now. Sorry...

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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #19
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Hey Nicole,
If you are in the market for a new mixer instead of a used mixer like Christopher seemed to be getting then you have a choice. Most of the newer mixer designs are using electronic displays instead of mechanical VU meters and these give the user a display which is similar to what most of the decks and cameras are showing which can be an advantage. This doesn't neccesarily make the mixer sound any better or be the correct choice for other reasons. Also not all the LED displays are the same so you still might find them lacking for some jobs. I think you will be hard pressed to find a new mixer design which won't use an electronic display going forward.
This doesn't mean an older well established mixer design should not be considered. Choose the right tool for the right job. Sound quality, ease of use, capacity and durability all come into play. As an example I like the way my Wendt X5 works overall even though it has VU meters compared to the Wendt X3 which uses LED meters.
To me the current consideration is how does the mixer integrate into the whole system and being able to record iso and mixed audio tracks while sending a signal to other systems is the way things are going. Keeping an eye on what you are going to record to is more important than whether the metering is led or some other technology.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 07:20 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Nicole Hankerson View Post
...But Daniel would it be in my best interest to go with a newer mixer that has LED instead of VU meters? I'm new to the world of film but I have been using studio/recording gear for awhile...
If you're used to working with gain structure and have some familiarity with how to work with db measurements, you would have no problem using a mixer with VU meters feeding a modern camera.

Set 0db tone on the mixer to somewhere between -12 and -18 db on the camera depending on how peaky the content is or how conservative you are. Run your peaks at 0 on the mixer or a little hotter.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #21
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Hey Seth,
In my experience setting the tone to -20 and peaking on the record machine around -12 doesn't mean I want the VU meters to peak slightly above 0. On many machines this has been too hot. peaking at -10 to -5 on the VU is often more than enough. If you are running tone at -12 then you have to be even more careful. Also just figuring out some camcorders meters requires some tricks as many do not actually tell you what the symbols mean. Some mixers. cameras and recorders seem to disagree as to what Line level is so I tend to be more conservative in the digital realm to not end up with distortion than to try and maximize signal to noise as I would with an analog system. Another issue is how to set you limiters up on a mixer if they are adjustable. I like to set them around +12 instead of +18 as some are shipped so they keep the digital recorder from ever reaching the clipping point. But that is just me.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 10:36 AM   #22
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I can't disagree with Daniel.

His comments apply equally, I think, to digital metering at the mixer as they do to analog metering at the mixer.

The issue of setting mixer 0 tone at -12, -18, or -20 on the recording device does indeed only get you part way there - from that point some experience with the camcorder will tell you where to peak on the mixer. If you can test out the camcorder before the shoot that's benchmarking. If you're testing out the camcorder on the shoot that's trial-and-error.

But it is the same issue if you are using a mixer with digital metering. Some experience with the particular camcorder is needed to know where the safe range is.

"We can only shoot this once" calls for a more conservative approach than "let's see how that first shot looks and sounds, what do we need to change". A mixer to camcorder cable bundle that includes a headphone return is *very* handy (commonly called a "betacam cable"). A recorder in your bag (that you know well) is good when things get messy.

There are a series of things a good location mixer can and should do to manage and reduce risk, but risk can never be totally eliminated.
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Old February 16th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #23
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Hehe, now I'm getting nervous. I'm not a sound guy, but it appears I need to become one. Please forgive any noobish questions I'm sure I'll be asking you guys in the near future.

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