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Old November 21st, 2003, 08:39 AM   #1
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xlr adapter or mixer

I have a gl1. Would something like the Samson mixpad 4 be better than a studio 1/beachtec adapter?
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Old November 21st, 2003, 09:09 AM   #2
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It depends on what you want to do, what kind and how many mics you have, etc.
In many cases you'll need both working together for cameras with unbalanced stereo mini-plug input to be at their best.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 10:45 AM   #3
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The sampson is a mixer. it amplifies, mixes and supplies phantom power to the mic.

A beachtek/studio 1 is a passive impedance matching device with some rudementary mixing ability and attenuation. It can only reduce the signal and not amplify.

I use both devices together most of the time. Sometimes when i travel light I feed unbalanced out directly to my VX2K mic input.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 12:10 PM   #4
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Which would be the first to buy (if could only get one at a time) the adapter or mixer?
Is the Samson mixpad 4 a god mixer for the money?
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Old November 25th, 2003, 05:03 PM   #5
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Steve, the real practical question is how many mics you will be using in normal day-to-day recording. If the answer equals less than 3, the BeachTek is the first item to buy. It will allow you to hook up pro mics (XLR) to the GL.

For more than 2 mics, or if you want to do live panning & EQ, that's when you'll need a mixer. The Mixpad 4 is a solid mixer, but it only has 2 mic inputs.

There are others. I have never compared Samson and Behringer mixers side-by-side, but Behringer have a whole line of very attractively priced mixers.

Mackie boards are to me the crown jewel of small mixers, but they start at a much higher price point.

Try to get a real-life demo of these mixers at a pro audio store if you can.

BTW, I almost never use more than 2 mics when recording, therefore I keep an adapter on (under) my cam. If it's a complex mix like live music, we are talking sound reinforcement systems where I can usually pull a line feed out of the main board.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 05:36 PM   #6
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I'd go for the mixer knowing what i do now. A few feet of unbalanced cable isn't a bad thing. It would depend on how portable and how long an unbalanced run you'll need.

You can get by with a XLR to 1/8 mini stereo or dual XLR to 1/8 stereo cable ($10 and $20 for the dual) until you can afford the beach or equivilent. You can also buy an inline impedance matching transformer for under $50 . Depending on wehter or not you have an adjustable output you may have to make or by a pad to attenuate the sound.

You do reach a point where it would be best to have just bought a beachtek or Studio one adapter. The beauty of the beach is it's attached firmly to the camera and has 10 db of attenuation through each of the channel gain controls and a further 50 db throught the line/mic switch.

Be careful if you use the inexpensive cable adapters, what you have then is nothing secured to the camera and the posibility of a whole lot of cables dangling. The chance of a snag and heartache (busted nic input or worse)are pretty good unless you carefully secure all cables. Be sure to secure the 1/8 mini stereo to the camera handle with a length of velcro wrap.

an aside:
It seems the older I get the more screwed up my spelling gets and the more dyslexic ui become. Oy vey! The pain!
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Old November 25th, 2003, 09:38 PM   #7
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If he's feeding a GL-1, a mixer won't do any good. All you can do is feed it a mic level signal. It doesn't have manual controls. An ME-66 is too hot as it is. I would go with an XLR adapter that mounts under the camera. It's main value is to give you a secure place to connect the XLR cable so your mic input doesn't get damaged if someone trips on the cord. There's not much you can do with the audio on this camera other than turn on the in-camera attenuator setting. I'm sorry to break it to you.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 10:09 PM   #8
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Marco is right, I forgot that the GL1 had no manual ability. I was speaking only from my experiences with manual control on the VX2K.
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Old November 26th, 2003, 08:09 AM   #9
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1 - 2 mikes most of the time, I will improvise if I need more! I think that for right now I am going to get the beach with phantom power - then later on a mixer. Thanks for the input. Bryan, I have copyright on any of my misspelled words!!
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Old November 26th, 2003, 10:30 AM   #10
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As Marco pointed out, a mixer will do nothing to control the recording levels on a camera with non-defeatable AGC.

What a mixer will do is this. Let's say the piano mic is overpowering the acoustic guitar mic...pot down the piano. And you want to push the lead vocal up over the instruments, pot up the lead vocal channel. And you want the backup vocals to appear centered in the sound field, pan their mic to center. And let's say the percussion is a little too bright, let's lop a little off the high end using the EQ on that channel. And the Korg coming in on a direct patch is a little dry so you use the effects send to put some plate on him. And the drummer is not in a drum hut so he's leaking into everyone's mics and causing a hell of a mess! Ooops, mixer can't help you there! Hee hee!

So you can use a mixer to adjust the relative amplitude of each mic or line input, but the aggregate signal ("the mix") it sends to the camera is going to be recorded at the level the camera decides to make it.
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