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Old January 9th, 2004, 10:42 PM   #1
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My First Question!

Hi all, I'm new to the forum, and have done a bit of searching around, but haven't found the answer, so I'll try it out here.

I have a Sony TRV520E Camcorder. When I record live bands with high SPLs, the sound recorded through the built in Stereo Condensor Mic is very distorted (which is no suprise to me).

The camera has an imput for a mic, but nowhere in the manual is there any wiring diagrams to let me know what sort of Jack is required, nor what sort of mic is required ie. Do I need a pre amp, does the mic need to be powered etc.

If anybody has a starting point for me on this I would appreciate it.


Andy Shrimpton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 9th, 2004, 10:48 PM   #2
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It depends on what you are doing. I have been able to go straight from the mixing board into a stationary camera (if you know the sound guy and he is cool). You can get a converter (XLR to 1/8 mini stereo) and go from the board to the camcorder. Most likely it is a stereo input (don't know the camera, but I assume). You might also be able to use RCA stereo outs from the board to stereo mini into the camera. I guess another alternative is to set up your own mic and minidisc or some other recorder and just sync in post. The sound guy might also be able to give you a CD too. Just some thoughts....
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Old January 9th, 2004, 11:14 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply!

I think you're correct on it being a 1/8" stereo jack, I just wanted to be sure before I go sticking in things indescriminantly.

If I get a line out of a Mixing Desk, that would be amplified using the desk, so if I just want to record using a straight mic, it would have to be phantom powered then?

Another question I though of thanks to your post is: How hard is it to sync up in post if I take a MD, or even tape, desk copy of the performance? Is that where I need SMPTE code? Or can I do it free hand?


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Old January 10th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #4
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Consumer equipment uses consumer line level, which isn't the same as pro-equipment line levels. Usually you can just tell through the connectors: RCA and minii-plug/3.5mm/ 1/8"inch are consumer, XLR and TRS/1/4" are usually professional (some consumer equipment uses 1/4" connectors).

Mics can be powered through the connectors. Your camera probably has plug-in power that works for consumer mics. You may need to filter this out. XLR cables can carry phantom power. It's usually switchable (on/off). XLR is balanced so it doesn't pick up as much interference, which is very important on long cable runs.

To get something from the mixing board you can:
A- record onto MD. Get a 1/8" --> 2 RCA cable and hook that up to the tape out on the mixer board and into the line in on your MD. MD sync will drift after 15 minutes or so. You'll need to sync things up in post. This could be a real pain since your camera's mic responds differently to sound and makes the waveforms hard to compare. But you can still do it. You should get an editor that doesn't quantitize to frames. You need to sync at multiple points in the show since sync drifts.

Sony doesn't allow you to digitally upload MD material to your computer so you'll need to capture through a sound card or rent a MD deck with digital upload feature. Sound cards sometimes aren't that great, but it could be much better than your camera.

B- Do a cable run to your camera. I'd probably just get a Beachtek adaptor to handle the conversion from XLR to 1/8". This gives you the advantage of balanced wiring. You have to figure out if their board will output XLR balanced though. The Beachtek is also handle for external mics if you get the one with phantom power (DXA-6 I think). About $200 at B&H. And then you need the cable and everything.

You could also get a mic like the MS907/908 (one of them is the camcorder version). It's a decent stereo mic for $80 or so. It should be great for music unless it overloads (I don't think it would). Sony has ok specs for it on their website.

If your camera has auto-gain control that you can't disable then that may not be that good. AGC is good when it works but really annoying when it doesn't.
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