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Old February 2nd, 2004, 05:34 PM   #1
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mini-to-xlr Y-cable

I'm thinking about buying this cable from B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=160632&is=REG, but have a couple questions for anyone that might be able to help out.
Basically what I'd like to do is plug the stereo mini into my camcorder's mic input, then plug a shotgun and wireless lav into the xlrs. I'm thinking that this will allow me to record the lav onto my left channel (channel 1) and shotgun to the right (channel 2).
Am I correct in thinking this will work?
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Old February 2nd, 2004, 05:57 PM   #2
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Jay Rose's articles (the "pads"/attenuators one and the consumer mini-disc one) at dv.com (registration required) have information on building the right cable, with explanation of the thinking that goes behind it. There are a few issues:
A- Getting the levels/voltages correct. Some mics require amplification, and most prosumer cameras don't do a good job with that.
B- Filtering out mic input power, if you're using the mic input. (some cameras are better with the line inputs, which does not provide power to the microphone)
C- Providing phantom power if you need that.

Beachtek sells adapters that do most of these things, as well as having adjustable volume controls and automatic limiters. It fits under your camera. They have a model coming out which have preamps in them. Peachtek is selling a similar product, but I haven't seen any reviews of it.
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Old February 2nd, 2004, 08:23 PM   #3
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That cable will work, how well will depend on what camera you have. So far as adapters , the Beachtek are very well made and reasonable. One of our members also manufactures an adapter .

http://www.preciseaudio.com/brochure.html
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Old February 2nd, 2004, 10:56 PM   #4
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I'm using a Canon GL2. I've tried a Beachtek before and liked it. The one you linked to looks good too, but I just don't like how clunky they are. I'd like to keep my weight down and don't like the physical stability, or lack thereof, of the Beachtek. My plan is to make a bracket for a camera mountable wireless lav reciever behind my viewfinder to sustain balance and mobility. The whole setup will operate and look great, but only as long as the Y-cable does a descent enough job.

The articles Glenn mentioned are interesting, but I don't know if they apply to my setup. Both give a low cost, do-it-yourself approach to solving the problems. I think a little surgery would be well worth it if it provided any improvement in audio quality.

Here's links to the articles if someone has an account and wants to read them:
http://dv.com/features/features_item.../2003/rose0303
http://dv.com/features/features_item.../2000/rose1200

I've also sent an email to http://equipmentemporium.com regarding their XLRH8 cables. I guess they have a built in "voltage blocker" but seem to apply specifically to Sony cameras. Does anyone have experience with this cable or ones similar?
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 01:25 AM   #5
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Try the $14.50 cable from B&H. I know it works cuz i use one on my VX2K.

I really doubt you'll need pads although jay's articles are very interesting. Any pro mic won't be affected by any camera DC voltage, so did give that a thought. I've been playing with electronocs for years and believe me you'd be hard pressed to build a cable for as little as the Hosatech costs. Your time has to be worth more than the few dollars you may save.

Try the cheap way first and experiment a bit.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 12:36 PM   #6
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Just to make sure, with the Hosa cable that I linked to on the first post, each XLR has its own designated channel, correct? I read elsewhere that this isn't the case and just want to make sure.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 08:55 PM   #7
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I have the 5' version and it's a 1/8 stereo to 2 mono XLR. That's a separate left and right channel. The left channel is marked.
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 09:07 PM   #8
 
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The channels are separate in Hosa. Just beware of their quality. (or lack thereof)
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 09:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for the pointers.

Yeah, I'm actually pretty weary of using a Hosa cable. Originally, I purchased one of their single XLR to stereo mini cables that has caused me troubles. For some reason my audio, through the Hosa cable, plays wonderfully through my camcorder headphones, A/V out, and even in Quicktime, but terrible through the camcorder's speaker and in Final Cut (until applying the Expander/NoiseGate filter and tweaking the settings).

I'd really like to find a reliable stereo mini to L/R XLR cable. Unfortunately B&H seems to only carry Hosa. A company on the net called Audiogear (www.audiogear.com) also sells this type of cable. Has anyone purchased from this company or have any other suggestions?
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Old February 3rd, 2004, 10:06 PM   #10
 
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Contact performance Audio in Salt Lake City. One of the country's top 5 audio houses, everything carries a lifetime guarantee, they build with Mogami, Canare, and anything else you want.
Ask for Scott or Chris, tell em' I sent you. They'll treat you right.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 12:14 AM   #11
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The problem is getting a right angled, molded mini stereo male plug. A straight plug is an inviting target to get rapped. The right angled allows you to velcro or use a rubber band to lock the adapter in pl;ace. I agree that the Hosa leaves alot to be desired, but a straight connector is too dangerous.

If someone can source a molded mini stereo that's better than the Hosa , then let me know. I've bought their adapters and cut the XLR off and installed a neutrik.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 12:24 AM   #12
 
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Switchcraft makes a rubber covered, right angle 1/8 connector. It's not molded. But it's also 20.00. Radio Shack also has cheap molded ones. Buy 2-3 for when they fail.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 12:53 AM   #13
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I've looked at radio shack and all i've seen are straight and all due respects but their qc and tolerence ain't the greatest. Are you sure it's not the 2.5mm, I've seen those. 1/8 is 3.5mm.

Switchcraft would be worth the money. For $25 you'd have something worthwhile($20 for the 3.5mm stereo and $5 for the neutrik XLR)

http://www.switchcraft.com/
Switchcraft black with gold pin part# 35HDRABAU
silver with gold pin #35HDRANAU
standard # 35HDRANN
All I could find was the standard at $5. Switchcraft silver colored is still pretty good quality.
They look heavy so a velcro strap would be manditory, otherwise there would be too much stress on the female recepticle.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 01:22 AM   #14
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I use the molded 3.5mm right angle from Radio Shack with a VX. I tape it tight to the VX with electrical tape.
It is the only molded right angle 3.5mm I know
of.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 07:31 AM   #15
 
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Horizon sells a rubber covered right angle male end from Switchcraft if that's what you wish to use. Radio Shack sells one that's molded. Several outlets for molded ones. Anything molded is going to have slightly odd tolerances, that's the nature of mass manufacturing of rubber ended cables, unfortunately. Note that in my post I didn't say anything about the quality of the Radio Shack cables? Neutrk might make a rubber covered right as well. good luck!
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