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Old April 20th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #1
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Recording Audio from a Soundboard via XLR?

I did a search and read through 3 pages of posts and still don't feel like I properly understand how to set this up.

Basically, I'm filming a dance festival and I'm allowed to connect to the soundboard via XLR (100 foot cable). I'm connecting to a Canon XH-A1 and I plan to also have a shotgun mic feed into the Canon XH-A1.

Where do I need to request that this connection be made on the soundboard?

What settings do I need to be concerned about on the soundboard?

What settings do I need to be concerned about on my camera?

For example, on the Canon there is a switch on the XLR box for "line" or "mic", and a switch underneath that for "CH1" or "CH1 & CH2". I'm just not experienced with recording from a soundboard and I'm feeling very confused at the moment.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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Travis,

Unfortunately as in most cases there isn't an easy answer to your question. Depending on the type of mixer they will be using and what they will be mixing will dictate what you're going to want. In any case, I don't believe you can use your shotgun and take the board feed. That would require mic on one channel and line level on the other and on the XH A1 I don't think you can do that.

I do a lot of dance/stage shows and when I get a board feed it really depends on the level of expertise of the sound engineer. At a minimum I usually ask for a feed of the soundtrack and if possible also group the MC's mic with it so I get whatever the house is being fed. If the sound engineer is kind enough I'll ask for each of the following in separate groups, the soundtrack feed (left and right), MC's mic, stage mics, area mics. That's a total of 5 channels that I take into my own mixer and then I take that into my camera and simultaneously into a laptop for separate audio recording of each discrete channel. That way in post I can mix the audio.

Now if I can't all of those separate I usually get the soundtrack and MC's mic and record those separately onto a laptop. Then I use my own mics plugged into the camera to pick up ambient sounds and to use for synching cameras and post mixed sound.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #3
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1.you need to know the mixers output options. Find out if the mixer is able to feed a stereo mix separately to the XLR inputs of your canon. Set the Canon to line input!
2.I would not use 1 mono mixer-feed and 1 mono shotgun mic.
3. best would be to record the stereo out of the mixer to a separate recorder if you want to use a stereo mic and synchronize the audio from the external recorder in the timeline of your NLE with the shotgun.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 06:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info, guys.

So I've heard some stuff here and there about making sure the feed to the camera isn't too hot. How do I do that? I know the XLR box on the camera has an att. switch, but how do I know if that needs to be on or not? Do I just start with it on and adjust the levels on the camera?

EDIT: just read in the manual that the ATT switch only works when the XLR is set to 'mic' mode. Won't have any affect in 'line' mode.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 04:45 AM   #5
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Note too that depending on how far your camera is setup from the stage, the board feed will arrive at your camera far sooner than the sound wave that's hitting your shotgun mic. If you later try to mix them in post you could experience signifigant problems with reverb due to the arrival time differences. Roughly each 30 feet of subject to camera distance corresponds to a time lag of 1 video frame.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 05:59 AM   #6
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As implied above, your post has too little information to give a detailed answer.
Need information on the soundboard, its output, your shotgun mic, and several other issues.

The best bet is to use an external recorder to record the signal from the sound board. That way you are not tethered to the board, and do not have to worry about long cables, etc.

If you want to use both the board feed and your mic, they should be reasonably closely matched in levels. Also, be aware that if you use auto gain control, the louder source will effect the level of the other source. And you may may want to use an isolation transformer with ground lift capability as well, especially if you are using A/C power for your camcorder or any connected gear.

Test the overall setup well before the event if you can so you have time to resolve any problem that you may discover in the test process.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 07:07 AM   #7
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Get yourself a Beachtek, or similar device, that will take in two different audio signals, in your case a line level on one channel, and a mic level- your shotgun, on the other channel.
The Beachtek will output the correct signal to your videocamera.

You can control gain on the beachtek, and all will be good in your audio.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:32 AM   #8
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HI,
one of the best ways to get a good controlled mix from the mixing console is to plug into an unused AUX send. the AUX send on most mixing boards is balanced. if it is a 1/4 inch TRS connection, and your camera accepts an XLR connector then just get a TRS to XLR converter and use a 100 foot microphone cable with XLR terminations.

Using the AUX send from the mixing board gives you way more control over the mix you are getting from the console, you can then easily set up a mix minus situation, say if you want just the microphones and not the background music, then just turn down the channel with the music.

also the AUX sends can be set up to give you pre-fader and pre-EQ levels, this will let you have a signal source that is not being manipulated by the sound guy, meaning that if he pulls down a fader, you will still get the audio from the channel, and if he messes with the EQ to compensate for room acoustics or his personal taste, you signal will not be affected and will be "flat" with no EQ added to the signal.

the AUX send will also give you a variable level that you can control so you can set up an optimal "Line level" signal level for your camera.

so set your camera to line level, have the sound guy send a tone and adjust your line level in on the camera so that the tone registers 0db on the audio meter.


hope this helps.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 09:39 AM   #9
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Is your line input on the camera at -10dB or +4dB?

You may want to send the soundboard feed into a separate recorder and record using your built in or external mike from your camera just to make sure. I run separate mikes from the stage and generally don't use a soundboard feed. A lot of that has to do with the soundboard operators and the rest with lack of control at my end.

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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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An Aux is one way to do it, or if the board has it you can use a matrix. A matrix is the same thing basically except it lets you take a mix from the submasters, but you can boost/cut whichever submasters are needed. Same deal basically though, but less control, but easier to control.



BIG NOTE!

Remember to bring a XLR-TRS though, most boards do not have AUX outs that are XLR. It's good to have around because you might be an unlucky one.





And for this... since you are using a line level signal, not a mic level signal, you set it to line. If you need to use a mic, put an inline attenuator on the line level signal of -30 or -40 (you can get it cheap from naiant online), and then you have it at mic level so you can set your XL-A1 to mic and use both the board and the mic.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Note too that depending on how far your camera is setup from the stage, the board feed will arrive at your camera far sooner than the sound wave that's hitting your shotgun mic. If you later try to mix them in post you could experience signifigant problems with reverb due to the arrival time differences. Roughly each 30 feet of subject to camera distance corresponds to a time lag of 1 video frame.
Interesting. I didn't realize that. So that means the sound feed from the XLR to the camera is going to be off from the video as well?

I have 2 Olympus DVR's that I could use to record audio. I could hook one up to the soundboard. Do I need to worry about the signal from the soundboard being too hot for the DVR?

By the way, thanks to everyone for the information. I wish I could give out more info on the soundboard but I've never seen it and don't have any other info yet. I can contact the board operator for the event but I would need to know what questions to ask him first.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 11:55 AM   #12
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an ideal option would be to take an AUX send or a matrix like Chris suggested and run that signal to a Mackie 1202 or other similar board. then take the 2 channel master output from the 1202 and run it to your camera.

this will let you use the microphone channels for your own microphone array and will give you a great control surface for your audio and will let you insert a delay to keep your microphones insync with the stage microphones.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:14 PM   #13
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I only have a little Nady 4-channel audio mixer, which has all 1/4" inputs and no XLR. I wasn't planning on using it because I figured it would just degrade the audio signal (ie - more connections). Would I be better off running sound from the board through this little mixer to my DVR, and then use a shotgun on the camera to capture house ambient audio?

The trouble is that I can't run the shotgun and the soundboard feed to my camera at the same time, and I don't have any room in the budget to purchase additional equipment.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:45 PM   #14
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I'm not sure I've ever run into a situation where the line level coming out of the mixer is too hot for the line level on the camera. Actually, it's almost always the opposite because they are pulling down the master fader to get the audio at the right level for the PA. Plus many mixers 0db is actually somewhere between -10db and 0 db not the +4db that your camera expects. You end up with a line level that is too low to be usable. So I almost always use an XLR pad to get the level down to mic level -- that gives me the gain I need for a decent level on the camera. So my advice would be to bring an adjustable XLR pad. Also you'll want a 1/4" to XLR adapter with a transformer because many Main Outs and Aux Sends are 1/4" and a RCA to 1/4" adapter in case you have to plug into the tape output of the mixer.
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Old April 21st, 2009, 01:49 PM   #15
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Can you get an adaptor for your shotgun, and run it into your Nady?
Also run the soundboard audio to the Nady.
This will give you control of what sound level, from which source, gets to the camera.
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