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Old March 1st, 2004, 10:05 PM   #1
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Connecting to a mixer

I have a newbie sorta question...

I'd like to connect my PD170 to a mixer board at a school and would like to know what I should be connecting to. Most of the people there don't really know how to use the mixer very well and they are probably just as clueless as I am. Anyone know what adapters I need? I'm looking at picking up a 100' XLR cable with male and female connectors. But I was reading something about using a 1/4" TRS adapter? What is TRS? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Also, once I get connected, how do I make sure I'm getting the right levels? What should I be looking for?
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Old March 1st, 2004, 10:49 PM   #2
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TRS refers to an audio plug type, usually 1/4" when dealing with mixers. The signals are supplied to the tip and ring of the plug -- the sleeve (barrel) is ground. TRS is a stereo plug -- the T-S plug is a mono plug, i.e., no ring.

Depending on the mixing board, you should be able to connect to a matrix feed, which would be XLR. In that case, you would not need a TRS adapter. You can also take feeds directly from the Insert Send outputs, which is usually a T-S. Just experiment -- you'll get less chances of hum with XLR all the way. And for for dialog, stay with mono.

Be v-e-r-y careful of the levels coming from the board. I think the PD-170 must have an audio meter -- make sure your peaks never exceed -12dB. It's even safer to run at -20dB to allow for headroom. Any audio that hits the 0 dB ceiling will clip and sound terrible. It's easy to boost levels in post.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 10:55 PM   #3
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So should I get a TRS 1/4" adapter for my XLR cable? And also, aside from the audio clipping on the footage, will any harm come to the camera if levels get to high?
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Old March 2nd, 2004, 04:37 PM   #4
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You should only get the adapter if you need it -- take a look at the board to determine the connections that you need. Stay with XLR, if possible. If possible, talk to the audio guy.

You won't harm the camera by overdriving the audio -- it'll just make the audio unuseable. That's why you need to allow for headroom.
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