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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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Audio from PA to camera?

I am filming a talent show and need to get the audio from the house PA into my camera. I don't know anything about PAs or the one I will be using. My camera has 2 xlr inputs, 1 of which is already dedicated to a condenser mic. Can I go wirelessly from the PA to my camera?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #2
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If the signal from the house audio system is compatable, or can be made so, with your wireless, sure. We hook up the Sennheiser xlr transmitter, which usually sends from a mike, to the xlr outputs on mult boxes at press conferences all the time. If the multbox doesn't have a mike level output we set the transmitter input level to -30db and sometimes hook up an Audio-Technica in-line attenuator between the box and transmitter as well, if it's a hot signal.

If you don't have an xlr transmitter you would need an adapter cable matching the source and your transmitter's plugs also. HTH / Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
If the signal from the house audio system is compatable, or can be made so, with your wireless, sure. We hook up the Sennheiser xlr transmitter, which usually sends from a mike, to the xlr outputs on mult boxes at press conferences all the time. If the multbox doesn't have a mike level output we set the transmitter input level to -30db and sometimes hook up an Audio-Technica in-line attenuator between the box and transmitter as well, if it's a hot signal.

If you don't have an xlr transmitter you would need an adapter cable matching the source and your transmitter's plugs also. HTH / Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
Cool, this is what I was hoping for. I also have a Sennheiser xlr transmitter. Besides going to the location and testing it, is there another way to figure out if the house signal is compatible?
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Old May 5th, 2009, 03:44 PM   #4
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This system is probably the most handy one - the only thing I'd take would be a cable that has an XLR plug wired to an unblanced 1/4" jack - just in case their mixer does not have xlr outputs. All you need to ask for is a mix of their output in mono, if possible. Just remember that whatever level they send you, it will almost certainly go up during the show.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #5
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In my experience the house people seldom have any idea of exactly what they have, nothing beats having the right stuff on hand to fix whatever. It's a combination of what they have and what you need, and you can't depend on the house to have just the levels you anticipate.

I have a local government center, with a professional av staff, that runs really hot output from the audio feeds, no matter what anybody tells them....I just take my variable pad with me when I go there....and a fistfull of various adapters and cables....it's nothing you can't handle on-scene if you have a goody-box of adapters and such with you. /bvaughan
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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A couple of additional notes on what's already been said. If you use a TRS 1/4" plug to XLR plug adapter cable to convert a 1/4" balanced line out to XLR balanced line-level out, the XLR end needs to be MALE. And of course don't forget it would still be line-level so you'd have to set your XLR input to the appropriate line-level.
If you use a passive DI box to convert from 1/4" to XLR, then you'd need a TS to TS unbalanced 1/4" cable to go from a mixer Aux Send or other output to the DI box. The DI box will convert the line-level output to a mic-level output and you can use your regular XLR mic cables for the majority of the long run.
Other advantages of the DI box: You get a looping out of the line input to use somewhere else. Usually they have a ground-lift switch to help defeat a ground-loop hum. And they have switchable or variable attenuation to adjust a hot signal.
Other good adapters to have: XLR gender-changers in both male and female, switchable XLR pads, XLR Female to 1/4" TRS, TS female to RCA male adapters, 1/8" TRS mini male to 2xTS 1/4" male cables (coupled with two DI boxes it's great for taking the output of a computer into your mixer when someone has audio from their presentation computer). I need a dollar from everyone who says "Oh yeah, I decided to add sound to this presentation, how will everyone hear it??" I'd have enough extra $ in the jar to buy a good condenser mic.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 06:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
A couple of additional notes on what's already been said. If you use a TRS 1/4" plug to XLR plug adapter cable to convert a 1/4" balanced line out to XLR balanced line-level out, the XLR end needs to be MALE. And of course don't forget it would still be line-level so you'd have to set your XLR input to the appropriate line-level.
If you use a passive DI box to convert from 1/4" to XLR, then you'd need a TS to TS unbalanced 1/4" cable to go from a mixer Aux Send or other output to the DI box. The DI box will convert the line-level output to a mic-level output and you can use your regular XLR mic cables for the majority of the long run.
Other advantages of the DI box: You get a looping out of the line input to use somewhere else. Usually they have a ground-lift switch to help defeat a ground-loop hum. And they have switchable or variable attenuation to adjust a hot signal.
Other good adapters to have: XLR gender-changers in both male and female, switchable XLR pads, XLR Female to 1/4" TRS, TS female to RCA male adapters, 1/8" TRS mini male to 2xTS 1/4" male cables (coupled with two DI boxes it's great for taking the output of a computer into your mixer when someone has audio from their presentation computer). I need a dollar from everyone who says "Oh yeah, I decided to add sound to this presentation, how will everyone hear it??" I'd have enough extra $ in the jar to buy a good condenser mic.
Jay

Do you have specific brand/model of DI box you recommend?

Thanks
Ben
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Old May 7th, 2009, 12:02 AM   #8
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I usually have a 40db XLR in-line pad, plus an XLR "Y" cable to let me run a mono feed to both stereo channels on my XL2. DON'T FORGET A GOOD PAIR OF HEADPHONES. You absolutely MUST monitor the audio when working off an external feed. Forget what the VU meters are telling you -- go with what sounds right.

The 40db pad is for those times you can only get a line-level feed for a mic-level input. They're pricey little buggers if you buy them ( average cost around $40 USD from most suppliers), which is ridiculous because they're nothing more than three 1/4-watt resistors inside a pass-through housing. I made my own for less than $5, but then I've got more time than money.

Martin
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Old May 12th, 2009, 01:08 AM   #9
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Line to mic level adaptor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Gaetani View Post
I am filming a talent show and need to get the audio from the house PA into my camera. I don't know anything about PAs or the one I will be using. My camera has 2 xlr inputs, 1 of which is already dedicated to a condenser mic. Can I go wirelessly from the PA to my camera?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated!
If you have a line level output from the PA system, you need something like this:
Shure | A15LA - Line Adapter | A15LA | B&H Photo Video . Connect it to your wireless transmitter (you often need an adaptor or special cable for that, then you have to adjust the level in your transmitter...)
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