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Old June 10th, 2009, 12:55 AM   #1
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Mix Pre to HVX200 (LEVELS)

I got my mix pre in and did some tests with one boom for dialogue recording.
I turned on my mix pre's tone and set the HVX200 to -20. Alright ready to go.
I then recorded at different peaks on the mix pre, i started peaking at 0 and +4 (still in the green)
In my DAW, the waveform is half full.
I then did another where i turned up the mix pre all the way thus peaking all in the red,
In the DAW the waveform is full but with flat tops (i guess thats the limiter kicking in)

i know the mix pre is pretty much unclippable but what are the ideal peaks on the pre for dialogue recording-the odd red? peak at 0? how much should i go over?

thanks in advance

Last edited by Roshdi Alkadri; June 10th, 2009 at 12:57 AM. Reason: more info
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Old June 10th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #2
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One suggestion... record to two tracks in the HVX, and set one at -20 and the other at -12. Use which ever one works best (in the case of dialogue that will nearly always be the -12 one in my experience.)
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Old June 10th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply chris. That sounds like a great idea. Two questions please:

I'm setting the mix pre to record two channels (linked) and im using the HVX200's both channels. When referencing to -20, why am i having to turn the mix pre's pot all the way to get full scale?

If i reference to -12, how much room do i really have above that? and if i do reference the tone, you are saying set one to -12 and -20 and kind of choose whats best after?
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Old June 10th, 2009, 08:11 PM   #4
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Here is what I do. It's been a while since I used the MixPre so I am going on memory here for that setup. Adjust what I say to what you see in your manual.

Set it up for line out to your camera's right and left XLR outputs and set your camera up for line in signal. Cable the outputs to your camera inputs.

Turn on the tone oscillator and adjust the LED on mixer VU meter to 0db on each channel.
Leaving the oscillator on, at the camera adjust the inputs to that one channel reads -20 and set the other channel at -12. (If you are using two mics - Check at the mixer that the left channel is set to pan left and the right channel is set to pan right, NO mixing of the two channels allowed. If you are using a single input, set it to center channel.)

Once you have done this you initial set up is complete. I recommend using low pass filter. Low frequencies can play havoc on your meter readings.

Make sure you use 48v phantom for anything but a lav, and even then I tend to use 48V unless otherwise indicated.

Monitor sound at the camera.

(As I recall on the mix pre the spot between 12 o'clock and 2 o'clock seemed to be the best or "unity" area to my ears.)

Others more knowledgeable may be able to amplify or correct my method.... but it works for me. (and worked nicely on the MixPre into a HVX200 a year ago for a day as well).

A "Hot" signal will range between -4 and +2 at the mixer... I usually record a little lower than that on a split recording system as I have described.
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Old June 10th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #5
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an excellent and clear answer, i shall try that.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 12:47 AM   #6
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Alright..results

Setting tone to 0 on the mixpre and -20 on the HVX:
-the pot has on the mix pre has to go all the way up in order to reach 0db on the cam

Setting tone to 0 on the mixpre and -12 on the HVX:
-You dont have to turn the pot on the mix pre very much to get good level, but there is little room for error, not that you would clip but the limiter would be pinning pretty much all the time if you're not careful

my conclusion: as chris said to use two levels one set at -12 and the other at -20 then go for the best one, but for me i found sticking to -20 is best but of course with carefully placed mics and good technique
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Old June 11th, 2009, 02:47 AM   #7
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I am unclear... you are NOT trying to reach 0 on the CAM with the tone, just on the MixPre... the cam is -20 and -12 when the MixPRE is 0.... DO not attempt to set it at 0 on the cam.

Your second sentence suggests you get that, but your first one has me confused. Why do you care what the MixPre has to be set at to get tone to 0 on the cam, that is not your goal.

Make sure you are line out and line in as well. It should not be THAT sensitive.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #8
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sorry chris if my wording confused you. It is 0 db at the mix pre and -20 at the camera, line out from mix pre and then line in on both channels on camera. Both channels set to the same input. Im just saying that referencing to -20 on camera, the mix pre's pot has to be turned up pretty far to get close to 0 on the camera.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #9
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Set the pot to the 2 o'clock position and do some recording and see where your levels run.... listen tothe result and see how it sounds... then pull it onto your NLE time line and play with the audio there and see how you like it.

Last edited by Chris Swanberg; June 11th, 2009 at 04:29 PM.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #10
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I will try that and check back. thanks

Ideally, where do we want the peaks for dialogue on the camera to be. Does it necessarily have to be close to 0 to maximize signal to noise ratio?
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Old June 11th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #11
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My reply is no. When you start going past unity you start boosting the noise floor along with the signal. Personally I am willing to accept a little less hot signal and play with it in post rather than cranking up the gain in the mixer. Others, smarter and more knowledgeable are invited to add their comments on this.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #12
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ok, i tried the 2 o'clock position, the audio is pretty clean, the waveform in my DAW is half way full. This was referenced at -20 on the cam and 0 on the mix pre. I spoke at an average level then did some yelling, both ends sound pretty good. My only concern is that what if i wanted to turn up the gain in my DAW, some noise would be brought up as well. I suppose i can apply some noise reduction, but my understanding is to try to minimize post effects with 16 bit recording, right?
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Old June 11th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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I find that with a weaker mic signal I usually end up using the -12 track, not the -20 track.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:06 PM   #14
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im using the senn 416 48vphantom, ALC is off in the camera.
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Old June 11th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #15
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Did you set it up to center and then record it on one channel in the camera as -20 and in the other at -12 ?
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