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Old April 15th, 2004, 04:05 AM   #1
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Connecting XLR Shotgun Mic To DV Camera Through Mini-Jack?

In order to improve the sound quality of the short films I'm involved in, I am considering purchasing a mid-range shotgun mic.

However, a purchase like this is only worthwhile if I can use the mic with a (rented) PD-150 and with my crappy DCRTRV-22.

Therefore, I'm wondering whether it is possible to connect an XLR shotgun mic to my DV camera through the 3.5mm jack?

Is this advisable?

Is there a simple cable adaptor from XLR to 3.5mm?

Will this affect sound quality?

Do I have to get a box adaptor from XLR to 3.5mm (like the BeachTek XLR Adaptor)?

How will the sound quality be through this type of adaptor?

Justin Halliday
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Old April 15th, 2004, 04:47 AM   #2
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Yes, an XLR to mini should work. I got one for my mic. It's a little bulky, though.
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Old April 15th, 2004, 08:20 AM   #3
 
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Just be certain you don't let the weight of the XLR to Mini adaptor be carried by your mini input connector. Use some kind of strain relief. You'd be amazed at how weak these mini connectors are inside the camera, and how many camera owners end up damaging them.
I'd wager the majority of cameras are connected to mics in this fashion, even though a beachtek or similar device is often better, given the poor quality of pre's in many cameras.
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Old April 15th, 2004, 08:32 AM   #4
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xlr to mini

I have used adapters with success but the best thing I ever did was buy the Beachtek interface. Worth every penny !
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Old April 15th, 2004, 09:00 AM   #5
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Good'ay Justin,
I've just got the Sign Video XLR PRO shipped out from the states... I've been testing it today....No comparison to onboard mic soundwise.. Shot gun, headset and lav mics work excellently.

It gives you two XLR inputs, two 3.5mm inputs and is made from robust metal...

I was somewhat worried by the reports of fragile 3.5mm jacks, so with the box bolted onto the camera all the strain is taken up by the much more robust XLR jacks.

At 140 odd USD it is a really good buy. Have a chat with Bruian at ZotzDigital... I bugged him for all the info, he's a really good bloke and will give you good advice.


Regards
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Old April 15th, 2004, 09:47 AM   #6
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The Beach, Sign video XLR pro are basically the same idea. They match impedance and offer attenuation and minor mix functions. While nice they are not indespensible. I own a beach and found myself using the $9.50 cable more often than not.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=158476&is=REG
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Old April 15th, 2004, 10:21 AM   #7
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Hi Bryan,
Agreed a $9 cable will do the job...no question about that.

I like the XLR box though for a number of reasons:

You can use it to get double mono (false Stereo) I know you can do this in the edit too.

Mix two mics or more and not over use the crappy mini jack plug on the camera... If I'm recording an interview I can use the headset combo for the questions and have either a boom or lav mic on the subject.

The use a boom mic, would no doubt pull on the mini jack and knacker it pretty quickly... (I've added a cable tie around the right hand strap to avoid all pressure on that jackplug....

But as you say, nice gadgets , but the only way if cash is tight.

Cheers
G
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Old April 15th, 2004, 11:14 AM   #8
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I agree about the wear and stress on the jack. I used to velcro the cord against the camera handle and leave it. It's a temporary measure for most. Most people think you must have the matching transformer and that simply isn't so.

At one time my beach never came off of the camera. Now I input directly to the Analog to digital converter through the RCA inputs.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 03:02 AM   #9
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Thanks...

Thanks for the info guys.

Sounds like I can safely use a shotgun mic with my DV camera through a simply cable adaptor now, and then upgrade to a BeachTek XLR Adaptor/Sign Video XLR Pro later.

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Old April 16th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #10
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I use a Beachtek DXA-6 when I want to use an XLR mic that requires phantom power. This is a very good solution. On the other hand, when I want a light weight set-up with a shotgun, I use my ATR55, which runs on an internal AA battery and has a mini plug that can go right into the camera. People have critisized the '55, but it sounds pretty good to me.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 04:40 PM   #11
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You might want to look at the Shure A96-F.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=154878&is=REG

It's got a transformer.

Don't trip over the cord! That's a HUGE advantage of the undercamera boxes -- your fragile mic input is protected from nasty mishaps.
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Old April 16th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #12
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For a short adapter cable there's really no reason to use a transformer. For a longer run an impedance matching xfmr will keep the run from mic to transformer balanced and free from interferance.

As Marco mentions, there is a real danger of tripping over the cord or snagging it on something and damaging the 1/8 stereo jack.

Again, always use a right angled plug and wrap it with a velcro wrap

Always use a tether. If I have a cable runing from my mixer, or anything I'll tie it off with a velcro wrap. I've tied them off tp chairs, my tripod, a table leg, use anything you can. If it's on me, I'll tether it to my belt (carabiner clip)

Carabiner clips can be found just about anywhere (people use them for key chains) and velcro strips can be purchase at Home Depot or Radio Shack. I usually have a herd of a few difrferent lengths stuck to the velcro on my equipment bags. Usual a short one on each cable as well. The velcro strips for DV Audio purposes can be expensive ;-)))))))))
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