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Old September 5th, 2004, 11:40 AM   #1
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Wireless and mixer question

Can someone give me advice on how to make a setup like this work?

I'd like to give our boom operator more room to move around, so I'm thinking about getting a Sennheiser G2 and having him connect it to the output of a SoundDevices MM1. The receiver would be connected to a field mixer -- either a PSC ProMix 3 or a SoundDevices 302 -- which would be monitored by a second sound person who would record the master tracks to minidisc, and send a backup signal direct to camera.

My question is, how could the person monitoring the mixer be sure that the G2 isn't clipping? I could see adjusting the gain on the mixer so that the meter was calibrated with one the on the G2, but then he wouldn't be able to ride the levels would he? That's half the reason for having a second audio person. I believe there's a meter on the G2 receiver, but since it would probably be mounted on a shoulder strap, I don't see how he could monitor it effectively and still keep an eye on the mixer. He'd have to be able to look in two places at once.

The G2 appears to have a very wide signal to noise ratio, so I wonder if we would just be able to set the gain low enough that we don't have to worry about it clipping. Anybody know if that would work, or if there would be a way incorporate a second meter that could easily be monitored alongside the one on the mixer?
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Old September 5th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #2
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you dont have to look down if you know your equip , thats the way mot of the soundman do .you just lissen and ride the level
.if you are talking about documentary style recording ,the sound mixer can work alone without abooman (not that isnt better but really not nessary in 99% of the time ), if you are talking fiction when you need to be wery presise and have exelent dylog i was hardly thinking use the g-2 for boom mike , that only ruin your sound if you use something better then me-66,
the mixer can boom and record the audio to md or much better to i river or nomd j-b which recording full 48/16 bit , the wierless could work as scratch track to the camera , the second camera channel could work as aditional ambient channel and reference for aditing if something happen to the feed from the mixer
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Old September 5th, 2004, 01:06 PM   #3
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The most important adjustment would be setting the MM-1 properly and then setting the transmitter input gain to handle that signal properly. Once that's done, then the second person could make minor adjustments to the mixer levels as they are sent to the recorders. They'd have to listen carefully and alert the boom op to turn down the MM-1 if they started clipping the transmitter input. Since the MM-1 has click-stop adjustments this couldn't be done with a tiny change so that's not ideal.
I don't know if you can adjust the transmitter input gain from the receiver on the newer G2 systems, I don't think you can.
If it is for run and gun, you could set it for safety and then boost it a little with your field mixer. With drama or fiction you could push it a little hotter and re-take it if you had clipping or an RF dropout.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #4
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It is fairly easy to set this up.

Most field mixers have Tone available. Turn it on and then set the mixer output level/camera input level so that the 0 db points coincide. Then the audio person can ride the levels on the mixer without worrying about the camera. This is done all the time in a TV studio where the sound guy is running the audio board, not the tape decks. Run your levels according to existing wisdom for DV audio recording.

The risk? The audio person cannot hear any problems in the wireless transmission or problems caused by inadvertent changes to the camera input gain.

That's why some folks wireless the audio monitor on the camera back to the audio person's headphones. To not do this risks all of the audio unless you are also recording audio to a second (and local to the sound person) recorder.

Friends of mine didn't monitor the camera during the production of a recent 15 minute short. Sound was great on headphones from the mixer. Garbled on the camera to which it was hardwired! They had to ADR all of the dialog and go back and get room tone at all of the locations.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 05:12 PM   #5
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Given that the plug-on transmitter is designed to use the metal microphone body as the antenna (via the XLR's ground/pin1), would this even work with a field mixer? I've never had occasion to try it.

-Troy
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Old September 5th, 2004, 06:48 PM   #6
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Drop a short cable off the output of the mixer and plug the transmitter into the cable. It then uses the cable shielding as the antenna.
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Old September 6th, 2004, 10:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for the responses. I guess what I'm hearing is that the audio person needs to trust his ear to listen for any clipping on the G2, or else put the wireless after the mixer and only use it for the backup audio being recorded to the camera. The second option sounds like it would probably be the safest and yield the best results on the main track because it would be hardwired, although it's not going to give the boom op the flexibility to move around as I had hoped.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 03:46 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : Drop a short cable off the output of the mixer and plug the transmitter into the cable. It then uses the cable shielding as the antenna. -->>>

That's what I was thinking. Of course, then you have to secure the transmitter that's flopping around, but that's what gaffer's tape is for, right? <G>

-Troy
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Old September 7th, 2004, 05:02 PM   #9
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I actually lead the cable away from anything metalic and allow it to droop vertically. I don't tie it to anything metalic. I have used a tree to good effect outdoors though.
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