How to set up a new mic at

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Old October 1st, 2004, 03:15 PM   #1
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How to set up a new mic

I recently purchased an AT4073a for my DVX100A camera in time for an event im gonna be taping. I have been so busy with work I haven't been able to test it to and I was wondering, what is the best way to setup the mic?
How do I give phantom power to the mic through the dvx?
How (should) do I disable the on board mic?
Thanks for all your help,
Carlos Leon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2004, 07:47 PM   #2
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Read the manual thorughly as a primer. I'm quite sure Matt G will pickup on this as he owns a DVX and has used the 4073.

You should still read your manual, all questions you have asked will be answered, the quirks of the AT4073 can be addressed from tyhe forum here.
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Bryan Beasleigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 1st, 2004, 08:28 PM   #3
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If you're planning on using the mic on-cam I'm hoping that you got one of the shockmounts I mentioned... If all you have is the little mount that came with the cam then you'll need hands as steady as a surgeon to not cause handling noise... the little one that they throw in for the 4073a "kit" is okay to get you by... but still realize that you need to have delicate hands when you maneuver your cam about. Better shockmounts alleviate most of the handling noise concerns.

Getting started:

First confirm that both mic inputs are at "mic" and NOT at "line"... Line is for mixer feeds and other line-level feeds. Until you get something like that... or take a feed from a soundguy... you won't want them set on anything but MIC. These switches are at the very front of the cam, under the lens.

Switching out the onboard mic to switch IN another mic "disables" the internal mic... unless you leave one half of it going for one channel and then use your new mic on the other channel. Stereo takes 2 mics... just like in your camera... that's left and right mics up there over the lens. Ch1 and Ch2 each disable left and right to add an external left or right... or both.

Flip open your LCD. The middle row of switches controls the mic inputs. If you don't have phantom flipped on then your new mic won't work, simple as that. If you're only going to use the one mic then set the "channel 1 select" and "channel 2 select" both to channel 2... meaning all the way down. Now left AND right channels will use the same single mic... so plug the mic into mic input 2! If for some reason you wanted to use one half of the built-in stereo mics (left OR right) then you could leave one of the two switches on "INT" which stands for "internal mic"... it says (L) for ch1 and (R) for ch2.

Next to those switches you'll see the phantom ON/OFF for ch1 and ch2... whatever channel has your mic plugged in needs to have phantom switched ON. If you're only running one mic then you may as well leave the other phantom channel OFF... but later on you'll find that you can use 2 different mics, feed 'em both phantom, and run your shoots as if you had a 2 channel mixer... but don't worry about that this weekend.

Since you now have one good mic and you probably want to maximize it's effectiveness I'd suggest setting both of those inputs to ch2 and plugging into ch2, then I strongly suggest you set ch1 about 6db down from ch2 (or vice versa)... and LOOK AT YOUR KNOB SETTINGS FREQUENTLY (side of cam) so that if you knock 'em off your desired setting you don't go about your business all night not realizing that you don't have sound! Set the levels so that average peaks light up 3 reds (the other channel set at 6db down will just "kiss" the first red)... 3 reds lit up equals -6db down and it's plenty of buffer... I also suggest you have ALC ON... The ALC in the dvx is NOT auto-gain... it merely introduces a built in limiter in case you blow 0db. I use it 99% of the time. The point of running 2 channels with one mic set at different levels is that it gives you somewhere to go in post when everybody screamed their heads off when you least expected it!

I almost forgot, make SURE your internal setting is at -50db and NOT at -60db... the -60db setting is for WEAK mics only. I'd also suggest you have your recording fidelity at 16bit/48kHz. Both of those settings are right in the menu.

Bring headphones! Even small headphones such as the little in-ear Sonys work good enough to monitor levels and clarity... although I prefer the 7506s when details matter.

Well that's about all I can think of off the top of my head... You really should play with your new mic just a little before running out with high hopes and NO experience. Brand new, untested gear has a funny sense of humor in the hands of the inexperienced.

Plan to ride your levels until you can establish an average peak... with one always a little lower then the other... If you can glance down during music and then again during speach you should be able to quickly set your cam to show 3 reds when things are loud... Music may be REALLY loud compared to speach... be ready to change levels... or else have the individual settings wide enough that you can skip back and forth in post.

Matt Gettemeier is offline   Reply

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