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Old February 9th, 2005, 08:17 AM   #1
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If I have a HD recorder do I really need a mixer?

If I am only recording 2 channels most of the time can't the HD recorder peform the important functions of the mixer?

What is a good basic HD recorder if I only need 2 channels?
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Old February 9th, 2005, 08:37 AM   #2
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The mixer provides you with more flexibility than running it straight to the camera's channels. And since mixers are very inexpensive they are a solid investment.

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Old February 9th, 2005, 08:43 AM   #3
 
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For 2 channel recording, a mixer offers little. Get more than 2 channels or mic inputs, you indeed can start requiring additional adjustment potential. But for 2? Why waste the $, effort, and additional gear?
Plus in post, you'll have all the options in the world.
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Old February 10th, 2005, 06:49 AM   #4
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Hmm, I'm going to come out on another side of this and say that there are good reasons for using good mixers when even one mic is used.

1. Better preamps than in your camera.
2. Transformer inputs that scrape rf off.
3. Input limiters that keep occasional peaks from clipping the input.
4. EQ that lets you roll off excess lows before they get to your camera.
5. Gain controls you can adjust easily during a take while not touching the camera.
6. Output transformers to continue the integrity of your feed to camera.
7. Output limiters to prevent the sound from clipping the camera input.

All of these combine to allow you to increase the level at which you record
without fear of clipping. THAT brings your audio level further up from the residual noise floor of your camcorder. It all adds up.

I cover mic to mixer to camera setups in my little book.

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Ty Ford
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Old February 11th, 2005, 01:28 AM   #5
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Thanks Ty,

But don't some HD recorders actually perform many of the viatal functions of a mixer?

I am thinking I could just skip the mixer for now and get a Sound Devices HD recorder.

What is your opinion on this idea?
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Old February 11th, 2005, 07:22 AM   #6
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Some, yes. Sorry, when I saw "HD recorder" I transposed that to HDV camcorder. I hadn't thought of the Sound Devices systems as "HD Recorders."

Both Sound Devices recorders have two mic inputs and input limiters, LF roll off, and phantom power. You can't mix with the SD hard drive recorders, because there aren't any knobs, although there has been talk of a fader pack that would plug in to the unit.

Zaxcom's DEVA is full featured. I think some are using their mixers with it because they are used to their own mixers, but others are using it solo. The AAton has mix features as well, although I've not had any hands-on experience with it other than to heft it two years ago at NAB.

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Ty Ford
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