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Old March 15th, 2005, 10:15 AM   #1
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audio DVX 100

Hi, I just got the AT897 mike, and am using with DVX 100 panasonic, now there are a couple of things, in the manual it says about setting it in the manual to either -50dbu or -60dbu, what is this? and also when you flip out the monitor, you can click up the channel select from internal to mic 1, which I've done because that is what I'm connected to, but how about he second channel select 2, should I switch from internal to mic, I know I don't have a mic connected, but left in int, it seems to have a hisss that disappears when on input 2, the switchers are input left and right, if ch2 on int, does it mean internal mic still on? Please help, I'm a bit new to this and the manual explains none fo this...
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Old March 15th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #2
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Make sure your cam is set to -50db... the -60db setting is only used for really insensitive mics and it will turn any normal mic into an uncontrollable "ear"... blowing the inputs constantly. (These are the mic gain settings.)

There are four switches on the side... the two switches to the left are "Channel 1 Select" and "Channel 2 Select"... and the two switches to the right are "Input 1" and "Input 2"... even though there are POSITION choices under the Channel Select switches that are ALSO labled "Input 1" and "Input 2"... so hopefully this won't be confusing...

You can use your DVX in a number of ways regarding audio. If you plug your mic into input 1 then you can set the "channel 1 select" switch to "input 1" and then the mic will supply audio. If you use battery power then you don't need to switch on the phantom switch labled "input 1"... but if you use phantom or don't have a battery in your 897 then the "input 1" switch must be on so that phantom power is fed to the XLR connection and powers the mic.

You can also plug that mic into input 2 and then you have the option of setting "channel 1 select" to "input 2" and you can ALSO set the "channel 2 select" to "input 2"... Then you can feed both left and right, or ch1 and ch2, with the audio that your mic is picking up. This allows you to set audio at two different levels and therefor grants you a safety channel. I would set your "ideal" channel to light 3 reds on peaks (the "rare" loudest sounds that happen during a shoot) and that will give you a nice, hot signal for your NLE (just make sure ALC is set to ON in your menu or else you should aim for ONE or TWO reds instead... ALC = Limiting not Level Control)... Then set the other channel so that it just barely lights ONE red. This way you have someplace to go in post if your ideal channel gets blown by some unexpected sound.

The two switches for "channel 1 select" and "channel 2 select" determine whether you are using the internal left and right mics or whether you are switching them out in favor of the xlr connections. You can even use them in any combination... as long as it's one or the other. You can't get input from the left xlr connection and still get input from the left internal mic... the switch chooses whichever one you want.

Get used to having these set for the inputs all the time. Once you experiment with that new mic you'll understand how pointless the built-in mic really is.

Did that clear it up? If not follow up with another question... but just make sure it isn't already answered above.
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Old March 16th, 2005, 03:23 AM   #3
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Thanks allot, I'll have a play around with it, that's avery informative answer...
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Old March 16th, 2005, 07:54 AM   #4
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I forgot to add the third option, for when you use that 897 on cam and you're just shooting junk... i.e. family stuff, personal location video, etc.

You can plug the mic into input 2 and then set both the channel 1 select and channel 2 select to input 2... and then set both dials for an equal level... this will simulate a stereo recording by creating a dual-mono track. You obviously won't have stereo movement like you'd have with a true stereo mic... or even the internal mic of the DVX... but 99% of the time nobody will notice.

The most intelligent way to accomplish "simulated stereo" is the same as in my earlier reply. Just use your ideal channel and then duplicate it in post. This will eliminate the soft channel and give the impression of an equal stereo level... and that's the neccessary step to finish the process of dual channel recording with a safety anyway.

I gave this same advice to a close friend of mine and she is working on a video with a $30K budget... and every time I talk to her she indicates that she is using the audio AS IS with one ideal channel and one soft channel... You can't do it like that. If you're gonna' do things right then you have to duplicate the ideal channel in POST... and dump the soft channel... You can always cut in a piece of the soft channel if you NEED to, but leaving them both run at their respective levels is an amature thing to do and will eventually find an audience that thinks something is wrong with the balance on their TV.
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