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Old April 8th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #1
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using a field mixer

Hi,

I will be using a Sound Devices mixpre 2 channel mixer with my DVX100A to record sound with a sennheiser 416 mic.

Could someone outline the basic setup for this, i.e. how to input/output via the field mixer?

Thanx very much.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #2
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I think maybe I'm missing something... How many mics will you be using? If it's just one, I don't see why you need the mixer. This would be good if you had two mics, mixing them into your cam. For just one mic, run it straight into your cam without the mixer.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 05:20 PM   #3
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Hey Keith,

My main concern is getting the best sound quality from the shotgun mic.

I am recording with the shotgun on one channel, the internal mic on the second. My goal is to be free to shoot on the run without worrying about levels. I found doing both to be quite distracting, and the level controls on the dvx are difficult to adjust in the field.

I'm certainly open to any better suggestions.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 05:23 PM   #4
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How many audio inputs do you have? Again, I'm not sure you would need to use the mixer, but, you would have to run both mics into it, then to the stereo in, or left and right in, depending on your setup. I think ;)
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Old April 8th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #5
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the mixer has 2 channels, and I'm mainly focused on getting proper levels for the shotgun. In short, I'm not worried about the second channel audio (in-camer mic).

The idea is to input the shotgun into the mixer, and then go from the mixer to the camera, recording the already mixed mic sound onto one channel only.

Let me know if you feel this is a waste of time/money. Perhaps the in-camera limiters are ok enough if the levels get pinned?
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Old April 8th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #6
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How many mic inputs on the cam?

My GL1 for instance, just has a 1/8" stereo jack, so I can only record 2 channels. I can use either the on cam mic OR the aux input. But not both.

The XLs have 2 XLRs... if I remember correctly. You have 4 channels on the cam, so you would be able to run the mixer into your aux, while the cam's mic would would take channels 1&2, or left and right. You still with me? Of course, that would be 3 channels, 2 stereo, and one mono.

I don't know anything about the DVX to be honest. You may be able to use the shotgun and on cam mic, if it has 4 channel audio capabilities.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 08:14 PM   #7
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Yes, the DVX has two XLR inputs. I'm still trying to understand the idea of getting 3 channels…please bear with me. Any clarification will be appreciated.

Also, do you see the need for a mixer based on my reasoning or do you still feel it is not needed?
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Old April 8th, 2005, 09:50 PM   #8
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As far as I can tell, you should be able to plug the mic directly into your cam. Give it a five minute test run and see.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 05:47 PM   #9
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You can plug the 416 directly into the DVX100a camera with the phantom power activated and the mic level menu set to -50db.
For loud situations though this hot mic may overload the sensitive mic input of that camera. And as you mentioned it's much easier to control the audio with a mixer rather than with the camera controls.
Unfortunately, the output of the MixPre is a little hotter than the line-level input of the DVX100a. You'll have to be very careful about overloading the camera input when using this mixer unless you get a 5 or 10db attenuator for line level, or a 55db attenuator for mic level.
It will be very important for someone to monitor from the camera to listen for input overload. This input overload can happen before the recording level meters indicated an overload.
You can use the RCA outs of the camera with a cable that returns to the MixPre monitor input and listen that way.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 07:46 PM   #10
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Jay, thanks so much for your insight, which is key.

Could you please explain what an attenuator is...
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Old April 9th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #11
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You could pan the shotgun to both channels so that one channel is ~15dB (15 is somewhat arbitrary) louder/hotter than the other. This way you can get a little lazier setting your levels, as one track will likely be good.
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Old April 9th, 2005, 09:00 PM   #12
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So, by panning one can essentially get two tracks out of one microphone?
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Old April 9th, 2005, 10:18 PM   #13
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a tip that someone gave me when i first got my dvx-100a was to run the shotgun mic to input #2 and then set the camera to use input #2 for both the left and the right channels.

intput #1 can't be used this way, only #2.

so you feed one mic to both channels and then you set the levels a little bit different so if one is too hot then the other is perfect.

still take a little bit of care to make sure they are both close to what you want.

i would avoid a mixer if you can.

keep it simple.

i'm considering using a mixer only because i'm going to be doing a bunch of more elaborate shorts and we may have a dedicated sound guy and the thinking is that the sound guy could hang the mixer around his neck to get a feed for headphones and then i can listen in on the camera to see how the levels are.

i'd almost rather put a small headphone amp on the rca out and run a headphone extension to the sound/boom guy so he can't screw anything up and i can work the sound levels myself.

matthew
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Old April 10th, 2005, 07:01 AM   #14
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I knew it would only be a matter of time, before a real DVX user chimed in. What are you going to be shooting?
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Old April 10th, 2005, 10:40 AM   #15
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Hey Keith - I'm going to filming a documentary in Armenia.

Matthew, Keith, Glen, Jay - Supposing I go with the mixer, how many XLR cables will I need?

The idea of running the mic into the second input is a real insight.
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