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Old April 10th, 2005, 06:35 PM   #1
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another audio question (mixer)

Ok i'm confused as to whether I should buy a dxa 8 xlr adapter or a portable mixer...I have a boomsound setup, and a wireless setup, and at times, obviously, both will be used in conjunction. Should I be relying on a beachtek, or the mixer, or both? heres more info on the http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=294571&is=REG
mixer.
The mixer that I showed you has xlr inputs, wouldn't that make the beachtek worthless then?

thanks for any advice!
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Old April 12th, 2005, 02:07 PM   #2
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It depends on your specific camera and how you and your crew work.
I'll assume your camera doesn't have XLR inputs since you're asking about using the DXA-8. It's common to use both a mixer and an XLR adapter in combination if you want to keep the mixer (with its controls and headphone output) further away from the camera but still have a secure and balanced connection between the two. In that case you wouldn't need the extra expense and sophistication of the DXA-8 but could go with a lower model that includes line-level inputs.
If you are only a short distance away, you can use the unbalanced outs of the mixer directly into the unbalanced connections of the camera.
If you're doing run and gun, especially with only one person, then an XLR adapter by itself can be simpler and easier. But you don't have a powerful extra headphone output like you do when using a mixer.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #3
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ok, so the xlr adapter is just for the sake of portability then? Would it be ok to buy just that field mixer http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=294571&is=REG

and not a beachtek?I mean, the mixer has xlr inputs, and everything else that i need. Would it work by itself? Or am i making a mistake in this assumption?
ps if it helps, i'm goin to be using a shotty mic, and a lav system
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Old April 14th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #4
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If using the mixer by itself with a camera that has only unbalanced inputs, you'd need to make sure you could make the connection. The mixer's XLR outs are balanced and can be adjusted from line-level down to mic-level. If you use these, you'd have to use adapters or cables for unbalanced and make sure they are set at the correct level for your camera inputs.
If you use the front panel Aux output, that's already unbalanced, but it's probably a hot signal since it's also designed to drive headphones. If you connect it directly to your camera you'd have to be certain the input could handle it. If your camera can't accept a line-level signal while in camera-mode, then you'd have to attenuate this signal.
With either method, you'll need to keep the cables short and secure them from getting yanked on. That's the advantage you'd lose by not having both the mixer and BeachTek.
In addition, you'd need to make sure that the 18-volts of phantom power the mixer supplies is enough for your shotgun or other phantom-powered mics. The BeachTek puts out the full 48-volts that some mics require.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 03:21 PM   #5
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hey Jay thanks for the response. So woudl the best bet be to buy a dxa4, and that mixer i mentioned? or should i opt for the more expensive dxa 8 and combo it with the same mixer?
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Old April 15th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #6
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I would split the difference and get the DXA-6 and the mixer.
The DXA-6 offers phantom power, but is otherwise a passive device similiar to the lower BeachTeks but with a more sturdy build. It would give you the basic functions to work by itself with phantom mics, and would be more suitable when combined with the mixer.
The DXA-8 and the mixer together would be overkill, although it would work.
As I said before, for short distances and stationary positions, the mixer with the correct cables will work. If you want to be further away from the camera with the mixer or you're moving around, the BeachTek is a very good solution for attaching to the camera and receiving signals from the mixer.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #7
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Hi Jay, i'm grateful for all the info you have provided, and will take your advice. I had one question though, the beachteks have phantom power, however, the lav and shotgun mic i'm using is running off their own batteries. I'm guessing this could be a problem?
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Old April 15th, 2005, 12:12 PM   #8
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No, it's no problem. Just don't switch on the phantom power. Even if you did, with most* mics and cables it doesn't cause a problem.

*With some it could, mostly if it was a wireless receiver that uses an unbalanced adapter cable, or when you're connected to the mixer outputs. But like I said, just don't switch the phantom on. All the other controls of the BeachTek still work passively when the phantom is off.

Many mics will automatically run with phantom if it's there, even when they have a battery inside. You will get slightly better perfomance when using phantom, but the 9-volt phantom battery in the BeachTek won't last nearly as long as the internal mic battery. Like 3 to 4 hours versus 1200 hours.
Check the manufacturer's website for details on your mics or ones you might buy or borrow in the future for their power requirements.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #9
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Ok, i understand now. So, the DXa-6 it is, what about the mixer that i gave a link to, is that up for the job, quality/performance wise? Or do you have a better recommendation for that? I'm personally sold on that price, but I don't know if there are better models for similar prices. Any advice in that aspect would help greatly. Thanks again
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Old April 15th, 2005, 02:24 PM   #10
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It has a good reputation for that price point, I've never personally used one. I don't think there's anything else that's built like a field mixer that can compete with it. There are a few mini desktop mixers that can run on batteries, but they aren't convenient for mobile use. They do have better meters though.
Anything significantly better is going to cost significantly more money.
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Old April 15th, 2005, 06:38 PM   #11
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I'll be getting the beachtek this month, hopefully, but is it realistic to expect audio (whether its shotty, or lav) wi/ absolutely no hiss at all? thats the whole point of the xlr adapter, right?
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Old April 17th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #12
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The amount of noise you'll get in your recordings is much more dependent on other factors besides the BeachTek. The BeachTek can cause noise if it's not set properly or working correctly, but your mics, the mixer, your camera and what you are trying to record have much greater influence.
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Old April 26th, 2005, 10:18 AM   #13
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Dear Spike,

I highly recommend the DXA-8 BeachTek.

The limiters are great, but the most important item is that the preamplifiers are very quite (in your words: no hiss at all).

I use an XL1s which has noisy mike preamplifiers. With the gain turned up I have hiss. When I use the DXA-8 and set the gain by the DXA-8 (and set the gain on the XL1s to a low level), I have great sound and no hiss at all.

The extra money for the DXA-8 is well spent (in my opinion).
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Old April 26th, 2005, 03:34 PM   #14
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Spike, are you still going to get the mixer too or only going with a BeachTek?
If you have low-sensitivity mics, and you aren't going to get the mixer you were originally talking about, then the DXA-8 has the advantages that Dan mentioned.
If you're using mics that have a fairly high output or you're still going to get the mixer as well, then I'd still say the DXA-6 would be a better match.
Plus your long-term plans for keeping the XL-1 camera come into play. How long before you change to a camera with XLR inputs?
Whatever you get, BeachTeks are easily re-sold if you change cameras.
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Old April 27th, 2005, 04:35 PM   #15
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Hi Jay, to clear up a few things, heres the list of equipment that I have and will be working with. A sony vx2k, a at55 (wil be getting at897 but lets just say AT55 for now), a sennheiser ew100 G2 series lav system...
The AT55 is battery powered btw and so is the senny lav. My shooting regiment will include stationary shots, along with on the go footage. Now that you have an idea of the equipment, please go ahead and tell me what you think I should get (even though the past few posts did do that! lol) Thanks a lot btw.
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