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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:49 PM   #1
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XLR>>1/8"

I have been looking at condenser mikes and the all have some kind of XLR connector. One in perticular has a XLR-3M Type. Is this a smaller Xlr or is it a converter?
Also is there a connector that can chage the xlr to an unbalanced 1/8" so I can plug directly into my GL2?
~Matt
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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:58 PM   #2
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I can answer your second question, yes- there is an xlr to 1/4" adapter, as well as male to female, bla blah blah... I got mine at a music store for a couple of bucks. And then got everything else, just in case!
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:23 PM   #3
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XLR-3M does not designate a converter or an off-size connector--it just means it's a male XLR connector with three pins. Standard size.


Here's the item you want:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=158476&is=REG
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:57 PM   #4
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There are 4 varieties of XLR connector. There are plugs and jacks. For each, there are male and female. XLR-3M would refer to its being a male plug with 3 prongs rather than a female plug with 3 holes. The prongs on male connectors point in the direction the signal flows. So looking on the back of a portable mixer, for example, you'll find mike inputs and line outputs. Both would be jacks that the plugs on cables insert into. The mike input would a jack with 3 holes and the plug on the cable coming from the mike would have 3 prongs. The line output would be a jack with 3 prongs and the plug on the cable that goes into it would have 3 holes.

While you can wire an XLR to a 1/8 plug to make an adapter it will unbalance the whole mike line and can lead to noise pickup unless the mike to camera cable is very short. If you were going to put the mike on the camera and the cable would only be 6-12 inches then you could probably get away with it. If you were going to run 10 to 15 feet of cable, then you might have problems.

The end of the mike cable at the camera will have an XLR male plug. Get an inline female jack and a short length of shielded cable. Pin 2 (white wire) of the XLR goes to the tip of the 1/8 plug. Pin 1 of the XLR goes to the sleeve of the 1/8 plug. Pin 3 (blue wire) of the XLR also goes to the sleeve of the 1/8 plug.

For your GL2 none of this applies. From what I understand, the GL2's 1/8 plug is stereo line level and so it won't accept mike level audio. Also, I'm told the A/V input isn't active when shooting video, only for dubbing in VCR mode. Canon makes the adapter, the MA-300, that you should use. It attaches to the accesory shoe and accepts mikes with XLR connectors, overriding the built-in mike. Go with that rather than rolling your own adapter.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 04:24 PM   #5
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Steve I have the advantage of owning a GL2, and on the contrary--the GL2's 1/8" input jack is a mic jack, and expects a mic level signal. A line level signal would distort badly.

Also, not to be argumentative but IMHO, a BeachTek DXA-4P is a much better buy for the same price as an MA300. More features (including the ability to take a line level signal)
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:56 PM   #6
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If you want the cheap stuff get the hosa xlr adapter. If you want something that is mor durable. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=154878&is=REG
I also have one and con provide pics in needed.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #7
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not to further complicate things, but...

typically, when manufacturers say "plug," it means male, and "jack" means female.

also, since you said you're looking at condensers, we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that the majority of condenser mics require phantom power. (they all need some kind of electricity but some can take batteries.) that being the case, you'll need an xlr adaptor that can provide phantom. if memory serves, you have to get the beachtek dxa-6, not the 4. but i could be wrong on that as i don't remember all of the specs of the various beachtek models. mine is the 8 and it definitely has phantom (as well as limiting, which is very handy.)
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Old June 16th, 2005, 10:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Retread
Steve I have the advantage of owning a GL2, and on the contrary--the GL2's 1/8" input jack is a mic jack, and expects a mic level signal. A line level signal would distort badly.

Also, not to be argumentative but IMHO, a BeachTek DXA-4P is a much better buy for the same price as an MA300. More features (including the ability to take a line level signal)
I don't own a GL2 so I stand corrected. I had looked through the manual and hadn't spotted the aux mike input, getting the impression that the only audio input besides the built-in mike was the A/V input back by the s-video jack and I was told the other day it was only active for dubbing and not when shooting video. (I'm in the research phase of a camera purchase and part of that is reading the user manuals of the cameras under consideration, which is why I've been studying it - looks like XL2 is the way I'm leaning.) Hence my thinking the MA-300 was required as an intermediate to connect any external mikes. So a simple XLR balanced to 1/8 unbalanced connector would work, though I'd expect it would be susceptible to noise unless the cable between the jack and the mike was very short.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Ford
not to further complicate things, but...

typically, when manufacturers say "plug," it means male, and "jack" means female.

...)
Very true - the XLR is confusing because while the prongs go into the holes, the prongs on male XLR jack are enclosed by a cup-like assenbly that a plug carrying the female holes get's inserted into so the holes slip over the prongs. So is it the shape of the current carrying parts of the assembly, the prongs and sleeves, that define the male and female or is it the part of the connector that slides into the mating connector that defines it, even if its current carrying part is a sleeve rather than a prong? If one looks at a typical desk mixer, I'd call both the mike inputs and the main mix XLR outputs "jacks" even though the mike has holes and the main has prongs. I'd call the connector at the end of the cables that mates with the jacks a plug, even though the one on the cable coming from the mike has prongs and the one taking the output wherever is it is being sent has sleeves. One could get quite pornographic in one's description of the various connection variations, especially if you get kinky with adapters ROFL!

Where's the ISO folks when you really need a standard defined!
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Old June 17th, 2005, 08:55 AM   #10
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well if you really want to check out some strange ambisexual connections, what about bnc? is it male? is it female? who knows?

back to the original question, shure makes a balanced xlr to unbalanced mini transformer. unlike the plain xlr-mini adaptors, this transformer keeps your signal balanced up until it gets to the transformer, and it gives the camera the proprer impedance. (the short section of cable between the transformer and camera aren't balanced, but it's shortenough not to matter.) i've used it with the gl1 and it's great. if you're going to be working with mic cables over 10 feet or so it's a must. here it is:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=154878&is=REG

ps- i don't get a commision from b&h or anything- i just use their site cause that's where i get everything. you can find these elsewhere if you want. i think radio shack makes one too but i trust shure alot more.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 01:33 AM   #11
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Well I just went with the BeachTek DXA-6 and two Countryman B3s and love 'em. Its easier and safer to just go with a pro adapter, than trying to make one your self. Thanks for all the help.

~Matt
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