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Old January 24th, 2010, 12:44 AM   #1
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Recording into RED

I'm going to be sound mixer on an upcoming shoots, and I have a question about recording into Red. Usually, I just run a mixer straight into the camera, or else just record with a recorder. On this one, however, we're shooting with the Red, and the producer wants me to record onto a recorder AND into the camera.
Unfortunately, I haven't shelled out the big bucks for a Sound Devices, recorder yet, and I still have my trusty Edirol R-44. Here's my question: Should I:
a) Run the mics into my R-44, then use the RCA outputs to an XLR, then down to a mini-XLR to go into the Red, or
b) Run the mics into my mixer (PSC 3-channel), then split the XLR outputs, running one into the R-44, and the other down to a mini-XLR and into the Red?

I don't really know if one would introduce more problems than the other, with balancing and what not. Any help or tips would be much appreciated.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 03:05 AM   #2
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I would tend to take option B and split the XLR o/p but do it at line level. DO NOT CHANGE the conections once set up as this would change the levels going to to the camera and audio recorder. Another thing to note is the RED Camera input is not your standard +4 it is fact lower at about almost -10. So watch the levels carefully.
Many audio mixers like the Shure FP33, SQN and Sound Devices offer several outputs, XLR o/p and a lower level tape o/p.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:07 AM   #3
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Since you don't own the gear needed for this shoot, my recommendation would be to rent the proper gear needed and tie it into the budget for the shoot.

All the Best!
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Old January 24th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brian P. Reynolds View Post
I would tend to take option B and split the XLR o/p but do it at line level. DO NOT CHANGE the conections once set up as this would change the levels going to to the camera and audio recorder. Another thing to note is the RED Camera input is not your standard +4 it is fact lower at about almost -10. So watch the levels carefully.
Many audio mixers like the Shure FP33, SQN and Sound Devices offer several outputs, XLR o/p and a lower level tape o/p.
Thank you both for your responses. The Sound Devices site has a page about the Red (Audio Performance of the Red Camera (Red One)|Sound Notes|Sound Devices, LLC), and it mentions that "The Red Camera is supplied with short XLR-to-TA3 adapter cables. These cables have resistors built-in to change impedance and reduce signal level. When used without these cables, the Red inputs can be characterized as -10″ level (full scale on the meter = +8.2 dBu) with 600 ohm input impedance."

So what you said about the input is indeed correct (which I didn't doubt). Are using those cables safe, and if the camera on the shoot doesn't have then, where would be the best place to get some with the built-in resistor?

Thanks again.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #5
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You don't need the padded cables for the newer versions of the RED camera.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #6
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Here's the thing about the RED -- assuming the camera has the latest audio board, and everything works properly, it is capable of pretty decent sound, better than decent even. In fact, it's probably about as good or better as the Edirol. Unfortunately, the company has miserable quality control when it comes to sound. Sometimes the inputs just plain don't work. I've been on I believe five shoots with that camera, and two of them had issues, one of them fatal. So I would look at the Edirol as backup. In post, I can almost guarantee you that they aren't going to bother syncing the Edirol audio if the RED tracks are good.

Regarding how to feed the two devices -- disregard what you have read about the RED's bizarre input specifications. The audio board has been redesigned, and you simply have to confirm that the camera has been updated or was released after RED finally fixed that issue. You should now be able to feed the camera a regular line level signal. Just make sure that line level is selected in the camera, send it some tone as a test, and you should be in business. There are no gain level controls when you are switched to line.

Considering that the RED will in all likelihood end up being the primary audio, I wouldn't risk feeding it an unbalanced signal, so I would nix the RCA connections. Set your mixer to line out and use quality splitters. DO NOT skimp on the splitters.

Oh, you will also need two XLR3F to TA3M adapter cables (unpadded) to connect to the RED.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 10:29 AM   #7
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Set your mixer to line out and use quality splitters. DO NOT skimp on the splitters.
Thanks again to you all for the help. Turns out it's a brand new Red, so hopefully it should have no major issues with audio. As far as the splitters go, I'm planning on getting the Monster ones - looks like they're everywhere for around 25 dollars. On BH, all the other brands of splitters seem to be about the same price. Any naysayers to the Monster?
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:24 PM   #8
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Yeah, never buy Monster anything. It is not professional cable, although it is priced as such.

Try this:
Whirlwind | LBS - 1x2 Line Balancer and Splitter | LBS | B&H

or (more convenient):
Remote Audio | 3-Pin XLR Female to 2 XLR Male Y-Cable | CAX3YMMF

If you go for the cable, make sure you verify that the signal remains balanced. You will need two of whichever one you buy, obviously.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:25 PM   #9
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Yeah, never buy Monster anything. It is not professional cable, although it is priced as such.

Try this:
Whirlwind | LBS - 1x2 Line Balancer and Splitter | LBS | B&H

or (more convenient):
Remote Audio | 3-Pin XLR Female to 2 XLR Male Y-Cable | CAX3YMMF

If you go for the Y cable, make sure you verify that the signal remains balanced. You will need two of whichever one you buy, obviously.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 12:29 PM   #10
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I haven't used the Monster splitter cable. Are you talking about this one?
Monster Cable | XLR Female to 2 XLR Male Y-Adapter | 600444
It might be ok but if you end up needing isolation, ground lift or attenuation once you get on location, the following Whirlwind LBS has those functions.
Whirlwind | LBS - 1x2 Line Balancer and Splitter | LBS | B&H
I haven't used the Whirlwind either and the quality across their whole line varies but I'd rather at least have some options to solve ground-loop issues if they happen unexpectedly. The LBS would also allow you to balance an unbalanced signal if you needed too, by using the secondary input connector, which can be either TRS or TS 1/4" plug.
Just pointing out options not necessarily endorsing.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; January 25th, 2010 at 01:13 PM.
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