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Old December 20th, 2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Hi all -

Question about audio settings for this configuration:

- Mackie ProFX12 - Mackie ProFX12 Professional Compact Mixer | GuitarCenter

- Sony CX760V - Sony Handycam Video Camera | Full HD 96GB Flash Memory Camcorder | HDR-CX760V/B | Sony USA

I own neither of these .... yet .... but am wondering .... can the audio volume / levels be controlled via the mixer or will the camcorder automatically adjust the incoming audio to match each others levels. Haven't had the chance to play around with either device yet so I'm not sure if the camcorder has the ability to adjust the audio levels manually.

I'll have 3 to 5 hardwired lav mics going into the mixer, then of course, the feed from the mixer going to the camcorder.

Appreciate any input / advice regarding this.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 09:59 PM   #2
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Andrew,

A few things: first on sony's website it says this camera is no longer available. Maybe getting used?

About your question, I am by no means an kind of expert here. I've been doing a crash coarse on these forums about mixer and camcorder stuff. Really great help here.

From what I know, and I could be way off here, is that you need to generate a tone from the mixer to the camera and adjust the cameras audio gain to match the mixer.

I've read that if a camcorder like yours has AGC (auto gain control) and it can not be turned off, this could be a big problem.

The other thing I'm learning is the compatibility of the mixer's output, which I'm guessing are xlr, and then going to mini jack input on the camera. They are wired differently I think.

I hope a few of the folks that responded to my threads help you out as well. I will also keep an eye on this thread too.

Again I know there are experts out there that can elaborate or debunk what I've written.

Jonathan
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Old December 21st, 2012, 01:50 AM   #3
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

That camera most likely has AGC, which will fight against you when you are trying to mix. If you want the level lower, the AGC will kick in and try to even it out by making it louder. If someone suddenly makes a loud noise, the AGC will kick in and drop the level, and not release it until about a second later. You'll be able to hear the AGC kicking in.

The other problem is that the output of the board is line level, which is way louder than mic level. The camera you posted only has a mic input, so you would need two attenuators to go from line to mic level.

Now, that mixer also has a built-in USB audio interface, so you can record directly to a computer and bypass all of those bad things. Then all you would need to do is sync the audio and video in post using a slate mark (or with a utility like Plural Eyes.)
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Old December 21st, 2012, 08:58 AM   #4
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

There is a hint in one of the customer reviews that there might be some kind of manual audio control, but since the camcorder model is finished, it seems like a moot point. Practically none of those small camcorders have true manual audio level controls. If audio is important, don't plan on using a small camcorder (or DSLR) to record the audio.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Edward,

Don't most if not all mixers have set switchable line/mic outputs?

JL
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Old December 21st, 2012, 09:54 AM   #6
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
Don't most if not all mixers have set switchable line/mic outputs?
No. In fact even the mixer designated in the original question doesn't have that feature.

Of course, it is trivial to use an in-line pad to knock line level down to mic level.
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Old December 21st, 2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Just a suggestion, but if you were to blow your budget and and get this

Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder/Interface/Controller | GuitarCenter

instead of the Mackie almost all of your problems would go away.

Advantages are:
You can record all your mics individually, (up to 8 channels simultaneously).
Recording at 24 bit resolution lets you preset your input levels and not change them for the whole shoot.
You can do a perfectly balanced mix-down in post.
You don't have to connect the recorder to the camera - just use the cams internal mic to record a reference track.
The R16 is very light and will record in the field for up to 3 hours on a set of re-chargeables.
Recording quality of the R16 is far better than most camcorders.

The one downside is that you have to sync your R16 tracks with your camcorder audio in the edit, and the R16 drifts out of sync by about 1 frame every 10 mins but that is easily fixed by snipping one frame out the audio every 10 minutes (its inaudible).

I struggled for years recording stage shows with analogue and digital mixers feeding into camcorders and/or laptops and it was a real pain. I've done dozens of shows with the R16 connected to the PA mixer (for the radio mic feeds) and up to 6 of my own mics - I just preset the levels to prevent clipping, press record and come back 3 hours later. Hope this is useful.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 10:49 AM   #8
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Levin View Post
Don't most if not all mixers have set switchable line/mic outputs?
-- The Mackie VLZ series and 'a few' portable field production mixer's outputs are mic/line switchable. Most are nominal +4dB XLR and/or 1/4", many also have unbalanced -10dB RCA (aka, phono) jacks. So in those cases an external pad would be needed to feed a mic level device.
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Old December 22nd, 2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: Mixer / Camcorder Setup

Thanks to all the replies; much appreciated and very helpful.

Yes, I realize the camcorder is no longer available. Looking forward to seeing what the replacement model will be.

I suppose the best way would be to use a camcorder with more professional features; XLR inputs as well as full manual audio control.

Confusing thing about the camcorder I mentioned, is that in the specs in states that in had (2) settings for the audio ... but it didn't state specifically that it was full manual control.

Oh well ... thanks again all for the advice, equipment suggestions, etc...

Looking forward to see what the camera manufacturers bring out at CES next month.
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