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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #1
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Need Recomendations for Field Mixer and other equipment

1. I need to purchase a field mixer so I am looking for recommendations.

I prefer to buy quality equipment so that I only have to purchase it once.

The field mixer is to work with:

Sennheiser MKH-60 and/or MKH-70 and other inputs. I also have two Neumann U87 ai's and two Neumann KMS-105's.


I am considering the Sound Devices 302 and would welcome your opinions on this or any other field mixer.

2. I have 2 Sennheiser Evolution 100 (not G2) (Ew112p) wireless lav units, but I do not have a butt-plug transmitter. I would like to add wireless capabilites for the microphones. All of my microphones require 48v phantom power. I am looking for recommendations in this area also.

3. If I purchase a good field mixer, which would have phantom power, what is the best method to get the sound wirelessly to the camera, which will usually be a Canon Xl1s (with a Beachtek DVX-8 adapter) or a DVX-100a? I assume that the Sennheiser Evolution 100's would not work for this application.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 02:18 AM   #2
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I am considering using the Sennheiser Evolution butt-plug transmitters to transmit the output of the Sound Devices 302 to the camera, a DVX-100a for this shoot.

Is this a good practice? I assume that the output of the mixer will have to be set to mike levels to match the input level of the butt-plug transmitter. I also assume that I will need a short xlr cable since there may not be room to plug both transmitters side by side into the outputs of the Sound Devices 302.

The evolution butt-plug transmitter's documentation states that the microphone body is used as the antenna. Will they work with the mixer acting as the antenna? Will two transmitters plugged into one mixer work?

I would prefer to use wired connections, but wireless may be a requirement for the upcomming shoot.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 05:30 AM   #3
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I can not comment on the Evolution unit for your application (have not used them) but I use a Shure wireless unit to send the audio signal from the mixer to the camera without any problems. Shure makes a cable that goes from their mini-connector on the bodypack to standard XLR for and either set the mixer to mic level (when we can) or use a pad to drop the signal. I have not had any problems with this in two years or use. Hope this helps.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 05:43 AM   #4
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Re your Qs 2 and 3:

The latest 500 G2 Series Sennheiser family provides 48v phantom power - the butt-plug being SKP 500 G2 and the portable Tx/Rx pair being the SK 500 G2 and EK 500 G2.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 07:53 AM   #5
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Sounds Devices mixers, the 2-channel Mix-Pre, 3-channel 302, and the 4-channel 442 are all excellent equipment with very good reputations in the pro community, you'd be happy with any of them and the selection between them is more based on the number of mics you anticpate using at any one time than anything else. As for using the Sennheiser wireless to transmit to the camera, I don't know why it wouldn't work as long as you set the output of the mixer to mic level rather than line but I'd try to hard-wire betwen the mixer and the camera when at all possible. Your wireless gear will definitly be the weakest link in terms of sound quality.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 10:53 AM   #6
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Dear Steve, Martin, and Hart,

Thanks for your advice.

I spoke with Sennheiser and Sound Devices. The input of the Evolution 100 transmitters accept either mike or line level inputs. This was nice to learn as this allows me the quickly and easily connect my existing wireless transmitters to the mixer at a moments notice without changing the output levels of the mixer.

So, based on your experiences ....

I purchased a Sound Devices 302, and some custom cables to connect the line level outputs of the 302 to the input's of the two Sennheiser Evolution 100 body pack transmitters.

I agree completely with the advice to stay wired. I will only be using the wireless mode if required by the camera crew.

Thank you for your assistance.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 11:19 AM   #7
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I won't swear to it but I believe you can set the 302's output to mic level in the software setup.
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Old September 21st, 2005, 12:08 PM   #8
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Dear Steve,

Yes, I believe that you can set the Sound Devices 302 to mike level output.

I choose to have the cables built for line level as I can just plug in the transmitters and not have to worry about going through the steps to change the output level.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 09:33 PM   #9
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But what you pay for is the clean preamps that lower the noise floor on line out.... so good choice to stay line out.

That's a very good mixer. I'm using wendt mixers in the field, and keep them line out on the breakaway cable.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 09:48 PM   #10
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Congrats on the 302. Love mine. Can't help with the wireless questions though.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 03:33 PM   #11
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Is sound mixer necesary?

I am trying to figure out if I need a field mixer. I am shooting with a PD170 and single mic but have been told that a field mixer is necessary. Is this true?
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Old October 8th, 2005, 03:44 PM   #12
 
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Are you requiring more than two mics? If so, you do need a field mixer. If not, you don't need a field mixer. A single mic does not require a field mixer.
Stop by VideoLife and chat with Papa Hui or Doc about how to get your PD170 hopped up if the mic you're using can't get enough gain at the camera without lots of noise.
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Old October 8th, 2005, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramdas Lamb
I am trying to figure out if I need a field mixer. I am shooting with a PD170 and single mic but have been told that a field mixer is necessary. Is this true?
Can you elaborate more on what you're planning to do that you've been advised requires a mixer and what you were told the reason is that it's needed in that application? You said "single mic" ... what sort of mic, where located? Are you working as a team with a sound person or just by yourself?
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Old October 8th, 2005, 07:04 PM   #14
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Field mixer or not?

Douglas and Steve,

Thanx for your replies. Douglas, I will go by VideoLife and see what they can suggest.

What I am going to be recording is traditional village music and singing in India. I will be recording both indoors and outdoors. As for why I thought I would need a field mixer, I was told that the PD170 does not do well on picking up audio if it is set at a certain level and some loud base noise, such as a drum, is played. The person said that the camera has a hard time with this and the sound does not come out clean. He said a mixer can help straighten this out. Finally, should I use a mono or a stereo mic if I am only using one or could I get a second mic and use it in combo with the mic that came with the camera? Obviously, I do not know much about mics and sound and would appreciate any guidance.

Thanx much..
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Old October 8th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #15
 
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A field mixer with a built in compressor with variable control might be of benefit, but truly, the camera with a single mic is plenty for most situations. You'll want to disable the AGC, which is done in the camera menu. You'll want to keep levels carefully checked. You'll want to practice good micing techniques too. I'm hesitant to recommend a mixer for a couple reasons:
1. You're alone. That's extra gear that won't provide a lot of benefit.
2. You're using one mic, maybe two
3. In the event levels are set wrong at cam, but right at mixer, you could easily mess up your levels and either have low sound/high noise, or distortion all the way thru.

Based on those parameters, I doubt you'd see benefit from a field mixer.
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