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Old July 24th, 2013, 08:11 AM   #1
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XLR feed from sound board

I am doing a shoot tomorrow that is a bit different from my normal shoot. Inside a ball room filming four different speakers. The filming part is easy. The audio has options.

1. I can use my great Lectrosonic SRB receiver and MM400 transmitter with Countryman B6 mic. This system has never failed me inside and out all around the country.

2. I can hook up XLR to the sound board using a wireless mic on the speakers set up for the room.

The speakers will walk around so wired is not an option. They will be at a podium and then moving around a 15' screen.

My plan as it stands now is to use the sound board in one channel and my wireless in the other so I cover my bases. The camera is Canon C300.

Interested in thoughts from operators who have been in the same situations and what they used and the results?
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Old July 24th, 2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

As long as I know the sound guy, I'll pull a feed from the board and set to both channels (only for seminars, never weddings). If I'm not familiar with the sound guy, I'll pull a feed AND if possible use MY wireless on the PA speakers or if the people speaking aren't rabbits (running all over the stage) I'll set up a mic of my own back to my wireless. It really just depends on the sound person and if I know him or not. Luckily, I know many of the guys I work with so I pretty much trust them and I'll always run a test and play it back before the show starts just to make sure.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 09:46 AM   #3
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Hi Don,

Thanks for the feedback. I do not know the sound guy or the location. So I think I will use my method of one channel to the board and one to my wireless on the speaker.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 01:10 PM   #4
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

sounds like a good plan and since you've done it before, you know it works and that is a big +!
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Old July 24th, 2013, 01:16 PM   #5
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Yup, it is great to have options. All packed and ready to roll at 5am.

Appreciate your feed back Don.

Have fun
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Old July 24th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

You should be safe. This type of shoot is 75% of my business.

The difference is I shoot a lot of times in HUGE ballrooms and running my own wireless is out of the question and not permitted.

I have to trust the Sound guy at the board. But he or she is as heavily invested in having a successful show as I am. And they are as professional as I am.

My advice would be to get there plenty early to meet your (sound guy) new best friend. I'm always in the room when the sound guy gets there to check his equipment.. Sometimes there could be 6 or 8 mics and the sound guy is going around the room trying to check them all by himself.
That's my opening to offer to help. Now he can go back to board and make adjustments while I give him a sound check.

Whatever you do don't go there with the attitude that these guys don't no crap. Trust me, most of them have forgot more about audio then you will ever know. I've seen guys go whining that the TD on the job doesn't know diddly. Trust me if you got to be TD on these big shows it's because you know your stuff big time.

One thing I always ask the sound guy to do at the start of a session is to maintain eye contact with me for the first minute or so. Once I know I'm good I give him a thumbs up.

I have shot thousands of conferences in the U.S. and Canada and I have probably had a sound issue that could be blamed on the tech maybe twice. And they were momentary and minor. A few could be blamed on me as well.

The one good thing about shooting in Canada is they have better coffee.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Thanks Al some good advice.

I actually do know something about audio. I have a recording studio where we record music and shoot interviews. Also I played music most of my life and do sound for bands. But I am always open to learn and hope that never stops. Will team up with the sound guy tomorrow and have fun.

There is only one mic which is the wireless on the speaker.
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Old July 24th, 2013, 10:47 PM   #8
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Paul,

I'm definitely in favor of your approach: your system to one channel, their system to one channel.

Assuming that RF gremlins cause an occasional mike dropout or noise hit, it seems unlikely that both channels would be affected at exactly the same instant. With your plan, you're covered nine ways to Sunday.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Thanks Greg it was the right thing to go.

I arrived early and the sound guy was there all set up with an XLR input cable ready for me. He was very nice and as mentioned above great at what he does.

Once hooked up to channel 2 we set the levels, which was easy. But I was having a buzz and we made sure I was line in which I was. Then checked the XLR cables, which were fine. It was my 120v connection to my Marshal 7" monitor. So I did not use that for the day, no big issue.

The client did not pay to have the sound guy around for the day or lights, too bad. During the first speaker the client played with the soundboard and lowered my levels. Nice I had my wireless running on channel 1. The board was on the other side of a big room, so I was on my own. The next three speakers I used only my wireless on both channels, and it worked perfect for the rest of the day.

Pays to be redundant when ever possible.

Thanks for the great input on such a short notice.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

You need to add a ground isolation transformer to your kit when connecting audio signals between distant equipment that will also be connected to different AC power outlets.

I have several of the Ebtech Hum Eliminators and they work very well for line-level signals in this role of breaking ground-loop hum.

They have several models, with various connectors. The one that has both TRS and XLR connectors is the most handy. Costs about $71 for two channels. It also converts balanced and unbalanced in both directions. It's well worth the money if you are getting a feed from the sound board at some distance to your own equipment that needs AC power.

If the Ebtech is out of your budget, most passive direct boxes will allow you to break the ground. They are also commonly available in an emergency at any local musical instrument store. In this case you would use an unbalanced output from the board with a short unbalanced cable, then the passive direct box, then an XLR mic-level signal to your camera. The Rolls DB25b is a good unit with variable attenuation at $24 for one channel.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #11
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Thanks Jay,

Great input, if I do this again I will buy one of the Ebtech Hum Eliminators. Seems like it would be worth every penny even for a one day shoot.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #12
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

My favorite device is the Rolls DB-25b. Because it has a variable attenuator which allows you to accomodate widely varying levels, from speaker level down to line level and mic level. And small and inexpensive to keep one or two in your location kit.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 12:21 PM   #13
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

Another nice options.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 03:15 PM   #14
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

I have a Yamaha Pocketrack that is always in my bag with a few adapters. In this type of situation, I often set it up to record directly off the mixer in addition. That way if your wireless goes wiggy you have another backup.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #15
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Re: XLR feed from sound board

I'm glad you were able to react and bounce back.

Using my own wireless is never an option for me. But I always have constant AV support.
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