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Old March 5th, 2014, 11:06 AM   #61
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Steven,
I was laughing out loud at your description about the drop box. I am sitting here and am thinking about the times when I was running either camera or acting as a V1 which honestly I'm not (a solid V 1 1/2 though) and have seen clients cheap out and try to run everything thru the exsisting 110 wall outlets. Yep, I 've seen that. Hey these lights (that could light up a small town) had regular plugs so we can just plug them into the wall. What do we need a drop box for...BTW, what's a drop box?
Shame on the show runner and the AV company suppyling the equipment which around here is quite common. Those Av companies will load in, set up and in 99% of the times run the gear but I've worked shows when some of the most basic gear isn't there because the client didn't order it. Duh, isn't that the job of the AV company contact to tell them why they need it?
Oh well, I'll try to remember the line about someones gonads the next time I see something like this happen and I'm gonna guess it won't be to long before it happens.
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Old March 5th, 2014, 11:26 AM   #62
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
What type of actual cable should I get (cable between the connectors)?
For using the DB25 or similar boxes, I would use TS (unbalanced). Because the input to the DB25 is unbalanced, and TS will work with both TRS balanced outputs, as well as TS unbalanced outputs. If you use TRS balanced, you run the risk of it not working (open circuit) if plugged into an unbalanced (TS) output.

Quote:
What length of cable is advisable? 3 feet?
3 ft/1m is a good length. The longer it is, the more risk of picking up interference in the unbalanced section. Too short, and you may not be able to get into tight places in some situations.

Quote:
2. I purchase an XLR mic cable for balanced signals with a female XLR connection at one end (for the balanced output from the Rolls-DB25b DI box) and a male XLR connection for the camera input.

What length of cable is advisable? 100 feet?
I have various length of XLR cables from 3ft/1m to 100ft/30m. Most of my XLR cables (20 or 30 of them) are 50 ft. because I do mostly larger-scale live event audio and video stuff.
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Old March 5th, 2014, 11:48 AM   #63
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Yep Don, shows crash for a lot of reasons. All most all of them are avoidable. Shame.

When I have a client that does not want to pay for power I tell them this story: I was a green tech working a beautifully done show with four other techs at our station. The TD told us to be careful because we were on wall power because the client refused to pay for a drop (stupidity on the TDs part too, just get the damn box in there!). Anyway, two hours into morning kick off, all going well....Bam....EVERYTHING lost!

The banquet department was on the other side of our wall setting up a bagel station for the morning break. We crashed the show because of a bagel and a toaster! I learned my lesson early on with that gig. You can only imagine how ugly the finger pointing got as those responsible all ducked and covered.

A frigging Bagel took out a $50,000.00 show! I do not work without proper power if it is my gig!

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Old March 5th, 2014, 03:09 PM   #64
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

OMG, Steven, I swear to God, the same thing happened to me at a show in October at a high end hotel in the Chi town suburbs. Big show about 800 people attending, 1, ONE yes 1 camera---me center rear, DXC35 with a Canon 40, Nice AV station set up at the rear to my right, I'm on a spider pod everything is taped down enough that it would hold the space shuttle together. We run a rehearsal in the early AM, show starts at 10AM and I don't see a single drop box anywhere. There are light trees, single Lekos up lighting on the stage, a 16 channel mixer and not 1 but 2 Folsoms plus 2 laptops and 2- DSR45 deck plus 3 projectors. There was some other stuff mixed in I can't remember it all but all I know was 5 minutesbefore the show started BAM! we went dark. No nothing! Why? We all started running around like crazy chickens looking for the cause when it dawned on the V1. The kitchen and main highway were right behind the banquet room. We had lights plugged into the wall plugs back there. that line was a mainline to all the others I guess because when they plugged in a 4 slice toaster that was all she wrote. Darkness!
Fortunately I knew the house man there and asked him if he could get us some drops. We actually needed 4. Inside of 15 minutes we had the drops and moved everything over and started the show. True we were late but the group was so disorganized it didn't matter. I swore I would NEVER do a show again without drops. Oh yeah, the AV contact asked who was going to pay for the drops. I was going to answer but the house man got in there and said, that he wasn't going to charge him because he knew me and BTW why didn't you order them to start with? I had to walk away to keep from laughing.
Louis, I still owe you a beer for that one! ;-)
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Old March 6th, 2014, 11:05 AM   #65
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Met the sound technician today who wrote (my earlier post) "All our desks can supply you with audio via a quarter inch jack aux output, it will be unbalanced at line level."

He said they can offer a TRS AUX balanced output.
So, in this instance (TRS AUX balanced output), am I thinking right that an XLR cable with a TRS connector at one end, and an XLR connector on the camera end, should be okay (discounting limiting etc for a moment) to get balanced signal into my camera?
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Old March 6th, 2014, 02:03 PM   #66
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

"a TRS connector at one end, and an XLR connector on the camera end, should be okay to get balanced signal into my camera?"
> Yes Peter, that should work. Obviously the camera's audio input would need to be @ line level.
Always have a plan B. (and C) Carry a DI along in case there are ground loop or other issues.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 02:28 PM   #67
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dunphy View Post
an XLR cable with a TRS connector at one end, and an XLR connector on the camera end, should be okay ...to get balanced signal into my camera?
1) LEVEL; You can probably accommodate the signal as "line level". But it would be prudent to be able to handle "oddball" levels (too hot for mic-level and too low for line-level). That is why something with a variable attenuator (like Rolls DB25) is valuable for handling the widest variety of cases.

2) ISOLATION: Directly connecting your camcorder (or whatever you are using) to the venue system runs the risk of ground loop issues (or worse). IMHO is it STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to use a proper isolation solution like a transformer. Especially if you are operating YOUR equipment from mains power.

3) MIX: I don' remember that you told us what kinds of programs/productions you are doing? If this is a simple lecture/talking head, then an "aux mix" is probably OK (REMEMBER TO ALWAYS ALWAYS MONITOR YOUR AUDIO WITH GOOD HEADPHONES AT ALL TIMES!!!!!)

But if this is anything more complex (more than 2 microphones), giving you an "aux mix" or "aux feed" is troubling. It makes me think they are proposing something that will require more active attention than they are likely to manage easily. Unless they have proved otherwise, I would much rather have a tap off the main mix vs. some "special mix/output" just for recording. But maybe I am just paranoid.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 04:35 AM   #68
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Okay here's where I'm at (pressing video requirements are filming one person standing at a podium). How does this sound for the following two situations:


1. **For TRS unbalanced AUX output at line level**

TS unbalanced 3 ft/1m cable with 1/4" TS PLUGS (unbalanced, guitar type) at either end.
3 ft/1m

Rolls-DB25b DI box

2 50 foot XLR M>F MIC CABLES



2. **For TRS balanced AUX output**

Again same setup as '2' to handle "oddball" levels (too hot for mic-level and too low for line-level):

TS unbalanced 3 ft/1m cable with 1/4" TS PLUGS (unbalanced, guitar type) at either end.

Rolls-DB25b DI box

2 50 FOOT XLR M>F MIC CABLES
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Old March 7th, 2014, 09:51 AM   #69
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Yes.
And for male XLR source, a female 3-pin XLR to male TS 1/4 inch plug (for the Rolls DB25).
And a male-to-male "gender changer" adapter for female XLR source,.

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Old March 7th, 2014, 10:57 AM   #70
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Plan C for 'one person standing at a podium':
Put an additional mic on the pod. For instance, a lav can easily be attached the existing house mic.
Plan D; a mic splitter. Actually this would be a good Plan A. On occasion I have even used both a direct feed and pod mic split. I would use the pod mic alone and bring in the others in if there were comments from a panel.
There are number of ways to approach these type of projects. My usual M.O. in some of the NYC hotels: I would integrate the systems by putting all the mics through my mixer and send a pre-fader mix to the house and use the main linear faders for the record mix. This gave me complete control over the systems. However this was with an unattended system, the hotel A/V staff or external A/V company would set-up the system and leave.
Not recommended for the inexperienced though.
PS: A room mic or two to pick up applause and such is recommended as well.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 11:11 AM   #71
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Yes, absolutely everything that Mr. Reineke said.
It sometimes works to use the microphone ON your camera to pick up the "room tone" or audience reaction (applause, laughter, etc.), assuming your camera is somewhere near the audience. Of course, you would be using only one channel, and the other channel would be the venue mix or your microphone on the presenter, etc.
Note that it is NOT typically workable to use an on-camera microphone for anything else, particularly speech or dialog of any kind because the camera typically puts the microphone too far away from the source.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 11:12 AM   #72
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Don,

The toaster strikes again!!! That is wild.

Mistake number one. No drop box.

Mistake number two. Using plugs outside of the ballroom. That was a disaster waiting to happen.

Mistake number three. Not knowing the circuit pattern in that ballroom.

Ten minutes in the dark, priceless. The TD is lucky he still has a job. Also, what was common about your story is it was YOU who came up with the fix. The guy that made the bad decisions is rarely the guy that knows a fix when the DODO hits the fan! Moral, don't get burned by a toaster, they can hurt more than blisters on your fingers! Good job.

Peter,
Me and Don went off topic with old story's but here is why they apply to you. There is one big problem when working in a ballroom. They are full of people! So your a camera guy, you got through your morning session and all went well. What could you possibly worry about. You take a quick 10 minute break while everyone else takes twenty. Your 45 minutes in to the next session and all of a sudden you notice the battery icon is in your finder and it is flashing low. What the hell, your on shore power, right? Not anymore. While you were on break some moron was having a crisis because the battery on his I-phone went dead! Guess where your power cord is. It is lying on the ground under the socket you were plugged into. And the guy put a chair in front of it so it would not be as noticeable. I am not kidding, things that stupid happen! Be prepared for anything. And the key to success is vigilance through constant monitoring of everything, not just audio. For a simple composition like a podium presenter I keep all data information live on the monitor I'm shooting with.

Also, ask your audio guy if the presenter is going to be wearing a lav? The only time you can count on your subject staying at a podium is when the podium mic is all they have. Most presenters like to walk around on the stage. How good is your fluid head and your focus skills on a moving target in what will probably be dim light. If your lucky they may have thrown up a couple of lekos, but that is a whole different story.

Steve
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Last edited by Steven Digges; March 7th, 2014 at 11:20 AM. Reason: sp
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Old March 7th, 2014, 11:44 AM   #73
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Yes.. it's not uncommon for inexperienced speakers (without warning) just walk away from the pod whilst talking.. or have 'Microphobia' (fear of microphones)
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Old March 7th, 2014, 12:21 PM   #74
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

Steven,
We have worked the same jobs quite possibly for the same clients and with the same audience. Well maybe not but they sure all seem the same.

Rick,
I have thought about using some electro magnetic force field to keep people at the podium under any and all circumstances.
I love it when they walk away from stage right to center which is about 20 feet away and aren't mic'd. Luckily, I don't run audio too often but when I do I cringe anytime I see someone's foot start to move.
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Old March 10th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #75
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Re: What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

This kit of adapters has come in very handy for me (pro model) as I can make just about any kind of cable with it and an XLR cable:
Adapt-a-Pak adapter kits | Remote Audio

You'll never find another box that holds that many adapters in such a neat arrangment.
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