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Old June 3rd, 2016, 03:46 AM   #1
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Low levels

Hey all,

I fired up my RodeLink wireless lav mic kit the other day (first time using it with my FS5), and I'm having issues with the audio levels.

Even with the transmitter set to +20dB and the camera audio set to level 10 (manual, not auto), the highest I can get the audio to peak (even by yelling into the mic) is around -20dB.

My shotgun mic on the same input is fine however.

Just wondering if anyone has come across this sort of issue. Is it likely to be a dodgy lav mic? Unfortunately I don't have any other cameras to test it on.

I know it's a hard issue to diagnose, but I'm hoping someone might have an idea where to start.

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 06:29 AM   #2
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Re: Low levels

I don't know the FS5, but in the context of Canon camcorders, it sounds like it might have MIC ATT setting enabled, or perhaps the camcorder is set for LINE level input. There are other possible scenarios involving connecting unbalanced stereo sources to mono balanced inputs and vice-versa and in camcorder routing but that would require more detail on your connections and in camcorder routing.

Update: While I have not found a manual, I note the output of the receiver is described as dual mono TRS (not balanced mono). To me that implies the tip and ring have the same signal, same phase. This is OK for mini phone jack stereo inputs where one would want the same phase signal fed to each channel. However, if connected directly to a balanced input, the net signal is going to be very low amounting to the difference in voltage between the tip and ring mono outputs. That might be the issue. Rode appears to recommend using their TRS-XLR adapter which unbalances the XLR input and should address the issue.
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Last edited by Don Palomaki; June 3rd, 2016 at 07:34 AM. Reason: Update
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 06:56 AM   #3
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Re: Low levels

Go through the actual gain-staging process and test, listen and measure the results of various settings. Do NOT assume what the labels mean. It sounds like you have the OPPOSITE assumption of what "+20dB" means here. It sounds like you are going in the wrong direction here.
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Old June 3rd, 2016, 07:13 AM   #4
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Re: Low levels

Figured it out! Stupid me...

I initially had the XLR input set to "line", because I was getting a horrible screeching noise when set to "mic".

When the XLR input is set to "mic", it was screeching because I had the receiver pack set to +20dB, and the camera audio set to 10. Was just far too much input for it.

Turned everything down, and it's good to go.

Thanks Don!
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