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Old November 20th, 2005, 08:02 AM   #1
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Beachtek DXA-4 questions

Hey guys. I am new to the "audio" end of video. I just got a Sony VX2100 (after MUCH research and a loooooong decision making process). Anyways, I want to get the Beachtek adaptor and had a few questions.
1) Can I use it like a mixer? I don't want to raise or lower the volumes while in use, just set them at a level (I assume level means volume) before filming.

2) Do all lines record in mono? If so I guess I can duplicate the track in post to make it stereo

3) It says it has 2 XLR lines and 1 mini jack. So could I use 3 mics at once?

4) Can you use a t splitter and have 2 mics going on the mini jack at once?

Thanks for any responses. I appreciate the help.
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Old November 20th, 2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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Hi Justin

I have the Sign Video adapter on an FX1 but it works pretty much like the Beachtek..
I does in fact act like a simple passive mixer.. you have no amplification of the signal, hence you can't increase the level, simply lower it with the level buttons. Neither does it give any power to your mic so you need dynamic or battery powered mics or a separate pre-amp mixer offering phantom power.

If it works like mine you can record on the Stereo setting, where by you record on either left or right channel depending on which input you use..if you use two mics you can record one on each channel, which can give you greater control over your audio edit in post.

OR you set to Mono and the mic or mics are split to record on both channels.
Bear in mind most mics are mono anyway..

You can easily fill the missing channel in post, which won't actually give you true stereo, simply the same mono audio in each channel..

Yes you can (at least on the Sign Video box) record both an XLR mic and a mini jack to the same channel... this can cause problems getting the level correct on both mics as any level change will affect both signals...

I find the system works very well...
hope this helps

Gareth
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Old November 20th, 2005, 09:39 AM   #3
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I haven't used my Beachtek in a long time since I now have a couple other cameras with built-in XLR's. However the the volume controls are not intended to be operated as a live mixer. The instructions specifically say they they're just for setting levels and should not be adjusted while recording as you will get contact noise. They move in click stops and not continuously.

Yes, there's a mono/stereo switch that combines the inputs. Don't know about the mini jack since I never used it. However it doesn't have an independent volume control so I don't think you'd want to use it along with the XLR's. Are you trying to use more than 2 mikes? If so then I think you'll want a mixer....
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Old November 20th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #4
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The Beach does not serve as a mixer. With the stereo/mono switch in the stereo position, the #1 input goes to the camera left channel and the #2 input goes to the right. The 3.5mm mini-jack is an alternate connector to the XLR for input #2 but you can't use both at once, it's an either/or choice. With the stereo/mono switch in mono you can use either input 1 or input 2, but not both at once, and the signal is sent equally to the left and right channels in the camera.

If you need to use 3 mics you should be looking at a 3 channel or better mixer such as a Sound Devices 302, either in addition to or instead of the Beach.

B&H Has several at different price points here.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...rch&Q=&ci=4962
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Old November 21st, 2005, 01:40 AM   #5
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Hi

Ok the Beachtek and others aren't mixers per se.. and I was not suggesting it would replace a Sound Devices 302, but in the case of the Sign video box it will allow you to input upto four mics at once..

I've checked on my box and I can indeed, should I wish, input a minijack mic and an XLR mic to one or both channels simultaneously. I don't do this but it is possible.

cheers

Gareth
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Old November 21st, 2005, 08:36 AM   #6
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Additionally to clarify one point, you can use both XLR connectors on the BeachTek even when set to MONO. You would only do this if you couldn't do any post editing and needed two different sources to both appear centered in the unedited footage.
I prefer the DXA-6, but your choice depends on your specific mics, how many of them you need to connect simultaneously and whether you want the box mounted to the camera or your belt.
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Old November 21st, 2005, 08:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill
Additionally to clarify one point, you can use both XLR connectors on the BeachTek even when set to MONO. You would only do this if you couldn't do any post editing and needed two different sources to both appear centered in the unedited footage.
I prefer the DXA-6, but your choice depends on your specific mics, how many of them you need to connect simultaneously and whether you want the box mounted to the camera or your belt.
Isn't that a bit risky in terms of one device loading the other and inducing distortion, etc? Isn't plugging a mic into each input and setting the switch to mono the same thing as simply connecting the two mics in parallel? I always thought mixing of two sources like that required circuitry to isolate the two from each other, something a true mixer does but a passive device like the Beach does not.
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Old November 21st, 2005, 04:14 PM   #8
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As long as the two mics and cables are similar impedence and their levels are similar, which would mean you're keeping both input controls set about the same, I don't think it would cause a problem. The DXA-6 may have circuitry to help alleviate this problem for the input, even though we already know and have talked about the fact that the two controls do load each other when set to mono. I've never noted a problem in the rare times I needed to do this.
In addition, we forgot to mention the thread from a few weeks ago discussing that many DXA-6's are wired out of phase. This is actually more of a problem when working with a stereo pair, rather than two mics at different distances mixed to mono, but it's something to consider if you're buying a unit that isn't a new modified one.
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