Matching Impedance-Audio out of a Tascam HD-P2 to XL H1 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 12th, 2006, 01:18 PM   #1
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Matching Impedance-Audio out of a Tascam HD-P2 to XL H1

My first trial run this weekend using Tascam's new disk recorder the HD-P2. I want to take cables out of the recorder and into my Canon H1, but the outputs are unfortunately just RCA's. To do this, I was thinking of taking XLR's from camera to the unit and then using an adapter. I found this and was wondering if anyone thinks it's a "must buy" and that it would help to match impedance:

http://www.markertek.com/SearchProdu...f=42&sort=prod

Otherwise, I guess I can just get an RCA to XLR adapter. Is this little unit worth it? How important is it to match impedance?

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Kevin
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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Dear Kevin,

I assume that you will be using the line-level inputs on your camera. If they are available.

I do not currently own the Xl-H1 so I researched the specifications. While I could not find the RCA pin jacks in a photo, the spec's say this:

Audio Terminal


(a) Also serves as RCA pin jack (white/red, L/R) both input/output (2 systems)
(b) XLR 3-pin jack (2 systems); switchable between MIC/LINE

From the above, I assume that there are RCA line-in jacks, as there are on an XL1s.

The TASCAM manual states that the analog output (line level) of the HD-P2 is 100 ohms output impedence. This should work fine, in my opinion, as input to the HD-P2.

Since you already have a XL-H1, are there RCA pin plug audio input jacks like there are on an Xl1s?
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild
My first trial run this weekend using Tascam's new disk recorder the HD-P2. I want to take cables out of the recorder and into my Canon H1, but the outputs are unfortunately just RCA's. To do this, I was thinking of taking XLR's from camera to the unit and then using an adapter. I found this and was wondering if anyone thinks it's a "must buy" and that it would help to match impedance:

http://www.markertek.com/SearchProdu...f=42&sort=prod

Otherwise, I guess I can just get an RCA to XLR adapter. Is this little unit worth it? How important is it to match impedance?

Any thoughts? Thanks!

Kevin
I gotta ask why you would do that? Not saying you're wrong, just seems like a round about way of going about things. It sounds like you're wanting to use the Tascam as a mixer rather than a recorder ... why? It records files that can be synced to your video in post. Why record it to tape in the camera in the field when you have a potentially higher quality recording device available, only to have the same end result but at the risk of lower quality sound when you import the tape into your NLE in post?

If anything I'd take timecode out of your Canon and feed it to the Tascam timecode in as a sync reference, record video to tape in camera, record sound to BWF files in the Tascam, and marry them up in post after capturing the video in your NLE and importing the audio files.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:44 PM   #4
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Hi, Dan. Thanks for the post and research. You are correct...like the XL1s, there are RCA Inputs on the H1 that are line inputs. However, I think would be unbalanced and limit me to very short cable runs, correct? So, I was thinking of using XLR cables for longer runs into the XLR Inputs which can be switched to Line Inputs. So on the other end of the XLR cable, I need to thus convert to RCA's. So, that's where my question about Impedance switching rears it's head.

All that said, what do you think? Should I get this box from Markertek?

Thanks again.

Kevin
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Old February 12th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I gotta ask why you would do that? Not saying you're wrong, just seems like a round about way of going about things. It sounds like you're wanting to use the TASCAM as a mixer rather than a recorder ... why? It records files that can be synced to your video in post. Why record it to tape in the camera in the field when you have a potentially higher quality recording device available, only to have the same end result but at the risk of lower quality sound when you import the tape into your NLE in post?

If anything I'd take timecode out of your Canon and feed it to the TASCAM as a sync reference, record video to tape in camera, record sound to BWF files in the TASCAM, and marry them up in post after capturing the video in your NLE.

Steve, you are right. It's redundant and that is intentional. I am using it as a mixer, but I've heard many not-so-positive things about HDV audio. Seeing that the very first thing I'm doing is shooting an Opera...I think I need some good audio. However, I don't want to ONLY record on the HD-P2. I plan on using that audio, but I want to record the identical signal to the XL H1, just in case. This Tascam unit is brand new...I have no idea how it will hold up for a 3 hour non-stop record.

Thanks.

Kevin
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Old February 12th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #6
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Dear Kevin,

In my opinion, it is ok to have reasonable length cable runs when you are using quality, properly shielded, unbalanced audio cables. I am speaking of quality shielded cable, with quality metal shielded RCA pin-plug connectors. Using 25 foot cables should be no problem at all since you are using a line-level signal. I feel that 50 feet would not be a problem either.

In my opinon, the problem with unbalanced cables is when you are using microphone level signals. The much higher level, line-level, signals, in my opinion should not generally be a problem with proper, quality cables. These days, quality audio cables are easy to find.

I would use the RCA inputs and not worry about an adapter to connect to the XLR inputs. I would still follow the general rules and not run the cables parallel with power cables. I feel that the likelyhood of getting RF (Radio Frequency) interference with quality cables, with line-level signals, is very small. I would be more concerned it you were very close to a radio transmitter.

On the other hand, you may get cell phone interference, but this is a possibility whether you are using any external cables or not. I recommend that you turn off your cell phone while operating the camera.

I welcome suggestions from others.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild
Steve, you are right. It's redundant and that is intentional. I am using it as a mixer, but I've heard many not-so-positive things about HDV audio. Seeing that the very first thing I'm doing is shooting an Opera...I think I need some good audio. However, I don't want to ONLY record on the HD-P2. I plan on using that audio, but I want to record the identical signal to the XL H1, just in case. This Tascam unit is brand new...I have no idea how it will hold up for a 3 hour non-stop record.

Thanks.

Kevin
Well, insurance is certainly a good thing. The Tascam's audio line-out is RCA but so is the Canon H1's audio 1 & 2 line-in. Seems like a pair of good quality RCA to RCA cables is all you need to link 'em together, line out on the Tascam to line in on the camera.

I think if it were me, I'd feed the mics or other sound sources such as house sound to a true mixer that has two sets of stereo outputs, something like a Mackie compact mixer or a Sound Devices 302/442 depending on your input requirements. I'd feed one stereo pair from the mixer to the camera, the other to the Tascam. Meanwhile I'd take timecode and/or video from the Canon over to the Tascam to provide a sync reference. I think that would be prefereable to using the Tascam to feed audio to the camera since if it's the source for the camera and the recorder goes down, you'll lose the audio to the camera as well. My suggested way, OTOH, they are truly independent and backing up one another.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #8
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Dear Kevin,

In reponse to your question as to wheter you should buy the HD-P2 or not:

I think this is a wonderful unit. One of my film friends will probably buy one this weeked. I would recommend B&H or one of the other sponsers.

My friend wishes to use this, although it is more expensive, to replace a Beachtek DXA-8 that was lost at a recent film shoot. While it is not nearly as convenient as the Beachtek for use with a camera, it certainly is handy for the boompole operater to be completely detached from the camera and be able to monitor and record very high quality sound independently of the camera.

We have been researching this unit for some time and have not found any user comments, or reviews for this device. It seems wonderful. TASCAM's DA-P1, which I have, is a well respected unit, and this seems much better in so many ways.

Since there are no reviews, at least any that we could find, I would recommend that you purchase the unit from B&H. If you have a problem, you could return it. Someone, supposedly a TASCAM dealer, has some listed on EBAY, but the price difference is just not worth it.

The Sound Devices 722T and 744T are also wonderful units, but more expensive.

Personally, I would like a recorder that could record four channels. Even the 744T, which can record four channels, has only two microphone preamps. But, of course, this is easily overcome by connecting a good mixer to the 744T.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton
Dear Kevin,

In reponse to your question as to wheter you should buy the HD-P2 or not:
Actually, you misunderstood. I already DID buy the HD-P2...so that decision was made last week. :-) I have the unit and you're right, I couldn't find any reviews of it on-line yet. I will do my best to report back what I find as I do some real world testing. Like I mentioned, I'm shooting an opera this week, so I'll have quite a challenge right out of the gate. We'll see how this guy handles it.

The questionable purchase I had was for the Impedance Adapter. So far, it sounds like from these few replies that I should first try RCA's. I'm still a little skeptical for long runs with this, but I'll give it a try. Something about using the RCA's on my camera when I have XLR connectors is unnerving.

Any one else?

Thanks for the responses.

Kevin
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Old February 12th, 2006, 05:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Wild
... Something about using the RCA's on my camera when I have XLR connectors is unnerving.
I was looking and couldn't find a definiteive yeah or nay - are the Canon H1's XLR connectors now switchable between mic or line level sensitivity? On the XL2 they were mic level only and line-level signals required you either to use the RCA inputs or to put a pad on the XLR input.
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Old February 12th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #11
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Yes, there is now a mic or line level switch on the back of the camera above the XLR connectors.

KW
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Old February 12th, 2006, 05:13 PM   #12
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Dear Kevin,

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I though you were speaking of the HD-P2 when you stated "Should I get this box from Markertek?".

My misunderstanding!

I am anxious to hear of your experience with the HD-P2!
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