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Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:24 PM   #1
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Two microphones for true stereo sound?

On the cameras we use at school, Panasonic DV15s, we have two XLR inputs, plus the mic on the front and two channels, front and rear.

We use a separate shotgun mic in the one XLR input and have one channel set to "Front" (using the onboard mic) and the other to "Rear" (using the shotgun)

This leaves us with sound in the one channel (the shotgun mic) noticeably clearer than the other, which is generally too soft and not that crisp. How could we record the two channels with one mic? Would we need an adapter? (Beachtek for instance)


I have a Sony VX2100 at home, if I wanted to use an external microphone with it to record on both channels, what kind of adapter would I need?

Should the external mic have two XLR plugs which would plug into each channel of the adapter?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 05:30 PM   #2
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I can't speak for either of those cameras, but the XL2 has a switch on it that allows a single mono mic to input to both channels. There may not be such a switch on your camera, in which case you'll just have to double the single mono channel in post and pan each instance of it to one side--which is simple enough and will give you the same results... it's just an extra step that a switch like the one on the XL2 I mentioned would cut out.

Also be aware that simply using both channels doesn't mean the audio will be stereo in a strict sense. Since the audio information will be identical in both channels (there's no stereo separation), you're really working with a pair of identical mono channels. True stereo would imply differences between the channels.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 06:59 PM   #3
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But does flicking that switch on the XL2 actually enable you to set the volumes of the two channels separately, Jarrod?
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emre Safak
But does flicking that switch on the XL2 actually enable you to set the volumes of the two channels separately, Jarrod?
No, it does not. But Aviv was simply asking how to use both channels and didn't say anything specifically about volume control for each channel.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 08:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
On the cameras we use at school, Panasonic DV15s, we have two XLR inputs, plus the mic on the front and two channels, front and rear.

We use a separate shotgun mic in the one XLR input and have one channel set to "Front" (using the onboard mic) and the other to "Rear" (using the shotgun)

This leaves us with sound in the one channel (the shotgun mic) noticeably clearer than the other, which is generally too soft and not that crisp. How could we record the two channels with one mic? Would we need an adapter? (Beachtek for instance)


I have a Sony VX2100 at home, if I wanted to use an external microphone with it to record on both channels, what kind of adapter would I need?

Should the external mic have two XLR plugs which would plug into each channel of the adapter?
I find no listing for a Panasonic DV15s. Are you sure of the model number? How old is it? What type of camcorder is it? What you say about the connectors and channels is confusing.

For the VX2100, if the external microphone is a stereo mic all you have to do is plug it in. If it's a mono mic, then whether the sound will go to both channels depends on the plug at the end of the mic cable. If it's a three-section plug the sound will go to both channels. If it's a two section plug it will only go to one channel unless you get a plug adapter.
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Old October 23rd, 2006, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
This leaves us with sound in the one channel (the shotgun mic) noticeably clearer than the other, which is generally too soft and not that crisp. How could we record the two channels with one mic? Would we need an adapter? (Beachtek for instance)

I have a Sony VX2100 at home, if I wanted to use an external microphone with it to record on both channels, what kind of adapter would I need?

Should the external mic have two XLR plugs which would plug into each channel of the adapter?
Are you looking for a wide-pattern response or narrower "shotgun" response ?

I use a Sony VX2000 and an FX1 with a wide-pattern stereo X-Y microphone called the Audio Technica AT822, which has a "faux" 3-pin XLR connector that really just brings two signals to a stereo 1/8" Tip-Ring-Sleeve (TRS) connector. The microphone sounds great, but it picks up everything in a good radius around the microphone with a quality that obviously exceeds the internal VX2000 microphone. I mount it on a shockmount which also positions is further in front of the camera to reduce the pickup of the camera whine as well as handling noise. If you're on a monopod, the shockmount will eliminate the thump noises.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 04:56 AM   #7
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Well, for the 2100, I've seen the BeachTek adapter that seems to have two XLR inputs on it.


The DV15 may be a regional model number, but that's what it's refered to here.

It has a similar "shoulder-hold" shape as the XL1 but with a squarer, longer back. It's grey with a VERY plastic feel, lightweight but a 3CCD. The microphone is small nub that juts out the end. The back has the two XLR inputs while the side panel has level adjustments for each channel as well as specifying whether they're front or rear.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 07:31 AM   #8
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While you can use a simple Y cable, it might have negative effects on the overall sound quality. Whether it will or not depends to a cetain extent on the mic itself and what the camera's input impedences are, etc. The only way to know is to try it and see how it sounds - can't hurt anything to try but don't wait until you're on the set to see if it's going to work okay <grin>. Beach's convert XLR to miniplug but since you said your external mic inputs are also XLR, that doesn't sound like what you need (don't know about the VX2100 - what sort of external mic connection does it have?). A better solution is a small field mixer with a stereo output that allows you to pan one input to either left, right, or in whatever proportion you like between them.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #9
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The VX2100 has a mini-jack for an external mic...But does that mean that just one mic can be plugged into it?

It seems the Beachtek has a jack for two microphones, one for the left channel and one for the right, which I assume would plug into the Beachtek, which would plug into the camera? What happens if there's just one microphone plugged into just one of the Beachtek channels though, like the Left or Right one?
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Old October 24th, 2006, 09:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
The VX2100 has a mini-jack for an external mic...But does that mean that just one mic can be plugged into it?

It seems the Beachtek has a jack for two microphones, one for the left channel and one for the right, which I assume would plug into the Beachtek, which would plug into the camera? What happens if there's just one microphone plugged into just one of the Beachtek channels though, like the Left or Right one?
The Beach has a "mono" switch that will split one mic input onto both L & R output channels.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #11
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Ah, thanks. :)

For a camera with 2 inputs, could you then use two mics for each channel?

Say in an interview, mic one could be aimed at the interviewer while mic one at the interviewee?
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Old October 24th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Ah, thanks. :)

For a camera with 2 inputs, could you then use two mics for each channel?

Say in an interview, mic one could be aimed at the interviewer while mic one at the interviewee?
Do you mean 4 mics, then? Or you talking about mixing two mics together and sending the mixed audio to both channels at once, so the left channel would have a mix of mics 1 & 2 and also the right channel would have the same two mics but perhaps recording the mix at a different level from the mix on the left? A 4-channel field mixer with pan controls on each input could do either one (the number of channels generally refers to the number of inputs.)
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Old October 24th, 2006, 03:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
Do you mean 4 mics, then? Or you talking about mixing two mics together and sending the mixed audio to both channels at once, so the left channel would have a mix of mics 1 & 2 and also the right channel would have the same two mics but perhaps recording the mix at a different level from the mix on the left? A 4-channel field mixer with pan controls on each input could do either one (the number of channels generally refers to the number of inputs.)
Well, one mic for channel left and one mic for channel right.
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Old October 24th, 2006, 06:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aviv Hallale
Well, one mic for channel left and one mic for channel right.
I assume you're talking about using a Beach with your VX2100? If so, that's the normal stereo arrangment if the external mic input accepts stereo.

The only question is, does the VX2100 accept a stereo external mic on the miniplug input or is it only mono? That you'll have to check your manual, 'fraid I don't know much about that camera except what I've read.

I've been looking in a copy of the manual I downloaded and it discussion doesn't make a lot of sense. It looks like the external mic jack can be switched between mic level and line level and it's mono when in mic mode and stereo when in line mode. But either way, the manual seems to be saying that it can only be used in dubbing new audio alongside the existing audio on an already recorded tape and not when doing the original recording. If that's really the case it seems like a pretty screwball design but there you go, that's what the manual seems to imply because the only mention of the external inputs I've been able to find is in the audio dubbing section of the manual. I'd love to hear what your results are when you experiment with it.
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Old October 25th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #15
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I have used a cheap microphone straight into the ministereo jack, and it records fine while recording, so that's not really an issue.

Thanks again for your help :)
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