on camera 3.5 Vs. minidisc at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 12th, 2007, 02:34 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Posts: 63
on camera 3.5 Vs. minidisc

I'm contemplating purchasing a much better mic, like the AT 4073 and a preamp like the sound devices mixpre. The camera I'll be using will be a pana AG-DVC7, which only supplies 3.5mm mini audio input, hence the mixpre.

Obviously some of the quality from the higher grade mic and preamp will be lost when recording in camera, but will that loss be significant enough not to bother with recording to camera, and instead purchasing a seperate recording device, like a minidisc?

I don't have the budget for a recorder with XLR inputs, so my question really is, will a minidisc be that much superior to recording in camera?

I understand there are microphones that do not require phantom power, and adapters to feed XLR to 3.5, but I'm plannning to start investing in high quality audio gear now, and fill in the holes later, AKA maybe an SD 702 CF recorder... eventually.

-Alex
Alex Milne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2007, 03:20 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Whether you decide to record in camera or on an external recorder there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The SD MixPre has your choice of outputs - either pro line level output on a pair of balanced XLR connections or consumer line level on an unbalanced stereo 3.5mm minijack. But your camera only has a mic level input and although the connections are right to plug directly from the MixPre's 3.5mm output, the level will be way too hot for the camera and you'll need an attenuating cable or an inline pad to prevent distortion. If you're looking at a minidisk recorder, same thing applies - make sure it has a line level input to plug the MixPre into.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Posts: 63
Steve-

After I had this question answered I was going to post another thread, asking how to manage levels with this setup.

I'm unfamiliar with the two devices you mentioned. I understand what they do but am a little unclear on the specifics. If I want to go from the mixpre's 3.5 out to the camcorder's 3.5 in, what might be some appropriate products to get the job done?
perhaps... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Also, why can't I just turn down the gain on the camcorder? Distortion?
Alex Milne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2007, 04:32 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Milne View Post
Steve-

After I had this question answered I was going to post another thread, asking how to manage levels with this setup.

I'm unfamiliar with the two devices you mentioned. I understand what they do but am a little unclear on the specifics. If I want to go from the mixpre's 3.5 out to the camcorder's 3.5 in, what might be some appropriate products to get the job done?
perhaps... http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Also, why can't I just turn down the gain on the camcorder? Distortion?
Yep, you said the magic word - distortion. All audio circuits are designed to work with an optimal incoming signal level - like Goldilocks porridge, not too hot and not too cold. Mic level signals are relatively weak and require a sensitive input to respond to them. Line level signals are many times stronger, so strong that they will readily overload a mic level input and cause clipping distortion before they ever get to the part of the circuit where the gain control resides and has any effect. And just to make things interesting, there are two different standard 'line levels' - professional strength and consumer grade. The pro level is +4dBU, corresponding to 1.228 volts, while the consumer level is -10dBV, corresponding to 0.316 volts. (To compare, 'mic level' ranges from about -35dB down to the vicinity of -55dB depending on type.) The MixPre puts out pro level signals on its XLR ouputs and consumer level signals on its 3.5mm Tape Out connector. But even the consumer level output is going to be too hot for a mic level input. The solution is to insert an attennuator or 'pad' to reduce the line level down to the right match for a mic input - they are very common for XLR cables but less so for 3.5mm cables, especially 3.5 mm stereo cables. You might have to make your own or go with something like a Beachtek adapter between your MixPre and the camera. Something like the one in the link is a step in the right direction but I don't think 10dB will be enough.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Posts: 63
Alright, well looks like this isn't going to work out, since time is of the essence.

I think I'll just pick up an ME66. There's no reason I'd need a pad to run directly from the mic (running off AA) to an adapter directly into the camera, right?

Hopefully the resale is good on the ME66, so I can dump it afterwards.

Thanks-
-Alex

P.S. Hypothetically, could I output from the mix pre on the left XLR (I think left) channel to get a mono signal, then use an XLR pad, and then a 3.5 adapter to get to the camera, or would this just be a waste of cable?

On that note, is there any reason why I can't stack them? AKA, three -10db = -30db?
Alex Milne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 12th, 2007, 06:09 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
It would depend on your adapter and your subject matter. The K6/ME66 is a very high-output mic and would probably need some attenuation when adapted to the mini mic input. A BeachTek-type adapter will do this with the attenuation controls, a regular adapter cable won't but you could combine an attenuator with an adapter. AT and Shure make switchable in-line attenuators.
You could attenuate the XLR output of a MixPre, but you'd need 50 to 60 db of attenuation to bring it down to typical mic level. A BeachTek-type adapter can do this with the Mic/Line switch.
There are less expensive battery-powered mid-output mics available that might sound better and not require attenuation. It depends on how, where and what you're recording.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 14th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 192
You might consider the Sennheiser MKE 300 Video mic (http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser...sf/root/03171). It has a 3.5mm connector so you don't have to deal with adapters. I haven't used one in a long time, but I recall it sounding as good as the ME series.

Best wishes,
Peter
______________________
http://www.parkfilms.com
Peter Rhalter is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:18 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network