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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


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Old May 5th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #1
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using BeachTek DXA-5Da

Anybody using BeachTek DXA-5Da with 550d, to share thoughts on settings for different mics?

I just got ours, tried a Sennheiser ew100 g2 radio mic and got some hiss with my settings: - receiver was at -30db, transmitter at -10db and the 5da control turned to 10.

Harry at BeachTek advises:

The ideal input of level of the camera is -36 dBu. This is not what you
should set the receiver to. Set the receiver output to give you this level
reading, or close to it, on the DXA-5Da adapter. This will give you the best
performance and least amount of hiss.

Since the adapter is a passive device, you would normally leave the trim
controls at 10. This provides a unity signal through the adapter. Turning
down the trim controls simply attenuates the signal so you are "throwing
away" the audio and should only be done if the input level is too hot.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #2
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Hi Mark.
I dont think there is a satisfactory way of getting decent audio into a DSLR. The only way, as I am sure you know, is by using a seperate audio device, such as Tascam, Zoom etc, and very good they are. If your using FCP or Vegas 9 there is a wonderfull programme called Plural Eyes that does a faultless job of syncing.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 12:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
I dont think there is a satisfactory way of getting decent audio into a DSLR. The only way, as I am sure you know, is by using a seperate audio device, such as Tascam, Zoom etc...
That's not true. In my tests, the signal to noise with a juicedLink into the 5D2 with Magic Lantern is clearly better than that of the H4n or DR-100. Using the stock Canon firmware, it's a virtual tie. Using a DT-454 agc defeat into the 5D in auto mode, the noise is a bit higher than the Zoom or Tascam, but still quite usable.

It really comes down to your preferred workflow. With separate people handling audio and video, recording separately makes a lot of sense. When filming alone, I prefer to record into the camera. I never have to worry about getting the REC buttons on two devices out of sync.

Certainly, a higher-end, 24-bit field mixer/recorder setup will out-perform all of the above. But that's in a different budget range. And it's still not that practical for solo shooting.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #4
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The guy is asking about a 550D, not a 5d Mk11, with Magic Lantern. BTW, you are quite right, it is all down to preferred workflow, but I still prefer the audio from a seperate recording device. It's all very subjective.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #5
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Understood, Colin,

In any case, I find the DT454 approach to be satisfactory, even with an auto-gain camera, like the 550D. If Canon ever offers a manual gain setting, we're at parity with Zoom/Tascam. And, if/when ML is ported to the 550D, the sound can be superior to the mid-priced recorders.

That's why I disagreed with your earlier statement that, "I dont think there is a satisfactory way of getting decent audio into a DSLR."

I totally agree that it all comes down to preferred workflow. This is especially true if you record long events or interviews. You can keep rolling the audio recorder while restarting the camera recording after the 12 minute limit. Slap in some b-roll in post and the 12-minute limit is a non-issue. :)
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Old May 8th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #6
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I found in the edit that, having recorded in stereo with the AGC tone on one track and my single radio mic on the other, that if I knock out the AGC tone track in the edit, the slight hiss that was bothering me in tests despite adjusting mic settings, was pretty much got rid of.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 08:58 AM   #7
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I shot our show this week using -30 on the transmitter and 0 on the receiver plugging it directly into the camera and got awful sound. Frankly, it is never consistent. Sometimes the sound is better than others even in similar environments.

Therefore, I found a guy selling the Beachtek on ebay for a pretty reduced price and just took the plunge. I wanted a JuicedLink, but I just couldn't afford it.

My hope is that my audio issues are solved. I own a Zoom, but I'm shooting myself (it's a two person shoot with both of us on camera most of the time), and I just can't handle the two devices. I'd certainly do sync sound if I weren't a one man band.

Does the DXA-5DA solve your problem with hiss? Or are you still tweaking in post like crazy? I created a Soundtrack Pro script, but it still isn't great.

And how true is the monitoring? I'm so looking forward to being able to plug in a freakin' headphone. It has been a bear just trusting the camera over the last couple months.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:07 AM   #8
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I was always using the DXA-5DA, and was bothered by hiss in tests that got better with the Sennheiser radio mic transmitter at -30 and the receiver at -12, and the empty track knocked out oin the edit. I haven't even tried the camera's own sound, but am sure the BeachTek will be a big improvement for you. The monitoring isn't very accurate - with my settings, the meter hardly registers. A bit disconcerting, but ears are indisputable!
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Old May 29th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Slocombe View Post
I was always using the DXA-5DA, and was bothered by hiss in tests that got better with the Sennheiser radio mic transmitter at -30 and the receiver at -12, and the empty track knocked out oin the edit. I haven't even tried the camera's own sound, but am sure the BeachTek will be a big improvement for you. The monitoring isn't very accurate - with my settings, the meter hardly registers. A bit disconcerting, but ears are indisputable!
i do think you should go dual system Mark. It's so much better and with Pluraleyes a piece of cake to sync. I have found the Juiced Link box to be a wee bit better to use than the Beachtek. It also has better meters
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Old May 29th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but does the Beachtek not lack in amplification? If it does not provide its own mic preamp, it won't help reduce noise since it will still be a task for the noisy camera amp.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #11
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Preamp or no preamp, the problem with the camera is it is automatically pumping automatic gain during silent periods raising the his level during the silences. From that stand point, running a Juiced link amp doesn't solve the problem. Before magic lantern, I used Juiced link and ran a high frequency inaudible tone into one track with and MP3 player into one channel, and a mono mic through the other. I haven't gone back to experimenting with the the combo because in most shoots where sound is an issue, I will run with the Canon 5D. I think I even posted a high frequency track way back then. ( maybe april to may or so of 2009)
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Old May 30th, 2010, 02:37 AM   #12
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the Beachtek Mark is using has no preamps. He needs the preamp one with the AGC disabler.
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Old May 31st, 2010, 04:25 PM   #13
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That would be the DXA-SLR. The other option with the T2i/550D/7D/1D is the juicedLink DT454.

I haven't tried the DXA-SLR, but I have the DT454. The auto-gain disabler on the DT454 works great, and the gain is super clean.
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