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Old February 3rd, 2009, 07:38 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Noah Yuan-Vogel View Post
My understanding is that the big difference here is that it can mostly overcome the issues with the 5dmk2's automatic gain. by mixing an inaudible tone into one or both of the output channels.
Ah, now it makes sense. They have elluded to a solution but up till now hadn't said what it might be.

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Originally Posted by Jim Giberti View Post
Maybe I'm missing something but I don't get what makes this special for the 5D2. I've got a couple of Sound Devices MixPres that are rugged, small, great preamps with pan, slate, headphone amp, meters, XLR ins and outs and a minijack tape out that feeds the 5D perfectly. What makes this a 5DII development?
Erm, I have a MixPre too, It's great but hardly a sit under the camera option for run and gun. I have mine in a Petrol waist pack but rarely use it as it gets in the way of what I do. Also have you checked the price of one lately? certainly much much more than the estimated price for the Beachtek.
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 07:57 PM   #32
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Hey Dan, it's Jim...not Erm g.

I just read somewhere that the Beachtek didn't disable the autogain which is why I asked. And looking at the picture, it doesn't look much more run and gun than the MixPre, which is pretty small for all that it packs and the sound. I think the price is pretty reasonable for the quality and features...is the Beachtek in the same league?
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 08:16 PM   #33
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Jim,

Obviously we have no idea of the sound quality of this particular Beachtek at this point but the Sound devices is as good as a small field mixer comes so it would be hard to better. The Sound Devices is pretty small but there is no way I could see using it slung under a handheld camera in the way the Beachtek is.

As far as cost goes I forgot how much cheaper the MixPre is in the US compared to the rest of the world, in the UK its around $900 including tax! so it may be a viable alternative for US users.

Dan
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Old February 3rd, 2009, 08:33 PM   #34
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Doesn't the 5D2 expect mic-in? Won't you have to pad the output of a MixPre to use it with a 5D2?

(Don't get me wrong here, I personally own a Shure FP24, which is literally identical to the MixPre, and I love it!)

Last edited by Bill Binder; February 3rd, 2009 at 09:31 PM.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 10:51 AM   #35
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Is this this BeachTek device capable of running "tone" to one of the stereo channels to keep the levels creeping up at least to get usable MONO sound from interviews? Why isn't it mentioned?

Thanks in advance,
T
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Old February 4th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #36
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Yeah, just for comparison for anyone who might be reading I agree for size and function it's about as good as the bigger mixers I use on location and nearly as good as some in my studio. Cost wise I know I paid well under $2k US for a pair of them....maybe $700ish each.

Regarding the mic out, the MicPre has two XLR outs that would have to be stepped down to mini jack but it also has the tape return loop that's already mini- so you have both line and mic level options.

If it's true that the Beachtek doesn't defeat the 5D autogain, then another plus to the MixPre, it's got a high quality and adjustable peak limiter that would control the signal better than perhaps the chip in the 5D2.

Right now it's all academic, been too busy running the creative shop to test specifics lately, but I'm going to set up the MixPre up with a Sennheiser and a Neumann and do some real audio testing with the 5D2 in the next day or so and I'll have a much better sense of the camera's real audio capabilities.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #37
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Doesn't the 5D2 expect mic-in? Won't you have to pad the output of a MixPre to use it with a 5D2?
It will depend on what the minimum gain is on the 5D MkII. The HF pilot signal should force the 5D to turn it's gain down to its lowest level. That could be somewhere in the vicinity of line level. It certainly won't be as hot as typical mic levels.

It's not a bad solution. It will minimize preamp noise in the 5D. We'll see how it works in practice...
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Old February 4th, 2009, 04:41 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Jim Giberti View Post
Regarding the mic out, the MicPre has two XLR outs that would have to be stepped down to mini jack but it also has the tape return loop that's already mini- so you have both line and mic level options.
I'm pretty sure that tape out is still line level, not mic-in level. If my memory serves me correctly, the XLR outs are "pro" line level and the tape out is more "consumer" line level. I think the tape out is something like 10 db less loud, but I don't think the 5D2 could even handle that since it's expecting mic-in -- but I could be wrong?

One other thing is, and maybe someone's already figured this out, is that the AGC is hopefully operating on LINKED channels. If not, running tone into one channel won't do anything for the other channel.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #39
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That's what I meant when I said you have both line level and balanced mic level. Traditionally pro audio gear has been a +4 world consumer or line level -10. Not having used the 5DII for any "real" audio recording I want to try some different approaches to see exactly how this AGC works (and/or doesn't). I wrote a while back when I first got it that I thought the inherent sound was pretty decent for what it was. Now let's see in real studio testing.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 05:46 AM   #40
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Sorry Dan, only just saw your message. Great idea and I'm happy they're open to it.

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Originally Posted by Dan Chung View Post
Ed,

I'm going to contact Beacktek about this one, If you are talking to Beachtek about this then you should really make them understand that they can't defeat the auto volume control on the 5dmkII. That said and given how far they are down the road with this prototype maybe we could make just one small change that would increase the unit's usefulness. I note like other Beachteks that it has a captive cable outputting to camera. If they could replace that with two minijack sockets which split the output signal then we could record the same signal similtaneously to a field recorder and the camera. So if the camera audio is good enough then you can just use it, but you have another copy on the recorder if not. Not ideal , but workable for run and gun.

Dan
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Old February 7th, 2009, 01:15 PM   #41
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That looks super clunky...
Interesting the difference in size of the device between the pic here and the pic on the banner of Beachtek's website. I wonder which one it is.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #42
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If you are recording to an external recorder (or recorder mixer combo) in tandem, why not just:

Run mike/mikes into external recorder/mixer.

Use line out from recorder/mixer to hook into MKII.

Use headphone outs on recorder/mixer to monitor.
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Old February 8th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #43
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I do this already at the moment but it is not that easy to set the volume controls on the fly for run and gun and if anything happens to the recorder you get no sound to the camera at all. With a mixer or Beachtek mixing is much simpler.

Dan
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Old February 8th, 2009, 09:57 AM   #44
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For run and gun I would just get a decent shotgun that mounts in hot shoe with 1/8" plug add a furry cover and you have pretty much the same setup as a ENG cam on the run.

If you need better sound most productions involve a sound guy and a lot of lavs, wireless mikes, shotguns etc. With that effort I would go to an external recorder even a MicrotrackII is decent. Nagra 4-trac much better, and use a 367, 1202 or whatever for a field mixer. Then send signal to MKII just for syncing in the suite.

I also think you could hook up any number of wireless mikes with to MKII a proper pad and some tests to achieve ENG quality sound.

I did use a Beechtec for a Panasonic EG-EZ1U years ago, I still have the unit, I have been thinking about trying it out on the MKII, when I do I will post results.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #45
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I did some audio tests with my mixpre and tone to see how the ACGs react. Here they are if anyone is interested.

Test with 1khz tone
Canon 5d Mk2 Audio Test on Vimeo

Test with ultra high and low tones
Audio test for 5DM2 extreme low and high frequencies on Vimeo

Hope that helps.
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