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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:21 PM   #1
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Sound on 5D Mk II

Today I went to shoot some video clips... I like to hear the sound as it is being recorded. However, when I plugged in the ear buds to the camera I got a buzz... I did not try and record this way since I could not hear over the buzz. What can I do?

I am using a shotgun my AudioTechnica ATR55.

Thoughts?
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Old January 15th, 2011, 11:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Price View Post
Today I went to shoot some video clips... I like to hear the sound as it is being recorded. However, when I plugged in the ear buds to the camera I got a buzz... I did not try and record this way since I could not hear over the buzz. What can I do?

I am using a shotgun my AudioTechnica ATR55.

Thoughts?
You do know that the 5D does NOT have a headphone jack unless you install "Magic Lantern" firmware that will turn the A/V jack into a headphone jack right? Did you install this firmware? If not then you just plugged your earbuds into the A/V jack which of course does not work.

Last edited by Danny Winn; January 16th, 2011 at 11:58 AM.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:13 AM   #3
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Also, you can't generally plug headphones directly into the camera - even with Magic Lantern. The simplest solution is to plug in the AV cable that shipped with the camera and get some Radio Shack adapters that connect the RCA plugs to a stereo 1/8" jack for the headphones/earbuds.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #4
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I plug my headphones into the sound device rather than the camera. For example, I plug my headphones directly into the phones socket of my Zoom H4, or into the headphones monitor socket of my Sony WRT wireless microphone tuner.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #5
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Headphones

I was using headphones directly in the camera this weekend. I found I couln't 'boot' the camera ) ie: turn it on with then plugged in. However once Magic Lantern has booted and all is working well in the display - I could plug them in directly and they played back - ok. Just very quiet and not really useable as I have Audio gain at +10db only.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #6
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Also, consider a Boostaroo or similar headphone amp. They're not expensive.

BTW, one advantage of monitoring from the camera rather than from the mixer is that you will hear what is actually being recorded. For instance, if the connection from mixer to camera is intermittent, you'd never know by monitoring from the mixer.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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Jon, there's nothing wrong or difficult with monitoring from the sound mixer. My sound recordists do that all the time - turn over, roll sound...
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Old January 17th, 2011, 05:15 AM   #8
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If you record seperate sound devices not connected to the camera then there is no need to monitor the actual camera. Just let the internal camera sound roll and only use that as a backup and sync during post editing.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #9
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Jon, there's nothing wrong or difficult with monitoring from the sound mixer. My sound recordists do that all the time - turn over, roll sound...
While that's true, round trip monitoring is always safest. This is especially true if you are only recording into the 5D2. The link to the camera is unbalanced, the 1/8" connector isn't captive, and you don't get live meters from the camera. If anything goes wrong downstream from the mixer, you'd never know.

For instance, the cable could develop an intermittent short and start crackling. The cable could fail. The plug could pop out. You could put the plug into the wrong jack. You could have the gain set wrong and be clipping. The unbalanced signal could pick up cell phone interference.

So, while it's not "wrong or difficult" to monitor from the mixer, none of that matters if the end recording is corrupted.

Personally, I built a 25-foot snake with quick disconnects to go from the mixer to the camera. It includes a back channel for round trip monitoring. Of course, when recording double system with the camera as a backup, one can monitor from the primary recorder, rather than from the camera.

BTW, the 5D2 audio monitor uses a D/A so it monitors the digitized data that will actually be recorded. About the only surprise you could get is if your card fails.

Note that the Sound Devices mixers include a return input that can be monitored. From the MixPre manual:

"Headphone monitoring is an essential need in production audio. The MixPre enables monitoring of program (mixer) audio or a second audio source. In normal operation the headphones monitor the output
bus directly. Using the Tape Return input, a second audio source can be monitored in the headphones.
This is useful to verify that signal is reaching cameras and tape machines. The three-position Tape
Return switch on the front panel selects the audio source being monitored. The left and right positions
monitor the tape return audio. Left is locking, and right is momentary. The center position monitors the
Left and Right outputs of the MixPre..."


When using a recorder with an XLR input, momentary round trip recording is probably adequate. (Right switch position.) When recording into the 5D2 or other unbalanced recorder, I'd choose full time round trip monitoring. (Left switch position.) Even with XLRs I prefer full time round trip. That way you get an indication when the battery level in the recorder is too low.

I used to design live production switchers for Grass Valley Group. When you push a button on the control panel, the button never lights up by itself. It sends the request to the video processing frame which controls the video. The lights on the control panel reflect the state of the video processing frame from a round trip signal. That way, the monitoring lights never lie or get out of sync.

As you can see, I'm particular about round trip monitoring. :)
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Old January 17th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #10
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Jon, I think we are talking at crossed purposes. Like Tony, I run double system sound and monitor the field mixer/recorder. I agree, if you are recording only on the camera, you need to monitor the return feed from the camera and a knowledge of how to do this correctly is essential.
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