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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old March 31st, 2005, 10:18 AM   #1
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GL2 and soundboard question

This weekend, I have the opportunity to videotape some performances and might have access to signal off the soundboard. I'm told that the sound will be supplied via "RCA stereo," which I take to mean two cables, one for each channel.

I don't have a way to direct-connect two RCA cables, but I would like to try to take advantage of this. I have a Beachtek DXA-6. Do I need to get a Y-adapter to input the RCA cables to the DXA-6's unbalanced miniplug port?

Or should I just plug that Y-adapter into the GL2's mic input?

In either case, what camera settings should I be using? I have this awful feeling that if I do something wrong I could damage the GL2's circuitry.

Leigh
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Old April 1st, 2005, 04:00 PM   #2
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1. The GL2's input can accept a stereo signal but can't handle the signal strength of that output from the board. It wouldn't fry your camera, but the audio would be distorted
2. Meanwhile, the DXA-6's mini jack can take the signal strength and (I believe) reduce it via one of the trim control knobs, but can't accept stereo. The best it can do is take one channel of the stereo input and apply it to both channels on the tape.

Therefore, what you need is a y-adaptor to get down to 1/8' stereo mini, then another adaptor to go from stereo mini to mono mini. Then plug that into the BeachTek's mini jack and set the unit for stereo. That way you'll get all the audio in both channels.

If the camera is going to be more than ten or fifteen feet from the board, you should probably use XLR cable. A "direct box" ($30-$40) takes a 1/4" unbalanced mono input and converts it to a balanced XLR output. So you'd need adaptors as above, but 1/4" instead of 1/8".

To get stereo into the DXA-6 you would need two XLR runs
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Old April 1st, 2005, 04:31 PM   #3
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Thanks, Fred. I think I'll wind up going the adapter route. I'm a newbie at this, so I hope you don't mind a couple more questions:

1. Since this doesn't involve a mic needing phantom power, the DXA-6 should be shut OFF, right?

2. Does the GL2's mic ATT need to be ON?

3. After reading the DXA-6 instructions, I'm still a little unclear about whether I should set its attenuators first, or the levels on the GL2.

It's good to know that I won't fry the GL2 -- that was a major fear.

Thanks,

Leigh
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 09:31 AM   #4
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Yes, the DXA-6 phantom power should be turned off.

Yes, MIC ATT should be ON.

Set the GL2 level contols to mid range. Then, starting at zero, bring the Beach's trim contol up until you're hitting -12 dB (the big dot) or one mark above it on the GL2 level meters, with the room sound at what you think will be the "average" level. Remember that during taping you want to stay away from 0dB (indicated by red meter segment lighting up) even during the loudest passages. Digital recording has no tolerance for going over 0 dB. So you may have to tweak a bit during taping.

The rationale for the above approach is to ensure that you are taking in an acceptable signal level at the GL2 input. For instance, if you instead started with the BeachTek turned all the way up and used the GL2's level controls, you could easily obtain acceptable level meter indications (with very low GL2 control knob settings), but the signal would be being clipped due to overload at the input.

Of course, use earphones during taping.

FYI, for future reference, sound boards often have a 1/4" balanced mono out jack which is not being used. If you get a chance, have a peek at that board. My own approach is to use a 1/4" stereo plug to XLR adpator in that jack and then an XLR cable run to my camera .position. (A stereo plug is used because a balanced mono signal requires a separate ground connection, as opposed to using ground as one of the signal connections).

Use some kind of strain relief with your 1/8" connections. Otherwise the risks are interruption of audio and damage to the jacks. An advantage of XLR besides the protection from electrical noise is the rugged snap lock connections.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 09:41 AM   #5
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Fred,

Many thanks for the advice. I really appreciate the tips on using the DXA-6. I'll be recording this tonight and will report back on the results!

Leigh
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Old November 5th, 2007, 01:08 PM   #6
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Thread resurection....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Hanlon View Post
Fred,

Many thanks for the advice. I really appreciate the tips on using the DXA-6. I'll be recording this tonight and will report back on the results!

Leigh
I will be in a similar position in a few months, but have the option of purchasing the equipment (Beachtek or otherwise) that would best suit that need ahead of time.

So what were the results of that taping (if you remember two years ago). :-)
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Old November 11th, 2007, 07:58 AM   #7
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Jason, in the dialog with Leigh back then I had underemphasized the fact that he could get stereo if he really wanted to. Whether Leigh responds or not,there are many options that will work fine, whatever it is that you want to do.

One of the first questions is what kind of feed you will get from a board. Will it be mono or stereo, and what type of connectors? Next is getting the signal to your camera position. If it's stereo that means two cable runs rather than one. At the camera end (although it can also be done at the board end) you have to be able to drop the signal level, and route the signal(s) to the channel(s) the way you want them.

In terms of logistics it's easier to record from the board into a separate recorder. The disadvantage with that approach is that you can't monitor the audio. If the input is overloaded, or the battery runs out, or you forget to push "record" (I've done this), you don't know until it's too late.

I mention all this because the real first question is do you want to outfit yourself as cheaply and simply as possible for a specific situation, or do you want a kit that will allow you to handle a variety of situations?
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