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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old February 19th, 2003, 01:23 AM   #1
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ME66 and PREAMPS

I've been messing with mikes, including very quiet $1000 Neumans and my GL2. Here's what I discovered:

The mike preamps on the GL2 are so-so. Not bad, but not great. Certainly not as good as a decent audio board. The result is that with cheap mikes you have to crank the manual audio trim at least halfway up-- and you get mike preamp noise generated by the cheaper GL2 mike preamps.

This is not good if you want a pro end result.

Even with a GREAT mike, you still are bringing the camera mike levels up high enough that you get that audio snow. Still not good.

Solution? Use a mike preamp. You can then lower your camera audio gain enough to eliminate the noise (hiss) created by the camera audio amps.
If you can use an AC mixer to do this, fine. If you need a portable battery operated mixer-- I just bought a small 2 pound Samson Mixpad 4, which not only has phantom power, but plenty of gain, and good specs.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 01:41 AM   #2
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That's very interesting info, Neil.

I split your post into a separate thread. It's really a separate topic from the "ME-66 Enhancements" thread and deserves it's own discussion.
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Old February 19th, 2003, 06:53 PM   #3
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Now I can convince my girlfriend I need the MM-1!

Great! This gives me another excuse to buy the Sound Devices MM-1 that was mentioned in another post. I haven't really been able to justify it for the limiter function alone, but it's just such a cool gadget. :)
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Old February 19th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #4
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My MM-1 is an excellent preamp and I'm grateful that Jeff D. pointed it out to me.

But, if you want economy you might want to check out the Rolls PM50sOB that Brian Dickman noted in that other thread. It looks like it has similar characteristics to the MM-1. $65 takes it away.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 09:21 PM   #5
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Is this thing actually preamp

Are you sure this thing has gain? It kind of looks like the preamp only drives the headphones. The mike level knob kind of looks like it can just be used to reduce the level, like a Studio 1 or Beachtek. I'd be interested to know. Another cool gadget that's probably in my future sooner than the MM-1.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 09:35 PM   #6
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I've had one for about a year and the preamp has gain. In fact more than you can probably use, 66dB of gain. The dynamic range exceeds 120dB and frequency response is 10Hz to 50kHz. The preamp gain is a separate knob in the upper left corner. Don't confuse it with the headphone level or monitor gain. All in all, this is one of the finest (in terms of performance and quality of construction) pieces of audio gear I've ever owned.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 10:20 PM   #7
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Uhh, just to be sure here, are you talking about the MM-1 or the Rolls? I meant to ask if if the Rolls has gain, but looking at my post now I could see how my question wouldn't seem clear.
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Old February 21st, 2003, 10:30 PM   #8
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Jeff's referring to the MM-1. Clearly there's a difference between a $65 device and a $475 device. But the Rolls appears to fill the headphone-monitor + mic pass-thru bill for most folks needs.
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Old August 20th, 2003, 01:02 AM   #9
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Rolls

Obviously from looking at the product description, the Rolls is a THROUGH device for a mike input, and does not act, nor is intended to act as a pre-amp-- just read the description.

In this sense, it would only function like the Beachtechs or Studio 1 mixers. It also does not provide phantom power.

For this- pre-amp plus phantom- you need something like the Samson Mixpad 4. This was the least expensive QUALITY solution to cover both of those features I could find.

I looked at the MM-1, and it looks very nice- however

The Samson Mixpad 4 does as much, and much more for half the cost, having 4 channels of input, 2 phantom XLRs and 3 band EQ and other features inputs and outputs and runs on 3 9V batteries, rechargable ones at that. Its a little bigger 9" X 6" the size of a book, book comes with a nice shoulder strap. The specs are thoroughly first class as well.

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Old November 2nd, 2003, 06:55 PM   #10
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Neil, I must say after getting a MixPad this weekend I'm suprised at your assessment of it for DV work. Although it does have good features and may be fine for a live act, I found that the hiss level was just too much to take for DV or computer work.

I plugged an MXL-603s small diaphram condenser and NRG SA-568 shotgun into it (both low impedence) and plugged the Mixpad into a Canon GL-1. Even with the channel and main gains turned all the way down there was very audible hiss coming from the Mixpad. Plugging the mics straight into the GL-1 was fine, even quieter than using the onboard mic (as is to be expected).

I know that any mixer will add some level of hiss, but do you find the hiss level of your Mixpad to be acceptable? Maybe I got a bad one?

I also didn't like the fact that there wasn't a separate level control for the headphone output, so you have to turn up the channel gains more to hear any appreciable level from the headphones for monitoring, which also increased the hiss level above that of the MixPad itself even when turning down the master level to compensate.


BTW, I loved your boom pole idea on your website, I made a similar one and it has been very handy, thanks for the idea!
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