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


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Old April 12th, 2003, 03:39 AM   #1
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Is a preamp totally necessary?

I've searched the site quite a bit for info on this subject, but have been unable to determine definitively the answer to this question:

Is a pre-amp absolutely necessary to get proper results with the ME-66/K6 microphone?

I really don't want to have lay out more cash for a piece of hardware that is NOT 100% necessary. Will I get good results without the amp? If so, then what conditions would make the amp necessary?

Any clarification on this would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old April 12th, 2003, 04:27 AM   #2
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>Is a pre-amp absolutely necessary to get proper results with the ME-66/K6 microphone?<

The pre-amp is built in the cam. An XLR adaptor is basically that, but with audio controls. But I could be wrong about this. I don't know much about audio (nor "hostess trays").
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Old April 12th, 2003, 07:00 AM   #3
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In the case of the GL1, for normal uses, a preamp is not required. You will need some form of XLR adapter. The Studio One and Beachtek are popular models, there are others as well.

If you have sufficient level to use the MIC ATT setting of the camcorder, you will have a lower noise floor.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 01:10 PM   #4
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hi frank, don, and noka!

i don't have much dv exp... newbie alert!! ... but i know audio so i thought i would drop in on this thread with a thought.
an xlr adapter is not automatically a microphone preamp...
i don't know much about the xl1: i have a gl1. i doubt the gl1 has mic pres, i think it just has it's built in mic and a line level input. if you were to use this line level input, you would need an external mic pre inbetween the mic and the input to get good sound. (if someone has real world exp. here and can school me otherwise... please do!) my gut tells me that the xl1 has some mic pres built in since it has true xlr inputs right on the camera, but i would bet money that even a low end mic pre like the ones on the little beringher mixers would blow them away for sound quality.

martino

p.s. i could be totally off, since my exp. comes from the audio world, and not with video gear.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 02:45 PM   #5
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No takers on "hostess trays," eh?
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Old April 13th, 2003, 02:59 PM   #6
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Okay Okay ... already! What's with the Hostess Trolley??

I've taken - explain!! NOW!
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Old April 13th, 2003, 03:11 PM   #7
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You'll get better quality audio bypassing the cameras built in preamp. It can be combined with XLR adapter and phantom power. Sound Devices makes several items that would fit the bill.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 03:25 PM   #8
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In the movie industry a hostess tray is a cam stabilizer that sits/mounts to the car window, so that the cam can capture the driver and/or passenger while driving---or pretend that the car is in motion.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 04:51 PM   #9
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Coffee anyone?

RiGHT! - Got it!
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Old April 13th, 2003, 07:59 PM   #10
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Ryan.
The GL1 includes mic preamps, and 600 ohm input at the 1/8" stereo mini-phone jack. Input sensitivity is nominally around -55 dBV at the MIC setting or -35 dBV at the MIC ATT setting. It is unbalanced. If you plug into this jack, the internal mic is cut out and what ever is connected to the plug becomes the source for the preamps.

The XL1 does not have built-in XLR adapter, it has unbalanced 600 ohm inputs for mic level, or 10k ohm inputs for consumer line level (-11 dBV). The MA-100 (or MA-200) provides an XLR balanced-to-unbalanced adapter with about 6 dB of gain.
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Old April 13th, 2003, 08:32 PM   #11
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So this would explain why my Azden (don't know model, but has own pwr) does not pick up anything unless you just about stick it in your mouth and yell (on a GL2 w/ MA-300).

Right?
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Old April 13th, 2003, 09:29 PM   #12
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<<<<i would bet money that even a low end mic pre like the ones on the little beringher mixers would blow them away for sound quality.

martino>>>>


I totally agree with Ryan's

I've seen lots of posts here talking about how to get better sound w/ built-in micpre or XLR adapter. you can NOT get better sound without proper equipment and the knowledge of sound recording. I've seen so many people here have high-end microphone. connecting good microphone directly to your camcorder via built-in XLR or XLR adapter could be better than built-in mic obviously, however they do not match (like Schopes and portable MD recorder). you need to have proper recording equipment to work with those good microphones.

if sound is very important to your project, hire a good field recording engineer or get a decent mic preamp for your microphone (of course good mic and recorder as well). none of built-in micpre meets professional spec. In my opinion, built-in sound engine of high-end camcorder is not even ok. It might be enough for broadcasting, but definitely not for films or music video.

You can also use most of PA or recording mixer as mic preamp. like Ryan said, it would blow them away for sound quality.

best,
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Old April 14th, 2003, 05:05 AM   #13
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Aaron - Some of the Azden models have a relatively high output impedance and would not be a good match for the GL1.

During capture, you will have to go thorugh the GL1 preamps. MIC ATT setting gives the better noise floor. So if you do not get sufficient record level from you mic at MIC ATT setting, a quality external preamp can help matters. The other issue with the GL1 is the possible effect of the GL1 AGC on the sound, which can interact with the higher output of an external preamp.
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Old April 14th, 2003, 03:32 PM   #14
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Ok guys, so if someone decided to get a good preamp, then wouldn't they also have to get an external recorder, otherwise they'll just have to go into the camera anyway and lose the benefit of the preamp? Or would just allowing them to work at a lower level of amplification in the camera help?


Cheers
Aaron
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Old April 14th, 2003, 04:35 PM   #15
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Using the lower level of amplification in the camcorder (GL1 at least) that you get with the MIC ATT setting can potentially improve the signal to noise ratio by on the order of 12 to 18 dB, provided of course that the extrnal sound source (mic, external preamp, etc) support that amount of improvement. Keep in mind that the noisiest component in the audio chain will probably determine the noise floor.

Do you need this improvement? - Depends on what you are recording. Never notice it if doing a man in a busy street interview, shooting from the stands at a ball game, etc. But it is a good thing to have if doing a serious concert with a polite audience.
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