Line Level too soft, mic level too hot? at DVinfo.net

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


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Old April 15th, 2003, 06:30 PM   #1
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Line Level too soft, mic level too hot?

Hi everyone,
I'm an idiot. First of all, I really messed up an event I was shooting (I think I can save it, but we'll see...) Anyway, I was shooting an event with my GL-1 outfitted with a Beachtek adaptor mounted under the camera with a Sennheiser wireless EK100 plugged into the XLR. The sending unit was plugged directly into the sound board and was sending a wireless signal to the camera. As many of you know, the beachtek has a line/mic level switch. I figured 'hey, this is a line level' so I set the beachtek to 'line level' Well, since the GL-1 has no VU meters, I monitored the volume through headphones. I couldn't hear anything. I switched the beachtek to "Mic Level" and got audio. I then turned the beachteks mixer down so it didn't sound too hot.
I shot the whole event in mic level. When I went to check the footage afterward, the signal gain was way too hot. I guess I should have shot it in line level mode, but I couldn't hear a damn thing! The DB gain on the sending unit was set at -0, so that wasn't the problem. Please advise. I know you guys are way more experienced with this type of thing than I am. I have another event this weekend. What am I doing wrong? Should I just accept a weak line level and boost it in editing or should I just mic the house speaker and count on them for nothing?
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Old April 15th, 2003, 08:04 PM   #2
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There are VU meters available that can be used with the GL1. They monitor the headphone or line output. With a bit of skill and cunning they can be made to work OK.

Another approach is to turn turn up the level until it stops getting louder - at that point you are in full AGC mode. Then turn it down somewhat.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 10:57 AM   #3
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Thanks Don,
I have heard of these meters, but I have been totally unable to find one... Any ideas where I can look?
Also,
When you say turn up the level until it stops getting louder, then back off a bit, Do you mean at mic level or line level? As I understand, there isn't much of a difference other than gain. Also, what is "AGC mode"? It's sounds technical... I like it!
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Old April 16th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #4
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When you get it right, you may want to mark where the pot is set on your Sennheiser.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 04:16 PM   #5
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Kyle,
"AGC" = Automatic Gain Control, a feature that attempts to maintain sound levels at even levels.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 06:42 PM   #6
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Kyle, http://www.signvideo.com/vu150_audio-meter.htm has an external VU meter. I've never used one so can't comment on it one way or another.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 07:15 PM   #7
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Beachtek and Studio-One have offered VU meters too. Not sure if they still do.

MIC or LINE setting? Depends on your specific gear and the source material. Use the setting that works best for you.
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Old April 16th, 2003, 07:45 PM   #8
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Don, Signvideo seems to offer the same products that Studio-One used to have. Don't know exactly what's going on there, but there seems to be some sort of link.
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Old April 17th, 2003, 05:53 AM   #9
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Was Signvideo the OEM for Studio One? Or a former partner? They both claim roots to 1993, and the new Studio One has a somewhat differnt product line compared to a couple years ago, while thd Signvideo appears closer to the old StudioOne product line.

At one time (several years ago) I beleive that Studio One was in PA, and they moved to FL.

This looks a lot like a business partnership that has recently split.
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Old April 25th, 2003, 06:18 PM   #10
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SignVideo used to make the adapters that Studio1 sold. Now Studio1 do their own.

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Old April 25th, 2003, 10:43 PM   #11
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Kyle, would it be possible to get to the event extra early and run the feed off the mixer directly to the field mixer and run through some settings to narrow down the problem.

Or possibly try and pull a different feed off the mixer. If you pulled a line level and had problems then talk with the audio guy about pulling a mic level this time and see how that sounds before the event.

I would definitely make some kind of major change in order to lose the clipping.

Have a good shoot.

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