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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old September 11th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #1
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So many channels, nothing good on

This may qualify for the idiot question of the week, but here it is:

I was at a shoot this last weekend. I had a Senn ME66 mike going into a shure mixer and then into the camera's ch 1. But I noticed on the side of the A1, right where the XLR connections are, that you can either record to channel 1 or both channel 1 and 2.

Not knowing the relevance, I took what I thought was the safe option (though in retrospect it may have been pretty dumb), and simply filmed takes both ways. Now that I'm reviewing my footage, I can't really hear much of a difference, and I can't tell which takes I filmed on just ch1 or ch1 and 2 by ear.

So does it matter if you record on both channels or only one? Is it situational which one you want to use? And how big did I screw up?

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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:40 PM   #2
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I'm going to make an educated guess that you didn't turn the XLR input on in the menu and was actually recording via on camera microphones the whole time.

IF you had it on and when you had only the Ch 1 in use with the switch, then you would only hear say the left channel... then would be coming through left and right if you had both in use.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #3
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The only way you can record to channel 1 and 2 at the same time with an external mic is to use an XLR Y-adapter. You can't record with the built-in camera mic at the same time as the external mic because the camera mic is stereo and eats up both channels. The above post about the menu setting is probably what you did, or did not do.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #4
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I actually did turn on XLR input. There was a little XLR icon on the LCD and everything. Wasn't a bad guess though, as my personal incompetence knows no bounds.

Since I didn't have an XLR-Y adapter (I don't even know what it is), is it safe to say then that recording to ch1 and channels 1 and 2 will produce the same result (i.e., a recording on ch 1 only)?
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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
The only way you can record to channel 1 and 2 at the same time with an external mic is to use an XLR Y-adapter. You can't record with the built-in camera mic at the same time as the external mic because the camera mic is stereo and eats up both channels. The above post about the menu setting is probably what you did, or did not do.
You can set Ch 1 input to go to both 1 & 2 creating a fake stereo sound I do believe...
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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Yin View Post
I actually did turn on XLR input. There was a little XLR icon on the LCD and everything. Wasn't a bad guess though, as my personal incompetence knows no bounds.

Since I didn't have an XLR-Y adapter (I don't even know what it is), is it safe to say then that recording to ch1 and channels 1 and 2 will produce the same result (i.e., a recording on ch 1 only)?
Well, you shouldn't get any sound out of the 2nd channel at all when switched to Ch.1 only....
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Old September 11th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Cloninger View Post
You can set Ch 1 input to go to both 1 & 2 creating a fake stereo sound I do believe...
Not so much for fake stereo, but feeding the same signal to two channels with different volume levels can save you from clipping if the signal level gets too high.

Example: Set channel 1 to a solid level, then set channel 2 to a lesser volume. Should channel 1 clip, you have channel 2 unclipped to save your bacon in post.

-gb-
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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #8
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Not so much for fake stereo, but feeding the same signal to two channels with different volume levels can save you from clipping if the signal level gets too high.

Example: Set channel 1 to a solid level, then set channel 2 to a lesser volume. Should channel 1 clip, you have channel 2 unclipped to save your bacon in post.

-gb-
Now THAT is an excellent idea! I'll remember that when I use XLR again... though it is rare that I do.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #9
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I thought you couldn't do that, record to both channels simultaneously without a y-adapter.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #10
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Yeah I would assume you'd need to actually feed information into both XLRs physically wouldn't you? (as Bill mentions)

usually the NLE will put down a L and R audio even if you recorded one mono channel as it sounds like you did here.

Haven't tried this yet - but is it common practice to have a wireless setup coming into one XLR and a shotgun going into the second?

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Old September 11th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #11
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If you're shooting two different people, then using 2 mics is good, one into each channel. But if you're just shooting single interviews, you can use a Y-adapter to go into both channels and record one a few db lower to avoid peaks in case the guy yells. Some cameas will split this out automatically, like the XL2 and probably the XL H1, but my understanding of the XH A1 is that it does not, and some people were complaining about that a few months ago. It doesn't bother me because I've always used Y-adapters to do the same thing. However, now that the question is raised, I better check it out to see if the camera will, perhaps, do it for me.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #12
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Y-adapter is not necessary.

The front right audio switch controls whether XLR 1 goes to only channel 1 or to both channels 1 and 2

Push the switch forward and XLR 1 records on both channels 1 and 2.

Push the switch back and XLR 1 records only on channel 1 and XLR 2 is now live and records onto channel 2.

This is the typical setup for most of these type camcorders,

The situation with the XH-A1 that people have complained about is that you can't use the built in mic (or the 1/8" input) for one channel and an XLR input on the other channel. It's either one or both XLR inputs, or it's the built-in mic/1/8" input.

Last edited by Jack Walker; September 11th, 2007 at 06:49 PM.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #13
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Thanks for the answers guys. I don't look quite so stupid anymore either, since it looks like there were a couple different ways of doing this.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 07:48 PM   #14
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Just to clarify: From my experience, you can put a single microphone from ch 1 into both channels with the switch, but you can't control the levels independently.

You need the Y cable to set different levels on each channel.
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Old September 11th, 2007, 10:21 PM   #15
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Trish,
I have been shooting with the set-up you asked about.
It works well, just have to be very precise with the levels.


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