is there a trick to getting the audio level dials to have any effect? at DVinfo.net

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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 August 11th, 2008, 04:21 PM   #1
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is there a trick to getting the audio level dials to have any effect?

On my wife's XH A1 camera the audio level dials don't seem to have any effect, no matter what I do (with the audio A/M switch set to M). The camera does record sound, through all mic sources (built-in, external 3.5mm, XLR), but we can't control the level. While fiddling with the dials to watch for an effect on the on-screen audio level meters I've tried:

* input through built-in mic
* input through a mic connected to the 3.5mm input
* input through the XLR from a wireless setup (with camera settings turned to XLR)
* put the mics in front of a radio
* set the wireless receiver to generate a 1kHz test tone

Under all of these conditions, I see no effect of the audio level dials on the on-screen audio level bar meters. I do see an effect of the appropriate ATT switches, and the camera setting XLR gain up. I've also tried changing the level of the test tone generated by the wireless receiver from -50db to +6db. The audio level meters don't budge while I do that. It seems like the A/M switch is not working and the camera is all the time in Auto level mode. Or am I missing some other setting I need to make? Anyone seen this before?

The camera is currently in for service (replace broken headphone jack) and I asked them to check the audio level dials, but if anyone else has useful suggestions or tips, please reply!

thanks

Tony Plate

PS: I've searched elsewhere on this forum for similar questions, but didn't find anything relevant -- this is not a problem with the dials being the wrong way round from what I was expecting, or not knowing about the XLR input setting, or the audio A/M switch -- it's that I can't figure out how to get manual control of audio levels at all.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 08:29 AM   #2
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I recently purchased an A1 and noticed the same thing.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 08:37 AM   #3
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Are you using the "green box" setting? That is FULL automatic, meaning no control.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #4
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Are you in EASY RECORDING mode?

Can't find it specifically mentioned in the manual, but in the EASY RECORDING mode you lose the option of manual override on the audio as well as all of the video settings. Just tried it to confirm.

EDIT: Sorry Shaun, didn't see your post cos I stopped to try it out on my camera.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #5
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Yes, we have been using the "green box" setting on the large circular (power) dial. Is the auto/manual audio level switch disabled in this setting? I can't find anything in the manual that says this setting disables manual control of sound levels -- the manual only says that the AE settings control video. However, if this is it, great, this is what we needed to know, and we'll try it out as soon as we get the camera back.

Can anyone confirm that the "green box" setting does disable manual control of sound levels? (i.e, makes the audio ch1/ch2 dials inoperative even when the audio level switch is set to manual).

thanks!

Tony Plate
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:09 AM   #6
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Colin, thanks for confirming! -- saw your message after posting my reply.

-- Tony Plate
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:29 AM   #7
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The solution is to shoot manual.

When you do you'll notice another of the camera's quirks. One decreases volume by turing the dials "up" and increases the volume by turing them "down" which is opposite the normal order of things and it takes some getting used to.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:30 AM   #8
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That information SHOULD be in the NTSC English manual on p49 or 52 (PAL p45 or 48), but it isn't. So now we know. The manuals are pretty good generally though.

Come to think of it, I have never used the Easy Recording mode and I suspect that goes for most people.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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The green box mode is auto everything, so it's logical to assume audio is included in that.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pryor View Post
The green box mode is auto everything, so it's logical to assume audio is included in that.
That's true. But Canon does take the trouble to point out all the other settings that can't be changed in Easy recording mode, so it would be consistent to mention the audio as well. We have at least 2 people who could have used the information, after all. I had to check it be sure.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #11
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If you like the Green Box mode but prefer manual audio level control, switch to the "A" mode (program autoexposure). It won't lock you out of various manual settings.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:41 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone, esp to Shaun for the first answer. Sounds like setting the power dial to any other than the "easy mode" is the trick. Manual is not helpful for this -- in it's intro to the power dial it says "Programmed auto exposure modes provide advanced automated recording techniques ensuring professional results in various shooting conditions." Which doesn't say anything about sound, and sound functions are not listed in the detailed table of "Availability of functions in each recording program", so I didn't think the power dial had anything to do with sound. Now I know better, thanks! I'll be trying it as soon as I get the camera back from service.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 02:03 PM   #13
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Got my camera back, and audio level controls work as expected when when the power dial is NOT on the "green box all auto" setting. The audio level controls work on the "A" setting.
Thanks for the tips!
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