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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 November 15th, 2009, 04:42 PM   #1
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Audio from sound board and mic at same time

I have a XH-A1 and if the mic/line switch is set to line I cannot plug in a mic is what I understand? What are my options if I wish to get audio from the sound board and want to plug in a mic?

Thanks,
Jon
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Old November 15th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #2
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Jon, mic levels are somewhere in the range 40-60Db lower than line levels, get a small pre-amp with XLR line output to raise the mic level into the cams XLR line level input.

Or add a small outboard adaptor/mixer which has mic and line inputs. Feed the mic and the soundboard into it and it feeds its output to the A1.

What mic are you using? Cheers.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:31 PM   #3
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There is a cheaper way to drop the line level to mic level and you can get the bits at your local electronic parts store. You know... the one in a strip mall somewhere.

You'll need two things; an impedance changer and a pad to drop the level. B&H have variable level in-line pads with XLR connections at both ends for cheap. If this is all you want to do, this is an option. If you want more than two inputs, you should look into a mixer.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #4
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Let me get this straight, you don't have separate mic/line switches for each channel? Oh Canon, Canon, Canon... I think you should set the switch to mic and buy an attenuator barrel for the line level feed. Put it at the camera end so you have the benefit of running a line level signal from the board (it's safer).

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Old November 18th, 2009, 08:03 AM   #5
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Marco... The attenuator is not enough. You have to change the impedance too or you'll get manky audio.

Putting both pieces near the camera makes sense, just don't plug the barrel attenuator directly into the camera. Having them stick out four inches or more makes them susceptible to damaging the camera if contact is made with it.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 11:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
There is a cheaper way to drop the line level to mic level and you can get the bits at your local electronic parts store. You know... the one in a strip mall somewhere.

You'll need two things; an impedance changer and a pad to drop the level. B&H have variable level in-line pads with XLR connections at both ends for cheap. If this is all you want to do, this is an option. If you want more than two inputs, you should look into a mixer.
I've had my XH A1 for some time now and have always used my Mixpre with it ( mic in, line out only) I've used pads when taking in a line signal into the mixer and then of course set the camera to line level. Works just fine.

In the interest of trying to lighten the load for a lot of handheld work recently, I eliminated the mixer and went straight from a mic into the cam, also set to mic level. I was stunned at how much noisier the signal was. I expected it to be a little noisier but this was significant. Never bothered to do a test to try and filter it out in post.

Do those of you who have shot with both line and mic levels have the same result? I'm wondering if I should send my camera in for servicing but perhaps Canon just really cheaped out on the mic pre amps.

If they did cheap out and there is "nothing wrong" with my camera, you may want to think twice about Tripps suggestion. While it is good advice in general, it may not be for the XH A1
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Old November 18th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #7
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Tripp,
Yeah the barrel on the camera is a bit of a liability. You should always make a loop and tape it to the tripod itself or the handle or something. In any case, I'm pretty sure the attenuator alone will work fine. What more are you suggesting needs to be done to prevent an impedance mismatch?
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Old November 19th, 2009, 01:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
Let me get this straight, you don't have separate mic/line switches for each channel?
You do on the current models, XH A1S and G1S, which have replaced the XH A1 and G1.
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Old November 20th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
Putting both pieces near the camera makes sense, just don't plug the barrel attenuator directly into the camera. Having them stick out four inches or more makes them susceptible to damaging the camera if contact is made with it.
I agree and most consumer type soundboards I've seen have stereo phone plugs feeding their output so you'd need another connecting plug as well. Too many in circuit to have hanging off the camera for me.

I'd use a mixer which should give another level of attenuation. Cheers.
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 06:14 PM   #10
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This may be a solution for you.

XLR-Mix Pro A portable XLR Mixer and XLR Adapter
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