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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 May 28th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #16
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I've only used line in with the Sennheiser MKH60. I normally use the wireless when I'm by myself and no mixer, but the mic used isn't relevant as long as there's an XLR out to go into the mixer. The mixer's master control is set so tone is at zero, the camera's gain so tone reads -20. Depending on the mic and position, the soundman then may crank the mixer up or down as needed; you don't touch the camera gain after the camera and mixer are calibrated together, which is what the tone's for.

So I don't see the problem people are having, although I'm sure it's there for some, otherwise there wouldn't be complaints. When I get the tone to -20, there's still plenty of room on the camera's gain. As I said before it's around 2/3 open, very close to the line in gain used in the DSR500. I don't have it here to check exactly where it is, it could between 2/3 and 3/4, but there's still plenty of room, and it doesn't introduce any noise that I can hear in the headphones.
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 02:07 PM   #17
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It shouldn't make any difference which mixer is used, since 0dBu is 0dBu and +4 is +4 regardless. I have been told by Canon that the camera CAN meet AES/EBU specifications, so mine must be faulty.

To clarify, Bill, if I feed the camera with 0dBu, inputs at line level, gain to manual, then with the pots turned right the way up I get about -24dBFS: no good (though it might be *just* about OK in the States - isn't your lineup +4dBu=-20dBFS?). I could of course increase the output of my mixer, but that would be really inconvenient as I record sound on a whole variety of cameras, all of which are perfectly happy with the standard 0dBu input.

If yours is working OK, then that's more evidence that mine requires a trip to the menders. Will take it in to Canon HQ next week and see what they say...
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Old June 2nd, 2007, 06:12 PM   #18
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I would say there may be a problem with yours. My tone comes out of the mixer at zero on the mixer's master control, which is where it's supposed to be. My line in gain on the camera is beyond half way, at about 2/3 to get me a -20db, as it should be. No need to crank the mixer at all. If you have your camera pots cranked all the way open and are getting only a -24db, then I'd say that's a problem. Have you double checked the mixer with another camera or something to make sure it's outputting as it should?
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 07:18 AM   #19
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Yep - my professional work is as a sound recordist, so I use the mixer all the time for tv and features. Never had any problem with any other video camera or audio recorder, from dodgy prosumer to shiny high end, so I'm 99% sure that it's the camera that's the issue.

I'd decided to take it in for repair anyway, but Raymond's post caught my attention - I suddenly wondered whether it was another 'feature' of the camera, like the wobbly mic! Meanwhile, I've been getting adequate audio using mic level, but it would be nice to do it the 'right' way, especially since that would mirror my working practices elsewhere.

Will report back when I get chance to pay Canon a visit...

Last edited by Andrew Rowe; June 3rd, 2007 at 07:23 AM. Reason: Mistook the originator of the 'cold line level' quote
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 01:15 PM   #20
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SD302 / Senn G2...

I'm yet another user of both the Senn G2 set-up and the SD302. The audio has been a pain, but I now have a workable solution... Here's a thread over on dv.com that concerns the SD302 with the A1.
Using the G2 wireless, where possible I like to put it through the SD302 as it gives me more control over level, and allows me to run things hotter as the 302's limiters can catch the transients..
At a shoot last week, running non-wireless, I ended up trimming down the 302's outputs by 12dB, and running those into the A1's inputs set at Mic + Att at about 50% ch gain with tone from the 302 registering at -20dB. this set-up worked well with voice peaks at around -10dB, so I guess I could have upped the levels a tad more from the 302...
There's no way to get the Line out from the 302 registering corectly on the A1's meters (-20dB) even with the gain fully up. The Canon's specs seem to bear this out too..
Rgds, Ross.
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Old June 3rd, 2007, 05:19 PM   #21
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That's interesting. As I've said earlier in the thread, I use the Shure FP33 and have no problem with line in gain getting to -20 and still have plenty of gain in the camera left to play with. I wonder if different mixers output tone that's been zeroed at a different level...or if there is a difference between individual Canon cameras.

I shoot all my corporate stuff with a DSR500, and its line in from the same mixer pretty much matches the Canon.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #22
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To pick up where I left off, I did take my camera in to Canon HQ (UK), where it stayed for a couple of weeks, and the definitive verdict?

My XHA1 is in good order - they're built this way! Personally, I find this quite a shocking result. If Sony and Panasonic can make cameras with proper line level audio inputs (and have done for decades), what's ailing Canon? My limited experience of working with other people's XL1's was that the sound side of things was badly worked out, but, come on, it's not that complicated is it? (Is it?!)

So, there you go: if you're looking to achieve broadcast levels and put proper line up tone on the front of your rushes using an XHA1 when feeding it from a professional mixer (SQN, Sound Devices etc, if not the Shure), stick to mic level input. Or whack the camera's gain up full, and hope the editor (or assistant editor) is sloppy enough not to notice. Seriously, a few deciBels might not seem like a big deal, but 0dBu=-18/-20dBFS is such a set-in-stone standard, that delivering anything else would raise real questions about professionalism. But OK, Ok, fair enough, Canon never claimed this was anything other than a consumer camcorder - why should it be 'broadcast quality'...? Disappointing though.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 07:17 PM   #23
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Bill, regarding the FP33, do you have the mixer's master gain at unity (i.e. zero), when you line up? I think the tone can be adjusted on your mixer up to +15dBu, in which case (for example) you are calibrating the mixer/camera pair at +15dBu=-20dBu - which is unusual, but may be a perfectly satisfactory way of circumventing the problem. This isn't possible on a Sound Devices mixer, on which the output is standard analogue line level (0dBu), unless attenuated.
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Old October 29th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #24
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The tone's always set at zero, and the XH A1 comes in about the same as the DSR500--about 2/3 of the way open for a -20, line in.
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Old October 30th, 2007, 02:02 AM   #25
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I use XH-A1 with SD302. When I first tested them together I used both -20dB and full scale tones and noticed that using line level inputs I have to turn the pots all the way to full level. Or actually just a feather away from the full position to make the last segment to light with full scale tone, so little that I do not bother and just twist them to full (SD302 limiters take care ot thet extra 1 or 2 dB).

Audio has been fine with these settings.
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