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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 19th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #1
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Senn ew100 g2 with a1?

I am wondering if anyone has advice based on first hand experience of using the Sennheiser ew100G2 wireless set with the A1.

I have the 100 set and it seems to be pretty straightforward. I did find that I had to set the transmitter mic output down -12 to prevent overloading the mic inputs on the A1. With that it looks like I am good to go running the transmitter output at mic level into the A1 xlr via a Y cable with the channel levels set independently on manual.

I am just checking to see if there are any gotchas I should look out for before using the pair in the field.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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I have one, and a freind also has an XH A1 and the same wireless. Both have been working great. It's a good idea to RTFM before heading out with it and get the transmitter and receiver set up right.
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Old May 19th, 2007, 06:00 PM   #3
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I can confirm that it's working, do use the mic input not the line input on the Canon (signal coming from the G2 receiver). The line in is pretty 'cold' on the Canon. Sure you've better sound if you use another mic than the original.
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Old May 21st, 2007, 08:05 AM   #4
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The Sennheiser output is really hot. I knock the gain on the wireless receiver and xmitter down AND use the attenuator setting on the camera with it so the camera volume knob stays at the midpoint.

If your wireless is hot enough that you have to turn your camera input volume knob down past halfway for normal volume levels, it will be distorted, even if it's recorded at the right level. Before anything else, though, make sure the mic isn't peaking on the transmitter.

I like the Senns. There are so many settings on these wireless setups that some people have problems with them, but if you spend enough time with the manuals, you'll figure them out. With a decent mic, they sound pretty good and they have such a huge selection of frequencies that you can always find a clean one.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #5
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Line level

I'm interested by the comment that the line level on the XHA1 is "cold". I was just about to take mine in to be repaired for this exact reason. Feeding the line inputs with a standard reference from a mixer (0dBu), there isn't enough gain in the camera to get the levels up to -20dBFS (in Europe, for those who don't know, standard lineup is 0dBu=-18dBFS, or -20dB for Japanese cameras which never have a calibration mark at -18!). Consequently, anything shot for professional use on my A1 requires the audio inputs to be set to Mic Level. I wasn't too bothered by this, as I suspected that the Line switch just stuck an attenuator into the circuit anyway, as with PD150s (apparently). But Canon say this isn't the case, so there is an audio advantage to recording a line level input.

I've spoken to Canon Support (UK) about this, but as this is a consumer camcorder (albeit a high end consumer camcorder), the support staff don't really know what they're talking about, eventually pass it on to someone higher, who then eventually emails me a one line answer that completely misses the point of my original question (which boils down to 'Can it be fixed, or are they made this way?').
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Old May 26th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #6
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I'm not trying to be a naysayer here, and I'm sure that others who are having problems with line in are, indeed, having problems.

However, I finally just got around to checking it out on my XH A1. I normally record mic in because I'm usually doing interviews by myself. When there's a soundman on a boom, naturally we use a mixer so he can watch it, and if you're going to use a mixer, might as well use line in.

So I just checked it out and it works fine. I set tone on the Shure FP33 mixer, line out, line in on the camera. I get the tone right up to -20db with no problem. I checked with the mic into the mixer and got a good level there too. The camera's gain has to be cranked up higher than when using mic in, but it's at a very close position to what I use on the DSR500 when recording with the same mixer setup.

The FP33 is an old mixer but around here has sort of been considered a standard of the industry and is what most people are still using. It could be that some other brand mixers don't output as much or something? I zeroed the tone on the mixer as usual and set camera input to -20db, just like I do with any other camera.

So, my experience is that the XH A1 line input is fairly standard. I don't have any other mixers to check it out with.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #7
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The line in on the Canon is cold, freezing cold, much colder than anything else. The XH-A1 specs the on line input level is +8dBu. No normal mixer will generate that. Don't know why Canon is missing the boat 'big time' on this one, so you need to use the MIC in channel for line signal... and pad it down with the ATT on active.

Even so for the Sennheiser G2 set with standard lav mic. Seeking a setting with the lowest noise, comparing it with my AKG C 480B ULS / CK63 --> line out on Canon --> HQ Denon amp--> Sony 7506 headphone.

Sennheiser G2 set with Canon XH-A1
transmitter: 0db
reveiver: -18 db
Canon: mic channel in / phantom off/ ATT on
Gain setting in menu (+12db) off
Gain on wheel: 25%

If you think another setting is better (or your ears) please tell.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #8
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I don't know what the specs are. The FP33 tone comes in fine with gain turned up about 2/3, which is fine for line in, and is right at what the DSR500 is too with the same mixer. I won't hesitate to shoot line in with our mixer.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #9
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Great for you! I consider the FP33 absolute as a 'normal mixer', but saying that, the Canon has very low sensitivity in its line level. A modern mixer like the SD302 -connected to the Canon- needs to pump up to get a good level. Same with Wendt X3. It is like it is, Canon line in is Cold.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 11:47 AM   #10
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When you use your mixer and set your tone to -20, what happens? On the FP33 the tone is what it is--in other words, you set the master to zero, then the recording device, ie., the camera line in, to -20. Then both are calibrated together. My understanding is that you're saying you can't get enough gain out of the camera to make the tone hit -20 on the camera when it's at zero on the mixer? On my XH A1, I don't have a problem with that and it appears to be about the same line level gain as our other cameras.
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Old May 27th, 2007, 03:05 PM   #11
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I think you are calling Andrew here ;>).

But I need to turn full open to enter the -20 zone, with the Canon A1 (I use the -12db setting and make a note with that). As I understand though, with your Sony DSR500 you need to open up also almost full: http://www.sounddevices.com/tech/sony_chart.htm

The output from the Shure mixer is 0 VU = preset at a +4 dBm output level.
BTW: did you check your VU meters on the mixer? You can recalibrate each meter by an internal trim potentiometer. Why don't you check it with the oscillator tone from the Canon in return?
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Old May 27th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #12
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Neither camera opens up almost full. Both the Canon and Sony go about 2/3 open with line in to record the standard tone. That hasn't changed a bit since we've had the mixer and the DSR500. You mentioned -12...tone is recorded at -20 in the digital world, zero for the analog mixer. You zero the mixer's VU meter with the tone, which is always the same output.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 08:56 AM   #13
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Bill, do you have your audio ALC set for auto or manual? In manual I have found that my A1 requires an abnormally hot line-in level. In auto, it adds a fair bit of makeup gain. I can get my SD302 to generate a significantly strong signal but it's hotter than any pro audio gear that I've used.
-Dan
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Old May 28th, 2007, 09:26 AM   #14
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Audio is always on manual unless I'm just using a camera mounted mic for shooting traffice noise, etc.
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Old May 28th, 2007, 11:08 AM   #15
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Again, good to hear that you -Bill- have no problems with normal 'line in' level on the XH-A1. (You did calibrate your mixer didn't you?)
To stay on subject: I presume you use the Canon line in -direct connected- with the Sennheiser G2 set also? What are your numbers?
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