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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 22nd, 2007, 09:23 AM   #1
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wireless mic and the ATT manual vs auto

I was wondering what most people use when they are using the wireless setups.

I am finding that without the ATT on the XLR, you can hear every little scrape on the cloth etc where the mic is clipped on. Someone else mentioned they were having this problem as well.

So i've gone to keeping the ATT on. But that does bring down the sound quite a bit.

I've got it set on manual at the moment, not quite as loud as I'd like, but am in fear of pumping those levels too high in case the person suddenly gets loud. I'm thinking worse case scenario I can bring up the level slightly in the editor.I was wondering if that is the norm or do most go to auto in this situation.

I'm looking for a best practices method in this arena as I'm new to the wireless setup.

I've got the sony package. So far it has done a good job but you learn quickly how sensitive the mic is. But I am amazed at how far away the subject can be and it's still picking up very clearly.

I know this is audio related but I'm posting this here because the A1's audio setup is very specific in this area.

trish
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 08:16 AM   #2
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If you do not have time to manage manual audio levels with your type shooting, than auto gain (AGC) can be a big help if managed correctly.

When using AGC you probably will want to set things up to minimize the pumping of background noise levels. Remember that AGC tries to maintain an average sound level somewhere around -12 to -18 dB. If the sound level is lower, AGC will increase gain (until it runs out of gain) to bring the sound to that level. If the the mic pickup at the moment is limited to a lav mic rubbing against clothing and the groom's digestive noises, AGC will try to amplify those noises to normal level, not leave them around -35 dB or lower where they belong. (After all, it was designed to provide the audio to go with America's Funniest Home Videos.)

That means we should allow the AGC to run near full gain most of the time, even during desired program material. That way the background noise level will stay about constant and not pump up excessively. With many mics and wireless systems that have a fairly high output level this means using the ATT setting.

The trick is to set your gear levels (wireless system mic and receiver output levels) so the AGC can work to reduce gain during loud parts to avoid clipping and increase gain to adequately pick up desired softer parts of the program, while not amplifying noise excessively while desired program material is not present.

Some people address the manual gain dynamic range issue (if not doing stereo sound) by splitting the mic signal between the two channels and setting one at a higher gain (day 10-16 db) than the other. That way if one channel clips, the other will be at a good level.

Experiment with these options to find what works for you.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:18 PM   #3
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Thanks Don, for the info

I have the wireless going thru one at the moment - I will test the channel splitting option.

Trish
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:20 PM   #4
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I've been doing that for many years--using an XLR Y adapter. I set my tone on Channel 1 where it belongs and take Channel 2 down by about 5 db.
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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I'm just checking the manual now. Would I need a y splitter or can you just choose channel 1 + 2 for your input coming in from CH1? (page 48 of the manual)

I'm thinking Y splitter still as different settings for the CH2 would not be getting read if the signal is coming in from the CH1 anyway.

And Bill, basically you use your tone channel for the majority and if something spikes you edit in the safer signal from CH2?

Trish
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 02:34 PM   #6
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Yes, you need the Y adapter. Apparently some cameras have an internal one, but this one doesn't, and I've never used a camera with one but have been using Y adapters since Betacam days. I used to make my own audio cables, but you can buy them, and the Y adapter cables about as cheap from Markertek as you can make them yourself.

I record tone at -20 for both channels, but then for the lower channel I flip the tone on again and take it down about 5 db. I load both channels, and if I get something too loud on Ch.1, I just cut it out and use the Ch. 2 audio. It's a good thing to do when shooting interviews or other non-pro talent. Somebody might laugh loudly, for example, and you might want to use it, so it's always nice to have that lower channel.
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