Audio: no switch between line level / mic level? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old September 9th, 2004, 08:36 PM   #16
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>>>1. Is balanced input necessary for line level input ?(I understand why it is for mics...but I've run long unbalanced line level cables to my cams before with no harm that I was aware of.

2. aren't most mixers capable of outputing mic level as well as line level?

3. is an inline line-to-mic reducer (adapter, transducer or transformer...whatever you sound geeks call it) a possibility? available?<<<

1. No not necessary, but ideal...and normal in a pro product.

2. yes / no

2a. its not always a mixer that is the concern here. At press coinferences you will encounter Mult boxes, at concerts they typically send you a line feed, etc.

3. yes, but the camera should handle this.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 08:39 PM   #17
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<< We refer to line in vs mic in in normal conversation, so I didn't say line level >>

Heh, that's because you're a working, professional videographer!

I'm a chump about these things most of the time, so I needed the exact clarification, even if it takes more words -- thanks for the insight.

So far I think this is probably the biggest *real* issue with the camera. In my opinion the oversight is directly related to the fact that this camera is coming from the consumer video division. It's marketed as "pro" and they really did do a lot of homework, and got most of the feature set just right... except for this!
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Old September 9th, 2004, 08:46 PM   #18
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Greg...thanks for the answers...I'm not trying to minimize this at all, but as an owner like yourself, I just want to make sure I'm not in a heap of trouble...I did a theatrical job a few years back and the sound guy asked whether I wanted line or mic level...I told him line and he looked surprised...I think he was used to having guys show up with an optura, a miniplug and a sheepish grin...

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Old September 9th, 2004, 08:59 PM   #19
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Barry,
In most cases its not a big deal, the problem is the rca cable becomes a big "antenna" that introduces interefence into the line, therefore balanced xlr lines are much preferd.

Even my 3 year old PD150 has balanced xlr inputs.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 09:42 PM   #20
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I suppose one could easily work around this issue with a Beachtek or Studio One balanced XLR to RCA adapter block.
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Old September 9th, 2004, 09:44 PM   #21
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Woah Chris, please tell me you didn't say that ;)

Definately something that shouldn't have to be done in a camera of this "apparent" class.

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Old September 10th, 2004, 01:48 AM   #22
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There seems to be some confusion about audio signals. The point is this:

1) The RCA's are unbalanced line input as many have said.

2) Apparently what is missing are balanced line input with the XLR's.

Now, what is the difference between balanced and unbalanced inputs? Answer, balanced inputs are about pro-audio and they minimize disturbance with long cables. (The RCA cables disturb the audiosignal, if they are too long.)

So, basically unbalanced line input is ok in many cases, but if one is really serious about the audio, then you would definitely appreciate balanced XLR's.

Say, if there is another guy to control audio in addition to the cameraman, then balanced line input becomes practically a necessity, for otherwise the two guys are stucken to each other.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 04:21 AM   #23
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Just to be clear about this issue (sorry I know very little about sound so it takes me a while to get it), if my soundman uses a shotgun mic for dialogues with XLR output and feeds it directly to the XLRs in of the XL2, this won't affect me right?

Or if the soundman has a mixer with both balanced XLR line/mic outputs, I guess I should be fine too? Or am I not getting it again?

Just want to make sure, this is something I'm glad to know in advance so I can speak to him about it. Maybe he has a mixer with mic out or can provide one when it's time to shoot.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 04:56 AM   #24
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You will probably be OK, but whether it will affect you is hard to tell. A line level signal would be less susceptible to small amounts of noise.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 06:26 AM   #25
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Lach : Just to be clear about this issue (sorry I know very little about sound so it takes me a while to get it), if my soundman uses a shotgun mic for dialogues with XLR output and feeds it directly to the XLRs in of the XL2, this won't affect me right? >>>

The answer is yes and no. Yes, in principle you can do things this way, but in practice the answer is no, for your soundman has not access to the level adjustment which is on the camera.

Having a soundman and an external mic preamplifier, the very idea is that the (line) input level of the camera is adjusted such that the audio level display on the camera and on the preamplifier show the same input level. Then the audio level can be fully controlled with the preamplifier.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 08:18 AM   #26
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I believe Canon only included the XLR mic level inputs so that the camera could find work in ENG environments where the reporter would plug an XLR mic into the camera. I don't believe they intended for the camera to take a L/R line level feed from a mixer. In a film environment, the audio is likely going to recorded separately anyway so the camera essentially needs no sound input.

If you need to take a mixer line feed, just run XLR right up to the camera and plug in an adapter. You'll still get the benefits of balanced audio/noise rejection cause your section of vulnerability would be very short.

I guess I don't see it as a major shortcoming. I did have a thought which just occurred while looking at my XL-1. It would be interesting to take a line level XLR feed and plug it into the MA-100. The MA-100 RCA outs go into the audio one connectors. Switch the audio one selector to audio one AND set the rec level to AUTO. Now, I know that the AUTO setting is meant to be an AGC for peak limiting but I wonder if it has the ability to pull down a hot line level signal. I will attempt to try out this theory.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:32 AM   #27
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This is really quite unbelievable, believe me. Euh... :-)

This is absolutly unbelievable, what a big mistake. I know here in Belgium a lot of XL1-owners modificated their MA-200, to be able to switch between mic/line. They turned their camera's in a professionale video-repair centre, and some custum made switches were added to the MA-200.

They were willing to spent some extra money, because it's so important when working with a separte sound-guy.

You would expect CANON to not make the same mistake twice. Well, they did. Actually, I'm to shocked to believe it's true.

Sadly, it is.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 10:41 AM   #28
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Same here, we almost always use the line in via the mixer. And nobody is going to go from XLR to RCA on a camera that has XLRs. I think it's simply an error that, hopefully, they'll correct. We do shoot double system sound sometimes, but probably more than half the time record to the camera, so camera audio stuff is important to me, and even on the DSR500 there is a difference between going in on mic level vs. line.
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Old September 10th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #29
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What do you guys think about this thing...available through equipment emporium (by the way...I love these guys...great service...lots of effort to educate the video world about audio...download their catalog...the first 20 pages is articles about various sound for video issues)

http://www.equipmentemporium.com


AT 8202 in-line pad ...................... $45.00
Switchable -10, -20, -30 dB attenuator.
XLR in/out. Use to adapt XLR line level output
to XLR mic level input; also used to reduce line
level outputs for use with headphone.

Barry
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Old September 10th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #30
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Eugene. Why would they have had to make a switch on the MA-200 to toggle between mic/line since that function is already in the menu? Also, the XL-1 with MA-200 works just fine as it is with a pro audio field mixer for ENG/EFP. I've done it many times with perfect audio. I've simply set the internal menu for mic 1 to ATT 20, set the levels from tone and that's it. The mic setting is too hot and line is to low for a field mixer. Also, line has never worked (don't know why) when I've tried to take a feed from a board. I've always gotten perfect audio from a field mixer or board by setting the internal audio menu for mic 1 to ATT 20.
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