Audio: no switch between line level / mic level? - Page 5 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 December 18th, 2004, 04:42 PM   #61
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I know.. I just needed to let off a little steam.

I felt like when you are on the set in the middle of nowhere, everything and everybody is ready and then somebody says:

"Who? Me? I thought you were bringing the tapes?"

Cheers, Peter

PS: The workaround would be a Beachtek again, right? Or was something else conjured up in the meantime?
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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:03 PM   #62
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Well, you could use the mic output of your mixer. Of course, then you're not using the line input of the camera, which might give a little cleaner sound. It seems to me that not having line input for the XLRs is a big mistake that nobody is willing to admit. There' s no logical reason for not doing it. However, if you really want the camera, I don't think it would be a deal-killer.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:15 PM   #63
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I had the Shure FP 24 or something similiar in mind, but this mixer seems to have line level output only. Do you know a mixer you could recommend to me? It's my first day looking for mixers.. ;-)

Cheers, Peter
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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:26 PM   #64
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I've got the Shure FP33 and it has both line/mic level out, as do most mixers I've used. Check B&H or Markertek.
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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:32 PM   #65
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Sorry I was posting a little too fast, I had the BH site open when I typed this.

One final question. Since I already bought a beachtek for my XL1 years ago.. what would be better going from the mixer line level via RCA unbalanced and the beachtek or from the mixer mic level into the XL2's xlr inputs?

A mixer does have a preamplifier, right? Which might be better than the one in the XL2?

Sorry... TWO final questions ;-)
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Old December 18th, 2004, 05:35 PM   #66
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It depends on the camera. My understanding is that by going through the mic inputs of the camera, you would be using its preamp, which would not be as good quality as going line in and using the mixer's preamp. I could be wrong, and there may not be all that much difference; however, sound guys have always wanted me to go line in on whatever camcorder I'm using.
You may want to also check out Sound Devices:

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/302master.htm

They make some mixers that are considered by some people I've worked with to be comparable to the Shure, maybe better. They're even smaller, and maybe just a little cheaper.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 03:59 AM   #67
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Owkey,

Here's what I do:

We all know that the XLR's on the XL2 are ONLY mic-level. So if I want to get the audio from my mixer (wich is a line-signal) to my XL2, I have to send it to the RCA connectors.
The mixer and camera are connected by an XLR cable but I attached an XLR to RCA cable at the camera, so I can connect the XLR cable comming from my mixer to the RCA's from the XL2.

Only there is one problem: This is only one mono XLR cable, so I only send audio to the "CH1-RCA"
At the audio controls you can switch from CH1 to CH1-CH2 when your using "rear" = the XLR-connectors. You can not do that when usig RCA-input. So the audio is only on CH1 or the left channel. You can ofcorse get that audio on both channels in postproduction, but thats a lot of work.

So what I'm gonna do: I ordered an Line to mic adapter to attache between my mixer an the XLR cable gooing to the camera.

So this way I can send an MIC level-signal to the rear XLR-connectors.

Conclusion: The XL2 schould've had a Line/mic switch.
Extra costs for us! :s

But all in all: this is an awesome cam!

Greets Tim
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Old December 29th, 2004, 09:59 AM   #68
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The only thing I know to do is spend the extra money for a mixer that outputs both line and mic. I still think this is a major screwup in this camera's design.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #69
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<<<-- Originally posted by Barry Goyette : Ok...so canon made a big screw-up. As a non-sound aficianado...I guess I want to know how big is it....

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.
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A balanced audio signal is designed to reduce contamination, or noise that might be picked up in a long cable runs. Dynamic microphones produce really low signal levels. Condenser mics have stronger signals due to their battery or phantom power. Still, an unbalanced cable run as low as 10 feet COULD pick up enough stray electrical noise from AC, radio waves, cell phones, and whatever else happenes to be in the air to significantly contaminate the signal. In a balanced system, the audio signal is split between two wires in a three-wire cable, and the phasing of one of the signals is inverted 180 degrees. At mixer or camera connection, the out-of-phase signal is inverted back in-phase with the untouched signal. Any noise that has been collected is inverted as well. The result is the picked up noise is effectively cancelled, and the original audio signal is passed on for processing. Additionally, the third wire in the cable completely surrounds the signal carrying cables in a wire or foil wrap. This "shield" further blocks any miscellaneous radio frequency from invading the signal carrying wires.

Balanced audio signals are usually very low impedance, 600 ohms or less, but they don't have to be.

An unbalanced audio may or may not have the shielding metal wrap. Unbalanced lines carry much stronger signal levels, and much greater resistance. They are best used for short cable runs.
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2. aren't most mixers capable of outputing mic level as well as line level?

Yes, most mixers are capable of outoutting both balanced and unbalanced signals. Those that have XLR connection for output usually do, but it is always good to check the specs. The better mixers have a switch for selecting low or high impedance on the XLR connection. Mixers that use 1/4" connections could also be used for balanced signals, but generally are not.
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3. is an inline line-to-mic reducer (adapter, transducer or transformer...whatever you sound geeks call it) a possibility? available?

Yes, in line reducer/attenuaters are very common. The most popular are XLR to 1/4", but they can be any combination. What is important is a small internal transformer that, depending upon the direction of the signal travel, is a fixed step-down or step-up in impedence. Another approach is a direct box. These come in all kinds of configurations. Some are passive, some are battery powered. The common goal is to reduce an incoming signal to a low impedance balanced output. The one I use is made by Pro-Co. On the IN side are 1/4", 1/8" Mini-plug, and RCA connections, as well as a sensitivity switch for instrument, line, and speaker. On the OUT side is XLR, 1/4", and a ground lift switch, in case the source of contamination is coming from earth ground. Visit your local professional music store an take a look at what they have to offer.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 09:58 PM   #70
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To solve this problem is simple - just grab a PSC (Professional Sound Co-operation) LINE to MIC PAD ... plug the rods into the Canon XL2 mic XLR input, and your LINE IN XLR cable into the rods. Presto - it is done. No need to wait for Canon's XL2 version 2 :-). And you have best of both worlds - mic level sensitivity for XLR and LINE IN if you needed it - all via XLR input.

TS
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 10:25 AM   #71
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<<<-- Originally posted by TingSern Wong : To solve this problem is simple - just grab a PSC (Professional Sound Co-operation) LINE to MIC PAD ... plug the rods into the Canon XL2 mic XLR input, and your LINE IN XLR cable into the rods. Presto - it is done. No need to wait for Canon's XL2 version 2 :-). And you have best of both worlds - mic level sensitivity for XLR and LINE IN if you needed it - all via XLR input.

TS -->>>

Definitely another approach. One of these will take the guesswork out of the equation. Only about $30US at B&H. You will need one for each input.

Indeed, it would be well worth the time to browse through the "adapters, cables, and cable accessories" section of your favorite electronic dealer's catalog or website. Lots of neat and reasonably priced toys/problem solvers.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 10:26 AM   #72
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But you're still using the camera's preamp, which defeats the purpose of line level in.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 12:55 PM   #73
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bill Pryor : But you're still using the camera's preamp, which defeats the purpose of line level in. -->>>

What? Any incoming signal, whether it be hi-Zor L-Z will be affected by the camera's pre-amp. I believe that to be is a non-issue. I have been referring to devices that step an incoming Hi-Z signal down to a Lo-Z signal, which then allow the camera's audio system to function as designed.

Can you clarify what you mean?
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 04:55 PM   #74
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If the issue is noise, most field recording venues will have higher noise floors than the XL1 mic preamps.

However, for those critical situations where one needs the best S/N and does not want to lug about a separate, dedicated sound recorder pad the line input signal down to around -35 dBV, and use the MIC ATT setting. This reduces the gain of the front end preamp (which generally sets noise level) and will net a significantly better noise floor than using full MIC sensitivity setting.
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Old January 2nd, 2005, 11:28 PM   #75
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Too bad Canon won't make the now defunct 'film grain' switch into an XLR line/mic level switch.

Are ya listening Canon? Here's what you can do with your new, unused switch.

Just dreaming....

=gb=
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