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Old February 4th, 2005, 02:12 AM   #1
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My Auto Audio Levels Are Always Too Hot so I Have to Record Using Manual Control

I have an AT 4073a shotgun and a Sennheiser Wireless Evolution 100 G2 hooked up to the XLR ports on the back of my XL2.

The issue is that when I set the Record Level switch to auto, it always records the levels too hot. I can avoid this by switching back to manual and monitoring the levels myself manually, and often this is fine, but there are times when I have to conduct an interview and I can't be fiddling with the audio levels without distracting the interviewee.

Does anyone else have this issue using the XLR ports? Any solutions for using the auto level record switch?

Douglas
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Old February 4th, 2005, 07:35 AM   #2
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What do you mean by too hot. Is it clipping? What levels is it ranging in? I have used the auto setting quite a few times and found that my XL2 recorded at a very solid level. I usually try to keep my audio between -12 and -6. This leaves a little headroom for louder sounds. I was very surprised at how good my audio turned out. I have used both shotgun and wireless lav.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 10:58 AM   #3
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I'm having the same issue with sound ... albiet I am new to using the XL2 camera (about 3 weeks).

I too have the Sennheiser ew100 G2 and recently recorded parts of a production with the omindirectional lavalier using it. The sound coming in was already distorted because the signal was too strong in manual mode. In auto mode ... it seemed as though the signal was still to strong, .. but being clipped by the camera.

Can someone provide some camera/sennheiser settings that have worked for them.

I am using the Channel 1 XLR input in the back of the camera.

Much appreciated..
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Old February 4th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #4
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One thing to check would be the setting for the rear XLR gain. Go into Menu->Audio Setup->R.XLR Gain Up. Your choices are Off and 12db. If it happens to be set for 12db, turn it off. If it's already off, then I would try reducing the output level of the wireless receiver. You should be able to find a suitable match with one of these methods.

Hope this helps,

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Old February 4th, 2005, 01:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies...

Already set the XLR input to "0db". My next course of action is to set the Sennheiser to a lower db level and test from there.

I did have one audio individual suggest that the XLR input was too hot as a direct line in ... but I've been using XLR and 1/4" for some time on other cameras with no problems.

The camera itself offers no other "menu" settings for the XLR ports ... so all that is left is manual volume controls ... and the input from the audio source.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 03:15 PM   #6
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Very true, Don. The XLR jacks are too hot for a line level signal. They are intended for mic level signals only. Many folks were disappointed with Canon's decision to not make them switchable. You are at the point where you need to adjust the output level of the receiver. I just read another thread that said the Sennheiser literature is less than adequate for figuring out how to adjust it properly. You'll likely need to experiment and keep in mind it may need to change for different audio scenarios.

Good luck and welcome to DV-INFO,

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Old February 5th, 2005, 12:14 AM   #7
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I think the Audio Technica AT8202 Attenuator might help. This has a user selectable -10, -20, or -30 dB pad to reduce the incoming line signal.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...u=68085&is=REG

Not having a "Line in" really sucks.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 01:10 PM   #8
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Thanks so much for all the help.

The AT8202 Attenuator sounds like a great idea. Just to get some consensus, is this the right way to deal with the hot line levels I've been discussing or is this sort of a mickey mouse work around? I'd love to use the attenuator if the sound output is as good or better than what I'm getting now (setting my levels at the camera manually very low, around 40%).

On the issue of the G2 levels, it sounds like if I set the AF output level on the reciever low enough, say at -18 db or -24 db then the XL2 auto audio should work correctly. Is this true, or again, will I be sacrificing sound quality?

Thanks again. This board is great.

Douglas
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Old February 7th, 2005, 05:06 PM   #9
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I set the levels on the G2 transmitter to 0db and the AF levels on the receiver to 0db.... after that the audio was GREAT!!

I could have even gone a bit further (-6db) and turned up the manual settings a bit (I really don't like what the auto setting does to the audio signal) ... but it all depends on the individual doing the speaking.

My mistake for not "reading the manual" (nice cliche). Sennheiser does mention a variety of audio settings in the manual for a variety of situations. My issue was that from the time I got the system to the time I was shooting was about 1 hour.

Thanks to all ....
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Old February 7th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #10
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Don,

Are you saying you got the auto levels to work correctly and not run too hot by turning the levels on the G2 way up to 0db sensitivity / 0db AF? Have you listened to the audio in playback using headphones?

Douglas
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Old February 8th, 2005, 07:05 AM   #11
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I actually turned them down to 0db ... they were originally set higher (louder) than that (+20db for both transmitter and receiver - factory default).

1. 0db sensitivity / 0db AF setting
2. manual mode on the camera
3. XLR into channel 1
4. channel 1 volume control knob (camera) set at about 10 o'clock

With the above settings, the sound was excellent ... both while recording and in playback in headphones.

As I mentioned previously, I found that using the Auto mode is almost like the camera is clipping the sound ... ie: squelching the volume when there is no speaking ... and the activating the sound again when speaking occurs. I liken it to the sensitivity settings on a headset performance microphone where you want to get the singing but not the casual breathing or ambient sounds while the performer is on stage.

I must mention here that I am using the omni-directional version of the lavalier mic with the G2. I know that when you purchase it, you can choose between the omni-directional and the directional versions.

In all cases the mic was clipped to the individuals in mid chest area. Distances ranged from a couple of feet to auditorium length.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 01:37 PM   #12
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Don,

Perhaps there's some confusion about what's -20 db and what's +20 db on the wireless unit. On the Sennheiser G2 Evolution Wireless there are no +20 db settings either on the transmitter's Sensitivity setting nor on the reciever's AF Out settings. The Sensitivity ranges from -30 db down to 0 db and the AF Out ranges from +12 down to -30 db. In any event, as long as you're getting good sound now on the XL2's auto settings, that's all that really matters.

Perhaps the lav you are using makes all the difference. I'm not sure. I'm using the MKE-2 and perhaps that's the issue for me.

Douglas
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Old February 9th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #13
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My sincere apologies....

You are absolutely correct in your G2 levels .... and I mistakenly referenced another lav system that I was using previously.

My settings on the G2 are as follows:

Transmitter: set to -10db
Receiver AF: set to -06db

These are the settings that ended up working for me in manual mode. The sound I got from using them was great.

Sorry again for my previous error....
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Old February 10th, 2005, 10:08 AM   #14
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Just spoke with Sennheiser (Canada) technical support staff.

I was using "below average" headphones when I captured the last video I took ... so the audio did sound great at the -10db Transmitter/-06db receiver level.

After pulling it into the computer, and listening to it played back on "good headphones", I did notice a very (and I mean very) mild "buzz" overtone on the voices when people were speaking. Almost no one in an audience situation would hear it, but you can here it in the headphones.

Support staff said that the G2 100 has compression built into it that does attempt to clip ambient background sound. This is more prevelant in the Omni directional version of the lav mics. They thought that the compression may have been at fault since the "overtone buzz" only happens when the individuals are speaking. They also mentioned that using any connectors other than the ones they recommend would cause problems. Apart from these suggestions.... they recommend going to a directional lav mic which has far less sensitivity ... and then boosting the transmitter. As a final suggestion ... they would like me to compare my system to someone else's with the same setup to see if they were having the same problems. If not, send it in for warranty work :(

Not too much help ....

I guess until I hear different from someone else with the same system .. I'll be living with it the way it is.
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Old February 17th, 2005, 02:51 PM   #15
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I just got the same setup and have had the same problem with distortion due to over modulation.
At first I tried useing the attenuation switches on the back of the XL2.
That did'nt help so I set the recievers to -12db and still got some distortion although not as much.
I wasn't aware until now what the sensitivity setting on the transmitters did. I've set them to -10db and will try it, per pages 80-81 in my sennheiser users manual.
I think its just a matter of reading the manual (which I myself am guilty of not doing); and not a defective product.
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