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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old May 27th, 2005, 08:52 PM   #1
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Audio question/no sound

Hi There,

First of all, please: I feel like such a jerk, but I've been struggling for hours with my brand new XL2, to make sure everything is working up to par, and I can't seem to hear any audio even tho' I see audio waves in the monitor window when I play back and record so I assume the mic is recording. I have it plugged in correctly. I've set my audio to front mic, and to the right channels, but I'm sure there's is something I'm doing wrong or not doing. Could someone guide me to better information that the Canon manual has about making the audio settings? I graduated from a Canon ZR40 which is very simple compared to this! Where could I learn more so that I can fix this problem. Thanks so much for any help!
Lucinda
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Old May 27th, 2005, 10:02 PM   #2
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phones?

I'll feel like a jerk if I'm saying something too obvious, but do you
know that there's no speaker on the xl2? It sounds like you just
need to plug in some headphones and check your audio levels during
playback.

Congrats on your new purchase.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 12:28 AM   #3
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Really?! I didn't know that! does it say that in the manual?....I do have headphones so I will plug 'em in and see. Thanks so much for your help! I could see that it was recording, but unlike my humbler canon, no sound. Why don't they have the sound? why only with headphones? Do you know?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 08:34 AM   #4
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Why doesn't the XL2 have a built-in speaker? Well, the "old" answer may be that so-called professional camcorders, which is what the XL2 is marketed as, typically don't have built-in speakers. But wait. These days, more and more professional camcorders certainly do have built-in speakers. So now we need a different reason. The "new" answer may be that there simply isn't enough real estate on the left side of the camera body to put a speaker.

*shrug*

Fact is I really don't know.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 08:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucinda Luvaas
... but unlike my humbler canon, no sound. Why don't they have the sound? why only with headphones? Do you know?
Lucinda, You've made quite a step up from a ZR to the XL2. You'll find that even though the XL2 has an "Easy" recording mode, the great majority of the features have been refined over two generations (XL-1 and XL1s) to provide professional video capabilities to small independant videographers. These features are designed around the way they (we) typically work with a cam and not around the needs of an 'occasional' or amateur vidographer.

That said, the XL2 is capable of producing marvelous imagery, but since 70% of what you see is what you hear, most XL2 users will stuggle to ensure the quality of their recorded audio matches the stunning imagery being recorded. Monitoring audio from a tiny in-camera speaker will not provide you the information necessary to determine if your audio recording level is set correctly or the mic placement is suitable; only listening through headphones will provide the on-site feedback necessary to make the subtle adjustments required to record great audio.

Now if you're just recording a family moment, you can certainly set the audio to Auto, occasionally monitor the audio meter and you'll likely get adequate audio. But if you're really trying to get the most from your rig, you'll want to try a set of closed headphones where the only sound you hear is what is recorded by the camera.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
But wait. These days, more and more professional camcorders certainly do have built-in speakers.
Chris, wouldn't say that the primary use for those speakers is for run-and-gun recording where the pro using the camera has, through personal experience and experience with the camera, determine how to adjust sound using the built-in meters. I'll wager headphones are still used on those cams for all deliberate shots and many run-and-gun shots too.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 11:41 AM   #7
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I think the reason why more of the pro cameras these days are including built-in speakers is because the manufacturers are recognizing a growing trend. More folks are using this gear at a lower budget level and on a smaller scale than ever before. Many buyers are one-person operations who are shooting in the field without the benefit of a soundperson to separately control audio recording. Likewise, these buyers are also using these cameras as playback decks, hence the need for a built-in speaker. That's my take on it anyway.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 03:05 PM   #8
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Hi,

Pat, I couldn't agree with you more! Last night, I put on my headphones-- the ones I use for Motu's Digital Performer-- which is my audio program and listened to the sound. I was so pleased. I never use the audio from the speakers on the ZR40 for my sound. I just didn't know that the XL2 didn't have speakers. What I do is create my own sound. I do multimedia and have my films at festivals, on tv and actually had one just nominated for two awards at a fest. For this film I recorded the sound here in my studio, not on the ZR40. I know it sounds amateurish to use a low end canon, but you would be amazed at what one can do with a very modest budget. This step up for me has been long in the waiting and I am very grateful. However, having said this, I have much to learn about the cam's capabilities and am eager to do so. Most of my work has been done during the editing process with animations, etc., and now I'll be able to achieve more than I could previously with my new purchase. I do need to have more weight behind so that the weight is more evenly distributed which I'll do with a battery pack or something else. I wish there were other texts to read besides the manual. I know a book is coming out in August and there's a good dvd on the camcorder. Anyway, this forum is very supportive and helpful. I do appreciate it!
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Old May 28th, 2005, 04:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
I know a book is coming out in August
Just curious, what book is coming out in August?
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Old May 28th, 2005, 06:43 PM   #10
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I don't have the info in front of me, but I think I saw an ad for it on amazon.com. I'll check later and let you know.
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Old May 28th, 2005, 10:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Many buyers are one-person operations who are shooting in the field without the benefit of a soundperson to separately control audio recording.
Chris, the speaker on a videocam can't be used to check sound as you are shooting, because it is only activated on playback. (That's the way my VX2000 works anyway.) If the speaker was "live" all the time there would be serious feedback possibilities because it is so close to the onboard mic.

Richard
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Old May 30th, 2005, 03:05 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Just curious, what book is coming out in August?
I think the book he ment was this:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=UTF8&v=glance

I look forward to this book being released!

- Per Johan
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Old May 30th, 2005, 08:25 AM   #13
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Oh, okay, that's "Producing 24p Video: Covers the Canon XL2 and the Panasonic DVX-100a" by John Skidgel. Appears to be a guide to 24p production and postproduction. Thanks Per,
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Old May 30th, 2005, 08:46 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter
Chris, the speaker on a videocam can't be used to check sound as you are shooting, because it is only activated on playback. (That's the way my VX2000 works anyway.) If the speaker was "live" all the time there would be serious feedback possibilities because it is so close to the onboard mic.

Richard
I've seen cameras (specifically the Panny DVC200's that my town owns) where the speakers can be turned on while shooting. Granted, we still use headphones, but it is an option.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #15
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Hi Michael. Have you actually tried to monitor sound using the speaker while shooting? If the mic is in a different room from the camera, then yes it could be an option. Otherwise, I'd have thought that if it was loud enough to hear properly, it would be picked up by the mic too. This would probably cause feedback, or at minimum, you would get the speaker sound recorded to tape.

Richard
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