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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 8th, 2005, 05:41 PM   #1
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XL-2 Audio question...

Hi,
I am trying to use a wireless receiver input into a rear jack while simultaneously also use the camera-mounted mic. This doesn't seem to be possible.

Any suggestions? The wireless is outputting a mic-level signal. Do I need to attach the MA-300? If so, what is the preferred set-up to get what I'm after?

Thanks in advance.

Tim J Durham
Silver Spring, MD
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #2
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Hi Tim,

This is confusing, so has come up a few times before. Here's a recent thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=46647

Let us know if that thread or another search doesn't answer answer your question, but I'm betting it will!

Best wishes!
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hi Tim, and welcome to the much revisited subject of multiple audio tracks on the XL2 . This subject comes up frequently on this forum...Many new XL2 owners visiting this forum ask about this...as I did myself about 7 months ago, I believe. If you use the 'Search' feature near the top of the forum pages, you can type in keywords on this subject and be presented with a number of posts filled with the answer to your dilemma.

That is for future reference....for now, let me lay out the basic steps for you to take advantage of a multi-mic setup for your XL2.

Your XL2 will default to 16 bit stereo (2 channels - left and right), and at this bit rate, you cannot add another mic or third channel to your audio. Your solution is to use 12-bit audio mode.

If you are using the on-board front mic, the way to add input signal from your wireless via the real XLR input is to do the following:

In your onscreen menu, choose 'audio setup' Scroll the menu to switch to 12 bit / 4 channel (or something like that)

In the audio control panel on the left side of your camera, make certain that 'audio 1' is set to 'front'

Switch your 'audio 2' input setting to 'rear' and plug your wireless mic into the left XLR input. This will give you audio input to channel 3. You can adjust your attenuation and input level as needed.

In your headphones you can monitor the volume feed and view the level bar on the lower right of the LCD monitor.

And lastly... If you know audio 3 should be bringing in audio, but you are not hearing it through the phones, make sure you are correctly using the audio monitor button located below the settings dial. This will cycle through 'channels 1/2' - 'channels 3/4' - or 'mixed 1/2/3/4'

-Jon
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Old August 8th, 2005, 06:55 PM   #4
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Thanks Johnathan,
So this is because the Canon mic is stereo, I take it? How inferior IS the 12-bit audio to 16-bit? Is it usable? Will I be able to do audio dissolves to 16-bit audio?

I'm an analogue man in the digital age, unfortunately.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Durham
Thanks Johnathan,
So this is because the Canon mic is stereo, I take it? How inferior IS the 12-bit audio to 16-bit? Is it usable? Will I be able to do audio dissolves to 16-bit audio?

I'm an analogue man in the digital age, unfortunately.
Yes, the Canon mic is stereo. Simply put, the 12 bit audio is inferior to 16 bit - simply because it is a lower bit rate and lower sampling rate. HOW inferior is certainly subjective in certain situations. I use it, but only for certain cases of need such as multiple spoken word scenarios. For variable frequencly and music capture, I always go with 16 bit.

As far as audio dissolves - mileage may vary, but the general consensus is that NLE's have a difficult time juggling multiple bit rates in the same project. I was dubious about this myself when I heard it, but I tried it and found a few portions of mulched audio on playback of the final render. To be safe while using 12 bit audio capture, I sample all of my 12 bit audio clips up to 16 bit before editing. This will not improve the sound quality of the audio since its source was lower bit rate to begin with, but it will make it more compatible for the dissolves you are speaking of.

Run a 'search' of the forums and you will likely learn about varous techniques for upsampling.

As far as the analogue guy in a digital age...don't sweat it. Two decades ago, I owned and operated an audio production house when digital audio was in it's infancy. It was moving quickly, and I fought it kicking and screaming. I remember loving the sounds I could achieve using analoge gear over the harsh tones of the new stuff coming out back then.

Times have changed and so has sampling quality - as well as workflow efficiency and non-destructive editing.....My man...I'll never go back.
-Jon

BTW: I still have an old multi-track reel-to-reel machine sitting in my garage that I will eventually dust off to listen to and maybe transfer some of my old early projects - including some early demo work of a recent (un-named) grammy winner - so I'm still planning on playing with a little analogue I suppose, but it's good to be working in the digital age.
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