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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old October 9th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #1
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Simple Audio Recording Level Question(s)

I'm working with my brand-new XL2, and I'm a bit puzzled as to how to set the audio levels manually (using the Audio Level Indicator in the viewfinder). I haven't seen this question addressed specifically in a thread, or in the sometimes frustratingly generalized XL2 manual. I'm sure it's one of those things that turns out to be deceptively simple. =)

On a recent shoot I had a shotgun mic plugged into one of the XLR terminals, and was setting the level manually by making sure my peak levels didn't exceed the little green dot on the audio level bar display in the viewfinder. Is this the correct way to set recording level?

I've been using headphones -- and the manual says to fine-tune the audio level with phones. But I'm most interested in where my levels should be hitting on the scale seen in the viewfinder.

-Mark
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Old October 9th, 2005, 09:35 PM   #2
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Hi Mark,

Your audio levels schould cross those green dots. your peaks should hit -2db.
capture some of your audio in your edit program and look in the audio meter of your edit program where the levels are. Now import a music file (MP3 or AIFF) and look where those levels are, you will see that they are pretty high.
The auto audiolevel of the XL2 is way to low!

Tim
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Old October 9th, 2005, 10:23 PM   #3
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Howdy Tim:

Thanks for your reply -- mystery solved.

We work in Final Cut here at school, and I wasn't editor on this previous project so I didn't have a chance to have a look at the audio levels in same. But the level I was hearing through the headsets seemed way too low. I ended up just going by ear (but with the phones level individually adjustable, that's no doubt an inconsistent method to use). I'll shoot for that -2db from now on and see what that yields.

-Mark
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Old October 9th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #4
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Hey,

Try to get a feed tone signal of 100% and calibrate your cam to that. I personally then set my audio gain to PEAK at +30. Learned that along time ago when using tube and BetaCams.

Things have probably changed since then ..... but I haven't heard any complaints on my +30 peak audio recording on my Panny pro-consumer camera. But I have been proven wrong on more than one occasion....
Grain of salt recommended here.

And wear your cans (headsets), man. If it sounds ugly, try and fix it.

Good luck,

Stephanie
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