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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 26th, 2006, 01:51 AM   #1
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XL2 audio record settings question

I could really use some guidance on how to use the audio settings on the XL2. (Canon tech support has not been able to help me.)

1. Mostly, I've been trying to use external microphones with my XL2 attached through the XLR inputs on the rear. I've been attaching two separate Sony lavalier ECM-44's so I can record an interviewer and a subject separately.

The INPUT SELECT is on rear. The REC LEVEL is on manual.

With the REC CH SELECT set to CH1, I'm able to get separate audio control for both microphones left (CH1/3) and right (CH2/4) -- going onto CH 1 and CH 2, respectively -- and both of the min/max knobs adjust the volume to their respective channels. Is this the proper setting/strategy for what I'm trying to do?

My confusion comes if I want to "mix" the two microphones onto both channels. With the REC CH SELECT set to CH1-CH2, although the audio goes onto both CH 1 and CH 2, the audio input from the CH2/4 microphone is less than the audio input from the CH1/3 microphone. Shouldn't they be the same? Or is there some technical reason why they aren't?

Also, with the REC CH SELECT set to CH1-CH2, only the min/max knob for CH1 adjusts the audio level. The min/max knob for CH2 does not work at all. Is this normal?

2. When I have tried to use the Auto record level for both the front and the rear microphone inputs in the past, the audio still distorts and over-records with loud sounds (such as applause -- or even loud talking). I had assumed that the Auto record level was the equivalent of an automatic gain control (limiter) to help prevent over-recording from occuring. Am I wrong about that? Or is the camera malfunctioning?

My understanding is that the ATT. setting is NOT a limiter -- it merely shifts the volume down so you can move the knob into a more controllable range.

Thanks for any help.

Timothy Craig
timcraig03@earthlink.net
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Old June 26th, 2006, 06:24 AM   #2
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You pretty much figured it out, Tim.

Leave the setting on CH1 to have SEPARATE control of both lavs each going to their own audio track.

When you put it on CH1-CH2, it merely places the audio from CH1 on both channels and as you have observed, only the ch. 1 gain pot will control levels.

This was primarily intended to let you record a single mic onto both channels if you know that you want monaural audio. I used to think that it would disable input from ch 2 in this position but you say you can hear both mics but ch2 mic is weak. Someone else mentioned this before and I was surprised.

Oh, make sure that the innocent looking 'ATT' switch on the back near the XLR jacks is set to off for both channels. This bit me once cause the switch positions are counter-intuitive and I had one on by mistake.

You are correct that the 'ATT' is not a limiter. It is a db attenuator pad to maintain input levels to the pre-amps. It won't prevent from distorted audio due to mic overload but it will help with a consistently 'hot signal' such as a loud ambient environment.

regards,

-gb-
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Old June 26th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #3
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Hey, guys. I swear I had this set up the same way on a recent shoot, but the shotgun (Sennheiser ME66) didn't seem to be doing anything. I had it set to the right XLR on the rear, with a lav in the left, and tried it set to both CH1 and CH1-2, and unless the shotgun was the only thing plugged in, and on the left channel, it wouldn't do anything. Is there a reason that would happen?

Also, I can use the phantom power for the shotgun, right?

Also, what does the audio monitor button do?

And what is the deal (I just now read this in the manual) with monitoring audio and synch and whatnot? Is the audio out of synch with the video in 24p? I've noticed that when I listen through the headphones, the audio sounds echoey, but I captured some and played it on my computer, and it was fine. What's the deal with that?
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Old June 27th, 2006, 01:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass
Hey, guys. I swear I had this set up the same way on a recent shoot, but the shotgun (Sennheiser ME66) didn't seem to be doing anything. I had it set to the right XLR on the rear, with a lav in the left, and tried it set to both CH1 and CH1-2, and unless the shotgun was the only thing plugged in, and on the left channel, it wouldn't do anything. Is there a reason that would happen?

Also, I can use the phantom power for the shotgun, right?
Josh,
I use a Sennheiser ME67, connected the same way as you, without any problem. I always feed it with phantom power from the camcorder.
Your problem could be a fault with either the mic itself or the wire.
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Old June 27th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #5
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I got it to work, but only when it was the only mic plugged in. Then it was fine.

Also, when I had Audio 1 set to CH1,2, it just made the lav take over both channels.
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Old June 28th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #6
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second audio question on XL2

Thanks for the quick and helpful reply to my question about CH settings for rear XLR inputs.

However, still wondering why the "Auto" setting allows the sound to over-record when I'm using the front microphone on the camera? Any ideas? I was assuming it was a "limiter" setting.

Tim Craig
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Old June 28th, 2006, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Craig
Thanks for the quick and helpful reply to my question about CH settings for rear XLR inputs.

However, still wondering why the "Auto" setting allows the sound to over-record when I'm using the front microphone on the camera? Any ideas? I was assuming it was a "limiter" setting.

Tim Craig
It's not a limiter. It's AGC, or automatic gain control. It will pull the volume down if it receives excessive input level but it usually can't react fast enough to avoid all instances of excessive input level. The downside is that it will crank the volume in quiet moments and you'll get unwanted sounds being amplified. Best to use manual control at all times if possible.

-gb-
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Old June 28th, 2006, 04:50 PM   #8
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live recording on XL2

Thanks, Greg:

I've always thought as well it's best to use manual audio -- but what about the case where I'm recording live and don't have time to set audio levels? Is there a limiter that people use that is quick enough and that doesn't give the "wows" of regular limiters?

Also, if the auto setting is working on my camera, I'm surprised at how bad it seems to be. I was recording a stage performance that had music coming through a sound system between the scenes, and the auto didn't clamp down on it at all -- same over-recording for the entire time. Same for the applause. Maybe I should take the camera in and have it checked. . .

Tim Craig
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