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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old July 8th, 2006, 10:12 AM   #1
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XLR & Nat. Mic. At Same Time?

I can't get nat sound and XLR sound to work at the same time. I want my wireless mic on one channel and my nat sound on another.

How do I accomplish this? Thanks!
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Old July 8th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #2
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Hi Austin,

I'm going to assume that by "nat sound" (natural sound), you're referring to the onboard mic that was included with your XL H1.

The onboard mic included with the XL H1 is a stereo mic, and therefore since it is stereo, it always requires two channels. Unfortunately there's no way on the XL2 to force both channels of the included stereo mic into one single channel... it always needs two. So, if you want to use the included onboard mic plus an external mic such as your wireless lav, that's going to require three channels. Fortunately on the XL H1 you have a total of four audio channels to work with. You'll have to go into the Audio setup menu and set the XL H1 to record in four-channel mode. The first stereo pair is the onboard mic; and one channel from the second stereo pair is your external mic (inh your case, it's the receiver from your wireless mic). With this mode, you still have one more unused channel free, for an additional external mic if desired.

Once you've selected four-channel mode in the Audio Setup menu, open the audio controls panel door on the left side of the XL H1 body. Set the Audio 1 input select switch to Front Mic. Then set the Audio 2 input select switch to Rear (XLR). Now you're all set to record from the XLR input jacks and the onboard stereo mic at the same time.

If you don't want to resort to four-channel mode and prefer instead to stay in two-channel mode, then remove the included stereo mic and replace it with a mono mic (the clamp should hold a shotgun Senn or AT easily). Then you'll be working with just one stereo pair... one channel for your mono onboard mic, the other channel for your mono wireless receiver. In this case, go into the Audio setup menu and select two-channel mode. Then, at the audio controls panel, set the Audio 1 input select switch to Rear (XLR), making sure that both your onboard mono mic and mono wireless receiver are each plugged into the built-in XLR jacks at the back of the XL H1. Hope this helps,
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Old July 8th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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"...Once you've selected four-channel mode in the Audio Setup menu, open the audio controls panel door on the left side of the XL H1 body. Set the Audio 1 input select switch to Front Mic. Then set the Audio 2 input select switch to Rear (XLR). Now you're all set to record from the XLR input jacks and the onboard stereo mic at the same time."

Thanks for the reply Chris. Oddly enough, this is what I've tried, but to no avail. I hear the on-board mic loud and clear, but I don't hear the lav mic. I assume I could try recording to see if it IS indeed working, but what's the point of recording audio if you can't monitor it? I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but I do believe I followed your instructions correctly. I'll keep playing w/it.

Again, thanks.
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Old July 8th, 2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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What you need to do to hear both mics in 4 channel mode is to press the 'audio monitor' button at the lower left of the mode dial. The button will toggle CH1/2, CH3/4, and MIX. Get it to MIX to hear all 4 at once which will be a total of 3 channels in your scenario. This button does not affect what gets recorded, only what you hear through the headphone output.

-gb-
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Old July 8th, 2006, 11:35 AM   #5
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Greg,

That did the trick. I knew that I was doing something wrong. So many buttons to remember...

Will there be any issues w/capturing that many channels into FCP? I've heard this could be an issue.

Thanks.
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Old July 8th, 2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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From a previous post:

Using the Canon on-camera mic via an XLR input:
Say you're using a single boom mic, inputting via XLR 1. You've got XLR 2 doing nothing, and the on-camera mic doing nothing. Seems a waste. Well, all you need to do is adapt the on-camera mic to input through XLR 2. A short female-mini-to-male-XLR adapter will do for the audio signal, but the mic needs power. Simple, just get a short micro-mini extender cable, plug one end on to the mic, and the other into where the mic's connector would normally plug, on the camera's handle. Make sure the mic is switched to stereo, and voila, you have a second XLR mic.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Fleming
From a previous post:
Make sure the mic is switched to stereo, and voila, you have a second XLR mic.
Good idea Gabriel but why not have the mic switched to mono to cover the situation better and equal from both sides? / Johan
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Old August 13th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #8
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For some reason it doesn't work when the mic is switched to mono. At least in my setup. Not sure why. Perhaps the two mono signals, when split over the stereo mini plug, then recombined in my adapter, cancel each other out. Or perhaps my adapter only hears the right or left channel, and when the mic is switched to mono, that channel is turned off. Don't know. But it only works for me when the mic is switched to stereo.

As far as covering both sides, in theory my adapter is taking both the left and right signals and combining them into a mono signal to go to the XLR input. In theory. Regardless, I've never noticed any bias in pickup strength from the left or right side of the camera.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #9
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Hi again,
I cannot understand this Gabriel. How have you exactly wired your mic to XLR adapter?
Without trying this I cannot understand what's going on here. Do you hear nothing with the mic switch in mono position but both channels added in stereo position? Is one of the signals 180° phase changed? Quite interesting ...
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Old August 13th, 2006, 04:03 PM   #10
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Front mic AND two 48 V mics on XL H1 (?)

Hey Gabriel, your mic adaptor gave me another idea.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. As far as I know we can choose to use the onboard stereo mic OR two phantom powered mics on channel 1 and 2.

If we want mics on channel 3 and 4 we need to put on the MA-300 XLR adapter. As far as I know this adapter has no phantom power from its XLR connectors. What a major culprit! We have phantom power on XLR 1 and 2 but don't need it. We don't have phantom power on channel 3 and 4 but really would like to have it!

So let's take the modified "Gabriel adapters" and rework it to stereo design and put on two XLR connectors to route the stereo front mic to channel 3 and 4 on the MA-300 adapter instead!
Then connect your professional 48 V mics on channel 1 and 2!

What do you think about this?
Then add big battery on the back with charger and adapter. Put a 12 V light on top with cable to the adapter. Add headphones, extra monitor etc and this camera is really wired! /Johan
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Old August 14th, 2006, 01:35 AM   #11
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Johan, sounds like your idea would work. The Canon's mic can certainly be plugged into the MA-300 via an XLR adapter, and since power is being provided to the mic via the micro-mini extender, there is no need for phantom power, so it works (I've tried it with my mono version, and it works fine). As an added convenience, you can just switch Ch 3&4 to auto levels and never have to monitor those channels.

This seems like a good system for backup sound to me. In practice, you rarely use the camera's mic, but putting in on 3&4 means you have it as a backup, say if there was a loud moment that distorted on 1&2.

This is how it's done with the higher-end cameras in reality television. Ch 1&2 are used for the boom and lav mics, while 3&4 record the camera mic. 3&4 can save your ass if a key moment was missed or distorted on 1&2.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 04:59 AM   #12
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Correction: Front mic AND two 48 V mics on XL H1

Sorry I was wrong when I suggested to do some rerouting of the on-camera front microphone to channel 3 and 4 to get phantom power to two external mics.

It is not required. It is already built in. You can have the front mic as usual on channel 1 & 2 and then external + 48 V mics on the rear input on channel 3 & 4. Just select "REAR" on "AUDIO 2" (which controls audio channel 3 & 4). (Easy to mix it up, isn't it?) and +48 V and MIC above the XLR sockets.

The only thing you don't get this way is your REC CH SELECT switch will not work to put an external mono mic on a stereo channel pair. This is only possible when you route CH1 from the REAR but then you cannot use the FRONT mic.

There are more to discover.
You monitor channel 1/2 or 3/4 or MIX by pressing the AUDIO MONITOR button and listen in your headphones and looking at the level indicators in the viewfinder or on the meter on the left side.
Be careful if you use MIX, the indicated level is an average level between channel 1 and 3 on the upper bar and an average level of channel 2 and 4 on the lower bar.
This means if one channel is quit and one is too loud by a dB or two it still indicates safe non distorting level but in reality one channel could be too loud! So if you see -3 dB level or more in MIX you must check the individual channels to see none is too high.
Hope I havn't confused you too much with this.
Now the only thing is to get those channels into FCP over FireWire. I havn't managed it so far. Using PAL, 25F. Anybody who knows how to set up FCP for this?

/Regards Johan
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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Walton
Greg,

That did the trick. I knew that I was doing something wrong. So many buttons to remember...

Will there be any issues w/capturing that many channels into FCP? I've heard this could be an issue.

Thanks.
Hi Austin

If you are using a firewire connection with FCP you will only be able to capture two tracks at a time... Fire Wire is unfortunately limited...

To capture 4 tracks you will have to digitize tracks one and two with your video and then go back and select channels 3 and 4 and digitize those on a second pass. I haven't done this myself, but as far as my research goes, this is the only way to get all four tracks into FCP with Fire Wire. The pain in the butt part I think would be to marry tracks 3 and 4 to the video footage with tracks 1 and 2.

A second option with fire wire and FCP is to capture all four tracks as one track, obviously you loose the option of controlling each tracks attributes later on in post, but this option could work if you have all four tracks mixed and balanced while recording.

In order for FCP to capture all four tracks in one sweep you will need an extra video capture card like the AJA, Kona or Black-magic. Video and sound is normally captured trough the SDI port in one sweep, but as the Canon XL-H1 one does not support audio on the SDI port you will have to get a card that supports 4 RCA inputs for the sound... I don't know if you get something like that... The best solution will obviously be a deck with SDI output that supports sound...

DOES ANYONE KNOW OF A DECK THAT SUPPORTS CANON XL-H1 FOOTAGE WHICH HAS A SDI OUTPUT WITH SOUND????

As for me, I've researched this thing to death for a shoot that I have in Zimbabwe. Ideally I would have liked to use four channels, have the cameras on board mike on Channel 3 and 4 and then Two lapel microphones on channels 1 and 2, but the hassle and time issues with getting 4 tracks into FCP forced me to look for other options.

I've ordered a cable that takes two female XLR connecters and joins them into a single XLR male to plug into Channel 2 for the two lapel microphones. (I tried to get a cable with two mini-jacks instead of two female XLR connectors to plug directly into the two lapel receivers, but couldn't find one.) That sorts out the two lapel microphones (with a bit of cable clutter) on one channel and still leaves me with the on board mic which ideally I would have loved to have on the other. I've ordered a new Rode NTG-2 Shotgun mic which I will use for an on board mic instead of the cameras usual mic which solves that problem, but at a cost. The cheaper option would have been to find the mini jack female to XLR cable and the micro-mini extender cable, but that would have been even more cable clutter which I can do without and trying to find those connectors over here in South Africa is a mission on it's own!
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Didi Schoeman
To capture 4 tracks you will have to digitize tracks one and two with your video and then go back and select channels 3 and 4 and digitize those on a second pass.
Hi Didi,
Yes, but how do we get access to the control to select channel pair 1/2 or 3/4? I'm not able in my FCP. Perhaps I'm missing a setting. I have HDV PAL 25F if that matters. (Does this work without capture card?)

Nice to hear you are working in Africa. I have too. 1988 we drove an old Volvo Laplander from Sweden down to Cameroun. 1990 we made another trip through the Sahara desert and learnt to ride camels together with the touareg people.
Then we have made nomerous trips to many countries more south and east, Zimbabwe for example several times. Good luck! Regards Johan
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #15
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A much simpler method is to mount a mono shotgun mic on the cam and use the 2 channel rear inputs only ... much easier to monitor and adjust on the fly ...
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