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Canon XL1S / XL1 Watchdog
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Old August 21st, 2003, 03:15 PM   #1
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Mic level settings

If I record with any mic on the XL1s with the sound on auto the level seems to be high and the recording loud.

However when I record in manual it always seems to be not as loud and so needs a little raising in Premiere. What Level should I be aiming for. I had been recording with the average balance pushing around the 12 mark, but now to get a little bit more I'm getting average at 6 mark, with just only the highest of peaks hitting the zero.

Is this correct? Or should I aim to get the level a little higher more approaching the zero mark for average, with only the highest of peaks pushing just over the zero mark?

So any people out there with sound experience help! As all projects previously I had soundpeople so never really paid that much attention to settings as they did it all and just learned as much as I could from them about environments to make their job and my job easier in envirnments.

So on XL1s with external mic on MA-200, what level should I be aiming for to get the best and crispest sound????
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 05:48 AM   #2
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Normally you want the peaks not quite hitting the "0" level. That often translates to an average reading around -12. However, the type of program material will have a major effect on the average levels.

In manual record mode you will better preserve the dynamic range of the sound - the loudest parts remain loud and softer parts remain soft. In AGC mode, the recorded level tends to stay the same, which can account for it sounding louder - because the softer passages are automatically turned up to close the the same level as the loud parts (subject to the limits of the AGC range) and extremely loud passages will be reduced in level.

The best mode for you ultimately depends on what you are recording and what you are trying to achieve with sound. AGC does work OK for many purposes, but it is not good for serious music recording.
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 06:11 PM   #3
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So the peaks not quite hitting the ZERO on the XL1s indicator???

Also why is the 12 highlighted on the XL1s - that where u want the average? So how I explained previously means I am correct in my assumptions of where to place the main body of the recording?

I heard someone say that the 12 mark would be like 0 on a separate portable mic level system like a Sony ESQ (I believe it was called). Is this true? or is ZERO on XL1s really '0', so passing it will cause sound to start to distort?
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Old August 22nd, 2003, 06:41 PM   #4
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Zero (0)on the XL1 is the peak allowable record level, the maximun value of the digital data stream. Going "above" zero means clipping the signal. If the meter hits zero HARD, you are clipping = major distortion.

The -12 approximately corresponds to the "0" setting on analog gear that has meter values above zero like +2 +4 +8 and so on. I say approximately because consumer/prosumer and professional gear often baseline to different values (pro gear usually has more head room).
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