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Old April 23rd, 2004, 05:55 PM   #1
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Puzzling Audio Problem

I've had an XL1S for about a year now and shoot industrial/documentary, run and gun type of footage. I have the MA-200 and an Audio Technica AT835b mic on a boompole jacked directly into Audio1-L on the MA-200 via XLR cable to record sound. In the camera settings, I would set the audio to 16 bit - mic. Never had any issues with audio and it always sounded great.

Recently, I picked up a Shure FP33 mixer and the Sennheiser EW100 wireless kit (I got sick of getting constantly tangled with the boom operator). So, right now I have the AT835b wired into the mixer with an XLR cable on Input 1 and have the Sennheiser plug-in transmitter in Output 1. The wireless receiver is velcroed to the back of the XL1S and connected with the supplied XLR adapter into Audio 1-L of the MA-200.

Now, if I adjust the camera settings to 16 bit - mic, I am getting an enormous degree of room tone. Speaking at a normal level with the mic positioned about 2-3 feet above my head, my voice level and room tone level are about the same. So, increasing the output on the mixer just increases both the background noise and the voice of whomever is on camera.

Adjusting the camera settings to 16 bit - mic att 20, drops the audio level to the point I need to crank up the input gain on the mixer and the master output to hear anything. Now, I don't get as much room tone/background noise this way but, the voice of the person I'm trying to get is at a lower level than what I was used to with the mixer's gains all turned up.

I removed the mixer from the equation, just directly plugging the plug-in transmitter to the back of the mic and I still had the same issues. On 16 bit - mic, lots of background/room tone noise. On 16 bit - mic att 20, I could barely hear anything because I didn't have the mixer to adjust gains up with.

Can anyone help me out with this problem? I don't want to go back to a wired setup but that was the best way I've found to record sound. Which is puzzling me because I was just out on an interview last week with a sound person who hooked me up with a wireless package to his boom/mixer and told me to set my camera to 16 bit - mic att 20, and that footage sounds great.

Hopefully, there is someone out there who knows what is going on here. I would greatly appreciate any help offered.

- J.
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 08:59 PM   #2
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Just a guess, sounds like the output of the mixer may be way too high for the input of the transmitter. How is it connected to the FP33?
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Old April 24th, 2004, 06:35 AM   #3
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The plug in transmitter from the Sennheiser wireless kit is just plugged directly into Output 1 of the mixer.

- J.
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Old April 25th, 2004, 06:03 AM   #4
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Be sure the FP33 output is set to MIC level.

But if the problem is there with the FP33 out of the loop there may be an additional issue.

I do not have the technical data on the transmitter module, but it may be that its sensitivity adjustment need to be matched to the sources you are using. The AF metering on the receiver and transmitter can give an indication of this.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 09:41 AM   #5
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I do have the output set to MIC level. If I switch it over to line-level then I get absolutely no audio.

I don't mean to sound dense but, any idea how I would go about adjusting the sensitivity on the transmitter and the source? And I believe I do not have AF metering on my receiver or transmitter. There is an LED that changes color and either is solid or flashes but nothing that looks like a meter.

Thanks for all your help so far,
- J.
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Old April 28th, 2004, 09:49 AM   #6
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You are in the right direction. Get out the sennheiser manual and increase the sensitivity of the plug on transmitter to get the gain where it needs to be going into the ma200. The mobile audio tech will have to practice where he/she needs to be to achieve a balanced mix into the xl1. You can also adjust the db at the sennheiser receiver.

I use a console mixer when I am locked down and the mic gain is the key to a well mixed "wet" result. The microphone pick up pattern combined with the transmitter's sensitivity will determine the amount of ambient noise.
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