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Old October 19th, 2002, 06:40 AM   #1
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How to Hook Up 3 Mic's to the camera?

Can someone please clarify the Canon XL1s audio for me?

I own 2 Sennheiser Wireless Mic's (100 series, Evolution Wireless) and 1 Sennheiser Wired Mic (ME 66) on a Boom Pole. We are about to start filming a docu-drama, all hand held, all available light.

I intend to capture 12 bit sound. Can anyone PLEASE guide me on what configuration to use to hook up these mic's and how to set the camera up for their audio capture?

Should I be using the 2 wireless mic's for dialogue and the wired mic for ambient sound...... or any other setup.......

Advantages / Disadvantages / How to setup in the Camera.

Thanks all.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 06:56 AM   #2
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First I would sugest that you run some tests of each mic to decide which give you the dialog and ambinet sound quality you like. After you decide which mic you want to use, plan you shooting around that.

Connection to the XL1 is covered in the amnual. Note that using three mics open at once can give you a bit of fun riding levels, and make controlling off camera sound/noise a bit more difficult.

Are you trying to shoor continuous action, or do you have the ability to set upshots, do retakes, etc? That will influence how you go about doing the audio. I woudl use 12-bit audio only if there was no reasonable way to do it with 16-bit audio.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 08:02 AM   #3
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I'd run the mic's to a mixer then the mixer into the left and right channels of the XL. This way you can use your 3 mics without having to resort to 12bit audio.

Mackie make some good cheap mixers that would do the job nicely.
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Old October 19th, 2002, 09:36 AM   #4
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I would not consider 12bit professional audio and would only use it as a last resort.

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Old October 19th, 2002, 11:58 AM   #5
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Description of our shoot

Our story is set in a historic theatre, where we have 3 main characters....... we are filming in the theatre and various other locations (ie. restaurant, bar, apartments, street). This is a docu drama with some movement via a 100% hand held camera using 2 lenses (standard and wide)..... We have quite a few scenes where 2 actors are interacting with one another.

In scenes where only 2 actors are interacting with one another, I was hoping to use 2 wireless mics (one on each actor) for crisper sound.

In scenes where we have all 3 actors, I was going to plant the mics on the 2 actors with the most lines..... since they are all close by to one another, perhaps the lines of the 3rd actor would be picked up by the mics of the other 2........ or....... plant the mics on nearby props to pick up everyone's sound............. or......

Alternatively, where there are 3 actors, I could use the boom pole ONLY and capture sound from all 3.

I'm reading from the above posts that I need to record on 16 bit sound. OK, that being the case........... here is what I'd like to know......

*** GIVEN MY 3 MICS (NAMELY 2 WIRELESS + 1 WIRED MIC) HOW SHOULD I BEST USE THEM IF I FOLLOW EVERYONE'S ADVICE AND GO FOR 16 BIT SOUND ***

(I really don't want to buy an external mixer.... I don't have the crew to manage that task.... so prefer to handle the on board mixer)

Thanks!
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Old October 19th, 2002, 10:09 PM   #6
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Hi Pepi,

You really won't be able to mix down three mics into two channels without some type of mixer.

Maybe you could do it yourself "on-camera" by using a small passive mixer such as the Rolls Mini Mix 2
http://www.rolls.com/new/mx51.html
or something equivalent, however it depends upon what type of output connectors your wireless mics have.

Assuming that you will be using your two EW-100 wxless mics, which have a miniplug output -and- your ME66, which has an XLR output, you may have success by adapting the outputs of the EW-100 mics to 1/4" and mixing those two mics down to one channel via the Rolls Mini Mix 2's mono output, taking that output via the 1/4" output and feeding it into channel one, using a 1/4" male to XLRmale connector and plugging that XLRmale connector into the MA100.

I would keep the lavs on a seperate channel from the ME66, in case there is any rf noise or clothing rustle from the lav mics. That way you will still be able to use the sound from the ME66.

Plug the ME66 into the second channel via channel 2 of the MA100.

You may want to turn on the Auto Level control too.

You really should make sure you have a reliable person boom the ME66 attentively while monitoring what he/ she is doing via headphones. The boom person can do this by plugging the ME66 into a headphone amplifier such as a SHURE FP-22
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bh3.sph/FrameWork.class?FNC=ProductActivator__Aproductlist_html___76170___SHFP22___REG___CatID=0___SID=F137E 9D3E80
and then taking the loop out of the SHURE FP-12 and feeding that to you.

You really should think about expanding your audio setup a bit and using a soundman with a mixer and recording that sound to a DAT and feeding the output of the DAT to your XL1S. You will thank yourself for doing so in post when you try to sync up sound, as you will have a decent "scratch recording" of the actual sound mix on your tapes with a high quality DAT backup.

- don
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