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Old October 23rd, 2002, 06:22 AM   #1
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phones levels low!

one thing i have noticed about the xl1 is that listening while recording to sufficient audio levels is terrible difficult. Even on maximum it is low. But when i listen to xl1 standard mic i hear well but not anything i plug in to the ma-100. As a standard i try to keep the levels to a reading of 12 on the camera anymore seems to deform. The automatic level controller seems to actually record a little to loud. But using the alternater takes away most of my readings anybody have any idea why listen to anything coming from the ma-100 is so difficult? i am forced to record on manually most of the time, very difficult while shooting ,and requires a good interview style from the reporter.
And they most of the time forget to hold the mic well!
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 07:17 AM   #2
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Do you have the MA-100 connected to the Audio 1 input?

Did you set the Audio 1 input to the appropriate level (MIC, MIC ATT, or lINE). It defaults to (consumer) LINE level input which will result in low levels if using a mic.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 03:53 PM   #3
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yes Don, i have done all that but still it sounds very different from what i get from standard mic.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 07:29 PM   #4
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Which make/model external mic are you using with the MA-100? Some mics are not very sensitive or may have a high output impedance taht results in poor performance with the MA-100.

Note that with AGC mode, the camcorder attempts to keep the average audio level at around -12. During quiet passages the gain will increase and may result in a higher oveall average level they you are likley to get using manual level control. That is the price of preserving the dynamic range of the sound source.

Not your situation, but one other item some folks have run into is that some earphones are not very sensitive and the XL1 will have difficulty driving them to a hgh output level. Then it would not mattter which mic you are using.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 07:30 PM   #5
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i have found the same thing
its damn inconvenient, especially in noisy situations
I was interviewing a big-name band in australia, for TV and i could hardly hear what was being said.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 07:40 PM   #6
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What headphones are you using?

I would recommend buying some Sony 7506. They
are pretty efficient, so unless I'm doing
a rock gig, I can hear everything fine.

I've used other brands with results like those you
report.
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Old October 23rd, 2002, 07:48 PM   #7
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The least expensive fix is a headphone amp. If you search Google >headphone amp you will find hundreds, also plans for kits. Most are in the $30 to $50 range. Some companies like Sound Devices http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mm1master.htm combine headphone amps with mic preamps.

Jeff
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Old October 24th, 2002, 07:13 AM   #8
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Just a thought to consider: An external headphone amp is one more thing to lug about, feed with battries, manage cords, etc. It becomes somewhat a question of convenience vs. cost.
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Old October 24th, 2002, 08:53 AM   #9
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Radio Shack solution

Radio Shack has a cheap fix for the low headphone level. It's a small amp that's powered by a couple of AA batteries.

It cost just twenty bucks.

I velcro'd it to the side of my camera, it's lightweight and doesn't get in the way. I don't even notice it's there.

It does boost the phone level considerably, in fact I run the gain only about halfway up.

mike avery
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