Very unhappy with the Audio meters at DVinfo.net

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Panasonic DVX / DVC Assistant
The 4K DVX200 plus previous Panasonic Pro Line cams: DVX100A, DVC60, DVC30.


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Old August 27th, 2003, 12:57 AM   #1
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Very unhappy with the Audio meters

They are not accurate at all. I just did a Love Story interview and it shows the audio going in the RED zone. Which means it is over 0db which it is not.

After importing the clip into a NL editor, the audio was way to low and had to be normalized.

Maybe it's a safety feather or something. So "just in case" you go in red it will still be safe?

Anyone else notice this?
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Old August 27th, 2003, 04:47 AM   #2
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actually the meters are prolly the most accurate i have come across for a camera...

theres afew things to keep in mind...

check your input gain (-50db or -60db)

if you have the ALC turned on (which you should in uncontrollable situations) it will show up in the red, but the auto level adjustment will compress the sound.

ALL sound should be compressed and normalised for optimal mastering to DVD or CD

one thing to remember, if u set the pots to the centre it will equate to a 0db flat.

if u increase that and turn ON the ALC, the ALC will cover any excessive gain.
I dont know how fast the envelopes are (i usually hate using automatic audio controls liek ALC), but if its interview recordings, it should suffice.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 11:19 AM   #3
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Well, The "middle marker" is at -12dB and the red marker is at 0dB. The "red zone" is actually your headroom up to 0dB. Setting your normal levels to -12dB will give you plenty of headroom for peaks up to 0dB. This together with the ALC will be your protection against distortion.

Also, keep in mind that 0dB in "digital world" really means maximum level, and not like with analog VU meters where you peak at about +3dB before risking distortion.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #4
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About the only thing audio related that's bugged me is that I wish the level knobs were stiffer or else fully recessed. I've had to train myself to glance at them every time I take this thing out of a bag. Sure as heck if you have a fairly snug bag, i.e. Portabrace, you will knock one or both levels slightly off from where you left it.

The audio meters in the LCD however have been a joy... I frequently have audio into the red and so far I'm always pleased with the lack of clipping or even noticeable compression artifacts when using ALC...
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Old August 27th, 2003, 06:04 PM   #5
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Thanks guys,

Don't get me wong though, I do like them in some ways, specially having them right in the LCD and viewfinder. They just seem very sinsative and will go back and forth very fast. You'll go full max somtimes and be like "holly crap, is that going to distort".

Is there a way to make the meter markers "hold" for a little longer? I'll try the compression switch if it'not that noticable.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 04:45 AM   #6
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I just wish those pots had notches.. :(
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Old August 28th, 2003, 09:25 AM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mark Monciardini : Thanks guys,

Don't get me wong though, I do like them in some ways, specially having them right in the LCD and viewfinder. They just seem very sinsative and will go back and forth very fast. You'll go full max somtimes and be like "holly crap, is that going to distort".

Is there a way to make the meter markers "hold" for a little longer? I'll try the compression switch if it'not that noticable. -->>>

Why not just use a pair of headphones and get use to the audio characteristics of this cam?
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Old August 28th, 2003, 07:28 PM   #8
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Great idea Yang!
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Old August 29th, 2003, 06:05 AM   #9
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ALWAYS use Headfones for monitoring!!!
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Old October 10th, 2003, 05:21 PM   #10
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Try headset amplifier

You can't really hear what's going on with the DVX through the cans. It's too darn low on the volume. However Radio Shack has a headset amplifier for $21 that will do the job quite nicely.

There's another on the net that I've seen for a bit more, but it's the same unit. I can hear the AC running in the background now.

Bill
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Old October 11th, 2003, 01:08 AM   #11
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It's all about using the correct set of headphones. I"m using a pair of Technics RP-F200 and it works great! No need for any amplification device
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:44 AM   #12
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(It's all about using the correct set of headphones. I"m using a pair of Technics RP-F200 and it works great! No need for any amplification device)

Hmm, that's interesting, have you listened on a set of studio speakers after you've normalized your on location track? Maybe these phones have amplification, but you're not getting enough out of the DVX100 to drive the more mainstream phones like the MDR-7506's.

Here's a test that will illustrate ... that I did recently. Put a voice through the hardwired countryman clipped to a shirt. The subject is seated the room (actually it was aboard a yacht) had noticeable AC noise. Now plug in your MDR's into the camera and have the subject speak to the camera and listen. Now switch both the mic and the cans to you HHB and repeat. Huge difference in what you are hearing in the background. Same mic, same phones.

The amps in the HHB give you far better clarity and far more warning of what you will be dealing with back at the studio.

Thus the suggestion of the inexpensive headphone amp for the DVX .. Most folks will be very glad they did for critical sound acquisition. My humble opinion :)

Bill
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:35 PM   #13
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I've heard stuff I've shot out of speakers other than the headphones that were plugged into the DVX. They sounded fine.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 08:56 PM   #14
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well for monitoring, i use a smal set of Pana CDpayer earcups which clip over the ear... the kind you use when listenting to a portable cd player... this is great for run and gun stuff (small size) and doesnt drain the battery...

when doing major projects, i use Berringer HPX2000 open air cans which are absolutely incredible. they DO drain the battery... os power form mais is essential

for medium jobs, i use Audio Technica 350AV's which are also brilliant and are conservative on the power.
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Old October 11th, 2003, 10:32 PM   #15
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Are you talking about these cans for the "good" jobs?

BEHRINGER HPX2000 List price: $24.99
http://www.sixstardj.com/behhp1.html

OK ... then, didn't mean to cause ripples suggesting that you could get a better job with an amp on this camera. For me it was a terrific improvement in monitoring what I was actually getting on a nice hot recording into the DVX ... BTW on mine when I don't bump into the red a bit then the recording needs pumping up in post. Maybe the two DVX's I shoot are bit roguish if yours don't need any help. Heck if what you hear makes you happy ... cool.

Cheers.
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