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Old October 25th, 2012, 03:02 PM   #1
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Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Hoping maybe someone has the same setup / equipment and can help me out here...

For weddings, we shoot on HMC150s, and have two wireless lav sets...sennheiser G2 and G3s.

At the reception we like to get a direct feed from the DJ, so we plug the transmitter into his board, and the receiver to our cameras. However, when we flip the switches on the cameras to Line In, we get nothing. We have to use Mic In, which, more often than not, results in clipping, distorted sound -- but I am under the assumption that we are supposed to be using "Line In" but I am baffled as to why it's not working?

Is there something on the camera we need to do aside from flipping the switch? Or could it be that since the wireless system is designed for use with a mic and not an audio board that could be the problem?

I've looked all over the forum, user manual, etc. and can't really find anything out, so any input is greatly appreciated!
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Old October 25th, 2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Hi Katie

The wireless receivers will send a mic level signal back to your camera not a line level signal and the transmitter also is designed for a lav with a sensitivity or -50dbA not a Desk Output of 0dbA.
Unless the transmitters have a mic/line input switch then your only option is to get something like a 40db attenuation cable that goes between the desk and the transmitter. The receivers are doing their job correctly so you can leave them alone set up as they are. What is happening currently is that the transmitter is being grossly overloaded by the huge line out from the desk so you get a distorted signal from the transmiiter to the receiver ...an attenuation cable should do the trick ...otherwise do what others do and use a drum mic on the DJ's speaker via your transmitter.

Chris
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Old October 25th, 2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Thanks Chris...the more I was reading up on the subject, the more I was convinced it was the fact that the transmitter is not designed for a line in. However, does that account for the fact that I get ZERO levels in the camera? I mean, shouldn't I be getting something, distorted or not? or does it just overload the transmitter so much that it doesn't send anything at all to my receiver?
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Old October 26th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #4
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Hi Katie

Read the transmitter manual first..if the input is mic only then it's mic only..My Azdens are all mic only. If it does have line in then there will be a switch for it to start with "line-mic" Sone input circuits have limiters on them to prevent damage to the op amp chip so if you wack 300 mv into the mic socket instead of 3mv it just clamps the input so the chip doesn't get fried!!!

Also very few DJ's are audio experts!! That's why I never use them. I have been given line outputs fron desks that are closer to mic level than line level!!!

Why do you need a feed from the desk?? For speeches I rather add my own mic to the stand than rely on the DJ.

Chris
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Old October 26th, 2012, 06:36 AM   #5
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

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Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Katie

Also very few DJ's are audio experts!! That's why I never use them.
Why do you need a feed from the desk?? For speeches I rather add my own mic to the stand than rely on the DJ.

Chris
This is why I use the Senn E604 on a stand in front of the DJs speaker and my Blueline Hypercaroid on the camera. First I don't trust 99% of the DJs I've worked with to be able to give me a proper plugin and 2nd, if the audio IS screwed up, there is no one to blame but me. I can tell you I haven't had an audio issue at a wedding reception for many years with the system I use. Plus there isn't much I have to do (read as nothing) in post for the audio.
Never depend on someone else to do whats right. In most cases they don't know or care enough to help out and be right about it.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #6
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Ok, thank you both for your input...I don't need a feed from the DJ I guess...I just like the option, because when it does work out, it sounds great. We don't have problems ALL the time. And we always have back-up, a feed is never the only thing we're relying on...we do mic the speakers, as you do Don.

Chris, your idea of putting your own mic on the stand is great, but at our weddings, the toasts don't happen from a stand or stage area...they do them most often, standing at their seats, with a handheld mic.

Quick question (this is now turning into a wedding post instead of an equipment one :-) ) We've run into a couple places where the venue insists on doing the toasts from their in-house system, in which case the speakers are usually all around the ceiling. What would you do in that instance?

I'm still interested in hearing, too, if anyone else is reading, what a good wireless transmitter/receiver option would be to GET a feed, that would work with a line-in, since our sennheisers seem to not give that option.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 08:31 AM   #7
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Hi Katie

With me it's called "bullying" I explain to the bride that having people spring up all over and do a speech makes camera position and lighting tricky so I always suggest use a lectern ..most venue have one and I can light it nicely and people just come up to it..you also have a place to put your notes!!

If no lectern is present then I let them do their speeches at the end of the bridal table so again I have them all at the same position. Most of our venues use the house PA so I simply put the house mic in a stand and clip a lav and transmitter on the stand.

When you guys have a long bridal table with all the speakers at the table, how do you sort out lighting?? You might have one speech at one end then one speech from the other end etc etc. Over here also the parents are seldom at the bridal table so speaking from tables could be a nightmare as Dad might be at table 1 and then other Dad at table 5 and then the best man at the bridal table.

I have heard people here who strap a slimline recorder to the actual body of the house mic so regards of where the speaker is, as long as they hold the mic you get good audio..I guess if you go the speaker route any one of the house speakers (normally in the ceiling) can be miced.

Still interested to know how you guys handle people scattered all over.

BTW: a did have a cheap Chinese radio mic that had line in and mic in but the quality was pathetic!!

Chris
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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #8
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

A mic splitter box such as Whirlwind can be put between the mic before the house mix, or after the house mixer, (before it goes into "the wall" or amp stage). Use the ground lift then send to your transmitter.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Katie, I have never had a problem with explaining to the house or the couple why it is 1000 times better to use the DJs system. HOWEVER, I've done seminars (small ones - very small) where they have used the house system (it always sucks) and I have simply taken my plug in transmitter with a Y cable. One end to the wall plug (which it always is-never into a mixer since the hotels and banquet facilities don't use them for the house system- only a volume control) and one goes to my transmitter. Again though I have never had a venue insist on using their crappy house system.

Chris, here in the US (the north country) speeches are generally done from the head table. Best man, MoH, maybe a couple of parents. they use the DJ's mic so getting audio is no problem. Lighting is no problem because I use my trusty on-camera light. While there are folks here who insist on not using one, I insist on using one and frankly if it has hindered me in anyway, I've never noticed it nor has anyone ever come to me and said the light was annoying. I have a job to do and I'm going to do what I have to to get the job done. Unless it's illeagle, immoral or fattening and I'm not to worried about the first 2! ;-)
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #10
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

We don't do much in way of lighting until later in the night for the dancing. 99% of the time, the lights at a reception venue stay up through dinner, and if they're not, we talk to the venue coordinator to get them up.

That's a major topic I always cover in my last meeting with the couple before their wedding. On the dance floor, it's easy to use lights and still be discreet, especially if the DJ has a good setup. But for toasts, I find that most people don't want our on camera lights drawing attention to us, or blasting in the face of the speaker...it's pretty easy to convince the bride and groom to leave the lights on for most of the major events.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 12:41 PM   #11
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

If coming from the DJ, a "DI" or direct box would provide a better sound. (It's what musicians use to go from their instrument to the mic level on a mixer.) A DI from an AUX out or Tape out of a mixer will not be a threat or any extra work for the DJ and remains independent of their config. Then plug into your transmitter.

Pre-planning with the client for these things is a must. A toast is from here, the lighting needs to be thus. If they change that after communicated and agreed upon, they were told and you can't be responsible if they are not satisfied.

If you can do it, a bounced light off the ceiling doesn't have to bring attention to the camera operator.
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Old November 4th, 2012, 07:30 AM   #12
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Katie, back to your original question.
I use the Sennheiser EW100 transmitter/receiver set. When connected to a desk line-out I use the menu settings to drop the sensitivity to -30db on the transmitter, I leave the camera input at mic level and if still clipping I use the AF-out menu setting on the receiver to drop the level one or two steps.
I don't use the HM150 but have used Panasonics with mic/line input and you do need a high level output to get any signal response on the camera at line level input, even with a cabled connection.

I have used this method to take feed from small PAs, house systems and band desks but Please Note that this is how I use them I know others (with greater technical knowledge than I have) will say that without an attenuator between the desk and the transmitter input you stand a chance of damaging it so be cautious.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Thanks George...My biggest reason for the post was to see why in the world "line-in" wasn't working, but if the signal needs to be THAT strong that would explain some of it.

Thanks for the input on the Sennheiser system too...Definitely gives me something to try, with caution as you say.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Hi Katie

If it helps any, Panasonics normally use a 360mv line input to achieve 0db level ..but most DJ's are not sound engineers so they usually have no idea at all what the feed level technically is!!

I have had theatre XLR line outs from pro sound desks that barely register with the camera set to line so in those cases you have to use mic in!! Using a level adjustable transmitter sounds the most sensible BUT remember to change the settings back when you use it with a lav mic again otherwise you will get no audio!!

Don's method of using a mic on the DJ speaker is a neat idea and you don't have to rely on a desk feed!!

Mics designed for drums really work well here if the DJ is loud!!

Chris
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 03:26 PM   #15
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Re: Line-In on Panasonic HMC150

Just an update, since I posted this, we went out and bought the drum mic Don recommends, and used it for the first time a couple weeks ago at a wedding. I have to say, I was very impressed with how it turned out! I love it because not only can you hear the speeches nice and clear, but it's not as "stale" as getting a feed, as you can still hear a little room noise and audience participation. I'm very happy with the results, at least from this first try.

Curious, Don, as to what you do when the speeches are done through an overhead/house system? This particular wedding was done through the dj, so we could set up right next to their speaker...however, we would have been screwed using this set up with an in-house system because we wouldn't have been able to get close enough to the speakers. I can think of a few weddings this past season where this set up wouldn't have worked, just curious as to what your backup is?

We had a couple of zooms going at this particular wedding, one at the head table and one near the DJs speakers as well...a direct feed wasn't an option at this wedding.
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