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Old December 9th, 2015, 07:25 AM   #1
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FZ1000 audio channels

Hi Guys

I have two receivers on my A-Cam which feed via a passive mixer into right and left channels of the camera input ... Audio is pretty darn good but I was wondering if it's better to leave the limiter in the menu off : Here is the scenario that might cause me an issue .. I have a mic on the groom into transmitter 1 and then another mic on a small light stand that points at the PA speaker so I have backup audio on the right channel ... Now, more often than not the signal on the right channel (being a PA speaker) is heaps louder than the groom's voice so what I think is happening is the limiter looks at BOTH channels and because it sees a BIG output from the right channel (the PA system) it attenuates the whole input (as in both channels) so my mic on the groom also gets attenuated .....Has anyone seen this and do you leave the limiter on or off ??? My mixer has level controls so I can easily crank down the PA input substantially so it doesn't cause the camera to think the audio input is too high.

When I look at the levels on the LCD they are both pretty normal but I'm guessing that is because the limiter is doing it's job??

Any comments as to what you are setting for audio??
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Old December 9th, 2015, 07:43 AM   #2
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Hi Chris,

I usually have the camera audio set for auto, but I tend to use the portable recorders, so camera audio is only for sync and fall back. The compressor is a limiter/compressor, so will always keep the audio to a maximum ceiling and will compress bot channels according to the overall highest level. Otherwise if both were compressed independently, the stereo sound in normal recording would appear to move around and not have fixed positioning. As you suggested, taking the auto off will enable you to keep volumes the same, but you may need to ride the volume for unexpected peaks, or record below the normal level.

I only take audio to the camera if I am using a stereo input, so don't use channels independently like you.

Roger
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:22 AM   #3
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Thanks Roger

I'll do a little test and put my second channel up against the office radio speaker so the right channel is significantly louder ...trouble is at a wedding the groom mic sounds perfect BUT this is before the 2nd mic is getting any input ...I'm pretty sure both levels are reduced equally when the camera detects a high output so I'll set input levels to +6db and then use the mixer controls to drop levels accordingly and see if the balance is better .. Have another wedding on Sunday so I can also test in a real time environment also ! I have to use both inputs as more often than not our celebrants stand away from the couple for the first part of the ceremony and only move up close for the vows!
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Old December 10th, 2015, 05:05 AM   #4
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

I don't usually worry about varying levels in the speeches, as I apply a compressor and/or leveler at the editing stage to bring the audio to a more constant level. There is also more control over compression at the editing stage than there is in the camera, where you are usually stuck with a fixed setting.

Roger
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Old December 10th, 2015, 06:00 AM   #5
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Thanks Roger

I don't have any issue with moderately changing levels ! It is just when I have one mic on the groom and the other facing the PA speaker that the levels are drastically different so the camera limiter pulls the whole audio level down so the +12db level of the PA is pulled down to -6db and of course the "normal" -6db on the groom mic then drops to -18db via the limiter!! Disaster on the groom mic but the PA audio is perfect!! Problem is that IF the celebrant doesn't use his mic for the vows I have no audio!!!
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Old December 11th, 2015, 08:49 PM   #6
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Yep that was the issue! I have the limiter off now and balance the inputs of each channel via the little passive mixer ...I stuck a mic right in close to the radio in the office and clipped a lav on myself on the other channel and the limiter sees the loud output from the radio and clamps down both channels! With the limiter off you can see the right channel going into the red all the time so on the mixer I have the right channel at around 25% and the left channel (groom mic) up around 75% before it starts peaking (that means my camera input levels are a bit high so I'll down the level back to 0db instead of +6db!!

I could of course simply place my "celebrant mic" further away to balance the levels but then it tends to also pick up audience noise and more ambient noise too.
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Old December 12th, 2015, 10:51 AM   #7
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Glad you got that sorted Chris, camera limiters have their uses but can also be a pain as you've found.

Roger
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Old December 13th, 2015, 07:09 PM   #8
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Did a wedding yesterday and the FZ1000 with the limiters off is a different animal .. the limiter pulls the signal down more than I realised!! With limiter off and the input level reduced from +6db to 0db the groom mic still needed some hefty level correction on the mixer! However with the limiter off balancing both channels is easy now and doesn't affect the other channel if one is high and one is low.
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Old December 14th, 2015, 06:38 AM   #9
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Sounds good Chris, still enjoying the camera then?

Roger
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Old December 14th, 2015, 09:01 PM   #10
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Hey Roger

Absolutely!! I'm using the square block focus on the main camera too so I get perfect focus and having zoom resume on is also useful so if I turn the cam off during register signing (I use the 2nd cam handheld for that) it will remember the zoom settings.

I however need to organise a more fancy mixer for the two receivers as mine is a simple passive one and the pots make a noise on the track if you adjust the levels whilst recording .. maybe I need a simple op amp mixer that is battery powered so the controls are not directly in the signal line? I must admit a fancy mixer might be nice especially with LED/LCD level displays so I can adjust easily without having to squint thru the EVF to see what the levels are! I could get a Beachtek unit with all the bells and whistles but shucks they cost almost the same as the camera!!!!

We have a break now until the month end and then back into weddings from the 30th onwards

Have a great Christmas and hope it's not to cold and wet in the UK over the festive season!!
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Old December 15th, 2015, 03:33 AM   #11
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

I'm still delighted with the camera, using it for both stills and video and have no regrets investing in two FZ1000s. I'm still finding new things out about using it, but I am now confident enough to know that it will always give me a good end product. Still using my Panny video cams, but more as b cams now.

Weather in the UK has been unusually mild for this time of year, but as a result also very wet with a lot of flooding in the northern areas. It's likely to be a wet rather than white Christmas.. Enjoy your break Chris, although we will be doing our music work including Christmas Day.

Roger
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Old December 15th, 2015, 06:56 PM   #12
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

We had some guests at last Sunday's wedding from Liverpool and a bit further North and they told me about the floods too!!

My son in South Africa has bought himself an FZ200 (FZ1000's are way too pricey he says) so I'm also throwing a few hints his way.

I think I have the answer regarding mixers ...the saramonic units from China make some really nice adapters which have XLR inputs on unit level controls with peaking lights plus a headphone amp all built in!

Enjoy the festive season!
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Old December 16th, 2015, 06:05 AM   #13
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Found this Chris, could be the answer to your dreams. Fantastic price for the facility it offers, 4 separately
controlled and recorded input channels including 2 XLR inputs, twin recording for a safety track, headphone monitoring, output to camera for reference and synch track, internally powered and a well respected manufacturer. Looks like my first purchase for the new year!
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tascam-DR-60...KRYSZSDF7A4N88

Roger
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Old December 16th, 2015, 06:18 AM   #14
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

Better get the dr70, I believe it has somewhat the same functionality but is in a much smaller package, I have the dr60 but it adds quite some bulk.
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Old December 16th, 2015, 07:33 AM   #15
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Re: FZ1000 audio channels

The Tascam is really nice I must admit but I'm getting a Saramonic SRAX107 .. it has XLR and Phantom power plus visual level meters and peaking lights and a headphone output and mounts under the camera so that will suffice for now ..I just need to be able to have accurate input levels and for $149 on special it's worth a try! It was $229 so a lot cheaper than the Beachtek .. If I was up to spend nearly $400 then the Tascam DR60 would be awesome but that's half the price of the camera.

I'll give you my opinion (good or bad) once I try it out!!
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