XLR auto input level on the V1 at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-V1 / HDR-FX7
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old February 26th, 2007, 06:19 AM   #1
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XLR auto input level on the V1

Do you guys also find the auto input level for the supplied shotgun too low on the V1, or is it just me?
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Old February 26th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #2
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Not at all. Are you using manual or auto setting? Also, what level is the input set to - Mic or Line?
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Old February 26th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #3
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The shotgun supplied with the V1 has a fairly low output anyway. I generally use an Audio Technica AT-825 stereo microphone. The 825 always had plenty of output to get decent levels near 0db on my PD150, but on the V1 with automatic gain, the 825's peak levels hit at around -20db.

The audio section of the V1 is a disappointment. Besides the gain issue, it is noisy regardless of input level.

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Old February 26th, 2007, 11:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jiri Bakala
Not at all. Are you using manual or auto setting? Also, what level is the input set to - Mic or Line?
Of course the input is set to mic, and I'm asking about auto settings. It seems to provide very low sound; is it normal? Do most of you set in to manual and crank it up?
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Old February 26th, 2007, 11:28 AM   #5
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I noticed this too, the supplied mic gives quite low signal on auto. The Rode mic gives clearly higher level.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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In auto settings I would expect the peaks to be around -20 dB and since the meters don't have units it's impossible to know for sure where they are hitting. Maybe someone with the HVR-M25 deck could confirm this. I would guess that the peaks are in the correct vicinity and with the camcorder I had here, they were certainly not low. However, if you expect -12 dB or even higher, than perhaps the levels are a bit low but -12 dB is a consumer level and all professional equipment uses -20 dB as a nominal volume giving the recording a lot of headroom.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #7
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Jiri, in fact when I play clips in Vegas, the audio monitor shows peaks at around -20dB. I didn't know this level is standard for professional camcorders; thanks.

The Canon A1's internal mic is operating much louder, though.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 02:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Cline View Post
The audio section of the V1 is a disappointment. Besides the gain issue, it is noisy regardless of input level.
John
John,
would you say it's much worse than the on the PD150? Would you be able to post an audio sample of the two?

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Old February 28th, 2007, 06:02 AM   #9
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Well with the camera in auto the levels are way lower than say the PD150 in auto and I'm pretty certain that out of the box they both use the same mic.

As for setting the level to -20dB, that's kind of a bad thing to be doing, you're reducing your headroom and on these cameras that's a really bad move as the noise floor is pretty high and adding gain to mpeg audio is also a bad move.
What happens in all these cameras with the Audio Ref level st to -20dB in Auto is the AGC limits the peaks to -20dB, not the average, which is where the -20dB things comes from.

Tradionally in the land of analogue audio the VU meters were set to read 0 VU at -20dB, actually that was -16dBm as 0dB was +4dBm. That gave you 20dB headroom between average and peak program. This doesn't really work so well in the digital domain with peak reading meters and DV and things get much worse with HDV where adding any gain in post exposes the limits of the encoding .
We change all our DV cams where possible to set the reference level to -12dB, that gives us 8dB more S/N which sure doesn't go astray. This helps if the cams are run with AGC on and doesn't make any difference with AGC off when you ride the gain and watch the meters as the meters display peak and are unaffected by the reference level setting.
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