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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 20th, 2003, 11:04 AM   #1
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How clean is PDX-10 XLR Audio?

What are the general experiences with audio via the XLRs? I'm thinking about getting this camera and using a SennK6 shotgun and Senn wireless into both XLRs to record stereo.... anyone have experience with this?

Also I thought I came across a post here that the PDX10 has some sort of "low signal floor" (I can't remember the exact term used; please don't quote me!) through their XLRs?

Does anyone know what I'm talking about? Do I? (certainly not!)

thanks.
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Old June 21st, 2003, 02:14 PM   #2
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I have had a bit of a problem using a Soundcraft mixer with the PDX10, but that was caused by the Soundcraft:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?threadid=10109
To my ears the audio on the PDX10 sounds great. Also see the review in DV Magazine:
http://www.dv.com/features/features_item.jhtml;jsessionid=XEJH2QQKZGA5MQSNDBCCKHSCJUMEYJVN?LookupId=/xml/review/johnson0703&_requestid=218778
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 03:58 AM   #3
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Orchestral recording

I have just completed a recording of my orchestra using my PDX10 and obtained excellent results. (See set up below)

Your limiting factor is the microphones supplied by SONY but you will need some more equipment to get a really good audio take.

I have always regarded the XLR shoe mount as an access point for the feed of either

a) two (or one) better microphone(s); or
b) the stereo (or 2 track) feed from a mixing desk, especially rigged for the event.

In my case, I used 4 Audio Technica AT33a mics (probably $150 each) into a Mackie 1202VLZ pro mixer (circa $350) using all balanced cables.

I placed 2 mics over the strings (Violins/Viola/Cello) and 2 more towards the read to cover Brass/wind and percussion. These sections were recorded separately to the 2 tracks available on the PDX10.

I also had 2 other cameras covering the action but the audio from these was discarded. PDX 10's audio compression setting were, or course, switched off for the whole recording.

Finally I edited the audio in Protools LE 6.1 (balanced the 2 tracks, added some compression and a little Eq). [My Protools software comes with the Digidesign MBox, circa $500] All video editing was done in Final Cut Express. (on Apple powerbook)

In Summary, your PDX 10 is a great machine for capturing good audio but you will need some additional items if you really want to get really really good sound. A good shoe mount microphones will get you some of the way but be prepared to experiment.

Hope this helps.

Regards P

PS: If anyone is interested, I might upload some of the footage.
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Old June 24th, 2003, 06:29 PM   #4
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nice.

Patrick-

Thanks for the detailed response! Am I correct in that the feeds into the L and R XLR adapters on the PDX10 were Line level? You mentioned that you turned the sound compression off on the camera...I'm not sure I know what you mean. What option is this on the PDX10? Is it one of the little switches on the side of the XLR mount?

I am thinking hard about getting this camera and would love to see your footage!

Thanks again for the input,

Blip
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Old June 25th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #5
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Re: nice.

pg's answers are in UPPERCASE.

"Thanks for the detailed response! Am I correct in that the feeds into the L and R XLR adapters on the PDX10 were Line level? "

YES, THE OUTPUTS FROM THE mACKIE MIXER ARE AT LINE LEVEL, HAVING BEEN CONVERTED BY THE PRE-AMPS ON THE MIXER.

THE AUDIO MOUNT ON THE PDX10 HAVE PRE-AMPS TOO BUT YOU SWITCH THESE OFF VIA THE SWITCH ON THE SHOE MOUNT. i FEEL PRETTY SURE THAT THE PRE-AMPS ON THE MACKIE DESK ARE PROBABLY SUPERIOR TO THE ONES THAT SONY PUT INTO THE PSC10'S SHOE MOUNT BUT I HAVE N'T DONE ANY DETAILED TESTS BUT MY MAIN REASONS FOR USING THE DESK ARE

1.I WANTED TO RUN MOE THAN 2 MICS.
2.i WANTED TO HAVE BETTER METERING OF THE LEVEL OF THE SIGNAL. THE MACKIE DESK HAS MORE OBVIOUS METERING, ALTHOUGH THE PDX10 HAS QUITE GOO ON-SCREEN AUDIO LEVEL METERING (YOU DONT WANT TO OVERLOAD THE ANALOG TO DIGITAL CONVERTERS)
3.PROBABLY BETTER PREAMPS ON MACKIE AND AS THIS WAS A MUSIC RECORDING, I WANTED TO USE THE BEST TOOLS FOR THE JOB.
4. I WANTED MORE CONTROL ON THE GAIN LEVEL ON THE PREAMPS (MACKIE IS VARIABLE USING A DIAL), WHERE AS THE SONY IS FIXED.(I bELIEVE)

STICKING 2 PHANTOM POWER CONDENSER MICS ONTO THE PDX10 (AND SWITCHING ON THE +48V) WOULD PROBABLY HAVE ACHIEVED 80% OF WHAT I DID AND IF I HAD LITTLE TIME TO SET UP, THIS IS WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE AND PROBABLY HAVE BEEN VERY HAPPY


You mentioned that you turned the sound compression off on the camera...I'm not sure I know what you mean. What option is this on the PDX10? Is it one of the little switches on the side of the
XLR mount?


THIS IS ALL ABOUT 'AUTOGAIN' AND IS ONE OF THE MENU SETTINGS UNDER AUDIO OPTIONS. THIS CIRCUITRY EVENS OUT THE LEVEL OF THE AUDIO, MAKING QUIETER PASSAGES LOUDER AND LIMITING THE VERY LOUD SECTIONS (USEFUL TO AVOID DIGIAL OVERLOAD WHICH IS NASTY). AS MY RECORDING WAS OF AN ORCHESTRA WITH QUITE A WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE ( DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUITE AND LOUD) I WANTED TO CAPTURE THIS. ANY 'AUTO GAIN' (MORE CORRECTLY CALLED 'COMPRESSION') i WANTED, I COULD AND DID ADD IN POST PRODUCTION. THIS IS STANDARD PRACTICE BECAUSE YOU HAVE MUCH MORE CONTROL AND PROFESSIONAL COMPRESSORS ARE BETTER HAVING MUCH MORE CONTROL (THIS IS A HUGE AREA IN THE AUDIO RECORDING INDUSTRY)

I am thinking hard about getting this camera and would love to see your footage!

MAKING A USEFUL COMPARISON VIA A WEB STREAMING WOULD PROBABLY NOT SHOW WHAT THIS CAMERA IS CAPABLE OF. i USED 3 CAMERAS FOR THIS JOB, THE PDX10, A SONY PC100E (SINGLE CHIPPER) AND A THIRD SONY SINGLE CHIPPER LENT BY A FRIEND PROBABLY A SIMILAR SPEC AND AGE TO THE PC100E. DURING THE PLAYBACK, IT WAS OBVIOUS WHICH WAS THE BETTER CAMERA. (PDX10). THERE WAS QUITE A BIT OF LENS FLARNG ON THE OTHER 2 CAMERAS AS SOME BRIGHT LIGHTS WERE USED. THE PDX 10 WAS NOT SHOOTING IN THE DIRECTION OF THE LIGHTS SO I WAS NOT ABLE TO COMMENT ON THIS.
IF IF GET A GOOD RESULT FROM BURNING A DVD, I'LL HAPPILY MAIL YOU A COPY. (FROM IRELAND!!)

REGARDS p


i'LL POST SOME IMAGE CAPTURES FROM THE 3 CAMERAS ON MY WEBSITE SOON AND POST A LINK HERE WHEN IT IS READY

PS : IN THE MAIN, I AM A SOUND ENGINEER SO THE ABOVE DETAILS MAY APPEAR ADVANCED. FOR WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH THE CAMERA. I AM SIMPLY SHOWING THAT IT CAN BE INTEGRATED INTO QUITE A PRO SETUP. THIS IS NOT REALLY POSSIBLE WITH THE trv 950. WHEN SONY CONVERT THE PD150 TO BEING 16:9 NATIVE, i WILL BUY ONE SO THAT i CAN FILM THIS TYPE OF EVENT IN 16:9. THAT WOULD BE GREAT!!!
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Old June 26th, 2003, 12:35 PM   #6
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Patrick-

Thanks so much for your *detailed* reply... Just what I wanted; I learned something!

I think we have the same Mackie mixer here at work (which we never use...time to bring it out!)

Thanks for the offer on the DVD too! I may take you up on that.

Since you seem to know your stuff on audio, I'm trying to find out what the term "sound reinforcement" means. This is a stab in the dark, but is it recording with multiple mics (maybe one close and one far from the source?) that somehow give a better overall tone or sound? I just tried recording a "talking head" shot with a Sennheiser K6 overhead and a Senn wireless lav as well (left and right). I seemed to get a pretty good sound.... do you have any pointers on such a lav / shotgun setup?

thanks again,

blip
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Old June 30th, 2003, 08:36 AM   #7
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'Sound reinforcement' is simply the augmenting of a live performance so the that audience can hear what is going on.

You go to a concert and the miking of all the performers, mixing and rebalancing the sound and amplifying through a Public Address (PA) system is 'Sound reinforcement'.

This is usually got nothing to do with video work !!!

I don't have any lapel mics etc but will get something soon.

Regards

P
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Old July 5th, 2003, 08:40 AM   #8
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Is a pre-amp needed for good sound?

Patrick,

In your example, you always had a mixer and were running line-level signals to the camera, bypassing its mic preamp?

Can you get good audio with the camera's mike pre-amp. The ME66/Wireless combo assumes no preamp.

David
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Old July 7th, 2003, 04:02 AM   #9
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Probably not.

The pre-amp in the PDX10/PD150 is probably not that bad gven that SONY has some expertise in building these. However, the main reason for usin the mixer is for metering and for combining(mixing) more than 2 signals.

I will do some testing and let you know.

Regards P
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Old July 7th, 2003, 12:25 PM   #10
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Just to clarify the above.

The Preamps on the SONY adaptor are quite good and you don't really need external ones to generate good audio. There are much more important thinks like

Good mic placement
Healtlhy feeds from all sources
Getting a good gain structure
Good micrphones etc
Good monitoring of the sound
COmpression settings.

Sony can make som great pre-amps although the ones on 'prosumer' vid cameras are probably good without being spectacular.

Regards

P
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