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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old October 30th, 2004, 01:08 PM   #1
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? about XLR Adapter on PDX-10

I went home this weekend and started to really play with this camera. The first thing I noticed was that I was not able to adjst the XLR setting in the camera's menu (as suggested by the instructions).

When I go to it in the menu, it is grayed out (unable to access). I have tried re installing the XLR adapter, but this does not work. I did notice that when looking at the small peice that fits in the hot shoe, one wire appears shorter (ie maybe bent and/or broken).

My question is could this be the problem, or is there a simple adjustment in the menu I am missing.

Thanks for any help
Brian
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Old October 30th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #2
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Hi Brian
I had the same problem (early on after I bought mine). It turned out that I had not installed the connector into the hot shoe correctly. It needs to snap in place very clearly (it'll click).

I looked at the bottom of my connector piece (must be a better name for that thing!), and there is a shorter contact. The one on the end--so that's completely normal.

Make sure the thing is put in correctly, and firmly (again--it needs to click) and it should be fine...good luck!

Chris
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Old October 30th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #3
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Chris is right, a number of people have had this problem and it was always related to the connector not being completely seated. You have to push it really hard, which is a little scary until you get used to the feeling...
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Old October 31st, 2004, 04:08 PM   #4
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Thanks guys,

That was exactly the problem, I didn't press it in far enough. Oh, by the way, what it the MIC and MIC ATT on the XLR adapter and where should it be for normal recording?

thanks again, Brian
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Old October 31st, 2004, 05:17 PM   #5
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Hi Brian
Glad to hear it worked out for you. It's a fairly common issue--a person pays a few thousand dollars for this thing, and you get nervous about forcing the part into place. I had to get over being too delicate around it...

The MIC setting is the "normal" default one when you have microphones plugged into either one of the inputs. The MIC ATT setting (ATT stands for ATTenuation; it means to reduce) is used when the input is too strong for the mic to handle, like in a high wind or a loud environment. Or maybe when you have a very sensitive microphone plugged in. I think it reduces the amount of signal that the microphone sends to the camera's recording system, or it otherwise limits the signal. Not sure exactly how, off the top of my head--my understanding of it is more experiential than theoretical. Maybe someone else can correct me on that point...
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Old November 1st, 2004, 09:55 AM   #6
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Thanks again.

If I am shooting something about 20-30 feet away in a crowd and am looking to record a person or persons at the end of that didstance, would I be better off using MIC, so as not to reduce any signal?

If so, what are the general reasons to use MIC vs. MIC ATT?

Thanks Brian
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Old November 1st, 2004, 11:20 AM   #7
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It's highly dependent on the mic you are using and the sound level of the situation. Using the Mic ATT position helps prevent overloading the input when using a high-output mic in a loud situation. For example, the Sennheiser K6/ME66 or the Audio Technica AT4073a shotgun mics both output very hot signals and would require using the Mic ATT position in any situation that was reasonably loud. They would overload the regular Mic input regardless of how low you adjusted the audio recording levels or what the meters on the camera showed. You would hear this distortion on loud sounds while monitoring with headphones.
On the other hand, if you were using a Shure SM58 mic, then you'd have to be recording an extremely loud source before you might have to engage the Mic ATT switch.
The mic that comes standard with the camera falls in between those two extremes. Generally you would use the Mic setting to pick up a distant, quiet sound. If the crowd suddenly cheered loudly though, it could overload the input. It's extremely difficult to fix the distortion from either overloading the input or recording at too hot a level to tape. Unfortunately you can't just leave the Mic ATT switch on because you would have insufficient audio levels for many quiet situations. This would result in having more noise in your recording and less of the target audio you're trying to pick up. A noise-reduction program can be used to help clean up that situation, but it's best to record cleanly to begin with.
You can also engage the Low Cut switches on the XLR adapter. This will help reduce wind noise, handling noises or other low-frequency sounds that may be dominating your target audio. If you want to record full-frequency audio, such as music, then you'd generally leave these switches off and make further adjustments while editing.
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Old November 1st, 2004, 03:00 PM   #8
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Thanks and I have no more questions -- yet.

I do want to say that this board is a wealth of knowledge for a new guy like me.

Brian
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Old November 1st, 2004, 06:33 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Brian Jacobsen : I do want to say that this board is a wealth of knowledge for a new guy like me-->>>

It is for most of us, I think! Glad you got your answers.

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2004, 06:48 PM   #10
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Glad you were able to get some answers Brian. I agree, there are a lot of helpful people here.

Now once you start recording audio on your PDX-10, your next question will no doubt be "why are the levels so low?" Have a look at this thread; it discusses this and other audio issues on the PDX-10: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=30186
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Old November 11th, 2004, 05:50 AM   #11
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Also, use the Mic ATT setting un conjunction with the audio level meters on the screen/viewfinder. Once you see that the signal is going into the red, then it is time to switch in the ATT.

Note that you should also set the mic gain leve in the audio menu.

You should aim to get settings that are lagely in the upper hald of the spectrum with a little margin for when things get really loud.

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Old November 14th, 2004, 01:31 AM   #12
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You may still need the Mic ATT switch regardless of the metering. You must listen to the audio to determine if you are overloading the input. Turning down the level controls will bring the meters down, but won't prevent distortion if the input level from the mic is too high.
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Old November 14th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #13
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What about the listening volume

<<<-- Originally posted by Jay Massengill : You may still need the Mic ATT switch regardless of the metering. You must listen to the audio to determine if you are overloading the input. Turning down the level controls will bring the meters down, but won't prevent distortion if the input level from the mic is too high. -->>>


Does the on camera/headphone volume play into this?

You must listen to the audio most likely using headphones so where should the volume be set so you know if you have a problem? I assume a couple of hash marks 3-4 ?

The volume I am talking about is the one you change on the camera body after opening the LCD screen above the pause button.

Oh, ok I think I got it - that volume doesn't matter because you are going by the audio meters which are independent of the cam volume???
Al
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Old November 14th, 2004, 10:05 PM   #14
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Set your headphone volume wherever you find it comfortable, it doesn't affect what is recorded - yes, the meters show the level that's being recorded and they should be your guide. More often than not I set mine at full. With my headphones (Sony MDR-V600) this seems about right when I record performances.
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Old November 15th, 2004, 08:45 AM   #15
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The point I'm trying to make is that using the recording level controls to keep the meters at a "safe" indication isn't a guarantee that you aren't getting terrible distortion from overloading the input.
The input's full capacity, when in the Mic position, can be overdriven by high-output mics. If you simply use the visual reference of the meters, bringing them down using the recording level controls, you can get burned if you don't also listen for clipping at the input. You'll clearly recognize this clipping, it isn't dependent on the volume setting for the headphone out unless you're using terrible headphones.
The key symptoms that tell you are overloading the input are that you can still hear severe distortion on loud sounds despite taking the recording level controls lower and lower, with the meters having never reached their full scale. This clipping happens at the input itself, controlled by the Mic, Mic ATT and line level switches. This clipping is telling you that you need to attenuate the input.
The recording level controls and the metering come after this. They determine how much of the audio from the input gets recorded to tape. They are two separate stages in the chain and have to be monitored both audibly (input) and visually (meters) to be sure of what you're getting.
As Boyd said, set the volume control for the headphone out at a comfortable level, using material that you know is correctly recorded. Make a note of that volume setting so you have a base point to work from for audible monitoring.
Once you're certain that you aren't overdriving the input, then the meters become your accurate visual gauge for setting the recording level.
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