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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old June 12th, 2003, 02:18 PM   #1
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PD150 Audio and DVCAM Questions

I recently purchased a second hand PD150 which seems to be a fantastic camera but a couple of things are puzzling me. Firstly, the audio from the supplied mic is very quiet. I've got the settings on CH1+2, +48v and 'Mic' but even when I go into manual audio I don't seem to be able to get an acceptable volume level unless I'm about 12 inches away from a fairly loud source. Am I doing something wrong?

Also, I recorded in DVCAM mode on to a Sony Excellence Mini DV tape. However, I was able to play back the footage I had recorded on a Sony TRV25. Surely this shouldn't be possible??
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Old June 12th, 2003, 03:15 PM   #2
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Re: PD150 Audio and DVCAM Questions

<<<-- Originally posted by Gareth Mattison : I recently purchased a second hand PD150 which seems to be a fantastic camera but a couple of things are puzzling me. Firstly, the audio from the supplied mic is very quiet. I've got the settings on CH1+2, +48v and 'Mic' but even when I go into manual audio I don't seem to be able to get an acceptable volume level unless I'm about 12 inches away from a fairly loud source. Am I doing something wrong?

Something seems to be wrong. Is the attenuator on? It is a position on the Mic/Line switch up on the handle.

Also, I recorded in DVCAM mode on to a Sony Excellence Mini DV tape. However, I was able to play back the footage I had recorded on a Sony TRV25. Surely this shouldn't be possible??

Most Sony camcorders will play back DVCam tapes.

-->>>
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Old February 29th, 2004, 12:20 PM   #3
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Did you find out the solution to your problem? I have a PD170 and I'm experiencing the same problems. I also have a ME66 and use it on the camera but have to use it with the mic attn on since its a "hot" mic. But it still is very soft when played back.

My TRV900 seems so much louder in comparison. I'm wondering if this is a normal thing for these cameras and we just need to be bringing the mic in closer to the subjects. Anyone with suggestions?
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Old February 29th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #4
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One thing to note about digital cameras and sound.

You record to a -12 (or -20) DB max to allow for peaks. Then, when you transfer that to your NLE or listen to it on headphones directly from the camera, it isn't very loud.

What you have to do is crank up the volume or the rubber-band line in your NLE for listening purposes. Then when you want to export the work to the outside, you need to run the volume back down so -12 or -20 is where a reference tone peaks out.

Here is an interesting thread. Read through the last 3 pages of postings in the 'Now Hear This' Forum.


http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ghlight=levels
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Old February 29th, 2004, 01:33 PM   #5
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Mike,

I can understand what you say about increasing volume in Final Cut but when I export to DVD, I need to return the volume down? I'd like the volume louder so its a somewhat acceptable volume when watching on a TV. Am I missing something here? I mean my TRV900 is a miniDV camera but the volume sounds a lot better than my 170. Granted the sound quality may not be as good, the volume level IS louder. I'm just wondering if these "prosumer" cameras record audio at a lower volume than consumer cameras with the TRV900 is. Sorry for all the questions but I'm a bit confused and am a newbie when it comes to all this audio stuff. Thanks for your suggestions and help!
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Old February 29th, 2004, 03:57 PM   #6
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The value of ZERO in digital is not 0 but -12db. I'm speaking in terms of audio as Mike R. has stated. When I 1st started using my 150's I thought WOW, it's very quiet in the computer so I CRANKED the levels in the camera (I used and still use manual) well guess what. BAM! It got me big. Fortunately the event was my own, just some family stuff to play around with the cameras but boy did I clip the audio. Nothing could save it. If you are running manual audio then keep the average level to -12 with peaks about -20, and if it gets really loud where you're recording then switch to MIC ATT, and that'll drop it about 20 db. IF you're using AGC then you should be fine except if you turn right into a speaker thats blasting then switch to MIC ATT and things should be good again.

It's rare that audio can be used right off the tape without some sort of minor help, but the 150/170's audio isn't as bad as a lot of folks make it out to be. I have 2 early serial number 150's and I just watch the levels and so far all has been pretty good.

HEY MIKE, just for you. I've even been playing with AGC a little. I'll let you know how it goes. :-)
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Old February 29th, 2004, 06:56 PM   #7
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It isn't your grandmothers consumer camera AGC. It is much more like the pro AGC in my DSR-300.

One channel on auto, one on manual and set rather low. I never miss a whisper or a loud bang.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #8
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Don,

I read your response but am I reading my audio meters wrong? You stated I should keep my levels around -12db with peaks around -20db. Am I mistaken or should this be the other way around? I thought the higher level is -12db and not -20db. Could you please elaborate on this? Thanks.
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Old February 29th, 2004, 11:23 PM   #9
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Paul,
My Bad!!!! My fingers got ahead of my brain. You're right. Peak at
-12 average out at about -20 and things should be good.


Mike, Thats what I've been playing with ch1 on AGC and ch2 at about 40% level. I'm doing a quick little shot this week saudio is n't important , it's all going to be VO'd so it's a good time for me to play some. I'll let you know.

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Old March 1st, 2004, 02:26 PM   #10
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Hey Mike,
So when shooting with one mic as an insurance policy you usually set one channel at AGC and one for example using the ME66 on the PD150 at a low MIC ATT level. That way you are always sure to get the sounds you want incase something is blown out or maybe too quiet. Correct me if I'm wrong but we should try to stay away from the AGC on setting as much as possible.
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Old March 1st, 2004, 08:18 PM   #11
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I feed the mono microphone into channel one and feed both channels. Then I set AGC on one of the channels to ON and OFF on the other channel which I normally set somewhere between 30 and 40% of the scale.

Frequently the AGC channel is blown out but when things get real quiet but I'm real busy, the AGC does get the sound.

Then in Post I cherry-pick the best sound. Or mix them.

I don't think there is anything 'wrong' with the AGC on the 150/170 as it is very much the same as the AGC on the pro cameras. i.e., useable.

If I have a sound person, then the cameras are in manual. If I don't then one channel out of all of them will be set to AGC ON.
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