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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old July 21st, 2005, 11:12 AM   #1
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From the audio board to the camera...

I just got finished editing a dance recital. The biggest pain was trying to match up the music to the video since the audio was unusable.

What happened?

I ran an XLR audio cable from the audio guy's board to the camera and plugged it into channel 1 (or was it 2?).

It sounded awful.

I went from MIC to LINE and adjusted the levels as best I could. I almost had them turned all the way down and it still sounded awful.

I can't determine if it was on his end or mine.

Any tips or pointers?

By the way, I was using a Sony DSR PD-170... and I wasn't sure about putting this in the audio thread or here.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 03:47 PM   #2
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Hey Colby,

What KIND of awful? Hum, distortion, etc.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 06:18 PM   #3
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Over modulated and VERY distorted. It was unusable.
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Old July 21st, 2005, 07:22 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Colby Knight]I ran an XLR audio cable from the audio guy's board to the camera and plugged it into channel 1 (or was it 2?).

It sounded awful.

Colby, what kind of console output was it? Sometimes outputs have their own level control, and it was set too high. Or it may have been a preamp output. The line input is +4dB on the 170 so a standard line level should not cause this. It sounds like you did your best but the incoming level was just too high...

Cheers,
-Matt
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Old August 1st, 2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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Could it have been a POWERED mixer (i.e., a built-in amplifier designed to run speakers)?

Anyway, a common tool for audio guys to carry is a set of "pads", which are XLR adapters that contain circuitry that "pads" the signal (lowers the signal level). They are designed to prevent an overly-hot signal from overdriving an input circuit, such as what was happening to you. They are often needed when using a high-output condenser mic with a vidcam, and another common use is interfacing with audio equipment that you don't own/control.

Anyway, you can buy adapters that give you -10dB, -15dB, -20dB, -30dB, and -40dB (that I know of). You can even get one that has multiple settings in the same unit. Example:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

Finally, and you may already know this, but you'll generally want to capture some of the "room sound" to go along with the audio from the house board. Remember that the guy running the house sound only wants audio from the stage going through his system, because everyone in the room can already hear the audience. As a videographer, you NEED to capture the audience as well as the stage audio, or your video will sound very cold, dry, and boring.

The easiest solution is to use one track to record a mono input from the house board, and the other track to record the input from a mic pointing at the audience. The trick is making sure that each channel is level-set correctly, because the content of each track is going to be vastly different.

-Troy
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:16 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=Troy Tiscareno]
Finally, and you may already know this, but you'll generally want to capture some of the "room sound" to go along with the audio from the house board.

Troy,

As an old school videographer we called this "room tone". Has the current vernacular changed?

Thanks for your input,

Steph
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:51 AM   #7
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It is called 'room tone' even when it is done outdoors. Most valuable piece of sound in most productions.
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 11:42 AM   #8
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I've only ever done an audio board feed in one club, with several different engineers. The first time, I had to get them to turn the levels down (Monitor on the cam was just constantly at 0db, not good!) but ever since they've always been much lower (say -30db) and I've had to go into manual gain mode in order to pump the volume up. I always have a microphone on the other channel in order to pick up ambience (sound boards in smaller venues tend to be unbalanced as drum kit/guitar amps make lots of noise, basses are DId in (and don't sound great thru the 150s preamp) and vocals are obviously all running thru PA so will be louder).. plus any applause will come thru much better.

When we had the luxury of doing a 16 track mix directly from the soundboard via a Firewire soundcard (and Motu) with a big mic at the back to be mixed at a friends studio.. oh man, if only I had that for every show!
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Tiscareno
Anyway, you can buy adapters that give you -10dB, -15dB, -20dB, -30dB, and -40dB (that I know of).
Troy, Stephanie, or others,

Can you put several of these 'pads' inline on an XLR circuit? Lets say that the best 'pad' for a particular boards output is -45dB, can you connect and -15dB and a -30dB adapter to each other, then connect to the XLR, then to the camera input? Or do you need the exact 'pad' for the feed?
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 12:21 PM   #10
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I frequently stack two -20db pads together. Works great!
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Old August 6th, 2005, 03:28 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=Stephanie Wilson]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troy Tiscareno
Finally, and you may already know this, but you'll generally want to capture some of the "room sound" to go along with the audio from the house board.

Troy,

As an old school videographer we called this "room tone". Has the current vernacular changed?

Thanks for your input,

Steph
No, room tone is the correct term. I've been working with a bunch of folks with NO audio experience, so I've been in the habit of using less jargon so that they can understand what I'm talking about. I just forgot to "switch gears" for this audience. Doh!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick King
Can you put several of these 'pads' inline on an XLR circuit?
Absolutely.


-Troy
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