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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old December 22nd, 2008, 10:27 PM   #1
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Recording Consumer Line Level to EX3

I have a regular gig for a client that gives me audio from a mixer board with only consumer-level line outs on RCA jacks. Up to this point, I've been using my FX1 with a simple 1/8" stereo-to-RCA cable.

I'm going to switch over to a EX3 and am wondering if I should use an active adapter box or will I be okay with just a passive RCA-to-XLR cable.

Thoughts?

Kiitos in advance. ;-)
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 11:26 PM   #2
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The EX3 should accept the input from the mixer fine. You may need to adjust the trim from the EX3 settings menu. You can also get a pretty inexpensive unbalanced to balanced xlr adapter /transformer, like from Radioshack, and they are ok quality. This will reduce the level of the signal a bit to Mic levels but has some benefits and may reduce hum if you encountered it without the transformer.

I'd try it with the unbalanced rca-xlr passive connection first, then proceed to further more expensive solutions if you experience problems such as hum, distortion or increased noise.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 04:05 AM   #3
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As well as the trim controls in the menu, the EX1 and EX3 have switchable mic/line level inputs. There are small switches under the XLR sockets to select mic or line.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 04:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
As well as the trim controls in the menu, the EX1 and EX3 have switchable mic/line level inputs. There are small switches under the XLR sockets to select mic or line.
Do you think a passive RCA-to-XLR adapter cable would be acceptable, or would it be worth it to get an active unbalanced-to-balanced device? ($49 from B&H) They also pop the consumer line level (-10dB) up to professional level (+4dB).

I'm just worried about possible hum, etc.

Perhaps I just answered my own question. ;-)
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 12:29 PM   #5
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In my experience hum is normally the result of earth loops and bad grounding. For most applications with short cable runs a simple adapter cable should be fine. If you are using a long cable run then you should use a proper balanced to unbalanced transformer or adapter. The weak link in your setup is likely to be the consumer, un-balanced device. If you do end up with hum then you are probably going to need a proper isolating transformer.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 04:15 PM   #6
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I would buy a direct box.

Radial ProAV2 | Sweetwater.com

If you keep one of these in your kit, you can connect it at the mixing board and then make long mic cable (XLR) runs to where ever you have your camera setup. This will eliminate any problems with hum or buzz due to running a long high-impedance unshielded RCA cable.

The cheap solution is to use a $0.59 cent ground lift.

http://cdn.www.officedepot.com/pictu...0618_sk_lg.jpg

But make sure you're using wireless mic's or there could be an electrocution hazard if the microphone touches the speakers lips.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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Yep. Long cable lengths. That's the deciding factor.

Now to find one that's battery powered!

Thanks for the help. Nice community you've got here.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 06:56 PM   #8
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The link I listed is for a "passive" device, which means it's not powered. In fact most of them are passive, unless they provide Phantom power, in which case they use a 9V battery. So in a nutshell, I guess what I'm saying is that as far as I know none of them are AC powered. :)
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 07:09 PM   #9
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Even better. Thanks!
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