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Old March 26th, 2011, 02:05 AM   #1
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Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Sorry for such a basic question, but I took a couple of test shots using the built in stereo mic with the used EX-1 I just acquired and the audio seems really low so far. I have the switches near the XLR inputs set to mic rather than line or 48v. I tried it with the audio switches in the back set to auto + int, and then I tried manual + int. With manual I had the wheels on the side both set to 5. The audio sounds nice and loud in my headphones, but really low when I transfer a clip and play it back on my computer in Premiere Pro. Any suggestions?
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Old March 26th, 2011, 12:10 PM   #2
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

The switches next to the XLR inputs only relate to the XLR's - not the built-in mic.
There is a status 'button' (press point) on the top of the camera body (near the Bars press point) - this puts status screens in the viewfinder. Use the menu scroll wheel to navigate to the audio status screen, then adjust your mic volume settings for appropriate levels while looking at the level meters. You might also check your viewfinder settings to make the audio levels visible in your viewfinder screen.
In general, whenever possible use a good professional mic into the XLR inputs for better audio, or even better go through a decent mixer and then line level into the camera. The built-in mics are ok for reference, and can sound pretty good when someone is very close, but a good wireless lav or a shotgun on a boom will give you significantly better sound.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 01:09 PM   #3
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Dave, thanks. I forgot about the status screen. I set the audio levels on the back of the camera to int + manual and the scroll wheels on the side to 6. I'm intending to get a good on-camera mic for better sound but I had trouble finding a good stereo mic. Most of the mics with XLR inputs seem to be mono or mono/stereo and they also seem to be really awkward and far too long. I am reluctant to get a mono mic since I don't want to have only a left channel of audio and an empty right channel. I assume that's what happens when one uses a mono mic, right?
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Old March 26th, 2011, 02:11 PM   #4
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

You can run one channel external mic and one channel internal if you wish, or in the menu you can assign XLR input 1 to go to both channels if you prefer.
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Old March 26th, 2011, 05:02 PM   #5
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Hi Jim -- Have you adjusted the Internal Mic levels in the menu? Go to:
AUDIO ---> AUDIO INPUT --->INT MIC LEVEL
Then select from -12 / -6 / 0 / +6 / +12
(Those are the settings on my EX1R, I am guessing the EX1 is the same)

Also: it is perfectly normal to record audio to just one channel. Consider getting a short shotgun mic for much better (directional) audio. Don't worry about the audio just appearing on the left or right channels — you'll adjust that in editing. For example, a shooter might have a camera mounted shotgun plugged into CH 1 (EXT), and have a wireless microphone plugged in to CH 2 (EXT).

Yes - shotgun mics are long, but the shorter versions can be easily mounted (see this dvinfo thread: Mic Solutions? at DVinfo.net ) Also Jim, if you're thinking about shooting outside regularly and there's any kind of wind you will need an external mic with some kind of wind protection system. Try the built-in mic on a windy day just to see for yourself.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Keith, on my EX-1 when I browse to MENU ---> AUDIO ---> AUDIO INPUT I do not see INT MIC LEVEL option. I only see the folllowing:

Trim Ch-1: -41 dBu (grayed out)
Trim Ch-2: -41 dBu (grayed out)
AGC Link: Linked
1Khz Tone: Off
Wind Filter CH-1: Off
Wind Filter CH-1: Off
EXT CH Select: CH-1/CH-2 (grayed out)

Is there somewhere else on the EX-1 where I can adjust the internal mic levels? I did a shoot today and the levels were kind of okay but still very low in spots if the actors were speaking softly even though I was only five or six feet away in a quiet room.

Also, since I often send out raw footage to multiple different clients who do their own editing, I prefer to make it simple stupid and always make sure both channels of audio are filled in the raw footage to avoid any issues with them overlooking filling the other channel if i am using a mono mic.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Hi Jim: Well it seems that the INT MIC LEVEL is a menu option that's only on the EX1R, and not the EX1. I don't see any way to increase the gain on the INT mic. I think the answer is to get yourself an external microphone and place it much closer to your talent. Either a wireless mic system, or put a microphone on a boom pole and get it close. Even a basic dynamic mic should be better. Recording dialogue from 5-6 feet away with the internal mic is not going to sound very good no matter how much you crank the gain.

Re: filling both channels with audio. I don't see why an editor would want that. In FCP you can pan your audio to Left, Centre, Right or anywhere in between. Try putting on headphones and listen to what happens when you adjust the PAN control on one of the audio channels in your editing program. (Not sure what you are using).

Also - if you're brand new to the EX1 you might want to get the EX1 instructional DVD from Vortex Media. (The producer is Doug Jensen - who is a regular here on this forum)
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Old March 27th, 2011, 02:30 PM   #8
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Keith, thanks for confirming that about the EX-1 internal mic. I know the audio with the internal mic will not be as loud or as good, but I was trying to get it as good as possible until I purchase a good external camera mounted mic. The Sennheiser MKE 400 stereo mic I used to use on my Sony FX-1 HDV camera captured great audio but only has a mini audio plug. I started a seperate thread about mics because I was having trouble deciding on a mic with 3 pin XLR to purchase. I like stereo mics, but the selections are limited.

As far as editing, I use Premire Pro personally and know how to use Fill Left to copy a mono mic signal to both channels if necessary. But the reality is that I send out a lot of raw videos to different clients around the world who do their own editing on various systems of their own choosing and they are all accustomed for years to having my work (previously with HDV, now with XDCam EX) delivered with both channels of audio filled. So I want to keep that consistent and also to avoid any errors where the editor overlooks that.

And yes, I already purchased and watched Doug's EX1 instructional DVD. It was very helpful. Now that I am actually in production with my Ex-1 some more questions keep occuring to me and this forum and the participants have been very helpful too.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #9
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Jim, I've split my audio across both tracks internally on the EX1 since I've owned it. I always use one track as a "safety" and recorded it slightly lower in level than my "main" track as a backup in case my subject gets louder than expected. I always have that peace of mind and I can throw out the safety track in post if need be.
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Old March 27th, 2011, 10:33 PM   #10
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

So with a mono mic and the proper settings on the EX-1 you record that one mono channel of audio simultaneously to both of the audio chanels, to get a pseudo-stereo result? If you make the two levels different, one speaker would be playing louder of softer than the other on playback. I guess you must select whichever track you prefer- either louder or quieter- and copy it to the other channel in editing to create a blanced left and right speaker playback?
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Old March 27th, 2011, 11:07 PM   #11
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Your final assumption is correct. We are not creating fake stereo. We are taking one signal and splitting across two channels.This is presupposing that we do not need the second channel for anything else (internal mic, wireless mic, etc.) but what we are getting is a "safety" copy of the audio. For example, if you were recording with manual levels (not auto) and you aren't sure how loud your subject will get (beyond your initial level setting), this will allow you to keep one channel recording at a slightly lower level. Then, if your subject gets louder than expected and distorts, you can toss the bad track and keep the better of the two. And, the reverse is true, too. If your subject gets quiet, your louder track may save you.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 06:30 AM   #12
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Gunn View Post
Keith, on my EX-1 when I browse to MENU ---> AUDIO ---> AUDIO INPUT I do not see INT MIC LEVEL option. I only see the folllowing:

Trim Ch-1: -41 dBu (grayed out)
Trim Ch-2: -41 dBu (grayed out)
AGC Link: Linked
1Khz Tone: Off
Wind Filter CH-1: Off
Wind Filter CH-1: Off
EXT CH Select: CH-1/CH-2 (grayed out)

Is there somewhere else on the EX-1 where I can adjust the internal mic levels? I did a shoot today and the levels were kind of okay but still very low in spots if the actors were speaking softly even though I was only five or six feet away in a quiet room.
The Trim is the internal adjustment for the mic levels. In order to adjust it you need to set the AGC Link to separated.

-41dB will be the loudest. I usually set the wheel on the side of the camera to "5" and then set the trim so that the average on the levels meter is a little past the middle of the scale. The loudest passages shouldn't be past around 4 white marks before the red mark. And yes, it will sound louder in the headphones than it actually is when transferred to the NLE.

John
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Old May 12th, 2011, 08:04 AM   #13
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

I'm an EX3 user and yesterday/today I've been borrowing a friends EX1R while our EX3 is getting repaired. For the life of me, I can't figure out how to get the internal (audio menu) Trim controls to function. They are always grayed out.

I've tried setting the AGC to Separated.
I've tried setting the XLR switch to Mic, Line and 48+

Any advice?
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Old May 14th, 2011, 09:07 AM   #14
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Re: Correct settings for built in stereo mic- line, mic or 48v?

Never mind. It's working now. Operator error..... :)
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