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Old December 20th, 2014, 12:03 PM   #31
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Michael,

The short answer to your question is it would work “some of the time”. The whole answer is more complex than I can write at the moment. But there is good news. The audio section of this forum has a handful of regular guys that provide excellent and accurate information. I am not trying to be a moderator, that’s not my style, I am trying to help you. Your question really belongs there. Discussions about mic level, line level, and the reality of there really being two standards for line level (pro/consumer line are different) are common there. My audio fundamentals are pretty strong but I am not in the same league as some of those guys. Me and a bunch of other guys have participated in several threads about what video guys should have and know to successfully tie into a live sound environment.

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Old December 20th, 2014, 10:20 PM   #32
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Thanks Steve, I'll check it out. My guess is that if it's too complicated or too risky then I probably won't go that route. However, if there is a simple and safe way to get a wireless signal to my camera then it could be very helpful.
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Old December 21st, 2014, 04:18 AM   #33
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Michael, I may be being thick but why would you not simply attach your existing G3 transmitter to a suitable connection on the board, and have that transmit to your receiver next to your camera?

The sensitivity setting on the G3 goes from -60dB to 0dB. And the unit has a peaking warning. If you have the luxury of a sound check you could alter the sensitivity accordingly but if not you can add a pad cable or similar. I have my G3's set to a default of -12dB and if the signal is too hot I add a -25dB pad cable. I find this more practical in the heat of a wedding battle even though it may appear seat of the pants stuff. The pad cable does a similar job to the 2nd item you linked to. Incidentally i think you're far more likely to find a spare phono socket on the board than a spare XLR, thats my experience anyway.

The G3 receiver also has a sensitivity adjustment, this time called AF Out, which runs from -30dB to +12dB. Again I have mine default to -12dB.

And finally you have levels on your cam of course, which is the main thing that I adjust mid-shoot.

Thats a lot of variables but I find my defaults of -12dB on both the transmitter and the receiver work well for weddings, with the addition of the pad cable for stuff such as the evening dancing. Then just keep an eye/ear on the cams levels.

The plug you linked to is of limited value in my opinion because that particular one has no power. Plugs further up the range can power a mic if needs be.

Pete
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Old December 21st, 2014, 11:30 AM   #34
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Peter, thanks for the advice, I really just had not thought of that as I've only used my transmitter with my ME-2 lav. I'm not familiar with a pad cable, can you send me a link to the one that you use (or a similar one)? I think that the fewer adjustments that I need to make on the transmitter the better since I'm normally rushing around before the reception trying to get everything ready.
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Old December 21st, 2014, 12:05 PM   #35
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Check this link out. Just one of many in the audio forum about connecting to mixers.

What's your kit-list to attach various sound desks to your cam's XLR input?

and this one

Which portable recorder for pro line level use?

Know this:

+4 dBu is "professional" line level
0 dBv is an average line level
-10 dBv is "consumer" line level
-30 dBu is again in the neighborhood of a typical microphone or DI box's output

Michael, I am not avoiding answering your question. I am trying to steer you to the information. I am suggesting the answer is more complex than a one size fits all adapter or pad. And I would recommend a DI box like this one for your kit Rolls DB25 Rolls DB25 | B&H Photo Video

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old December 21st, 2014, 03:00 PM   #36
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Thanks for the links to those threads. The information was very helpful and definitely suggested that different situations will call for different pieces of equipment.

I will say that I've had very good luck with my Tascam DR-40 when recording through the Line Level input. I will typically hook it into an RCA or 1/4" output on the DJ's sound board and turn the input volume on the DR-40 all the way up (with the safety track at -12db). In almost every situation, the audio I get is very clear but quite low in terms of volume. What I end up doing is doubling or tripling the audio tracks in post to raise the volume (of course having to raise the volume in post is not ideal, but it's worked out fairly well since the WAV file from the DR-40 typically has little noise to begin with).

I'm not expecting any audio I send to the camera to be as good as if I plugged in a wired lav and placed it on the best man, but I would like to find a way to get a signal to my camera that would be around the quality of the Tascam's signal while also giving me the ability to monitor and adjust the levels while shooting.

The DB25 box sounds like a good, inexpensive way to handle many situations so I think I'll grab one of those before my next wedding. I will however go into the event knowing that there lots of variables and that I might not get the results I want every time. I think it will be one of those situations where as long as I have the Tascam as a backup, it doesn't hurt to try it out and see how the results are. I'm sure I will end up learning a lot and perhaps finding out what extra parts I may need so that this can be a reliable source of audio to use for the video.
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Old December 21st, 2014, 05:59 PM   #37
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Get two of the Rolls DB25 boxes. One for your DR40 and one for your G3 transmitter. Hook them up to the board using ¼ outputs, main outs or aux outs if available. Most of the time those will be pro line level at +4 DBu, the DI box will reduce the level close to mic level. Use balanced cables when possible. Then you will have two good sources.

There is no reason why you should need to stack your audio tracks in post. Your setting something up wrong. I don’t have a DR40 but I suspect you may be using tape outputs that deliver consumer line level at -20 DB and the Tascam is expecting pro line level at +4.

And since we have completely and totally hijacked this thread don’t forget to TAPE the DI boxes to the mixer ;) :) Sorry guys!

Steve
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 04:19 AM   #38
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Michael, just to help clarify, the pad cable reduces the power from the output of the board in simplistic terms. They are widely available. I have a couple of them from Pinknoise Systems in the UK. In the US you can get them from - among others - B&H.

I posted this image of a stack of cables and connectors a while back which if you carry enabling you to connect to most boards;

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images...-cables-01.jpg

You'll see that in the middle there is a pad cable.

Audio specialists always seem to overly complicate things when it comes to real world wedding work. Sometimes it degenerates into little more than a pissing contest on other boards with most totally missing the point due to their inexperience with weddings. You'll be thankful if you only have to rip out a pad cable from the connection rather than adjust the sensitivity on a G3 transmitter if you find within the first few seconds of the unrepeatable 1st dance that the DJs output is far lower than expected, or vice versa stick in a pad cable if its too hot :- )

Again if you've "adjusted" the output by using a pad cable or similar device you don't have to worry about remembering to readjust the sensitivity on your G3 transmitter for the next recording. e.g. a Greek wedding where the 1st dance might precede the speeches and you have to go from a hot dance output to a much lesser output within nano-seconds, it can work well.

Your cable lengths are likely to be very short and so using unbalanced ones is much less of an issue than might otherwise be the case.
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Old December 22nd, 2014, 12:37 PM   #39
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Hey Peter,

Good advice. With one exception. Audio can get as complicated as you want to make it but signal levels are basic. In my not so humble opinion understanding the mere basics of signal levels like mic level / line level is the responsibility of any videographer that calls himself a professional. Audio signal levels are as basic and important in audio as aperture and shutter speed in video. If you don't understand levels how do you know when to use a pad or not? It is not as simple as "just hooking up to a board because you have a few cables and pads in a bag". Therefor my insistence that it is more complicated than a paragraph in a forum thread. No pissing match going on here.

Steve
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 03:58 AM   #40
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

the mere basics of signal levels like mic level / line level is the responsibility of any videographer that calls himself a professional

Steve, you're almost doing what I was referring to happening on the likes of DVX :- )

Over there someone might ask an innocent simple question with the intention of improving their knowledge and before long the usual suspects pile in and take them to task for having the audacity to take on a paying job without having a thorough knowledge of every possible scenario, shedloads of experience, non consumer level kit, and of course an assistant or two.

I've posted this pic before:

http://www.ashtonlamont.co.uk/images...reality-02.jpg

Its that sort of nonsense I've anxious to avoid. Thats a bride's getting ready session on the most important day of her life. What were they thinking? p.s. I know what they were thinking.

I do expect every wedding videographer has an appreciation of mic v. line and possibly of consumer line v. pro line. But we would think of it more as - is the signal too hot or is it not hot enough. Thats all it comes down to really.

DVX is of course a valuable resource. I have Barry's book on one of my main cams, and I also have the very funny and very good training DVD "Sound For Film and Television".

Sound for Film and Television

While I'm at it, the various videos available for free from the Learning Lab series are decent as well if a little long-winded e.g.

https://vimeo.com/channels/rulelearn...eries/10380028

Pete
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 04:36 AM   #41
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Professional snobbery exists everywhere; I've seen Photographers turn their nose up at other Photographers for not having the right gear or knowledge to do a Professional job, so I'd be surprised if some audio professionals wouldn't have the same attitude to those who don't meet their own high standards. Can still be irritating if you're just asking an innocent question though. My own audio knowledge and implementation needs more work I think and this thread has been very good in bringing up ideas and methods of capturing audio I hadn't considered before. It never hurts to be reminded that there are better ways of doing something.

Personally I feel safer relying on my own system than of the venues. Aside from poor equipment, some of the audio tech guys can be pretty clueless. At a conference I filmed this year, I provided the audio technicians with a Zoom to feed the audio from the sound board and they plugged the cable into the headphone socket, and were somewhat confused to see no evidence the zoom was getting any signal.

So I agree with Steven that we should as Professionals have sufficient audio knowledge to at least justify calling ourselves Professionals. However that doesn't mean I have to be able to quote chapter and verse of the great Audio Specialists Bible, nor am I going to turn up to every Wedding with a dedicated audio guy armed with a boom pole and mic.

Last edited by Steve Burkett; December 23rd, 2014 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 11:51 AM   #42
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Gentlemen,

There is no “professional snobbery” behind any of my remarks. Michael asked good, basic questions and I did my best to assist him. I stand behind my comments as valid information with one strong opinion thrown in. I attack no one here at DVINFO. But since your accusing me of “almost” going there I will comment on it now.

I have a long history on this forum of providing useful information to any and all that inquire about an issue that I might know something about. With an emphasis on going out of my way to assist the new and inexperienced. In this event/wedding section of DVINFO something unique happens to me that does not take place anywhere else on this forum. When I contribute here, my input is often dismissed by some of you that are quick to point out “I don’t do weddings”, as was done in this thread, twice. I have never responded to those comments because I don’t get into pissing matches. Now I will. I hate to break the news to you, but Run-N-Gun videography, working in fast paced high pressure environments, under less than optimal conditions is not the exclusive domain of the wedding videographer. I have over twenty years of experience in this industry. That experience includes countless fast paced shoots in difficult environments. Now THAT sounds like DVX.

Peter, for the life of me I can’t figure out where you and I are in disagreement over assisting Michael with his question? It must be about misperceived or real attitudes behind some of our posts. All I have tried to say is understanding mic level signals and line level signals is basic audio 101 and very important in the real world to videographers. It does not matter if it is a wedding or a rock concert it is an electronic signal and it matters. Understanding line/mic is paramount to the efficient use of cables, pads, and adapters when making a connection to mixers, recording devices, and microphones. That’s it. I here you as saying, it’s a wedding, knowing if it’s cold or hot is all you need to know. I can and do disagree with that when dispensed as advice.

I have stated in this forum many times that I have nothing but respect for what wedding videographers achieve and endure in the course of their occupation. Anyone that read arrogance, snobbery or judgment into any post by me read it wrong, except for the paragraph above ; )

Steve
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Old December 23rd, 2014, 12:20 PM   #43
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Steven, my professional snobbery jibe was in response to the comment cited below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
[b]

Over there someone might ask an innocent simple question with the intention of improving their knowledge and before long the usual suspects pile in and take them to task for having the audacity to take on a paying job without having a thorough knowledge of every possible scenario, shedloads of experience, non consumer level kit, and of course an assistant or two.
It wasn't directed at you at all. I found your information to be quite invaluable.
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Old December 24th, 2014, 02:50 PM   #44
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

This thing about plugging a recorder into a sound or DJ deck and getting virtually no audio levels rings a bell...

Sure I saw it on a blog linked for m here....
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Old December 24th, 2014, 06:08 PM   #45
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Re: Taping a recorder to a microphone

Hey Paul, anything that can go wrong is going to go wrong at some point. Plenty of times you won't get a clean signal, or any signal at all, for whatever reason, but if it happens before the reception starts at least you'll be prepared. The more problematic case is if the DJ cuts the signal to your recorder during the reception without telling you or just without noticing, which from time to time will happen.
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