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Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1

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kent smith
Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 7, 2008 at 7:44:40 pm

I have a stange problem. On a shoot with 2 SONY EX1 XDCAM cameras, both originally set up with boom mics and mixers. On BOTH camera, the audio distorts from the camera out. On both cameras, the weird thing is that the METERS on the camera are no where even close to peaking, yet the audio when monitored from camera to headphones is horribly distorted. And the imported clips also have distorted audio. Both camera also had onboard ext mices plugged directly to the camera for channel 2, and that audio was fine, even with the camera meters peaking HIGHER than the boom mic. Double, triple, quadrupled checked everything, tone set to -12, mic set to line, all though, etc. When we put the boom mic directly into the EX1 the audio was exceptional. Through the mixer, it was awful, even at lower levels, but expecially whenever someone started speaking louder.

Yet, when I take the same boom mic and mixer and put it into a Panasonic DVX100, it's fine on audio out of the camera.


The mixers were a MixPre 2 channel, and the other was a Shure 4 channel mixer.

We ended up tossing them, and went direct into the EX1, and had better audio than I usually get with mixers working correctly.

Incidentally, I edited a show shot with Varicams that had a similar problem, but only when the audio was live. It was distorting at -18 dB.

I wonder if there's some setting on the EX1 (or Varicam for that matter) that we're missing. And it's not the obvious line vs mic setting, or db level setting.



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Steve Wargo
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:27:37 pm

Did you have the output of the mixer set to match the input of the cameras. When possible, use line level because it is more flexible.

- Make sure that the input of the mixer is set to "mic" if you're using a mic.
- Set the mixer to "line" level out.
- Set the camera for "external" feed and "line" level in.
- Output tone from the mixer. It should read "0" on the mixer level.
- Set the input level on the camera to -20.

This should sound clean.


Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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kent smith
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 8, 2008 at 3:56:03 am

I'll go over it again, but I'm using the same set up on a Panasonic HVX200, and it's fine. But not with the Sony EX1. That's what's baffling me. I'll double check on the tone levels, that may be what's different. Thanks.





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Emilio Dietmar
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Jun 9, 2008 at 10:42:10 am

Hi Steve,

I encountered a similar problem. Now I work with Sound Devices and am trying to set up my EX-1 with the mixer. When I send out my 1 Khz signal tone and set my Ex-1 to line then independently of my DB settings the signal never reaches more than -12 db.

I am not a sound pro and wish there was a 10 step "how to set up Ex-1 with Sound devices".

Best,
Emilio Dietmar
http://www.playloud.org



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Byron Minger
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:31:55 pm

Sounds like you have an impedance mismatch. You should make sure that the camera is set to line in and the mixer is set to line out. If you send line to mic level inputs you will get distortion not matter how low you set the record levels on the camera.


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Nick Righton
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 8, 2008 at 7:17:20 am

Hey there,

I had a similar problem resolved by adjusting audio line levels in the menu system. I do not have access to my camera right now and can't remember the exact location of the setting. I had the same audio distortion on the audio signal sent from a mixing console into the camera. I had the toggle switched to the mic level input where the xlr input is and made an adjustment in the "AUDIO" portion of the menu system and it resolved the issue. I adjusted the camera default from it's -41db, or something like that. I know this is extremely vague and I apologize, but as soon as I get back to work I will let you know the exact location of the settings.

Nick


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kent smith
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 8, 2008 at 9:07:26 am

This sounds like what needs to be re-set in my camera. Thanks. Let me know when you can.



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Nick Righton
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 11, 2008 at 4:44:42 pm

Okay, So the audio input trim level can be adjusted by pressing the menu button and select AUDIO, then Input Gain. Hope that helps.

Nick


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Erick Green
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on May 30, 2008 at 1:32:32 am

Hello to all. Thank you for all of your great EX1 conversation. I am currently on location with my EX1 and am having a world of problems with my audio. I have been failing to get my Sony EMC 673 shotgun mic OR my Audio Technica AT 8035 shotgun mics to put up enough level for sound recording. The only way I can get enough level is to crack the sensitivity WAY up to -59 dBu to get the level to register even at -30 on the scale. This is a VERY simply recording situation with a shot gun mic pointed directly at the subject and recording at 4 feet away.

Has anyone else had audio level problems when using shotgun mics and XLR cables recording into the EX1 jacks. Again the only way we can get even mediocre levels is to crack up the sensitivity to max and then dial in the audio record levels on the back of the camera up to max. It sounds like ocean waves with all of the static coming in at the high level settins and STILL the audio from these two shotguns is lower than usable.

Please send any advice you can---I an struggling on location!!!

Thanks a million!!!


Erick



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kent smith
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Jun 3, 2008 at 1:00:41 am

Sorry to hear that. I've been on location the past week, so this may be too late. But sounds like it may be the same problem I had, but I was never quite sure what the problem was. We went over it several times, and finally plugged directly into the camera, and did not use the mixer the day we were having problems. We had two mikes, one we put on the camera and set for a mid-range or bit low, the other was on a boom and set to auto.
But this is not a good set up, as I talked to an audio guy later. He said to double check that everyting was set to line, mixer and camera. He felt that we had a setting in the camera that was for microphone, and a mixer set at line.
And there may be some audio setting in the menu you have to make sure are at the line level.
The next day we double checked everything, and did some tests and it was fine. Seemed like we had it set up the same way on both days, so I have no clue why one day it sounded like ocean waves and the next it was fine.
Also double check that your mixer has phamtom power. If not, make sure the battery in the mic is okay. That could also cause that problem.
Good luck



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Lucian Perkins
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Jul 21, 2008 at 6:22:08 pm

Hello Erik, I just came across your post and I'm having the same problem. I just bought the EX1 and find that, like you, I have to up the dbu to get a decent reading with both my shotgun and wireless lapel mic. Did you ever figure out what was wrong? Thanks for any help. Lucian



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Lorraine Carvalho
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Apr 22, 2010 at 3:09:13 am

Hey I am currently having the same problem with the XLR inputs of my EX1
When set to ext I get super low to no sounds from both my lavalier and boom mic and I have no idea why. I have tried to change the settings many times including changing the trim levels but nothing changes.
Does anyone know a way to fix this?
Thanks


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