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Audio never peaks on the EX 1???

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Clay Porter
Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Aug 9, 2008 at 5:20:28 am

Hello,

I have reason to believe that I have some faulty audio inputs on my new EX 1. I have tried both a lavalier (ECM-44B) and a wireless lavalier (Sony UWP-V1), both with fresh batteries and with both I cannot get the audio levels to peak ever. Even if both channels are set to manual and both are audio levels are at 10, it is near impossible to get the audio to peak in the red. If you yell very loud directly into the microphone it will peak sometimes. The audio sounds fine, it just wont peak. It seems like their is little sensitivity. I come off of using a HVR-Z1U for two years and when I used my ECM-44B lavalier with the Z1U with the audio levels set to 10 just tapping the lavalier would cause the channels to peak, with the EX1 this doesn't seem to be the case.

Here are my EX1 settings...

EXTERNAL CAMERA SETTINGS

Audio Level: ch 1 and ch 2 are 10
Audio Select/Audio In: ch 1 and ch 2 are Manual and Ext
Audio In: Mic

INTERNAL AUDIO MENU SETTINGS

AUDIO INPUT

Trim Ch-1: -41dBu
Trim Ch-2: -41dBu
AGC Link: Linked
1KHz Tone: Off
Wind Filter Ch-1: On
Wind Filter Ch-2: On
Ext CH Select: Ch-1

AUDIO OUTPUT

Monitor CH: Ch-1+Ch 2
Alarm Level: 0
Beep: Off

I have been messing all day with this and can't seem to figure it out. Like I mentioned earlier their are new batteries in both microphones and the audio sounds fine, it just isn't loud enough and near impossible to peak. On the Z1U it could peak if you yelled into the mike and tapped on it, with the EX1 this isn't the case.

Any help is very appreciated.

Thanks,
Clay








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Steve Wargo
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Aug 9, 2008 at 5:25:29 am

When we use the 44B, we set the impedance to -60. Don't know how that would effect the max sound level but we have peaked the audio before.

Also, you might turn that wind filter off.

Shouldn't the EXT audio be set to ch1 and ch2?

You might head over to audio pros and ask Ty Ford. he knows everything.




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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Clay Porter
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Aug 9, 2008 at 8:24:53 pm

Hey Steve,

For impedence are you refering to the Trim Ch-1 and Trim Ch-2 settings?

When you say "Shouldn't the EXT audio be set to ch1 and ch2?" are you refering to Monitor CH in the Audio Output Menu?

Is Audio Pros a website?

Thanks for the help.

Cheers,
Clay



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Steve Wargo
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Aug 10, 2008 at 2:30:41 am

Yes

Yes

It's a COW Forum.

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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Stephen May
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Aug 20, 2008 at 5:44:52 am

I think this is probably old enough of a post that you've gotten to the bottom of your question, but if not, then I'd say that Steve is talking about the the switch on the back of the EX1 that assigns the ch.1 INPUT and Ch. 2 INPUT to INT (internal on-board mic) versus EXT (external input at side of camera).

Once you plug a lavaliere into the side XLR input, you must move the switch on that channel to EXT so the camera listens to the XLR input to that channel and not it's internal on-board mic. Further, you must set the input for that external XLR input to the proper level; LINE, MIC or MIC w/Phantom (condenser microphones require voltage to power the element, unless the condenser mic has on-board batteries, such as a shotgun mic, sometimes referred to as a 'stick' mic. The selector for the input level is below each XLR input channel on the side of the camera next to the external shotgun mic mount.

Again, you probably know all of this, but I'm just giving you the basic run-down. It's easy to miss a single aspect and not get good results. Watch your levels on the meters on the side of the EX1, and they will read your true levels, and they're a great way to make sure you've selected the correct inputs. I always make my selections and then snap my finger in front of the on-board mic while watching the side meters to see if they respond to my snap. I usually have the wireless lavaliere patched into CH.1, and I hold that transmitter in my right hand very low to my side when I snap my fingers to make sure that the reading isn't getting my snap. If it is, then somethings wrong. If I'm accidentally still set to the onboard mic, that snap will clip my level on Ch. 1.

Next, I'll clip myself quickly and speak normally and make my level adjustment on Ch. 1. before I lav my subject. I generally use Ch. 2 as a shotgun, or NAT sound channel. Same thing there, check the level on Ch.2 by spinning the shotgun away from yourself and speaking normally, and then again by spinning it back to your mouth and quietly speaking again. Levels should react accordingly.

Finally, be careful when using AUTO LEVEL. If you select AUTO LEVEL, you will certainly not peak, however, the resul is that your background levels will rise when the source is not speaking, and then when your subject speaks, the level will automatically lower to compensate for the signal presence.

The best way to go is to adjust your levels on each channel to the source volume, for example setting your input level to manual, and adjusting it to never exceed -6 db maximum peak when your person is speaking at the loudest volume. If any of this sounds acceptable to you, then make sure you always capture or ingest your clips as two separate mono channels, and not as a stereo pair, so you will be easily able to mix them according to your needs later in the editing sequence. There are simple and effective methods for getting lost volume back to healthy strong signals, but there is not real way to repair a hot peaking clip. If you're interested to know more on that just write to me. Suffice to say that NORMALIZE is not the way to go.

I hope any of the basic direction is not offensive, and I hope you get great audio out there in the field!

-Stephen May



Stephen May
Keystone Media Productions
Freelance Videographer


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Emma Greave
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 20, 2010 at 7:05:02 pm

I realise this is a very old post but I am out in Africa with an EX1 that I have had since Xmas (and up until then has been working fine) and am now having the same problem with my sound. Using external mics (1 radio and 1 gun mic) the audio won't peak. I believe we have a everything on the correct settings. Both Ch1 and Ch2 are set to external. The gun mic to mic+48v and the radio mic to line.

You can just about hear it through the head phones but it never peaks and the rushes are too quiet. As I say I have shot before using the same set up and not had any problems. I am unsure if this is a camera fault or a setting somewhere that I have missed.

Any help would be much appreciated.

thanks


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Craig Seeman
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 20, 2010 at 8:53:25 pm

It could be you've changed output settings on the mic as well as the input mic input gain setting on the EX and it's hitting the internal limiter. It's hard to say which but you can't disable the internal limiter.

One way to test is bring down the EX internal mic input gain settings so that a setting of 5 on the external dial gives you enough room to bring the level up a bit based on a "typical" sound source through the mic.



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Emma Greave
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 21, 2010 at 5:41:29 am

Thanks for the response Craig.

The gun mic doesn't have any output settings on it so I don't think it could be that and our radio mics are pretty basic, the settings all look very normal so we don't think it is any of the output settings on any of the external mics. The sound is slightly better on auto rather than manual but still far too quiet, even at 10 on the external dials barely peaking.

I think it must be a problem with the camera or the settings but not sure where the issue lies. When using the internal mic the sound is fine and levels normal on both auto and manual settings. It also doesn't give us the option to change the internal mic trim on the camera settings.

I've seen quite a few posts around about problems with the ex1 limiter, it's just strange that the problem has only just started on the camera now (while we're shooting!)

any help much appreciated, thanks


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Craig Seeman
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 21, 2010 at 12:48:18 pm

[Emma Greave] "I think it must be a problem with the camera or the settings but not sure where the issue lies. When using the internal mic the sound is fine and levels normal on both auto and manual settings. It also doesn't give us the option to change the internal mic trim on the camera settings."

But the camera does have trim control of the external mic. The idea is to set that internal trim at a good level so that the EX1 dial gives you full range in its 0 to 10 control more or less.



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Emma Greave
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 21, 2010 at 2:38:56 pm

Thanks again for another response. I've tried having the trim on -41dbu and 23dbu and neither seem to have helped. I'm sure I'm being a total idoit but do you have any recommendations on what the trim should be at?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 21, 2010 at 4:27:43 pm

Don't forget where the external dial is is critical. I'd start with it at 5 while setting trim. You want room to bring the sound up as well as done without hitting any walls.

The trim setting itself depends on the mic and may even depend on the sound environment. Shooting nature scenics might not be the same as shooting a punk rock band in a small loud club.

Basically you need to know the range the mic can handle, how the EX preamp will handle it (adjust trim), the range of the dial given what it's being fed from the internal preamp. You need to hear when the limiter is being hit. You'll hear either the "pumping" or the "wall" when that happens.

Since the mic may be a constant (as in your case . . . but note with wireless there's the transmitter and the receiver) you can find an idea trim setting.

You might design you're own "home" methodology for testing. Put mic near a very loud sound source. Set dial to 10 since this will be the absolute max you want to go without crashing the limiter, back down on trim until the limiter isn't slammed. Of course the very type of test may not work when you're dealing with quiet sources or sources with wide dynamic range. That's why your circumstances (subject being shot) is important.

If you say stuff is too quiet and you've got the dial up to 10 then your trim isn't set right for that environment.



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Don Greening
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Jul 21, 2010 at 7:11:24 pm

[Emma Greave] "It also doesn't give us the option to change the internal mic trim on the camera settings."

That's because you've got your wireless receiver set to line. The line setting disables the trim adjust in the EX menu. Set your wireless input to "mic" with no 48v. Once you've done that set your trim to -41 as a base line, put your volume control to "5" and start adjusting the internal trim from that point.

- Don



Don Greening
Reeltime Videoworks
http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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Joel Frances
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Nov 8, 2010 at 12:47:27 am

You've all probably worked this one out by now but I find setting the trim to -53dBu is ideal. It gives you more sensitivity than -41dBu. It seems good in most room situations. This is with my Ex-3.

Also, alot of lapel mics have attenuation adjustments - which could lower your levels from the mic end.

Joel


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Peter John
Re: Audio never peaks on the EX 1???
on Nov 11, 2013 at 8:38:00 pm

This thread was started a long time ago but some things never change so it is still relevant, at least in my case, as have just got hold of an EX1 and am wrestling with the external audio settings.

Thought the external audio recording system or the Audiotechnica AT897 was faulty when I tried it out with the trim set to -41db that is the default setting recommended both in the EX1 operating instructions and also in the AT897 spec sheet if I read it right:

OPEN CIRCUIT SENSITIVITY –40 dB (10.0 mV) /
(Phantom / Battery) –41 dB (8.9 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa*

At first the results were not promising. While the levels for the internal mic were about right, the levels for the external mic (with the trim set at the default -41 setting were very low.

Hmmm? Is something wrong with my preloved camcorders audio recording system? It didnt help that Dumbo at this time I hadn't figured out how to set the AGC link and Audio output settings either, which I did later).

Fortunately I found this thread and this post by Joel that I really appreciate, as it solved my problem:

You've all probably worked this one out by now but I find setting the trim to -53dBu is ideal. It gives you more sensitivity than -41dBu. It seems good in most room situations. This is with my Ex-3.

After I adjusted the trim from the EX1 default and Audiotechnica recommended settings -41 (if I read them right) to -53, as Joel suggested, the audio levels of the external mic with audio level set at 0 matched exactly the audio levels of the internal mic (ie more or less were I expected them to be in the first place with the settings at default).

So either I misunderstood something or the default settings were not right for this particular camera with this particular mic??

Or would you expect the default settings for the external mic ought to be at a lower level than for the internal mic???

Anyway at least now am a Happy Camper quite relieved the problem is me and not the preloved EX1 :-)


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