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Ex1 Audio distorted.

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Frank Manno
Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 27, 2009 at 4:26:44 pm

I'm new to the EX1/R which I purchased recently.

My audio settings are all default and on auto. I'm using an external Rode NTG1 on channel 2 and internal mic on channel 1

I did a shoot in a very loud nightclub and the audio was distorted. The levels are sitting around -6db but it's distorted as if the external mic and the internal mic are too 'hot'.

I've shot in this nightclub before with my DSR-450 shoulder camera and Sony Standard Mic that came with it, in auto and the result was very good.

In regards to the EX1/R, there doesn't seem to be any trim settings in auto mode. Or is there?

How do I solve this problem? I'm assuming that I need to use manual audio and play around with the trimming?

Lastly - Audio limiter is OFF - Should this be on and if so, how do I know what it's set to?

Any help here would be appreciated - Should I possibly use an inline attenuator for my external mic?

Thanks!


-Frankie



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Craig Seeman
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 27, 2009 at 6:18:44 pm

[Frank Manno] "In regards to the EX1/R, there doesn't seem to be any trim settings in auto mode. Or is there? "

Audio Set Menu, Audio input, Trim

[Frank Manno] "Lastly - Audio limiter is OFF - Should this be on and if so, how do I know what it's set to?"
I'm not sure if it's changed between EX1 and EX1R but it is a hard limiter in EX1. Limiter On can cause pumping though. Is it settable in EX1R? If so, you set it to prevent it going into distortion.

As difficult as club situations are (I've shot in them often) you need headphones (closed ear). If the distortion isn't coming out of the PA and you hear it in your headphones you KNOW you have to adjust your settings. Trim is in the Audio menu. Different cameras work differently with a given external mic. The limiter isn't going to help if the distortion exists before that stage.





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Greg Ondera
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 27, 2009 at 7:09:59 pm

Seems like setting to -20db in a night club is an automatic consideration. -6db leaves you no headroom whatsoever. An attenuator would have helped, but not at -6dbs. I wouldn't even do talking head interviews at -6dbs.

Greg Ondera
http://www.Plexus.tv
http://www.SurgeonToday.org


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Frank Manno
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:38:19 pm

[Greg Ondera] "Seems like setting to -20db in a night club is an automatic consideration. -6db leaves you no headroom whatsoever. An attenuator would have helped, but not at -6dbs. I wouldn't even do talking head interviews at -6dbs."

My mistake - I don't know where I got that figure of -6db from.

My settings are as follows:

TRIM CHANNEL 1 - Greyed out
TRIM CHANNEL 2 - Greyed out

INT MIC level - 0db
Limited - OFF
MIC AGC - High
AGC Link - Seperated
1KH Tone - OFF
Wind Filter Channel 2 - OFF

That's it - I have no idea where I can even set the external mic to -20db.

I can see a setting there for the built in mic (INT MIC LEVEL) which I guess I can change to -6 or -12 but not for the external mic.

Let me get this right - Is Manual audio and adjusting the TRIM settings the way to solve this for next time? Or is there some other way in auto audio which I'm using?


-Frankie



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Chris Babbitt
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:59:58 pm

Frank,

In the case of the original EX-1, Trim Channel 1 & 2 affects the input level for external audio sources. The factory setting for this is -41 dBu. I have mine set to -53. I often work in loud environments and my external mike works great with the Audio Select switch set to Auto. You have to have the Audio In switch on the camera set to External in order to activate the menu setting, otherwise it will be grayed out.



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Frank Manno
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:39:58 pm

[Chris Babbitt] "You have to have the Audio In switch on the camera set to External in order to activate the menu setting, otherwise it will be grayed out."

With the EX1/R it's greyed out even with the switch at the back set to external.

Only way to make it active is to select manual audio.

This is my whole problem, I want to se th elevels from -43 to say -35 but I can't unless I use manual audio.

-Frankie



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Frank Manno
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:35:40 pm

[Craig Seeman] "As difficult as club situations are (I've shot in them often) you need headphones (closed ear). If the distortion isn't coming out of the PA and you hear it in your headphones you KNOW you have to adjust your settings. Trim is in the Audio menu. Different cameras work differently with a given external mic."

Hi Craig -

The audio comming from the spakers was not distorted. Was very clear but also very loud.

Is it the TRIM setting that needs to be adjusting in this situation?

There doesn't seem to be many audio chosies in auto.

Remember I have a Rode NTG1 external mic on channel 2 and am using the built in mic for channel 1.

TRIM CHANNEL 1 - Greyed out
TRIM CHANNEL 2 - Greyed out

INT MIC level - 0db
Limited - OFF
MIC AGC - High
AGC Link - Seperated
1KH Tone - OFF
Wind Filter Channel 2 - OFF

I don't know which to set to fix this.

-Frankie


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Bill Ravens
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 12:33:25 pm

My experience with AGC on any camera, is that it's worthless. Recommendation no.1 is to ALWAYS monitor your audio with headphones. Recommendation 2 is never use AGC. Use of the in-camera limiter is advisable, unless you get pumping, as said earlier. For the best quality possible, I would use an offboard compressor/limiter. Nightclubs are particularly difficult venues for music recording due to the dynamic range encountered, especially with loud bands.

As a side note, -6dB of attenuation is fine if you're talking about peak levels, however, -20dB is a recommended level of you're speaking in terms of RMS levels. It's important to know what kind of limiting your camera has.



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Michael Slowe
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:28:31 pm

Bill, ALWAYS headphones? Try monitoring your audio in a stressful run & gun situation (it usually is stressful) and I have to say also that in these situations AGC is essential since there is no way you can continually check the audio settings. In a nice controlled shoot yes, you are right, but for rushed, tight, catch as catch can - no way.

Michael Slowe


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Bill Ravens
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:08:12 pm

Point made, Michael. However, if you want to take short cuts, regardless of the inconvenience, then you should be prepared for the consequences. I have no issues with using headphones with run and gun. And I would never rely on AGC, but, that's just my opinion. I can, certainly, understand your point of view.



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David Gudaitis
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Jan 14, 2010 at 7:07:14 pm

In run and gun situations, I use earbuds. They work well enough to reveal distortion. IMHO, I would use a limiter long before I would settle with AGC. Granted AGC circuits have improved over the years so they are not awful, but limiters have a more predictable operation.



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Jim Mulleder
Re: Ex1 Audio distorted.
on Feb 15, 2010 at 6:46:31 pm

Yes, always headphones. Some simple ones that plug straight into your ear, I believe some call them earbuds. I would be sick to my stomach if I ever shot a frame without headphones and I do shoot run and gun video...some times.

Cheers,
Jim


Jim Mulleder
Level Horizon Productions
Cameraman/Editor
778.888.4336


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