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Preamp solution: Beachtek or Juicedlink or something else

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Tony Connoly
Preamp solution: Beachtek or Juicedlink or something else
on Nov 18, 2010 at 3:53:25 pm

What would give better audio results, a Beachtek DXA-SLR or Juicedlink DT454?

Do either of them allow you to monitor audio being recorded?

What would give better audio results (one XLR channel):

(1) Beachteck/Juicedlink into DSLR
(2) Tascam DR100
(3) Zoom H4n
(4) Beachteck/Juicedlink into DR100 or H4n

If you had $500 budget for preamp and recorder what would you get?


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Bill Davis
Re: Preamp solution: Beachtek or Juicedlink or something else
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:24:23 pm

Tony,

You're chasing a phantom. "Better audio results" is conditional, ephemeral, and only exists when there's a baseline from which to judge. Your suggested group of equipment moves that baseline around so radically as to make comparisons virtually meaningless.

ANY recording chain that results in a recording direct to the 5d is going to be a problem. That's not because it can't record audio - even good audio - it's because it employs a consumer grade Automatic Gain Control (AGC) which will DESTROY dynamic range and cause unacceptable levels of amplified hiss during the recording of anything with quiet passages. That alone makes 1 and 4 solutions that no pro would consider. (Even the solutions where external devices feed a subsonic "pilot tone" to the DSLR to avoid AGC pumping have proved to result in lackluster recordings at best, and I don't know of a single pro who goes this route.

As to 2 and 3 - it's the functional equivalent of whether you prefer Snickers or Baby Ruth candy bars. Snickers is the "best selling" between the two, just as the H4n is the best selling outboard recorder in 5d rigs. But only a fool would argue that Snickers is a "BETTER" candy bar than a Baby Ruth. Both easily justify their existence in candy stores. The ONLY way to decide which candy bar you prefer is to taste both. The ONLY way to decide which recorder you prefer is to USE both. If that's not possible, don't sweat it. Understand that each of them will satisfy your sweet tooth perfectly well.

End of story.



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Tony Connoly
Re: Preamp solution: Beachtek or Juicedlink or something else
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:31:48 pm

Bill,

I love your eloquent response! Note that my option (4) involves feeding one of the preamps into the one of the recorders, not into the camera.

Is that any better than using the recorder by itself (i.e. using the recorder's pre-amp)?


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Dennis O'Clair
Re: Preamp solution: Beachtek or Juicedlink or something else
on Nov 28, 2010 at 4:26:05 pm

Bill,

From the tone and info of your post it sounds like you know a bit about audio production. However, you don't have all your facts straight in this case. The Canon 5D does have manual audio controls; it has since a firmware update in March 2010. You can disable the AGC and in manual mode you can adjust the levels. If you turn the levels all the way down and use a good preamp you can record good quality audio to the 5d.

And there are many pros who do just that.


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