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Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre

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Drew Harty
Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre
on Jul 23, 2006 at 3:35:45 pm

Hello,

I purchased a Sound Device Mix Pre to use with my HVX200 and need advice about setting levels. The camera offers either -50 or -60 db mic gain in the menu (I have it set at -50 db) and has only two vertical lines in its audio levels meter, -20 and -12 db, then a blinking clipping marker. Where should I set a 0 db slate tone from the mix pre (it only offers 0 db tone) on the HVX? If I set the 0 db tone at the -12 db marker on the HVX, then levels can hit +16 db on the Mix Pre without getting a clipping warning on the Mix Pre or HVX. Or should I be setting tone somewhere between the -12 db marker and clipping?

I use a Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun on camera for ambient sound or on a pole locked off for interviews and occasionally use a Tram lav with the Sennheiser EW500 for walk and talk stuff.

Thanks for any advice,

Drew Harty



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Will Salley
Re: Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre
on Jul 24, 2006 at 6:09:37 am

I would recommend using your current setting (-50 on the camera and tone @ -12) as a starting point. However, the metering on the camera may not be of the same type as the mixer. It is probably a "peak" level meter and the mixer may have that, or an RMS, or both (the larger Sound Device mixers offer several combinations of metering).

Connect everything up and observe the meters of both devices while using a typical source such as dialogue. As you become familiar with how the meter behaves on camera and mixer with the same source, you can set levels with some confidence. Also try other sources, such as music and other sources with different transients so you can observe how those meter.


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Drew Harty
Re: Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre
on Jul 24, 2006 at 9:09:25 pm

Will,

Thanks for the suggestion

I tried different sound sources with the mixer O db slate tone set a -12 db on the camera, and it seems to be working well. When the mixer level meter indicates peaking for dialogue (above +16 db), the camera also shows peaking on its level meter. This seems counter intuitive to me, but then I don't know if the -50 db at the mic or line input on the camera is the equivalent of a 50 db change on the mixer levels meter. This set up also gives me a little greater resolution on the mix level meter to adjust gain with.

Drew Harty



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Ty Ford
Re: Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre
on Jul 25, 2006 at 10:47:12 pm

Hi,

When I looked, the Panasonic you mention only has mic level inputs. The Sound devices MixPre http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mx2master.htm

only has Line Level outputs.

That means you'll need to knock down the output of the MixPre to mic level or you'll over drive the camera input.

Regards,

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Will Salley
Re: Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre
on Jul 28, 2006 at 5:56:30 pm

[Ty Ford] "When I looked, the Panasonic you mention only has mic level inputs."

Ty, The HVX-200 does indeed have line level, however, the manual states it is 0dBu, not +4dBu.

System Info - G5/Dual 2 - 10.4.7 - QT v7.1.2 - 8GB ram - Radeon 9800Pro - External SATA Raid - Decklink Extreme - Wacom 6x8


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Ty Ford
Re: Setting gain with Sound Device Mix Pre
on Jul 28, 2006 at 6:48:46 pm

Neither fish or fowl. IMO, a very dangerous idea.

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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