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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 7:31:32 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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David Jones
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 7, 2008 at 8:07:36 pm

Maybe I mis-read your discription of the setup, but it seems like you're mixing line and mic levels. In the setup you've described, nothing, anywhere, should be set to line level. It sounds like the mixer was set to line level instead of mic; that would cause the boom mic to sound distorted when used with the mixer.


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kent smith
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 7, 2008 at 8:24:55 pm

Could be, but I believe we started with everything set to mic, and switched to line. Sound out of the mixer and the audio levels into the camera all looked good, but when you listen to it out of the camera to headphones or after the clip has been loaded into FCP, it's distorited. But I'll do another all mic setting test to see if that helps.

Thanks





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Edward  Chick
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 7, 2008 at 10:16:37 pm

I recently shot with an Ex-1, feeding line level out of my Cooper CS104. Set the meters on the EX-1 at -12db reference, sounded clean on the return and play back. Even with peaks hitting at -6 and 0 on occasion.
I agree with Dave, sounds like the inputs on the camera were at Mic. level.
Also make sure Auto Gain is /was turned off at the camera.



edward chick


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Ty Ford
Re: Audio distorts with mixer into SONY EX1
on Mar 8, 2008 at 12:31:04 am

Hello Kent and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum;

Sounds like you ran afoul of the line/mic problem. Scroll on down the audio forum a few posts to my "Cautionary Tale" post and see if that doesn't help you in the future.

In addition. .......

Setting tone to -12 for most dialog is not what I'd want to do for digital camcorders. I strongly suggest 0 dB tone at the mixer to -20 on the camcorder. Use the camera audio input controls to get to -20. Afterwards, DO NOT ADJUST THE MIXER MASTER OUPUT. Run the mixer meters in PEAK reading mode and adjust channel levels as needed.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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