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anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?

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david payne
anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 11, 2009 at 6:33:38 pm

Hi all,

I am considering buying a Beachtek DXA-4 to be able to connect a shotgun mic and wireless mic to my Sony FX1 simultaneously.

I have just bought a 2 into 1 XLR cable but found it mixed both mics down to one channel. If I used the Beachtek would it keep one mic to the left channel and one to the right, allowing me to mix in post and therefore cut out any unwanted noises from either mic independantly?

Also if I just use the shotgun mic and make sure the mono/stereo switch is set to stereo, then I take it this will work just as well as plugging the mic straight into the camera? (i.e - it would be in stereo?)

I understand if I did that I'd have the added bonus of the attenuation? Ive read this is up to -50db but how does this work? Is it automatic or do I need to select which level of attenuation I require?

Many thanks
David


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Sam Mallery
Re: anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 11, 2009 at 8:40:10 pm

"If I used the Beachtek would it keep one mic to the left channel and one to the right, allowing me to mix in post and therefore cut out any unwanted noises from either mic independently?"

---Yes, providing that you have it switched to "Stereo," which basically means the Beachtek will keep the two inputs separate.


"If I just use the shotgun mic and make sure the mono/stereo switch is set to stereo, then I take it this will work just as well as plugging the mic straight into the camera? (i.e - it would be in stereo?)"

---Umm... if you plug a single shotgun mic into an input on the Beachtek and set it to "Stereo," the shotgun mic would only be on one track in your camera (so, no... it will not be in stereo). If you plug the shotgun into (I believe the Left input) and set it to "Mono," the Beachtek will output that one microphone to both tracks in your video camera.


"I understand if I did that I'd have the added bonus of the attenuation? Ive read this is up to -50db but how does this work? Is it automatic or do I need to select which level of attenuation I require?"

---This is referring to the Line/Mic switch on the Beachtek. The added benefit is that you can take an audio signal from a line-level device (like the feed from a mixing board, from an iPod, etc.) and plug it into your camera. You have to adjust the switch on the Beacktek to do this. There are also two level knobs that allow you to attenuate the signal going into the camera.


There is also the DXA-6A which can power condenser microphones that require phantom power. The design of the DXA-6A (the shape of the box, where they put the knobs, etc.) is a little more ergonomic for use with the FX-1. The drawback is that it's a little more expensive.



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david payne
Re: anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 12, 2009 at 8:32:55 am

fantastic thanks so much Sam.

I have to decide whether the fact that I can't get true stereo using one mic when going through the beachtek is a disadvantage. Is having stereo sound really a benefit when compared to capturing one channel and doubling it up in post/in camera?

Would the mic/line switch do any good when using a shotgun mic and filming a live bang close up which would usually cause clipping, or is it best just to adjust the volume level on the box?



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Sam Mallery
Re: anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 12, 2009 at 3:07:21 pm

The only way to get a true stereo image in sound is with two microphones (with the exception of stereo microphones - which are essentially two microphones built into one). Don't let this deter you from getting a Beachtek. The factors to consider are if you want to use professional mics with XLR connections with your camera, and if you want to use more than one mic. Having the ability to plug line-level sources into a camera can be handy too.

For recording loud noises, you wouldn't use the line-level switch. You could use the level knobs on the Beachtek to drop the signal low enough to record loud sounds.

I bought a Beachtek box over 5 years ago. Even though I have a nice mixer now (a Sound Devices 302) - I still find a use for my Beachtek on occasion.



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david payne
Re: anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 13, 2009 at 8:23:08 am

I've read elsewhere that dropping the volume when recording a loud band can still result in clipping, just clipping compressed to a lower range of volume. However you seem to know what you're talking about and I assume having the box you've actually tried it successfully?

Thinking about it, maybe I read that dropping the volume using the manual volume control in the FX1 resulted in clipping remaining...

It sounds to me like you only use your beachtek very rarely and would perhaps consider selling it to a newbie who will give it a good home??? :)



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david payne
Re: anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 17, 2009 at 2:57:55 pm

guys I've bought an XLR 1 to 2 y adapter and found that it mixed the channels into one as I described earlier. I have now found this and had it confirmed that the left and right channels are kept seperate on this cable... Would I be safe to buy it and then connect a shotgun and wireless into each channel and record them to the left and right seperately on the camera?

I'm worried about buying another cable and finding that this 'mixing down' i speak of is happening in the camera and that the cable will not make a difference?

Here's the cable:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/cae_78247_audioadapterkabel.htm

I realise the only risk is the 3.5mm adapter not fitting all the way into the slightly deeper sony port, but the thing about whether the cable of the camera is mixing audio tracks together still applies.

Many thanks



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david payne
Re: anyone used the Beachtek DXA-4 XLR box?
on Aug 19, 2009 at 11:48:28 am

anyone got any ideas on this? I really dont want to buy a beacktek or juiced box if I only use it once or twice a year and this cable can do what I want...



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