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Basic PA & mixer suggestions

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Jesse Gibson
Basic PA & mixer suggestions
on Mar 12, 2013 at 11:05:31 am

I want to purchase a small, affordable mixer to run a couple of mics into a small amp and speaker for all staff meetings at my work. As I want to record the speakers on our Sony FS100 camcorder, I also want to be able to run 2 (or even 3) mic feeds into the FS100 without losing sound quality.

Given the FS100 has two XLR inputs, my instinct is to look for a mixer with XLR outs but they don't seem to exist at the cheaper, smaller end of the market. Are XLR outs even necessary or will balanced 1/4 inch jacks run through an XLR converter cable work perfectly well?

Any advice and even specific mixers and/or mixer setups to consider would be much appreciated.



set up whilst also running an audio feed out of the mixer and into our Sony FS100 at work.


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Rob Neidig
Re: Basic PA & mixer suggestions
on Mar 12, 2013 at 3:09:39 pm

Hard to beat a Mackie 1202 for this kind of application. 4 mic pre inputs, plus four stereo line in channels. Has XLR outs, and even channel inserts if you want to send an individual mic out to a separate recorder.

As to whether you HAVE to have XLR, not necessarily. A balanced 1/4" output should be fine.

Have fun!

Rob

Rob Neidig
R&R Media Productions
Eugene, Oregon


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Bill Davis
Re: Basic PA & mixer suggestions
on Mar 12, 2013 at 5:05:43 pm

Just to amplify (HA!) what Rob said...

The physical connection isn't really important. What's important in balanced audio is that you maintain all THREE connections through the audio chain. Whether a balanced line terminates on a 1/4" Phone Plug, a traditional 3-pin XLR plug, or even a smaller form plug like a mini-plug, a signal can only remain balanced if it has three SEPARATE signal paths in use.

If at any point in your signal path, you drop down to TWO signal connections, your signal becomes unbalanced and the noise-caneling properties of balanced audio connections disappear.

It's a common mistake for people to see a 1/4" jack on a mixer, plug a "guitar cord" with just two conductors into it (tip and sleeve) and be puzzled at why the connection is prone to RF noise and problems.

If you want to do clean audio - you HAVE to understand at least the basics about audio signal types and connectors work.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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