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Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR

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Bobby Hall
Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 8, 2013 at 9:49:32 am

I'm going to shoot some footage of a speaker with a Canon T3i and record the audio with a Sennheiser EW 112P G3 plugged directly into the camera. I've found I can get nice sounding audio if I set the transmitter at -12 db and the receiver at 0 db (and the T3i at one click above 0).

I've also found that the audio sounds good with the transmitter at +12 db and the receiver at -24 db. Are there any advantages or disadvantages of using one of these settings over the other?

I can't really tell a difference in terms of quality so I wanted to ask the pros on here what they think and what they'd do in my position.

One other question. Is there a decent way to monitor the audio in the camera? When I tried to plug the receiver into the camera using a Sescom splitter cable, the audio was extremely low. Is there any other kind of adapter that will let me monitor the audio correctly? Thanks!


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Peter Groom
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 8, 2013 at 4:41:29 pm

Hi
Firstly, Im NOT going to recommend anyone to record audio into a DSLR. I may not ever, but definitely not until DSLR manufacturers apply way more attention to the audio input circuitry,metering and monitoring than they have so far.

Re G3 levels, Id expect to put the input of the g3 personal mic at around -18 for safety. Then look at the actual level of your speaker and adjust accordingly.

But just to re iterate, audio boards are littered with people who have tried to record DSLR audio and failed with awful results. Its a world of hurt.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 8, 2013 at 5:50:41 pm

Have we reached a point in time where it's 'audio by numbers' ?
You would set the TX level to match the talents speaking level and the position of the mic placement (it's in the manual how to do it) then set the RX level to suit the output level required.
By just quoting numbers sets up a world for the non thinking.
If you are using a DSLR to record on make sure and check it will play back in mono ok ...... Many set ups have phase cancellation problems.


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Peter Groom
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 8, 2013 at 8:03:17 pm

Dont I suggest that?

Re G3 levels, Id expect to put the input of the g3 personal mic at around -18 for safety. Then look at the actual level of your speaker and adjust accordingly.
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 8, 2013 at 11:22:29 pm

I was actually trying to get the OP to work through the steps and not get hung up on numbers.
I know some people that are SO pedantic about numbers and will set things 'because thats what someone has said' rather than actually using the item to the best of its ability.


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Bobby Hall
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 9, 2013 at 3:46:30 am

Hi Brian,
I did do some tests. I was just wondering if it makes a difference if the transmitter was around -12 and the receiver around 0, or if the transmitter was around +12 and the receiver -24. They both sound fine to me and there's not a problem with mono.

I have heard many times you shouldn't record directly into the camera but the audio sounded fine to me. I had my T3i set at one click above 0 so that the camera's preamps don't have to do much work.


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 9, 2013 at 11:14:25 am

Radio mics by what they are, are less than perfect, a piece of cable will ALWAYS work better. Like most things in life the more money you spend the better they are...

So to get the best signal / noise of a system it needs to be set up correctly, If the TX (transmitter) is set to low the gain needs to be made up elsewhere like at the RX (receiver) or recorder or post production but by doing it that way it also brings up background noise (like RF interference from other things like fluro lights, mobile phones/ devices, electric motors etc). With a poor gain structure like that it will limit the usable distance you would get from a radio mic system.
While in bench testing you might be able to lower the TX input by say 10db and raise the RX output by a similar 10 db and everything seems ok but the background noise has also been raised 10db. And if by chance the tallent is quietly spoken and the level needs to be raised in post production then you have a 'HISS' problem, recording to a DSLR just compounds the problem even more.

The reason I mention the 'Mono' thing is on this and other forums there are often questions asked about putting a mono signal into a stereo input of the DSLR, if an incorrectly wired cable (and most off the shelf cables seem to be) there will be a 180 deg phase cancellation in the camera, you may not pick it up in editing and listening in stereo but in mono you have problems (like youtube, mobile phone etc)


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Bobby Hall
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 10, 2013 at 7:10:26 am

I see. Thanks a lot!
BTW, I made a mistake in my earlier posts when I said I set the transmitter to +12 in the g3. It doesn't go above 0.


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Eric Toline
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 11, 2013 at 3:47:04 pm

The output on the G series receivers is an unbalanced mono connection which means it will work best with a 3.5mm tip/sleeve cable at both ends if the input on the camera is a 3.5 mm mic level connection. The mono tip/sleeve connection will only feed the left channel of the DSLR.

For feeding a DSLR such as the Canon 5D I have found that setting the rx output level to -20 and the DSLR input level to -12 returns very acceptable results. Without a mixer between the rx and camera to control the level to the camera a -20 level on the tx does the job just fine although adjusting levels as you record does create some problems.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Adjusting Audio Levels in Sennheiser g3 with DSLR
on Jul 12, 2013 at 10:14:36 am

I have just found this info for the Sennheiser G3 setup that might be useful to this thread.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/indepth/audio/hands-reviews/sennheiser-ew-100-g...


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