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MixPre-D and Windows 7?

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David Veeneman
MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:42:05 am

I've just gotten a MixPre-D, and it's a great little field mixer. But I'm having an issue with it as a USB mixer for Windows 7--I can't get Windows calibrated to the mixer. Let me explain the problem.

In the field, I calibrate my camera's audio gain to the mixer, using the 1K, 0 dB tone that the mixer emits. I turn the tone on, set the camera's gain so that the tone registers -12 dB on the camera, and all is good.

I want to do the same thing in Windows 7. I'm using Adobe Audition to record, but it doesn't have input gain controls (http://forums.adobe.com/message/3528991). Instead, Audition relies on Windows 7's 'Sound' control panel to adjust input gain.

Here's my problem: I have the Windows 7 recording gain control set to max (100%), and the 1K tone emitted by the MixPre-D still reaches only -18 dB in Audition. That means the mixer's meters will be off when I record in Audition.

I thought it might have something to do with the computer's sound card, until I realized that the MixPre-D's USB connection bypasses the sound card entirely.

Has anyone else come across this problem? Any suggestions for fixes or workarounds? Thanks for your help!


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 13, 2013 at 12:52:17 pm

Hello David and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

-12? I'm pretty sure the MixPre's 0 should be -20 on your computer's "meters." Where are you seeing that it should be -12?

There may be a technical note about Windows 7 on the Sound Devices web site. I suggest you give them a call this morning and let them help you get back on track. They're very good at that.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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David Veeneman
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 13, 2013 at 4:11:27 pm

Thanks, Ty!

I went for -12, because that's what I use on cameras--it's what I was taught in a class. It hadn't occured to me that a different setting would work better when interfacing directly with Windows. Time to do some testing.

I checked SD's tech notes, and didn't find anything on the proper setting.

If anyone can point me to an article on using a 1K tone to set levels on a recording device, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for your help.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 13, 2013 at 11:43:08 pm

David,

I explain that in my book. You push tone from the mixpre-D. It shows as 0 on the MixPreD meter. Notice that the meter on the MixPreD goes to +20. So when you adjust tone on your camera to -20, you can now run audio on your mixer to +20 on it's meters and that will be up to 0 on your camera.

Make sense?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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David Veeneman
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 13, 2013 at 11:51:06 pm

Thanks Ty! I am finally starting to understand a bit.


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David Veeneman
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 13, 2013 at 4:16:41 pm

A quick Google search uncovered this thread:

"Using the camera's input level adjustments the recording level is set so the camera's audio meters read either -18 dBFS (EBU standard level) or -20 dBFS (SMPTE standard practice)."

And Safari Books Online a section from Voice and Vision (2d Ed) that explains calibrating to reference tones.

And both agree that -20 dBFS to -18 dBFS is the standard. Can't argue with SMPTE!


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 15, 2013 at 5:01:56 am

Yes that is correct. However, on small consumer level cams -12 is marked and -20 is not and I find it depends on what you are recording. Sometimes more headroom is needed and sometimes you need to use more of the cam's preamp to end up above -12. on better cams with better audio -20 is marked and is correct. Since the mix-pre D is designed to mount under the cam, I just find that eyeballing at what level on the mix-pre the proper level is achieved on the cam is the way to go. If you can't get a high enough level when calibrated below -12 (and its a guess where -20 is) then make the adjustment.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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David Veeneman
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 15, 2013 at 5:38:23 am

Since I'm at about -18 on the PC, I should be fine.

As to the -12 setting, it goes up past consumer goods--Panny P2 and AVCCAM units calibrate to -12, which now strikes me as kind of odd.

Am I missing something? Why the different levels? I would have expected all devices to calibrate to the SMPTE standard.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 15, 2013 at 1:27:06 pm

David,

You're not missing anything and I'm not in agreement with Craig's response. Sending you're 0 dB tome to a camera and setting the record level to -12 on the camera means you have 8 dB more signal on the mixer than the camera can take. You will clip the audio if you use the full scale of the mixer.

I have had versions of this conversation with several camera ops and they just don't get it. One even said, "I don't need your tone, my camera generates its own tone." And as I recall it was at -12. I told him that his camera's tone was not the point. The point is I'm calibrating my mixer to the camera so I don't have to look at the camera meters during the shoot. I have 20 dB of headroom above 0. If you count down from 0 on your camera, you're at -20 dB. Some get it some still don't

In many of today's professional cameras, there are no marks at all! It's pretty stupid not to do provide calibration help, but there you are. The only response I can give is that camera mfgrs don't care as much about sound as they do picture.

In addition, some mfgrs set their line level electronics to Consumer Line Level, which is not 0, but -10. You can calibrate with -20 tone, but in operation the camera input will clip at about -10 because the voltage from the mixer is overdriving the front end of the camera.

My Sound Devices 442 mixer has selectable outputs of mic, -10 or line. When I encounter one of these cameras, it's because I'm trying to send it line level at 0. When I hear the clipping in the headphones from the camera return during my initial setup and the camera meters are nowhere near peaking. I switch to -10 output on my mixer and set tone again on the camera at -20. If you don't have a -10 output on your mixer, the best thing to do is switch to mic level output on the mixer and mic level input on the camera and recalibrate to -20.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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David Veeneman
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 15, 2013 at 3:30:19 pm

Very helpful--thanks!


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 16, 2013 at 10:24:42 pm

[Ty Ford] "You're not missing anything and I'm not in agreement with Craig's response. Sending you're 0 dB tome to a camera and setting the record level to -12 on the camera means you have 8 dB more signal on the mixer than the camera can take. You will clip the audio if you use the full scale of the mixer. "

Yes you will and that is a concern and does defeat some of the beauty of the Mix-PRE-D's LED meter.

The manual for these cams does say to have the sound peak to the right of the -12 only occasionally. This implies from -12 to just below 0 is headroom not your desired levels.

But with some talent using a dynamic mike and the mix pre-D they are consistently recording under -12 (on the cam). Even with the gain control on the mix-pre D set to 4-5-6 o'clock. Now that would not be a big deal if say -14/-18 on the camera was actually +2/+6 on a pro meter. But when I playback footage from these small cams, I find I really want to be a touch over -12. There does not seem to a lot of wiggle room in terms of decent sound levels. During class we are playing the footage back using the AV out port on the cam into a professional monitor. We use the AV only for sound and component out for visual. We can also use HDMI out for both. Either way if the sound levels are below -12 we need to increase the volume on the monitor all the way up to hear dialog. When levels are at or above -12 but not into the 0 they do not sound distorted.

So if I recalibrate to the -12 on the cam using 0 tone then I tell students to aim for 0/+4/+6 on the mixer and this will translate to over the -12 but not into the 0 on the cam.

Further the camera does not have a -20 mark so how do you know where to set it?



Let me ask you this Ty, is this simply a playback issue and I'm in a good range as long as I'm above -20 on the camera meter even though there is no mark for -20? We can barely hear -about14 playing back on a pro panasonic monitor. My experience in post seems to confirm my ballpark though. If I want to get the sound at decent settings in FC I do better starting with the cam meters at or above -12. Below and I'm adding noise to the signal.

On our P2 cams and our Sony cams there is a -20 mark as well as a -12 mark and we use the -20 to calibrate and it's a lot nicer with better results.

[Ty Ford] "In many of today's professional cameras, there are no marks at all! It's pretty stupid not to do provide calibration help, but there you are."

Some of the pro cams that have no marks have a way to magnify the audio meters which now gives you the marks. The design idea is blow it up when you are calibrating or just spot checking but then minimize them to save real estate so the cam op can concentrate on exposure and focus. My Panasonic AG-HPX250PJ-s work this way. You can assign a button to display "MAG A. LVL" Isn't that intuitive? (magnify audio level meters, I think).


becomes



Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 16, 2013 at 10:40:04 pm

Craig,

Nice graphics!

You're missing what I'm saying about calibrating the mixer to the camera. For just a moment, forget everything you know about the topic and begin afresh.

The idea is to calibrate the camera meters to the mixer meters so you don't have to look at the camera meters to know exactly what level you're sending to the camera. Setting 0 tone from the mixer to -12 will result in clips if you use the entire headroom of the mixer because it goes to +20. I'm the audio guy. I can't and don't want to be watching audio levels on a camera. I want to watch them on my mixer.

Having said that, yes, you want audio to peak somewhere above -12 and 0 on the camera. But I don't want to keep looking at camera meters while I run audio.

As for the dynamic mics, yes they are less sensitive than condenser mics and require more gain from the preamps.

Regards,

Ty

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


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 12:03:48 am

Thanks Ty. I do feel I understand you and I follow this advice exactly with all my prosumer level cams. But on the HV 40s I'm finding that if I calibrate the camera so that 0 tone is about -20 (again no indication of where that is exactly) then when we are recording soft spoken talent the levels are too low. On the mix pre-d their voices do not exceed 0 unless I turn the gain up to 3 o'clock or more.

Again if I calibrate 0 tone to -12 you still do not need to look at the cam meters but rather just know the modified range on the mix pre d meters - about 0 (-12) to + 6 (about -4) (-12 the only thing with a mark)

[Ty Ford] "Having said that, yes, you want audio to peak somewhere above -12 and 0 on the camera. But I don't want to keep looking at camera meters while I run audio."

Just to be be clear here: when you say 'peak', do you mean where every spoken line peaks or just the loudest lines during a shoot - that is the occasional spike where you have left enough headroom so as not to clip?

Let me put this another way: I'm doing a sound test with a talent. "Read me your first line at a comfortable level as if you were performing." The talent gives me their first line. Where should that test read on the mixer? My understanding if I calibrated 0 tone to -20 would be about +4 to +16 on the mixer. If the talent projects well and is more animated and has some excited louder lines, I leave them more headroom. If they are quiet and even in their delivery I start at a higher base level.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 12:40:01 am

Craig,

Unless you know where -20 is, you really can't say where 0 is. Calibration is not done on an elastic scale, It's doesn't stretch and shrink. It is what it is.

If your peaks are lower than you think they should be then what you think -20 is on the camera is probably wrong, and too low.

Peaks are defined as different from RMS. (root mean squared). RMS is also described as average. You must select RMS and Peak as the meter reading on the 302 so you see both the lower RMS and blank spaces then the peak reading above that. You need to pay attention to the peaks to prevent clipping. If you're mixer is set to only read RMS then it will seem very low. If you try to make it read higher by turning up the gain, then the peaks you're not seeing on the meter, will clip.

These peaks are not just from people talking louder, they are the peaks that happen in normal speech. I'm thinking you may not have your meter set to the correct setting and are seeing only RMS or VU and not peak.

Regards,

Ty Ford

PS: tone doesn't really have peaks the same way human voices do, it's a continuous sine wave.

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


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 2:25:12 am

Ty,

Please be patient. You're my go to guy when it comes to sound. Not trying to be thick.

My 302 mixers are set for combo peak.

When I use the 302 I use it with a camera that has a -20 indicator and that is what I use for 0 tone calibration.

I try to record voices from +4 to +12.

I think I'm following your lead here. Right?

--------

The consumer cams do not have a mark for -20 but they do for -12. I calibrate the cam to a couple of joy stick clicks below -12.

The mix pre-d with soft spoken female voices and dynamic mikes need to have the input gain control at about 3 o'clock to start metering above zero on the mix pre-d's meters.

What do you use as a target range when you capture sound both on the mixer and on the camera's meters?

What would be the low end of the sweet range?

If Canon says that the meter should read only OCCASIONALLY above -12 then what is acceptable below -12? Are they right?

If I play back footage where the camera's meters are consistently reading below -12 I find I need to turn up my monitors amp to the point where I'm adding noise to the signal. This doesn't seem right to me.

I think the sweet spot is a bit above -12 and a bit below 0. Is the sweet spot for range more like a bit above -20 and a bit above -12? If so I've been doing it wrong and need better playback equipment.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 11:33:13 am

Craig,

Yes, combo, so you can see the peaks and the RMS!

I think there are two combos on the SD meters.nI like the one that shows a space between the peak and the RMS. It's interesting that the size of the space varies depending on the voice. Each person has a slightly different peak to RMS ration and you can see it with this metering system.

I set my limiters at about +14 and try to hit peaks between +12 and +14, just tickling the limiter, making the Sound Devices limiter light blink slightly and occasionally. Camera limiters are usually pretty nasty so I don't use them.

The Sound Devices limiters are designed to gracefully catch voice peaks and still sound very good. This means that their attack time is a little slower. Because of that, very quick sounds like hand claps and the click of a three ring binder clicking open or closed sneak through the limiter, That's why aiming for +14 is a good idea. It gives you 6 dB of extra headroom before clipping.

I have clipped on a three ring binder, but since it's just one CLICK, it didn't sound bad. Applause, OTOH, can sound pretty nasty if creates a lot of clips over time.

Z'at make sense?

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

PS: and remember some of the cameras have "soft front ends." The PD 150 and PD 170 (and later HDV versions) come to mind. I think they designed them using a -10 Consumer Line Level instead of a 0 Pro Line Level, because I always have problems trying to calibrate my mixer to them if I use line instead of -10 or Mic level output from my mixer. I can calibrate them with tone, but I can't get peaks past +10 or +12, everything over that clips and I hear splatter in my Sony MDR7506 headphones.

PPS: If you're using low-ball headphones, you can end up in trouble because you can't really hear what's going on. The Sony MDR7506 are great for clarity. They are a little peaky on the bottom and top, but not in a bad way.

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


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 5:13:16 pm

Thank you Ty,

Best forum on the cow for a prosumer level generalist like me.

I feel when all is said and done I have more or less been following your lead and mirror your practices with the possible exception that consumer level cams are not designed to adhere to this standard practice and experience must dictate a compromise of sorts. I am slowly moving away from using them. Money makes the world go round.

Just a couple of more basics:

1) I understand your target levels +12/+14, but what would you consider to be the lowest acceptable peak level on the SD mixer?

Assuming I am calibrating correctly, 0 tone to -20, then if a talent drops to 0 for a sentence of two, they would be at -20 on the camera input which I find way too low. The camera manuals talk about -12 being a upper end target which implies that below -12 is a preferred average RMS, but do not mention an unacceptably low level. I have used -12 (on cam) as the lowest acceptable peak. I’m going to check what +12 (on mixer) equals on my cams that do have -20 marks for calibration.

2) Is there any such thing as a conversion chart or program or formula that lets you translate the mixer level to the camera level?

3) What do you make of these quotes form the 302 manual:





These seem to mirror the camcorder manuals advice that from -20 to -12 (on the camcorder meters is the
target range for recording. Not sure what to make of this.

“Yes, combo, so you can see the peaks and the RMS! I think there are two combos on the SD meters.nI like the one that shows a space between the peak and the RMS. It's interesting that the size of the space varies depending on the voice. Each person has a slightly different peak to RMS ration and you can see it with this metering system.”

Yes I’ve noticed this and never gave it much conscious thought but subconsciously my reaction was how evenly the talent delivered their lines. A large gap indicated sudden attacks (have no idea if my audio vocab is technically correct – have I mentioned that audio standards are the most confusing of any multi-media discipline?)

I set my limiters at about +14 and try to hit peaks between +12 and +14, just tickling the limiter, making the Sound Devices limiter light blink slightly and occasionally. Camera limiters are usually pretty nasty so I don't use them.

That would be ATT (attenuation on or off in the camera settings?) And yes they are worthless. If the audio peaks into the 0, or even a touch below, the distortion is horrid.

The Sound Devices limiters are designed to gracefully catch voice peaks and still sound very good. This means that their attack time is a little slower. Because of that, very quick sounds like hand claps and the click of a three ring binder clicking open or closed sneak through the limiter, That's why aiming for +14 is a good idea. It gives you 6 dB of extra headroom before clipping.

Understood and in more disciplined (on one production/one shot at a time shoots it has been what I aim for. In more circus evironments, I ask students to leave a bit more headroom - +8 to +12 as a target with +4 as a base.

I have clipped on a three ring binder, but since it's just one CLICK, it didn't sound bad. Applause, OTOH, can sound pretty nasty if creates a lot of clips over time.

Z'at make sense?

Yes it does and really a high frequency very short peak for what is more or less a sound effect doesn’t really bother the audicene all that much. It’s a low rumbling raspy distortion that really gets on their nerves. And of course straining to hear dialog is a complete drag too.

Some of the cameras have "soft front ends." The PD 150 and PD 170 (and later HDV versions) come to mind. I think they designed them using a -10 Consumer Line Level instead of a 0 Pro Line Level, because I always have problems trying to calibrate my mixer to them if I use line instead of -10 or Mic level output from my mixer. I can calibrate them with tone, but I can't get peaks past +10 or +12, everything over that clips and I hear splatter in my Sony MDR7506 headphones.

Yes when I first began we were using the shure mixer and I was beyond frustrated that I couldn’t get good levels on my 150 170 cams. I tried to learn to manually set the line level out to match the camera but shure tech support kinda told me not to mess with the little internal switches) I ended up learning to go in mic level and bought some xlr attenuation plugs for some sources and leaving more headroom and the frustration waned but the audio on these cams were seriously flawed. The weak link of otherwise great cams. The XL2 was a better and its soft focus (so called film look) was quite nice with studio lights in the mix) but the 170s were just incredible available light run and gun cams. Truly perfect for students, reporters, the web, docs, etc.

PPS: If you're using low-ball headphones, you can end up in trouble because you can't really hear what's going on. The Sony MDR7506 are great for clarity. They are a little peaky on the bottom and top, but not in a bad way.

They are the only headphones I give students. At your advice, been using them for years. Hate the coiled cable. Personally find the ear pads a touch too small, and the pads get worn out too fast with student handling. The little exposed wires that go into the speakers always worries me – but I’ve been using them for years and other than the coiled cables becoming more and more streached out and some reversed coils that I can not learn to unknot they have been a workhorse and accurate what you hear is what you get headphones.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 9:58:20 pm

Craig,

1. If you're a sound recordist you get the mic closer or ride gain on the mixer unless the ambient noise change becomes obvious. Otherwise, noise reduction or ADR.

2. If you calibrate the mixer to the camera as I have suggested, this is not necessary.

3. I peak in the orange with occasional peaks in the first red LED.

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 18, 2013 at 2:08:04 am

Again thanks Ty,

1) Yes we do both of these. I teach talent with hand held mikes and boom operators to work with the audio tech to get a good level and a good quality before we start shooting.

2) understood though in any given shoot you might have sudden changes in levels. If for example there was a line with horrible distortion and you had the option, you would reshoot. The occasional low level that say dips to 0 or -4, can be boosted in post. But at what level would you say best to reshoot? Remember I'm using student talents and student audio techs. Not someone with your skill. I'm just surprised to read in the manuals that 0 (-20 on the cam) is a target level.

3. So you disagree with both Canon and Sound Devices manuals, as do I, or am I misreading what they are saying?

Thanks again Ty. Just surprises me that at this point in time that the camcorder companies are not addressing audio with the same competitive spirit that they are evolving visual acquisition. For example, the headphone amps on even fairly expensive video gear is really awful. They add so much noise to the signal that you think you have a problem with your mikes. So it's hard to monitor your incoming audio. Play it back and it's fine. We use a snake cable into the 302 and I tell the students to just switch to RTN to make sure that the camera is receiving the signal. Then switch back to the 302s headphone amp so you can actually judge audio quality. You would think also that the camcorders would have a RTN output nearer the xlr inputs so the snake cables didn't need to have a built in splitter. Which by the way doesn't always reach the headphone out or gets in the way of some other function on the camcorder.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 18, 2013 at 11:17:23 am

1) Yes we do both of these. I teach talent with hand held mikes and boom operators to work with the audio tech to get a good level and a good quality before we start shooting.

>>and during the shoot on a second by second basis.

2) understood though in any given shoot you might have sudden changes in levels. If for example there was a line with horrible distortion and you had the option, you would reshoot. The occasional low level that say dips to 0 or -4, can be boosted in post. But at what level would you say best to reshoot? Remember I'm using student talents and student audio techs. Not someone with your skill. I'm just surprised to read in the manuals that 0 (-20 on the cam) is a target level.

>>Doing it only by the meters only gets you so far, usually not far enough. Ambient noise, off-axis mics both help you decide. Bottom line; if you can't hear the line clearly because it's either too low in the noise floor i because it's distorted, then reshoot.

3. So you disagree with both Canon and Sound Devices manuals, as do I, or am I misreading what they are saying?

>>I'm telling you what works for me, but you have to be on top of the job. Audio is not a set and forget job. Manuals are frequently written to be somewhat conservative and frequently by people who are not users.

Thanks again Ty. Just surprises me that at this point in time that the camcorder companies are not addressing audio with the same competitive spirit that they are evolving visual acquisition. For example, the headphone amps on even fairly expensive video gear is really awful. They add so much noise to the signal that you think you have a problem with your mikes. So it's hard to monitor your incoming audio. Play it back and it's fine. We use a snake cable into the 302 and I tell the students to just switch to RTN to make sure that the camera is receiving the signal. Then switch back to the 302s headphone amp so you can actually judge audio quality. You would think also that the camcorders would have a RTN output nearer the xlr inputs so the snake cables didn't need to have a built in splitter. Which by the way doesn't always reach the headphone out or gets in the way of some other function on the camcorder.

>> That's why I spec Sony MDR7506 headphones. They are some of the highest sensitivity headphones on the market. That sensitivity means you get more volume so you can hear whats going on. And I ALWAYS listen in return almost all of the time.

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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Craig Alan
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 18, 2013 at 7:49:41 pm

[Ty Ford] ">>and during the shoot on a second by second basis."

I tell them to ride the gain knob and work with their talent but as you are suggesting that's the hard part to get across. Some get it and some don't. There is no set it and forget it in audio. Attention span and today's students do not always go hand in hand. However we are just starting to set up our post lab and when kids edit and try to put their projects together they learn why production practices are what they are.

[Ty Ford] "Manuals are frequently written to be somewhat conservative and frequently by people who are not users. "

Thank you. I know from experience that a voice that peaks at -20 is too low. We do not have a sound proof rooms and it's never that quiet. I expect that from the camcorder manuals where the manual's style is not written with production techniques in mind but rather just an overall guide to buttons and options. But sound devices was founded by audio pros that listen to end users.

[Ty Ford] ">> That's why I spec Sony MDR7506 headphones. They are some of the highest sensitivity headphones on the market. That sensitivity means you get more volume so you can hear whats going on. And I ALWAYS listen in return almost all of the time."

I use 2, one for the cam op and one for the audio tech. Its just really hard to judge audio quality through the headphone out of our P2 cams. Noise is added to the signal. However the next time I take the snake out I'll try to keep the cam's headphone volume low and then raise the 302 headphone v output to see if that does the trick. I can see the logic in always listening to the recorder's output which might reveal problems that the mixer's input does not since its further down the chain. However at that volume the cam op will probably not hear much. You'll probably point out that is not the cam op's job. gotcha.

Thanks for staying with me on this, Ty. It would be so much easier if there was one type of metering system.

PS: I noticed a section in the 302 manual where they give you the option to calibrate the mixer and cam where the audio clips. That might be an interesting option for camera's that do not mark where -20 is on their meter. I'd prefer to know where -12 (cam meter) is on the mixer but I guess it just doesn't correspond. Why 0=-20 but ?=-12 does not compute I still don't get but I really just want good audio.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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David Veeneman
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 12:14:20 am

Ty, just another quick word of thanks for your help on this issue--much appreciated!


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Ty Ford
Re: MixPre-D and Windows 7?
on Nov 17, 2013 at 12:43:10 am

David,

Happy to be of service! :)

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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