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FP32 Shure ENG mixer

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Michael Jones
FP32 Shure ENG mixer
on Dec 15, 2013 at 5:43:17 am

I just picked up an FP32 mixer off eBay (I just needed something small, light and affordable for run and gun ENG shoots) and I had a question...running some tests on it with the following parameters:
I did a test recording into my HVX200 using a Sony ECM 44B electret condenser hardwire lav; tone set at +3 db on mixer, mic level input into CH3, line out to camera, camera input set at line, mic gain set at -60db, feeding tone into the camera, I set channel 1 level in between -12 & -20 (the level meters on the 200 don't have numbers, just a couple lines). I got good level into the camera, but the needles on the mixer were barely moving. I imported into Final Cut and it sounded decent. Then I plugged my Lectronsonic wireless lav into the mixer and the needles responded much more promptly and the signal was pretty clean. I'm waiting to get my FS100 to do a test with that camera. I'm not really a sound guy, can anyone explain why the needles were barely responding with the hardwire? Even though it sounded fine, I'm paranoid about taking it out on a shoot. Thanks!


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Brian Reynolds
Re: FP32 Shure ENG mixer
on Dec 15, 2013 at 9:07:15 am

Was the camera audio set to 'auto' or 'manual' level?
It seems by what you have described it may have been in 'auto'


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Michael Jones
Re: FP32 Shure ENG mixer
on Dec 15, 2013 at 1:01:39 pm

I didn't check the switch on the camera, but when I ran tone from the mixer into the camera, I was able to set the peak level with the audio pots on the camera, which would lead me to believe I had it in manual. I've heard audio techs talk about needles on mixers being "slow" or "sluggish," but like I say, when I tried the Lectrosonics lav, the needles responded quickly. Does this mean the mixer just responds to the Sony lav differently?


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Ty Ford
Re: FP32 Shure ENG mixer
on Dec 15, 2013 at 5:19:11 pm

Hello Michael and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

The 32 is a pretty old mixer. Not saying it won't work or caused any problems, just sayin'....

Without knowing what the levels are on the HVX200, you really don't know how to calibrate it to your mixer. I've also found that some of the cameras were designed with -10 level audio inputs instead of +4 dB inputs. If you're using line level out form the mixer, that means, if you can calibrate with a -20dB tone from your mixer, you will still run out of headroom on your camera.

You can bypass that problem by using the camera's mic level inputs.

The 32 uses analog metering. Not as precise as the newer LED metering on a mixer like the Sound Devices 302.

About the Sony versus the Lectro. When you brought the audio into FCP, did both mics provide the same level?

Regards,

Ty Ford

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


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Al Bergstein
Re: FP32 Shure ENG mixer
on Dec 16, 2013 at 6:18:39 am

As Michael mentions, using analogue meters can be really tricky, and I wonder about the quality of analogue meters. I'm having a heck of a time reading the analogue meters on my Azden FMX-42A for telling where things are at. While the sound is very clean, it's virtually impossible to really ride the meters to control gain levels. Some of the BH Reviews rave about them, but coming off a mixpre-d with those fabulous glowing LEDs leaves me feeling blind. I end up relying on the 1k tone and lowering the output to the camera (or other recorder) by -15dB or so. Its been years since I spent a lot of time on analogue meters, but are they really that inaccurate? Or is it likely just the Azden quality?

Al


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Ty Ford
Re: FP32 Shure ENG mixer
on Dec 16, 2013 at 1:41:17 pm

Al,

I think a little of both. I have a Sign 44 (not for regular use) and it has LEDs but fewer...and a peak light.

No way to get anything other than a general idea what's going on.

The analog meters of the FP32 really aren't big enough to show the same amount of range any Sound Devices mixer does. Then you have meter needle ballistics and damping. The audio world changed for the better when those guys left Shure and opened Sound Devices.

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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