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2 audio inputs, 3 mics

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Stephen Schott
2 audio inputs, 3 mics
on Dec 22, 2010 at 11:45:39 pm

I'm on a show that mainly has 2 people in it. No biggie. Every once in a while they have a guest. The problem is the mics. I bring audio straight into the camera with the 2 XLR inputs, but when there's a 3rd person, we just make sure they are sitting REALLY close together. This is starting to get old, an honestly it doesn't sound real good. Any ideas on how to merge 2 mics into 1 input, besides a basic splitter?

Stephen Schott
12Basket Productions

"When you've got family, everything else is extra"


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Ty Ford
Re: 2 audio inputs, 3 mics
on Dec 23, 2010 at 12:32:21 am

Hello Stephen, I'm from the audio forum.

The best thing I can offer is a Sound Devices 302 mixer. I know it's not what you expected, but there are some really good reasons for a mixer and the 302 is a very solid piece of gear that will last for years.

The ENG-44 is less, I think, but doesn't have the build quality or audio specs.

Reasons for a mixer:

1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't waste money on them.

You can use Y-connectors for dynamic mics, but you have no ability to change the volume level individually.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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





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Stephen Schott
Re: 2 audio inputs, 3 mics
on Dec 24, 2010 at 12:43:33 am

Ty,
I appreciate your input. It actually was what I was expecting but to add "one more thing" to the production that is on a shoe-string... I was hoping for something else, but expecting this. Thanks. Still would love to hear any other solutions other productions have tried/used out there.

Stephen Schott
12Basket Productions

"When you've got family, everything else is extra"


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Alf Hanna
Re: 2 audio inputs, 3 mics
on Dec 28, 2010 at 6:21:05 am

I'll take a shot at a different approach (though I do have a Sound Devices field mixer as well and love it). Shift to a shotgun mic, mounted on a boom arm, just out of site of the camera, if possible, pointed right at two of the three. Or a proximity mic, on the table in front of them (?). Or just don't worry about showing the mic, and put an omni on a small table tripod in front of them, aiming at them. Call it a documentary (G). Maybe you can hide it just below the camera frame? I've got a nice Russian Oktava, and the omni head is so good you can hear stuff two rooms away at 90 degrees! Or maybe by a MixPre and borrow a second one from a friend. Or buy a Mixpre and mix down two mics to one channel of mono, then run the third mic into the second channel of your XLR in on your camera...(G)...still should sound fine... Hope this helps!

Alf


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Chris Tompkins
Re: 2 audio inputs, 3 mics
on Jan 14, 2011 at 12:31:11 am

You can also get an audio splitter. Runs two XLR in and one out.
Cable adapter.

Like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-Cable-XLR3-TWO/dp/B000068O59/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&...


But reverse the ends.

Chris Tompkins
Video Atlanta LLC


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