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kona LH audio monitoring problem

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Mo Kahn
kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 6, 2008 at 4:27:02 pm

Hi All

We've just manage setup our kona LH with our FCP system and sony HDV deck via component video.....video capture and deck control (via firewire) works a treat, and thankyou to bob for his previous advice regarding connections..

However audio monitoring thru the kona is a big problem for us...we've managed to capture audio into FCP thru the KL box - The RCA outputs from our sony HVR-M15 deck are going into the RCA inputs on a soundcraft mixing desk. We have then plugged the XLR ports labelled MIX L and MIX R on our mixing desk into the analog audio XLR inputs on the KL box. We are then able to capture the audio from DV tape into FCP without an apparent hitch.

For audio monitorting via the KL box we've then connected the RCA outs on the KL box to another pair of RCA inputs on the soundcraft board. Our monitor speakers are then conneced via balanced 1/4 inch (TRS) jack connections labelled left and right MONITOR OUT. The sound does play out but it's very crackly thru the speakers. The speakers are fine as we've tested both them and the soundcraft mixing desk.

Is the way we've hooked up the audio correct for an analog audio setup ? What is best practice ?, i fear we've blown something along the way. And what are the option for cabling analog auido in/out with the KONA LH and breakout box (am i right in thinking we can use a single mixing desk for capture and playout/monitoring). I was hoping to use XLR connectors exclusively, but the XLR inputs on our board are labelled MIC, so as we were unsure as to suitability and instead we've tried using unbalanced RCA instead....

i feel we have done most of the work in connecting the video and getting it to work correctly. Audio is the last hurdle we need to jump....hopefully.

thanks for taking the time to read


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Bob Zelin
Re: kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 6, 2008 at 10:02:32 pm

I don't know what mixer you own - what is the EXACT model of the Soundcraft.

Most mixers, even cheapo Behringer and Mackie mixers have BUSSES. They are usually labeles 1-2, 3-4, L-R (or MAIN). Instead of hooking up the speakers to the CR Mon Out L, R of the mixer, hookup your speakers (or amp) to the MAIN output of the mixer. Use the 1-2 Group outputs to feed the input of your Kona LHe. This way, you can MONITOR ANY SIGNAL simply by pushing down the L-R (or MAIN) button - any time you push MAIN(L,R), it will go to the speakers - this way you can hear your Kona LHe, or HVR-M15U independently.

When you want to send the HVR-M15U into the KonaLHe, simply hit the 1-2 button on the HVR-M15U faders. This will send the M15U out of the group 1-2 outputs into your Kona LHe. Want to hear the M15U - push MAIN. Want to only hear the Kona LHe - push MAIN on the Kona LHe faders.

The general rule is to send EVERYHTING YOU OWN into the mixer, so you can assign it anywhere you want.

Bob Zelin




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Mo Kahn
Re: kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 7, 2008 at 9:32:13 am

Bob

Thanks for the reply, the Soundcraft is a Spirit E Series.....apecifically the Spirit ES model
here's the link to it;

http://www.soundcraft.com/product_sheet.asp?product_id=26


How does the advise you've given us apply to this deck, there's a schematic and user guide on the link, but i'm not sure how to apply it to the soundcraft.



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Mo Kahn
Re: kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 7, 2008 at 5:43:19 pm

Just to give you an update;

We've hooked up the deck, mixer and kona how bob suggested...

we've hooked up our powered speakers to the 1/4-inch jack balanced outputs on the soundcraft ES.

The XLR outs (labelled MIX L and R) we've hooked up to the analog XLR inputs on the Kona.

The sony deck still goes RCA to RCA into a stereo channel on the soundcraft. audio capture seems to work very well. We can hear the audio from the speakers, control levels on the board, and the captured footage plays back how we'd expect in FCP.

But, and this is a big but. When playing the FCP footage through the Kona by selecting AJA Kona LH as the audio output
in FCP the sound is very low. We're not getting any distortion at certain levels but the levels are way lower than what we were hearing during capture playout and capture from the sony deck.

We've tried running the tone test in FCP to adjust the gain, but even with the gain on the maximum setting on the soundcraft board the sound is quite noisy and not as clear.
On the mixer 4 of the channels have MIC input options and the gain goes up to +65db, the other 6 channels accept 1/4-inch jacks and RCA inputs only and the max gain is +20db....what should our db settings be ?....both in software and in the soundcraft hardware for optimum monitoring.

The big problem appears to be the analog audio out (problem appears whether we use balanced XLR or unalanced RCA), and bizarrely we only get sound through one speaker when using balanced XLR. Doesn't appear to be playing out in stereo. And the low levels are worrying.





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Bob Zelin
Re: kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 7, 2008 at 10:15:38 pm

REPLYS below -

The sony deck still goes RCA to RCA into a stereo channel on the soundcraft. audio capture seems to work very well. We can hear the audio from the speakers, control levels on the board, and the captured footage plays back how we'd expect in FCP.

REPLY -
The HVR-M15U is a -10dB audio level signal. Get an RCA to 1/4" TRS cable, and go into the LINE INPUT of this mixer (DO NOT USE AN RCA CABLE), and use your mixer to BOOST UP THE LEVEL of this VTR to the correct +4dBu level (zero on your meters), and you will no longer have low levels - buying cables is part of life in our business.




But, and this is a big but. When playing the FCP footage through the Kona by selecting AJA Kona LH as the audio output
in FCP the sound is very low. We're not getting any distortion at certain levels but the levels are way lower than what we were hearing during capture playout and capture from the sony deck.

REPLY - Your Kona LH should have the XLR outputs of the Kona LH going via XLR to 1/4" TRS cables into the LINE INPUTS of the Soundcraft mixer. You will NOT have low levels if you do this.


We've tried running the tone test in FCP to adjust the gain, but even with the gain on the maximum setting on the soundcraft board the sound is quite noisy and not as clear.

REPLY -
use the correct cables, and you will not have any troubles. Take the Kona LHe XLR output, and send it into the 1/4 TRS Stereo phone plug LINE INPUT of this mixer, and there will be no issue.


On the mixer 4 of the channels have MIC input options and the gain goes up to +65db, the other 6 channels accept 1/4-inch jacks and RCA inputs only and the max gain is +20db....what should our db settings be ?....both in software and in the soundcraft hardware for optimum monitoring.

REPLY - use the 1/4" LINE INPUT, and you will have no problems - yes, you will be buying cables to do this. Can you "make do" with what you have now - NO YOU CANNOT. DO NOT use the XLR inputs, as these are the MIC LEVEL inputs, and the RCA inputs are rated at -10dBu, and you will get DISTORTION if you go into these. ONLY USE THE 1/4" TRS inputs - this applies to Soundcraft, Mackie and Behringer mixers.


The big problem appears to be the analog audio out (problem appears whether we use balanced XLR or unalanced RCA), and bizarrely we only get sound through one speaker when using balanced XLR. Doesn't appear to be playing out in stereo. And the low levels are worrying.

REPLY - follow my instructions. If you only hear "one speaker", take a single channel, and pan it LEFT and RIGHT to make sure that you hear BOTH SIDES. You may have a bad cable, or bad speaker. DO NOT PROCEED using the RCA and XLR inputs of this mixer.

bob Zelin




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Bob Zelin
Re: kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 7, 2008 at 10:08:18 pm

Please note that this product is not in current production, and is no longer available from Soundcraft

from the Soundcraft site -

I will address your other email in a second, but if you want the output of your mixer to feed multiple sources (the Kona LHe input and the VTR input), you SPLIT the output of your mixer with a Y cable (mult, etc.). The pro way to do this is with audio DA's, but you are not going to spend the $$$ for this, and if you use the AUX SEND outputs, it will become too confusing, and too many knobs, so you SPLIT the single XLR output using a Y splitter.

I will respond to your other email.

Bob Zelin




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Mo Kahn
Re: kona LH audio monitoring problem
on Feb 10, 2008 at 5:01:03 pm

We've changed the RCA cables to 1/4" as recommended. Doesn't appear to have made any difference. Basically what's playing out from the editor is exactly what is being put down in FCP, in terms of levels. The peak FCP VU meter levels is exactly what is being output through the mixer. But these peaks, up to -3db in FCP barely register on our mixer's meter. That's why the sound through the monitors sounds so low.

The editor doesn't seem to have a problem with this as the sound isn't distorted at these levels. But imo it's just not a loud and full bodied enough sound - this applies to everything that is being played out through the kona....





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