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auto vs manual audio levels

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Ruby Gold
auto vs manual audio levels
on Apr 4, 2005 at 6:26:58 pm

I recently got a GL2 and use my Beachtek adaptor to record audio for interviews with a Sony lav mic. My old GL1 set levels automatically, and I seem to have a hard time figuring out the correct audio level manually on the GL2--it keeps coming out too low.

I set the level based on the meter so that the person's conversational voice falls mostly just under or on the little "yellow" mark, occasionally going over the mark as their voice fluctuates. It seems every time, however, that the audio is too low once I get it into the editing program and listen and I have to add gain to get it right.

Am I setting the level incorrectly? Is there any drawback to just using the GL2's auto audio level setting? Thanks-

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Rob Forsythe
Re: auto vs manual audio levels
on Apr 4, 2005 at 9:22:27 pm

[Ruby Gold] "Am I setting the level incorrectly?"
[Ruby Gold] "Is there any drawback to just using the GL2's auto audio level setting?"
There can be. Auto-level for interviews works pretty well, but its not very "musical" for recording concerts.
"Auto" is designed to keep everything the SAME full level at all times. BUT... many audio tracks are better if they maintain more DYNAMIC differences between the softer and louder passages.

What's more, the auto-level in most camcorders keeps the levels very HIGH most of the time.
That's likely why you think YOUR manual levels are "too low" in comparison.

And auto-level tends to really crank up any NOISE after any pauses in the "wanted" audio:
The person being interviewed is listening to a question and...
a. his/her breathing sounds and environmental noises begin to increase as the camera turns up the gain during the "pause"
b. when she/he begins to speak the first syllable is too hot and "jumps" back down to "normal" obtrusively.

So if auto-level WORKS for you (if you like it) then go ahead and use it.
But, for anything that that would benefit from DYNAMICS in the levels, carefully set and use manual.

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Ralph Hajik
Re: auto vs manual audio levels
on Apr 7, 2005 at 6:34:09 am

Hi Ruby,

I also have the Canon GL2, Beachtech adapter & the Sennheiser G2 wireless Mic. I always keep mind on the manual audio settings. Make sure you have the attenuator turned off (Page 57 of the manual). If left on, it will reduce the volume.
Good Luck.

Canon GL2

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