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Buying the right audio

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TaNeil Adams
Buying the right audio
on Oct 12, 2008 at 9:33:41 pm

Hi I have a canon XL1/s I'm shopping for microphones but I'm not sure if I need an adapter. I'm also not sure how to use the wireless lavs with this camera but would like to get a shotgun mic and adapter, cables, for that.
So my question is two fold really sorry, what do I need in the adapter sense and then how do I use it with the XL1/s?

Ta Neil Adams
Film maker/videographer

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."
-James Baldwin

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Dustin Lee
Re: Buying the right audio
on Oct 14, 2008 at 6:56:55 pm

Well, there are no XLR inputs on your camera, just an audio-in mini jack if I'm not mistaken. Adapters can get a bit pricey, but hey, we've chosen a pricey business, haven't we? You have 2 main options:

1) Get an XLR-to-mini jack converter. Some mics will come with one of these included, but usually any mic worth getting will only have a full XLR-to-XLR cable, and no mini-jack adapter. So just be wary of cheap mics that come with an adapter.
You can also build one with parts you can get from Radio Shack. I did this about a year ago, just in case I'd ever need one. The adapter works flawlessly, and with basically no quality loss that I can discern. The big con to these adapters is the fact that there is no external volume adjustment (read: HUGE con), and there can be only one XLR plug. This might limit you, depending on if you want multiple mics attached at the same time or not. And it can look ugly if it's not thought out/made well. But it does work fine, and is pretty inexpensive to buy or build.

2) You can get something like the Canon MA-100 XLR converter, or the Beachtek DXA-4C Audio Adapter. They're not the only adapters on the market, but it'll give you an idea of what you'll need. Expect to spend anywhere from 100-300 dollars for most of them. I'd say these are the 'best' way to go for adding XLRs to your camera. Much more professional, and they usually have all sorts of volume/gain adjustment, which is 100% worth the price in itself, if you want good audio.

So, whichever route you take, any mic that uses XLR plugs should work fine with your adapter. It all depends on your budget, how many mics you will use at one time, etc. Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

-Dustin Lee

PS - and DON'T skimp on micropohnes! I made that mistake once, and learned the hard way. It really DOES make a huge difference when you get a good mic.

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