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Audio too Hot in Canon XL2 recording

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Adam Hall
Audio too Hot in Canon XL2 recording
on Apr 28, 2009 at 10:32:58 pm

Hello folks-

After an hour of searching and digging through the fine forums here, I have opted to raise my hand and make a post.

In a recent recording we were receiving a board feed to our Canon XL2 that acted very strange. The levels would flatten out and then become distorted similar to a mic peaking. I tried to adjust it in camera, but it would still flatten and distort. I was told by the guy running the board that it was a problem with the camera, but I'm convinced that the feed I was receiving was too hot. What say you? :)

Here's some specs on the shoot

XLR from board to Ch1/3 Input on Canon XL2

Camera settings
60i at 30fps, 1/30 shutter
4:3
Input Select: Rear
Rec Ch Select: Ch1 - Ch2
Rec Level: Manual

Mic ATT: Off
+48V: Off

Thanks for your time, and if this problem has already been solved, please let me know where I can find the solution. Thanks again!

Adam


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Don Greening
Re: Audio too Hot in Canon XL2 recording
on Apr 28, 2009 at 11:27:45 pm

[Adam Hall] "I was told by the guy running the board that it was a problem with the camera, but I'm convinced that the feed I was receiving was too hot. What say you? :)"

There's nothing wrong with your camera. The signal you were getting from the board was line-level and was too hot for the XL2.

However:

It's not the responsibility of the the person running the audio board to make sure your camera has properly attenuated audio - it's yours. This is basic stuff. The house will generally send you a line-level feed which is a good thing. House boards peak at +10 dBu and your camera peaks at -12 dBu. This is a huge mismatch so you have to knock the signal down to a level the camera can deal with. Most audio people round the numbers off to plus 10 minus 10 and refer to this as the ten ten rule.

Buy two short pieces of XLR cable (6 ft) and a couple of adjustable line-level attenuators like this:

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/electronics/a05620466ab0ce16/index.html

With these you now have 30 dB of adjustment in 10 dB increments. Use your camera's mic ATT setting and get the person running the audio board to send you a test tone so you can set everything up prior to the gig. Make sure the highest highs during the performance don't go past -12 dBu.

- Don





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Adam Hall
Re: Audio too Hot in Canon XL2 recording
on Apr 29, 2009 at 12:19:54 am

Thanks Don-

I don't have a lot of experience with recording straight from boards, so I sincerely appreciate your explanation. This definitely helps me, and I thank you for your time.


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Todd Roush
Re: Audio too Hot in Canon XL2 recording
on May 9, 2009 at 9:30:05 am

I had an odd issue with a setting in the audio section of the camera using a Sennheiser wireless. Threw a low pass filter on it to remove some of the sizzle but lost some crispness.

Unless its for TV or something REALLY important I don't even bother taking lines anymore....especially from DJs as they are usually totally useless. Most of the people I know bring an SM58 mic, a boom stand and a Sennheiser XLR transmitter and mic the speaker instead. You can hardly hear the quality difference from a line if done well, it has more life and it's never distorted if you do it right.

Remember to switch XLRs to line setting. Remember to switch them back when you go back to your Lav mic or shotgun.

Best,

Todd

Todd Roush
Dreamscape Digital Media
Canon XH-A1's - Dell Studio XPS i7, 920, 2.66 gig,6 gigs RAM (soon to be 12) 650 gig SATA, 1TB eSATA external, 3TB USB(storage). 512gig ATI video card, 28" HannsG Monitor, 24" Dell Monitor.


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