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Re: Suggested audio level settings

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Don Greening
Re: Suggested audio level settings
on Mar 11, 2012 at 10:50:53 pm

[Marc Lucas] "And do you suggest I use the Line input rather than Mic input."

Mr. Mark has suggested that you set your G3 to mic level as well as your EX1. If you set the EX1 to line then the camera's trim adjustment menu will be greyed out. Practice good gain staging. Start with the lav mic and transmitter. Make sure that your gain level is about mid-way on the meter for a normal speaking voice. This allows you some headroom for when the speaker (person) raises their voice. In that case the meter on the transmitter will be close to peaking. If the transmitter gain is set too low you'll get hissing when you try to compensate by raising the gain on the receiver and/or EX1.

Set the receiver the same way. You want to hear the signal clearly with decent volume but never so much as to cause distortion of the voice. Lastly, set the EX1 trim so that the sound is clean in your headphones with the physical volume knob previously set to around 5 or 6. This allows you some final gain latitude (adjustment) should the speaker raise their voice more than you've already allowed. You'll rarely have to touch the physical EX1 knob during the recording session if everything is set up with this type of proper gain staging. Always start your adjustments with the lav transmitter and work your way back to the camera.

Every recording/speaking person is different depending on how loud they speak. You need to do testing prior to pressing the record button. If you set the initial gain too high on the transmitter to cause distortion of the signal no amount of decreasing gain on the receiver and/or camera will solve the issue because the distortion is caused by over-riding the transmitter's pre-amp. You will not solve this by lowering any of the other gain controls other than at the source.

Turn the EX1's AGC to OFF. That way, in the quiet parts of the recording the camera will NOT increase the gain as it looks for another signal. This also increases the chance of audio 'hissing'. Even with the AGC set to OFF you'll still hear a small amount of "gain pumping" from the camera itself during quiet moments. This is a built in "feature" of the camera's audio section that can still be rectified by further adjustment. But that's another phone call.

- Don

Don Greening
A Vancouver Video Production Company
Reeltime Videoworks

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