FORUMS: list search recent posts

Plugging into a sound system?

COW Forums : Event Videographers

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
aprildentistPlugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 22, 2007 at 9:59:06 pm

Pardon my novice question, but I'm an editor not a shooter -- a band would like me to shoot them at a club and would like me to hook into the sound system so that the audio is fairly good quality (at least better than using the on-camera mic). How do I do this and what accessories do I need?

I'm using a GL2 and can get another camera to dedicate to audio if necessary. Any advice or tips on resources I can check out online?

Much thanks!
Saya



Return to posts index

zrb123Re: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 23, 2007 at 5:30:46 am

That all depends on the sound system, I always like to go check out the venue before the actual shoot, not only douse it let me know exactly where its at and how long it takes to get there so I am not late but then you can also find out what exactly you need to bring to get the job done right.



Return to posts index

Doug GrahamRe: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 23, 2007 at 3:16:12 pm

Check to see if the band's mixer has a mic level output you can use. If not, you will need audio attenuators, or "pads" between the line level mixer output and your camera's mic level input. You will probably have to have some adapters, too, to get from the mixer (XLR or 1/4" jacks, usually) to the camcorder (XLR or stereo minijack).

Good sources of adapters, pads, and cables include Markertek, http://www.markertek.com and Radio Shack.

Regards,
Doug Graham


Return to posts index


Mark SuszkoRe: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 23, 2007 at 5:24:16 pm

The board output is almost always going to be line-level out, (mic-level outs are very limited on most boards) so you'll want an attenuator or a mixer of your own that has impedance matching and attenuation in it, or set the camera to take a line-level feed in the first place. For a long cable throw to the camera, a line level signal works better than mic level anyway, less overall noise. Be sure to take the camera off automatic audio level control: you need to set levels manually or you'll be sorry later.

Not all line or mic levels are the same, some are hotter or weaker than others, another reason to have the attenuator along. Radio Shack sells a phono plug adapter with the attenuator built in, I believe they are color-keyed red versus normal black, but check the bag labels. I use XLR cables wherever possible to keep the signal clean, and Shure and Canare make little inline XLR plugs with selectable-level attenuators in them. Markertek and music instrument stores sell these, try FullCompass' web site too.

Most common board ouput is a "Phono" (like guitar cord) jack, so you'll need to adapt your mic cable to the camera to have a male mono phono plug on the board end, and whatever your camera takes on the other, perhaps with the mixer and/or attenuator in between.

Another good reason to put a mixer of your own in-between is you can add an audiece/room ambience mic to the mix to add a little more "presence" or flavor of the room, plus the cheers and applause. For maximum flexibility in the edit, you would run that as a separate audio channel so you can bring it in and out in post under full control, but for a casual kind of recording, just mix in a tiny bit of it live at the venue. One reason you want this is the drums and things like that are not always mic'ed, so the mix will sound weird on the camera version unless you add that back in thru a house mic.

Board mixes are optimized to work in the room under the particular acoustics of that room: that mix fed to the camera will not always sound "right" because the mixer man at the venue may have had to really boost or cut a certain EQ band to deal with a particualr sound problem like too much bass or reverb. Another reason to bring in the house mic thru your mixer: it's audio POV will often come across better than what they call a "dry" house board mix. You want to preserve both options, is what I mean.


Return to posts index

drumrobRe: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 23, 2007 at 6:12:28 pm

Mark,

Really good info all around. Just to be clear, though, a guitar cord or 1/4" plug is called a "phone" plug. A "phono" plug would be the RCA connectors like home stereo equipment has.

Sorry for the nitpick. Have fun!

Rob


Return to posts index

Mark SuszkoRe: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 23, 2007 at 7:16:02 pm

Good catch, Rob, I forgot "Preview is your friend"! PHONE connectors, not Phono(graph), which are the little plugs with the castle-tower-shaped rim you use to plug in home stereo speakers with:-P Maybe better to say quarter-inch patch cord plugs for audio?:-)


Return to posts index


drumrobRe: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 24, 2007 at 6:43:53 pm

Yes quarter-inch, but are they TRS or just TS, or do you really need XLR, or maybe SPDIF or some other alphabet soup????!!!??? It's a wonder we don't all go crazy with all the options and incompatibilities. Wait... maybe we have... the lunatic is in my head...

Rob


Return to posts index

Jeff CarpenterRe: Plugging into a sound system?
by on Jan 23, 2007 at 11:20:04 pm

It's probably a good idea to get that other camera for recording audio if you can. That way you can use the camera mic on your GL2 to record the crowd cheering. You might not mix in very much of that later, but I'm sure there will be a few points in your video where you'll really want to have it!


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]