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A few quick questions - 302 gain and 302 to EX1 with Senn G3


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I've been wondering about a few things.

First, I've found that when using my 302 with a Rode NTG-3, a Sanken CS3e and Oktava and Schoeps hypercardioids it seems that in most cases (quiet to medium volume interview speech, for instance) I have to set the gain pot on the 302 around three-o'clock to get levels like 0-+12 on the mixer. More or less depending on the mic in question. Is this what one might expect? I assume it probably is, since I would think the possibility of having a defective mixer are fairly low.

Second, I wonder if someone knew about the best gain staging when going from 302 to a Sony PMW-EX1 via two Sennheiser G3's. I've found that when setting the G3 Tx's to -42 dB sensitivity and having the EX1 inputs as line levels, you have to crank the EX1 gain pots all the way up AND set the G3 Rx's to max output to get the levels even somewhat matching. I'm wondering if it might be better or worse to try setting the EX1 inputs on mic level and first turn down the camera inputs, then Rx output (if needed) to get to matching levels. The production we're working on is a busy, low budget reality show in noisy places and the DP and I live in different cities so no time to play around and try out for best results so I was wondering if someone had any experience on this particular camera and its audio quirks.

Thanks!

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Howdy neighbor!

Worked a lot with the EX-1 and 302, but always tethered with a cable. When i did that, I sent full line level and cranked the lots on the camera way up, confident in knowing my mixer's limiter would take the eventual peaks. With g3s, I'd probably do what you do only a tad lower.

You could make a quick test prior to shooting;

Plug the transmitters in and send tone to them, listen on the receivers with your headphone and listen to at what level the tone is clear enough and undistorted. That way you can determine the input sensitivity.

Otherwise your method sounds like a good one.

I hope you will be backup recording with a zoom or the likes?

Good luck and have fun!

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Karri, what 302 output settings are you using? The couple of times I fed G2s from the XLR outs of the 302 I found the default line level setting (0dbu?) too hot for the TX, and caused distortion. I fooled around with the 302 outputs via the menu and found a happy level. I recall it as being -16 on the mixer (i guess, because I'm not sure how the meter LEDs relate when in the menu output set mode). Anyway, the -16 LED was flashing). I did find, howerver, that the tape out TA3 level worked very well with the G2/G3 units. I don't recall the input settings on the TX, but do remember the G2 and G3 settings weren't exactly the same. I was surprised to find the TX outputs (+12 I think) played nicely with the camera inputs set to line in. This was on a Sony XD cam, EX-1/3 may be slightly different. I'm getting a custom cable made up to split L and R outputs from the 302 into two 3.5mm minijacks. This keeps my 302 XLRs freed up. I mostly use the G2/G3 links for those last minute extra camera setups. Those Sennheisers sound very good as links.

Chris Newton

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Oh yeah, i forgot... I find I have to crank the input levels on the 302 quite a bit more than with my 442. Not really a problem usually. Schoeps and Oktava often need to be turned up prettty high with soft talkers. 416 has a lot more output. mixer noise has never been a problem even with inputs cranked.

chris

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Sorry to take so long before replying, day 6 of a 7-day work streak starting today.

Of course while I appreciate the practicalities of wireless here, I don't enjoy the fact that I have no return audio (and have to relinquish part of the responsibility to the DP), but so far the system has been working pretty well. All of the pops, bursts of noise and drop outs I've had have come from the G3's going from talents to the mixer, the DP hasn't reported any drop outs. This show would be pretty much impossible to do with cable (too many unpredictably moving parts) and my Nomad isn't getting any use either since 1) I'd have to rent it out at around half the price it should go out for 2) production manager tells me the editors are working on such a tight schedule there'd be no way they'd have the time to sync them up (haven't they got Plural Eyes?). I'd love to have something like a Zaxcom hop but it is what it is.

I have a Zoom H2n and if all else fails a Remote Audio cable on hand. I don't always use the Zoom though, since if we're doing an interview and there's a hiccup we just repeat the question. It certainly has a place in unexpected, "real drama" situations.

Anyway, I've been running the mixer at full output (I think that's +4 dbU) and the G3's don't seem to mind it as long as they're set to -42 dB. I did, however, get a tad scared when I read about Chris's experience with distortion so I set the mixer limiter a tad lower. With my question I was merely trying to figure out if a really hot mic level signal with the EX1 might achieve a better signal to noise ratio in the end product or a worse one - on the other hand, the EX1 preamps would have been on, but then again I would have gotten the EX1 levels to match more closely to those of the ones on the 302, since doing it how I originally did it: +4dBu 302 -> -42 dB G3 Tx -> +12 dBu put a +20 dBu original 302 signal somewhere around -8 dBu FS on the camera. Oh well, I guess it isn't that significant, this show's full of loud ladies and noisy environments. ;D Plus, I just realized if I want to keep the backup Zoom happy I need to set the mixer limiter somewhere around +12, +14, anyway.

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