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Why AES camera feeds for prod. sound?


Philip Perkins
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Help an oldster with this: why use an AES feed to a (newish) camera instead of an old-school balanced analog line feed?  When you hook up this way are you listening to a return from the camera, which I assume would be unbalanced analog from a headphone jack?   Or is that not true?   It seems to me that all the issues I've ever had with analog line feeds to cameras have been with the unbalanced returns picking up crap, not the balanced feeds going TO the camera.   Is AES something you use with wireless hops to cams, to help avoid the cables from the RX to the cam input picking up crap from all the focus/video etc gak on the camera? Thus you are using RX that make AES outputs?  thx

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In theory, AES would have some (minuscule?) benefit because it avoids the conversions D/A-A/D (mixer to Tx) and D/A-A/D (Rx to camera). 

Maybe just me, but the Sound is susceptible to everything that Wireless comes with anyway, and there’s no reliable way to monitor from the camera, therefore I view on-camera sound as "scratch feed" and for sync guide only.

I guess if the Sound was recorded on camera only... and hard wired from the mixer, so I could monitor back from camera...

 

Haha, sorry - maybe someone else can make a better argument in favor of this.

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On a commercial that was rush rush rush, they decided at the last second before shooting that they wanted a line to camera. In a pinch I grabbed an XLR, set my output to aes, and set the Amira to aes. They got their signal and there was no futzing about. Took a lot less time than trying to get the balance in correct. I like the option, but it should never completely replace an analog input. 

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Another reason is with Sony f5/f55 often production want onboard mic and 2 x channel feed(hop) , so onboard mic goes on ch1 (xlr1) and aes 2 track goes to xl2(set to aes goes to tracks 3/4 on f5/f55)

Hop wise lectro(with aes adaptor), Sony and Wysicom receivers all work AES great with F5/F55 sadly for us Zaxcom users the Sony camera wont recognise Zaxcom AES ...( this includes all the zax f5/f55 fudges on zax menu settings) Richard

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The way I look at it is if you can use a camera's XLR inputs that conform to the AES3-2003 standard for digital audio @ 24-bit/48 kHz is you are just using the camera as a bit-bucket and no loss of quality. No awful analog circuitry to introduce noise or low bit quality A-to-D converters used in the camera itself.

With 24-bit you don't even have to worry about low levels since the A-to-D converters are in the sound equipment not the camera and thus bigger dynamic range (without limiters if desired.)

With a mixer/recorder like a SD 688 internal digital router you can send any Prefade or Postfade ISO or mixes to any of the 4 AES tracks. With a wireless system like Lectrosonics D4 you can send 4 digital tracks wirelessly to a camera.

 

I wondered if the idea r.paterson  mentioned would work (onboard mic goes on ch1 (xlr1) and aes 2 track goes to xl2(set to aes goes to tracks 3/4 on f5/f55)  or if you had to have only all AES on both inputs. Good to know.

 

 

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