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Calibrating Sony EX1 with SD 302


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Hey all,

First post here. Been lurking for awhile and it's a great forum to be sure!

I have a quick question. Tomorrow I have a fairly simple gig (yeah I really shouldn't think like that), one actor in front of a green screen. Boom + lav through my 302 to an EX1. I was just wondering if anyone was familiar with the EX1 audio features, does it have a numbered audio meter on the screen so I could calibrate it easily? Or does it simply have those blocks of which you have to know which level is each block? If so, might someone have any info on how it goes?

edit: I did look at the PDF manual for the EX1 but either wasn't looking hard enough or didn't find what I was looking for.

Cheers!

-Karri

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I can't remember if the EX1 has numbered segments or not...but all Sony cameras have a vertical line at the top, indicating 0dBFS. Most of them also have a second vertical line, about a 3rd of the way down. This is -20dbFS. So you can line up to either one of those.

The newer Sony (H)DV etc cameras have an expanded audio input view, that shows levels, with multiple dBFS markings, but I can't remember if the EX1 falls into this category or not. It's only viewable in the on-board LCD screen.

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<<< edit-- Caution- This post contains incorrect information. I could correct it and pretend I'm perfect, but it would make the rest of the thread a little weird.>>>

The EX1 has no numbers, and no -20 line. So put -20 (on the 302) near the middle of the tiny little audio input meter on the EX1 LCD screen. Then hit the limiters on the 302 by cranking the volume and humming or yelling or whatever into your mic. If you don't hit the end of the meter on the EX1, you are good. If you hit the top of the EX1 Meter, dial the level control on the EX 1 back down a bit until you are no longer peaking.

If you get upset by the lack of easy to see and read audio metering, relax and feel empathy for your camera-person who is going to spend the rest of the day not really knowing whether the camera is in focus or not...

cheers,

Brent C

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The EX1 has no numbers, so put -20 near the middle of the tiny little audio input meter on the EX1 LCD screen, and then hit the limiters on the 302 by cranking the volume and humming or yelling or whatever into your mic. If you don't hit the end of the meter on the EX1, you are good. If you hit the top of the EX1 Meter, dial the level control on the EX 1 back down a bit until you are no longer peaking.

If you get upset by the lack of easy to see and read audio metering, relax and feel empathy for your camera-person who is going to spend the rest of the day not really knowing whether the camera is in focus or not...

cheers,

Brent C

This is incorrect information.

There's a button labeled status on the EX1, and I believe it's located under the handle. This puts up a series of screens showing the status of the camera, oddly enough. There are several status screens, the second screen is the audio status screen, which has large meters with witness marks at -20 dB FS and shows routing info, etc. Navigating between status screens is done via the menu control joystick or the jog wheel on the back of the camera.

The manual is here. Go to page 89 to find out details. I've attached a jpeg of the audio status screen below.

The EX3 has a similar setup, by the way. The status button and jog wheel are in different spots, but function in a nearly identical way.

Best regards,

Jim

post-1223-0-10287900-1315389741.jpg

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Good to know. Sorry about the incorrect info. I spent the last three days sending audio to an EX1 and my shooter looked at me blankly when I asked about an expanded audio display. He said he'd never seen it on an EX1, so I assumed it was only an EX3 thing.

Oh well... heat of battle and all that...

cheers,

B

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Good to know. Sorry about the incorrect info. I spent the last three days sending audio to an EX1 and my shooter looked at me blankly when I asked about an expanded audio display. He said he'd never seen it on an EX1, so I assumed it was only an EX3 thing.

Oh well... heat of battle and all that...

cheers,

B

No worries, Brent.

Two good places to find camera info are our fellow JWSoundgroup member Scott Farr's user guide page and this page at GearJones.

Best regards,

Jim

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Thanks for the info so far, guys. Limiters, eh. A quick Google reveals that some people are having quite a puzzle with the EX1. However quite a few posters in different forums aren't using a mixer but mics straight into the camera and of some posters you can't quite figure out what their configuration is, or if they are feeding the camera +4 dbU line level or some other line level etc etc.

Guess I'll just find the audio menu and then follow Freeheel's advice of trying (or rather trying not) to hit 0 dBFS.

It seems from various posts that when you set the audio input knobs on the camera to position 5, it's supposed to give the least trouble with the camera's limiters , so I'm just hoping it the tone hits -20 on the camera right off the bat if I set it so.

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Dude. Jims explanation was pretty clear on how to line the camera up to your mixer.

Agreed, also you for sure can disable the limiter in the audio menu. Sony gear seems to get ragged on a lot about all their complication but from a sound mixers perspective I've found them to be fairly thorough in their audio controls. The status button is your friend. The user manuals are a little goofy but also pretty thorough if you take the time to read it.

Often the camera op, owner or not, has no idea about the audio settings of their camera.

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Thanks for the info so far, guys. Limiters, eh. A quick Google reveals that some people are having quite a puzzle with the EX1. However quite a few posters in different forums aren't using a mixer but mics straight into the camera and of some posters you can't quite figure out what their configuration is, or if they are feeding the camera +4 dbU line level or some other line level etc etc.

Guess I'll just find the audio menu and then follow Freeheel's advice of trying (or rather trying not) to hit 0 dBFS.

It seems from various posts that when you set the audio input knobs on the camera to position 5, it's supposed to give the least trouble with the camera's limiters , so I'm just hoping it the tone hits -20 on the camera right off the bat if I set it so.

If you search for info about the EX1, you'll find lots of stuff about the camera that's wild speculation. Ranging from how it's too expensive for home users to rants from dissatisfied owners. If the EX1 is to be the primary recording device on your job, do yourself a favor and download and read (at least the pertinent sections of) the manual.

The input level controls are just that, not limiter threshold trims. If you line up a properly calibrated set-up tone from a decent mixer to the -20 dB mark on the meters, and then use the mixer properly, you'll get properly modulated tracks. Pushing the camera too hot will disappoint, it's just like most Sony cameras this way, even the big-boy versions.

I have recorded probably 200+ hours of interviews on EX1's for all manner of programs as well as a few dramatic shorts and even a couple of commercials beginning shortly after the camera was introduced fed by a Cooper 104, a Cooper 106+1 and from the line outs of a Sound Devices 744T. Of all the dinkycams, a term coined by our colleague Phil Perkins, this device sets the low end of acceptable audio performance. The headphone output is awful, low in level and pretty noisy, but I've listened to footage from the device under optimal circumstances and it's pretty OK, verging on good. You can disable the AGC, and the meter resolution on the status screen is good. The biggest drawback in real-world use is that there's no place to attach stuff, like radio receivers, since there are knobs and buttons on every surface but the bottom and Sony would have put some there if camera owners didn't want to put it on a tripod. Thankfully there's no external timecode or genlock inputs so there's no need to attach an external clock to the EX1.

Just my experience, so your mileage may vary.

Best regards,

Jim

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The EX-1/3 is one of the reasons I always make a copy of a camera's audio menu from the manual before-hand.The first EX-1 shoot I did, the camera's operator/owner.. nor I, could figure out how to access the large detailed audio meter display. Yes the EX's HP out sucks, But not as bad as the old Canon XL's.

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I could be wrong here, but I seem to remember not being to disable the EX-1's limiters...

Disable it. Your mixer's limiter is certainly better than the Sony's EX1 ! Definitely with the SD302's limiter. Sony's limiter is for people working without any mixer.

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I finished a series earlier this year with 2 X EX-1's...I set my 302 to +10db as the limit and set my tone from the 302 at -20db on the expanded scale of the EX -1 when you hit the Status button...it will never, ever, go over and will sound nice for post production to work with...boom on Left, lavs on Right....monitored as a mono mix on the 302...after checking the returns from the camera..sweet.

I sent a mixed feed from the 302 tape output through an Audio Ltd 2020 transmitter..picked up and fed by the receiver to one channel of the 2nd EX-1 and the camera mic on the other channel...sounded lovely.

BVS

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I've done a ton of shoots on the ex1 and ex3...limiters can be disabled in the audio menu..

I always set tone out of my 442 at 0 and the camera at -20dbfs...never a problem with audio ..

The "U1" (z1u, v1u etc) series of cameras are a pain tho..no level status and the headphone return levels are painfully low!

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I dont think you can disable the limiters in the EX-1.

The limiters can be enabled/disabled via the "Audio set" software menu. See page 123 of the manual.

PS, Don't you just love the term: "Wind filter"

BVS: Setting the 302s limiters @ +10 sounds awfully aggressive to me, especially with a 302 0VU= -20dB ref.

I usually set my 302s limiters @ +16 or +18. But whatever floats your (and your clients) boat.

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...

The "U1" (z1u, v1u etc) series of cameras are a pain tho..no level status and the headphone return levels are painfully low!

The Z1U does have level meters and also offers an easy to read expanded scale when you press STATUS CHECK. Its maximum headphone output level is 4dB below that of the Panasonic HVX200.

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Get the manual and read it, copy the relevant pages, there aren't many, get to the set early and confab with shooter or assistant on setting a level, turning off AGC, wind filters, making sure you are in line-in mode, that you are feeding the correct channels, that you are hearing the return properly if you are hard-wired. The camera sounds ok for a dinky-cam, although the headphone amp is wimpy and overloads easily. I've worked a lot of doco, a few spots and two indie features with the thing and it all worked fine. Yes--record your audio on your own machine and hope they sync it up (one movie did, the other didn't)--your SD etc recorder will make better audio than the EX1, but the EX1 audio is pretty good for a video camera (way better than Z1U, the small JVCs, better even than the new Pana AF100, I think).

phil p

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Hold on everybody! Things are getting a little out of control and confused!

There is no limiter as such, and it is not called 'Limiter' anyway. On the back of the camera is a switch for each channel in the 'Audio Select' area where the little wheels are for level. The switch is CH-1 Auto or Manual next to this switch which is labeled AUDIO IN where you select INT or EXT. The switch which is labeled AUTO or MANUAL is the limiter as such. Page 17 of the manual.

In the actual camera menu is the AGC linked or not linked choice. I think from memory this links each channel to the same Automatic Gain Control from the back of the camera IE AUTO or MANUAL on each channel.

The only other trick is the Audio status menu page 2 which has been discussed already.

I think this is a reliable little camera and I have had no trouble from it for many shoots. The EX3 is a little better as it can be jammed with Time Code.

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snapback.pngRick R. (rraudio), on 08 September 2011 - 12:11 PM, said:

The limiters can be enabled/disabled via the "Audio set" software menu. See page 123 of the manual.

PS, Don't you just love the term: "Wind filter"

BVS: Setting the 302s limiters @ +10 sounds awfully aggressive to me, especially with a 302 0VU= -20dB ref.

I usually set my 302s limiters @ +16 or +18. But whatever floats your (and your clients) boat.

Yes it may seem aggressive Rick but its more about being able to fit the international broadcast standard if it has to go to air at that level without a post production budget. The -10dbfs at peak is recognized and required in our country and many others...there's plenty of info on this...I could easily set my limiters to a higher limit and have a bigger dynamic range but this is TV and its best to modulate and keep your dynamics tighter without it sounding compressed to hell.

BVS

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