xlr adapter question?

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by rhickling, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. rhickling

    rhickling Guest

    I want to hook up an xlr-connected microphone (probably a sennheiser
    me66) to my Canon Elura mini-cam which has a regular stereo jack.

    I've seen two types of xlr adapters:

    1) the cable kind which just has an xlr connector on one end and a
    stereo connector on the other

    2) the box kind like a beachtek or studio 1

    Obviously there's a big difference in price. What's the advantage of
    using a box adapter? Does it sound better? or is it just that you
    have more control over the input levels?

    Any opinions?

    rhickling, Dec 16, 2003
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  2. rhickling

    Ed Anson Guest

    The Beachtek adapters provide a number of things you can't get with the
    cable adapter:
    1. Audio transformers cleanly convert from the balanced source (your
    mic) to the unbalanced input of your camcorder. This gives you a cleaner
    2. As you mentioned, you get attenuators that can help if your signal is
    too hot.
    3. If you use a separate mic pre-amp or mixer with line level output,
    you have a built-in pad to drop the signal to mic level.
    4. If your mic requires phantom power, some of the Beachtek units can
    provide it.

    I have used all of those options. YMMV.
    Ed Anson, Dec 16, 2003
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  3. Mostly control and convienence.
    They cannot make a signal "sound better" unless you
    mean eliminating external interference (RFI, hum, etc.)
    or matching levels (padding line-level down to mic-
    level, etc.)

    It is possible, both in theory and in practice, to use a
    properly-constructed cable to directly connect a mic-
    rophone(*) to the input connector of a typical camcorder.

    All of the advantages listed by Mr. Anson are absolutely
    correct. But none of them REQUIRE use of a "box adapter".
    The "box adapter" just makes things easier. But there may
    be conditons where use of a proper cable is more desirable
    than using a "box adapter".

    (*) Note that likely NONE of the camcorders with 3.5mm
    mini-phone plug mic inputs will provide P48 phantom power
    to pro mics. You must use a mic that either requires no power,
    or uses an internal battery (or use a "box adapter" that provides
    P48 phantom power).
    Richard Crowley, Dec 16, 2003
  4. rhickling

    Steve Guidry Guest

    OK, educate me here . . . (I haven't had much experience shooting with
    consumer cameras, or those pro-sumer ones with just a mini jack.

    How does using a Beachtek or other adapter benefit you at all if your camera
    doesn't allow you to defeat the auto level controls ?

    It seems that you're just solving a peripheral problem (using a good mic),
    when the real problem (the audio artifacts of ALC) go unchallenged.

    I'm sure there is an answer to this, but darn if I can figure it out on my
    own . . .

    Steve Guidry, Dec 16, 2003
  5. rhickling

    RGBaker Guest

    How does using a Beachtek or other adapter benefit you at all if your
    It lets you use a long mic cable run without introducing noise -- you can
    mic your subject, not your camera.
    I wouldn't call mic placement a peripheral problem, not mic choice ... and
    though I chose a camera that lets me defeat the ALC, I often use ALC on the
    safety channel and frankly ... it works very well. Wouldn't want to stake
    my career on it, but it seems a whole lot better than it use to be. So the
    answer is -- your 'real problem' goes unchallenged, but might not be quite
    the issue you assume it is.

    Now if you want to get me going, lets talk about auto iris during a shot ...

    RGBaker, Dec 16, 2003
  6. rhickling

    Mike Kujbida Guest


    And what's wrong with using auto iris???
    I happen to like blown out whites, no compensation for those "into the
    window" shots, no "true" exposure control for those beach/snow shots on a
    bright sunny day, etc., etc. , etc.
    (insert huge grin here)

    (manual iris guy for 30+ years)
    Mike Kujbida, Dec 16, 2003
  7. rhickling

    RGBaker Guest

    And what's wrong with using auto iris???
    Actually, I can almost live with those things -- what I _hate_ is having the
    exposure 'adjust' during the shot. Drives me crazy. But worse is auto
    focus hunting ... which I can't even bear to talk about.

    RGBaker, Dec 17, 2003
  8. rhickling

    Mark B Guest

    Any idea where I can get a cheap "box adapter" to supply phatom power? Or
    even better do you know where I can find a circuit

    Mark B, Feb 23, 2004
  9. Beachtek sells the boxes. Perhaps others also.

    Ideal circuit is online at...
    (most likely better than what Beachtek uses)

    Biggest issue, of course, is producing the 48V for
    phantom power. I found a nice little voltage
    multiplier circuit somewhere using standard CMOS
    logic (and no inductors).

    Complete list of Jensen circuits...
    Richard Crowley, Feb 23, 2004
  10. rhickling

    Steve Guidry Guest

    Whirlwind, Sescon, and a number of folks make those. Some even use 9v
    batteries. Others power a number of cameras. Check their web sites.

    Steve Guidry, Feb 23, 2004
  11. rhickling

    Mark B Guest


    Mark B, Feb 24, 2004
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