Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › Boosting line audio signal
- April 5, 2014 at 5:39 PM #75351
While webcasting I get the line out from the hotel's Audio mixer which gets feeds from multiple mics) via an XLR cable and into my camcorder.
However, what I've been finding is that even though the gain and level of the line out on the mixer is set almost to max, and the levels on my cam's XLR input are also set to max, the incoming volume is not sufficient.
While their mics gains and levels are maxed out to the point of starting to get feedback, my incoming volume levels are barely sufficient. Though the audio can be heard OK (sort of) it does not give me enough room to play with, especially when some presenters speak too softly.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to boost incoming line level audio signals – between the mixer and the camcorder?
- April 6, 2014 at 3:32 AM #210188
What I do when faced with the same problem is set my camcorder to mic input instead of line. Adjust the incoming levels accordingly and you should be fine.
- April 6, 2014 at 12:50 PM #210189
But won't that cause distortion or unwanted noise in the signal?
Is Mic level qualitatively different to line level (apart from the strength of the signal, that is)?
- April 6, 2014 at 7:56 PM #210190
I have never had any distortion problems doing it this way. Having said that, I understand the differences between the two and ensure that what gets fed to me is at the correct level for the desired input. Other than signal strength, there is no qualitative difference between the two. I have taken feeds off of audio boards ranging in quality level from very cheap DJ setups with unbalanced RCA jacks to $40K pro consoles. I keep a variety of adapter cables and connectors in my kit at all times so that I can do this easily. Shure makes a switchable attenuator (15, 20 or 25 db – model A15AS – XLR only) that comes in handy at times. Whirlwind makes two diffferent boxes (the IMP 2 and the Director), both passive devices that are designed to convert a line, instrument or speaker level unbalanced signal to a balanced mic level signal.
- April 7, 2014 at 2:44 AM #210191
So if I understand right, I switch my cam to mic level, get a line level from the board and use a switchable attenuator like the Shure between them to regulate the signal and make sure it does not overwhelm my cam?
I'm relatively an audio newbie, so just to confirm – an attenuator lowers signal strength – am I correct?
- April 7, 2014 at 3:00 AM #210192
Yes. Think of an attenuator like a reverse volume control (lowering levels only).
I rarely use mine any more as I can usually get the audio board operator (and it sounds like you can too) to reduce the output of the level they're sending me.
Find out the make and model of the hotel's audio mixer and I'llbe glad to offer more advice.
- April 7, 2014 at 3:08 AM #210193
I did not notice the make of the mixer board – and they're all different at the various hotels I have to work at. Lowering levels is rarely a problem as that can be easily accomplished either at the board or at my cam itself. Its raising them that is often the problem.
I've ordered the Shure attenuater and hopefully it will resolve this issue in the future when I follow your advice – for which, by the way, many thanks!
- April 7, 2014 at 3:16 AM #210194
Pesi, good luck with the purchase. I know the value of a good tool kit. Do let us know how things work out for you and if you need any more help/advice.
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