Iluv, First off, your wil



First off, your willingness to spend your own cash on a project to benefit your church like this is awesome, and I applaud you for it!

However I would like to know about hooking up the audio through the sound board. I think we have a mackey sound board at church. Can I get the wire/cable from Radio Shack or Best Buy???

Okay, follow these steps:

Step 1: Determine the best way to plug into your sound board.

The important question you need to know an answer to before you plug into your board is whether or not it has a built-in amplifier on the main house outputs. The easiest way to determine this is to follow the output cables from the L/R Mains on the board. If they stop at an amplifier (usually they’re rackmounts), then you’re fine. If the cable goes directly from the sound board itself to the main house speakers, DO NOT TAP INTO THIS LINE! In this case, the line is carrying enough charge to power a big’ol speaker. Imagine what that would do to the frail camera boards!

Another option if you don’t want to (or can’t) tap into the main house is to see if there’s an open foldback (i.e. "monitor") channel on your board. On my little 14 channel Yamaha board I have two foldbacks, most larger boards will have more than that.

If there’s an open foldback channel, you can plug into the fb out (usually a 1/4 inch jack). One thing to keep in mind: FB channels can be either prefade or postfade. Sometimes nicer boards will even let you designate which one. A prefade foldback channel means that the levels on that foldback are 100% set by the control knobs, and the fader (sliders) have no effect on them. A postfade foldback channel means that the audio level for each channel first goes through the fader, and then into the foldback channel. On a prefade foldback, you need to set the levels for every input channel uniquely, e.g. you need to balance the sound. On a postfade, you should be able to set all the dials to the same place, and the faders will control the mix. If none of that makes sense, let me know and I’ll try to explain it better.

Step 2. Buy the correct cables. First, if you’re tapping into the mains, you’ll need a "Y" adapter, so you can have both the house sound and your camera plugged in at the same time, and you’ll need a patch cable. If you’re plugging into a foldback channel, you’ll only need to get an adapter patch cable (XLR to 1/4", as most foldbacks use 1/4" outs on the board).

You CAN find some of these cables at Radio shack (Best Buy doesn’t have much in true Pro Audio), but honestly, radio shack cables are pretty crappy. The best idea is to find a local guitar/music store and have a rep give you ideas, or look in the book for pro audio shops. You could even find the church in your area with the largest media ministry you know of and ask them where they go. In that case, you’ll not only find god equipment, but also people that have earned a reputation for dealing fairly with Churches. For example, In Omaha Nebraska, the best guys out there are Midwest Sound and Lighting. In St. Cloud, MN, you’d make a mistake not to buy from Bridge of Harmony. I’ve worked with these shops, and they have both given years of dedicated service to churches, and the local churches in those areas all trust them. Find similar locations in your area.

The PD170 is a beautiful camera, but as I said before, you really are going to regret it if you don’t have two cameras. Trust me, I’ve been doing live videography for about a decade. One camera is going to bore your viewers to tears, and as I said before, after the first week, your return customers won’t be returning.

I use as many as 4 cameras at a live event, a VX2100, a couple GL-2’s and even a GL-1. Sure, they might not be as fancy as the PD170, but the truth is that my customers aren’t video experts, and all of them would rather have multiple angles over one nice camera and only one angle.

Have fun with your new camera though, and spend your vacation learning how to use it. And get youself another camera. Like I said, were I in your shoes, I would rather have two cameras and edit in Movie Maker than to have only one camera and Avid. But that’s me. This is your money, so you can really do whatever you desire

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