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Getting Into the Panasonic HVX
The Panasonic HVX HD camera is a fantastic, production quality digital video camera that can simplify many of the issues that you would come into contact with on older video cameras. The image quality on the Panasonic HVX HD video camera is comparable to a 16mm camera, yet in terms of workflow it is miles simpler when actually on set. One of the nicest things about the Panasonic HVX is that you do not have to use non-sync sound as the HVX itself can record adequate sound. To do this the boom operator, or other microphone operators, and the onset sound mixer must go through an entirely different workflow than they would when recording non-sync sound with an external device like a 702 field mixer.
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Running From the Microphone
You will begin just as you would when using non-sync sound by having the boom operator put together their microphone kit, including placing the microphone in to the zeppelin supporter and then onto the boom pole. Have them plug in the XLR chord and then run it directly into their pre-amp module, which is likely to be an MM-1. As normal you are going to set your pre-amp module to INT power and make sure it has adequate battery support. Also make sure that the input is set to phantom T-power 12V, the gain is at 36, and both the low end attenuation and the limiter are both off.
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From here you are going to run the XLR line out to the line to mic adaptor in the mini-mixer module that the sound mixer will be using. This is not going to give them control over stopping and starting the sound recording, but it will allow them to hear it quickly so they can tell you about the sound quality and to keep an accurate sound log. You will again set it to INT power and make sure it has batteries inside.
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Input in the HVX
Run the XLR R-line to the HVX and put it into either Input 1 or Input 2. The Input that it is not in should be set to the on board microphone so that you are recording two channels of audio from two different microphones. This is perfect so that you have another track to go to in case there was clipping from loud peaks or moments that are too quiet for the boom to hear. It just gives you extra options during post-production. If you do want to just get the boom microphone in there you will go to the microphone input area behind the viewfinder and put both Channel 1 and Channel 2 to the Input that you inserted the microphone into, which is either Input 1 or Input 2. If you are going to do this you will want to put one of the two Inputs to much lower in volume than the other, that way you have the same option to cover up peaking audio in post-production.
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When using the HVX you are going to be able to adjust the headphone monitoring right begin the LCD, but this is likely not to be used if you have a sound mixer listening at a quiet location. This is good, though, to do test before the first take so that you make sure that you are getting the sound input.
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Audio Level Control
Automatic Level Control is going to cause you audio problems on the Panasonic HVX, so go into Menu and find Recording Setup. This is where you can shut off the Audio ALC.
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You are still going to need to record tone so that base levels are communicated to the post-production sound editor, so give a 1K in the mixer and make sure to record it on the Panasonic HVX. You should be looking to make sure that you are at -20DB, which is the appropriate level for tone. Color bars are a good thing to record alongside the tone.
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The levels are to be monitored by the sound mixer on the mini-mixer module, or whatever they are using. If you do not have a mini-mixer module you can run the XLR directly from the boom microphone into the Input on the Panasonic HVX HD camera. If you do this you should have the sound mixer watching the levels on the LCD display and listening to the sound strait out of the headphones port on the Panasonic HVX.