Sending A Reference Tone To Camera

Sending A Reference Tone To Camera

This article will help you understand about reference tone and a loom cable that is often used as a hardwired link from an external mixer/recorder to a camera.

Why do we use a reference tone?

A reference tone is for calibration purposes. We need to know that our meters on our mixer will be exactly the same on the camera, no use distorting audio that you are sending to camera. This is where the 1kHz reference tone would be used.

What level should I set my reference tone too?

Reference tones on mixers play out at -20dB as a standard on all mixers (-18dB is another UK standard) So you will need to set the camera levels so the tone plays out at -20 on there too. Then you will be calibrated and the meters will mimic each other.

Make sure that if you are sending a left mix and a right mix that you know the camera is recording both inputs, in the video below is how I setup my recorder to send tone to the C300.

What is a 'Loom' Cable?

The loom cable is a big thick cable carrying several cables in 1. Lets look at the various parts of it:

Mixer Tails - (connectors that are for connecting to the mixer, the term 'Tails' are used because all the connectors lead to one main cable)

The Loom - (the big thick cable)

Camera Tails - similar to the mixer cables but with connectors for cameras

Sound Devices tails - reference tone
Sound Devices 663 Tails - 10pin to 2x TA3F and 3.5mm Jack
Sound Devices 663 Tails - 10pin to 2x TA3F and 3.5mm Jack
10pin Loom Extension
10pin Loom Extension
10pin Loom With 5pin Lemo
10pin Loom With 5pin Lemo
10pin Loom Connector to 2xXLRM + 3.5mm right angled + BNC
10pin Loom Connector to 2xXLRM + 3.5mm right angled + BNC