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Setting up a sound devices 302 to a camera

by Matt Price on December 07, 2013

After teaching new students to do this i've tried to perfect a checklist to setting up a mixer to camera for shooting.

Details of equipment used: - Sound Devices 302 - 10 pin cable with tails of 2 xlr and 1 headphone cable - shotgun microphone - boom pole - wind cover for microphone - headphones (sometimes 2 with a splitter) - Sony EX3 as camera

Setting up the mic to the mixer:

- Microphone with indoor or outdoor wind cover on - Mounted to the boom pole - Connected by XLR to input 1 on the mixer - Check its mic not line level - Check its on phantom power if its a condenser microphone - Turn the mixer on - Plug your headphones in the Phones input on the left side of the mixer. - Switch headphone monitor to ST - Listen to see if the mixer is picking up the sound of the microphone.

If thats all good then connect to the camera:

- Connect the female xlr ends of the 10 pin cable to the 2 xlr outputs Left and Right. One cable should be marked so this need to be the same side for camera. Also connect the headphone cable to return mini jack port just below the left output xlr left.

- Connect the other ends to the camera with the Left in the XLR on the Left and right on the Right when you face the XLR inputs head on.

- Make sure the inputs are set to LINE LEVEL as its coming from a mixer that has already amplified the signal.

- Make sure the XLR inputs on the camera are active by changing to external source and then have the levels set to manual.

- From the mixer send TONE by pushing the switch in the top right and the mixer will light up till the first orange bar.

- On the camera find the audio status menu and set the level on both left and right to -20dbfs. If you have just one input on the mixer feel free to purposely put the right level down to -30dbfs to give you more headroom in louder scenes.

- Make sure the headphone volume is set to max on the camera.

- Once that is set just turn off the TONE by flicking the switch to the left and turn the headphone monitor to RTN and see if you can hear sound from the camera.

When shooting a scene:

- Make sure your metering has 2 leds separate to a solid bar of sound on the meter. If not press the peak/vu button to switch to peak metering.

- When shooting for each scene set the GAIN to the average level around 0 (at peak) and make sure the fader is set to 0 which is 12 o clock when you do this.

- Use the fader to compensate when mixing to peak between 0 and 8 on the 302. Which in digital scale terms is -20 to -12dbfs.

Now everything should be working and fine. It not see some common problems below.

Troubleshooting

If you hear no sound from the mixer when the microphone is plugged in = check the headphone monitor is on ST and headphone volume is adjusted (pop up button to the right of the headphone monitoring) also it could be the splitter.

Mixer doesn't turn on = dead batteries Mixer has 2 orange dots on the leds = dead batteries

Hearing on ST monitoring but not on RTN (return from the camera) = headphone volume on the camera / switching to external source on camera / turn up the levels to -20 with TONE being sent. If nothing working it could be a problem with the cable returning to the camera or the splitter you're using.

If you're having more or different problems please comment below.

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