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Audio Controls
To help you capture audio with the quality and flexibility you require, the XL H1 offers a range of audio features to enhance your production.

The included microphone is an electret stereo condenser type with directivity of 120 degrees. It is also capable of mono recording with a uni-directional pick-up pattern.

XLR (CH 1/3, CH 2/4): The professional standard for audio input. The Canon XL H1 offers two balanced XLR terminals built into the camera, with the option of adding two additional XLR inputs by using the MA-300 adaptor, which can be attached via the "Advanced Accessory Shoe" on top of the handle.

AUDIO 1: This lower half of the flip-open "Audio Control Panel" controls whichever audio source is being sent to Channels 1 and 2, regardless of whether you're recording 2- channel audio or 4-channel audio (selected in the menu on the AUDIO SETUP page). If you are recording 2-channel audio, you will not have to use the upper "Audio 2" controls at all.

INPUT SELECT: Use this switch to determine your audio source.

1. FRONT MIC: Refers to the onboard mic that is mounted on the camera. Attached to this option is a "FRONT MIC ATT" switch. If your audio levels are too "hot" to work with, this attenuator will knock down the signal by 20dB.

2. AUDIO 1: Should be selected if your sound is being input via the bottom two RCA ports that are located on the opposite side of the camera.

3. REAR: Refers to any sound signals coming into the camera via the professional XLR jacks located in the rear of the camera. Attached to this option is a "REC CH SELECT" switch. Since two XLR jacks are onboard the camera, this will assign where each of the signals is going. If you have only one input into the XLR jack labeled "CH 1/3" and you want to send its mono signal to both channels, then you should select CH1-CH 2". If you have sound sources plugged into both XLR inputs, however, then the selector should be set for "CH 1". This will allow the left-hand XLR to feed into channel 1, while the right-hand XLR input will be assigned to channel 2.

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REC LEVEL: Select Auto or Manual Record Level. For most sit-down interviews, you'll probably be able to set a good level manually, since the subject's voice will generally remain consistent. If you're in a more chaotic situation, you'll probably be focused on too many other camera functions to ride the audio levels. In this case, the Auto option may be more desirable.

CH 1/CH 2 DIALS: When you're in the "Manual Record Level" mode, these are the controls you will need to dial in your desired audio levels. Use these dials in conjunction with the audio meters located on the side display of the camera or within the viewfinder. In general, you should be working in the center range of the dials (where the audio processors are maximized for the best quality sound), and should not have to be set at a level near "MIN" or "MAX". If you find that your levels are too hot, you can engage an attenuator that will knock down the levels by 20dB. There is an attenuator switch for the Front Mic located above the Channel 2 dial. The attenuators for the rear XLR inputs are located directly above those inputs. If you're using the rear XLR inputs and the sound levels are too low, use the R-XLR GAINUP option in the Menu (on the AUDIO SETUP page) to boost your signal by 12dB.

AUDIO 2: These options will control which audio source is being sent to Channels 3 and 4, if you are recording 4-channel audio (selected in the menu on the AUDIO SETUP page). You will still need to use the "Audio 1" option to control Channels 1 and 2. In HDV, however, you can record 4-channel sound at 16-bit, since this format uses MPEG audio compression. The only difference between 2-channel and 4-channel sound recording in HDV is that the audio recording system changes from MPEG1 to MPEG2.

Note: In order to record 4-channel audio in SD (Standard Definition) mode, you will have to drop from 16-bit audio to 12-bit, and will definitely notice the quality difference.

INPUT SELECT: Use this switch to determine your audio source for Channels 3 and 4. Just about any combination is possible when used in conjunction with the "Input Select" for Channels 1 and 2.

1. SHOE: Selects an audio signal coming into the camera via the Accessory Shoe (located on the very top of the handle). Attaching the Canon MA-300, for example, will allow you to input audio through two additional XLR terminals.

2. AUDIO 2: Should be selected if your sound is being input via the top two RCA ports that are located on the opposite side of the camera.

3. REAR: Refers to any sound signals coming into the camera via the professional XLR jacks located in the rear of the camera. For 4-Channel audio, these jacks can be used to input sound to Channels 3 and 4 while using the lower "Audio 1" panel to select another source (such as the "Front Mic" or RCA terminals) to send audio to Channels 1 and 2.

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REC LEVEL: Select Auto or Manual Record Level. For most sit-down interviews, you'll probably be able to set a good level manually, since the subject's voice will generally remain consistent. If you're in a more chaotic situation, you'll probably be focused on too many other camera functions to ride the audio levels. In this case, the Auto option may be more desirable.

CH 3/CH 4 DIALS: When you're in the "Manual Record Level" mode, these are the controls you will need to dial in your desired audio levels for channels 3 and 4. Use these dials in conjunction with the audio meters located on the side display of the camera, or within the viewfinder. In general, you should be working in the center range of the dials (where the audio processors are maximized for the best quality sound), and should not have to be set at a level near "MIN" or "MAX". If you're using the rear XLR inputs and find that your levels are too hot, you can kick in the attenuator located directly above those inputs. If the sound levels from these XLR inputs are too low, use the R-XLR GAINUP option in the Menu (on the AUDIO SETUP page) to boost your signal by 12dB.

AUDIO MONITOR BUTTON: (located next to the main POWER DIAL) When recording 4-channel audio, this button will control which signals the audio level indicators are monitoring. With each press of the button, you can monitor channels 1/2, channels 3/4, or a mix of channels 1/2 and 3/4.

REAR AUDIO CONTROLS: These options are all located at the base of the main handle of the camera, just above the balanced XLR inputs.

1. PHONES LEVEL/PHONES JACK: Plug in headphones to monitor your sound and adjust the volume using the "Level" control. The volume dial will not affect the recording level of your audio.

2. LINE/MIC: Tells the camera which type of signal you're sending in through the professional XLR inputs. If your signal is coming directly from a mic (whether via wireless receiver or cable), then you should select "Mic". If your audio is going through a mixer or coming from another source, you should select "Line".

3. +48V SWITCH: Sends phantom power to those microphones that require it. Keep this switch in the "off" position until you actually need it to power a mic, since you could damage equipment that does not require it.

4. MIC ATT: If your audio levels are too "hot" to work with, this attenuator will knock down the signal by 20dB. It's always best to use the middle range of your "Level" dials, since this is where the audio processors are maximized to deliver the best audio. If you find yourself dialed up to the "Max" end of the scale, activate the attenuator to knock the signal back down to a more manageable level.

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