You are here

Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby EVsound » Fri May 24, 2019 5:04 pm

Hi,

New to this pro audio world and any help here is very much appreciated as I'm totally lost at the moment. I bought the Mixpre 3, thinking that would end my audio troubles. It did not. I need to learn how to use it, so heres hoping someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong.

I can't seem to get decent audio levels while recording with my mixpre 3 and Røde VideoMic Pro Plus. So my main questions are what settings should I use and what levels should I expect to get at those settings?

I'm using the provided TRS cable with the mic to the "AUX/Mic in" port on the mixpre.
On the back of the VideoMic everything is set to default. The mixpre is set to basic and the gain on input 3 when set to 0dB gives me a level of -40 on the mixpre meter. If I set it to +20dB I get -20 on the meter. I thought that was way to high gain? I'm picking up way to much noise instead of clear audio. This is with the mic at around 50cm distance and normal indoor voice.

Also, using my Bose IEM (I know, more on that later) with the mixpre I need to set headphone gain to 60 before I can hear "normally" from the mic. I did not expect to need such a high gain. Is this normal or what level would a decent headphone need?

I've tried the Røde VXLR minijack to XLR adaptor, but then the mic doesn't power on/off by it self. I get a bit better sound quality I guess, but now the gain for the mic needs to be +60 to get -20 on the meter.

I know the Bose IEM's aren't the best for monitoring, I'll buy new headphones in a week or two. Just not sure what to get that matches the mixpre 3. Looking at around 150-200 USD.

Is the VideoMic Pro Plus not a good match for the mixpre? Do I need another mic or is it possible to get usable results with my setup? I've got three main scenarios. Indoor talking head/meeting setup, outdoor city "vlogging" kind of setup and the third one is ambient nature sounds in the woods. Youtube reviews shows that it's possible with this mic and the Mixpre 3 so I'm clearly doing everything wrong.

The mixpre 3 is powered via usb-C from my Anker PowerCore+ 20100 and the battery in the mic is fully charged too.

For what it's worth, using the mic with my Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Filmic Pro app also gives me around -40, any boost on the mic gives clipping.

Thanks for reading.
EVsound
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri May 24, 2019 5:44 pm

EVsound wrote:I bought the Mixpre 3, thinking that would end my audio troubles.

The MixPre3 is a really lovely mixer/recorder, but you're not getting the best from it by using the Aux mic input (or by using the Rode VideoMic for that matter...)

I can't seem to get decent audio levels while recording with my mixpre 3 and Røde VideoMic Pro Plus. So my main questions are what settings should I use and what levels should I expect to get at those settings?

You'll need to select the AUX IN 1 MIC for one of the input channels, (Aux input 2 mic will be 10dB lower (it's the Rode anti-clip safety system), and then you'll probably need to dial in all of the 40dB of input gain available on the Mix Pre3. I'd leave the 20dB gain boost and HF boost off on the mic to start with, but you might benefit from using the high pass filter (75Hz).

When recording, you want the peak level to hit just above the -12dBFS mark on the meter, and average levels in that -20 to -12dBFS zone.

I'm picking up way to much noise instead of clear audio. This is with the mic at around 50cm distance and normal indoor voice.

Is it electronic hiss noise, or is it room acoustic noise?

Also, using my Bose IEM (I know, more on that later) with the mixpre I need to set headphone gain to 60 before I can hear "normally" from the mic. I did not expect to need such a high gain. Is this normal or what level would a decent headphone need?

I presume you're talking about some sort of ear buds? The gain needed depends on the sensitivity of the ear-buds and the level of signal on your mix bus. I can't remember what the gain range is, but as long as it goes loud enough for you without distortion, I wouldn't worry about it!

I've tried the Røde VXLR minijack to XLR adaptor, but then the mic doesn't power on/off by it self. I get a bit better sound quality I guess, but now the gain for the mic needs to be +60 to get -20 on the meter.

That doesn't sound an unreasonable gain setting...

I'll buy new headphones in a week or two. Just not sure what to get that matches the mixpre 3. Looking at around 150-200 USD.

You have a lot of options for that kind of budget. Ideally, look for closed-back headphones to exclude external sound as much as possible. Sennheiser HD25-1 II is the classic preferred location recordist headphone, although they're not the most comfortable if you plan on wearing them for long periods!

Is the VideoMic Pro Plus not a good match for the mixpre? Do I need another mic or is it possible to get usable results with my setup? I've got three main scenarios. Indoor talking head/meeting setup, outdoor city "vlogging" kind of setup and the third one is ambient nature sounds in the woods. Youtube reviews shows that it's possible with this mic and the Mixpre 3 so I'm clearly doing everything wrong.

You have a high-end mixer/recorder and a mid-budget mic, so they're not ideally matched partners... but you should be able to get reasonably good results if used sensibly.

If you're willing to upgrade, and are happy working in mono, then I'd suggest upgrading the mic to the Rode NTG3 which is basically a reverse-engineered Sennheiser MKH416 -- the TV standard location mic for decades. You'll need a decent windshield for it when using it outdoors, but that, plugged into tone of the MicPre's proper mic inputs, will work superbly.

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23438
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby EVsound » Fri May 24, 2019 7:29 pm

First, thanks for the very detailed answer, really appreciate it! I'll try to keep it short. And sorry for the delay, I didn't think my first post would be validated so quickly.

I do use the AUX in 1 mic. I just tested it and it goes to +30dB of input gain. Wasn't sure if that was ok, but at least then I get to the -20 to -12 range I see in all the tutorials/reviews.
I guess 0 gain on DSLR as most are using it with are a completely differente story than the mixpre gains.

Sorry it was room noise and I guess some of it is because of the high headphone gain as well.

Ear buds yes and it's not distorting. I was just worried I was off the chart with my gains for both the mic and the ear buds.

Why does it need a gain of 60 on the XLR to match the gain of 30 on the minijack? If you say it's not unreasonable I'll settle with that.

Thanks for the HD25-1 II suggestion I'll try them but I can't stand on-ear headphones so I'm looking for something over-ear. Unless they are less painfull to wear than other on-ear I've tried long time ago. Probably looking for something like the ATH-MSR7b (a bit pricy), ATH-M70X, Sennheiser HD 380 Pro or any other options I get recommended.

The NTG3 would be nice for the talking head/meetings situations, but not as easy to use out in the city I guess? A bit long and big on a cold shoe mount I think? Does the NTG3 work with less gain on the mixpre 3? What about ambient city noise? (I want it, to some extent) and faint animal noises? Sorry for all the questions. You mention a decent windshield for it, the one Rode sells is not good enough? I might get one to test.

Would the NTG3 be better on the phone as well? I'm thinking the VideoMic Pro Pluss is only suitable for cameras?

To sum up, I was just not aware that this mic needed so high gain to work with the mixpre, thanks for clarifying that. I'll try the HD25-1 II and the NTG3, thanks for the suggestions!

Again, thanks for the detailed answer.
EVsound
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri May 24, 2019 8:52 pm

EVsound wrote:I do use the AUX in 1 mic. I just tested it and it goes to +30dB of input gain. Wasn't sure if that was ok, but at least then I get to the -20 to -12 range I see in all the tutorials/reviews.

That's fine then. It may be 40dB in the advanced mode. Sorry, can't remember....

Sorry it was room noise...

Makes sense.

Ear buds yes and it's not distorting. I was just worried I was off the chart with my gains for both the mic and the ear buds.

I believe the headphone value is an attenuation percentage of full level, rather than an absolute gain.

[quoye]Thanks for the HD25-1 II suggestion I'll try them but I can't stand on-ear headphones so I'm looking for something over-ear. [/quote]

I don't know the ATH models, but the HD380 is okay. You might also look at the Beyer DT770.

The NTG3 would be nice for the talking head/meetings situations, but not as easy to use out in the city I guess? A bit long and big on a cold shoe mount I think?

Worked for me for over a decade! And plenty of professionals mount MKH416s on camcorders.

Does the NTG3 work with less gain on the mixpre 3?

I couldn't say, but it would use the proper balanced mic preamps.

What about ambient city noise? (I want it, to some extent) and faint animal noises?

Yes, fine for all that...

You mention a decent windshield for it, the one Rode sells is not good enough? I might get one to test.
[/quote]

I think Mike Stranks on this forum uses one. I believe it's okay, and far better than not using one, but it's not as good as the state of the art from Rycote.

Hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23438
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby EVsound » Fri May 24, 2019 9:23 pm

Thanks Hugh, this really helped me.
I'll try this settings a bit more, then order the HD25-1 II and the HD380 to evaluate and probably the NTG3 if I'm not happy with the VideoMic. If I go with the NTG3 I'll be sure to pick up the Rycote one, looked at it now and that would fit perfectly for my setup.
EVsound
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby Mike Stranks » Fri May 24, 2019 10:41 pm

Did someone call? :lol:

I use a Rode Blimp plus Dead Cat with the Rode NTG4+ shotgun mic and the Rode NT4 stereo mic and it behaves superbly even in very windy conditions.

The rode Blimp is very different to any of the Rode or Rycote slip-on mic covers with or without furry stuff. Those mic covers will just about see you through in a slight breeze, but any wind conditions stronger than that - forget it.

The Rode NTG3 is a shotgun mic and you may get some odd results if using that indoors - especially in a reverberant room. In those circumstance much better to use a hypercardioid mic such as the Audio-Technica 4053b
Mike Stranks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6435
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:00 am

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sat May 25, 2019 6:54 am

Just to chip in with a second vote for the Beyer DT770 but they're pretty big to wear in the field so if you wanted a comfortable on-ear, I find the Beyer DT1350 to be more comfortable the the HD25 and more accurate too.

And just to conform that you are recording in mono.... you made reference to ambient and distant animal noises, which may mean that your wanting a stereo soundscape.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3759
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby EVsound » Sat May 25, 2019 5:48 pm

Great feedback from Mike Stranks there regarding the blimp. I'm in no need for heavy wind reduction equipment for now. I'm by no means a pro so I'll have to manage withouth the AT4053b for now. I'll put it on the list for later.

Bob Bickerton, nice to hear that the DT770 is a solid choice, I'll add it back to my list but as you say it's a bit big. Thanks for the DT1350 advice, I'll see if I can get hold of a pair to test. I don't like on-ear but I may change my mind. And yes I'm fully aware that I'm recording in mono for something that would benefit from a stereo mic, but I get enough ambient in the city for now. And animals is less important, just something I do from time to time to add some sound effects.
EVsound
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat May 25, 2019 6:08 pm

EVsound wrote:Great feedback from Mike Stranks there regarding the blimp. I'm in no need for heavy wind reduction equipment for now.

It doesn't take much of a breeze to render the sound of most unprotected mics completely useless. If you're thinking in investing in the NTG3 then the Rode Blimp is the absolute minimum I'd step out the door with. And the dead cat makes a really big improvement if there's anything like a recognisable breeze about ...

For amateur applications it's impossible to justify something like the Rycote Cyclone, but it really is astonishing how good that thing is in comparison to anything else I've ever tried!

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rycote-stereo-cyclone

H
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 23438
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby EVsound » Sat May 25, 2019 6:54 pm

As a happy amateur for now I'm already stretching my budget with the mixpre and possible new mic. I can't say that for my outdoor use the VideoMic Pro Plus with it's deadcat has given me much trouble, but I suspect that day will come.

I'll use this summer to see what I can get out of what I've got. And upgrade as needed based on my findings. My main concern was the gain, now that I know it's within reason I'll take some time using the VideoMic before I'll jump to the NTG3 and/or the AT4053b.

My setup in the city for this summer will be the Freefly Movi with the Galaxy S10+ and Filmic Pro and the Mixpre 3 with the VideoMic Pro Plus. Indoors I'm using a DSLR instead of the phone setup and in the woods I'm only using the mixpre and mic.

I would like to thank you all for very kind and good advices, this has been my best forum experience in years!
EVsound
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby EVsound » Sun May 26, 2019 12:35 am

Is there any difference in quality of my recordings if I use the VideoMic Pro Plus with its TRS cable and the VXLR adaptor as opposed to just the minijack? Or do I need a mic with a native XLR output to get the benefit from the XLR inputs on the mixpre 3?

I've done some tests this evening and I'm not sure if I can hear any difference? That might just be my bad ear buds that can't represent the difference.

Also, any recommendations for around-ear headphones with something like the DT1350 qualities?
EVsound
New here
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: Mixpre 3 with VideoMic Pro Plus, setup help

Postby Bob Bickerton » Sun May 26, 2019 2:44 am

EVsound wrote:Also, any recommendations for around-ear headphones with something like the DT1350 qualities?

Well you’d need closed back for location work and there’s lots of options available. As previously noted I use DT770 in the studio. There would be more accurate headphones around but I find the DT770s fine for me.

Bob
User avatar
Bob Bickerton
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3759
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
http://www.bickerton.co.nz


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users