A&S Learning Design & Technology Knowledge Base

Audio Settings on the Canon XA10

Updated

This article takes a more in-depth look at audio settings on the Canon XA10 camera.

Mic Input Panel

There are a few different ways to set up the audio on the cameras for different setups. For each setup, refer to the mic input panel to adjust how the camera handles different audio inputs:

Setup 1: A Group of People with One Primary Speaker

Recommended microphones: One shotgun mic for the group and one wireless lavaliere mic for the primary speaker

Mic Input 1: Shotgun mic

  1. Make sure EXT/INT (red) is set to EXT
  2. Set CH1 to +48v (blue)
  3. Adjust the gain wheel (purple) until the audio levels are between -6 and -12db while the person is using their normal speaking volume

Mic Input 2: Wireless lavaliere mic on the primary speaker

  1. Make sure EXT/INT (red) is set to EXT
  2. Set CH2 to mic (yellow)
  3. Adjust the gain wheel (purple) until the audio levels are between -6 and -12db while the person is using their normal speaking volume

XLR Record Channel Setting

When using 2 mics on 1 camera, you need to make sure you can hear both mics in your headphones (one on the left and one on the right). Use the following steps to ensure your XLR Record Channel is properly set.

1. Press FUNC. (top left corner of screen).

LCD screen on camera with red arrow indicating FUNC. icon

2. Press MENU (top left corner of screen).

LCD screen on camera with red arrow indicating MENU icon

3. Under the camera icon (first tab), scroll to the bottom of the menu and select XLR Rec Channel.

LCD screen on camera with red arrow indicating camera icon and another pointing to XLR Rec Channel

4. Select CH1.

Use the CH1 XLR Rec Channel setting whenever you are using 2 mics. You should be able to hear one mic in your left headphone side and the other mic in your right headphone side. Audio input into CH1 is recorded to channel 1, while audio input into CH2 is recorded to channel 2.

Setup 2: A Group of People

Recommended microphones: One shotgun microphone

Mic Input 1: Shotgun mic

  1. Make sure EXT/INT (red) is set to EXT
  2. Set CH1 to +48v (blue)
  3. Set XLR Record Channel to CH1/CH2.
  4. Adjust the gain wheel (purple) until the audio levels are between -6 and -12db while the people are using their normal speaking volume

XLR Record Channel Setting

When using 1 mic on a camera, you need to make sure you can hear the mic in both the left and right sides of your headphones. Use the following steps to ensure your XLR Record Channel is properly set.

1. Follow steps 1 - 3 for Setup 1.

2. Select CH1/CH2.

Use the CH1/CH2 XLR Rec Channel setting whenever you are using 1 mic. You should be able to hear the mic in both the left and right sides of your headphones. The audio input is recorded into both channel 1 and channel 2.

Setup 3: Two People Having a Conversation

This setup is ideal for interviews where both the interviewer and interviewee are seen and heard.

Recommended microphones: 2 wireless lavaliere microphones

Mic Input 1: Wireless lavaliere mic

  1. Make sure EXT/INT (red) is set to EXT
  2. Set CH1 to mic (yellow)
  3. Adjust the gain wheel (purple) until the audio levels are between -6 and -12db while the person is using their normal speaking volume

Mic Input 2: Wireless lavaliere mic

  1. Make sure EXT/INT (red) is set to EXT
  2. Set CH2 to mic (yellow)
  3. Adjust the gain wheel (purple) until the audio levels are between -6 and -12db while the person is using their normal speaking volume

XLR Record Channel Setting

Use the CH1 XLR Rec Channel setting (follow XLR Rec Channel steps in Setup 1).

Important Information
  • MIC 48+ is phantom power. It is needed to power mics  that do not use batteries, such as a the XLR shotgun mics in the camcorder kits.
  • Wireless lavaliere mics or any microphones that use batteries do not need phantom power. Use the regular MIC setting.
  • Aim for a gain of -12 to -6db. You should never hit zero because your audio will “peak” and become distorted.
  • Mic ATT is Attenuation. Use it for louder events where the sound will otherwise peak.
  • Test check mics by asking the subject to talk in their regular speaking voice. Adjust the mic gain as needed until the audio levels are between -12 and -6db.
  • If the sound in headphones sounds like very loud static, go to:
    • Menu → wrench icon → AV/headphones → select headphones
  • Audio that is too quiet is easier to fix in post-production than audio that is too loud and overmodulated.

Interactive Presentation on Canon XA10 Audio Settings

Test your knowledge! This interactive presentation will ask you a series of questions about audio on the XA10 camera.

Make sure to check out the article on the Canon XA10.

For more assistance, you can speak to Media Studio consultants during regular studio hours, or you can email Jessica Weaver-Kenney ([email protected]).

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