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V-160HD: How to Set Up Audio

Introduction

The V-160HD has multiple ways to connect audio sources:

  • Analog XLR/TRS - This is a combo connector, meaning you can connect either 3 pin XLR cables, or 1/4" audio cables
  • Analog RCA - These are the red and white phono connectors
  • Digital HDMI/SDI - The video inputs also accept audio embedded within the video signal
  • USB-C - This connector supports both audio input and output
  • Bluetooth - You can also pair a device and send audio to the V-160HD

This guide covers 2 different workflows:

  • Using the V-160HD to mix all of your audio
  • Using an external audio mixer with stereo or mono output to the V-160HD

Muting Audio Channels

The first thing you want to do when setting up a V-160HD is to mute any audio channels you do not plan to use. In most cases, this is some or all of the HDMI or SDI inputs.

When you go to the Audio Input menu, the HDMI and SDI settings are listed last:

  • Audio In 1 and Audio In 2 are for the XLR/TRS
  • Audio In 3/4 is for the RCA inputs
  • USB In is for the incoming USB audio
  • Bluetooth In is for the incoming Bluetooth audio
  • HDMI In 1 through HDMI In 8 is for the HDMI inputs
  • SDI In 1 through SDI In 8 is for the SDI inputs

Note that you can also use the Audio Mixer in the iPad Remote App to adjust these settings.

Here are some examples. Note that you only want to mute the SDI and HDMI audio channels you are not using:

  • Menu > Audio Input > HDMI In 1 > Input Mute > On
  • Menu > Audio Input > HDMI In 2 > Input Mute > On
  • Menu > Audio Input > SDI In 1 > Input Mute > On
  • Menu > Audio Input > SDI In 2 > Input Mute > On

  • If you plan to output a camera's microphone or laptop's audio via HDMI or SDI to the V-160HD, do not mute that HDMI or SDI input

Tip: When navigating the submenus, press the EXIT button to go up one level. If you press MENU again, it will exit the menu completely.

Even if your HDMI or SDI source does not output any audio, it is recommended to mute that audio channel, because in some cases, the source may generate noise that will be part of your audio mix.

You can also set up Audio Follows Video, which unmutes an HDMI source when it is visible on PGM.

More information is on page 43 of the Reference Manual.

Muting unused analog input channels is not necessary, so long as the level knobs on the V-160HD are turned all the way down for those channels:

mceclip0.png

 

Setting Up Microphones

This section covers microphones that are connected directly to theV-160HD mic inputs. If you are using an external audio mixer, you can skip to the next section.

To set up a microphone, first you need to determine what type it is:

  • Dynamic
    • These microphones need a lot of head amp (aka preamp) gain
    • They do not need phantom power
  • Condenser
    • These microphones need less head amp gain
    • They are more sensitive to noises in the room
    • They need phantom power
  • Lavalier
    • These are clip on microphones
    • The amount of head amp gain needed varies
      • Wired
        • These need less head amp gain
        • Can be very sensitive to room and clothing noises
        • They also need phantom power
      • Wireless
        • Head amp gain varies, because the level is also controlled via the mic belt packs
        • In most cases, they do not need phantom power

In this example, we connected a dynamic microphone to Audio In 1, and a condenser microphone to Audio In 2:

Once connected, turn up the audio level knobs for Audio In 1, Audio In 2, and MAIN on the V-160HD's audio mixer to the "0dB" dot at 2 o'clock, which is 0 dB:

mceclip0.png

Next, turn on Phantom Power for Input 2 using the menu:

Menu > Audio Input > Audio In 2 > Phantom +48V > On

 

Next, set your Head Amp (aka preamp) gain using the Gain setting in the AUDIO INPUT menu.

Menu > Audio Input > Audio In 1 > Gain > ** dB

**This setting will vary, depending on the microphone, and the voice of the person using it.

Increase the GAIN setting in the menu for each mic input until you get a good sounding level, and the SIG/PEAK LED above the Audio In 1 and Audio In 2 knobs are Green or Yellow, but not Red: 

mceclip1.png

Here are some example settings to review in the AUDIO INPUT menu for the two different types of microphones in our example:

  • Dynamic Microphone
    • Audio In 1 > Head Amp Gain > 50 dB
    • Audio In 1 > Digital Gain > 0.0 dB
    • Audio In 1 > Input Level > 0.0 dB
    • Audio In 1 > Pan > Center

  • Condenser Microphone
    • Audio In 2 > Head Amp Gain > 35 dB
    • Audio In 2 > Digital Gain > 0.0 dB
    • Audio In 2 > Input Level > 0.0 dB
    • Audio In 2 > Pan > Center

As a general rule, do not pan microphones that people are speaking into, your dialogue should be centered.

Also, do not adjust the Digital Gain setting, this is for advanced setups that need additional headroom for adding EQ and Compression. More info is in the Reference Manual.

If you have a camera microphone that you want to center in the mix, some cameras only pan audio sources left and right. You can center it in the V-1HD+ by using the Mono setting:

  • Menu > Audio Input > HDMI/SDI IN X > Mono > 
    • The L Only setting centers the left channel and mutes the right channel
    • The R Only setting centers the right channel and mutes the left channel
    • The LR Mix setting combines and centers both the left and right channels

Setting Up An External Audio Mixer

To set up an external audio mixer, there are two ways to connect it.

XLR/TRS Inputs 1 and 2

This method preserves a balanced connection. XLR and 1/4" TRS connectors are balanced.

Balanced cables require balanced connectors and wiring on each end.

Note that TRS cables are very similar to TS cables, which are unbalanced:

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Connect your external audio mixer's left and right outputs to XLR/TRS inputs Audio In 1 and Audio In 2 on the V-160HD:

mceclip2.png

Next, turn the knobs for Audio In 1, Audio In 2, and MAIN to the "0dB" dot at 2 o'clock:

mceclip0.png

Next, open the AUDIO INPUT menu on the Multi-View output:

  • Audio In 1 > Setup (Link) SW > On
    • This setting simplifies external audio mixer setup. Audio In 2 will follow Audio In 1's settings, and pan the inputs left and right for stereo
  • Audio In 1 > Head Amp Gain > 0 dB
  • Audio In 1 > Digital Gain > 0.0 dB
  • Audio In 1 > Input Level > 0.0 dB
  • Audio In 1 > Pan > Disabled when Setup (Link) SW is on

Note that if your external mixer is a single mono output, do not turn on Setup (Link) SW and set Pan to Center.

Finally, output a test tone from your audio mixer to calibrate the signal level. You may need to add a small amount of Head Amp Gain using the GAIN setting to get the signal level to match.

If you are not familiar with calibrating audio levels, you can skip this step, as the mix level will already be very close.

 

The stereo meters on the V-160HD hardware panel, multi-view, and Remote App audio mixer are dBFS, a digital scale where the highest value is 0dB, and anything over that is clipping. This is not the same as a VU meter.

So, if you output a 1 kHz sine wave test tone at a +4 dBu reference level, it should appear as -16 dBFS on the V-160HD, and 0 dBu reference would be -20 dBFS.

Note that dBu, VU, and dBFS are all different scales, so the values are different between each of them.

There are meters built into the V-160HD for the main mix and the LCD screen for each input and output channel. If you want a more detailed meter, please use the iPad Remote App.

 

RCA Line Inputs

You can instead connect an audio mixer's RCA outputs to the the RCA inputs on the V-160HD:

mceclip3.png

Then, turn the Audio In 3/4 knob to the "0dB" dot at 2 o'clock:

mceclip0.png

If you need to run a long cable between the audio mixer and video switcher, consider using the XLR/TRS inputs for a balanced connection.

If you want a balanced connection but your mixer only has RCA outputs, connect a short RCA cable to a line converter box, which will convert the output to XLR, and you can run that cable a long distance to the V-160HD with a balanced connection.

 

 

Additional Tips

Create A Settings Backup File

Once you have your final audio settings, it's recommended to create a backup file. This can be done saving a file to a USB flash drive using the V-160HD menu.

More information is on page 63 in the Reference Manual.

 

Prevent Scenes From Changing Audio Settings

When you create a preset memory (aka Scene), your audio settings are included. If you do not want your audio settings to be recalled with scenes, you can disable that in the Load Parameter submenu.

  • Menu > Preset Memory > Load Parameter > Audio Input > Off
  • Menu > Preset Memory > Load Parameter > Audio Output > Off
  • Menu > Preset Memory > Load Parameter > Audio Follow > Off

Audio settings will still be saved to scenes, but they will not be recalled.

More information is on page 48 in the Reference Manual.

 

Enable Panel Lock for Audio Knobs

If you have a number of people operating the V-160HD, it may also help to enable Panel Lock. This is a feature located in the System menu that allows you to disable specific knobs and buttons on the V-160HD.

  • Menu > System > Panel Lock > Master Output Volume > Off
  • Menu > System > Panel Lock > USB Stream Volume > Off

This is particularly helpful if you have an external audio mixer and do not want anyone to accidentally adjust the Main volume on the V-160HD.

More information is on page 73 in the Reference Manual.

 

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