Q: I have a Panasonic WJ-X30 video mixer and a stand-alone time-base corrector. Where does it go in the system, before or after the mixer?
A: A TBC should always follow the video output of a playback VCR, not after your Panasonic MX-30 or any other digital mixer. If possible, connect the appropriate sync cables from the MX-30 to the “sync in” on the TBC and to the “external sync in” jacks on the playback VCR if it has one. This insures that all three pieces of equipment are “marching to the beat of the same drum.” The same hold true if you have a Panasonic WJ-AVE7.
Q: How do I apply digital effects (strobe, negative, mosaic) to both buses of the Panasonic MX-30 or Panasonic AVE-7 when there’s only one row of effects buttons.
A: With the MX30 or AVE7 video mixer, the digital effects buttons perform double duty. Look next to the on/off button for the digital effects on the Panasonic MX-30 video mixer, you will see two buttons labeled A and B. The desired bus to which you wish to add effects to is selected by pressing the “A” or “B” buttons in the digital effects section of your mixer. Even though the LED light is not lit, you’ll still be getting effects on the bus that isn’t selected at the time.
Q: Is it possible to freeze a compressed PIP with an Panasonic MX30 or Panasonic AVE7?
A: Yes you can, however, don’t push the Still button until after the PIP has been created. Also, you will loose the frame when you exit the PIP mode. On the Panasonic MX-30 and Panasonic AVE-7 video mixer, you loose the freeze-frames when entering or exiting the compressed PIP mode.
Q: Does the Panasonic MX-30 or AVE-7 have an “external sync in”?
A: The external sync in on the MX-50, MX-30, AVE-7 and AVE-5 is labeled “External Camera In.” Any stable video signal from an external camera, an reference sync, black burst signal, a genlock feed, or even the video output from most TBCs will connect to the External Camera In on these mixers and make them sync up to the other timing source.
Q: Can you do a 3 camera live shoot with the Panasonic AVE-7 or MX-30 video mixer?
A: Yes. Connect the third live camera to the external camera input. You can call up the external camera to the main mix bus by pressing source buttons 1 and 2 at the same time.
Q: I have seen a rainbow flagging after doing a video insert on a tape that’s been pre-blacked with my Panasonic MX-30 video mixer. How can I prevent this?
A: Panasonic digital mixers generate black at 0 IRE. This is dangerously close to the video sync part of the signal. The sync resides in 0 IRE to -40 IRE range. The NTSC broadcast standards for the USA states “video black” should be set at 7.5 IRE. You might want to try pre-blacking the video tape with a dark blue, which is at about 15 IRE. Or you can get 7.5 IRE black on the MX-30 and MX-50 by selecting the dark blue matte background color and then turning the matte color level control all the way counter-clockwise.
Q: How do you generate color bars on the Panasonic AVE-7 video mixer?
A: Simply turn off the unit and then switch it back on while simultaneously holding down the three gray buttons in the superimpose section.
Q: I trying to import an external wipe pattern into my Panasonic WJ-MX30 video mixer. I am using a Panasonic AG-1970 to play back the wipe pattern tape and feed it into the external camera jack to use the External Key mode. However, my picture is completely breaking up.
A: In order to do this, the source VCR must be properly time-base corrected. The AG-1970 has a pseudo-TBC that is suitable for dubbing, but not for true stability purpose. The MX-30’s external camera input requires the signal to properly time-base corrected. The source VCR must have a full-frame (or infinite window) TBC in order to feed the External Camera input on your MX-30 since any signal that is applied to this jack essentially becomes the synchronization reference signal for the entire mixer.
Q: I’ve tried plugging my professional low impedance microphone into the low impedance XLR audio jacks on the back of the Panasonic MX-30 and I can’t hear a thing. What gives?
A: With high-end video and audio equipment, both microphone level signals (-60 dB) and line level signals (0 dB to + 4 dB) use XLR connections. On the MX-30, the XLR jacks are for line level signals only (i.e. audio output from a playback VCR). Mic level signals need to be “pre-amped” before they can become line level. On the Panasonic MX-30 video mixer, there is no pre-amplifier in line after the rear panel XLR jacks. To get mic level signals into the the Panasonic MX-30 video mixer, you can use the 1/4” mic jack on the front of the Panasonic MX30 video mixer or run your mic through an outboard mixer or a microphone pre-amp first and then into the line level jacks.
Creating The Film Look
You can give your videos a “film look” by using the first strobe setting on the MX-30 and AVE-7 mixers. Add a slight orange/yellow tint, which will give the footage the look of an old 8mm movie. It’s a great effect for special openings and closing highlights.
Creating a Double Picture-In-Picture
With the Panasonic MX-30 and AVE-7 video mixer, you can create two Picture-In-Pictures (PIPs) on the screen at the same time. Simply recording one compressed PIP onto a submaster tape, then play that tape through the Panasonic MX30 and AVE7 video mixer a second time while creating another PIP.
To create two PIPs over a video background, record the double PIP over a black matte color, then feed that tape through the mixer’s luminance key. This time through, a third video picture will fill in the black matte. The end result is two PIPs over a video background.
The Panasonic MX-30 Video Mixer 7.5 IRE Black
The Panasonic MX-30 video mixer does not put out an NTSC standard “color black” in both the matte color section and the video fade section.
Normally, this does not pose any serious problems, however, every now and then some time base correctors will get a little flustered when trying to discern the color black at 0 IRE from the video sync information that resides in the 0 to -40 IRE neighborhood. (That’s why the color black is normally 7.5 IRE.)
You can, however, obtain 7.5 IRE black from your Panasonic WJ-MX30 video mixer simply by substituting the background color white with the color level knob set at that “9 o’clock” position.
So, if you need to fade to “Black”, just fade to “Matte” and select “9 o’clock white” in the matte generator. If you need black drop shadows on your titles when going through the Downstream Key Section, select “9 o’clock white” in the matte generator.
Like I said, under normal circumstances, the Panasonic MX-30's 0 IRE black won’t upset your productions, but if you want to be on the safe side, try “9 o’clock white”. And if you were wondering where the “Chroma” level knob in the color corrector section should be if your want “unity gain” (that’s where the knob should be if the color corrector is turned on and you don’t want to add or delete any Chroma gain), try the “2 o’clock” position on that knob.
(The preceding levels were determined by feeding the Panasonic MX-30’s output into a waveform monitor and a vectorscope and then comparing the test signal’s level with and without the processing of the MX-30 video mixer.)
Another Way to Generate 7.5 Black
This is another, more accurate way, of obtaining a 7.5 IRE Black level out of MX-30: use the background color Blue with the color level control turned all the way counter-clockwise, with the Gradation turned off, of course. (Sure enough this technique puts the black level right on the 7.5 IRE line.)
Up On A Pedestal
NTSC broadcast standards dictates that a video signal, when displayed on a waveform monitor (or the Studio 1 Video Level Meter), fall within the range or 7.5 IRE for the color Black and 100 IRE for the color White. The Panasonic MX-30 video mixer passes these standards perfectly when the video signal originates from an external source, however, the built-in color matte generator (background colors & color bars) are factory set at 0 IRE and 78 IRE for White. Panasonic states that this should not be a problem, even thought the Black level of 0 IRE is dangerously close to where the video sync signal resides (below 0 IRE).
NOTE: If you perform all of your editing in the “insert” model (video and/or audio) onto a “pre-blacked” tape with continuous control track, and you’re experiencing some top to bottom rainbow ripples on your inserted video, it may be from the Black being set at 0 IRE. I was getting that myself and so were a few others that I’ve talked to, however, since we started “pre-Bluing” our tapes with the Panasonic MX-30’s solid Blue background color (no gradation), the problem has ceased.
Freeze Frame Recovery
Have you ever dumped a video still from memory while stringing together a photo montage?
Here is a simple solution to that problem. You can recover the lost frame by removing the edit master from your editing VCR and place it in the playback VCR. Bring the tape up to the point where the still picture was last recorded and re-freeze it again into your digital mixer.
Take your edit master tape out of the playback VCR and put it back into the editing VCR. You can now resume your photo montage.
You shouldn’t have any shifting of the still picture or loss in resolution if your playback and editing VCR are the same make and model.
Panasonic MX-30/AVE-7 External Key Tricks
A neat little trick, using the Panasonic MX-30 and Panasonic AVE-7 External Key Mode, is the creation of oblong or tapered Picture-In-Pictures. Kind of like what you see on the TV show Entertainment Tonight where the P-I-P appears to be going off into the background.
This is accomplished by pointing your External Key camera at a white graphics card with a black rectangle on it and twisting the graphics card away from the camera. This descending shape of a box will become the wipe pattern for the two video sources coming in through Source 1 and Source 2. You can even move the graphics card from side to side while you’re recording to give your P-I-P the “warped” look.
Another “moving” effect is the one used on the opening title sequence of the “MX-30/AVE-7 Mixer Magic - A Unique Mix Volume 1” in which the word “WJ-MX30” was the wipe pattern between two other video scenes.