Excessive PCM-D50 noise level? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 3rd, 2015, 08:35 PM   #31
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 112
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

The 'noise' discussed in this thread is often described as being variable. An early post also mentions recording on a 'foggy' night. I wonder if any of these problems are moisture related?

The paper from Sennheiser here: http://en-de.sennheiser.com/download...tePaper_en.pdf explains the rationale behind their RF condenser mics. The paragraph at the top of page 3 about humidity is quite interesting.
Certainly, I have encountered problems in the past - on occasion - with variable noise from electret capsules, where those capsules have been subject to outdoor weather conditions.

Not, I have to say, with the recorder specifically mentioned in this thread, but it may be a similar cause?

Clearly, Sennheiser wouldn't have gone to the trouble of developing RF condenser microphones if there was no need....

.. Just a thought....
Roger Shore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2015, 12:40 AM   #32
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montara, California
Posts: 108
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

Update:

@Rick I tried the unit using a Rode VideoMic. I have an older unit and a newer one. In both cases the background hiss was barely audible, even at higher gains. Unfortunately in both cases the signal was weak as well. Even at the highest gain levels, speaking directly into the mic with my mouth brushing the deadcat the meters didn't go above -24. I'm a novice on this but shouldn't this mic work properly with this unit?--I routinely use this same mic with my camcorder with no issues.

@Roger I *do* live in a foggy area but the unit has never, in my recollection, been wet with dew and has spent most of its life in its box on my office shelf.

I also noticed that the attenuator switch (which isn't as tight as the mic/line switch) works for the built-in mics but doesn't seem to do anything with the external mic. Not sure if this is normal behavior. The manual does not say anything about it.

If no one else has a D50 here I will try to call the Palo Alto Sony store to see if they have a D100 in stock and may drive down and compare the two directly.

Thanks,

--Darin
__________________
Darin Boville
www.darinboville.com
Darin Boville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2015, 03:36 AM   #33
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Kanto Plain (関東平野), Japan
Posts: 804
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

I have the D50 and did the test with a cord only plugged into the line input. Headphones set at 10, going up on REC Level, 6 shows -50, 7 = -44, 8 = -32. With the 0 - 20 switch set to 20 position, the reading at level 8 changed from -32 to greater than -50 (off scale).

I have used my Zoom H4n and the D50 and I guess I never push them up so far as to get lots of noise. If I did, there's always Audiology for noise removal. I think for what I paid for these recorders, they work pretty good. Sound Devices are expensive for some reason, not just the name.

Mark
Mark Watson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 4th, 2015, 04:06 AM   #34
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 112
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darin Boville View Post

@Roger I *do* live in a foggy area but the unit has never, in my recollection, been wet with dew and has spent most of its life in its box on my office shelf.
Darin - I don't think that noise connected with AF condenser mics (which include electrets of course) and environmental conditions is a black and white 'wet weather yes or no' situation. There are lots of comments online about the potential problems with 'standard' AFcondenser mics and dirt and dust, as well as moisture.
This thread : Humidity's effect on condenser microphone (especially post #9) is typical.

In the case of the D50 noise, it should be simple enough to isolate a mic fault from a preamp one....

Connect an external mic and see if the noise level is noticeably different......

*Edit* - There are some sample noise level samples for the PCM D50 - along with several other units - on this page :
http://www.wingfieldaudio.com/portab...e.html#samples

Should give you an idea of what to expect....

Last edited by Roger Shore; November 4th, 2015 at 05:31 AM. Reason: extra info
Roger Shore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 12th, 2015, 10:54 PM   #35
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montara, California
Posts: 108
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

O.K., just swinging back around to follow up and add to the the great internet knowledge base.

Lacking any other real plan I ended up buying a mint condition unit (Sony PCM-D50) off of E-bay. So now I have something to compare mine to.

The units perform essentially identically.

The bottom line is that there is pronounced hiss with the internal mics starting at a gain of 4 and increasing until the mics are largely unusable at 6. Note that at arms length you'll be picking up your breathing at 6 and quiet whispers, barely audible to yourself, are clearly legible at that point. Probably no need to be at 6 in the first place.

However, with an external mic it is fairly quiet all the way up to 10. With a Rode Video Mic (new version) set at +20 it sounded very good and very quiet (although the recorder had to have the gain turned up all the way to 10 to have a voice three feet away reach -12 on the levels).

So for the non-sound guys like me (and many others who use the PCM-D50 or similar) the unit is fine: 1-4 for internal mics, all the way up to 10 with minimal noise with an external mic, depending on the mic, I'm sure (you'll barely hear the self-noise compared to the thunderstorm at 6 with the internal mics).

Now, about that MixPre-D I've been eyeing...

--Darin
__________________
Darin Boville
www.darinboville.com
Darin Boville is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 21st, 2016, 10:40 PM   #36
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Grimsby, Ontario
Posts: 6
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

I bought a decent condition PCM D50 off of ebay. I had the same issue where there was excessive background noise. An email conversation with Sony support resulted in this remedy:

1. backup to your computer all the audio on the D50.
2. FORMAT all storage media

It seems that if there are a lot of small files on the D50, it can generate noise.

If you look at the D50 manual on page 49: http://www.avisoft.com/PCM-D50.pdf

"Noise is heard"

"Noise may occur if many small-sized files are recorded in the current memory. Save the tracks on the hard disk of your computer (page 36), and then format the memory (page 41)."
Michael Hanna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2016, 06:45 AM   #37
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chislehurst, London
Posts: 1,724
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

Haven't read all the messages here, so sorry if I am repeating something. Try a fresh set of quality batteries.
My Sony works just fine. I also have the Zoom H6 which is also excellent.
__________________
Eyes are a deaf manís ears. Ears are a blind manís eyes
Vincent Oliver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2016, 06:27 PM   #38
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,205
Re: Excessive PCM-D50 noise level?

Hmmm. Never noticed much noise with mibe - I;ll dig it out after dinner and check. On the other hand I don't have many small files either - mostly long recordings.

Why on earth would a lot of files cause noise - this is more puzzling than the original problem!
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:34 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network