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Old June 9th, 2005, 08:23 AM   #1
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Just got my Rode VideoMic

I have been using the Sony 908 mic on my TRV950 and generally leave the Audio on Auto Gain (I know I shouldnt) The first thing I noticed when I put on the Rode was that it was extremly "Hot", even my breathing was being picked up, every touch on the camera echoed in the headset. I had to switch to manual gain and crank it way down. Now this is my first experience with a "real" mic so I was a little surprised. Has anyone else hear got any tips on using the Rode on a TRV950 or similar camera.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 09:18 AM   #2
 
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You've pretty well discovered one of the best tips; use manual audio control vs AGC. AGC will often insert pumping/breathing as it tries to reduce loud audio and raise quiet audio.
Next one to know is to try to tie down cables so they don't bang around when the cam is being moved. This can/often translates into noise entering your recording that can't be very well dealt with in post.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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I just got a videomic too, and found I picked up a slight amount of motor noise with it mounted on the camcorder shoe (PV-DV953). I did another shoot with it mounted on an "L" flash bracket which got the videomic about 3-4 in. away from the camcorder. I haven't listened to that session closely yet, but my initial impressions were that the noise was gone. I try to listen closely tonight and repost my impressions. I got the "L" flash bracket from B&H (Kalt KABL "L" Flash Bracket $14.95). Not only is it good for the videomic, it also works as a poor man's stabilizer, I removed the handle strap and it's great!
Mark
FYI I use the manual w/agc mode on my pana with the videomic
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Old June 9th, 2005, 06:50 PM   #4
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Good tip about securing cables. Also with my MX500 I get hum in the audio if I have the mic cable too close to the flip out LCD (when it is flipped out) have you had problems like this on you 953 Mark? I first noticed this when shooting with a mic mounted on a flash bracket (yes, strap removed...) as the cable went over the monitor (I wouldn't have wanted to fix that in post -always monitor your audio...)

On the AGC front: My MX500 has three audio settings -
Auto (AGC),
Manual (no AGC),
Manual (AGC)

I always use manual (AGC) with an external mic. With this setting I can set my levels where I want, but loud sounds won't cause the audio to clip, the AGC just takes over. I don't know if other cameras do this.
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Old June 9th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #5
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Kyle, I’ve noticed this high pitched hum with external mics plugged directly into my GS400. It happens when the cable is close to the flipped out or closed LCD. Strangely enough, no hum when the LCD is in normal open position. I don’t get the hum either when I plug my mics through my SignVideo adapter (my usual setup).
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Old June 9th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #6
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That's interesting.

Is the signvideo mounted under your camera? maybe the unbalanced cable is far enough away to not pick it up and the balanced connection rejects it? Are you using balanced mics?

When I had that problem I had the screen fully flipped out and tilted slightly up. I didn't do extensive tests though, I just rerouted the cable. I wonder if a lot of cameras' LCDs cause this type of interference? or maybe the LCD on the GS400 is the same as the MX500, MX5000, DV953?
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Old June 10th, 2005, 08:27 AM   #7
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Yes, the SignVideo is mounted under the camera. I already tried bringing its miniplug cable close to the flipped out LCD, and no hum. I’m using a balanced mic (AT897) and unbalanced ones (AT822 and wired lavs).

Out of curiosity, I just did some more testing on this and it looks like the hum appears on XLR-3.5mm cables wired for a stereo miniplug, or it’s just bad cables. For my AT822, I have two cables: one XLR-to-one stereo miniplug cable, and one XLR-to-two mono miniplugs. The XLR-stereo cable plugged directly into the GS400 causes a high pitch when near the flipped out LCD, but it does not when plugged in one of the Aux inputs of the SignVideo. The pitch is not present when I use the XLR-mono into the GS400 (one mono plug only obviously). As for the AT897, I always use a standard XLR-XLR to plug it to the SignVideo (very silent), but the pitch is present when used with an XLR-stereo mini directly into the cam.

In any case, with my present setup, this is not a problem for me, especially that I rarely shoot with the LCD flipped out or closed. However, it is worth mentioning to keep the mic cable away from the LCD, especially when it is flipped out.
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Old June 10th, 2005, 11:23 AM   #8
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Interesting. Yes I do get some hi freq noise and perhaps I am interpreting it as motor noise(or there could be both), either way, putting the video mic on the L bracket makes the noise almost in audible. As far as LCD angle, I would assume that there is some high frequency noise that from the display circuitry itself and probably the mic cable is acting as an attenna, probably what we are hearing is a low order harmonic of the actual noise which is probably inaudible... You might try repositioning the mic cable a bit to try to minimize the noise sort of like tuning a tv antenna, but to get the least signal rather than the most.

As far as cable flap goes, I always route things so that is not possible. the video mic has an coiled mic cord so I make sure it is taught and can't bang around.

Mark
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Old June 11th, 2005, 12:27 PM   #9
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I have had time to play with the VideoMic a little more, I find that I need to set the manual gain at -25 to -30 or I pickup every touch of the camera. I'm wondering if I should get an external attenuator to cut it down outside the camera. I also dont see why something like an L bracket should be neccesary as the Mic has it's own shockmount ?
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Old June 11th, 2005, 04:13 PM   #10
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Well, the camera itself is not completely quiet and so if your scene is dead quiet the mic will pic up the noise of the motor, moving it a little farther away simply reduces the amount of motor noise the mic will pick up... If it doesn't cause any problems for you then the L bracket is superfluous. If you can adjust the level to where you want with the camera then I wouldn't put an attenuator in-line. Having the camera gain dialed down shouldn't have any negative impact, and probably reduces the noise generated by the mic preamp in the cam itself (or so I would guess.. anyone else care to chime in here?) Mark
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