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Old October 18th, 2010, 10:17 PM   #1
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Problem with External Mic and extension

Camera: Canon Vixia HF200
Microphone: Audio-Technica ATR-6550 Shotgun
Problem: The microphone and camera work great together. However, since I don't have any external digital audio recorder, I tried to use a 1/8th jack extension cord (those green and pink jacks) to extend the microphone out onto a boom pole while still leaving it connected to the camcorder so it can record directly onto the video. However, when I use the extension cord for the microphone, the microphone does not pick up any noise. The audio indicator on the camcorder also shows no decibel fluctuation. On the other hand, when I use the extension for the earphones, it works perfectly.

I took some photos (iphone) to clarify:

This is the setup that works perfectly - http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y26...life/photo.jpg

These are the cables I attempted to use - http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y26...4life/phot.jpg

This is the setup that works with the cables (mic is attached directly to camera) - http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y26...ife/photo5.jpg

This is the setup that doesn't work (using cables with mic) - http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y26...ife/photo3.jpg

How do I prevent this from happening? All I hear in the setup shown in the last photo is plain noise. Are there special extensions for this? Also, I am using the correct jacks for each (pink for microphone and green for headphones/earphones). Is it necessary to buy an external mic recorder?

Thanks in advance,

Royce
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Old October 19th, 2010, 12:23 AM   #2
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That cable doesn't work. It wasn't designed for that application. Simple as that. Sure, it is possible to find a 3.5mm stereo extension cable that will work. But that ain't it.

No, it doesn't mean you have to go out and buy an external recorder just because that cable doesn't work. Now there may be good reasons to buy an external recorder, but that ain't it.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 04:22 PM   #3
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thanks for the quick reply

Anyone know where I can find such an extension cable?
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Old October 21st, 2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Your mike is a mono 1/8" plug and you have it in a stereo cable, which will create a short on whichever channel contact is touching the grounded part of the mono plug. It would probably work with a mono-to-mono cable.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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The "stereo" cable simply extends the connector in the camcorder. It has no effect on the action of the microphone plug on the camcorder jack. The combination will work exactly the same WITH the cable as WITHOUT it.
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Old October 21st, 2010, 11:04 PM   #7
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I'll defer to Richard, but take a look at how a stereo plug is made---one channel contacts the ground of a mono plug...in a stereo plug there are three contacts, one of them touches what would be the second male contact in the stereo plug but is the ground in a mono...if that one is carrying your signal, you get zippo....however, Richard, I take your point that it would, indeed, work the same with or without the cable.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM   #8
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Plugging a "mono" (2-circuit, tip and sleeve) 3.5mm mini-phone plug into a typical camcorder stereo mic input jack will have the effect of recording the audio on the left channel (tip) and dead silence on the right channel (ring, which is shorted).

I have frequently used "computer mics" on small consumer camcorders. Computer mics are wired so that the audio is on the tip, but the power for the mic is fed through the ring terminal. When plugged into a camcorder, the "plug-in power" from the camcorder feeds the mic through the ring terminal, and the audio comes from the mic and into the camcorder on the tip (left channel). Sometimes you may even get audio on the right channel, but don't count on it.

Of course all of the above applies whether you are using an extension cable or not. Assuming that the extension cable is properly wired tip to tip, ring to ring, and sleeve to sleeve, with a proper shielded ("screened" in BrEnglish) cable.

And note further that some connectors are actually 4-pole, with TWO rings. The second ring is used for video (as for iPods, camcorder A/V combined connectors, and other assorted consumer goods.) And the second ring is also used for remote control (as with iPods with remote controls on the earbuds, etc.)
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Old October 27th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Go to radio shack and get the mono to stereo adapter plug. Its silver. Mono female, stereo male.
Plug it at the end of the shotgun cable before the stereo cable. I use this setup frequently. In fact, I use it quite alot.
I think the adapter costs 2.99 at the shack. One of the best buys in my gear. I have 5-6 of them. In my early sound days with video I used some Radio Shack lavs and some ATR lavs. Both have mono outputs. This adapter fixed it and I could record straight to the camera on both channels.

GLB
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