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Old January 1st, 2006, 03:12 PM   #1
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Question about camera noise and mics

I have a shotgun Apex 175. It has both a normal and telemode. On normal, the sound comes from predominately the end of the mic (more directional based - no background noise), with Tele, it comes from everywhere - this is probably redundant. Anyways, I am noticing that with the tele mode, there is alot of hiss and background noise that has little to do with furnaces or computers humming in the background. It is really annoying because the camera I have - Pana 852, does not have volume/gain controls and does have auto-gain on it (which sucks).
The mic is good for me because it does have XLR, but the camera has only mono stereo 1/4.
So, I ended up buying an impedence (MT-50) transformer from XLR to 1/4 hoping it would help, maybe it has, maybe not. Anyways, I am hoping to find a solution to rectifying this situation, which is part of the reason I wanted to purchase a mixer UB1002 to increase the volume on the Normal mode (which has less background noise) and to help with the autogain that my camera has.
** of note is that with the mic turned off, through the earphones connected to my DV camera, there is still a heck of alot of noise, which increases slightly when the mic is turned on. I know that this is not just the headphones because after capturing and when editing audio, there is alot of hiss/background noise.
So does someone have the magic bullet for this that doesn't include purchasing $300 mics and $500 mixers (this is only for obvious answer of UPGRADE YOUR EQUIPMENT YOU IDIOT!). Budget conscious always, I await your reply.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 04:14 PM   #2
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I've rented that mic before and it does have a lot more hiss in the tele mode than in the cardioid mode. The noise seems to be inherent to the microphone itself, so any gain/amplification will bring up that noise.

I'd be curious as to how the Rode Videomic stacks up against this mic. It might be a better idea than lugging a mixer around.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 04:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, it is nice to hear from someone with the same Mic. The UB1002 is definitely portable and cheap - a new mic would be somewhere around $300.00 for a Audiotechica or something better and the UB1002 is about $70.00, so I am wondering which is a better alternative for now - keeping my fingers crossed on Ebay for a cheap mic!
The Rode VideoMic is about $150.00 starting at ebay. That is getting a bit pricey after shipping and exchange to Canadian. I am going to keep looking and hope that there is a better field mic out there for a cheaper price. Any other suggestions?
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Old January 1st, 2006, 08:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Mandy
Thanks for the reply, it is nice to hear from someone with the same Mic. The UB1002 is definitely portable and cheap - a new mic would be somewhere around $300.00 for a Audiotechica or something better and the UB1002 is about $70.00, so I am wondering which is a better alternative for now - keeping my fingers crossed on Ebay for a cheap mic!
The Rode VideoMic is about $150.00 starting at ebay. That is getting a bit pricey after shipping and exchange to Canadian. I am going to keep looking and hope that there is a better field mic out there for a cheaper price. Any other suggestions?
The VideoMic is an entry level mic. If you want better sound you need to raise your sights even higher.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 1st, 2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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If your camera is a Panasonic 852, it may not make too much sense to get a Schoeps MK41 (plus XLR-->mini adapter, shockmount, windscreen, etc.) that'll cost more than the camera itself.

Leo:
One of the best things you can do in your situation is to get the microphone closer. This will make a lot more of a difference than how good the microphone is.

If you have to put the mic on-camera (usually the worst place to put it), it may help a little to get a wide-angle lens so you can get right up into people's faces with the camera/mic (the cameraperson doesn't necessarily have to be right in their face however).
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 09:25 AM   #6
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Well, I discovered one problem - I have inadvertently turned on the Mic Zoom, so that seems to have cut the noise out a bit. I still would like to get a pre-amp or a mixer. We shot a feature using this mic and a mixer and the sound is pretty good, so there must be something there...
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 07:18 AM   #7
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Been following your discussion sveral days and there are several problem/issues nagging in my mind I think you need to address.

1: The Apex 175 shotgun does not have a tele mode and a regular mode switch I've been able to find - it's the Panny CAMERA that has the switch. It ONLY affect5s the internal camera mic and has no effect at all on anything plugged into the external mic port. In fact, plugging a mic into the external input should completely disconnect the internal mic.

2: You are plugging the balanced mic into an unbalanced stereo 1/8" camera input BUT the device you are using to adapt it is an impedance matching transfomer that is designed to raise a low impedance XLR to a high impedance mono 1/4" TS. It is used to match line level devices - a mixer to an amplifier, for example - that are of differing impedances. It is NOT what you should be using to connect your mic to your camera. Your camera does not expect to see a high impedance device connected to the mic input, it wants a LOW impedance microphone and the adapter you should use would convert from a low impedance XLR to a low impedance TRS. What you need is something like the Shure A96F transformer / camcorder adapter or a Beachtec or similar adapter.

http://www.shure.com/accessories/a96f.asp

A mixer might come in handy but IMHO it's not going to do anything to resolve your noise issues except by accident and could in fact make it worse if you crank it up to the point it overloads the camera input. If you want one go for it, but fix the noise problem first.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 11:25 AM   #8
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SoundSoap software is another avenue. It's about $100 and can take care not only of hiss and AC hum, but other constant background noises people often pick up, like air conditioners. Not a bad thing to have in your editing toolkit and nothing to lug around and hook up in the field.

If you want to email me a sample I'll "soap" it and send it back.

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Fred
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 12:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
I've rented that mic before and it does have a lot more hiss in the tele mode than in the cardioid mode. The noise seems to be inherent to the microphone itself, so any gain/amplification will bring up that noise.

...
I haven't been able to find any reference on Apex's website about a multi-mode switch on that mic. You're talking about the Apex 175 shotgun mic???? This one ... http://www.apexelectronics.com/index.php?tmp=4&id=27
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