Unsure of what to do about mic hiss - Apex 175 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 4th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #1
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Unsure of what to do about mic hiss - Apex 175

I am at a point of either throwing my mic against the wall or waiting until someone here can point me in the right direction.

I am definitely having a sound problem - I am not sure if it is caused by the camera or the mic itself. About 1.5 years ago, I was getting a loud hiss when the camera was plugged into an AC outlet. I took the mic and camera to a music shop and they pointed me to an impedence transformer that seemed to do the trick. Well, 1.5 years later and now I am getting that hiss even with the impedence transformer. Logic says it is my mic, but I am wondering if it could also be my camera. My mic has tele and normal. On tele, the hiss is really loud and somewhat unusable. On Normal, it is fine because the noise only comes from the end of the mic (although the volume is considerably lowered).
So my questions is this - can a mic break down from use and cause the above problems? Does this sound typical for mic degradation? Does this maybe sound like an audio problem with the camera (pana 852)?

Thanks in advance from a man on the edge...
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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:08 PM   #2
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Did you check battery or phantom power supply?
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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #3
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Is it only when you've got the camera plugged in to AC power? I think it's because that isn't grounded power. My friend had the same problem when we tried to take an aux send from his sound board to his laptop - the PA buzzed when he had the laptop running on AC but as soon as he went to batteries, it was fine.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 07:59 PM   #4
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I guess I should have been clearer. The impedence transformer did the trick and fixed it. But low and behold 1.5 years later, it is back - just wondering if a mic would degrade this way.

The camera has no phantom power. The mic is double AA powered - XLR output.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 09:27 PM   #5
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In my experience it is the microphone. I owned one of these for about 2 days, tested it numerous ways and still received an unacceptable amount of hiss. I took it back and purchased an Azden SGM 1X. Much quieter.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #6
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Well , I discovered this whilst testing things - when I plug the mic into my camera, there is a loud sound - it comes right through the headphones, even when the mic is not on - therefore I wonder if it is a bad connection or something that is causing this? If this is the case, I guess I need a new mic. I am going to try and connect another mic to it in a shop and see if this causes the same problem, if the hiss is gone, I guess the mic's gotta go. It will be a shame, $150.00 down the drain.
Any other ideas on how to test this?
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Old January 5th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Mandy
Well , I discovered this whilst testing things - when I plug the mic into my camera, there is a loud sound - it comes right through the headphones, even when the mic is not on - therefore I wonder if it is a bad connection or something that is causing this? If this is the case, I guess I need a new mic. I am going to try and connect another mic to it in a shop and see if this causes the same problem, if the hiss is gone, I guess the mic's gotta go. It will be a shame, $150.00 down the drain.
Any other ideas on how to test this?
It could be that the jack on the camera has gone bad, One of the reasons that those little 3.5mm miniplugs aren't used much of pro equipment is they're just plain too fragile to stand up to hard repeated use and it's very common for them to fail after a lot of plugging and unplugging. If you have or can borrow a mixer or other audio amplifier that will accept the mic, plug it in there and while wearing headphones see if you can hear the hiss. Wiggle the wire where it connects to the mic and also where it connects to the plug and see what happens. If everything is okay there you've ruled out the mic being the culprit and it's time to look at the camera side of things.

Consumer cameras often have very marginal audio and inexpensive mics are inexpensive for a reason - it could be that with a couple years experience you're starting to hear more critically than you used to and equipment flaws that didn't bother you then are starting to annoy you.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #8
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I did an audio test :

http://dvstuff.250free.com/audiotest.mp3

The three setting all in sequence and as follows :
1) tele mode with the apex 175 - giving me the most problems, background hiss
2) normal mode (sound isolated to the end of the mic) - quieter
3) just the camera's onboard mic (snapping fingers)

If this sounds normal, please let me know, if not at least I have a better idea of which way this thing is going.

Thanks
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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Mandy
I did an audio test :

http://dvstuff.250free.com/audiotest.mp3

The three setting all in sequence and as follows :
1) tele mode with the apex 175 - giving me the most problems, background hiss
2) normal mode (sound isolated to the end of the mic) - quieter
3) just the camera's onboard mic (snapping fingers)

If this sounds normal, please let me know, if not at least I have a better idea of which way this thing is going.

Thanks
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Old January 5th, 2006, 11:56 AM   #10
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Interesting, it works with mozilla firebird ,but not IE.
How about this :

http://dvstuff.250free.com/audio.htm

Click on the audio link.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:25 PM   #11
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I listened to your clips. Although I'm only listening through comp. speakers I can hear the noise you describe. I experienced the same thing with the tele mode being much noisier than the cardoid mode which wasn't that good either. I thought it was my camera at first too, but turned out to be the mic.
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Old January 5th, 2006, 09:08 PM   #12
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yeah, I am starting to guess that it why I am having the problems. going to take it to a sound guy tomorrow, hopefully he can sort it out.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 05:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Mandy
yeah, I am starting to guess that it why I am having the problems. going to take it to a sound guy tomorrow, hopefully he can sort it out.
Try another mic. If it doesn't hiss you have your answer.


Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old January 6th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #14
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I'm also hearing a signifigant AC hum in the two clips from your mic that is not present with the camera-only clip. The "tele" position of the mic does seem to have less bass response and emphasize the sibilance more than the normal but these old ears aren't hearing a lot of hiss - playback through an Echo audio interface and listening with Sony MDR7506 phones. Would like to hear a version with less speech so can hear the system noise better.

Why don't you see if you can borrow a Beachtec or proper matching transformer and repeat your tests.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 08:01 AM   #15
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What is the 'proper matching transformer'?
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