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Old October 7th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #1
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Rode VideoMic to Computer - Distortion!

Ok. maybe I'm missing something important here but hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. I'm using a VideoMic for a project and I want to record some voice over and have the tonal balance feel similar. I've used the mini-phono and hooked the Rode up to the Mic input on the Sound Blaster Live sound card.

The result is unusable with lots of distortion and crackling. I've looked in the control panel and tried to adjust the mic input levels with no improvement.

I'm guessing there is a problem with impedance and/or gain levels, but am looking for a good solution. Is the Rode putting out too much gain? Is a pre-amp of some kind needed? Is is just easier to record to VO onto a tape and upload it with the rest of the video? Obviously the last choice doesn't cost anything but hopefully there is a more elegant solution,
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Old October 7th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Sato
Ok. maybe I'm missing something important here but hopefully someone can point me in the right direction. I'm using a VideoMic for a project and I want to record some voice over and have the tonal balance feel similar. I've used the mini-phono and hooked the Rode up to the Mic input on the Sound Blaster Live sound card.

The result is unusable with lots of distortion and crackling. I've looked in the control panel and tried to adjust the mic input levels with no improvement.

I'm guessing there is a problem with impedance and/or gain levels, but am looking for a good solution. Is the Rode putting out too much gain? Is a pre-amp of some kind needed? Is is just easier to record to VO onto a tape and upload it with the rest of the video? Obviously the last choice doesn't cost anything but hopefully there is a more elegant solution,
The Rode microphone's 'stereo' miniplug is wired so the tip and ring are connected together as signal hot while the sleeve is ground. That way the mic's mono signal is sent to both the left and right channels when plugged into a camera with a stereo mic connector. But the soundcard is setup for cheap "multimedia" microphones where tip is signal hot, ring supplies +5v bias, and sleeve is ground. So plugging the Rode mic into the soundcard could be shorting the card's bias voltage directly into its signal input, which is going to have all sorts of strange consequences. (I don't know for sure whether or not the Rode has blocking capacitors in its connector to take care that eventuality but it sounds like it doesn't.)

What you need to do is make up an adapter cable to use when you want to plug the mic into the soundcard that has a mini in-line jack on one end and a miniplug on the other. Wire it though with standard single conductor audio cable using the center conductor to go tip-to-tip and the shield sleeve-to-sleeve, leaving the rings unconnected at both ends. I can't guarantee that will fix it but that's the first thing I'd try.
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Old October 7th, 2006, 08:40 PM   #3
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OMG how silly! So I'm busting out the soldering iron to make a mini phono connector that only uses the tip and shield? Ok, off to radio shack for some parts....
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