GL-1 Camera Noise/Hum with Sennheiser MKE300 at DVinfo.net

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 01:04 PM   #1
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GL-1 Camera Noise/Hum with Sennheiser MKE300

I have a Sennheiser MKE-300 shotgun mike that I am trying to use with my GL-1. It seems to be picking up noise (motor noise?) from the camera or else some kind of hum. I read on one of the other forums that Sennheiser makes a "digital camera" version of this microphone (MKE-300D) which addresses the noise problem on digital cameras but it seems to be available only in the United Kingdom. One UK forum post even mentioned the fact that the microphone could be returned to Sennheiser and upgraded to the "D" configuration. I called Sennheiser USA and the woman who answered the phone had no idea what I was talking about, and the product representative has not returned my call. I can't find any reference to the "D" model on the B&H website or at any of the other vendors. Does anybody out there have any knowledge of this situation? Either how to make the noise problem go away or about the "D" model? Thanks.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 01:20 PM   #2
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Hi Jim,
I occasionally use a MKE-300 on my GL-2, although usually in louder environments where any such low noise wouldn't be noticed. But many others have reported such problem with this and other cam-mounted mics (including the camera's own mic). Some of the noise is being transferred through the cam's body and handle. Some is likely ambient from the tape transport and lens servo motors.

I know of no MKE-300D, and am not sure how such a mic would differ. All of these mics are basically designed for digital video cameras.

If you were using a GL-2 I'd recommend that you change your audio to Manual control to defeat the automatic gain circuit (AGC). (AGC will normally attempt to adjust the sensitivity to the lowest levels it "hears" which, in quiet scenes, might well be your camera's whirr.) But I don't think you have such an option on the Gl-1, do you?

Good luck!
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 02:06 PM   #3
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No, Ken, unfortunally there is no way to defeat the AGC on the GL-1. I had an XL-1 I used for projects where good audio was important, and had to let it go due to the sad state of my financial affairs, so am now stuck with trying to make the GL-1 suffice, and for audio that isn't a very pretty picture. I've heard and read that the GL-2 is alot better for audio, but if I could spend that kind of money I'd just stretch another grand and buy another XL-1s. In the meantime, any advice I can get on capturing decent sounding audio tracks with what I have will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your advice.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 03:05 PM   #4
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I put an Azden SGM-X shotgun on my GL2 and got zoom motor noise. I confirmed that this was ambient noise, not transmitted noise, by holding the mic near the GL2 instead of mounting it in the shoe.

My solution was to move the shotgun about 5" away using the NRG Research Tri-Mount bracket.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 04:23 PM   #5
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Hiyah Will!

"My solution was to move the shotgun about 5" away using the NRG Research Tri-Mount bracket . . . " Now you're talking! I like this!!

Thanks - web-link? Picture please?
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 04:28 PM   #6
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http://www.nrgresearch.com/
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 04:35 PM   #7
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Ken! - How the heck!!!

Ken, Wyatt Earrp wern't even as fast as that - how do you do that thang?

Yeah saw the "site" - that was fast too. Gets my award for the fastest clearest tech-web going - phew!!!

No sign of the 5 incher there. Can't be looking too closely - yeah? Any other hints?

However they gotta a neat MIC/Audio Tutoria to read through.

Grazie
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 06:25 PM   #8
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Some thoughts on improving GL1 audio.

Use a high output MIC.
Use MIC ATT setting for a lower noise floor.
Use a device such as the Studio One, beachtek, or Signvideo XLR Pro to keep the input low enough to prevent the XL1 entering AGC mode.
Keep the mic as clost to the talent, and as far from the camcorder (any camcorder) as you can.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 10:19 PM   #9
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NRG's site is weird -- all Java and no URLs.

From the main page, click on Lighting and then On-Camera Lighting Accessories. The Tri-Mount is the next to the last item on the page.

See how easy that was? Exactly where you'd expect to find an audio accessory!

Cool-Lux also makes a similar bracket, the MD-3000. Its Web site is weird, too, with no pictures. You can see a picture at B&H's site here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bh4.sph/...ID=F4F1A8078E0. I actually saw this bracket when I was at the B&H store, which is the reason I ended up buying the Tri-Mount. I thought the Cool-Lux gadget was not as well made. B&H also sells the Tri-Mount, and for $6 less than the MD-3000!
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 05:21 AM   #10
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At one time Canon offerd a MB-100, a short (5 inch), adjustable boom with a shoe mount at each end. Allowed moving a mic further from the camcorder, and provided a bit of damping. I've used it with the MKE300.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 12:07 PM   #11
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I really appreciate all the information and advice I am getting on improving the quality of audio for the GL-1.

Don, I am puzzled about your suggestion to use the MIC ATT setting on the GL-1 for a lower noise floor. I have been unable to find this setting on my GL-1. I know it exists on the XL-1. Can you help me out?

Also, I would gladly buy the Beachtek or one of the others if I thought it would help me, but I have been told by a number of people that none of these units would prevent the AGC from cranking the gain up when the ambient sound level is low. I downloaded the Beachtek instruction manual and it said to keep the volume controls all the way up with cameras where the AGC can't be turned off. I'm pretty confused on the value of these "black boxes" with cameras where the AGC can't be defeated, other than as an impedence matcher and/or mixer. Can somebody give me more information. Don't want to waste two hundred bucks.

Thanks,

Jim
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 05:09 PM   #12
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MIC ATT ON/OFF is on the Camera Menu.


In the GL1, the audio operates at full gain until the sound level gets above a certain point, then it acts reduces gain to maintain an "average" record level of about -12 dB relative to max digital level.

Part of the AGC issue is pumping of the noise floor and background sounds - the change in backgound level over time becomes distracting at best. It becomes much less intrusive if this level is not changing (pumping) between louder and softer point is desired progam material. You can do this by keeping the gain at a relatively constant level. This is achieved by keeping the input audio level below the AGC threshold for msot input sound.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 06:27 PM   #13
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Thanks Don. You've straightened me out relative to the AGC on some things I've never understood. I appreciate it greatly.

Its also amazing that I've been looking at that camera menu all this time and never noticed MIC ATT.

Thank you.
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