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Old May 22nd, 2010, 10:32 AM   #1
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Microphone Question

Hello all,

I've been experimenting with an Audio-Technica PRO24 stereo condensor mic plugged into the external mic jack of my Canon HF-S200. The sound isn't all that great - it's clear, but there's a lot of hiss, which I suspect is due to the camera's AGC circuit.

I've tried switching to the camera's internal mics and find the hiss is almost as bad, and as you might expect, the mics pick up a lot of room tone too.

I've tried all manner of noise reduction strategies in my NLE, but the hiss is still there, maybe a tiny bit less noticeable.

What would be a better solution to the hiss problem - getting something like a Rode VideoMic, or biting the bullet and getting a Beachtek XLR adaptor and a quality shotgun mic?

I am on a bit of tight budget, so money-wise the Rode would be preferable.
Steve Struthers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2010, 10:27 PM   #2
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Steve, I know nought of your mic or camera, but would suggest that you either have an incorrect setting somewhere or that your camera audio is faulty.

If you are in an "ordinary - quiet" room and you are listening just for hiss after you recorded silence, then you will hear it because the AGC has upped the gain. However, if you do a normal voice over and listen you should not be aware of background hiss regardless of the mic you use.

Are there any attenuator settings or are you recording via a line input if it has this feature ? You shouldn't need to go & get another mic just because of this as you may be disappointed.

Hope this helps.

RonC.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Struthers View Post
I've been experimenting with an Audio-Technica PRO24 stereo condenser mic plugged into the external mic jack of my Canon HF-S200. The sound isn't all that great - it's clear, but there's a lot of hiss, which I suspect is due to the camera's AGC circuit.
AGC is certainly *a* culprit. It might not be *the* culprit however.

One thing you can try is manual gain control. Manually set the gain where you get -12dB peaks and see what level of hiss you get when AGC is out of the picture.

One thing to remember about microphones is closer is usually better. Microphones record sound pressure levels, and pressure waves in air are subject to the inverse square law -- that is, if you double the distance from the source, you get 1/4 the power. Said another way, if you double the distance from the source, you have to turn up the gain by 4x to maintain your recording level. This is why camera mounted microphones work so poorly -- they tend to be quite far from the sound source, so you have to turn the gain up really high, so you end up recording lots of noise (both electronic noise [hiss] and ambient noise).
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