Clarification on Azden SMX-10 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 20th, 2007, 02:16 AM   #1
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Clarification on Azden SMX-10

Hi All,

I am on the verge of purchasing the Azden SMX-10 for my HV20. Just wanted to get the latest opinions on the product wrt motor noise, wind reduction and what-not to ensure I am doing the right thing! (Some have already written in but maybe some others have purchased one more recently and have an opinion they would like to share ?!)

I may also buy a shockmount. The best one considering my need for small size is the Azden SMH-1, then the Rode SM3. Anybody got a preference in terms of these two products, and why?

Many thanks,

Tim
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Old July 21st, 2007, 12:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tim Sills View Post
Hi All,

I am on the verge of purchasing the Azden SMX-10 for my HV20. Just wanted to get the latest opinions on the product wrt motor noise, wind reduction and what-not to ensure I am doing the right thing! (Some have already written in but maybe some others have purchased one more recently and have an opinion they would like to share ?!)

I may also buy a shockmount. The best one considering my need for small size is the Azden SMH-1, then the Rode SM3. Anybody got a preference in terms of these two products, and why?

Many thanks,

Tim
Tim - I have the SMX-10. It's not bad for $70 but I only use it for family/fun stuff. For more important projects, I'll use my AT 897 or my wireless setup. The SMX does pick up some motor noise in a quiet enivronment but less than the built-in mic. It does have a low cut filter for wind noise but if the wind is blowing hard enough you'll still get some. It's not nearly as "hot" as the built-in mic meaning you'll need to turn up the gain in camera to get good volume levels. And if you're shooting handheld, I would definitely get a shock mount since the included mount transmits handling noise very easily. I use the SM3. It doesn't have much use off camera b/c of the unbalanced connections.
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 09:56 PM   #3
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Thanks Peter - I read your previous posts about the Azden with interest and strongly suspected I would snag your attention here !!

It has come to my attention that the sound I am trying to remove is not "motor" noise but rather, by explicit characteristic, the sound of a cooling fan, presumably for the CMOS chip. Upon first impressions this may seem correct however if you turn the unit on to "camera" and leave it idle for long enough, the fan, or motor, or whatever, shuts down and voila, an almost perfectly silent unit, so I guess it can't be a cooling fan since you still get an image.

Either way, this noise corrputs the internal mic sound and so I want something to attenuate to the point where either 1) it's pretty much gone, or 2) pretty much reduced to the point where it's really easy to remove with some audio tweaking. With no pun intended, it "sounds" like the SMX-10 will do this.

I will only be using it for family/fun stuff. I also considered a Rode StereoVideoMic but it's far too big IMHO and will not fit into my LowePro Nova 2 AW bag while still attached to the HV20.

I would have expected some wind noise if it's blowing a gale. I don't mind this. Quite obviously it would be better to have none but for the price point, I don't think I can complain.

I have been looking into a shock mount. The Rode SM3 is quite big for the HV20 and so I came across the Azden SMH-1 which is only 7.5cm tall versus 10.5cm(or thereabouts) for the Rode. It costs 50% more, but size is a premium for me - hence the SMX-10 in the first place!

Thanks again Peter.

Tim
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Old August 1st, 2007, 09:25 PM   #4
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Update for all:

Have purchased an SMX-10. Tried it with both the standard plastic mount and the Azden SMH-1. Next to no difference between them in terms of handling noise, etc, so I returned the SMH-1.

Yep. it picks up motor noise alright. Almost as much as the internal mic. It even picks up zooming quite well and tape take-up. Most annoying.

But, I have come up with a workflow issue that using spectral analysis and hey presto, there is no noise anymore - not a bit. It's downright frightening since you can hear a pin drop, and only the pin drop, in a quiet room.

I have made a couple of DVD to test and cranked the volume on my mid-range Yamaha 6.1 system and no noise.

So, the SMX-10 may not record the sound you want, but you can sure as hell clean it up - and quite easily. Very very good bang for your buck !
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Old August 6th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #5
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Tim,
Please let me know what you do, step by step, to clean up your audio from the Azden. Would following the same procedure using the built in mic result in similarly good audio?
Ann
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Old August 6th, 2007, 09:36 PM   #6
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Hello Ann,

You are going to have to allow forum members to send you e-mail for this to work.

I do not think I could openly advertise the software used, etc. All freeware or shareware mind you.

As for the internal mic, never tried. The answer however is quite possibly except for when the signal is corrupted by wind noise, which is, well, ahem, alot of the time outdoors.

Tim
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Old August 7th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #7
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Tim,
Why can't you share the process publicly, especially if it's built around freeware/shareware?

Ann,
You might want to give Audacity a try. It's free (open source, actually) and allows you to sample a section of the noise, which it then uses as a pattern to go through and remove from the rest of the track. It's not perfect, but a friend asked me to edit a video that was recorded from a cheap DV camera's built-in mic. I was able to remove both the camera motor noise as well as background HVAC noise.
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Old August 9th, 2007, 11:19 PM   #8
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Joseph,

Some forums get funny about naming tools to use....

The process is very similar to what you described with Audacity but it uses WavePad - and correspondingly needs AC3 to WAV conversion and back again (presuming you are a Movie Studio/DVD Architect person like me).

The process works well, but as I explained to Ann, you need absolute QUIET reference footage since I have found the Azden to pick up sounds from outside the house through thickened glass....

T.
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