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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old October 14th, 2009, 01:31 AM   #1
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A1s onboard mic.

Hi A1s owners, the manual says the A1s onboard mic is stereo .. but is it?

And is it, cardioid or omni-directional?

Cheers.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 06:56 AM   #2
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It's stereo and omnidirectional. It's really not suitable for capturing anything more than ambient sound.

I just noticed you're talking about the A1s and my comment is on the A1. I've not read anything stating that they changed the mic with the A1s, but I'm not 100% certain.

Last edited by Tripp Woelfel; October 14th, 2009 at 06:59 AM. Reason: A1 vs. A1s.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 06:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
It's stereo and omnidirectional.

Tripp, that's not correct. Unless that mic has switchable patterns it can't be both
stereo and omnidirectional. Even if it had those patterns, it can't be both at the same time.

Basically, omnidirectional mics pick up sound all around and stereo mics pick up only left and right.

I have the A1 and its stereo onboard mic picks up left and right and puts the sound on 2 channels on the camera.

The A1(S) manual states its onboard mic is stereo and you can combine it with an external mono mic. That doesn't make sense because you'd have 3 sound channels.

Other forums post that the A1s mic is omnidirectional, hence my question in post 1.

Cheers.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 06:50 PM   #4
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Allan, that's an interesting explanation of stereo.

I was always under the impression that a stereo recording was essentially two microphones picking up sound one slightly to the left the other towards the right - like your eyes with vision.

Thus two mics - of whatever tehcnical design - side by side and preferrably pointing slightly towards the left and right respectively, would constitute a stero recording.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 07:16 PM   #5
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Hi Philip, essentially that's right. The 2 mics are in the one housing and called a (single) stereo mic. This mic should point where the camera is aimed to give you what's called a stereo soundstage. Recording speech is another question.

An omnidirectional mic would pick up sound from behind the camera, where you can't see and don't want.

Cheers.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 07:21 PM   #6
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I was considering the microphone, both left and right channels, as a single item. As such it is omnidirectional. If you break out the left and right channels separately, there would logically be some directional characteristics to them. It would be impossible to know what they are without seeing each side's pattern graphed. I've never run across this.

Your question about what happens when you plug in an external mic is unknown to me. I have an A1, not an A1s, so this is not an option for me. My guess is that the left and right channels of the on board mic are ganged together rendering it mono. If you search the list, my guess is you can get your question answered.
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Old October 14th, 2009, 07:41 PM   #7
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Hi Tripp, the stereo mic 'is' a single item with 2 mics facing left and right at 45 degrees, so it's not omnidirectional. Omni means sound from all around, 360 degrees.

And now you're onto what I first figured with the A1s. You've only got 2 recording channels so I would have thought Canon would have made the stereo onboard mic 'gang' into mono (for one channel) when you select to include an external mono mic. (for the other channel)

And after many many posts on other forums I still think this may be the case.

I might have to go to a shop and get an A1s to try it.

Cheers.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:41 AM   #8
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Guys, this afternoon I raised this question with Canon here, who were very helpful and have contacted Canon Japan for a clarification.

Cheers.
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Old October 16th, 2009, 05:57 PM   #9
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Hi all, yesterday I got a reply from Canon Japan via a senior rep here...

"The Canon A1 and A1s built in mics are stereo. On the A1s when an external XLR mono mic is selected together with the built in stereo mic, then that mics stereo signal is summed into a mono signal, then assigned to either track 1 or 2 on the DV tapes audio. The XLR mics signal is routed to the other available track."

That external XLR mic could be a 'line in' of course and that reply makes sense .. but it's not explained in the A1s manual, p47-55. Much confusion about this on some other forums.

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Last edited by Allan Black; October 16th, 2009 at 06:07 PM. Reason: typos
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