Problem with my Rode NTG-1 ??? & directional mics? at

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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 June 18th, 2007, 06:42 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lafayette LA
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Problem with my Rode NTG-1 ??? & directional mics?

Hello everyone.
You can skip below to my question if you'd prefer, but with this being my very first post I did want to start off saying how excited I am to finally be on these forums! (I have been waiting for an entire month to get out of the admin queue!) In this time I have still be reading the boards and have been frustratingly unable to reply to so many threads.
But, it's good to be here now.

I'm an event videographer and amateur filmmaker. (Although I'm in college and 23, I don't call myself a film student 'cause I never went to film school.) I have owned a GL2 for almost 4 years now, and just about 2 months ago I picked up an XH-A1. I'm happy to say that I LOVE it.

MY QUESTION(S): (and forgive me 'cause I know it will be long, but I want to be thorough)

I just picked up a Rode NTG-1 for use with my camera. I used to swear by the Canon DM-50 for almost all my recording with my GL2. I wasn't too delighted with the XH-A1 built in mic, so I took the advice of many from these forums and purchased a NTG-1.

Now, forgive me for my question if it's ignorant, but I haven't had too much experience with recording direct into the camera via XLR, though I've had much experience with XLR mics on a computer interface.

So anyway, I plug in my mic, turn on the phantom power & switch to XLR audio and I BARELY get an audio reading. My brother sits 4 feet from me on the couch and talks at room volume and I can hardly hear it through the headphones! I know I'm not missing something obvious since I switch back over to the built in mic and everything sounds as it should.

So, I ASSUME my problem is that I haven't switched on the XLR gain. The fact that the XLR gain is OFF, must mean exactly that, but like I said, I don't have experience with recording through the camera, so I don't know really if that's considered a gain "boost" or not. I figured that if there are two XLR options, and XLR mics only work with one of them, why would there even be the option to turn gain off?

So anyway, with the XLR gain "boosted/on" 12db, it sounds MUCH better--but still not totally convincing that this is what it's SUPPOSED to sound like. So, I'm posting here now just to see if anyone else can somewhat relate, and can convince me either to send back the mic, or keep it, as there's nothing wrong.
I wouldn't be as worried, but I did buy it "brand new," and it arrived with the metal windshield on the front tip of the mic slightly lopsided--as if it had been pushed in to far on one side.
So... Is it working right? Or is something wrong? Or am I just missing something?

ALSO, as I mentioned above, I LOVE the DM-50. I was hoping the Rode would be somewhat like that, but assuming it's working, I'm realizing it's in a different league. Now, I know a shotgun mic is not always a directional mic for picking up at distances, but I'm so used to shooting like that maybe it would be my best bet? (I especially prefer it for weddings/barmitzvahs/school plays/etc since I'm not going to get into using booms or wireless mics just yet)

So also, are there any XLR directional mics that anyone stands behind and could recommend? I don't want to end up longing for a quality I was more happy with on my GL2... And speaking of which, isn't it a little weird that the DM-50 is NOT compatible with the shoe on top of the XH-A1? Am I missing something here as well?

THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE IN ADVANCE! I look forward to posting on and reading these forums!
Samuel Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2007, 07:30 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,208
The NTG-1/2 should work well with the XH A1
What art the camcorder audio settings (both menu and switch settings)?
Are you judging level using headphones or by the meter?
Are you using AGC or manual level control?
Are you using MIC or MIC ATT setting?
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2007, 08:25 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Mobile, Alabama
Posts: 166
well, well, well...looks like an LSU grad is gonna have to help out a rajun cajun, lol. Anyway I got the NTG-2 and love it, no I dont have to turn on the +12 gain to get that perfect audio in a situation like that. My guess is maybe you have the audio levels turned down? on the side of the cam make sure that you have the audio level set to "M" and that your channels are turned up to the correct setting that suits your listening pleasure.
Mark Leonard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2007, 10:12 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lafayette LA
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Well, I never actually went to UL, but I guess I have Cajun pride. :P --Even though I've only lived down there about a year-- I'm actually from the Washington DC area, so I'm not much of a cajun at all.

But anyway, I do appreciate the assistance so far.

I don't think any of it helps though--except to say that it makes me more certain that it's the mic and not me.

At first I was hoping it was something silly like setting manual levels or headphone output, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If I set the camera pick ups to manual with the knobs on the side, I have to max it out just until speaking volumes sound as they should.

I don't know why I didn't think of trying this before, but I plugged the mic directly into my recording interface which I use for vocal and instrument recording to my computer. The mic ALMOST had a reasonable pickup level if I turned on the boost feature on on my interface (which I believe gives it that same 12db increase.)

I also plugged a Rode NT1-A (studio condenser mic) directly into my camera and it picked up MUCH better than my questionable NTG-1--even at a distance. This doesn't make sense to me? It's sounding like I just got a bad mic, right?

Thanks again for the help so far, and I still am entertaining the idea of a directional/distance mic, so if anyone has any recommendations I would appreciate it.
Samuel Miller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 4,208
The NT1-A does have about 4 dB higher output, but what you describe sounds alike a lot more than 4 dB difference. Did you use the same cable with both mics? if so, and the NT1-A works OK, you may have a bad NTG-1.
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