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Old August 12th, 2007, 01:44 AM   #1
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HD110 Audio mic level or line level

Hi there,

I have been messing around with the camera audio to try and get the best sound from the camera and also in the process tested three different microphones into the camera for fun.

Set Up

I tested the Rode NTG-1, Octava 012 with hypercardiod cap and at the top end the Schoeps MK41 (hypercardiod cap). I used a splitter and sent one signal direct to the camera at mic level on channel 1 using the cameras on board preamp and sent the same another to a Sound Devices 722 and then out of the 722 line level into the camera line level in channel 2.

Here are my observations (strictly unscientific).

1. Line level out of a superior device like the 722 not surprisingly delivered a noticeably nicer and cleaner signal. Much less noise than the onboard pres. Totally usable notwithstanding the compression codec used by the camera. However, having said that in all cases, the onboard pres were also usable at a pinch though personally I find them a bit noisy.

3. Of the three microphones all were usable and professional quality. The Rode NTG-1 is outstanding value and is definitely professionally usable. The Oktava 012 with hypercardiod cap, which has been modded by Michael Joly of OktavaMod, is also excellent and delivers a warm rich sound for bugger all money. At the top end of course, there is the awesome Schoeps. There is a reaon it costs so much and it is immediately evident - a much more natural sound. Excellent off axis attenuation, again, done very naturally. But for those on a budget the other microphones are definitely worth considering.

3. For the onboard mic, it was better to set the attenuator setting to 50db or the signal was simply too hot and I had to set the volume control to around 2 or 3.

Anyway, just my thoughts on audio and the JVC and how to get the best out of it.

Rob
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Old August 12th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #2
 
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I've had very similar experiences, altho', my setup is to run a Sennheiser shotgun into a 702, thence into the HD110.
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Old August 12th, 2007, 09:48 AM   #3
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JVC cut a few corners to keep the cost down - the mic pres on the camera are pretty weak. Line level from a mixer - that's the best way.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 12:18 AM   #4
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After I finished the camera test, I got a real perrspective on how comparitively poor the cameras preamps were by recording through a DAV BG-1 preamp into the sound devices. The on board pres sound shrill and compressed by comparison to anything decent.

Rob
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #5
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Does line level out bypass the cam's internal preamp? I had always throught (mistakenly?) that line out was for plugging into big mixing boards at live concerts etc.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 04:59 AM   #6
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Hi Brian,

I am speaking about sound going into the camera. Instead of using the mic level input you set the inputs to line level signal input. However, this means that you have to use an external microphone preamp to boost the tiny signal coming from your microphone to line level. There are numerous such portable preamps around which are small and of excellent quality eg sound devices makes a single channel microphone preamp for I think around $300. There is no question as noted above that if you go to the trouble of doing this you will get a noticeably quieter and sonically richer sound (notwithstanding the compression applied in camera)

Rob
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Old August 24th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #7
 
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There are mic preamps built into sound devices 7xx series recorders and the 302 mixer. one can, optionally, output line level from both these devices into the camera. Alternately, I occasionally run a Senn G2 Evolution wireless into my camera. The G2 has a line out option.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; August 24th, 2007 at 09:59 AM.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 08:58 AM   #8
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I think it's the only viable option for professional sound quality with this camera - use an external preamp/mixer.
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