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Covering the GoPro HERO and other small Point-Of-View video cameras.


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Old February 9th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #16
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Lynne... Here's what I would suggest.

Give up trying to get a GoPro to capture clean audio. Very doubtful that's ever going to happen because it doesn't appear that's part of the intended design.

Instead, record audio on a second device that's purposed for the task. Annoying, but it's a solution.

To sync it in post, use Plural Eyes (if you're on a Mac). Works great. I do this all the time with a 4-track recorder. All Plural Eyes needs is a decent audio reference to sync clips.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #17
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Yes, I have no other choice.
But I must say, whenever I complain about GoPro's audio being embedded with static (this being the 2nd time in 2 years), three things predictably happen:

1-Forum heavyweights speak up saying "It never was intended to be good audio."
2-Someone pipes up with "Sounds great to me."
3-The GoPro customer service people ignore my complaints sent to them.

You can form your own conclusions. Personally I think something weird is going on but I'll leave it there. You read it first here!
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Old February 13th, 2013, 09:49 PM   #18
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Not meant to be condescending, but all I hear is "This 500 dollar, 4k recording, 120fps+ shooting, HDMI outputting, cine log, super durable, highly reliable camera's audio noise floor is unacceptable as it attempts to record through its hard casing. I want super clean pre-amps added, and it can't increase the size, weight, or drain the battery quicker."

Use the tool for what it is.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 06:28 AM   #19
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Re: Hero 3 audio

I appreciate your cynicism.
But what if...what if the solution was

1--to admit the problem of static exists

and

2--add, let's say, better insulation between the pre-amp and the rest of the circuit board by simply adding a three-cent chunk of semi-conductor material?

Isn't that just so "corporate," to tell the masses what they should believe? (Cigarettes are good for you, high fructose corn syrup is good for you, GMO crops are good, HGH is good, Soylent Green is tasty, a $400 camcorder can't deliver both clean audio and clean video).

I think the Digital Bolex people are about to show us that good quality and reasonable prices can co-exist. (It's hard to imagine their engineers saying "Hey, this audio is good enough. Get over it.") And how refreshing it is for people like Blackmagic to be upfront about their struggles and shortcomings.

GoPro became so big so fast, they've decided that being hip is better than being right. (Exhibit A being their packaging--so much marketing money wrapped up in elaborate, complicated plastic boxes. "Green" packaging? Forget it! Each box is a Rubik's cube that's impossible to re-assemble if, God forbid, you have to send something back. Have mercy on the Foxcomm people who have to assemble that stuff. I can hear them saying "Believe it or not, there's a camera inside this somewhere.")

Last edited by Lynne Whelden; February 14th, 2013 at 07:29 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 08:16 AM   #20
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Re: Hero 3 audio

I feel forced to agree that the GoPro just was not designed to be used outside of the waterproof housing. As a highlight sound the thud of the hitting the ground or the rush of water might be fun and useable from time to time but really that audio will be edited out.

It is not something so corporate for GoPro to say, it's a feature not a bug, but a business decision. It appears that GoPro wants to sell this to consumers who want to make a short video with thumping music and no voiceover of an adrenaline rush. It looks like the professional use of a GoPro was an accidental market.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 11:05 AM   #21
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Good observation.

I just wish they'd stop marketing the external mic cable then. It's like a dangling carrot...as if it "really" mattered what sort of external mic you attached! Which of course it doesn't, as we now know. In fact, if anything, using an external mic "highlights" the issue.
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Old February 14th, 2013, 07:49 PM   #22
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Lynne, If GoPro intended to feature good audio it would have given you a separate 2.5 or 3.5mm mic socket for starters and a stereo internal mic not mono.

John, the pro interest in the GoPro wasn't accidental, GoPro invited and paid all travel expenses for 60+ video professionals and media people from all over the world to attend their HD3 product release presentation and gave them all a free camera to use in their next days extreme excursion. You can't watch a discovery channel show without seeing at least one clip from a GoPro if not entire program's built around it. Notice they ever use the audio from the GoPro, that is something Lynne has yet to realise and accept. It seems Discovery Channel has excepted it.
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Old February 17th, 2013, 01:34 PM   #23
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Clean audio isn't rocket science! I've heard better recordings from Edison's wax recorder, for God's sake.

Tested more live audio today outside in blowing snowstorm using the Hero 3 mics and next, the Sony bluetooth mics.
I conclude that GoPro should include a free copy of Izotope (hum remover) with every camera. I swear, the Hero 3 audio is worse than Hero 2. The buzz is omni-present, just like what you'd hear if you laid a mic cable over an AC line.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 02:57 AM   #24
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Lynne... there was a time when cameras didn't record audio at all.

The camera had to send a sync signal to a separate recorder which also recorded sound. Every shot had to be slated and documented. In post, that audio had to be resolved to fullcoat film, and cut in a ganged edit system.

That was double system sound, and it's how I do some of my "one man band" shoots, using a separate recorder with wireless mics.

In my work even if the GoPro had absolutely perfect audio it's seldom in a position to capture the best sound.

At this point I think you need to realize that even if GoPro admitted openly to a problem and did something about it, the solution isn't going to come anytime soon. And in the meantime you'll miss out on opportunities by waiting for any improvements.

Give the double-system sound technique a try. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results and the flexibility it provides.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 09:42 PM   #25
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Re: Hero 3 audio

In case you're still curious, here's a one-minute sample clip I recorded a few days ago...

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Old February 19th, 2013, 12:50 AM   #26
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Re: Hero 3 audio

My GoPro Hero 3 (Black version) doesn't have that buzz.

I just tried it in a quiet room and all I hear is room sounds, including the refrigerator and a ticking clock that's 6 feet away.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 06:41 AM   #27
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Now that's what I need to know....that I'm not imagining things!

I've posted this for a GoPro customer service guy (Cooper) to listen to as well.
(This camera is still under the 30-day return from B&H. But it took a month to get it when I first placed an order. I'm leaving for my overseas trip in 3 weeks.)

Update...GoPro just confirmed this audio is not "normal." I have no confidence the next Hero 3 will be any better. This is the 2nd Hero (the last being the Hero 2) in a row I've found with bad audio.

Last edited by Lynne Whelden; February 19th, 2013 at 03:40 PM.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:23 AM   #28
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Have it replaced.

At this point, there's nothing to lose. At least you now know the buzzing isn't prevalent in all units.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 05:58 AM   #29
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Ha! Judging from what Ian and others have said here, you may have the only Hero that DOESN'T have a buzz! How did you manage that? Early batch?
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Old February 20th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #30
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Re: Hero 3 audio

I just bought it a week ago. Perhaps it's part of the latest batch as the shop I got it from recently got a shipment.
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