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


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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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Hero 3 audio

I guess I was hoping for a miracle. When I got the black edition GoPro a few days ago, one of the first tests I ran was recording in a quiet environment using the built-in mics.
"Hissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss."

Apparently what they did was bump up the sampling rate but left the AGC and preamps untouched. At least the crackling and static you used to hear is gone!
I also tried external mics (Senheiser) using GoPro's mic cable but got the same disappointing results.
Which means my life-long pursuit for a simple life gets complicated by double system sound.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: Hero 3 audio

I use the usb mic adapter and a nice Sennheiser mic. Dead quiet, no background noise. Awesome sound.
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Old February 1st, 2013, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: Hero 3 audio

You've run that test in a perfectly quiet room?
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Old February 1st, 2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: Hero 3 audio

No sorry to say not. It was not perfectly quiet but quiet enough for the ring in your ears to be quite loud. It's not a perfect sound system in the Go Pro I'll agree.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 01:39 PM   #5
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Not that my system for monitoring is the best either, as I'm using the headphone port out of the LCD bacpac. Because it's almost impossible to adjust the volume of the bacpac, I'm not sure if it's cranked up all the way and that's why I'm hearing so much hiss or what. (Apparently the only way to adjust is by using the touch method, which doesn't seem to do anything.)
But thru that system, using ear buds, the hiss is loud.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 04:28 PM   #6
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Re: Hero 3 audio

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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
You've run that test in a perfectly quiet room?
You plan on recording a perfectly quite room? The Hero 3 audio during actual action (i use it for motorsports mainly) sounds great, MUCH better than Hero 1 + 2. This is with no mics/add ons.
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Old February 2nd, 2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Yes, I'll be using it for a backpacking trip, traveling at 2 mph, not 200 mph!
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Old February 8th, 2013, 01:55 AM   #8
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Do you think that the sound recorded to Hero 3 using a cheap lavalier will help? I have ordered one and want to use it for getting some footage as well as natural sounds (wildlife) when placed close to the subject.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:04 AM   #9
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Update...I just lodged a formal complaint with GoPro's customer service. I explained to them that, no matter what mic I used (and I used a range of consumer to pro including Sony's AW3 bluetooth to Sony's condenser ECM-55 to Shure's dynamic SM-57)...no matter the mic, I still could hear a low level static or "rumbling" underneath my talking at a normal (not shouting) voice level at a normal distance (sometimes "eating the mic" but sometimes holding the mic a few feet away).
This is disappointing because I heard the same static a year ago while testing the Hero 2. I complained about it then but got no answer.
I was hoping the Hero 3's higher sampling rate would have addressed the issue.

Some folks who don't care that much about clean audio won't hear this static I'm talking about. They'll think, "hey, I hear the voice and that's good enough." Nor will folks who play their audio back in tiny computer speakers (altho' I can hear this even using the tiny mini-speaker in the LCD touch screen).
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Old February 8th, 2013, 11:37 AM   #10
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Re: Hero 3 audio

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Originally Posted by Lynne Whelden View Post
Nor will folks who play their audio back in tiny computer speakers (altho' I can hear this even using the tiny mini-speaker in the LCD touch screen).
But people who expect a tiny camera to record good audio will be disappointed too. I mean even a fairly large Zoom H2N that is specifically designed for audio recording has fairly lousy preamps.

Truthfully, I dont think the GoPro was designed with good audio in mind; you might be expecting too much from it in that capacity.

It was designed as a crash-cam; most people just use the audio as a reference.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 05:46 PM   #11
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Re: Hero 3 audio

If that was true, then why would GoPro even bother to offer an external mic cable?

Personally, I think what's going on is cross-talk or electronic inference from the internal components. It has that sort of "random static" nature to it. If this is the case, it wouldn't be the first time David Neuman, the chief engineer with GoPro, has managed to ignore such an important link in the audio chain. Back in the 90s David was with Applied Magic. They made an "editing appliance" called Screen Play, a proprietory black box meant to be a competitor to the venerable Casablanca editing box.
I bought one. Unfortunately the audio channels (it had two, right and left) talked to each other. When you muted the one, you could hear the other channel bleeding through. And that's what came out of the outputs! A messy system.

My hunch is that GoPro cameras suffer from the same lack of isolation of the audio channels from other components on the card. But they aren't willing to admit it. And thankfully, most of their customers adopt your attitude, "hey, it's a cheap camera...wadaya expect?"
Clean audio without static, that's all. Even hiss I could live with. But static makes it sound like there's always an imminent thunder storm just over the horizon.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:34 PM   #12
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Lynne, as has been pointed out to you many times, it's a sports action camera design with the focus on visuals. Cramming that much electronics into a such a tiny package and expecting audio to rival that of dedicated audio devices costing $500+ is being unrealistic, just use a dedicated audio recorder and your choice of mic.

This is what it excels at, awesome audio from the onboard mic with open back door and perfectly suited to the GoPro internal auto gain control. You can hear that V8 Torana coming from 1km away it the 2nd video and the auto gain compensates perfectly as it approaches and passes. It ain't gunna do the same for birds tweeting in the background.

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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:52 PM   #13
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Re: Hero 3 audio

BTW, you can totally remove all static and unwanted noise using Izotope RX2 in post and have no affect on the wanted audio. Just sample the static in the program apply it to the clip and all static is gone, you can even apply that sample to the entire shoot from that day.

I use it heaps for removing ceiling fan, wind noises passing over the mic, planes going overhead during interviews, static caused by dirty mic socket connections during interviews etc.

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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:18 PM   #14
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Re: Hero 3 audio

Yes, I have complained about static for a long while!

But the question I'd like GoPro to answer is "Why offer an external mic cable if adding better quality external mics still have to contend with internally generated static?"

And given the random, intermittent nature of the static (it's like a crackle) I wonder whether any software program could sample it accurately. I mean, it's not like a constant hum like the above example. But until GoPro admits to this issue, it's nice to know there are secondary solutions. But who today, individual or company, admits to any faults? Rarely witnessed and when it happens, it's usually buried in self-defensive language propping themselves up all the while.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 10:56 PM   #15
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Re: Hero 3 audio

They don't have to admit anything, the ext mic connection is just that, an option to use an external mic for mostly mic placement reasons, not guaranteed better audio record quality.

The static from loose mic connections is random also, I have no problems removing it from interview footage or general background ambience.
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