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Old November 28th, 2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

Hi all,

I just bought a shotgun mic (the RODE Videomic Pro), because I wanted to improve the audio quality (especially in windy situation) of the footage with my Canon 70d and Panasonic FZ300.

However, as I also have the FDR-AX100 as main gear, I tried to use it with the Rode as well.

And here I have a problem: how shall I set the Sony audio gain? It seems I cannot disable, and the choice is Auto or Manual. Problem with Auto is that if I use the Rode amplified signal (+20dB), the audio seems too loud....and without amplification from the mic, the audio is OK but not as clean (you hear some electronic noise due to the amplification of the Sony). Manual works best, but it is not that practical especially when I do not shot static with a tripod...

Has anybody experience in using shotgun microphones (ideally the Rode VideoMic Pro) with the FDR-AX100? Any help?

Best,
Filippo
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Old November 28th, 2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

You now see the selling point of the X70 with XLR and manual audio dials and input level adjustments. Audio isn't just all about XLR. :-(

Paul
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Old November 28th, 2015, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

There is a video I cannot find, about using audio settings with the AX100. It's audio is quirky in Auto when using a shotgun mic. That is what the video talks about, and it's been my unpleasant experience.

First, keep in mind that there are people that disagree with the video and my opinion, but so be it.

If you use an external mic with the Ax100 and run the audio in Auto mode, in my experience, the audio will be distorted and blown out in loud environments. I shot several weddings where this occured. When the DJ played, the audio was unusable.

If you run in Auto mode without an external mic, everything is fine, no distorion, the Auto feature works great.

The video I mention above suggests if you need to use a shotgun with the Ax100, run ONLY in manual, turn the levels ALL the way down, then move back up to where you want to be. If you don't turn the levels all the way down it will distort when it gets loud.

There have been those who have commented on this that say none of this makes sense, I only know what I know based on my experience, and it matched the experience of the reviewer who posted the video regarding this issue.

I use the Rode Videomic pro, and I run it at 0 gain normally, but sometimes raise or lower it if I don't have time to mess with the volume control on the camera.

Best of luck.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; November 28th, 2015 at 01:43 PM.
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Old November 28th, 2015, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

Jeff -
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
There is a video I cannot find, about using audio settings with the AX100. It's audio is quirky in Auto when using a shotgun mic. That is what the video talks about, and it's been my unpleasant experience.
It wouldn’t happen to be this one would it? http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-pxw...n-out-why.html
See Post #4

Oh, and what a coincidence, the guy who posted it, his name is Jeff, too!!!

Jeze, … and I thought I had checked out all the design “features” of this cam before buying it. Haven’t encountered this problem yet but will have to learn about it. By any chance, would the firmware 3.0 have fixed it?
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Old November 29th, 2015, 03:05 AM   #5
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

I use latest firmware...and I seem to agree with comments from Jeff...it means I will need to work in manual...not the most user friendly approach but if there is no another solution (while waiting for some fix with new firmwares....)
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Old November 29th, 2015, 11:15 PM   #6
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

Hey guys!

As an audio engineer I have some incite on this. When using an external mic you want to set the gain so the input signal is about 6db below clipping at the loudest input level. If possible you would want to set the gain levels during a band playing for example. Another option is to run a second mic on channel 2 and set it 12db below your first mic level. This way you can have a better signal for most of your recording and if a short or abnormally loud sound occurs the second mic will capture it allowing you to cut it in during post. Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Greg
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Old December 1st, 2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

Yes, John, it's that one!


Greg, the poster is using AX100, only one mic input.
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Old December 1st, 2015, 11:48 PM   #8
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

The AX100 is one great little cam; however, and unfortunately, audio doesn’t appear to be it’s strongest point. I’ll give Paul Anderegg some credit on this score (Post #2, score 1 for Paul).

For my cam I’ve been using either the Røde SVM in lieu of the built-in mic or using a (now vintage) JuicedLink CX211 pre that has two XLR inputs. The juicedLink provides some control capability that raises the bar on the audio acquisition side. This particular one was used with my JVC HD7 and that cam had nice VU meters; however, I haven’t found the AX100 meters to be quite as useful. Yet.

Earlier today I duplicated Jeff Harper’s audio test link and my cam acts just as shown in the video, and re-read the British (or EU?) “Help Guide”, section/paragraph 120, “Audio Rec Level”. This, and the video, explains a lot, not only what was happening but also the work-around. Frequently during edit I would cut the beginning of the clip for one reason or other, jiggles from pressing the red button, getting the cam aimed properly, or whatever, so the audio “feature” wasn’t noticed. Now I know.

For the money, though, it’s still a good cam. I was really hoping Sony would come out with an X70 upgrade model so I could use this as the B-roll cam. Instead, it appears they’re just going to do a firmware upgrade on the 70. Canon has been awfully quiet so there may be hope yet.

The controls on Paul’s cam would be nice to have. The whole purpose of a camcorder is to have fast access to controls because video is a moving target.
Attached Thumbnails
FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE-screen-shot-2015-12-01-9.20.41-pm.png  

Last edited by John Nantz; December 2nd, 2015 at 05:38 AM. Reason: forgot to add the VU meter picture
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Old December 2nd, 2015, 01:27 AM   #9
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Re: FDR-AX100 + shotgun mic RODE

I use a Sennheiser MKE400 on my A7sII. It is the direct competitor of the Videomic Pro, but it is something like 1/3 the size. I couldn't believe how tiny it was compared to the Rode. Google some reviews and YouTube demos comparing the two, that is how I came to choose mine.

Paul
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