FX-1 On-Board Mic Auto Quiet? at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old February 17th, 2006, 06:06 PM   #1
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FX-1 On-Board Mic Auto Quiet?

Hi All. Just wondering if you other FX-1 users have noticed the on-board mic when set to auto to be a little on the 'too quiet' side. Audio during recordings where the mic is set to auto is very very quiet and so going forward I was planning on setting the mic to manual and around level 7 or 8. I don't want to have to change the level setting up and down during the events i'm filming (wedding ceremonies and receptions) so i'm wondering if 7 or 8 would be a good setting to keep the fx-1 at? When the camera is set to 'Auto', is the manual equivalent to about 5? Either way, when the camera is set to auto, it doesnt seem like it auto adjusts to the sound and the audio is just too quiet. I also don't want to set the audio level too high because in tests (in my home), when setting the manual to 8 or 9, I can hear myself if i take a somewhat deep breath lol.

Regarding what type of sound I want out of the mic during the events...for the ceremony I wanted to the mic to pick up ambient sound and the sound coming out of the church's speaker system. I have a wireless mic recorder set up to record vows and readings seperately. For the reception, I basically just want the on-board camera mic to record the sound coming out of the DJ's speaker system. When set to auto, the on-board camera mic was a bit too quiet when I was about 30 feet or so away from the dj's speakers.

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old February 19th, 2006, 08:31 AM   #2
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Yup! I noticed this too on my Z1 when I first got it. The audio was extremely low. Just disable automatic gain control and use manual audio (this is how you should be running anyway to avoid the pumping that AGC systems often produce).

One option is to get a nice mono mic and feed it to both channels but keep the volume on one channel a little lower. This way if one channel distorts, chances are the lower channel will still have usable audio. If you want your ambient sound to be in stereo then this technique wonít work.

Since you have an FX1, try the Rode Videomic. Itís only $150 and has the 1/8 inch connector that the FX1 uses. Itís a hot mic (volume wise) and will give you much better audio that the on-camera mic that comes with the FX1/Z1.

~jr
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Old February 22nd, 2006, 05:02 PM   #3
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Hi John. Thanks for responding. I guess its a little reassuring that this is a common issue. Well then again with the small number of responses on the different boards i've posted maybe it really isnt that common lol.

But yea after reading around about adding a mic, I purchased a mic a few days back and its the same mic that you mentioned. The Rode VideoMic. I'll have to do some tests with it when it arrives since it is 'directional'.

I have a 2nd Fx1 that I will be leave recording unattended so I don't know yet what i'll do about the recording level for that camera. I'm figuring now that I may be better off leaving the camera to record at auto and then just bump up the volume in post production. I've been told its better to pump it up in post rather than having a 'noisy' recording and trying to filter out the unwanted sound.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 07:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopher Cruz
I've been told its better to pump it up in post rather than having a 'noisy' recording and trying to filter out the unwanted sound.
This is true. Once you overdrive any link in the audio chain you will get clipping which is very hard to fix. It is important, however, to get a good signal. The noise floor is constant so as you boost lower signals you will boost the noise along with it. Having a hotter signal means less noise because the signal is further above the constant noise. Get a good noise reduction plug-in for your NLE like BIAS Sound Soap 2 or Sony Noise Reduction so you can filter out any noise when you boost the signal and you should be OK.

~jr
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Old February 25th, 2006, 12:14 AM   #5
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Hello

I hope it's OK to post links to other boards but I thought it better than to clutter up this board by constantly repeating messages.

Have a look at this thread (particularly my solution at the end detailing what I call 'directional stereo')!

http://www.sonyhdvinfo.com/showthread.php?t=3534

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Dale.
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