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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old November 1st, 2006, 05:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: London, UK
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Z1 Motor Hum

At some point I was advised to turn off MIC NR on my Z1 because it can cause more problems than it solves. As a result I have been using the camera with a Zenheisser K series mic mounted on the camera and noticed that in relatively quiet situations there is a significant motor whine/hum being picked up. If I put my ear directly on the mic mount itself I can also hear it so it is being transmitted through the camera body. When the camera goes into its energy saving sleep mode and spins down the drum motor the hum stops. If I turn on the MIC NR the whine fades away over about 5 secs presumably as the electronics gets to grips with it and all is then fine except that if I make any kind manual adjustment to the sound levels the whine temporarily returns and then fades again when the adjustment has been completed. Obviously with the mic off the camera there is no problem.
Am I correct in assuming that this is normal behaviour? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 07:52 AM   #2
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You probably need a better (more isolating) mic mount than the stock Sony one. Something like the Rycote Multimount.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 05:29 PM   #3
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It is normal

Yes, I have observed it myself. Technically it's nornal, you have running motors inside and the body transmits that to the mike. I would use the mike mounted only in mobile situations where this noise is covered by the audio you're recording. In quiet (studio) situations I would take the mike off.
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Old November 1st, 2006, 09:43 PM   #4
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You maybe hearing the auto focus motor/gears. I have the FX1, and I can notice a faint, constant noise coming from the body due to the auto-focus when it's on. Of course, when you turn it off the noise is no longer being emitted.
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Old November 4th, 2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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Location: Berkshire, UK
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Originally Posted by Stephen Hayward
Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.
There is a tell-tale DV 'whine' (a sort of high pitched 'inggg!') that can get picked up by a long shotgun too far back in the mount, or a short one like a CS-1 if it's placed too close to the Z1. Tight spaces with hard walls make this worse. I had a nightmare situation where I should have been monitoring audio whilst interviewing, but it was late after a long day. Not even Soundtrack Pro could get rid of it without leaving blotches.

I've noticed some, well, either cross-talk or interference - I can hear fast zooms with a hushed 'ooob!' sound (sorry to get so onamatapaeic) when no mic is even attached to the XLRs, though normal zooming doesn't cause a problem.

Yet when used in anger, have had very good results with Z1 audio.
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