Z1 Analog Capture - Audio Problem at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #1
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Z1 Analog Capture - Audio Problem

Hi, I am trying to capture analog (video8) tapes from an old camcorder with my Z1. I've decided to use my Z1 instead of a capture card because it provides better quality and is less likely to drop frames. I currently have it set up as in the manual, my a/v cable's yellow and white plugs are connected to my old camcorder (which only has mono audio) and the other end of the cable is plugged into my audio/video jack on the Z1. The video itself records flawlessly onto tape, however, I am experiencing terrible audio quality. It is very choppy, keeps cutting on and off. I've already played the tape back on my old camcorder and it does not do this. Also, when I tried using a capture card, the audio wasn't choppy then either. So, I think it is a problem with the way the Z1 is playing back the audio signal. I've tried playing with the settings in the audio menu, however, nothing I do seems to work. If anyone has any suggestions on how to fix this problem, help would be greatly appreciated (I'd hate to have to capture video and audio separately, as the process would take twice as long).
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Old May 6th, 2007, 09:25 PM   #2
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At a wild guess, you might need to consider getting a mono to stereo adaptor to fit to the mono end of your audio leads.

Do you have the Z1 audio gain on manual or automatic settings?

The chopping you describe sounds like the level might be a bit high and needs to be lowered to avoid clipping.

Audio from your Z1 through earpohones is not very loud so if you are simply ear matching the levels through the phones you may be going way too high.

The status check button on the Z1 should give you an audio levels display.

The analogue A/V lead you are using. It is the one which came with the Z1?

Don't pay too much heed to my comments as it has been a good while since I read through the book.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 11:23 PM   #3
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Yeah, I did check the audio levels on the Z1 and the volume coming in is almost peaked, it is very loud. I've tried manual and automatic audio gain and it is still clipping. I also tried lowering the audio gain (even setting it to 0), but it still peaks and clips. I looked for a way to adjust the audio output on my old camcorder, but it looks like there is no way of doing that. The cable I am using is the one that came with my camera, but I tried another one for the hell of it and it still wouldn't work. Hmm, I'm starting to think I'll have to capture my video with my z1 and then capture the audio separately with my card.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #4
 
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you may want to see what's going on with the menu-adjusted trims in the Audio menu. It won't affect the outputs, but does affect the input.
Also, are you outputting at 2v or 1v?
Additionally, if it plays back clean from the camera, it's likely going into the computer clean, but it might be a line/mic mismatch at the sound card.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 09:02 AM   #5
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Strange ehough, it sounds (pun intended) like a line input feeding into a mike input... strange because the input IS line level, you can't even adjust it (you can only adjust input audio levels when the camera is in record mode, and that refers to the XLRs) - when you use your A/V cable, the camera is set to use line level audio inputs.

I would start troubleshooting by hooking up the old camera to an amplifier (tuner) to see if the outgoing level is not too high, and also feeding the Z1 with another line level audio signal - this way you will be able to determine which side is causing the problem: either the old camera outputting a very high level audio or the Z1 over-amplifying it. Also, I've seen some VCRs with an audio output level potentiometer, maybe you have one of those on your old video8?
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Old May 7th, 2007, 01:10 PM   #6
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Well, I tried testing a VHS on my VCR today and it still clipped the audio. I listened to the sound and, similar to the video8 tapes, the audio is not choppy in the original version.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Strange ehough, it sounds (pun intended) like a line input feeding into a mike input... strange because the input IS line level, you can't even adjust it (you can only adjust input audio levels when the camera is in record mode, and that refers to the XLRs) - when you use your A/V cable, the camera is set to use line level audio inputs.

That is where I thought this was heading too. I would check the audio settings in the audio menu. I had a sound board guy change line to mic when he switched from the house music to the live music and not tell me once--troubleshooting on the fly.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:18 PM   #8
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Thanks guys, I've been messing with different settings in the audio menu and I haven't had any success so far. I'll post my settings later and maybe someone here can put me on the right track.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #9
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It's deep in there.
hit the menu button, and under Audio Set scroll down to XLR Set, the scroll down to Input 1 Level, and Input 2 Level. This is where you would set the camera for Mic or Line level.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #10
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Jeff, Brandon is not using the camera in record mode, he is just digitizing the incoming a/v signal, so his camera is in playback/VCR mode.

The settings you mention refer to recording.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 10:10 AM   #11
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Ahh....I understood what he was saying, but not putting it together.
Are there any audio controls in VCR mode then ? The menu for audio is still available in VCR mode.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #12
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I am pretty sure there is no level adjustment in VCR mode, but let me check - I'll get back with you.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #13
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Guys, like Ervin said, I don't think XLR audio settings affect the a/v signal. Anyway, here are my current settings:

Audio Moni: Ch1+Ch2
Audio Mix: Ch1, Ch2
Audio Output: 2Vrms
Audio Mode: FS48K
Audio Lock: Unlock Mode
Audio Limit: Off
Mic NR: Off
Mic Select: Internal Mic

- I have already tried manual and automatic settings for the channels with no luck. I also tried switching my mic settings to XLR and then changing the channels to line rather than mic but it didn't help either.

Would it be possible for someone else to test their Z1 with analog video and see if they're getting the same results as me? I've tested various 8mm and VHS tapes and they all have given me the same results. I wonder if I am simply overlooking some problem or if all Z1 models are like this?
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Old May 15th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #14
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Confirmed: settings in audio refer to recording only, and not to playback/pass-through.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #15
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For analogue sources such as Hi8 or VHS a good A->D converter such as the ADVC 300 will probably do better than the Z1 which lacks a TBC.
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