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Sony HVR-Z5 / HDR-FX1000
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CMOS HDV camcorder.


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Old September 19th, 2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Help: Z5 audio issues?

I'm attempting to troubleshoot some audio problems that have affected the last three shoots with my Z5. This problem has to do with phantom power, and low mic levels/background hiss.

I have three different mics that require phantom power - an Audio Technical AT-897 shotgun, an AT-899 wired lav, and a CAD Audio large diaphram side address mic that I use for stage productions. The two AT mics accept a AA battery for internal power.

Here's the problem: any powered mic (either battery or using the camera's +48v phantom power) exhibits weak output, lots of background noise, and a very thin audio signal - tinny with no dynamics. I've tried boosting the channel gain (+6db), and I've tried using the mics with and without phantom power turned on.

However, after the camera has been running for about 30 minutes, there is a slowly building static crackle that lasts for about 10 seconds, then the noise goes away and the mic functions properly.

Does anyone have a clue what might be causing this? I've ruled out a bad mic (it happens with three). Any help is appreciated - thanks!

Sam
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Old September 20th, 2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

Does this problem happen on both channels? Was the audio ok before the last 3 shoots?
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Old September 20th, 2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

Yes, both channels are affected although the static I described was in channel 1 only. Honestly, I still need to break out the kit and recreate the same setup to do further troubleshooting.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #4
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

From the symptoms you described so far, it sounds like your phantom power circuit went bad. I hope I'm wrong, and that you can narrow the problem through more troubleshooting! If I am right though, you need to send in the camera to Sony.
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Old September 24th, 2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

Good news, I set up the camera with the mics again and was able to isolate an XLR cable as the faulty component. I kinda thought they either worked or they didn't - but in this case, it was faulty and working at the same time. Problem solved!
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Old September 25th, 2012, 08:07 PM   #6
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

I'm glad it wasn't your camera, it could have been costly! If you open up that faulty cable connector, you'll probably find the wire ends frayed. It can be fixed with solder and shrink wrap tubing.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

I had a similar problem, only to find out that the cables were faulty. what a relief
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Old October 6th, 2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

it's worth taking acre of your cables:

Video: How to Roll Audio Cables to Prevent Tangles | eHow.com
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Old October 6th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

Another way for super long cable runs is to can coil them in a figure 8 on the ground.
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Old October 6th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

what is the maximum length for audio cables.

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Old October 6th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stelios Christofides View Post
what is the maximum length for audio cables.

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I've run over 300 feet without issues. HOWEVER, it is not something I like doing but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.
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Old October 7th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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Re: Help: Z5 audio issues?

I don't know what the maximum is, but I've seen audio cables running from the front of a theater stage all the way to the mixing booth which is in back of the house, which is several hundred feet.
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