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Old June 6th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #1
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External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Hello!

I'm just about to purchase a Sony VG20 for solo documentary shooting, but I'm still not sure about the sound options of this camera.

Will it be possible to connect both my Sennheiser EW100 wireless mic AND my Rode VideoMic Pro at the same time, using a mini jack splitter like this?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wired--up-Plated-3-5mm-Splitter-Adapter/dp/B001D87Y48/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1339026607&sr=8-12
I'm not interested in getting either beachteck or juicedlink adaptors, since I want to keep it as simple as possible.

Thanks,
Emil
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Old June 7th, 2012, 08:48 AM   #2
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

You can only record one of them at a time, why not just unplug the Rode and plug in the wireless receiver when you need to use it? A 3.5mm plug doesn't produce the cleanest audio around, I personally wouldn't add anything to the signal chain that could potentially degrade the audio any further. Its a fragile connection as well - that plug plus two devices plugged into it will put a lot of stress on the connections. I kept a Zoom H1 attached to my Sennheiser receiver in a small waist pack if shooting handheld or mounted to my tripod/monopod so I didn't have to mess with switching connections.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 11:21 AM   #3
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Problem is you can't control level on independent channels being fed in.

I think best way to go with this camera is the way we did it with the FX1. Use a Beachtec XLR adapter, even a dumb one, without, power, if your mics provide their own power. Then you have some control over levels to balance them. I have shot my VG20 in this manner, and using an adapter provides you with a balanced imput signal that is plenty clean, even though it is utlimately fed to the camera by the mini plug connection from the XLR adapter.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Okay, that sounds reasonable. Thanks to both of you.

@Chris: Can you recommend a "dumb" & cheap beachtech adaptor for the VG20?
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Old June 7th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #5
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

There is nothing wrong or poor about a miniplug -- it is long unbalanced wire runs that are an issue. You can run a hundred feet of balanced, convert it to miniplug and run three feet of unbalanced miniplug and you are fine.

If you are recording two mono sources, and you want to send them into the VG20 via a stereo miniplug, the only issues will be levels -- you only have one, so both mics have to be the same -- and wire runs for the corded mic. Unbalanced mic lines are only good for short distances, so either convert before the long run and convert back after .... or stick to very short wire runs. That said a camera top mic with a 12" line is absolutely fine, so too is a similar line from your wireless receiver.

I used a Studio One balanced to miniplug convertor for years with a Sony VX-1000, with a variety of mics. Avoid long runs with unbalanced lines, and you'll be fine.

Cheers,
GB
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Old June 7th, 2012, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

I have the BeachtTek DXA- 4 for about ten years now. Still solid. But it is replaced with another adapter at Beachtek.

I also have the Juiced Link powered two XLR adapter, That one is great because it provides phantom power and has a good preamp on board too.
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Old June 8th, 2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Also remember that the 20 has one of the best built-in mics around - I haven't had a camera with as good a mic since the Canon XL1.

Of course, I also use a Tascam DR40 and shotgun mic for important shoots as well - but I'm still being surprised by the good sound the camera mic can capture.

Better then a dang DSLR in any event.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 12:06 PM   #8
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Thanks a lot for all the answers!

One last question: I also have a Sennheiser ME66 shot gun mic. Can I use that one as well - without beachteck or juicedlink adaptors?
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Old June 10th, 2012, 04:35 PM   #9
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Agree absolutely with John Vincent. The onboard mic works very well. On a few occasions I've ended up favouring it in post over the short shotgun feed into my H4n.
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Old June 10th, 2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emil Langballe View Post
Will it be possible to connect both my Sennheiser EW100 wireless mic AND my Rode VideoMic Pro at the same time, using a mini jack splitter like this?

Wired--up Gold Plated 3.5mm Jack Splitter Adapter: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
No, the item you have linked to above is a stereo to dual stereo splitter. It is useful for splitting a single stereo output to feed two separate recording devices. What you need is a dual mono to stereo Y-cable such as

Hosa YMM 261 Audio Y-Cable, Stereo 1/8" Male to Dual Mono 1/8" Female, 6" | Full Compass

Note that any Y-cable that is dual mono to stereo will work, whereas plugging a stereo to dual stereo splitter in backwords could result in damage to one of the microphones.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 06:02 AM   #11
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Ok thanks!

I also have a Sennheiser ME66 shot gun mic. Can I use that with the VG20 with this cable?

XLR Cables
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Old June 11th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #12
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Sorry no power from the VG 20 for Phantom Condesor Mics. They need 48 Volt 2-10 mA and SONY VG 20 delivers only Plugin Power 2.5 Volt 1 mA on the Mic 3.5 mm Minijack for Non Professional Mics
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Old June 11th, 2012, 05:46 PM   #13
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

But my ME66 is with a K6 power module which can hold an optional AA battery.

Will that solution work with the VG20?
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Old June 11th, 2012, 06:10 PM   #14
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Yes but you loose 1/2 Mic Gain because converting Mic Output symmetric to asymetric
is dumping the other half off the Mic energy...
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Old June 11th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #15
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Re: External microphones on the VG20 - what are the options?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Werner Graf View Post
Yes but you loose 1/2 Mic Gain because converting Mic Output symmetric to asymetric is dumping the other half off the Mic energy...
Use an matching transformer to preserve the signal and noise cancellation properties of balanced XLR cable runs.

Hosa MIT 156 Mic Transformer, XLR Female LO-Z to 1/8" Male HI-Z | Full Compass

Last edited by Eric Olson; June 12th, 2012 at 03:33 PM.
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