Help!! Directional Mic gone during short film shoot at DVinfo.net

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Old January 21st, 2006, 10:36 PM   #1
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Help!! Directional Mic gone during short film shoot

Hi!! Weve just shot a student short film with my newly bought PDX10, the night shots look great thanks to our blondes (1500w). The problem: at the very end of the shoot, our directional microphone (the one that comes with the camera) stopped working, we werent getting any sound from it weve tried turning up the audio level and there seems to be no physical damage what so ever to the shotgun mic or the XLR attachment. We do use a 15m XLR extension cable between the camera and the microphone for the boom pole though.
The in-camera microphone still works perfect.

We have another shoot coming up soon and to us film students, directional microphones are a must.
If you could contribute to any one of these questions, I would appreciate it so much.

1. What could be the problem? Has anyone had a similar experience?

2. What would be a way for us to use the directional mic without the external XLR attachment?

3. Is there a connector or a converter which would allow us to plug in the XLR Directional Microphone to the video / audio jack on the side of the PDX?

4. If we do put in the directional microphone into the video / audio jack, is there a way to turn off the in-camera microphone so that we dont catch unwanted ambient sound?

Thank you.
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Old January 21st, 2006, 10:55 PM   #2
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My guess is the XLR convertor which slides in the hot shoe at the top of the camera is lose. Just give it a good push to make sure the connections are good.
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Old January 22nd, 2006, 11:53 PM   #3
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That is one tough connector. You need to push steadily, and with much force, to hear the "snap" when it locks in place. If in doubt, take it all the way off and then put it back on.

Beyond that, grab a freinds mic and test the camera with theirs. Be aware that you need to have the Phantom power switch on for some mics. +48v and all that.

Sean
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Old January 24th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #4
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Damn it! I rang up the nearest sony authorised service centre and they told me that it will cost $110 just to have a look at what's wrong and will cost more for labour and materials for the repairs.

There's gotta be a cheaper way to get the XLR mic working again.

I can't imagine how much it will cost to get my tape head redone when it's time to do so.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #5
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Have you tried another mic? Have you removed then reseated the adapter? Did you check for bent pins on the adapter when you removed it? Did you make sure the pahntom power was in the right position? Have you tried a cheap mic on the other mic input connection (1/8" connector)?

Sean
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Old January 27th, 2006, 07:17 AM   #6
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There doesn't seem to be any bent pins on the adapter though there seem to be some pins on the adapter which seem shorter than others.

How do I check if the phantom power is in the right position?

I'll go to my friend's place tommorow and try on a different XLR mic, he also has 1/8' mics as well, I'll try those as well.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #7
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Let us know how the test turns out. I think there is a +48v switch setting on the adapter itself. If you don't have phantom power to the mic, it's going to be dead.

Keep us informed.

Sean
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 02:00 AM   #8
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My checklist would be :-

check the extension lead for faulty joints.

cycle the "Line" "Att" "Mic" switches and the "Phantom On/off" switches for both channels back and forth several times with the camera battery removed, then reset them where they should be.

(These look like consumer appliance slide switches which are known to get gritty and resistive inside. Bits of grass or sand can get in the guides in the mixer case and stop the little switch handle from going all the way it should.

If these little handles get a bad knock from carrying or dropping the camera, the conductive follower inside the switch can be forced out the bottom of the switch body and lose contact.

There's only pairs of little folding tangs in the metal frame of the switch body which hold the conductive follower in place. It is easy to know if they are damaged as the little handle will be furthur inside the body of the switch than it should be and also very loose and wobbly in the on-off directions.)

Movement shoud clear away any dust. If the switches move okay, refit your camera battery and then try the camera again.


The pins in XLR connectors and the holes they fit into on the matching sockets become grubby. Again I would suspect the extension lead you have.
Try cleaning these with a cotton tip dipped in alcohol.


If there is a short in the extension lead or in the mike itself, the phantom power from the camera may become overwhelmed or shorted out. If this fault is present in the cable, then your test should find it out.

If the XLR connectors get wet inside, they can stay that way for a long time. a partial short through dampness may also overwhelm you camera's phantom power.

If your microphone is also able to carry its own internal battery like the Sony C-74 or C-76, then leaving this in the holder might also cause problem. The little black mikes which come with the PD150 and I think the PDX10, as far as I know, do not have internal batteries.


The camera phantom power itself may have failed. If it has, then the appliances which were connected to it need testing.


If anyone else chimes in with advice, give more weight to that advice than mine as I am only assuming the PDX10 behaves similarly with respect to sound as the PD150 does.
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 08:44 AM   #9
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Looking at mine last night and the switch positions, I am not so sure the original Sony mic needs phantom power. Not near the camera right now. Anyone know for sure?

Sean
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Old March 3rd, 2006, 02:44 AM   #10
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Its the Mic

Checked it with another mic. its only the mic. Thank god.

The adapter is fine, now I've just got to find another mic. I wonder what happened though, the mic is hardly ever used - it was the original Sony one that comes with the PDX.
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