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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 19th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #1
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Headphone monitoring not accurate?

I have an interesting issue with my VX2100. When using a mono external mic and monitoring using headphones I hear a mono signal in L&R through the headphones but when the audio is captured the signal is L only. When using the same headphones but using the internal mics I get a nice stereo signal. Everything is plugged into the camera (no mixers, adapters, etc.). I do own a small passive mixer with three inputs. Input #1 goes to L, input #2 goes to R, and input #3 is centered. Using the same external mic and plugging it into the various inputs of the mixer it all works and monitors perfectly.

Thoughts?
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Old August 19th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #2
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I don't have my VX-2000 handy, but I *think* there's an option somewhere to send one channel to both headphone outputs. This does NOT affect what is recorded on the tape however.

Then again, I might be thinking of the PDX-10 or Z1.... I know at least one of my cameras has this option!
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Old August 19th, 2008, 09:43 PM   #3
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Haven't seen one of the VX series in AGES but the PD series has a switch on the input bridge marked CH1 and CH1&2. The CH1&2 option allowed the signal plugged into the CH1 to appear on both channels and thusly be recorded to tape on both channels. Hope this helps...
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Old August 19th, 2008, 10:19 PM   #4
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I can confirm that there is no such option on the VX2000, and I don't believe it was added to the 2100.

Could you provide some more detail on your setup, Larry? You say everything works correctly when using the passive mixer; is this an XLR mic going into the device, then out a 3.5mm mini cable to the camera? Or does the mic itself have a mini plug?
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Old August 20th, 2008, 04:28 AM   #5
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Your camcorder is probably sending the mono headphone signal to both sides, but recording it only on one track. This could be an advantage in some situations. If you want to record the mono mike signal on both channels, Radio Shack or other electronics stores have adaptor plugs that will split a mono input into two and send it to both sides of the stereo mike jack on the camcorder. These have a mono minijack on one end and a stereo plug on the other.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Martens View Post
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I can confirm that there is no such option on the VX2000, and I don't believe it was added to the 2100.

Could you provide some more detail on your setup, Larry? You say everything works correctly when using the passive mixer; is this an XLR mic going into the device, then out a 3.5mm mini cable to the camera? Or does the mic itself have a mini plug?
It's 100% mini-plugs on mics and mixer and headphones.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald View Post
Your camcorder is probably sending the mono headphone signal to both sides, but recording it only on one track. This could be an advantage in some situations. If you want to record the mono mike signal on both channels, Radio Shack or other electronics stores have adaptor plugs that will split a mono input into two and send it to both sides of the stereo mike jack on the camcorder. These have a mono minijack on one end and a stereo plug on the other.
The issue I have with the behavior is, as the title states, that it isn't accurate. If the mono mic is only being recorded to one channel then that's what I want to hear in the headphones. Technically, having the mono signal only recorded on one channel is no problem for me. A simple "fill left" effect in my NLE fixes it right up.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Haven't seen one of the VX series in AGES but the PD series has a switch on the input bridge marked CH1 and CH1&2. The CH1&2 option allowed the signal plugged into the CH1 to appear on both channels and thusly be recorded to tape on both channels. Hope this helps...
No such menu item that I can find by browsing the menus and searching the manual.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Larry Chapman View Post
It's 100% mini-plugs on mics and mixer and headphones.
I desperately want to say it has something to do with the tip and sleeve plug of the mono microphone not making proper contact when inserted into the tip-ring-sleeve jack on the camera; your experiments with the mixer seem to suggest this, may I ask what kind of mini plug comes out of it? Tip, ring and sleeve, or does it only have the one plastic divider? I should think it's a stereo plug, but I don't want to assume anything, not being an expert.

That theory still doesn't explain the monitoring situation, but I imagine maybe the camera does that by design if it's not receiving two channels. I'm sorry to say I haven't got any mono mics around to test on my own VX2000, however.

I'm no audio guy, though, and beyond those suggestions I'm stumped. If worse comes to worst you may have to cozy up to a mod and ask him to move the thread to the audio forum.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Chapman View Post
The issue I have with the behavior is, as the title states, that it isn't accurate. If the mono mic is only being recorded to one channel then that's what I want to hear in the headphones. Technically, having the mono signal only recorded on one channel is no problem for me. A simple "fill left" effect in my NLE fixes it right up.
Actually, from a semantic point of view, the camera IS doing things correctly. It's your NLE that is CHOOSING to interpret the 2 channels as a stereo pair.

Channels 1 and 2 are NOT Left and Right; they are discrete mono audio channels that can be used to record 2 separate and distinct mono signals (for me Channel one is usually a wired or wireless lav or boom mic while Channel 2 is the on camera mono mic). This "issue" normally arises from people who are unfamiliar with why some of us record two unrelated audio channels that will remain mono throughout post and which we will either choose to discard one or the other or alternately BLEND the two.
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