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-   -   GL2 External Mic issues (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-gl-series-dv-camcorders/75173-gl2-external-mic-issues.html)

Rick Bruns September 9th, 2006 04:33 PM

GL2 External Mic issues
Hi all. I'm new to the forum, and after looking for why I am having a problem with my GL2, I stumbled across this site. I've called Canon several times, but continue to have problems, so hopefully someone here can help me out.

I am part of a crew that video tapes/does play by play for a local HS football team, and we used a GL1 with an Anchor Audio Portacom system for years. It's a great setup. The school decided that they would like another system, so a local business donated the money and we purchased a GL2 and another Anchor Audio Portacom system last fall. Thought I had the cat by the tail. We finished last season out with the GL1 setup, and the new GL2 was used to tape basketball games, but had no play by play, so the head sets were never used. Last weekend, we had our first HS game and I hooked up the GL2 and new headsets. To give a description of what we have, it is 3 head sets that go to a mixer, and then a cable that runs from the mixer to the camera that plugs into the mic jack towards the front. I made the assumption that everything worked fine and we did the game. When I burned the game to a DVD the next AM, there was no audio. I called Canon and they suggested that I switch the camera to 12 bit (it's back at 16 bit), which I did, set up the system and only plugged in 1 of the headsets. Lo and behold, I had audio on the tape and assumed all was well. Not the case. At our game last night, I plugged in all 3 headsets and had no sound. When only 1 headset was plugged in, it worked fine, but the second that I plugged the second headset in, the audio went dead. We shared a headset and got through the game, but there is about $4500 tied up in equipment that isn't working properly.

Today, I set the whole system up and plugged the GL1 to the new mixer to see if it was the mixer or the camera. Everything worked great.The GL2 still only worked with 1 headset.

Do I have a problem with my mixer, or do I have a problem with my camera set up? Just looking for any assistance. Thanks in advance. I'm pulling out what little hair I have left.

Rob Wilson September 9th, 2006 11:14 PM


What output are you connecting to on the mixer?

What kind of audio levels do you have when just one headset is connected?

Is the camera being operated on battery or AC power?

Rick Bruns September 10th, 2006 07:59 AM


It's a male connector that plugs into the camera and has a connector that plugs into the mixer. I don't know if it is stereo or not. In watching the bars on the side of the camera Fri. night, I could see both the external mic on top of the camera and the mic that we were using to call the game were working. When we were not talking, the top bar was bouncing with external crowd noise and things like that. When we talked, the the bottom bar was bouncing. The levels were very strong. I don't think that it was supposed to work that way.

When I had the single headset, it worked the way I expected it to, with both bars working, almost in a stereo mode and I was able to adjust sound with the manual adjustment on the camera. I did this earlier last week in my shop, and there was little to no external noise.

We were also using AC power.


Rob Wilson September 10th, 2006 09:44 AM


I was curious to know what kind of levels are coming out of your mixer. Are you connected to a line out or a mic out? From your description, sounds like it could be a line out. If so, I'd recommend an adapter box or an inline adapter that knocks line down to mic level.

Rick Bruns September 10th, 2006 10:38 AM


I'm not that audio savy (in fact, I know enough to be dangerous), but the mixer has 4 ports on it. The ports are all female and the headsets have male jacks that plug into the mixer. It's a jack that is about 2.5" long and the diameter of a nickel. The jack that goes to the camera has the same end as the headphone jacks, with the exception of the small male jack that plugs into the camera. I guess that I am not sure what type of line we have coming out of the mixer, but what you said could be the issue. We have a Radio Shack in town and I can check with them about this. They haven't been real helpful in the past. I'm just perplexed becasue it is the identical setup as we had with the GL1 and that works fine.

I should look at the spec sheet with the headsets and see what that says.

Mike Donley September 10th, 2006 12:07 PM

One difference
One major difference between the GL1 and the GL2 is that the GL2 can be set on manual audio. There is a slider button on the side of the GL2. Is it set on auto or manual? In manual, the volume can be adjusted with the two wheels protruding from the back of the GL2, one for left and one for right.

I'm not sure this would have anything to do with your problem, since your equipment setup seems to work with one headphone?

David Ennis September 10th, 2006 03:15 PM

1. Exactly which model of the Anchor Audio Portacom do you have?

2. I don't understand about the "mic that we were using to call the game." Doesn't each headset have a mic, so any one of three people can comment?

3. What was the external mic on top the camera plugged into? You can only plug one thing into the camera's mic jack, and that was the Portacom, right?

Rick Bruns September 10th, 2006 04:31 PM



Above is the system that we are currently using. It is the Portacom 40.

You are correct about the mic situation (with the exception of this past weekend when we only had 1 mic that worked). We can have up to 3 sets of headphones going at the same time. We connect the Portacom system to the camera from the last port that is open on the mixer. Our mixer is the PC-100.

Rob Wilson September 10th, 2006 06:33 PM


It appears then that you are using an XLR (3 pin round, size of a nickel) connector on the PC-100 and the other end of the cable has a 1/8" jack for your mic input on the GL2. If so, I'm guessing the audio would be pretty hot since it would be "headphone" level (not line or mic). Still can't see why it works with one headset connected but not more. Have you tried using different jacks for the cam/headphones?

Rick Bruns September 10th, 2006 07:22 PM

I guess that I made the assumption that everything should work just like it did on the GL1. When I stopped into Radio Shack the other day, they didn't have an answer as to why it didn't work. I do have an e-mail into Anchor Audio to see if there is a compatability problem with the GL2. When we have all the headsets plugged in, we can hear each other. Are there other male ends that I should have either into the camera or into the mixer?

Is there a setting that I should maybe change in the GL2? I'm using the factory settings for the most part.

Don Palomaki September 11th, 2006 03:46 AM

The brochure onthe websitrte is not very helpful, is there a user manual on-line somewhere for the sound system?

Something strange is going on. Are the GL1 connection (that works with 1 or 3 mics) and Gl2 connection (taht works only wiht 1 mic) to the system exactly the same?

You said that you are getting both ambient sound from the built-in MIC and sound from a mic pluggd intothe GL2 mic jack at the same time? That sounds a bit surprising to me, as though the mini-phone plug that goes in to the mic jack on the GL2 is only partly inserted, and that would be a unstable (audio-wise) configuration. If I understand the GL2 sound corrctly, if it is fully inerted, the built-in mic should disconnect and what ever signal is on the external mic cable left and right would be recorded to left an right channels..

Rick Bruns September 11th, 2006 01:32 PM

One of the things that I noticed when I played the DVD yesterday was that there was only audio on one of the channels. I can't remember if I had it set on Auto or Manual, and where the settings were for that matter, but that could have been one of the issues with the recording.

Mike Donley September 11th, 2006 04:15 PM

Try a mono 1/8 cable?
Are you using a 1/8 stereo cable into the GL2. That is what I would normally expect to use. But I once had trouble with connecting a wireless mic to a GL1. I had a cable with XLR on one end (into the wireless receiver) and 1/8 stereo on the other end into the GL1. On some playback systems I got very poor muted sound. Something like Linus (from Peanuts) playing his little piano. I then tried a cable which was 1/8 mono into the GL1 and that worked perfectly.

David Ennis September 11th, 2006 05:10 PM

This is a a very unconventional setup. All four XLR connectors on the PC-100 are designed for full duplex headsets, so you're plugging the camera into a connecter designed for a two-way headset. The XLR cable must be being used in unbalanced 2 channel mode (one channel for signal going into the headset phones and one channel for the signal coming out of the headset mic) rather than balanced single channel mode.

The only scenario I can think of for what happens with the two different camcorders would be if the GL2 did have only one channel turned up AND if the internal electronics of the PC-100 is such that it changes which channel is used for output and which is used for input when a second headset is plugged in. Then the GL2 would have audio go off an on when you plugged and unplugged a second headset, while the GL1 would still have audio but that audio would switch back and forth between left and right. With both of the GL2's channel controls turned up it should behave like the GL1

There is also the issue of the PC-100 sending out 22 volts DC to the camcorder, and the issue of the output being at line level, so I don't know why this setup works for you at all 8>)

Don Palomaki September 11th, 2006 05:26 PM

If the rig is sending 22 VDC to the GL2, you could be latching up the preamps.

But the most likely issue for the difference between the 1 and 2 is that the plug was not fully inserted, or if inserted, it behaved oddly (the ambient sound from the built-in mic).

Connecting a simple XLR-to-TRS adapter to the mic input from a balanced source will result in roughly equal but out-of-phase signals on the left and right channel, which will tend cancel if played on a mono system.

However, the PC-100 system is a special purpose device, and without full documentatoin it is difficult to predict what is going on.

Since this is at a highschool, perhaps the AV guru (if there is one) at the school might be able to help. Connect to the GL2 the thing that would be connected to a PA system mic input, but if it is balanced output, run it through a balanced -to-unbalanced converter. having invested $2K+ in the headsets, spending an additonal $100 or so for signal conversion stuff, etc, makes sense.

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