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Old November 28th, 2019, 08:57 AM   #1
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FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

I own the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 and recently purchased an external condenser mic (Tascam TM-2X) to get better audio.

A few nights ago, I did a test recording at church involving a few kids practicing their Christmas program. Here are a few clips strung together on Vimeo:


What is the horrible buzzing noise that is ruining the recording?

Note that I recorded 6 or 7 clips ranging from 3 to 10 minutes and this only happened on two of the clips.

I was using my iPhone X connected by WiFi to monitor the video and zoom in and out. The church has fluorescent lighting. A number of cellphones would have been present in the building (Verizon mostly because no one else covers our area very well).

Would a ferrite core sound suppressor on the mic cable work?

Are there any mic settings on the camera that would help?

Some of my research suggests the problem arises because the Tascam doesn't have its own power supply but rather depends on power coming from the camera's 3.5 mm mic port. Could this be the issue? If so, I could probably send this mic back to Amazon and get something like the Rode VideoMic instead. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.
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Old November 29th, 2019, 04:04 AM   #2
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

Hi Edward,

Glad to see you have posted this in the FZ1000 forum where you should get more replies.

Following on from the other thread, I hadn't realised that the mic relies on power from the camera, and had assumed it was a passive mic. You could well be right that this is causing the problem, but I don't know whether the camera supplies voltage on the mic terminal or not as I use passive mics. I must say that on my 3 FZ1000s I have never had that sort of audio problem.

Before returning the mic, I would suggest trying to record without using the iPhone as a monitor, in case there is any interference from that, and also try recording in a totally different location to rule out other airborne interference.

Roger
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Old November 29th, 2019, 07:14 AM   #3
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

RF data bursts - usually from Cellphone repeaters, not quite the same sound as phones, but they can do this if they are a long way from the local cell tower and are poling on high power hoping to get into the nearest cell. The repetitive motorboat tick tick sound is the key.

However - it can also be caused by digital portable radio systems, which are everywhere now. DMR and the Icom/kenwood variants also cause these issues. I have a Motorola that I cannot have near my camera because it causes a dreadful racket - and not only when being spoken into - data bursts at random times.

I'd also suspect the camera was powered from DC, as the mains cables and low voltage to the camera cables are a nice easy source into the box. Mic cables (if balanced) tend to cancel out this kind of noise. Torroids on the DC cable might help a bit.
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Old November 30th, 2019, 06:12 AM   #4
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

Thank you, Paul. The camera was running off battery power.

By "cell repeater" do you mean a signal booster? The church doesn't have one of those, but the parsonage next door does. Without it they have extremely poor cell signal.

There would also have been a number of cell phones in the building, including my iPhone X.

I am looking at borrowing a Zoom H5 and recording to its flash memory as well as using either the camera's onboard mic or an Azden shotgun mic I've been using for years and never had a problem with this kind of noise interference. Hopefully I can sync the audio from the H5 in Final Cut.
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Old December 2nd, 2019, 12:13 PM   #5
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

Sorry - UK-US terminology. Yes - those signal boosters (illegal here) can be quite unpleasant things. If you get full signal on your phone then a poorly designed coverage increaser can leak into things. Usually via being picked up on a cable and then into the camera. If you get this noise with the camera on battery power and no mic or other cables attached then sadly, it could be a fault. The signal stength to cause this as leakage means you must be close to the source. However, a fault condition could simply be picking up internal data bus noise. Much rarer, but can happen.
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Old December 5th, 2019, 06:20 AM   #6
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

I'm sending the Tascam back to Amazon today.

For the recording of the Christmas program I have borrowed a friend's Zoom H5 and have mounted it to the FZ1000. I have a mini cable from the H5's line out to the camera's line in (mic) port. I've turned the H5's line out signal to -30db and the camera's input down to -12db.

I'm also recording an audio track to the SD card as a backup that I can sync with the video in Final Cut if need be.

My only question concerns the FZ1000's mic level limiter. Should this be set to off or on for best results?
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Old December 5th, 2019, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

It helps stop you pushing the level when you cannot control the audio manually. I tend to leave my one on as it comes in and saves bacon on my Jvc which is easy to over drive!
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Old December 5th, 2019, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: FZ1000 / Tascam TM-2X Buzzing Noise Problem

OK. Well since I do have control of the audio, I think I'll leave that off so that it's not artificially altering the levels.
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