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Author Topic: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3  (Read 2627 times)

RobPan

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Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:59:37 AM »
The 26th I will have to record a dance performance with live (gamelan) music and I want to have excellent sound quality.
But when I attatch an external mike to the camera, the sound is very very soft (also when I set the audio recording level to a high position).

Using the internal mike does not have this problem, and using the same external mike (Sony ECM-MS957, impedance 600W, a stereo electret mike) on my Tascam DR-100 the sound recording level is just fine.

What causes the problem and what can I do to correct it?

Kind regards,

RobPan.



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Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:59:37 AM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 01:58:14 AM »
It should work, make sure the battery is good. 
 
Make sure the plug is pushed all the way in, and that it is not in the headphone jack (just covering all the bases, so don't feel insulted, you know better, I'm sure).
 
Lots of people use these on Canon DSLR's.
 
Its just possible that your mic input on the camera is damaged. 
 
As a alternative, use a inexpensive external digital recorder and you will get mucho better sound.  You can synch it to the video in post production.  The sound capabilities of DSLR's leave something to be desired.
 
Hope you get it going!

RobPan

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 02:58:54 AM »
Thanks for your reply.

The battery is brand new, and with the same battery it works well with the Tascam DR-100, which is (unfortunately) NOT a cheap digital recorder, but a rather expensive and very good one. Cheap ones are not good enough for anything, certainly not for recording a gamelan with its very low gong sounds.
But synchronizing the audio and the video recording afterwards will be difficult for me, I have no experience with such things.


What I think MAY be the case, is the cable connecting the mike with the camera: there is a cable Cannon stereo to two Cannon mono, and a newly made cable Cannon mono (double) to miniplug. (The Tascam uses  Cannon plugs so does not need this cable). Maybe something is wrong with the Cannon --> mini cable?


Kind regards,

RobPan.

PeterJ

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 06:21:11 AM »
I'm far from an audio expert, but wouldn't the DR-100 if it's pro product possibly inject DC power over the XLR connector? Mt Spokane could well be correct on the battery, I've had few new duds, plus possibly the mic is faulty and only works when line powered. Could also be a signficant impedance / level mismatch, but don't really no enough about the charatersitics of either to know if that's likely.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 06:23:21 AM by PeterJ »

RobPan

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 10:05:03 AM »
I don't think so. The DR-100 manual says nothing of the sort. The mike does not work on the DR-100 without a full battery installed. The impedance is 600 Ohm, the EOS 5D3 requires between 200 and 2000 Ohm, therefore the ECM-MS957 is well within that range. I will go back to the electronics shop tomorrow to have the cable checked.

Kind regards,

Rob.

Axilrod

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 10:13:01 AM »
Paulie Walnuts should be able to answer your question, hopefully he'll turn up before too long.  It would be cool to have a thread "summon" feature now that I think about it.

But I was going to say that the 5D3 has really noisy preamps so I would try and record audio separately.
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 11:00:16 AM »
Hi

I don't know the particular mic you are using, I've done a wee google on it, and can only really offer you the following advice:

1. Although you mention the impedence, you don't mention the actual output -usually displayed as V or mV, although it's internally powered (via AA) the actual output of these mics can vary massively.  The term 'microphone level' is often used, but this is really a cap rather than something that every mic will output.  For example, I have a sennheiser K6/ME66 which runs from an AA and is lovely and strong, I also have a couple of Sony ECM-77 tieclips which run off AA's and are too weak to use with a DSLR, unless in phantom mode, via a powered pre-amp.  A solution that I don't think is suitable for your mic.

2. Is this an accoustic gig, or is there a PA?

If there is a PA then your options are to take an XLR line from the mixing desk into your tascam, getting a nice clean feed from the mics already on stage, or placing your sony mic next to one of the monitors, which should give you a much better level.  Obviously gaffer taping down cables etc.   If it's an accoustic gig then you want to get your mic as close as you possibly can to the source, the closer you are the clearer and louder the audio.  Again you could run it into your tascam which could be at the base of your mic stand, although this will cause monitoring problems.

3. Camera connectivity and controls.

You need to set the cameras record levels up manually.  Use the VU meters and have the audio peak at around -12db.   You really want to achieve this with the mic level no more than 1/4 from the left.  Any more than this and hiss will be intrusive.

Unless you have an XLR adaptor such as a beachtek or juiced link on your camera I would be tempted to use your tascam and monitor off that (this would mean a cable run between the mic position and the camera / tascam position, so again health and safety, tape everything down)

4. General rules for micing:

-Get your mic as close to source as you can without being in shot.  This gives you the best level and best perspective.

-Camera top mics are fine for ambient wild tracks.  It is the worst postion for a mic as it will pick up your handling noise, your aperture noise, your breathing, any other animal person or object in between the camera and the subject.

-Sound is more difficult to get right than video, and usually mistakes are more towards the fatal end.

-On DSLR audio is pernickity.  A lot of folk use external recorders for good reason.  I certainly wouldn't adapt an XLR balanced mic to minijack straight into the camera.  Lots to go wrong.

Can you explain a little more about the scenario, specifically:

Is it being mic'd by a sound engineer to go through a PA (let them do the work, tap a recording)?

IF NOT

How close can you get with the mic? 

Can you get the XLR from the mic into the XLR port of the Tascam?

Can you synch the audio from the Tascam with the video and guide audio from the 5D at the edit stage?



« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 07:04:10 PM by paul13walnut5 »

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 11:00:16 AM »

RobPan

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 08:35:26 AM »
Dear Paul,

Thanks for your sound advice!

I ran into some probems, even apart form those with the Sony mic. I could not find out how to ajust the audio level while making a video. While filming the Menu button does nothing. I can only adjust the sound level beforehand, not while filming. Did I oversee anything?

Moreover I will not sit close to the orchestra (i.e. the gamelan). The gamelan is in the back while I will sit in front of the stage. Unfortunately the gamelan (first and foremost the singers) will be amplified. My experience is that they have a rotten team of audio assistants (sorry guys!) who think "loud=beautiful". Resulting in audio-feedback.

I fully agree with you that positioning the mike close to the sound source is best; I once interviewed someone in an airport and almost literally stuffed the mike in his mouth. The recording came out very clean, almost without any trace of airport noise.

Getting a line from the technics is a good idea, I wil consult them tomorrow as soon as I arrive (or as soon as I can get hold of them).

But if the Tascam is where the sound engineers are sitting it will be very far from the camera. A cable between the Tascam and the camera would be too long I'm afraid, there would be too much loss.

Positioning the Tascam near the gamelan (but without a connection with the 5D3) is probably possible. I know the players very well and can ask one of then to start the Tascam.
The distance gamelan-front of stage is more than 10m, I believe.

I will HAVE to sit in front, as I will be filming the dances.


Thanks again for your very sound advice (pun intended).

RobPan.







paul13walnut5

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2013, 09:22:14 AM »
Quote
But if the Tascam is where the sound engineers are sitting it will be very far from the camera. A cable between the Tascam and the camera would be too long I'm afraid, there would be too much loss.

It should be a nice hot line level out the back of a mixer, and XLR cable runs are pretty resistance to interference.

An ideal would be a mixer feed of the singers into one channel of the tascam, and your sony mic placed in a neutral position amongst your orchestra into the second channel.  Gives you clean feeds and the ability to post mix relative levels.  You'll have the camera audio to overdub and soften out some of the stringency, add audience reaction etc.

As far as I know with all the EOS cameras (except the dedicated video C - line) the audio is set prior to recording.  I use a beachtek into my camera as this adds on the fly attenuation, I set the camera level with the channels wide open and can then attenuate as required.  Adding level in post is easy enough so during a take my main concern is avoiding clipping.

nolken

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 03:30:16 AM »
Why don't you just record everything sync the audio up in post? I agree that strait into camera from mic is a bad idea. I've never got that to work worth anything. If you are really set on recording into the camera directly then run a cable from the line out of the dr-100 into you 5d3. either way you really should get a variable gain mic pre-amp outside the camera. nothing sucks more than setting hour audio levels only for 3/4 of the way into a song the music gets twice as loud and peaks out your audio. you would have to stop recording to adjust the audio.

It's one night of video, so just record it on the tascam built-in mics with your sony as a 3rd channel. maybe set your input mics gain a little lower as a back-up (safety) track (i think you can do that with the dr-100, although I don't own one myself). then just sync it up in post processing.

RobPan

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 08:29:28 AM »
Well, it is time for  reply.
I had two chances to improve my recording experience. The first was the gladhi resik (dress rehearsal in which the dancers did not yet wear make-up and did not wear their heardgear so one could almost call it an undress rehearsal).
There was no PA either. As the sound assistant here In Java usually knows less than nothing about his job, I was glad about the absence of mikes and amplifiers. I used my Tascam in the simplest possible manner: tied it to a gong stand and made the sound recording with just the built in microphones which are quite good really. I put the tripod with the 5D3 in front of the stage where it would also be the next day and made a video recording just with the rather dreadful built-in mike.
The sound recording was very good if not excellent, the video recording was quite satisfying but the sound of course leaves much to be wished for.

The next day I left the Tascam at home as because of the PA systen the sound would be dreadful anyway. I had the camera in the same position as the night before, in the center of the front of the stage. The sound guy made some bad mistakes: mikes to close to the singers (who were sitting in a row at the front of the gamelan) and a mike  near the drumhead of the kendhang (a drum used to conduct the gamelan). The singers sounded rather metallic and the drum boomed. The singers and drummers were not experienced enough to remove the mikes. Unfortunately I cannot synchronize the sound recording of the dress rehearsal with the video of the public performance. Small differences in speed make this an impossible task.
Nevertheless I am quite happy with the video. I wonder if it would be possible to avoid the problems with amplification of I would bring my own set of mikes and a mixer (supposing I had those) to the scene. I'm afraid that whatever I would do they would also pick up the sound from the loudspeakers.
Before the beginning of the performance I had already asked the sound assistant to turn the basses down a bit, which he did. That helped to avoid feedback. But I failed to mention the placing a the mikes as I could not foresee what he would do.

Kind regards.
RobPan


paul13walnut5

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 09:27:05 AM »
It's then 2 sets of stands, two sets of cables going to two different locations, could become very cluttered.

Your best bet, if you really cannot depend on the quality of the PA, is to use the XY pickup on the tascam, again as close as you can, hoping the close perspective will be enough to drown out the PA.

If you got a feed out the mixer it's always going to sound fairly awful, flat almost.  The PA guy is mixing for the accoustics of the room not for a studio quality recording, usually over-cranked a bit, as the soundcheck is usually done in an empty room and volume and resonance is lost when an audience is in.

It can help to have a sterile soundboard recording into your tascam and a nuetral live recording, which the 5D mic should be up to, lets you mix in the noise in the room to soften off the un-natural soundboard recording.

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Re: Very soft audio w external mike of EOD 5D3
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 09:27:05 AM »