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Thread: clipping problems with MKE 300

  1. #1

    Default clipping problems with MKE 300

    I am shooting with a Sony PD100A camera and a sennheiser MKE-300 microphone and am experiencing clipping problems when recording in high volume situations (audio amplified through loud speakers or raucous carnaval parties here in Brazil) I have been troubleshooting the issue and have reason to believe itīs not simply an obvious case of blowing my levels.
    The camera has 2 input volume controls:
    1. a -3dB gain shift
    2. a manual/auto volume input control
    I have tried the gain shift in conjunction with a manual input shift to the lowest possible input level, but the problem persists. The effect of the manual input reduction is obvious when monitoring the audio, and is also apparent when reviewing the captured audio in my audio editor; the entire volume level is significantly reduced, never rising above -12dB, except for the sudden spikes where the clipping occurs? I wondered if the problem was being caused by a faulty connection, however, I can run the tape at length in low volume situations without any problem. At the same time, it cannot simply be a typical case of excessive volume causing the clipping, as the clipping instances are massive abnormal spikes in the audio level? I am confused and clueless, any insights are much appreciated. Thanks -J

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Could it be that the microphone is overloaded? I don't think the MKE300 can handle a very high SPL so it could be that the microphone is at its limit. Then it wouldn't matter what you set on the camera, the signal from the mic will be distorted.
    The MKE300 is designed for enthusiasts so I can't see that it'll have much headroom at the louder levels.
    Just a thought.

    I wonder about the "sudden spikes where the clipping occurs". There shouldn't be any spikes when clipping occurs, that's what the limiter is there to prevent. However, it may be that the mic manages to give a signal for a fraction of a second before it's overloaded.

    Edit: I've just looked at the specification sheet and the maximum SPL (sound pressure level) which the mic can handle is 116 db. This actually quite low, so it may be just that the mic is overloaded. The ME66 (Sennheiser's semi-pro mic) will handle 126db, for example.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 02-09-2007 at 04:00 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
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    I think you are overloading the microphone. The advertised max spl is 116 dB - I suspect a carelessly run PA, especially close up can get this loud.

    Carefull of your ears too!

    edit - posted this b4 i saw the above.

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