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Thread: External microphones

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Essex, England

    Question External microphones

    I have a Canon XM2 camcorder and have bought the Canon MA-300 XLR microphone adapter so that I can use external mics. I play in a band (brass not rock - real music) as well as an orchestra and my intention is to record concerts using a variety of mics. via an audio mixer. However I have found that the camera picks white noise/hums from any electrical equipment that it is connected to, i.e. the mixer or the phantom power unit or the radio mike power supply. If I put a headset (h/s) into the h/s output of the mixer I cannot detect any noise - if, however, I connect the h/s to the camcorder there is a distinct hiss etc.

    Having bought a fair amount of audio kit I am finding it frustrating that I can't use it without having to try and filter out the noise once the movie is loaded into Premier Elements and even then I can't always filter it all out.

    Any thoughts on how I can overcome this. Is it peculiar to the adapter or will all prosumer camcorders - even those with built in XLR ports - suffer from this malady?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Blog Entries


    Doesn't sound right to me...

    It shouldn't be there, so it means something is wrong somewhere.

    My quick 'n' dirty suggestion would be to record the mixer output to something like a minidisc recorder (cheapest way) or a standalone recorder like an Edirol R-09, Marantz 660 or a Zoom H4, all of which should do the job.

    Hum is usually picked up from a transformer, buzz from interference. Check to make sure that you're not running sound cables next to electrical cables, make sure that everything is earthed properly and that you're not picking up interference from neons or fluorescents, that sort of thing. Televisions can also cause hum.

    It could also be that your output is going into the camera at mic level. In this case the microphones are being amplified twice, once by the mixer and again by the camcorder. twice the amplification = twice the noise. This hiss is usually a sign of over-amplification.

    It can also work the other way. The camcorder only accepts mic level, the line level from you mixer is too high and, in reducing the level, the camcorder is inducing hum. This is a particular problem with G2 radio mics, for example.

    You'd be better off trying to get rid of the hum before you record rather than hoping to sort it in post.

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