D7000 audio question

Started Jan 12, 2011 | Discussions thread
Swedish Hambern
Contributing MemberPosts: 751
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Re: D7000 audio question
In reply to Throwback, Jan 14, 2011

Hello Throwback!

You might have a point that this distorting of the input sound is deliberate from Nikon. Maybe they really have optimized it for voice. This often means a cut off around 80 – 150Hz to get bass rumble away and a boost in the mid range, as you can see and hear on the D7000.

In that case: why do this? This is usually already done in the microphones, many mics can remove bass rumble and have a slight mid range boost. And why not make it optional? Maybe set a high and low cut in default, but allowing for the user to remove this in menus if they are intending to use external sound sources or mics that can do this better?

And an ability to record a stereo signal fairly good does not have to cost a lot of $$$. I have a small, cheap mp3-player from iRiver that delivers way better results, miles better, if I use the line in slot. and I believe that a > $1000 camera could and should be able to do the same.

Throwback wrote:

Hi Swedish Hambern,

Interested to hear your additional comments. Not sure that I made any specific 'claims' as such, other than that the D7000 samples at 48khz, 16 bit, with which you now concur.

In terms of other points arising:

In-built microphone quality. You state that this is 'actually pretty good' but let down by the D7000 (i.e. its preamps), which begs the question as to how this can be determined short of ripping the microphone out of the D7000? Of course, this is a minor concern as using the internal mic, whatever the quality of the preamps, is not really an option for anything but the most basic audio.

Difference between D7000 recording and original sound source. Following your good suggestion, I have now tested this: I simply copied a music WAV file, that I know well, onto my Zoom H4 SD card and then fed the Zoom line-out to the D7000 using a -25db pad cable and the lowest microphone sensitivity on the D7000). And yes, the sound is, as you say, not very good. However, as someone else has pointed out - I think in your original thread - the D7000 is almost certainly deliberately skewed to voice, and with some fairly hearty equalisation in Sound Forge I was able to get things back very close to the original to this layman's ears. Certainly, I was able to get the bass line (which includes bottom E: 41hz) back to something very near the original and the top end wasn't too bad either: this was rather surprising given the initial sound and your analysis. But, perhaps this simply reflects my final point:

Good or bad sound on D7000? You misunderstand me. I was not suggesting that sound quality is a matter of taste, but, rather, one of standards. For example, I consider the Zoom H4 quality (internally and with external mics) to be good, whereas without doubt a professional recording engineer would find the preamps too noisy, amongst other faults, and would consider the H4 bad in absolute terms: we would agree, however, that it is - along with similar recorders - good compared to what consumers have had access to in the recent past and represents good value. As for the D7000 audio, yes you are right to draw attention to its limitations (and these are the reasons why I use external sound recorders), but the internal preamps may be suitable for some uses/users and, with use of suitable external preamps/monitoring (of which the Zoom H4 is but one example), avoidance of agc, and with equalization of the recorded audio, I would suggest that this use might be rather more extensive than your initial thread and posts on this thread indicate. As per the end of my last post, it is perhaps best to encourage others interested in the audio recording of the D7000 to experiment themselves, as we all have different standards, uses, and resources, even if they only end up using the D7000 audio, as I and many others mostly do, for syncing purposes.

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