external microphone

Started Aug 29, 2010 | Discussions thread
videoguy1 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: zoom external microphone

Personally, I was very disappointed regarding the amount of noise the Sony ext mic produces, during quiet scenes. The sound quality is pretty good, noticeably better than the internal mic, but comparably more noisy. After quite a bit of investigation and experimentation, I have concluded there are two reasons for that:

  • the Sony ext mic produces quite a bit of noise to begin with,

  • its output levels are lower than from the internal mic.

The outcome is that the internal chip's AGC has to amplify more and it is amplifying the noisy signal. The behavior of my mic and the conclusion above appears to be well correlated with the video recordings I have seen on the web - loud audio is fine, quiet audio is noisy.

Importantly, I have convinced myself that the problem is only in the external microphone, the internal A/D converter appears to be of a decent quality.

Next, I have bolted a 3.5 audio jack on the ext mic re-connecting the audio signals to it. This converts the ext mic into a rather expensive adapter (I hope my friend will one day start making real adapters). Connecting an external MP3 player produced a very good quality recording from the NEX-5N, I was not able to tell the difference from the source.

I have ordered Rode StereoMic Pro to use with the NEX. I am confident this setup will produce high quality recordings.

The A/D converter NEX is using can be programmed in many aspects, unfortunately, NEX does not expose any of that in the menu, other than the wind cut.

Perhaps even better solution would be to use Zoom H4 as the stereo mic for background sounds and connect a shotgun mic to it for dialogues. Apart from the need to sync it with video for every clip, it would give me the control over the balance between those two.

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