Canon 7D external audio input - my experience

Started Mar 16, 2010 | Discussions
eisvogel New Member • Posts: 15
Canon 7D external audio input - my experience

I was trying to enhance the audio component of the Canon 7D by connecting an external microphone (Zoom H4n) into the 3.5 mm plug of the 7D. Unfortunately, due to the automatic gain control of the 7D, the audio quality was even worse than the audio from the built-in microphone. The built-in mic is OK for family recordings but to capture for example audio/video of a bird singing, I need better audio quality. I wish Canon would come up with a firmware update which allows for adjustment of the audio gain. As far as I know, an add-on firmware enhancement by "Magic Lantern" to allow disabling of the AGC is only available for the 5D MII but not yet for the 7D.

In the meantime, what works for me is somewhat complicated and requires additional software:

I record the movie as usual with the internal microphone of the 7D and at the same time I also record the audio separately into the H4n digital audio recorder. I then import the 1080p video into Vegas Pro 9 as well as the audio from the H4n. So on the timeline of Vegas Pro 9 I have 1 video and 1 audio track from the 1080p movie and there is a second audio track from the H4n. The next step is to synch the 2 audios with" PluralEyes" software which works very well. The last step is to mute or delete the 7D audio track and when I subsequently play back the timeline I get good quality audio in perfect synch with the video.

halfmac
halfmac Contributing Member • Posts: 998
Re: Canon 7D external audio input - my experience

That is what most people are doing. If you have a IS lens, i creates a lot of noise on the camera mic. I am going to be be using a Juicedlink mixer with a new adapter that kills the auto gain. I hope it works.
--
Alan
http://homepage.mac.com/halfmac/
7D 17-55 70-300

 halfmac's gear list:halfmac's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +12 more
Ken Phillips Forum Pro • Posts: 16,361
Since the new 5D II firmware has audio control ...

with a couple dozen levels, we gotta hope that Canon will give us that little nugget with the next 7D firmware.
Perhaps we should start asking them ...
KP
--
Use the new site features to hide my homely face and banjo!!

http://www.ahomls.com/photo.htm
http://www.phillipsphotographer.com

'The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it.', H. L. Mencken

Paul G5 Regular Member • Posts: 256
Out of curiousity-Vegas Pro

Since you mentioned Vegas Pro, can you edit the video that the 7D produces in Vegas Pro without first converting it to another format, (like .avi) ? I tried a 30 day trial of Avid Media Composer and it can edit the video in it's native format, but it's so expensive and complex. I love the interface for Vegas and would gladly pay the price if I don't have to do a bunch of time consuming conversions of the video in order to use it.

Thanks,
Paul

ravage Regular Member • Posts: 165
Re: Canon 7D external audio input - my experience

Right, this is the best method for this. Something that you can also do is get a clapper board and snap at the beginning of the shot, then you have visual reference and two sound pops one on the camera and one on the Zoom. This way you can align it up without external software.

Remember the camera is more like a movie camera than a home camcorder, so these are things that you need to work with. You also will get better quality audio doing it this way.

eisvogel wrote:

In the meantime, what works for me is somewhat complicated and requires additional software:

I record the movie as usual with the internal microphone of the 7D and at the same time I also record the audio separately into the H4n digital audio recorder. I then import the 1080p video into Vegas Pro 9 as well as the audio from the H4n. So on the timeline of Vegas Pro 9 I have 1 video and 1 audio track from the 1080p movie and there is a second audio track from the H4n. The next step is to synch the 2 audios with" PluralEyes" software which works very well. The last step is to mute or delete the 7D audio track and when I subsequently play back the timeline I get good quality audio in perfect synch with the video.

OP eisvogel New Member • Posts: 15
Re: Out of curiousity-Vegas Pro

I am able to edit the 1080p at 24 frames from the 7D by importing the file into Vegas Pro 9 and it seems to work fine on the timeline. You can try a fully functional Vegas Pro 9 for free for 30 days.

However, I routinely extract all my videos into "cineform intermediate AVI" prior to editing since I also use Premiere Pro and other frame rates. I use Vegas Pro 9 mainly when I have to sync different audiotracks since the PluralEyes sync software does not work in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

Paul G5 Regular Member • Posts: 256
Re: Out of curiousity-Vegas Pro

Thanks for the great reply. I appreciate your help!

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads