hd wide angle camcorder with external microphone input (wireless if possible)

michaelruk

Standard Member
Hi 12Harry

let me explain the situation. I bought the Panasonic camcorder as it had a wide angle lens and also had an external microphone socket which are the two main requirements.

In my line of work I need to record teachers teaching in lessons so the camcorder is for the video but I needed a quality mic for the sound. Due to this being teachers it needed to be wireless as otherwise it would create further issues.

So the video recorder was selected in conjunction with the microphone. I opted for the Shure Wireless Lavalier system (pg185) as I had been informed it was a good quality, reputable brand also also likely to be of a high quality. This package consisted of pg4, pg1 and pg185 PG14UK/PG185-K6E - SHURE - MICROPHONE, LAVALIER SYSTEM | CPC.

The receiver has two connections on it, an XLR and also 6.5mm jack. The cam corder also has a standard 3.5mm jack so I purchased an XLR to 3.5mm jack lead and thought this would work fine PSG00762 - PRO SIGNAL - XLR SOCKET TO 3.5MM JACK PLUG | CPC

To my knowledge I had purchased all the correct leads for the equipment but when I came to test the equipment I could hear noise being picked up on the mic but there was also interference on playback which I hadn't expected to hear. This is what I'm trying to resolve and find out what it causing the issue. The noise when I play a video clip back through my PC sounds like the buzzing noise you hear when you have a mic lead that isn't plugged in but instead you are tapping the end with your finger top etc. It is buzzing / noise / interference.

This is the noise I'm trying to eliminate and hence the past posts have been to determine what is causing this and how to stop it.

Does this help further?
Thanks
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Yep, thanks, but I suspect you should take a trip to CPC and confim the unit is working OK and then buy whatever adaptor you need to suit the camcorder -

However, most folks here will warn you NEVER use an adaptor onto a 3.5mm skt - the leverage is such that a slight swipe could wreck the camcorder . . . .it's just not a proper solution.

I'm surprised CPC sold you the XLR-3.5mm adaptor - what you need is a short cable with the appropriate skt and 3.5mm plug to fit the camcorder. But then CPC is a component supplier, part of Farnell - prob CPC just take orders....confirm?

There are at least three issues:
1), does this wireless mic work correctly? (this can be an issue - my own was "dead" but a tiny label on the cases showed the frequencies were not compatible ) . . . it was changed and now works OK - this was a cheapie about £18 (Az) but I saw today they sell a Bolum 601 and 603 for a little less - the difference appears to be transmit distance, but as with so many Internet Sellers, things are far from clear, often due to their own lack of product knowledge (Whatever happened to old-fas Service?).

2) is a correctly working mic/receiver connected correctly?
-I suspect you need to visit CPC - although as a mail-order Co that may be difficult - was yrs a postal purchase?

3) Is there a fault in the camcorder mic-in circuit?

From my experience you need to check each in turn, separately.
- If you combine "unknowns" there is much confusion.


HOW?
Get one of those 5-pcs Newee tie-clip mics and plug into Camcorder - it should work a treat, clean sound (but avoid rustling clothing, or touching the fine lead).
This test will confirm the camcorder is OK - Then you have to deal with the Radio Mic bits.

YET, I wonder, if you buy the 5-pcs tie-clip mics - - - why not buy the Bolun 601/or/Bolun 603 Radio kit as well (or instead?).
-You get a Bolun transmitter & receiver (watch out! 3.5mm adaptor - throw it away!), + headband mic (depending which kit you purchase), and some batteries . . . on YT there seems to be a written instructions as well.

I know this is "more money" but as present you have nowhere to turn, (=As I'm reading the situation.)

At least the Bolun is cheap and the mic will be 3.5mm so that can plug directly into the camcorder - to test that the new mic and camcorder are working. Phew!

[ You should write to CPC and request a refund . . . that will put you in the "returns queue". ]

Left of Field - does yr school not have an computer/electronics technician? - That would be a fine solution if he can spot the problem. Where I'm not clear is why the adaptor you bought takes the XLR o/p - I'd have thought the 1/4 inch jack was closer in circuitry to 3.5mm. However, you have to watch the mono-stereo issue as well.... I have found some combinations just don't like connecting - Yes, they should, but that is no G'tee.

FWIW I bought some gold-plated 3.5 stereo jacks (Az) about £1 each and these have a spring to reduce strain on the lead where it enters the body. If you can find someone skilled with a soldering iron, then they will love this part, as it is easy to fix . . . . but you will need a suitable 1/4 socket, metal case and some mic-cable. Then there the cable-issue is lightweight against rugged . . . your choice. I'd suggest a small bracket/clamp off the Tripod to take the receiver (clear of the tripod metal) and then maybe 300mm of mic cable to the camcorder. This places no strain on the camcorder and keeps the transmitter clear of the tripod - the receiver needs to be in "line of sight" with the transmitter. A handyman can make something decent, + don't rely on Gaffer-tape - it looks a Bodge.

HOWEVER: _ as mentioned in posts v.early . . . why didn't you go the route of a vest-pocket SDHC recorder "Dictaphone"? - Olympus and Sony make suitable kit (Az) and provided you get one with a removable memory card - it will be fairly easy to sync to the camcorder if it's needed. It's my view that having the recorder in your top-pocket/lab-coat will be far more acceptable to pupils than a clip-on mic. or headband arrangement . . . . but it's your shout.
all Radio-mics are susceptible to interference eg local Taxi, aircraft and so on...whereas Dictaphone is pretty well immune, provided you have enough Memory-space and decent batteries. Only consider a solid-state model, with removable SDHC memory card....


PERHAPS you can say if you've tried your camcorder "in-class" and how well does it perform? NOW might be a good time to give it a TRY- so if it's not up to it, you can forget all issues with mics.
+ I agree with you concerning a long extension lead - DON'T - accident-prone and low quality, due to the lead capacitance....
+The mic extension I used was about 2m and that seems to be perfectly OK for filming, so the mic is closer to the actors . . . although this isn't like your situation.



Good luck - perhaps tell us where things are - in moving forwards???
 
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michaelruk

Standard Member
As an afterthought, could it be that I simply need the mono version of the XLR to 3.5mm jack cable in my link (the current cable that I purchased as per my link above is stereo) or could it be that I actually need the cable as described in rogs post to deal with the balanced / unbalanced issue?
 

michaelruk

Standard Member
Evening 12harry thank you for your reply again

I'm unsure if there has been some misunderstanding as CPC Farnell are just a web-based presence with no shop, just a big catalogue and telesales people at the other end of the phone to take your order. I guess the issue is I am meant to know what I'm looking for to then look for this in their catalogue. With the Shure receiver having a XLR socket (as I believe is the standard connection for all microphone equipment) I knew one end and the other was just the camcorder socket (standard 3.5mm jack).

The unit itself os working in terms of I can hear myself when talking down the microphone during playback. The problem is I can also hear other noise as well which is the main issue.

Also I'm not using any adapter, it is one cable that has a 3 pin XLR fitting at one end and 3.5mm connection at the other; just the single cable with no extra adapter. The total cable length is 3 metre.

The lavalier bodypack (which is connected by its own cable) to the mic piece works fine as there is also a channel adjustment on the bodypack to match up to the receiver and there is a green light that flashes to indicate it is detecting noise. On the body pack there is a also a setting of -10db, 0 and mic. The manual reccommends that the mic setting is used in conjucntion with the lavalier clip on mic.

I'm unsure if the camcorder may in fact e be faulty although this would be difficult to test as I don't have any other device to chek it against. As you say I may need to get a standard wired mic to connect directly to the cam corder and see if the recording has any extra noise.

We do have a music technician on site ( I am half the IT technician who people come to for technical support) and I'll be asking the music tech to borrow a wired mic with 3.5mm jack end.

Indeed you may be correct to say the 1/4 in jack to 3.5mm jack could be the better lead option? I just used assumption to have a XLR as I know this is a standard connection for mics and receivers.

The other option is the balanced / unbalanced cable area that rogs has referred to.

I didn't want to use the ditacphone in pocket situation as it seems an extra task to than to merge the video and audio together. I'm hoping that one way or another I can get rid of the noise. I just don't know if its due to cable types (XLR instead of 1/4 inch jack) or the balanced v unbalanced issue or mono / stereo.

Does this help anymore or narrow things down at least?
 

rogs

Well-known Member
We do have a music technician on site ( I am half the IT technician who people come to for technical support) and I'll be asking the music tech to borrow a wired mic with 3.5mm jack end.

Indeed you may be correct to say the 1/4 in jack to 3.5mm jack could be the better lead option? I just used assumption to have a XLR as I know this is a standard connection for mics and receivers.

Well, your music tech should have no problem carrying out the simple measurement tests I listed earlier, to confirm your existing cable wiring

And no, you don't want to use the 1/4" jack output. The spec has that as a '-5dBv' output, which is line level, and will definitely overload your camcorder mic input. Shouldn't cause any damage...just distortion!


If you're going to connect a dynamic mic directly into the camcorder mic input, make sure it's a low impedance unit.
The DC 'plug in' power on the camcorder mic input can damage the capsule of a high impedance dynamic microphone

You're probably beginning to see why Beachtek bother to make their adapter boxes, which may seem expensive - it's to deal with all these situations!.
 
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michaelruk

Standard Member
I'm confused again now. In an earlier post you said that the 1/4 (6.3mm?) jack was closer curcuitry wise to the 3.5mm jack which when reading I understood to mean that this type of cable may be better after all (the other connection type on the receiver besides XLR) but you say this won't be any good either?

Surely in a typical environment where the receiver was then conencted to an amplfier where the wireless mic was needed in a correct environment i.e public speaking an an event etc then either connction will be okay? Or is it a case of yes it will be okay as the equipment it is plguged into will be far better equipment to deal with a wireless receiver such as this?
 

rogs

Well-known Member
I've not been very good at explaining things here, have I?.......:)

Back to square one.... You are trying to connect a professional, balanced radio microphone receiver into a consumer, unbalanced camcorder external mic input.

These two things are not designed to 'meet' each other easily. Which is why Beachtek ( and others) make interface units to cope with these differences.

I have tried to offer some suggestions for doing it on the cheap.

But without you having some degree of technical understanding of the problem, I'm not finding it easy.....

In many scenarios, connections of a mic receiver to a mixer board can be at line level, not mic level.
Shure give you both options. You don't have both options. You're stuck with only a mic input.

So you can't use the receiver's line level jack output....
 

michaelruk

Standard Member
Ok right so now I am more back on track here in a sense of understanding that a professional piece of equipment won't work very well with a low level mic input within an camcorder?

In the previous set of options, after I have done all of the necessary testing (connect a mic with 3.5m jack directly in to the camcorder to see if a) it records and b) if there is any sound distortion / interferance. This will at least prove that the camera internal board is working ok with no faults.

The next step could be to purchase the Bolun 601 which I guess offers a much lower level wireless microphone and far less high tech compared to the Shure system? But it may work better with my camcorder mic output?

The issue seems to be the balanced professional mic and receiver compared to the unbalanced very basic camcorder internal mic socket.

If I deem the camcorder to be working okay (it doesn't have any probems with a mic directly conencted to it and the sound is fine) are you suggesting that the cable in the previous Amazon link, although it uses an XLR connection, it still may achieve the desired outcome and still allow me to use the Shure receiver because its designed to connect a pro mic in to a DV camera / portable audio recorder....as below?

HosaTech XVM-110F 10ft XLR3F to Right Angle 3.5mm TRS Microphone Cable: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments

Am I starting to get to grips with the issue here? Do you think Maplins may also have a suitable understanding of the situation and what I may need to resolve it?
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Ok right so now I am more back on track here in a sense of understanding that a professional piece of equipment won't work very well with a low level mic input within an camcorder?
It can work just fine --if you interface it correctly.
There are several unknowns .. connection details -- level adjustments -- balanced to unbalanced -- mono to stereo -- electret or condenser mic phantom power requirements, etc, -- which is why Beachtek adapters and the like exist, to take the guesswork out.
In the previous set of options, after I have done all of the necessary testing (connect a mic with 3.5m jack directly in to the camcorder to see if a) it records and b) if there is any sound distortion / interferance. This will at least prove that the camera internal board is working ok with no faults.
It may prove it's OK. Will depend on the type of mic you use. A stereo electret mic should work 100%.
The next step could be to purchase the Bolun 601 which I guess offers a much lower level wireless microphone and far less high tech compared to the Shure system? But it may work better with my camcorder mic output?
I have no information on that device. Never seen one.
The issue seems to be the balanced professional mic and receiver compared to the unbalanced very basic camcorder internal mic socket.
Yes
If I deem the camcorder to be working okay (it doesn't have any probems with a mic directly conencted to it and the sound is fine) are you suggesting that the cable in the previous Amazon link, although it uses an XLR connection, it still may achieve the desired outcome and still allow me to use the Shure receiver because its designed to connect a pro mic in to a DV camera / portable audio recorder....as below?

HosaTech XVM-110F 10ft XLR3F to Right Angle 3.5mm TRS Microphone Cable: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments
Possibly. It should have the right connections, but the level may still be too high. An inline attenuator may help. As both devices are from amazon, you can return them if they don't work.
An adjustable level control (like Beachtek fit) is a much better solution, but more expensive.
Am I starting to get to grips with the issue here? Do you think Maplins may also have a suitable understanding of the situation and what I may need to resolve it?
My own experience with Maplin folk has been variable. They should be able to help!
 
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michaelruk

Standard Member
Ok thank you for your patience and understanding. That Beacktek adapter is very expensive though (possibly a case of you get what you pay for?). Does it come with a 3.5mm cable to put into the audio socket and the ext mic socket on the cam corder? It also means that you can't put the cam corder on a tripod.

Is there anything similar at a more affordible cost?
 

rogs

Well-known Member
According to the pdf manual attached to this page: BEACHTEK DXA-2T BALANCED INTERFACE for camcorder, universal, passive
it is supplied with a cable. It's also possible to fit both devices to the tripod. (The Adaptor mounts to the camcocrder tripod mount, and has it's own tripod bush underneath).

I've never used one (I tend to us remote audio recorders) but they get good reviews.

That model is 'passive' so it doesn't require any power. It also uses transformer interfacing to the XLRs, which is the professional way of connecting things. Also doesn't add any preamp 'hiss' into the signal chain

As we've mentioned, it's not cheap, but at least, as an educational establishment you shouldn't get stung for the VAT as well!

As you say, you tend to get what you pay for. If it didn't make a difference, they wouldn't still be in business... everyone would just use cheap cables!....


The only alternative I can think of is the Juiced Link range.... and they tend to be even more expensive!

I would suggest you give the Amazon cable and attenuator a try. If it doesn't work well, send it back and go for the Beachtek unit....
 

MarkE19

Moderator
As has been pointed out the radio mic receiver is outputting a balanced mono signal on the XLR socket. Your camcorder has a stereo unbalanced mic input.
The pro way that I convert the signals in a studio or live PA systems is to use the type of box that rogs has mentioned. However I have also on occasions used a simple adapter costing just a few quid that does an ok job, ie 3 Pin XLR Male Plug to 6.35mm MONO Female Socket 1/4" Jack Mic Cable Adapter | eBay
You can feed the XLR out to your camcorder using this adapter with an XLR to XLR cable and a mono 1/4" jack to 3.5mm mono jack cable. This should give more than acceptable results for a lot less than the 'proper' adapters ;)

I'm not sure if you know what a balanced signal is, but there is a good chance that the cable you are using is causing the noise as the camcorder is receiving both the standard & inverted signals. But as the input is unbalanced it doesn't have the electronics to deal with inverting the already inverted signal back to normal.

Mark.
 

michaelruk

Standard Member
Hi all I know it has been a while but I have been able to do further tests now that my other equipment (cables) have arrived.

As per your suggestion Rogs I asked to borrow a wired mic from our music technician. I plugged this is, the camcorder detected external mic input (and automatically switched itself from 5.1 surround to stereo mode), I could see audio being detected by the gauge input level on the camera's LCD screen, said a few words to create a recording, played this back and no other noise could be heard. I guess this ruled out an issue with the camcorder?

Ensuring that AGC was set to auto I did then following..

Next I already had a Bolun 601 which was used with a previous DVR device (that has subsequently failed) so I connected the receiver up, the external mic was detected by camcorder, turn on the device, turned on the clip on mic and again I could see the audio gauge moving up and down detecting external sound. Created a recording using the 601, played it back and again no extra noise / interference could be heard. Things were looking up a little.

Next I used the HosaTech XLR to 3.5mm cable purchased from Amazon cable, did the same routine, external audio was detected, I played the recording back and no extra sound was being heard. I even puled the cam corder closer to my ears to listen in for this buzzing sound expecting to still hear it.......I could only hear my own voice.

Next I had to confirm this so I swapped the cable around with the original Pro Signal one I'd been using from CPC. Performed a recording, played it back, brogght the camcorder close to my ear and I the extra noise interferencecould definitely be heard.

Finally I swapped the cables back around again, using the newly purchased HosaTech. Performed the same tests and on playback the only clear sound I could hear was just my own voice and nothing else.

So it looks like it was the cable inconjunction with the tech specs of the audio being output by the shure receiver combined with the external mic capabilities of the camcorder audio input. From my interpretation the Shure receiver was producing a far superior quality balanced sound which simply put the camcorder wasn't able to handle in the correct manner w (could only handle unbalanced?) when used in conjunction with a Stereo (balanced) XLR cable?

I'll have to give it another few tests or do it in real life to be absolutely sure that the noise has finally gone.

Thanks
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Absolutely no idea what 'disagree', means... or who put it there?........
I can't say I like this new 'style' much.. but then I'm one of those 'older guys' who tends to dislike change on principle! :)

Back to the subject..... looks as if the cable wiring was the problem, as we suspected. Now if you can get the AGC to control what is probably going to look like a pretty 'hot' signal (for 'hot' read 'strong') then you should be good to go.
If not, then you can try both AGC off, with the minimum manual setting, and if that doesn't control things. maybe an attenuator.?....
One thing at a time though... need to confirm your new cable has 'cured' the noise problem....
 

Emerton

Active Member
My name is next to it but I don't know why, I may have touched the page while it was loading on my pad, the new format seems to jump about more. Anyway I don't disagree ('for a change' some would say :)).
 

MarkE19

Moderator
What does disagree mean?
On the bottom right of each post under 'Reply Quote' you can hover your mouse to display a few post rating options such as 'Agree' or 'Disagree' etc. Any member can give any post a rating that is then displayed, similar to the 'Thanks' button on the old forum.

Mark.
 

michaelruk

Standard Member
As a follow up to thread that I originally started I am pleasd to say that the equipment has been working well and exactly how I had wanted.

As an extra I am now looking for a mini monitor perhaps around the 3.5" size that I can connect either to the HDMI or AV 3.5mm jack port on the camcorder itself. I am finding that when setting up the equipment I can't easily see the LCD screen when positioning at the back of the room.

Most monitors I have seen, the smallest is 7" which is still too big. I have come across the some reverse parking screens that are intended for cars. The size is perfect but I'm unsure over the connection and getting power to it. I know this is something that is done when fitting CCTV equipment but the connections are different.
 

grahamlthompson

Distinguished Member
I can't answer for the camcorder you bought, had you bought the Sony CX410 there is an optional WIFI adaptor that allows you not only to control the camera remotely but delivers a wireless image to a tablet/smartphone (both ios and android). The image is not full res but more than good enough to see what the camcorder is seeing. The WiFi connection is point to point (no need for access to a network). Very handy for a camcorder remotely located for close up wild life shots.

There may well be a equivalent for your camcorder.
 

michaelruk

Standard Member
I can't answer for the camcorder you bought, had you bought the Sony CX410 there is an optional WIFI adaptor that allows you not only to control the camera remotely but delivers a wireless image to a tablet/smartphone (both ios and android). The image is not full res but more than good enough to see what the camcorder is seeing. The WiFi connection is point to point (no need for access to a network). Very handy for a camcorder remotely located for close up wild life shots.

There may well be a equivalent for your camcorder.

Ok thsnk you, I will give that a try. It would be good to have a more fixed connection though.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
As a follow up to thread that I originally started I am pleasd to say that the equipment has been working well and exactly how I had wanted.

As an extra I am now looking for a mini monitor perhaps around the 3.5" size that I can connect either to the HDMI or AV 3.5mm jack port on the camcorder itself. I am finding that when setting up the equipment I can't easily see the LCD screen when positioning at the back of the room.

Most monitors I have seen, the smallest is 7" which is still too big. I have come across the some reverse parking screens that are intended for cars. The size is perfect but I'm unsure over the connection and getting power to it. I know this is something that is done when fitting CCTV equipment but the connections are different.
I use the NextBase DVD car player as a monitor. It has an A/V input and can be easily strapped to a tripod. The 720 has Wi-Fi connectability so you could see the camera view from your front desk using a smartphone.
 

michaelruk

Standard Member
Hi Terfyn

yes I have tried the wifi approach but wanted a more fixed solution if possible. The DVD car player looks exatly what I had i mind style wise but the screen is a bit larger than I would ideally and the price on the higher side.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
3.5 inch TFT LCD Digital Car Rear View Monitor Square by Babytree
Saw this in Amazon for £13.95!!!!! No idea if it would work but it may need a 12v supply (battery pack from Maplins?)

Incidentally if you feel the DVD player option is expensive, just look at the Lilliput range of video monitors on Amazon- Ouch!:facepalm:
 
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michaelruk

Standard Member
Yes I have also seen these 'reverse parking screens' on amazon. The connections say AV but from the images they look more like the red / white / yellow connections on the back of a TV. My camera doesn't have any cables for its AV port so I'm unsure how this would work. Also not sure on the power either as I assume its intended to power in to the car?
 

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