Using Ext Mic with Panasonic HC-VX980 camcorder

Sabreur

Novice Member
I want to use a Sony ECM-44 mic with the Panasonic HC-VX980 camcorder. The manual says "A compatible plug-in powered microphone can be used as an external microphone." but forgot to define compatibility!

Has anybody got any info on the pin-out? Is it 3 or 4 pole, where is the power, tip or sleeve?
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
From what I recall with my VX920, it uses the same "plug in power" standard as laptops.

I thought the ECM44 only came with an XLR socket with built in power supply - or the Sony / Shure radio mic hirose type connector. This being the case, you just need a mini-jack to XLR female cable - wired correctly or cut the end off the radio mic type and wire up a mini jack, as it will probably work quite happily with plug in power.

You can use a Sennheiser MKE 2 with the mini-jack output suitable for their EW100 radio mics, as this uses the same standard. I used to use one with my camcorder and it works fine.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The external mic socket is a three pole TRS connection with about 2v available.
As noiseboy72 says you will definitely need a XLR to mini-jack. the Sony has its own supply but it may need that to operate. Another choice of Lavalier mic may be a better option.
 

12harry

Well-known Member
Don't be tempted to hang any adaptor on the camcorder connectors...internal pcb's are easily damaged...
A new tie-clip mic can be bought for a few pounds and should have 1-2m lightweight cable.
(( You've not said what/how you are recording this audio - or why the existing mic is not satisfactory.)).
Sometimes, it is better to go for a wireless mic (pricey), giving you lots of freedom - but the camera-operator needs to watch the audio levels. Also beware that whatever mic you have, outdoors it will need protection from the wind. +Indoors, long cables represent a "trip hazard"
Cheers
 

Sabreur

Novice Member
Thanks for the help. I have a "few pounds" mic, that's why I bought an ECM-44! I wanted a 77 but they cost an arm and a leg, even the 44 costs an arm, so I settled for a second hand 44BC. I have used 77s for years. A chap in Sound Maint used to replace all the bits in the back end of the XLR with a phantom power circuit. They come in several flavours. The one with an XLR (ECM-44B) has an AA cell to power it. Other versions were supposed to be for use with wireless mic transmitters. The BC has a SMC9-4p connector for the Sony Tx, the 44BMP withs a 1/8" stereo jack was for other Tx's which provided the plug-in power.

Pana are very coy about sound, less than 4 pages of the 167 page manual mention sound and then all but one para is about all the automatic wizz-bangs. No mention of whether the Ext Mic socket is 4p or 3p.

So, my mic has to be converted from a 44BC to a 44BMP, ie change the plug to a mini-jack. I'll make a guess that it's mono and if there is less than 10V between tip and sleeve, then it should be plain sailing.

Thanks again.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
The external mic socket is definitely stereo. I have a stereo Lavalier mic and the effect of left and right channel can easily be heard in headphones connected to the camera.
 

Sabreur

Novice Member
Oh dear, looks like the swamp is full of alligators.
From the ECM-44/77/166BMP manual.

ECM-44BMP.jpg


I assume "Chip" is jinglish for "Tip". Bias on the tip conforms with other info I have found. However, I turned-up somethjing last night that says, Left channel to Tip and Sleeve, Right Channel to Ring and Sleeve. So for a mono mic, White to tip and ring and Red+Shield to sleeve.

Can't try this for 10 days, I'll report back then.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
A new tie-clip mic can be bought for a few pounds and should have 1-2m lightweight cable.
I suggest you follow Harry's advice and buy a cheap Lavalier mic to test the socket.
 

Sabreur

Novice Member
I checked the mic socket on an Asus mobo. There is 2.2V on Tip and Ring wrt Sleeve, so I'm going with the connections I posted above.
Incidently, my Dell laptop has no volts, this is probably a nVidia HD Audio thing, not initialising the port until it detects a microphone.
 

Denis Twomey

Novice Member
Hi
I am considering buying this camcorder and I have two questions that users might be able to help with.
Can I send an audio signal from a mixer into the external microphone input?
Can I use the camcorder while connected to power. I have a Lumix camera which will not allow this so I am afraid this might also be the case with this model.
Denis
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I would suggest you get something like this: Marantz PMD-602A | DV247 | en-GB to adapt the line level signal to mic level. It will also allow you to monitor the input levels.

You could also use something like this: Tascam DR-60DMK2 | GAK which will also record 4 channels in high quality and send moderated mic level audio to the camcorder. I have one of these and it gives excellent results.

Yes, you can use the camcorder while on power. It can be set to stay on permanently while on mains power.
 

Denis Twomey

Novice Member
I would suggest you get something like this: Marantz PMD-602A | DV247 | en-GB to adapt the line level signal to mic level. It will also allow you to monitor the input levels.

You could also use something like this: Tascam DR-60DMK2 | GAK which will also record 4 channels in high quality and send moderated mic level audio to the camcorder. I have one of these and it gives excellent results.

Yes, you can use the camcorder while on power. It can be set to stay on permanently while on mains power.
I would suggest you get something like this: Marantz PMD-602A | DV247 | en-GB to adapt the line level signal to mic level. It will also allow you to monitor the input levels.

You could also use something like this: Tascam DR-60DMK2 | GAK which will also record 4 channels in high quality and send moderated mic level audio to the camcorder. I have one of these and it gives excellent results.

Yes, you can use the camcorder while on power. It can be set to stay on permanently while on mains power.
Thanks a million for that. I will certainly look up those options. It puts the camera at the top of my wish list given that information. D.
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Can I send an audio signal from a mixer into the external microphone input?
An alternative is to use an in-line attenuator between the mixer line out and the camera. I use a SESCOM attenuator directly between a line out from the mixer and the mic input of the camera.

I also use the Tascam DR-60D MkII. The camera mic output is one of three live outputs, headphone and line out being the other two. The intention is to lay an audio track with the video in the camera which then can be replaced with the better quality audio from the Tascam SD card in post production. The Tascam is a very versatile recorder with Phantom Power for condenser mics (mine are Behringer C-2 matched pair) but I strongly advise the use of an additional Power Bank to support the internal batteries when using Phantom Power. And Yes you can run the Tascam from an external 5v supply.

The HC series of cameras also use a 5v USB supply to both run and charge the camera. Again I use a 20,000 mAh Power Bank to supply the camera during long shoots. This effectively means that you do not need to buy Panasonic batteries as standby power supplies. Any USB supply will do and you can buy spare DC cables from Panasonic accessories - they used to be about £4.00 ea.
 

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