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Trouble with DSLR audio setup: One sided audio

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Vincent Kavanagh
Trouble with DSLR audio setup: One sided audio
on Jan 17, 2015 at 4:46:25 pm

Hi there!

This is my first time posting, i really have no idea how to fix this issue.

So i'm using a Nikon D3300 and a Rode NTG-2 microphone. My current setup is this:
Mic (powered by AA battery), hooked up to the dslr camera directly using an xlr cable (with a converter of course).

The camera picks up the audio from the microphone but only on the left channel and not the right ( so audio only in one ear). There is also a hissing noise in the background and the right channel makes static like noises when i fiddle with the cable connected to the camera.

Most setups i see on the internet have an external recorder. Do i HAVE to shell out the money for an external recorder or can i somehow get my current setup to work?

Thanks


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Steve Crow
Re: Trouble with DSLR audio setup: One sided audio
on Jan 17, 2015 at 11:49:48 pm
Last Edited By Steve Crow on Jan 17, 2015 at 11:57:56 pm

Okay, so many things to talk about here,


1. The Rode NTG-2 is a MONO signal mic meaning you will only get sound from one channel - so that's normal and perfectly fine. You actually don't need stereo to record, for instance, interview audio and you can always create a sort of "fake" stereo using two mono tracks although purists will argue over that.

2. Why you are getting noise off the unused channel probably has to do with the cables and adapters

3. The most important thing to understand is that the audio circuitry in practically all DSLR cameras is ugghhhh....very very poor, put it that way. Probably what is happening is the automatic gain control (AGC) built into the audio circuitry is raising the levels of the signal coming from your mic so much that you are getting a ton of noise. Particularly if the camera is expecting a stereo signal coming in it's going to try and raise the level of the track/channel that has no sound on it as well which is going to give you nothing but noise.

4. Can you do without an external recorder? There are some other options but think of them as less-bad solutions not great. For instance you can buy a special cable from a company called SESCOM (like their LN2MIC-ZMH4-MON Line Out to Camera Mic In Headphone Tap Cable) at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/SEL2MZH4N25D/Ntt/SEL2MZH4N25D/N/0

ps: I have no affiliate marketing relationships with either Sescom, B&H or frankly anyone at this point

that is designed to take the signal from your mic and make it better suited for your camera's audio circuitry while also providing you an extra connection to plug your headphones into so that you can actually monitor your audio while recording which is really a must have ability. I actually use this cable myself.


5. The other thing you might look into is to see if by any chance your camera's menu options give you the ability to turn of AGC (Automatic Gain Control) or to reduce the gain on the camera's built in audio.


I hope that helps you.

Steve Crow


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Vincent Kavanagh
Re: Trouble with DSLR audio setup: One sided audio
on Jan 18, 2015 at 10:11:54 am

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your advice it's done wonders! I thought that maybe the fact that it was mono was normal.
The gain on my mic WAS on automatic and I've gotten some solid results by turning it down.

This setup is usable for videos now. But i'll probably still want to invest in external recording for bigger projects.

Thanks!


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Steve Crow
Re: Trouble with DSLR audio setup: One sided audio
on Jan 18, 2015 at 4:08:30 pm

No worries Vincent, glad it worked out for you!

Steve Crow


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