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Problem recording with external microphone

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Juan Juig
Problem recording with external microphone
on Oct 23, 2016 at 9:48:29 am

Hi,

I have just bought a shotgun microphone Sennheiser Mke600 along with Pro snake camera cable 1,5m. When I plug the microphone into Zoom h4n or directly into the computer microphone port, the sound is perfect. Even if I move the microphone cable or the microphone itself, nothing unusual happens.

However when I plug the microphone into my Nikon D3300, the story is different. Whenever I move the camera or the microphone cable just a bit it seems as if the cable loses contact with the DSLR port or the microphone and there is a lot of hissing. Since I tested recording on 2 different devices with the same cable, I assume there is something wrong with the audio input port on my DSLR.

Has anyone had any similar problems? Is there a way to solve this?

Cheers


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Al Bergstein
Re: Problem recording with external microphone
on Oct 24, 2016 at 2:40:32 pm

So I've had problems with 3.5mm cables not seating properly on various devices. If you can't plug the cable in all the way and securely then, yes, you might have a problem with the plug on the camera. Have you tried plugging it into other cameras to see if it's a problem with them also?

Just a word of warning, since I don't know if this is something you tried, but the Zoom H4n when I owned it was very hissy plugging in from the zoom line out to my Canons. I had to also put in an attenuator to damp down the audio output.

I finally sold my H4n and bought the H5 with interchangeable heads and a standard audio output that doesn't need attenuation. A much better product IMHO. A bit less harsh, though it's been my feeling that Zoom's are not as "sweet" as competing products. Anyway, here's the item that might help if your jack is ok.

From the B&H site
The LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 from Sescom is a problem solving cable for users of HDSLRs who are using a Zoom H4N or Zoom H1 as a secondary audio recording source. Many professional DSLR cameras have unbalanced stereo microphone level audio inputs on a mini TRS 3.5mm jack. The Samson Zoom H4N or H1 output line level audio signals. This cable provides the proper microphone levels and preserves the delicate connector contacts inside the camera, allowing users to go directly from the audio recorder into the camera.

The cable features a -25dB L Pad attenuator on both audio channels to reduce the prosumer line level output (-10dBV) to the camera's microphone input level. The cable is designed with the proper impedances to assure maximum voltage transfer and low noise operation. The cable shield is isolated on the camera end to prevent shield noise from directly coupling into the camera connector ground. All resistors values are 1% metal film to assure similar voltage attenuation between the stereo inputs, and cable ends are labeled for proper connection.
Compatible with the following DSLR cameras:

Al


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Juan Juig
Re: Problem recording with external microphone
on Oct 25, 2016 at 4:31:54 pm

Hi, thank you for taking your time and answering. I will indeed try to connect the microphone to other cameras.

I am using Zoom h4n merely as an external recording audio device for my Sennheiser Mke600 as an input. I believe the zoom does an excellent job and I am very content with its own (stereo microphone) recording abilities as well. I never intended to connect zoom to the DSLR because I use it mainly to record atmospheres and I use the shotgun microphone for dialogue and generally for all the action in front of the camera. In general were you content with your Zoom h4n and was the problem you described its only con?


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George Dean
Re: Problem recording with external microphone
on Nov 11, 2016 at 7:10:12 pm

Hi Juan,

Al's suggestion to try the LN2MIC-ZMH4N-6 Attenuation cable is a good recommendation if you are going to feed the audio from the H4n to your Nikon, which probably does not have attenuator controls.

I have a Canon camcorder and have no problems with the audio from the H4n or connecting it, or mics to the camera. However, I also have a GH4 which is a bit trickier with both the mic and headset connections. Although they seem to insert fully, more than once I have had to apply a bit more force to get them seated fully. They feel good going in, at a glance they look seated, but sometimes the 3.5mm stereo plug falls a tad short of the required full seat. I haven't had any problem with the cables working out during a shoot, but occasionally need to return and push them in a bit during the setup. I have the GH4 in a cage, and this makes getting to the connections more of a chore than when they are unobstructed, and of course this could also be part of the issue getting a full seat.

I usually use the H4n for the primary audio recording and it has been satisfactory for my needs, and think it does a good job for the price. I'm not an audio tech, nor do I record performances, and usually I pipe the audio out of the Zoom to either an Atomos Samurai Blade or Ninja Flame, thereby having the recording in the Zoom, in the Atomos and sometimes in the camera from the camera built in mic.


Best Regards......George


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