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G2 audio distortion even at low levels

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William Dron
G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 22, 2009 at 1:12:28 pm

Hi

I'm fairly new to video production and learning as I go. Having recently purchased a pair of Sennheiser G2 radio mics and DXA-2S audio adapter for my Sony HDR-FX1E, I'm finding it all works brilliantly.... but a little too brilliantly. It seems too sensitive, causing slight distortion in my latest interview.

When testing the sound I noticed less hiss by turning the camera level right down and turning the adapter right up, but this seems to have caused the distortion. I think with practice I can find an acceptable set-up, but why is it so much more sensitive than the in-built mics and does anyone have some tips on getting the best from my kit?

Also, is there a way to clean up what I've got using FCP or is this 'clipping', for which I've read there is no fix. It's so frustrating interviewing someone only to find there's a problem with the recording as you can rarely shoot it again. But I'm sure I don't need to tell you all!

Thanks in advance.


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Jordan Wolf
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:15:13 pm

Here is my procedure for setting up the gain structure for ANY wireless microphone:

1. Put mic on talent (usually no lower than the top of the 3rd button on a button-down shirt).
2. Turn on transmitter and have talent speak at a similar level to that which they will use for the actually taping; adjust transmitter's sensitivity so that there is around 12dB-20dB of headroom and no fear of clipping the bodypack.
3. Turn on receiver and set the camera to accept the correct level signal (Line or Mic, usually).
4. Using headphones/earphones, listen to the incoming audio, turn up the camera's gain, if needed, and leave about 12dB-20dB of headroom - maybe a bit more if there's yelling involved. The meters on the bodypack, receiver, and the camera should read identically IF your gain structure has been set up properly. In this way, you know exactly what levels each part of the signal chain is receiving.

Wolf
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Jordan Wolf
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:17:39 pm

FYI - when leaving 12dB-20dB of headroom (room before distortion will set in), your camera's meters SHOULD read around 3/4 of the way up, on average.

Wolf
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William Dron
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 22, 2009 at 4:38:34 pm

Looks like a rookie error, then - need to check the levels on the transmitter and receiver before the levels shown on the camera. Thanks for this. Thankfully the sound quality is passable but next time I want it perfect!

Thanks for your help, Wolf. Finding Creative Cow and its users invaluable.


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Ty Ford
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 23, 2009 at 12:05:26 am

Hello William and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Rule #1 for location audio is....always listen, with a good set of headphones. The Sony MDR 7506 are industry standard. They are you first line of defense against crappy audio.

Stuff can happen at any time during an interview, and if you're not listening, you're great work can end up unusable.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Jordan Wolf
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 24, 2009 at 6:08:24 am

I have found that the MDR-7506 headphones are usable, but am now leaning towards cans with more isolation. Check out "earphones" and also the GK Ultraphones or Direct Sound's EX-29 headphones.

You'll be able to hear the details without your recording environment getting in the way.

I own a pair of Shure SCL3 earphones as well as a pair of MDR-7506s. The Shure's really let me hear JUST the recording/audio signal; the Sony's - not so much.

When I get my pair of isolation headphones, I'll post my thoughts/experiences. :-)

Wolf
<><


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William Dron
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 24, 2009 at 2:43:39 pm

I was using some Sennheiser PX200s that were lying around, which I know is not ideal... while I could hear hiss quite clearly I couldn't make out the distortion that was clearly occuring. I have found isolation earbuds much better actually, but have never seen pros using earbuds... probably for a very good reason! Anyway, point taken - pay more attention to sound quality pre-record.

One thing that I'm learning is never just go with it - try make sure it's right first time. Also, don't be afraid to ask the subject to redo something if necessary.

Thanks again.


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Ty Ford
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 24, 2009 at 4:17:11 pm

Bill,

I don't post on this forum just to see my words on a screen.

I will offer this advice once more. Then, you're on your own.

Please order a pair of MDR7506 today. No Kidding. They are industry standard.

Here: http://www.coffeysound.com/product.php?productid=66&cat=0&page=1

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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William Dron
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Sep 24, 2009 at 4:31:27 pm

Yep, appreciate that. In due course I'm sure we will invest in a pair of MDR7506s. Thank you for the recommendation.


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William Dron
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Oct 12, 2009 at 3:02:30 pm

Since this discussion I have found this link on another part of CC:

http://dvcreators.net/products/sennheiser_wireless_movieframe.htm

It's a must for first time G2 users.

Will


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William Dron
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:31:01 am

Sound issues with the G2 resolved after further practice and MDR7506s now on order.

Thanks, Ty.


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Ty Ford
Re: G2 audio distortion even at low levels
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:04:00 pm

Bill,

Glad to hear it. Your audio life will be better.

Thanks for checking back in.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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