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Monitoring audio on camcorders without headphone jacks

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tom friedman
Monitoring audio on camcorders without headphone jacks
on Sep 10, 2010 at 12:53:23 am

Yes, I know the only way to be certain the audio my video students are getting as they shoot is to monitor with headphones, but the low-end MiniDV camcorders like the Canon ZR960s we use in my high school video production classes don't have headphone jacks--a shocking omission, but we really can't afford better. I'm thinking, however, that better than nothing would be a breakout box with mini stereo inputs for our low-end external mics, a jack for monitoring with headphones, and a mini stereo output to plug into the camera's single mini stereo input. At least my students would know that the mics are turned on, though they wouldn't be monitoring what actually has gone down onto tape. Does anyone know of such a device--hopefully at a price well under $100? The ability to monitor the mics is the essential issue here.
An alternative (though not for under $100) might be to record to, and monitor from, an external solid-state audio recorder. Would there be issues with syncing that audio with picture from the camcorder?
Much thanks for this great forum,
Tom Friedman


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Michael Martin
Re: Monitoring audio on camcorders without headphone jacks
on Sep 10, 2010 at 1:38:31 am

You're best bet is to get a Beachtek or Juicelink mixer that can be mounted on to your camera.

Best,

-Michael Martin
Martin Media Designs
Location Sound/Audio Post Production/Sound Design


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Ty Ford
Re: Monitoring audio on camcorders without headphone jacks
on Sep 10, 2010 at 1:49:44 am

Hello Tom and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

The only thing that'll give you is whether or not the audio is making it to the camera. The problem of level to the camera input won't be addressed and you can still screw up. Juicebox or any mixer will not be of help.

You might want to read the manual. The web site says,"AV Mini Terminal/Headphone Terminal 3.5 mm 4-pole mini-jack, output only (AV mini terminal only)"

Sound to me like you overlooked the headphone output. Back to square one.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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John Fishback
Re: Monitoring audio on camcorders without headphone jacks
on Sep 10, 2010 at 8:10:14 pm

As Ty says, listening to the phones during record will likely only monitor the input signal. The best way to check your program is record a bit, then playback and evaluate that signal.

John

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