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Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?

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nathan williams
Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 4:03:44 am

I am looking to buy a shotgun mic to record audio straight into my camera. I am looking at buying the azden sgm 1x but was just wondering if there would be any problems using an xlr to 3.5mm adapter so i can plug it into my t3i. It would be on my camera most of the time but will be mounted on a boom pole on some occasions.
Thanks


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Brian Reynolds
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 7:39:06 am

Ok audio recording onto a DSLR is not regarded as good quality in a professional sense, if you are serious about getting good quality audio you will need a separate recorder and sync the pics and audio in post production.
DSLR recorded audio certainly does not match the picture quality the cameras can produce.

Azden mics are not regarded as high quality mics.... In life you get what you pay for.

The XLR - 3.5mm stereo plug will probably have to be a custom made cable as most off the shelf cables / adaptors are incorrectly wired.
The correct wiring.... + side of the mic o/p needs to go to the tip AND ring of the plug and the - side of the mic needs to go the sleeve of the connector.

If incorrectly wired 'off the shelf' cables are used, and you are using a balanced mic an in-phase signal is recorded on L channel and an out of phase signal is recorded on the R channel, this results in problems in post production.

Have a read of this thread...
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/30/869444#869444


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nathan williams
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 8:55:13 am

Thanks. i forgot to mention im on a pretty tight budget and cant afford a seperate recorder at the moment. I also dont know much about electrics and doubt i could make a custom wire. would getting something like the rode videomic (plugs straight into 3.5mm jack) be a better option?


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Jean Van Wyk
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Sep 9, 2015 at 2:01:39 pm

"If incorrectly wired 'off the shelf' cables are used, and you are using a balanced mic an in-phase signal is recorded on L channel and an out of phase signal is recorded on the R channel, this results in problems in post production."

Hanging my head. I did this last week collecting customer testimonials at a trade show. Reshooting is not feasible. The audio plays back well on a desktop and iPad, but not on iPhone or Android phones.

I'm using Premiere and Audition, and have access to all Creative Cloud apps. Looking for suggestions for correcting the files to make the footage useable across multiple platforms?

Thanks in advance!


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Peter Groom
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 10:19:46 am

Id second that.
You will be disappointed with the audio recordings on a DSLR.
hissy, harsh mic amps, lack of control, lack of metering, lack of adequate monitoring. Poor for a camera that looks ok
Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 4:59:49 pm

There are some reasonable quality mic preamps from the likes of Beachtek and Juicedlink which would allow you to record onto your DSLR but you'd be very close to spending as much money as getting an external recorder anyway, so I wouldn't really recommend that at the moment.

OTOH, I did a little non-broadcast thing in the summer recording onto a Canon DSLR which had the latest Magic Lantern firmware on it which can accept a balanced input (using the "stereo" mic input and only having one track), as well as manual levels and turning off the AGC. I used a simple XLR to 3.5mm TRS cable and a Rode M3 (powered by it's own 9V battery). I had to put some gain in later to bring the recording up to a decent level and the quality isn't good enough for broadcast, but for a simple thing destined for YouTube it worked out ok!


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Al Bergstein
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 5:23:12 pm

You can get a converter cable, but the standard ones are not 'padded' and the audio can end up being too 'hot'. There are padded cables for this, I got one custom made for the Mixpre-D. But this is padded from 3.5 to 3.5. So you would plug this into the 3.5 from the XLR and that should pad the mic down appropriately. This is really the 'right' way to go if you really want to get good sound into the T3i or other HDSLR. BUT, I totally agree with the posts that trying to get good sound as your primary source into a HDSLR, is a losing battle. I use my Mixpre-D and sound in the camera, when I'm doing interviews where I just can't hassle with a separate recorder, or the ultimate sound quality is 'good enough' from the DSLR (I'm on a 7D). With the Mixpre, I can easily add a feed to my Marantz PMD-661 when I want real solid recording quality. So I'm a *huge* fan of the Mixpre-D, and it's optional (Boo) top camera mount. (come on SD just include the dang thing in the box!)

The good news is that the 7D firmware upgrade has recently come out, and allows override of the AGC, which is a fiasco in Canon DSLR cameras used by 'pros' or us 'semi-pros'. I don't know if the T3i has AGC override yet.

Other good news is that Magic Lantern is now available for the 7D, and I think it's already out for the T3i. You should look into this software, as it gives you a lot of things that Canon should have included. Another reason that Panasonic GH3's are going to give Canon some real trouble in the marketplace.

Al


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nathan williams
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 10:19:02 pm

Thanks everyone, i realise that recording to a dslr is not the best option but i can't afford a mixer or a seperate recorder at the moment. So would it be better to buy a rode videomic or an azden sgm 1x with an xlr to 3.5mm adapter. I guess what im asking is would the adapter degrade the sound to the point where i would be better off buying a rode videomic? Thanks for all your help and patience :)


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Al Bergstein
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 15, 2012 at 11:17:28 pm

If all you have is a T3i, then just buy the Videomic pro. It's already got a pad built in. It's small and fits nicely on top of an HDSLR. It's built better than the Azden, IMHO, and does a decent job. However, it is not a high end mic. It's a great low end mic for built for what you are needing to do, which is on camera audio. You still need to get close to your talent, but it will do the job. It's my 'backup' mic I use on my 7D. Since buying the Mixpre-D, I can run it into the Mixpre and actually hear what I'm recording (what a concept!).

All in all, it's a good *compromise* mic, but honestly, if you are expecting good sound quality, start saving for the right tools. A set of lavaliere's, a decent long shotgun (audio technica makes a decent one for under $200 in the 897, I like it alot), or a boom for the shotgun (and likely someone to manage it) and a recorder, even a Zoom H4N, though I prefer either the Sony's or better yet, the Marantz PMD-661, (and make sure to record in 48kHz not 44, some recorders at the low end only come in 44kHz).

Ty's book/video, and also Jay Rose's books are great starting places to learning the ropes of audio for video.

Good luck, and whatever you get, practice with it a bit before going out and shooting for the real job.

Al


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 16, 2012 at 8:22:14 am

If I may add one extra thought into the mix; using it well, i.e., placing it in the best position and setting the gain correctly, will make much more difference than the choice between different budget microphones, so rather than get hung up on which mic to buy, get some practice in trying different positions, etc.

Even the best microphone will be severely limited in how useable the recording is if it's attached to the top of a camera.


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nathan williams
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 16, 2012 at 10:24:58 pm

Thanks everyone for your help. I have decided on buying the rode videomic. One more question would the rode work for attaching the videomic onto a boom pole?

This is the cable im talking about

http://www.michaels.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flyp...


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Al Bergstein
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 17, 2012 at 3:03:11 pm

It 'can' work but is unshielded (or less shielded) compared to XLR based cabling. Be very careful with electronics around it, and monitor carefully before and during shooting. I use these cables sometimes with wired lavs. Never have had a problem.

Biggest problem is always cell phones. Make sure all are off at your shoots, if possible.

Al


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nathan williams
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 20, 2012 at 2:58:56 am

hey guys thanks so much for all your help. I ended up buying the rode videomic plus a deadcat in the package. I also bought a rode micro boom pole and a vc-1 cable to go with it. All for a pretty modest price. One more question if i was to buy an external recorder such as the zoom h4n in the future is there a 3.5mm jack on it or would i need an adapter if i wanted to use the rode video mic? Thanks


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Al Bergstein
Re: Problems with xlr to 3.5mm adapters?
on Oct 25, 2012 at 11:05:48 am

I had a Zoom, it died. I prefer the marantz pmd661. Yes, it has a 3.5 jack (line 2)

Al


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