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Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

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Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Chimera » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:54 pm

I bought a Camcorder to do Youtube recordings and have a problem that Panasonic won't answer so I'm trying to work out if the camera is faulty or if I am doing something wrong.

The camera has a stereo mic jack input so I have output from the RME Fireface audio headphones output. I'm experiencing a strange high frequency swirling noise on the camera audio that isn't present on the RME output.

The camera mic is

MIC input:
-60 dBV (Mic sensitivity -40 dB equivalent, 0 dB=1 V/Pa, 1 kHz)
(Stereo mini jack)



​The RME output is 6.3mm TRS stereo jack, unbalanced. Max output level at 0 dBFS, High +16.8 dBu, Low +2 dBV. Output impedance 24 Ohm.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Wonks » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:00 pm

What model of camcorder? And are you sure it's a stereo input? If it's a TRS mic jack it's probably mono and may be trying to supply a low DC voltage (3v?) to power the mic.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:50 pm

I'd ask why bother? You need to put the video into the computer to get it up onto YouTube anyway, just record the audio to the computer via the RME and sync it up to the video in post production. That has the added bonus of not passing it through another AD/DA stage or the camera's, probably, less than optimum mic preamp.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Chimera » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:09 pm

Wonks wrote:What model of camcorder? And are you sure it's a stereo input? If it's a TRS mic jack it's probably mono and may be trying to supply a low DC voltage (3v?) to power the mic.

Hi it’s a HC VXF990, supposed to record in stereo. Panasonic just gave an obtuse answer. “We can not guarantee that such an operation will be possible on HC-VFX990.”
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Chimera » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:12 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I'd ask why bother? You need to put the video into the computer to get it up onto YouTube anyway, just record the audio to the computer via the RME and sync it up to the video in post production. That has the added bonus of not passing it through another AD/DA stage or the camera's, probably, less than optimum mic preamp.

Hi Sam, I will do it in Logic for the proper videos but this was just a test to see if everything was working. I was just trying to ascertain if it was faulty or user error due to impedance mismatches or something similar.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:41 pm

Makes sense. As Wonky says camera mic inputs are usually mono plus 'miccpower'. The spec on the Pana website says "stereo microphone" but that almost certainly refers to the onboard mics (and the pics support that) but I can't find a downloadable manual to see what external mics it supports.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Kwackman » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:02 pm

Unless I'm missing something (very likely!) surely the main problem is putting a line level output signal into a mic level input?
Unless the camera has a line input, this isn't going to work without a Pad, DI box or a combination of both, and even then it won't be pretty.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:06 pm

He's using the headphone output from the RME, I'm assuming the volume control is sufficient to get the level somewhere right but you may well have a pontiff it's messing with the camera's AGC and causing the noises?
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Kwackman » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:23 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:He's using the headphone output from the RME, I'm assuming the volume control is sufficient to get the level somewhere right
I'm not sure if it's that simple? Aren't there impedance issues etc. too?
Where's ef37a, Hugh or some other guru when you need them?!
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:06 pm

I doubt it is that simple but the OP acknowledge it was just for testing anyway.........
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Chimera » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:19 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I doubt it is that simple but the OP acknowledge it was just for testing anyway.........

Well TBH that’s the back pedalling take when challenged but I genuinely would like to understand what is going on.

I’ve dropped the levels down in Totalmix so it isn’t distortion. It is worse with the AGC switched off.

I could try it tomorrow via the Fireface 802 line outs. I could post the original audio issue to Soundcloud too.

I’m really just trying to improve my knowledge of why it sounds wrong.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Wonks » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:56 pm

Manual here.

https://tda.panasonic-europe-service.co ... qw0536.pdf

Are you using an external PSU for the camera at all when recording as it does say in the manual:

"A compatible plug-in powered microphone can be used as an external microphone.

If you connect an external microphone when a setting other than [AUTO] is selected for [MIC LEVEL] (l100 ), (Microphone input level meter) will be displayed.

When the unit is connected with the AC adaptor, sometimes noise may be heard depending on the microphone type. In this case, please switch to the battery for the power supply and the noise will stop."

But no details about the external connection, and whether it's TRS or TRRS.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby CS70 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:05 am

https://eriknaso.com/2014/05/23/gh4-ext ... rk-around/

This is for the GH4 but there's a chance it may be the same for other Pannies.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Tim Gillett » Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:16 am

Even with the internal mic, sometimes the manual input level needs to be reduced. On my Panny Lumix GH3, I always have the manual mic level (internal mic) reduced to I think 4 out of 10. Have you investigated manual recording levels in your camera menu?
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby MOF » Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:15 am

According to the spec’s I’ve read it is a stereo input https://www.johnlewis.com/panasonic-hc- ... k/p2799113

The headphone output is capable of being much higher than a line output as others have said you’re going into a mic’ input for which even line level is too high, you’ll have to turn it right down to avoid distortion.
Is your lead a 3 pin type connector- tip, ring and sleeve, that’s all you need for stereo?
Have you tried moving the equipment elsewhere, it might be interference from a light dimmer causing the high pitched sound?
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby James Perrett » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:24 pm

Looking at the numbers...

If the RME has a 100dB signal to noise ratio then the noise level will be -98dBV on the low output setting. As the nominal input level on the camcorder is -60dBV this will give you a signal to noise ratio of only 38dB which is worse than a cheap cassette so it isn't surprising that you are hearing too much noise.

You will need to use something like a 40dB (or greater) attenuator to reduce the signal to a usable level.
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Re: Panasonic Camcorder Sound issue

Postby Chimera » Sun Dec 15, 2019 8:04 am

Using battery power. Haven’t got any dimmers these days. I lowered the TotalMix and headphone level knobs very low. I’m not hearing any distortion. I will try recording with a manual level set on the Panasonic.
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