Canon Vixia HF S100 Mic Input Issues

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SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

I've been using my canon vixia HF S100 for quite some time now and love it however last night I found an issue with the audio.

I used to use the on board stereo mic in the camera but wanted better isolation from the room and being this camera has a "3.5 mm stereo mini-jack" mic input, (info from Canon website) I went out and got a Comprehensive brand Stereo 3.5mm Mini Male to 3-Pin XLR Female Cable.

Thing is, when I go back and listen to the clips on the mono speaker in the camera, I can't hear anything and same with post production processing done and it's on youtube....I'll pull it up on a mono playback source such as my iPod Touch 4G and will get no sound.

I figure I'm trying to feed a mono mic into a stereo source and it's confusing the playback devices....but in Premiere CS5, both L and R meter bars light up on the stereo track.......

Am I missing something here?....a wrong cable?....something not right anywhere else on the chain?

Canon Vixia HF S100
Azden SGM-1X mic

I tried my lapel mic as well and same thing

Suggestions?

Dave

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

If its a stereo cable then the 3 pins of the 3.5mm will be wired to the three pins of the XLRfor use with an unbalanced stereo mic, what you need is a 3.5mm mono cable as you are using a mono mic.

The three pins on the 3.5mm input are:
sleeve: earth
ring: left signal
tip: right signal

The XLR connector on your mic as it will be balanced will be:
1: earth
2: hot +ve (not left signal)
3: cold -ve (not right signal)

So what you need is a cable that takes the balanced mic signal and splits it as a mono source across the stereo inputs of your camera, what is probably happening with the cable you have is that some of the pins are being linked and causing it not to work at all.

Hope this helps I have tried to explain in basic terms but I am sure others with more tech experience can give you a wiring diagram etc.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

As far as I'm aware, there's no formal standard for using a 3-pin XLR as a stereo connector. So it'd only be by luck that you got anything from it.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

Paul Jordan
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Joined: Apr 22 1999

The cable you describe sounds correct so in theory it should work ( I have a similar cable which works perfectly spliting the mono signal from the xlr mic to a to both channels of the stereo mini jack at the other end). Problem could be on the mic itself, make sure the battery is in and you have switched the power on the mic on.

Hope this helps.

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

The mic and cable are both fine, and playback sounds fine on stereo speakers, but on a mono speaker playback...nothing but a bit of white noise.

I've seen both mono and stereo versions of the XLR to mini TRS cable at B&H and so I may get a mono version and see what that does. For now I'm going to record to a separate device and sync the tracks later.

By the way, this is the cable I'm using now:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/133646-REG/Comprehensive_XLRJ_MPS_18INST_EXF_Stereo_Mini_Male.html

Dave

Nigel Longman
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Joined: Apr 28 1999
180 deg out of phase?

Isn't this problem caused by the fact that using a lead with the connections indicated by Gary the left and right channels will carry the mono signal but inverted a perfect 180 degs? So on a stereo system each track will show up and play OK albeit out of phase (which with critical listening will show up as a spread or lack of definition to the stereo image) but when summed through a mono system will cancel each other out resulting in silence apart from the random system background noise?

Hope that might help. NL

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Ah yes Nigel is correct you are recording left and right out of phase so that when you mono them they cancel out.

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

good point....and listening back through my studio monitors, it does sound out of phase.

Could I reverse the phase in post to fix the issue for now?
And that said, does anyone have a cable suggestion from B&H that will work better with my camcorder?

Dave

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Yes if you phase reverse one side it will be OK.

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

Ok so I went and found a way in Premiere to split a stereo track into two mono tracks and then applied a phase invert plugin.
I then rendered out a stereo audio file from the project, and a mono audio file.
In playback of both stereo speakers and mono, the stereo file sounds exactly the same as the original and the mono sounds very degraded.

audio files:
mono - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=VVVDW7CH
stereo - http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2U365Y0I
(AAF files, play in Quicktime)

I'm looking at this cable:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/160635-REG/Hosa_Technology_XVM_305F_Mono_Mini_Male_to.html

It's a bit high in price but hopefully it will hold up for a while until I can save up for a Beachtek DXA-2T.

Dave

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Why didn't you just take one of the split stereo tracks and make it just a main mono source, you would then not have needed to do any phase reverse at all.

I don't know this edit system but that is what I would have done in FCP.

Alan Roberts
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Joined: May 3 1999

Quite, Since you have a mono source, just export the sound as a stereo and reimport just the left track as mono. I'm absolutely certain you can do this.

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

This camera records to SD cards and I have not been able to find a way to set Premiere Pro CS5 to import just a L track of the stereo recording. If anyone has any ideas on how to do that it would be helpful.

Dave

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Well in FCP you can import as stereo or a dual mono or just a single mono from either channel.

If you have imported stereo you can still slit the tracks in the edit window and then just delete one track and pan the valid one to the centre.

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

Ah figured it out in Premiere...there is a way to set it so it will import to the timeline as two mono tracks. Playing back those mono tracks clearly cancels out but putting a phase invert on any of the two channels brings the sound back.

Now I just have to render out and see how it sounds on a mono playback system.

EDIT:
And it's fixed! Thanks for all the help everyone.

Dave

MAGLINK
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Joined: Mar 8 2007

Good and at least you didn't have to buy another cable.

SonicOrbStudios
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Joined: Nov 24 2010

edit
Well, ok, so not only did I order the mono version of the cable, (linked in a previous post here) but I also dropped some more cash and ordered an H4n with mounts to get it as well as my Azden SGM1X shotgun mounted to the mini shoe of my Canon camcorder.

I figure the next step will be a better camcorder with on board XLR and larger LCD screen but for now, this works and is better than other solutions.

Dave