Sony HDR cx700v - Auto Volume? - AVS Forum
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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My organization recently purchased the Sony HDR cx700v camera in hopes of recording our events. We have an XLR to 3.5mm cable so we can plug into press boxes so we can bring the audio feed right into the camera.

The problem is, there seems to be some sort of Auto Volume feature, where if there is a silent part of the feed, after 1-2 seconds the camera will try and overcompensate and raise the volume of feed, which is silent, and the result is a loud, annoying hiss. It basically makes using a direct feed for the audio useless as any break from the action results in the horrible hissing.

I've looked up and down the menu of settings on the camera and the only thing I can find remotely relevant is there is a "Micref Level" with the options for "Normal" or "Low". Default was "Normal", but I've also tried "Low", and all it does is minorly lower the volume of the hissing (as well as everything else), as it's still there after 1-2 seconds of silence.

I'm kind of at a loss for what to do. This was an expensive camcorder that other than this automatic volume behavior works great. It's gotten to the point though that I can't use the direct audio feed, and have to just rely on what the built-in microphones pick up from the event, which gives it sort of an amateur feel, but is better than having the annoying hissing going on during silence.

Can anyone help me with this? Is there something I'm overlooking? Anything I can do?

thanks very much
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:56 AM
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Gotta love auto-gain huh.

Not a lot you can do directly with the camera.

Your options both include buying external devices. One, is to add something like a beachtek device (there are a couple different kinds) like this, which have Auto-gain disabling features (basically feeds the camera a continuous high frequency pitch to keep the auto gain from ramping up in quiet periods.)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...o_Adapter.html

Or you can do the audio completely separate from the camera and sync it up on the computer. Something like this will take the xlr input from the audio mixer.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_4_Track.html

-Suntan
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Gotta love auto-gain huh.

Not a lot you can do directly with the camera.

Your options both include buying external devices. One, is to add something like a beachtek device (there are a couple different kinds) like this, which have Auto-gain disabling features (basically feeds the camera a continuous high frequency pitch to keep the auto gain from ramping up in quiet periods.)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...o_Adapter.html

Or you can do the audio completely separate from the camera and sync it up on the computer. Something like this will take the xlr input from the audio mixer.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...e_4_Track.html

-Suntan

I just called over to Sony (or India) to talk to their support. I was put on hold for about 10 minutes while she reviewed it with a "product specialist". they came back blaming the sound systems I've been plugging into because I couldn't verify if they had "Sony" equipment and then fed me a whole bunch of bs that non technical people probably just accept, but I could tell it was 100% bs. You happened to respond while I was still on the phone so I asked her if the camera has any sort of automatic gain control that we could turn off and she said no because it's a consumer level camera. I think she is talking out of her ass and I wasn't going to get any better support unless I talked to Tier 2 or 3 support in the states. Frustrating.

I'll investigate that device. How well do they work? Might take some arm twisting to get them to spend another $400 though...
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:38 AM
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I've never used either, but beachtek products get good reviews in general and many people rave about the h4n. It's one of the few audio recorders with xlr inputs in that price range.

fwiw, she was truthful in some sort. Manual control of audio gain is roughly considered a "pro" feature. Although if my memory serves, some of the consumer panny cameras have manual control. At least some of them a few generations back did I think.

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Old 09-14-2011, 11:24 AM
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"Manual control of audio gain is roughly considered a "pro" feature. Although if my memory serves, some of the consumer panny cameras have manual control. At least some of them a few generations back did I think."

Only Sony believes that manual audio control is only for pro's. Panasonic, JVC, Canon consumer camcorders all have manual control of audio. Sony is the exception. If one is interested in audio, Sony is the worst choice for consumers. Even the upgraded Sony NEX's just out, which finally added manual control of video, still have no manual control of audio.

I recommend getting rid of (selling) the Sony Cx700v and getting either a Canon, Panasonic or JVC camcorder. Getting all these add-ons will just complicate things and also explode your budget. I certainly recommend doing one's homework before buying.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

"Manual control of audio gain is roughly considered a "pro" feature. Although if my memory serves, some of the consumer panny cameras have manual control. At least some of them a few generations back did I think."

Only Sony believes that manual audio control is only for pro's. Panasonic, JVC, Canon consumer camcorders all have manual control of audio. Sony is the exception. If one is interested in audio, Sony is the worst choice for consumers. Even the upgraded Sony NEX's just out, which finally added manual control of video, still have no manual control of audio.

I recommend getting rid of (selling) the Sony Cx700v and getting either a Canon, Panasonic or JVC camcorder. Getting all these add-ons will just complicate things and also explode your budget. I certainly recommend doing one's homework before buying.

Well, not all non-Sony camcorders have manual audio, for example the otherwise seminal HG10 has auto audio even for external sources. But yes, most non-Sony camcorders offer manual audio control, especially if there is an audio jack.

I fully agree with the above posting: get rid of the CX700V, do your homework next time and do not expect anything you think should be "normal".

P.S. "organization"? "events"? I am a bit intrigued.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:56 AM
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.....if my memory serves, some of the consumer panny cameras have manual control......

The Panasonic SDT750 has manual control of the audio under [MIC LEVEL]. I checked the 900 manual and it is the same.

Somewhere in another post, it was suggested that the current Pansonics can record fan noise in hot and very quiet situations because of the AGC trying to boost the quietest noise to a recordable level. The solution, like needed in this thread, is to turn off the AGC under the [MIKE LEVEL] option.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:04 PM
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You are quoting a quote I posted not me; I do not need to "recall" whether Panasonic has manual audio control - I have a TM900 and it has manual control. No big deal, I just do not want to look like an idiot.

And, it is correct - the fan noise problem was mostly due to users not turning off AGC when in a quiet room.

I am amazed the Canon G10 has no manual audio when most of their consumer camcorders always had it.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:18 PM
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I am amazed the Canon G10 has no manual audio when most of their consumer camcorders always had it.

HG10, not G10.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:40 PM
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You are quoting a quote I posted not me; I do not need to "recall" .....

Ooops! My bad. Didn't mean to insult.
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Old 09-14-2011, 12:50 PM
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Of course not; I just wanted to correct the record. And I just mistook the G10 and the GH10.
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:12 PM
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Of course not; I just wanted to correct the record. And I just mistook the G10 and the GH10.

It is HG10 ;-)
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:47 AM
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You are quoting a quote I posted not me; I do not need to "recall" whether Panasonic has manual audio control - I have a TM900 and it has manual control. No big deal, I just do not want to look like an idiot.
And so what are you implying about the person you quoted?

Jeeze the people around here. Nerds spending all day memorizing video camera names and numbers It's a wonder I don't get down here much anymore.

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