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  #16  
Old 12-15-2010, 07:35 AM
Memphis Jim Memphis Jim is offline
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Hi folks,

Fran told me about this place so I decided to join up and get in on the discussion. I need to connect a mic of some sort to my new zi8. Ideally, Iíd like to use the SM58 that I already have.

Iíve ordered that Hosa cord shown above because it seemed to be the best way to get decent audio while keeping it simple. Knuckle now has me concerned that it may not work with very well with the SM58.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Jim
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  #17  
Old 12-15-2010, 07:52 AM
knuckle knuckle is offline
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Well, here's where I'm at, I returned the zi10.

It had excellent video quality but the audio I couldn't get to work right. I had the mix level > max with the hosa adaptor and the rode m3 condenser and you can hardly hear me with the mic 2' away. Now I'm not using an amp.

But at this point, the audio is no better than my 10 year old Sony Handicam DV tape unit.

So I'm at a loss as to what is going to work better.

I've tried the thing with a dynamic mic and the sound is even lower. I tried it with no mic and it sounds like crap although the volume is higher.

Here's a vid I did before I returned it. It's a new song and it's really rough, but it will give you an idea of the sound, or lack of volume

So now I'm contemplating the zoom q3hd. But I don't know if that's going to be any better. I hear the sound is good on those but the video quality is crap. I'm not producing videos for MTV but what I'm trying to do is get together a demo of my stuff with my drummer and bass player on cd to give to bar owners and stuff. So I need to have 1/2 decent sound and 1/2 decent video.

Some are saying the flip hd has great sound quality, but the other dilema is with these small units you can't see what your filming unless your in back of the thing. I would put a mirror behind this zi10 to see what the camera was seeing.

So I'm back to square one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQjwSOBsG5w
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  #18  
Old 12-15-2010, 08:50 AM
Memphis Jim Memphis Jim is offline
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Knuckle. Iím in the same boat as you in regards to my needs for video/audio. I done a ton of research on this and Iíve constantly found solid documentations of decent audio and video from the Zi8. Now I donít know anything about the Zi10.

I also wanted the Q3HD but it was simply out of my price range here at Christmas time. The Zi8 can now be gotten for $99.00. Thatís what I paid for it a Target. I ordered the Hosa deal that you mentioned but it hasnít arrived yet.

If this doesnít work for me I will try that little SPSM-16 mic that Fran tested. If I can just get that level of sound and video quality I will be a happy man.

Jim
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  #19  
Old 12-15-2010, 06:44 PM
Fran Guidry Fran Guidry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knuckle View Post
...

So now I'm contemplating the zoom q3hd. But I don't know if that's going to be any better. I hear the sound is good on those but the video quality is crap. ...
If you have enough light, the video quality is not crap. It's in the same ballpark as the Zi8 and Flip Ultra HD (well better than my Zi8, but as I keep saying, my Zi8 might be having problems.)

Since the Q3HD has a Line In with no processing, it will work better with the mixer output I would assume would be part of recording yourself with bass and drummer.

As an alternative, have you tried syncing audio from a separate recorder to whatever video device you choose? This can be done in REAPER, for instance.

Fran
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  #20  
Old 12-16-2010, 06:28 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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The site you cite shows only the theoretical data; a black or white approach rather than the gray of real use. It doesn't address inefficiency of materials used or losses incurred. The site you cite also doesn't address the irregularities in frequency response due to less than ideal mfgr. Not all transformers are the same. Some are real crap. Some are real good.

George Massenburg, known throughout the world for his invention of the parametric equalizer and mic preamps that are simply stunning, is a good example. Although his circuit designs are amazing for many other reasons, his mic pre inputs are 1k Ohm. To put a transformer between a 200 Ohm Neumann U 87ai mic and a 1k Ohm input impedance preamp in this case would be a travesty.

Sennheiser's MD421 II, based loosely on the original MD421 clearly states, "Nominal impedance 200 Ω, Min. terminating impedance 200 Ω." Note MINIMUM terminating impedance.

The mic input impedance of the ubiquitous Mackie 1604 is 1.3kΩ. Adding step up transformers for mics of lower impedance would be expensive and unwise.

So, WTF? Well the matching impedance approach was instituted by Bell Labs for 600 telephone lines. Read this: http://www.tri-sysdesigns.com/Articl...ringAudio.html

So 600 Ohms got stuck in our culture as did the thought that all audio circuits had to have matching impedances from one output to the next input. Later work and newer circuits changed that and "Low to High - Good", "High to Low - Bad" became the norm.

As I explained in my first book, "Advanced Audio Production Techniques", Focal Press, a good way to keep this in your mind is to think about a one inch water pipe feeding a 5/8" garden hose. That's low impedance (bigger pipe = less impedance) to a smaller relatively higher impedance hose. With that, you get a good stream. Low to High = GOOD

OTOH, when you reverse that and feed a 5/8" hose into a 1" pipe, the water dribbles out of the other end of the pipe. High to Low = BAD.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #21  
Old 12-17-2010, 03:47 PM
Memphis Jim Memphis Jim is offline
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I received the Hosa MIT-156 line-matching transformer. The package says to use this transformer/adaptor to connect a dynamic mic to your computer or to a video camera. It claims to eliminate distortion caused by improper level matching and to get rid of humming and bussing.

We will see how it does connecting the SM58 to a Zi8 camera. It will be after Christmas before I can try it out as the Zi8 is still under the tree for the kids.

jim
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2010, 07:10 PM
BoB/335 BoB/335 is offline
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I'll be watching for your report.
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2010, 07:49 PM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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According to the company: This adaptor is designed to match 600R output impedance to 2.5K input impedance. It may be used to connect a microphone to a portable recording device, camcorder, or PC.

From Shure, "The SM58: Rated impedance is 150 ohms (300 ohms actual) for connection to microphone inputs rated low impedance." That's not strictly the 600 Ohm source expected by the transformer. Can't find the input impedance of the Kodak, so, really, all bets are off because that's not what this transformer was designed to do.

The Kodak appears to be mono and I doubt it's a balanced input, but it might be. The fact that it doesn't say leads me to believe that it's not balanced. The 1/8" adapter is TRS. No way of knowing whether or not they continued the three conductor circuit path to the 1/8" TRS plug. Kodak doesn't reveal whether the jack is wired to accept a TRS plug or whether that will be a problem.

My point is, I doubt you need the transformer and you should find out how the input jack is wired. (Well, you will on Xmas morning.) If the cable works to some degree, I'd try one without the transformer and observe the difference.. If it doesn't work, or works poorly, it's probably the transformer or the three conductors of the TRS plug going into an unbalanced mono input. (Again, we don't really know the wiring of the Koadak input jack or its impedance. I have seen videos online in which the mic used is a Rode VideoMic. The Rode VideoMic is a specially wired 1/8" TS plug. Unbalanced two conductor, not balanced three conductor.

Good luck!

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #24  
Old 12-18-2010, 08:36 AM
Memphis Jim Memphis Jim is offline
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Quote:
The Kodak appears to be mono and I doubt it's a balanced input, but it might be. The fact that it doesn't say leads me to believe that it's not balanced. The 1/8" adapter is TRS. No way of knowing whether or not they continued the three conductor circuit path to the 1/8" TRS plug. Kodak doesn't reveal whether the jack is wired to accept a TRS plug or whether that will be a problem.
First of all, Thanks for the explanation. My knowledge and understanding of mics is embarrassingly low in comparison to yours so please forgive me if I say anything too stupid here. I just spent 30 minutes researching TRS vs. TS and even with that I only have a rote understanding at best!

Iíve found many references that the Zi8 accepts a ďstereoĒ mic. This makes me think that the 1/8Ē stereo adaptor would be OK but I donít know.

I did find this statement in the online extended user guide: Your camera has a built-in mono microphone. Use an external stereo microphone (optional, with a 3.5 mm jack)
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  #25  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:01 AM
ferg ferg is offline
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If you're looking for a mic for use directly with the Zi8, Zi10 my best recommendation to you would be to buy a Zoom H2. For around $150, you get a very flexible device that you can use in a variety of ways.

I believe Fran did a comparison when using the Zoom H2 as a mic on one of the other threads. You can hook it directly into the external mic jack of the Zi8 or Zi10, and it will give you a dramatic improvement. It will also allow you to move the mic closer to the audio source, while still framing the video from a reasonable distance.

That being said - I would recommend that rather than using the H2 as a mic, you simply record the audio ON the H2, and the video on the Zi10, separately and sync them in post. Even though having a decent mic into the camera will make a noticeable difference, the audio processing on those cameras is not great. There's a distracting amount of compression (IMO), and an audible amount of noise, even when using a quality microphone.

With a little practice / experience, syncing the audio and video after the fact is pretty simple / straightforward, and it's, to my ears and eyes, leaps and bounds above using a single device. Of course, YMMV.
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  #26  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:15 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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MJ,

No worries. I try to say something stupid at least once an hour. I usually don't have to TRY at all, it just happens.

TS/TRS: It's just plumbing. What matters is what wires are connected to the T, the R and the S. Each plug or jack can be wired differently, so you can assume (and you know what happens there) but you won't know til you try it unless the documentation says so. Hopefully, it's correct.

You may find the term "smart jacks" in your searches. Smart jack are jacks that have been wired to accept plugs that are wired differently, or it may refer to being able to accept TRS as well as TS plugs. If so in this case, Yahoo!

The Hosa MIT-156 line-matching transformer is NOT an adapter. It's a transformer. I don't see anything in the specs that indicate it adapts a mono XLR source to a stereo input. They may have left that somewhat VITAL detail out.

You won't hurt anything by trying it. The likely outcome will be:

1. It will work.
2. It will sort of work.
3. It will seem to work, but you won't hear much on playback.
4. It won't work.

Even if you get 1. and not 2-4, the adapter cable below may work better because I doubt you need the transformer.

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

If the Kodak generates a small voltage (usually called a bias voltage) required by some consumer mics (and we can't tell if the Kodak does or not), you may need to block that voltage if/when you use a battery powered condenser mic because the Kodak voltage and the battery voltage may be antagonistic. In that cast you need a cable with a blocking circuit to keep the Kodak voltage out of the mic's battery circuit. The cable would be this one...http://www.trewaudio.com/store/produ...&cat=21&page=1

It also adapts the mono mic to the supposed stereo input of the Kodak.

As a side note, it might be fun for you to try a stereo mic, straight in. The Rode NT-4 is a nice choice and comes with a cable that ends in a stereo 1/8" TRS.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #27  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:55 AM
BoB/335 BoB/335 is offline
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Hey Memphis Jim,

I've been trying to spend some time checking out others websites to see a little more about them.

Hijack Alert!!!

Would you mind explaing the SICK YouTube I just witnessed???
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  #28  
Old 12-18-2010, 07:30 PM
Memphis Jim Memphis Jim is offline
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Ferg, what youíre saying seems to be the very best route but honestly Iíve been putting it off, as itís scary to even think about how to sync it. Also, I want something simple enough for my kid to use. Iíll try a couple of the inexpensive options that Ty suggested and if it comes down to it Iíll give in to the H2 method. Thank you very much.

Ty, I do like the way you lay out the options. Itís very clear. Thanks for that. If this doesnít work for me Iíll go down the list until something becomes acceptable. Except for the Rode NT-4 bit. They are 500 bucks! I would probably try the SPSM-16 for $20 since Fran had good luck with it.

Bob, Sick? I assume thatís a good thing these days! Thank you for watching. Itís my boy ďAdamĒ playing that. He is the only reason that I do anything with guitar these days. He and I work on guitar every chance we get and he is the reason that Iím looking into this recording set up. The kid has composed a number of instrumentals using our Taylor acoustic. I have to work harder to record something like that. With an electric guitar the distortion seems to mask the poor audio recordings. The kid is mostly into acoustic these days so here I am.

Since you asked about the video here you go... A year or so back some guys on a guitar forum were talking about learning to play Eruption. I learned that among electric guitarist itís a mile marker of some sort. Everyone had tried to learn it at some point but only a few had gotten through it. Anyways, some of the guys on the forum decided to put 2 weeks work into revisiting the song. My son listened to EVH for the first time and his little eyes glossed over with amazement. He wanted to learn it but I told him it was too hard and that he was setting unrealistic expectations for his level of experience. He also had other obligations like guitar lessons to keep up with and school too. He insisted that he wanted to at least give it a try. Well, after exactly 14 days of him abusing the Mexican Strat he proved my parenting skills wrong and I grabbed a camera and posted our progress for the guys to see. NEVER doubt the power that EVH has over a 9yr old boyís brain! Oh yea, another word of advice, never ever try to have an intelligent conversation with a 9yr old playing eruption! You will lose out big time.

Itís certainly not what heís put most of his music work into but itís one of his favorite accomplishments and I actually learned a lot of other things from that experience too. So, we posted it on the homepage of his youtube channel for everyone to see and thatís what you watched.
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  #29  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:19 AM
BoB/335 BoB/335 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis Jim View Post
Ferg, what youíre saying seems to be the very best route but honestly Iíve been putting it off, as itís scary to even think about how to sync it. Also, I want something simple enough for my kid to use. Iíll try a couple of the inexpensive options that Ty suggested and if it comes down to it Iíll give in to the H2 method. Thank you very much.

Ty, I do like the way you lay out the options. Itís very clear. Thanks for that. If this doesnít work for me Iíll go down the list until something becomes acceptable. Except for the Rode NT-4 bit. They are 500 bucks! I would probably try the SPSM-16 for $20 since Fran had good luck with it.

Bob, Sick? I assume thatís a good thing these days! Thank you for watching. Itís my boy ďAdamĒ playing that. He is the only reason that I do anything with guitar these days. He and I work on guitar every chance we get and he is the reason that Iím looking into this recording set up. The kid has composed a number of instrumentals using our Taylor acoustic. I have to work harder to record something like that. With an electric guitar the distortion seems to mask the poor audio recordings. The kid is mostly into acoustic these days so here I am.

Since you asked about the video here you go... A year or so back some guys on a guitar forum were talking about learning to play Eruption. I learned that among electric guitarist itís a mile marker of some sort. Everyone had tried to learn it at some point but only a few had gotten through it. Anyways, some of the guys on the forum decided to put 2 weeks work into revisiting the song. My son listened to EVH for the first time and his little eyes glossed over with amazement. He wanted to learn it but I told him it was too hard and that he was setting unrealistic expectations for his level of experience. He also had other obligations like guitar lessons to keep up with and school too. He insisted that he wanted to at least give it a try. Well, after exactly 14 days of him abusing the Mexican Strat he proved my parenting skills wrong and I grabbed a camera and posted our progress for the guys to see. NEVER doubt the power that EVH has over a 9yr old boyís brain! Oh yea, another word of advice, never ever try to have an intelligent conversation with a 9yr old playing eruption! You will lose out big time.

Itís certainly not what heís put most of his music work into but itís one of his favorite accomplishments and I actually learned a lot of other things from that experience too. So, we posted it on the homepage of his youtube channel for everyone to see and thatís what you watched.
Thanks Jim!!! I've been playing guitar my whole life and I would never attempt that song. (And I think I'm a fine electric player and can rip it up pretty good)
You have a great goal and it's worth your investment to get some great shots of your son. Best of luck in your decisions.
btw I NEVER use the term "sick" but I gotta tell you, that was SICK!!!
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  #30  
Old 12-19-2010, 07:51 AM
ferg ferg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis Jim View Post
Ferg, what youíre saying seems to be the very best route but honestly Iíve been putting it off, as itís scary to even think about how to sync it.
Jim,

Understood. The nice thing about having the H2 and a small camcorder, such as the Zi8 or similar is that you have the option to always just shoot with the camcorder itself. You also have the option to shoot with the camcorder using the H2 as the microphone. And of course, the option to record the video separately.

As for the sync'ing, it's really not difficult at all, depending on how familiar you are with the software you're using to do it already. Within the realm of software, I'm still using Vegas Pro. I've actually moved over to Mac for everything else I do in the multimedia realm, including all audio recording. My main machine is a Ma. Vegas is windows-only, however, and for video editing, I have yet to find an easier to use program out there, so I actually do my video editing on a windows laptop that's not nearly the workhorse my iMac is.

Vegas isn't cheap, but they now have consumer-level versions of Vegas called "move studio". In fact the basic Movie Studio HD title is under $30. I'm not certain what all these can do, but I'd say they're worth a look, as I'd imagine the interface and controls are very similar to the pro version, just with fewer features overall.

If you use windows, I'd at least take a look at this software...

For me, syncing the video is as simple as dropping the video track into the software, then dropping the audio track...zooming in as far as I can, then moving the audio until it matches up.

FYI - here is a clip of my Zi8 with an external mic:

Zi8 w/ External Mic Demo

A couple of notes:

1. We had the PA speakers out in front of us, so I put the Zi8, out in front of them, about 3-5 feet away, and pointed the mic (AT822) at the closest speaker.

2. This was shot using a wide-angle lens. The field of vision on the Zi8 is pretty narrow, and I find that, without this lens, you have to move pretty far back. The lens is actually pretty cool and only costs $17 - you put this self-adhesive metal ring around the lens on the camera, and this lens is magnetic. This is the lens, for those interested. You'll notice some blurring toward the edges, though (look at the percussionist). Just want to be clear that this doesn't happen with just the built-in lens.

Now, what you'll notice is that the sound really isn't bad, right? But notice how the guitar almost disappears when the vocals come in. THAT's my beef with this setup. I had the mic level as low as it could go, and it still compressed it. I wish they'd simply implemented a limiter, but they didn't - everything is heavily compressed. When I looked at the waveform in Vegas, you could see that this audio wasn't getting anywhere near overloading.

In the end, though, this clip is a pretty good representation of what you can achieve without recording a/v on separate devices. Of all the recordings I've done, this is probably the best. The video quality is certainly the best I've gotten in a relatively low-light situation.
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