Buzzing sound - second opinion needed

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Grumps, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    I bought a Sony HC96 and am not 100% sure it does not have a problem. When
    the unit is either playing or recording, there is an audible buzzing sound
    coming from the tape transport (right hand side). Some of this sound is
    recorded in the right audio channel. It's not loud, but it is there. Is this
    typical of compact camcorders?
    Grumps, Jun 6, 2006
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  2. Grumps

    G Hardy Guest

    Tape transport pickup is typical of any camcorder where there is a
    microphone attached directly. Even my XL1 will record the sound of the
    motors (tape and zoom) if the ambient noise is low enough and I have
    automatic gain on the mike.

    If yours is only recording on one channel, it's likely that it can actually
    "hear" the noise being made, though (the typical pickup is vibration, and
    that's picked up on both channels). It shouldn't really be doing that.
    G Hardy, Jun 6, 2006
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  3. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    Thanks for the post.
    I've done a bit of googling on this matter, and it would seem to be quite a
    common issue with this range of camcorders. Whether my particular unit is
    any worse than others is another matter. I'll compare it to another in
    I'm pretty sure the pick-up is louder on the right channel, and you can
    definitely hear the buzz/whine at the side of the unit.
    Grumps, Jun 6, 2006
  4. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    I have compared my unit with two others in two different high street shops.
    They all make this whine. It's a shame, 'cos it's otherwise a perfect device
    for me.
    Grumps, Jun 7, 2006
  5. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    God, I wish this group were more busy!
    And from Sony, "While we are unable to confirm if the noise pick-up you are
    experiencing on your camcorder is normal via e-mail I can advise that there
    is some mechanism noise recorded on the internal microphone."
    Me thinks that they should provide an external mic FOC. Let's try that.
    Grumps, Jun 7, 2006
  6. Grumps

    RSD Guest

    You´ll be very lucky to get any serious response form Sony.

    I´m sure you´ve already looked into it, but the simplest answer is to use an
    add - on mic. I used to use a cheap Sony Hot Shoe model, which definitely
    eliminated the camera generated whine you´re experiencing. Also, most Sony
    cams that I´ve used have 12Bit sound set as standard in the menu. It is
    worth changing this to 16Bit if you´re not doing any in-camera dubbing.

    RSD, Jun 7, 2006
  7. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    I know it's unlikely that Sony will send me a mic, but I thought it was a
    big step for them to admit that there is recorded mechanism noise.

    Why do Sony set 12 bit as the default? I have set this to 16 bit. Does it
    make a difference, I'm not sure.
    Grumps, Jun 7, 2006
  8. Grumps

    John Russell Guest

    12 bit gives you 4 channel audio. Some Sony camcorders use these with a 4
    channel mic for surround sound. Others Sony Camcorders just allow you to dub
    a second stereo track, such as music, to the tape.
    John Russell, Jun 7, 2006
  9. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    Ah, ok.
    I'll just stick with 16 bit then. Any editing etc will be done in Premiere
    Grumps, Jun 7, 2006
  10. A mic, especially a mic subject to an Automatic Gain Control, built in
    to the same compact housing as a mechanical transport is going to pick
    up noise. In some uses this can be tolerated as a trade-off against
    the convenience of a compact camera. In others it can't.

    Unfortunately sound doesn't seem to be taken seriously by a lot of
    camcorder makers. They achieve near-professional video but often
    provide no external mic connection and no way of defeating AGC.
    Laurence Payne, Jun 7, 2006
  11. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    I know. It's really pants!
    I wonder if I could selotape my minidisk recorder to it.
    Grumps, Jun 7, 2006
  12. Grumps

    John Russell Guest

    This must be a big advantage of Hard Disk Camcorders. They use the same
    Toshiba drives as used in MP3 players and I can hardly mine even when put to
    my ear!
    John Russell, Jun 7, 2006
  13. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    What's the quality like compared to MiniDV?
    Grumps, Jun 7, 2006
  14. Grumps

    G Hardy Guest

    As long as you don't selotape your minidisk recorder's mike to the
    camcorder, you'll be OK. Otherwise, you're back to square one.

    I hide a minidisk recorder near the subject to avoid transport/zoom noise.
    It has the added advantage that the channels stay centred and at constant
    amplitude, no matter where I point the camera or how far I move from the
    G Hardy, Jun 7, 2006
  15. That would be foolish. It would pick up motor noise from the camera

    However, a minidisk or other digital recorder located off-camera,
    preferably nearer the action, is a very good idea. Import the audio
    to your editing program. You shouldn't have practical sync problems
    over reasonably short scenes with a digital camera and digital audio
    recorder. They're pretty stable.
    Laurence Payne, Jun 7, 2006
  16. Grumps

    John Russell Guest

    Providing you don't use high compression modes they will be DVD quality
    using the MPEG-2 encoder chip. The downside is that this will soon fill the
    drive and you will then need to dump the video to a PC after about 7 hours
    instead of the 20-30 hours they boast about.

    I often end up debating whether most people would ever notice the difference
    between a DVD created from DV, or Incremental MPEG-2. (DV is Full Frame Only
    MPEG-2). It's also ironic as the new HDTV cameras have to use Incremental
    MPEG-2 to get an hour of HDTV on a DV sized tape!
    John Russell, Jun 7, 2006
  17. Grumps

    Grumps Guest

    I did get a response.
    "Although we cannot supply free microphones with our camcorders....
    "I'd like to thank you for bringing these matters to our attention...."

    Yeah. Just pass my comments on to your designers and make a quiet(er) motor.
    Grumps, Jun 8, 2006
  18. Grumps

    John Russell Guest

    I just a segment about how the Working Lunch people record their OB
    programs. The connect there camera "wirelessly" to a laptop type editing
    station. What a great idea! In this day and age when even fridges can be
    wirelessly networked an "amateur" version of the Working Lunch system
    shouldn't be a problem for manufacturers. Just put Bluetooth or Wi-fi into
    the camcorder and create an applet for a laptop where by when you select
    "record" on the camcorder the laptop starts recording to hard disk.

    Of course such a solution for getting compact cameras with no mechanical
    noise would not satisfy the needs of being the lowest common denominator
    solution. That is a stand alone recorder which can do basic editing for
    those people who no intention of ever editing elsewhere!

    So what about an add-on? A little device which picks up the DV out and can
    Wi-Fi it to a laptop running an applet like I described? You would still
    have to get the camera to produce video without creating the tape noise, and
    the Record Button would have to be on the add-on device, or at least
    attached to it.
    John Russell, Jun 8, 2006
  19. Grumps

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Sony have already produced such a device built-in to the DCR-TRV80
    (which I have), except that it uses Bluetooth.

    Plug a Bluetooth dongle into a USB2 port of a notebook (or PC for that
    matter) and you can capture your DV into DV AVI in real time. Works well
    except for the limited Bluetooth range. By using the appropriate menu
    selections, you can also use Bluetooth to transfer from the tape.
    Tony Morgan, Jun 8, 2006
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