View Full Version : Help. Bad sound with AT897


cstegner
09-29-2009, 08:42 AM
I just bought an AT897 and am using it with my Sanyo Xacti HD1010.

The HD1010 has an external mic port but it's a 2.5mm, so I found an XLR to 3.5mm 20ft cord but then I have to use a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter that I got from radio shack. (I know, but I'm trying right)

When I go to record the sound is very very quiet. Even if I turn the HD1010 external Mic volume up all the way it is still pretty quiet and you can't even here it if the subject you're recording is around 9 feet away. Also it starts picking up a lot of static at that point.

So I'm wondering if you think the problem is the camera, the cord, the radio shack adapter or if none of this should make a difference. Please help, really want to start shooting my first short ;)

cstegner
09-29-2009, 08:44 AM
Would something like this solve the problem?

http://www.juicedlink.com/index_files/CX_camcorder_XLR_microphone_adapter_audio_mixers_C X211.htm

Uranium City
09-29-2009, 09:55 AM
Are you supplying power to the mic or using a battery? The battery might be dead...there is no "off" switch on that mic and it continues to run all the time if you don't remove it. Also, that mic works best with phantom power. This is from the technical review: "When the AT897 is powered from the battery, it has a lower sensitivity of 8.9mV and a maximum sound pressure level rating of 115 dB which increases to 10mV and 129 dB when the microphone is on phantom power."

I don't think the juicedlink box you referenced supplies 48v phantom power...

cstegner
09-29-2009, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the reply. I put in a brand new battery when using it.

I don't believe my camera (Santo Xacti HD1010) has any means of supplying phantom power. Any suggestions of how to go about supplying the phantom power?

Thanks.

p.s. Don't mean to just be throwin money at this, but just want it to work ;) I saw on another post someone recommended this guy http://www.signvideo.com/xlr-pro_xlr_adapter-audio-mixer.htm would that help the situation?

Uranium City
09-29-2009, 10:33 AM
You'll want confirmation from some of the audio specialists on Indietalk, but some of the adapters from Beachtek (http://www.beachtek.com/) supply phantom power to your XLR mic while converting to mini-plug.

Alcove Audio
09-29-2009, 11:03 AM
The juicedLink CX231 and the Beachtek DXA-6A will supply phantom power. The cheaper juicedLink (CX211, CX231) and Beachtek (DXA 2, DXA 4, Mix 2) mixers will not supply phantom power. The Sign Video mixer you linked to will not supply phantom power.

Some troubleshooting ideas:

Double check your cabling and connections, especially adapters.

Do you have the correct adapters?

Have you tried other cables and adapters?

Make sure the battery properly installed and fully charged.

Go through all of the audio controls on the camera, particularly the input level and audio-leveling controls.

Is the camera set to external mic?

Is there audio metering while recording? Is it showing any level?

Are you getting audio from the internal mic?

Does the AT897 work when used on other cameras, mixers or recorders?

You have to be systematic in eliminating the possible causes of your problem.


Keep in mind that the Xacti is not meant to be a serious filmmaking tool, but is really a high tech toy aimed at the general public; it may not do the job that you want it to do.

cstegner
09-29-2009, 05:06 PM
Alcove,

Yeah I have checked all of that. The internal mic does work, the at897 does record just very quiet and with static when I turn up the external volume with the HD1010 (only external mic setting).

I haven't had the chance to test the mic with another camera though, nor do I really have any resources to do so.

I did however find this on ebay, that seems like it will solve the phantom power issue. Do you think this could potentially fix my problem? http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=230382215573&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT#ht_2434wt_1165

Alcove Audio
09-29-2009, 06:00 PM
It should - no guarantees - but it requires AC power. Kind of useless when you're in the woods or doing run-and-gun.

Have you tried any other mics? It doesn't make any sense to buy accessories that supply phantom power until you confirm the reliability of the mic itself.

BTW, you could try the mic with your computer if it has a mic input; at the least you will see if you are getting any levels. If I remember correctly Final Cut Express has a "Voice Over" function, and Final Cut Studio/Pro (whatever they call it these days) comes with Sound Track Pro which can handle the chore easily.

Dave Pastecchi
09-29-2009, 09:58 PM
well. reading everything i have read up till now, many of the questions i would have asked have been. but the FIRST thing i would ask,

DOES THIS MIC WORK. have you tested it in anything else besides you camera?

When you purchased this mic, did you test it. has it been dropped since it was last tested?

cstegner
09-29-2009, 10:57 PM
Well, I mean it is picking up sound. It's just really quiet.

I'll try and find a way to test it tomorrow.

cstegner
09-29-2009, 11:41 PM
I tested it on my girlfriends laptop, using the microphone input and got the same results.

However it of course has no phantom power either. But does that matter or should I be getting good loud clean audio?

Thank a lot for all your help.

Alcove Audio
09-30-2009, 12:07 AM
It looks like the mic is the culprit since - if you have put in a new battery - it should be supplying its own power, but try a different cable as well. I would definitely have the mic thoroughly tested.

cstegner
10-03-2009, 01:35 PM
Ok, I got a new Rode NTG2 and it seems to be working much better and I'm working on returning the AT897.

There is still some humm in the lines, I'm 90% sure it's from the XLR to 3.5mm cord, so I grabbed a Beachtek DXA-2s and some XLR to XLR cables. I'll let you know how it turns out when they get here on Tuesday.

Thanks for all your help.

And in regard to the above comment about the HD1010, I know it's a def prosumer/consumer camera. Maybe more towards the consumer end, but it shoots a great picture and I have a lot of post production experience and video is easy to make look much nicer. Audio on the other hand I need to sound good. Wish me luck.

cstegner
10-06-2009, 06:19 PM
Today was a good day!

I got the DXA-2S and new XLR cables today. Hooked them up to my Xacti HD1010 and Rode NTG2 and the sound was incredible. No noise or hum, just sounds great.

Thanks you guys. You're advice made all the difference.

Dave Pastecchi
10-07-2009, 07:38 AM
that is great news indeed. i am glad to see it all worked out in the end and you are happy now.

things go wrong from time to time for everyone, and we all go through the same process of switching things out till we find the culprit. sometimes it can be more that one thing as you found out. and without proper testing gear, we can only swap things out till we find out where the problem is.