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VIXIA HF R800 audio options - phantom powered mics, line level input?

RobertStapleton
Apprentice

Hi,
Love the options available on this camera and am thinking of buying one. I want to get the best audio possible and have read the threads on this forum about problems with external mics.

As I understand, the external mic jack requires a powered mic and a stereo 3.5mm plug. I'm a musician and am only knowledgeable about related things so I want to make sure what I have will work with this camcorder. I have condensor mics, some with and some without phantom power. Those are all mono signal with XLR connectors. Would it even be possible to convert such a connector to the type required?

Another possibility is I can run mics through a mixing board and then output the signal via 1/4" connector which I assume can be converted to a 3.5 stereo plug, but would that result in low volume due to only using one side of stereo?

Long story short is, how can I achieve the highest quality possible recording of a musical performance?

Thanks in advance,
Robert

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Richard
Product Expert
Product Expert

Hi RobertStapleton,

 

Thanks for posting.

 

The camcorder doesn't provide phantom power required to power an "active" microphones. The power should be provided by an internal battery or external power source (battery or other power source).

 

While the XLR connector shouldn't be an issue in and of itself, if the mic is an active mic (requiring phantom power), it will need that external power source.  I do recommend limiting the number of connections for your microphone.  More connections means a greater opportunity for distortion, static or other acoustic issues.

 

With regard to a connection to an external source, such as your mixer, unless the mixer can provide a Mic level output, it won't work. This camcorder cannot accept a line-level input.

 

Microphones should meet the following specifications: 3.5mm stereo minijack, -64 dBV (with a 600 Ohm microphone) / 5k Ohms or more. Because this camcorder cannot provide "phantom" power for the microphone, an "active" microphone (requiring external power) must supply its own power.

 

For specific assistance, I recommend contacting the local sound or music shop where you may already shop. Shops that cater to professional musicians are best, since they frequently field these types of requests. Another benefit to a "bricks and mortar" source is that they may allow you to "try before you buy".

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5

Richard
Product Expert
Product Expert

Hi RobertStapleton,

 

Thanks for posting.

 

The camcorder doesn't provide phantom power required to power an "active" microphones. The power should be provided by an internal battery or external power source (battery or other power source).

 

While the XLR connector shouldn't be an issue in and of itself, if the mic is an active mic (requiring phantom power), it will need that external power source.  I do recommend limiting the number of connections for your microphone.  More connections means a greater opportunity for distortion, static or other acoustic issues.

 

With regard to a connection to an external source, such as your mixer, unless the mixer can provide a Mic level output, it won't work. This camcorder cannot accept a line-level input.

 

Microphones should meet the following specifications: 3.5mm stereo minijack, -64 dBV (with a 600 Ohm microphone) / 5k Ohms or more. Because this camcorder cannot provide "phantom" power for the microphone, an "active" microphone (requiring external power) must supply its own power.

 

For specific assistance, I recommend contacting the local sound or music shop where you may already shop. Shops that cater to professional musicians are best, since they frequently field these types of requests. Another benefit to a "bricks and mortar" source is that they may allow you to "try before you buy".

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

Thanks! Very helpful.

Can I use a line level audio source if I set the Canon Vixia HF R500 to manual audio and set the audio gain low enough to keep the level below -12 dB?  How many audio gain stages does the R500 have?  Does the manual audio level setting control all gain stages?

mikemathmiller
Contributor

You can convert your XLR-mics to 3.5mm by using a Shure A96F line matching transformer.  The 3.5mm output of the A96F plugs directly into the R800 mic input jack.  It is a stereo plug but the left and right channels are the same.

If you have a mixer with line-level XLR output, which can go up to 1.0 volt, you would need to attenuate the signal by 40 or 50 dB before going into the R800.  I use the Whirlwind IMP 40.  Shure makes a 50 dB attenuator, model A15LA, that also would work.  Attenuators drop the very hot line-level signal from 1.0 volt down to a few thousands of a volt, which is what the R800 can handle.  Putting the full 1 volt into the R800 could damage the audio circuit.  When I use the output of a mixer to go into the R800 I run and XLR cable from the mixer to the attenuator to the Shure A96F and then into the R800.  It is important to have the signal go to the attenuator before the A96F because the maximum voltage the A96F can handle is 1 volt.

You mentioned that your mixer output is 1/4".  I haven't researched attenuators and line matching transformers for 1/4" connections so you will have to look for those yourself.

The RF800 does have a setting if you go through the touch screen menus to reduce the mic input which is what I do in using it with a Behringer xenyx usb mixer. Works nicely and no attenuators..
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