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Camcorder Microphone for Auto Racing

Discussion in 'Other Racing' started by klfpaul, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. klfpaul

    klfpaul Karting

    Apr 7, 2003
    158
    Murrieta, CA
    Full Name:
    Kevin Paul
    Does anyone know of a good microphone to use with a consumer grade camcorder that would work well for taping auto racing, i.e. F1 events?

    The problem I have been having is with the live sound from such events being so intense that it totally overwhelms the stock built-in camcorder microphone. I certainly noticed the problem at F1 events I have taped, but the problem popped up again the other day while doing some taping for the So. Cal Ferrari Driving Club run. I was taping the pack of cars (including Ferrari Enzo) blasting through a tunnel which sounded mind blowingly awesome in person, with the high-pitch and resonance, but not as great watching the replay on TV, the sound was somewhat muted and staticy, as I am assuming the microphone was overwhelmed. Would a new microphone even help, or could there be a frequency limitation somewhere else (maybe inherent in DV tapes or consumer grade camcorders?)

    I have a Canon ZR40 Mini-DV camcorder, but have also noticed the problem on an old Hi-8 recorder I have. The Canon has a small headphone style jack for mic input, but no power jack.


    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    -Kevin
     
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  3. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    13,337
    Ex-Urbia
    Full Name:
    Jack
    I'm not familiar with that model, but I've got a Canon Optura and the stock microphone is pretty good. It even records in stereo, and doesn't seem to fuzz out from engine noise. That probably doesn't help you, but does your camera have a hot-shoe? I'm sure some of the larger add-on mikes will work better.
     
  4. BartonWorkman

    BartonWorkman F1 Veteran
    Sponsor Silver Subscribed

    Nov 3, 2003
    5,938
    En El 305
    Full Name:
    Barton Workman
    While I'm not familair with the mini cam corder mentioned, we started running into this problem in the 1980s when the corders first came out and were affordable.

    The problem isnt so much the microphone itself but how much information the tapes can hold. At races, airshows, or any event where there is a lot of noise, the first thing to do would be to mute down the mic.

    We did this in a few ways, a thick form fitting foam cover over the mic helps.
    Others include (and this was the most fun) a condom which pretty effectively muted sound as well. My suggestion is to experiement around a bit but the problem will always exist and as we found out, the sound mechanisims eventually wore out after covering denziens of auto, boat and motorcycle races as well as airshows. The sound problems began to affect the video quality and so it was time to upgrade.

    If you want to throw money at the situation, replace the stock mic with a
    professional name brand like Seinheinzer with all the attachments. Seinheinzer mics are available through B&H Photo & Video in New York but they'll likely be more expensive than the camera itself.

    BHW
     

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