After almost 2 years of successful shooting w/VX-1000, I seem to have run into something new. Tonight we were digitizing footage off a tape I shot a few days ago. Using the VX as digitize source. One of the interviews (fortunately reshootable) had almost no sound on playback. If I cranked the Mackie up all the way I could hear a faint muffled unusable recording of the guy down in the noise floor - about the same on both channels, though I recorded him on ch. 1 only. This is the weird part: The interview before on the same tape has perfect sound. The one after, shot about 30min later has perfect sound. I was wearing headphones during the interview in question and was hearing normal sound. The meter on the back of the VX indicated nominal levels. I was not using AGC and there were no power tools running or other loud noise. This freaks me out a bit, but it appears the VX will pass audio to the headphones during recording but not record sound when this particular malfunction is taking place. This tape broke my heart as the video looks fantastic - in a cabinet maker's shop with all kinds of cool tools and wood and busyness in the background and great looking lighting. Anybody know what might be going on w/my VX-1000? I might add the okay before and after shoots were done indoors in airconditioning. The problem one was in an un-airconditioned shop. Temp somewhere in the 90's and high humidity. Any clue? The same camera shot about 25 hours of material in Papua New Guinea - similarly hot and humid - w/no problems.
We have lost audio when we were shooting out of auto because every time you go out of auto the audio goes to where it was last manually set. A serious shortcoming. We only made that mistake once. But you are correct that you can monitor audio in the phones even though it isn't going to tape. The shooter we had on Everest this season and I were very surprised at how many times we had great footage with no audio even though it was in his phones. This happened with both the camera mic and the shotgun. It didn't seem to matter which. Sometimes it would just pop back in out of nowhere. This also happened to the CBS shooter using the same gear. It makes no sense to me. But one day a client came in because he couldn't get a picture out of his....that... we finally decided was a moisture thing, and I think it is what happened on Everest in combination with the cold outside, and warmth (sort of) in the tents. But how could the audio area of the tape heads freeze or dew and not the video?
Perhaps you experienced what we discovered about the VX-1000. When going into the mic input with a mini connector, it must be a mono connector when only recording one channel. If you try it with a stereo connector (tip/ring/sleeve) with only one mic connected, you will hear the audio and see the meter move, but there will be no audio recorded. The 1000 recquires equal loads on the input if it is not a mono connector. You cannot, for instance, use a balanced mic and an unbalanced mic simultaneously. This will produce the same result. (You will hear it in the headphones, but nothing will be recorded). Our solution was to use the Beachteck XLR adaptors for the VX-1000. We've never had audio problems like that since. http://www.beachtek.com/page2.html
Hope this was helpful.
Very helpful. Thanks Tim. It's odd - I've been using a little adapter box I made up myself per the schematic that came with an Audio Technica lav to go from RCA unbalanced chasis jack to balanced XLR chasis jack. I built two of these adapter circuits into the little box for L and R. I use a standard audio card to amp patch cord (two RCA plugs to a stereo mini) to go into the VX. Have had good success with it up til now - often using only one channel. First time I've run into the phenomenon you mention but I'm sure that is what is going on. I've been needing to spring for the Beachteck box for some time. Better get the thing I guess.
FWIW, Studio1 makes an adapter that we like more than the beachtek as it has a stereo/mono switch, has inputs for mini plugs and xlr and has a ground reversal switch to prevent ground loop problems when the a/c is used. My only complaint about the box is the xlr connectors are on the wrong side and get in the way of one's hand when doing handheld shots. Its rock solid. I have used both the Beach and the Studio 1 on shoots all around the world. They are both good but the Studio1 is my favorite for the reasons stated above. Its also $75 cheaper!