audio on BMPCC4K

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Wes Greene

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audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 1:46 am

Interested in others feedback.

I've been testing audio on my BMPCC4K.

I can get clean results from using the miniXLR input with both shotgun and wireless receivers but struggling to achieve any clean audio through input into the 3.5mm port. Running a bunch of test I've found the 3.5mm port very noisy.

I was hoping for interviews that I could run a shotgun powered by camera through the mini XLR and then run a wireless lapel receiver through the 3.5mm port - however the quality I get with the lapel through the 3.5mm is very poor.
In a professional interview setting I always want to be recording two clean signals of audio and it seems thats no achievable in camera.

I am asking too much of the 3.5mm port?? I've achieved clean results with 3.5mm on other cameras
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rick.lang

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 4:19 am

That’s not asking for too much! Did you look at Olivier’s review? Would you say the examples of audio he demonstrated represent your experience or is your camera’s audio worse?

BMPCC 4K Review
https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?share_ ... are_type=t



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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 6:04 am

Thanks Rick.

YEs Olivers sound is good but he notes on screen at 11:24 that "actually they're very noisy with the 3.5mm jack :("
so I assume he's having the same experience.

This reviews provides a good example of wireless lapel into the 3.5mm jack - they seem to get a good result - see 3:45
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Robert Niessner

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 3:16 pm

Wes, just recently I did an Interview with my UM46k and my PCC4k, where both got fed the same wireless signal.

Lav Sennheiser MKE-2 Gold -> Sennheiser G3 transmitter -12dB

Sennheiser G3 receiver +6dB -> XLR 1 -> URSA Mini 4.6k level 50%/high
Sennheiser G2 receiver +6dB -> 3.5mm -> PCC4k level 100%

I have just compared both recordings and the noise level is the same on both.

Did you make sure on the PCC4k you set the input source to '3.5mm Mono - Mic' and not '3.5mm Mono - Line'?
Last edited by Robert Niessner on Tue Oct 30, 2018 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John Paines

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 3:29 pm

Getting decent mic levels with a self-powered stereo mic through the 3.5mm port required 100% gain, with lots of pre-amp hiss.

The onboard mics have good ambient sound, but unless the xlr port behave differently, I wouldn't use the camera for production sound, at least not at mic levels.
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Iain Bason

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 3:52 pm

I tried the XLR port with an Oktava MK012 mic, and it sounded fine. No noticeable noise. It wasn't a stress test, though; I didn't crank the gain up all the way and whisper.
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rick.lang

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 5:29 pm

Wes, thanks for the part 2 of that video which I had not seen yet. Great feedback Robert et al.


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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 8:47 pm

John Paines wrote:Getting decent mic levels with a self-powered stereo mic through the 3.5mm port required 100% gain, with lots of pre-amp hiss.


This was my experience as well with a self powered shot gun. Thought I might have a problem with my mic at first!

I'm really disappointed as was hoping this could be an all in one doco camera, including sound. It seems to me that the 3.5mm port is essentially useless. I can't work out how it's worthwhile except to provide a slight improvement on your scratch audio

Understand that on a camera at this price you should probably expect to be recording on a seperate device but I'm really not up for operating this way. It just adds another layer of equipment and stress whilst trying to be a director/dp in run'n'gun documentary shoots.
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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 9:30 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:Did you make sure on the PCC4k you set the input source to '3.5mm Mono - Mic' and not '3.5mm Mono - Line'?


Hi Robert - yes setting was deinfitely on Mic not line - and yes had to bump gain up to 100% to get decent levels
thanks
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John Paines

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 9:46 pm

Wes Greene wrote:I'm really disappointed as was hoping this could be an all in one doco camera, including sound. It seems to me that the 3.5mm port is essentially useless.


Some mics are a lot "hotter" than others, so it's always possible there's something out there can feed the camera a stronger signal. But the 3.5mm is so bad, compared to the onboard mics, that I was wondering if maybe it's a firmware issue - that the "mic" setting is actually "line". At 50%, the meters won't budge unless you yell.

The thing would be to try a professional, battery-powered hypercartoid or shotgun into XLR, which you'd want to do for good directional sound anyway. I've heard samples that sounded excellent.
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Jim Giberti

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 10:28 pm

Shot a couple of segments recently using a Senn K6/ME to the mini XLR w/ phantom power.
Input was around 75% and sounded nice.
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John Morris

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Oct 29, 2018 11:00 pm

Seems that the 3.5 mm input preamps are much worse that on the old BMPCC. I just did a very rough test connecting up a Rode Videomic Pro to the BMPCC4k (set to Mic Mono) and then the BMPCC. It seems that with both set to 50% gain the BMPCC4k looked about 15db less sensitive.
Could do with a much better controlled test though. I will try and do one maybe next week.
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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 1:29 am

Jim Giberti wrote:Shot a couple of segments recently using a Senn K6/ME to the mini XLR w/ phantom power.
Input was around 75% and sounded nice.

YEs the mini XLR does the job well

John Morris wrote:Seems that the 3.5 mm input preamps are much worse that on the old BMPCC. I just did a very rough test connecting up a Rode Videomic Pro to the BMPCC4k (set to Mic Mono) and then the BMPCC. It seems that with both set to 50% gain the BMPCC4k looked about 15db less sensitive.

Great to have this comparison.

Hoping that BM chimes in with some input.
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rick.lang

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 4:42 am

Yes, John, that does point to an issue, perhaps on all BMPCC4K cameras or perhaps on some. That just doesn’t make sense compared to the BMD claims from Grant Petty and many others. Something needs to be investigated. The current situation though may call for more people switching to XLR audio and better mics.


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Kristian Lam

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 4:49 am

What mics are you feeding into the 3.5mm input?
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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 5:12 am

Kristian Lam wrote:What mics are you feeding into the 3.5mm input?


I've tested with
- Rode NTG-2 - self powered shotgun
- Sennheiser EW100 G2 - wireless receiver lapel

Use both these mics across Canon DSLRs (into mini ports), Red DSMC2 cameras (mini port) and Canon C100 Mk2 (XLR ports)
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Kristian Lam

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 5:14 am

Wes Greene wrote:- Rode NTG-2 - self powered shotgun


How are you getting this into the 3.5mm input? If I'm mistaken, this is XLR.
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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 5:26 am

Kristian Lam wrote:
Wes Greene wrote:- Rode NTG-2 - self powered shotgun


How are you getting this into the 3.5mm input? If I'm mistaken, this is XLR.


- Rode NTG-2 - self powered shotgun
Using female XLR to mini 3.5mm cable

- Sennheiser EW100 G2 - wireless receiver lapel
Using locking 3.5mm male (receiver) to 3.5mm male cable

Pretty common and works well on other cameras
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John Paines

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 12:07 pm

In my case, I tried a Sony ECM-907. A level which will barely register on the P4K at 100% gain will take this mic to clipping on the other camera I just tested, set to much lower gain. For reference, the onboard mics produce acceptable levels at 50% for a voice within a foot or two, but the Sony won't even register a level at 50%.

Note also that the menu choice for 3.5mm mic left/right routinely disappears. It requires plugging and unplugging the mic, power on/off, etc.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 12:54 pm

I have tested a Rode NTG-3 connected to the PCC4k via BMD XLR->Mini-XLR-Adapter, phantom powered by the camera. It gives a loud signal at 50% and sometimes even clipped at 100% while testing.

BTW, the Rode NTG-2 is known for its low level output and I wouldn't recommend that mic.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 2:37 pm

Did some further tests.

Very quiet room with only 34dBA of room tone.

Mic is the Rode Reporter approximately 15 cm away from my mouth.
Signal transmitter Sennheiser EW500 G3, sensitivty set to -6dB

On the PCC4k audio in comes from:
Channel 1 (LEFT) = XLR-Mic / 50% gain <- Sennheiser EW100 G3 (AF out = 0dB)
Channel 2 (RIGHT) = 3.5mm-Mic mono / 50% gain <- Sennheiser EW100 G2 (AF out = 0dB)

3.5mm Mic mono on the PCC4k mixes left and right of the 3.5 mm input together, resulting in a hotter signal (because the Sennheiser CL1 mini to mini cable outputs mono to left & right).

Using the spectrum analyzer of iZotope RX 7 Advanced on a selection of "silence" you get this for both channels:

L-XLR_R-mini-mono_before_Normalizing.png
L-XLR_R-mini-mono_before_Normalizing.png (96.83 KiB) Viewed 13430 times


And after normalizing both channels individually to -1.5 dB you get this:

L-XLR_R-mini-mono_Normalized_individually.png
L-XLR_R-mini-mono_Normalized_individually.png (109.69 KiB) Viewed 13430 times


So the difference between using the XLR and 3.5 mm input is around 12 to 16dB more noise on the 3.5mm input.

You can download the stereo WAV here (with some more test settings):
https://we.tl/t-mM8G31zIP3

Sorry for all the pausing between words but English is not my native language and sometimes the brain needs time for processing the information from German to English.
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rick.lang

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Oct 30, 2018 4:43 pm

Good grief, Charlie Brown! You have an XLR mic. Buy the XLR to Mini XLR cable and be done. Well... consider the NTG-4 mic and then be done.


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Wes Greene

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 7:25 am

I have run some tests and if interested you can download the MP3 files here
https://nalu.digitalpigeon.com/msg/TZst ... JnOnod3TAw

Test 1
- wireless lapel into the 3.5mm - low levels and noise when bought up to acceptable level its noisy
- shotgun into mini XLR - sounds fine

TEst 2
- shotgun into 3.5mm - low levels and noise when bought up to acceptable level its noisy
- wireless lapel into mini XLR - sounds great

Be interested in your feedback.
I've also sent this to BM support for them to review

cheers
wes
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Tristan Pemberton

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 10:50 am

I've done some similar tests myself.

Input 1 (3.5mm):
Senheisser G3 Lapel = low levels + noticeable noise/hiss when gained up

Input 2 (XLR):
Senheisser G3 Lapel = higher levels + very clean
Rode NTG-3 = strong levels +very clean

The 3.5mm input may be better suited to line level signal (via mixer?), but I haven't tested it yet.

I did apply iZotope Denoise over a speaking voice recorded in the 3.5mm input, and it did clean it up quite a bit, but it was still disappointing to discover that input was not a clean as I was expecting.
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rick.lang

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 2:39 pm

Wes and Tristan, thanks for taking the time to do these tests. It would clearly seem the 3.5mm has some problems. Perhaps feeding it a line signal would overcome those problems but that may not be feasible without adding something like the MixPre-D or later MixPre-3 that outputs Audio vía 3.5mm stereo. Certainly not what we expected for the 3.5mm. Glad the XLR seems to be fine.


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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Oct 31, 2018 2:51 pm

Tristan, I stopped using iZotope VST1 in Resolve awhile back. I tried Fairlight Denoise and thought it was awful in the heavy-handed way it affected more than just noise. I thought it would be fine and added it to all my clips but didn’t like it on playback and removed it from everything. I did use other Fairlight sweeteners successfully. Perhaps I need to change Denoise settings.

Which version of Denoise are you having success with in Resolve? Did you use default or custom settings for the effect?


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Tristan Pemberton

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 01, 2018 1:19 am

rick.lang wrote:Which version of Denoise are you having success with in Resolve? Did you use default or custom settings for the effect?

I'm using the iZotope RX3 package.

The out of the box default settings for Dialogue Denoiser works pretty well for most consistent background noises like aircon etc.
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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 01, 2018 4:50 am

Thanks, Tristan.


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Thomas Schumacher

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSun Nov 04, 2018 9:32 am

Just tried the Rode filmmaker kit with 0dB on its receiver and transmitter, plugged it into the Pocket as a 3,5mm MIC mono input, set to 100 % and got great clean levels - no extra noise like before when I plugged in the Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro or a Tascam TM-2X.

So at least no post-pro audio syncing your talent - great!

E D I T : The binaural Ohrwurmaudio Mic (http://www.ohrwurmaudio.eu) gets me decent results as well on the 3,5 mm input as a stereo mic. So I still have to compare to the built-in mics in terms of hotness, but it seems this could be the to go for atmosphere stereo recordings directly into the Pocket at least for me.
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Denny Smith

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSun Nov 04, 2018 11:34 pm

Yes, that set everything to Unity, so audio levels were correct. Thanks for sharing this info.
Cheers
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John Paines

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSun Nov 04, 2018 11:49 pm

Thomas Schumacher wrote:Just tried the Rode filmmaker kit with 0dB on its receiver and transmitter, plugged it into the Pocket as a 3,5mm MIC mono input, set to 100 % and got great clean levels - no extra noise like before when I plugged in the Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro or a Tascam TM-2X.


Are you feeding the camera line or mic levels in this latest? If your camera is anything like mine, 100% camera mic levels will be extremely noisy. Needless to say, line levels is a completely different test.

Mono v. stereo didn't make much difference in my tests, at mic levels. No idea what it is Denny believes this report clears up.
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Thomas Schumacher

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Nov 05, 2018 1:58 pm

John Paines wrote:
Thomas Schumacher wrote:Just tried the Rode filmmaker kit with 0dB on its receiver and transmitter, plugged it into the Pocket as a 3,5mm MIC mono input, set to 100 % and got great clean levels - no extra noise like before when I plugged in the Rode Stereo Video Mic Pro or a Tascam TM-2X.


Are you feeding the camera line or mic levels in this latest? If your camera is anything like mine, 100% camera mic levels will be extremely noisy. Needless to say, line levels is a completely different test.

Mono v. stereo didn't make much difference in my tests, at mic levels. No idea what it is Denny believes this report clears up.


Actually it makes me wonder now, but as stated above, the filmmaker kit's receiver was fed as a 3,5mm MIC mono input into the Pocket, but I will do a second attempt to make sure once I find the time tonight.

One reason for the clean signal in that config might be the lavalier I used - it's the same manufacturer as the ohrwurmaudio-binaural mics, which provide a hot signal.
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Thomas Schumacher

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostMon Nov 05, 2018 9:37 pm

Just checked again: filmmaker kit fed into the 3,5mm MIC input, actually once plugged in I couldn't choose 3,5mm LINE input. 100 % mic level was clean, if turned up there's a tiny bit of noise, but not even as much as I'd bother with NR.
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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 07, 2018 1:26 am

Same problem, Sennheiser MKE440 stereo mic. It is my choice when I don't have the space for my audio kit.
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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 14, 2018 6:01 pm

I did some tests to see what works for my small one man setup.

Bottom line: XLR is fine, stereo line in is fine when feed with a good preamp, Mics in/on camera suffer from the fan noise (no surprise), 3.5mm Mic is low, usable with some Mics (and NR).

Details:
I tried my hyper cardioid Octava and my Ohrwurm lavaliers directly into the P4k and via a Mixpre6 into the P4k. I brought everything to same level (by ear not by normalisation) in Mixbus and listened.

The 3.5mm input is definitely less sensitive than that of the old Pocket. It works fine as line input when feed from my Mixpre6 (+12 dB output). The level with the Ohrwurm lavaliere is lower than expected but usable (even without NR). Using an Olympus LS3 on camera to feeding line in was noisy (mainly fan).

The XLR works fine with my Octava. Frequency response is a little bit less in lower frequencies compared with the Mixpre6. But fine to use.

The internal Mics might be okay if the sound to record is much louder than the fan. For dialog there is too much fan noise. The same applies for any mic mounted on camera that works with omni or even cardioid pattern. So pinning my Ohrwurm (omni) on camera for ambient (as I sometimes did on my old Pocket) would not work. Having them "mounted" on my shoulders works fine for ambient sound.
The Octava (hyper pattern) on a shock mount on camera was okay.

I also compared the noise differences boosting volume in camera to 100% vs. leaving volume at 50% and boosting in post. Result: it does not really matter. Noise level is almost identical.

What I really like on the P4k is the flexibility of the audio routing! I only wish the Phantom Power switch would be on the input select page.

Johannes
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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 14, 2018 6:33 pm

Thanks for the testing and update Johannes. This confirms my previous assertion that the system is useable, if configured correctly to work as the camera is current,y configured. Not the best “all around” setup with the lower mic inputs on the 3.5, but again, seems the design was to use this as a line input from an external mic preamp, and this does work.
XLR mic in is good to use, and seems to be the primary Mic input, which works for a simple interview situation. However, any serious audio recording still needs to be done externally.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 14, 2018 6:42 pm

Denny Smith wrote:This confirms my previous assertion that the system is useable, if configured correctlyCheers


Some participants here are apparently unaware that the condition being described -- unusably low pre-amp levels for mic level input -- is not found on all BMPCC 4Ks

Some cameras behave within the realm of reasonable expectations, for either or both audio inputs. Others apparently fail, with one or both. Anyone who's gone through a successful RMA for this condition, with the BMPCC 4K, can attest that some BMPCC 4Ks are simply defective.

The assertion that "correct" configuration provides the solution to mic level inputs for BMPCC 4Ks, or for the conditions described above, is not supported by the facts.
Last edited by John Paines on Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Denny Smith

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 14, 2018 7:00 pm

John, you are right, but yiu are taking my comments out of their orig context and trying to apply them universally, which I was not doing. As the discussion is on the new Pocket 4K Camera mic/Line audio, I was referring to the “correct” configuration on the new Pocket 4K Camera thst are in working condition, to make it work as it is. Yes some cameras are defective and they will need replacing, or a RMA at least.
Cheers
Last edited by Denny Smith on Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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John Paines

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 14, 2018 7:02 pm

No Denny, I'm talking about all BMPCC 4Ks currently in the field -- not all cameras in the universe. I'll go back and edit it, so there's no mistake.
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Denny Smith

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostWed Nov 14, 2018 7:06 pm

I am done here, good by :!:
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Found a fix for low audio levels

PostSun Jun 16, 2019 10:13 pm

Hey guys - like some of you, mine BMPCC has really weak audio levels. I found a fix. It’s this inline preamp that adds +28db of noiseless gain - and makes the signal usable!

Here’s a video and the product is the sE Electronics Dynamite.

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Todd Groves

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 7:15 pm

I recently picked up the RODE NTG5 mic. When using an XLR to miniXLR to record to my P4K, I had substantial static in audio. After other tests using different connections, it seems my mini XLR input is creating the static. Also, the NTG5 requires phantom power. I'm not sure if that's relevant, but I thought I should mention it.

Using my RODE VideoMic Pro+, I can record through the 3.5mm input without any issues.

Has anyone else experienced this?

EDIT: The video in the post above mine does not show footage with audio recorded with the Dynamite product. He only talks about it.
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Nick Heydon

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 7:40 pm

Imagine trying to get a flight with that preamp in your bag.

There are similar products which are much smaller and with much less ludicrous design.

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Todd Groves

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSat Dec 21, 2019 8:02 pm

[quote="Nick Heydon"]Imagine trying to get a flight with that preamp in your bag.

There are similar products which are much smaller and with much less ludicrous design.

The Fethead looks good. At the moment, I'm dealing with static using the mini XLR input on my P4K. Maybe my amps were too high? I'm getting another XLR to miniXLR tomorrow. I will test again.
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rick.lang

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSun Dec 22, 2019 8:17 am

I’ve read about the low sensitivity of the BMPCC4K built-in mics, but I’ve never used them on a client shoot until his week. I’ve my internal mics as Right channel paired with the MKH416 as my Left channel. They are set the same in terms of 50% Gain (I.e. no gain). The audio levels are close to each other whereas I had expected the internal
mics to need a boost.

I didn’t receive my camera until the summer, but I don’t know if audio was tweaked on my (early 2019) camera from the earlier cameras.
Rick Lang
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Robert Niessner

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostSun Dec 22, 2019 8:39 am

Todd, try your NTG5 again while having the camera connected to its power supply or a 14.4V battery. It seems that with the internal 7.4V battery the camera does create static noise with some phantom powered XLR mics.
Robert Niessner
LAUFBILDkommission
Graz / Austria
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Robert Castiglione

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostThu Dec 26, 2019 2:53 am

Hi

I use the Fathead. It is an efficient design that fits on the end of the microphone and sits very well inside the microphone cradle. It is compact and you hardly notice it.

Also, it works extremely well boosting the signal cleanly. The sound in camera is now excellent. I have worked in audio for years. I don't have a problem using it compared to my Sound devices 744 for example.

Cheers

Rob
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Todd Groves

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostThu Dec 26, 2019 7:33 am

After connecting a v-mount battery to my P4K, I no longer experience any static.
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youlikeny

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostFri Dec 27, 2019 1:27 am

My 2 cents, we shot almost 40 hours of interviews for a documentary using an old Sennheiser G2 wireless lav kit into the jack and an NTG2 using phantom power in the mini XLR. G2 goes into 3.5 line, -6db on the transmitter and -6db or 0db on the receiver depending if indoor or outdoor, NTG2 in XLR mic always between 70 and 80%... did we get a particularly good batch of pocket4Ks or are there other people using it with no issues?
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Denny Smith

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Re: audio on BMPCC4K

PostTue Dec 31, 2019 7:00 am

I am using Sennheiser ME64 with good results on my PC4K
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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