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Sennheiser MKE400 on Panasonic GH3 - audio distortion problem


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Today I had an extensive testing of the Sennheiser MKE400 microphone with my Panasonic GH3. I tried it in different settings (Highering and lowering the audio gain in and outside the camera) but it came with a disappointing sssss noise. When I used the mic with my Zoom H1 it was still there but lesser.


Anybody knows what's causing this and got a solution? Thanx!


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The hissing noise is the classic why you can't use a mic with a DSLR - its interference due to the mic signal being too strong for the DSLR input or in layman's terms, its like trying to hammer a screw into a piece of wood.

Its the good old AGC problem.


With the Zoom you might be getting the same problem as with the DSLR - can you reduce/cut the dbl frequency on the Zoom?

There should be some settings to reduce/cut high or low frequencies etc.. within the Zoom to do this.


Google the problem, as there's almost certainly a solution for the ZOOM

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Thanxs! I don't know the correct english words to do a good google search. It's called interference or something else?


Actually I can't use the sennheiser on the zoom as I will use the zoom as an alternative broadcaster with my lavelier.

I already contacted the store I bought it and although it has been 4 months ago me purchasing it they're willing to change it to another mic. Would the Rode video mic pro be better with the GH3?

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Sorry i have an old pro Sennheiser shotgun mic from back in the day & use a 4 channel field mixer into a Marantz PMD661.

I just use on-board sound as a reference point.


I think they are much the same, but before you jump ship...


The Sennheiser seems to have some sensitivity switches on it, which can cut some noise frequencies - so play with them.

Also, what about with in the GH3, can you manually set the recording volume, if so try turning that down - try different levels, start at 1 & work your way up.


The problem with all DSLRs is that they left out decent sound in - so the sound coming from an external mic is too hot or loud.

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  • 7 months later...

Actually we love the Sennheiser MKE400 coupled with the GH3. We've used it a lot for behind the scenes work on a drama and found it really good quality and quiet. It's obviously not as FULL sounding as a proper sized shotgun like the Audio-Technica ATR 897 that we also own and love  (they're both about the same price) but we don't really expect it to be because it's tiny. The convenience and tiny form factor makes it really useful for run and gun and behind the scenes stuff.  We did some tests with various microphones and also direct into GH3 vs using a preamp (JuicedLink) - if you're looking for the best mic setup - the tests were quite useful. 



Panasonic GH3 Audio and Microphone tests


and also a general Audio review of the GH3

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I have the MKE400, which I use with my Panasonic G6 and it's fine. Set the Sennheiser to "+" rather than "-". On the GH3, turn the AGC off or set audio levels to manual (I don't know how the GH3 menu works). Monitor your audio/levels while recording. Make sure your subject isn't more than 4-5 feet away (if you're recording dialogue). You should be fine. There will be a bit of noise, but not as much as I think you are describing and you should be able to clean it up quite well in post.


If you still have problems, yes the Rode Videomic Pro offers a 'solution' for bad DSLR preamps - but as I understand it the GH3 is better than most and I've been able to get fairly clean results from my MKE400 on a 600D. I'd persevere.

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Today I had an extensive testing of the Sennheiser MKE400 microphone with my Panasonic GH3. I tried it in different settings (Highering and lowering the audio gain in and outside the camera) but it came with a disappointing sssss noise. When I used the mic with my Zoom H1 it was still there but lesser.


Anybody knows what's causing this and got a solution? Thanx!


As long as you're using the mic input of the camera, I don't think you'll get totally rid of the hiss. I believe it's mostly about the built in audio amp of the camera. I don't own the Sennheiser mic but I don't think it's about that. I've sometimes got the hiss with another mic and another camera.

You can test that by plugging the microphone in the camera input but keeping the mic off, and then record a short clip. When you play it back, you may still hear that hiss, especially if your camera's audio levels have been set to Auto.


I believe you can try minimising the hiss by NEVER leaving the audio levels to Auto (Auto Gain or something like that), and always setting the audio levels manually. Fortunately your GH3 does have manual audio levels, too. Use the VU meters of the camera and headphones to set the audio level to an optimum level before you start recording. Experiment with the two different gain levels of the mic if necessary.


Nevertheless, if you wish to optimise your audio, and since you already have the Zoom, condition yourself into the habit of always using a separate audio recorder for the main sound (master audio), and use the in-camera audio input for secondary/backup audio (reference audio) only. It's a bit more work in post, but it's usually worth it.


Disclaimer: I don't intend to sound patronising or anything, chances are as a reader of this blog you're already well aware of all the basics, but just in case you haven't used the dual audio setup yet, and the hiss is still bothering you. 

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