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Rusty, Camera and Video Technician
Category: Camera and Video
Satisfied Customers: 5890
Experience:  Over 20 years electronics experience. Let my expertise help solve your problems.
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I bought the Sony FDR-AX53 a few weeks ago and have problems

Customer Question

I bought the Sony FDR-AX53 a few weeks ago and have problems with the sound quality of my videos. I’m using an external wireless microphone of Sennheiser (also new) from AVX serious. When I film lectures, the sound is brilliant when the lecturer speaks, however, when he pauses, especially when he pauses for longer and there is quietness in the room, there appears an increasingly loud noise. It sounds like the microphone is desperate to record sound, it doesn’t matter what and increases its sensitivity to background noise drastically.
I have already changed the audio setting so that recorded sound is on a manual setting and not on auto – only little effect-. I have connected the lavaliere microphone directly to the camera, without wireless unit, no effect.
As I have commited to filming projects in the next 2 weeks, I would need a quick solution.
Thank you very much in advance.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Camera and Video
Expert:  Rusty replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is Rusty. Do you have the camera with you?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Hello Rusty,
unfortunately not. I'm on Holidays at the Moment and will have it with me again
on Tuesday next week.
Expert:  Rusty replied 11 months ago.

Ok, no problem, I'll tell you how to fix it. I'm a sound engineer, and that really helps me at this desk job... AGC is automatic gain control. It's not the mic causing the noise, but you are correct, it's "desperate to record sound." It's raising the gain to pick up sound when there is none, and you're hearing the hiss that is caused by that.

Go to your menu, camera/mic menu, manual settings, and that is where you will find the AGC Limit setting. It looks like 24 is actually -24, which is the one you want to use. It turns off the AGC. 0 should be full volume, and causes the sound. These are engineering levels, not all manufacturers use them, so it may be backwards depending on how they built the camera.

That should clear up your problem and give you audio with dynamics. If you find he's quiet at times, find a place in the middle between 24 and 0, and it will use partial AGC, instead of full AGC.

Expert:  Rusty replied 11 months ago.

When we are finished, please don't forget to rate my service with you today with 3-5 stars so I can get credit for helping you. Rating does not close the question, and you can communicate with me at no extra charge.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Dear Rusty,
I have checked the Manual for my FDR-AX53 and could not find this function of AGC (automatic gain Control). It has AGC, this is though connected in the Manual to shutter süead and IOS. Do you have any idea if gain controll for Sound may be not a menu setting in this cam?
Expert:  Rusty replied 11 months ago.

Click here, and refer to the bottom of page 103. AGC is what causes the room noise to get louder. Its technical term is a compressor. AGC is an automatic compressor that keeps the gain at a steady level, which causes significant room noise when silent.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Dear Rusty,at the moment Im still on holidays and can only check your advice for my cameraon Tuesday evening. Therefore I didn't rate jet.BestJan
Expert:  Rusty replied 11 months ago.

No problem Jan, those are automated emails sent from the site, not myself. Keep one of them so you can get back here when you get to your camera. I'm confident that the AGC is what is causing the problem. I have racks of equipment used for that purpose. The fact that your camera only has one setting for the AGC, makes it easy to adjust.

There is also an AGC for the video, it's what gives the brightness of the video. You want the one with the setting between 24 and 0.