Recording microphone sound into video camera (XLR vs 3.5mm Jack)

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    • #41930

      I have been asked (very last minute) to record my works conference. The conference will be for about 150 people and will have a person talking on a stage doing a presentation. They will have a microphone which will broadcast to the room (so everyone can hear). I’m not sure if it will be wireless or not. Will I be able to tap in to this microphones sound so that the video camera can record it clearly? I’ve been put in the deep end a little bit with this and it’s very last minute.

      The company video camera being used is a Sony HDRFX1. It has a jack audio input but no XLR. I presume I will (may) need some sort of XLR to 3.5mm jack converter (based on what google has told me). Work has a lapel microphone set which has wireless broadcast, so would I be able to plug the (presumably) XLR pin into the wireless transmitter and then in to my camera?

      Please could someone help me and explain the basics of being able to record the microphone which will come out of the speakers in the room? I’ll admit to being clueless. Iapologise for being such a novice with this issue but this isn’t something I’ve ever had to do and isn’t something I am familiar with. I really appreciate any advice and guides so I can clue myself up.

    • #177204

      You will nedd some way of splitting the mic signal so that you can send one signal to the PA and one to the camera. How is the mic going to be sent to the speakers in the room? Are they using some sort of small PA mixer? If so it may have main outs that go to the speakers, and also a separate aux out that you could use to send a signal to your camera. If there is an aux out, these are usually the larger jack size, so you would need an adapter to go to your camera’s mini-jack input.

      If there is no PA mixer, just say the mic cable goes directly intoa poweredspeaker, you may find the speaker has a parrallel XLR audio output that you could tap into. If it does you would need an XLR to mini-jack adapter of some sort and run a cable back to your camera.

      Another alternative would be to use a mic splitter following the output of the wireless device and send one signal to the PA and one to camera.

      As for the mini jack camera input: these are prone to be easily pulled out or crackle if moved. Tape the cable to something to stop this happening.

      So many possible setups and without seeing it’s hard to know, but I have tried to cover a few possible scenarios here

    • #177205

       Toxic, first thing that I would suggest would be to assemble the microphone (on podium?), wireless microphone with receiver and the Sony camcorder. Make sure that there are new batteries in all applicable equipment (charge cam battery). Try the wireless microphone with the receiver plugged directly into the camcorder, you may need an adapter to convert to the input on the camcorder (should be able to find this easily, try Radio Shack). If this gives good results, tape the wireless to the podium microphone, attached transmitter to podium and turn everything on and you are golden. If the speaker is going to be walking around holding the hard wired microphone, use the wireless lapel microphone on the speaker, put the receiver in the speaker’s pocket, belt clip,etc. Try everything as far in advance as possible. Hope this helps.

    • #177206

      Thank you so much for your replies, I really appreciate it. I haven’t been provided with any information about the audio set up (although I have asked). I hope that if whatever set-up they have has an XLR output that I will be able to connect in to this (using a XLR to 3.5mm jack converter). I have read online about microphone splitters however it has confused me more than it has helped me.

      I am going to attempt the following: Using the lapel microphone wireless transmitter (which is part of the camera equipment) I will hopefully be able to plug this in to wherever the wireless microphone is broadcasting using a converter (as I presume most microphones are XLR) which will then broadcast to the camera.

      The other option is a external directional microphone made by Rode. I suppose if this is set up correctly and near a speaker it could record the audio from within the room?

      If I get any more information I will provide it. Thanks so much for your help so far.

    • #177207

      The microphone they will use to send sound to the speakers will have to be plugged into an audio amplifier. The auxilary out socket of that audioamplifier isalways your best source for recording sound.

      Regardless if the sockets on either the amplifier or the camera are 3.5mm or XLRany socket connectionmismatch is easily solved with a 3.5 to XLRconverter plug and socket (

      In most cases, if it is a 1 camera shoot the camera will normally be located at the back of the room and the amplifieron stage/up-front near the microphone and to make the amplifier to camera lead connection will necessate the use of a long audio extension lead.

      A second option to avoid the long lead scenerio would be to use a wireless transmitter (i.e. plug the output of the auxilary amp in the wireless transmitter microphone input socket) and plug the wireless receiver output socket into the camera.

      If you are really in jam with leads/plugs/etc a quick/easy solution is to place in a fixed position a 2nd small handycam near a speakerand use that to record audio for inclusion into youredit at a later date.

      Can’treccomend to strongly whatever method you use to record sound you should confirmyour audio quality is accepctable by monitoring it with headphones during recording. You can have the best video but poor/distorted/no sound andyourone and only opportunity to do the job is lost forever. Good Luck.

    • #177208

      Thanks for your reply Rocky, lots of helpful advice. I am starting to feel a touch more confident about this now. I was a nervous wreck 2 days ago!

      I have finally been provided with further information (a few days before the shoot). The “mic deck” (their words) will have XLR output. That’s all I have been told and sadly I won’t have access to the room until the day of the conference.

      I am being supplied with the company video kit, this includes aAzden Wireless Pro transmitter (Amazon link here:

      What I am going to do is ask the company to purchase an XLR to 3.5mm Jack converter. I will then use this converter to plug in to the sound system where the microphone is set up (I haven’t been told if it’s a 3-pin, 5-pin, male or female XLR – any advice on which I should purchase?).

      The converter will then be plugged into the 3.5mm jack on the Azden Wireless Pro microphone transmitter. This will then transmit the audio to the camera which will have the transmitter receiver plugged in to its 3.5mm jack socket.

      As a safety measure I have requested another company video camera (a cheap hand held) which will be placed on a tripod and record audio in the room near the speaker(s) – just to be safe.

      Does this sound like a logical set up? Thanks so much for all your help so far.

    • #177209

      Given the circumstances you describe for your recording, includingyour now access to a known type wireless lapel mic transmitter and receiver. I would opt tomic up the presenter with the radio mic (be sure to use new long lasting batteries in bothboth units) and wire the receiver straight to the camera (from link diagramit appears as if yourwireless receiver has an existing lead with 3.5mm on each end will plug straight into camera.

      Additionally the wireless receiver featuredin your link,has an ear socket that will allow you to monitor boththe audio quality and level, with headphones throughout the recording.

      The only other trick is to ensure the mic does not rub on the presenters clothing (resulting in rasping sounds) as they move around during the presentation easy fix is to use tie clip and duct tape to isolate from cloting contact.

      Further if you have access toa 2nd camera it makes for good insurance

      -use it as a sound back up from speakers (be carefull with 2nd camera placement to avoid audio input overload), including ambient room/audience noiseand

      – at the same time use it for any B Roll shots, (audience, wide shots, company logosetc)you mayrequire in post. B Roll shotscan cover a multitude of mistakes.

      Ifthe presenters use aMicrosoft Power Point presentation, ensure you get acopy for inclusion in your edit.I think you have done enough homework to ensure it will all go well on the day.Good luck.

    • #177210

      Aftermy last post I checked the specifications for the Azden wireless mic on the following link

      I noticed the following specification: All receivers and transmitters in the “PRO” Series are on the same 2 frequencies (169.445MHz and 170.245MHz).

      In Australia those 2 frequencies arein the existing broadcast bands forour TV stations and two way radio equipment, its use would result inheavy RF interference in a audio recordingusing that equipment.

      If the Azden brandis sold in the US then they must be OK to usein the Uswithout any external RF interference.

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