Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Consumer Camcorders › HDR-SR5 Help › Okay, let’s start with the
Okay, let’s start with the mics you can actually use. None of the other posters bothered to research the actual product and are therefore giving useless advice. Searching through both the Sony and the B & H Photo web sites, I can’t find the device you’d need to get the mic off of the hot shoe. (The B & H Photo site does sell a “Cold Shoe Adapter” which does the opposite of what you need.) So you can try to search through all sorts of video suppliers, but I’m not encouraged by the prospect. If you want to keep your camcorder, you’ll have to deal with the mic the way it is.
So since you can’t take the mic off the camcorder, you need to learn techniques to avoid the noises. I believe your model has the capacity for 5.1 surround sound. Be certain to turn off the 5.1 mode when recording from your shotgun mic. Although the mic is connected to the camcorder, the Active Interface Shoe doesn’t override camcorder controls. I’m not sure what mic you purchased, but the one identified as an accessory by Sony has both a wide angle mode & a normal mode. Be certain you are NOT in the wide angle mode and try to select a mode where the camcorder zoom doesn’t also zoom the mic pick-up pattern. Hopefully this will help cut down the sound occurring near the camcorder.
Once you are sure you are recording using only the shotgun mic in the full zoom setting, try shooting something & see how the noise is effected. You may be surprised at the amount of improvement. But if you still have annoying sound pick-up, you’ll have to use a tripod or a monopod. And try touching the camcorder as little as is possible. If you have a remote control for the camcorder, use it to zoom in & out instead of your hand on the camcorder control. (If this works to reduce unwanted noise, you can purchase either a remote control cable unit or a tripod with a remote control arm. It is done with the LANC input on your camcorder.)
Now as for the sound you recorded at the Daft Puck concert (you lucky bastard) the problem isn’t in your mic at all. Your camcorder has no headphone jack (along wih no mic jack) so you can’t monitor the sound accurately. And since your camcorder was built for “average” users, it has no capacity to manually adjust your audio levels anyway. So you have to rely on automatic controls, which work pretty well most of the time. But your problem with audio distortion at the concert isn’t that you used auto-level controls, but that the sound levels at the show exceeded the capacity of your camcorder to adjust to it. At the last concert I recorded, I had one camcorder only about 15′ from the speaker bank. Between songs and in quiet moments, this camcorder recorded audio normally. But when they started to kick out the jams, the camcorder couldn’t deal with the volume. I tried to adjust the audio levels manually, but I ran into the same problem you most likely encountered. Turning the recording level down & down, I finally reached the lowest setting, which effectively turned the mic off. But just one step above & we had almost pure distortion. So my audio choices were either nothing at all, or mainly distorted sound. This wasn’t a problem for me since I had two other camcorders getting the audio I needed (one camcorder taking a line feed from the mixing board and the second camcorder back a ways getting a cover shot & all the ambient audio I’d need.) And by the way, I was using a professional, full size DVCAM camcorder. And as a possible helpful hint, you may want to record your next major concert just using the built in mics. Sometimes they get better recordings of loud sounds because the mics are not nearly as sensitive as the shotgun mic.
And in closing, I did notice that other users were very complimentary about using the Sony wireless mic available for your camcorder. Good luck on your future productions.