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12-24-2013, 12:24 AM   #1
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K3 Video Issue - Choppy sound at higher volume?

Hello K3 users,

Just wondering if the audio level (volume) of your video clip from your K3 would be too low?
I just received my K3 and test the video recording, but the volume of the video is really low.
I know I could set the the audio level manually, but it's still kind of low (although acceptable) when I set to the max.

Besides, I was at the outdoor concert on Sunday, but the audio quality of my video is really bad.
It seems that my k3 could not handle the bass. I will post a short video clip later today.

I know I could use the external mic, but still want to know if there's anything wrong with my mic and if there's anyone having the same experience.
Thank you very much and Merry Christmas!!!


Last edited by Sleepy; 01-10-2014 at 01:08 AM.
12-24-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
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Here's the video showing this issue:

Thank you very much.
12-24-2013, 04:45 PM   #3
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From that clip, I'd say the mic audio level is set too high.
12-25-2013, 07:52 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
From that clip, I'd say the mic audio level is set too high.
Thanks for your reply. The audio level was set to Auto then.
Hopefully there's nothing wrong with my mic. Otherwise, I need to send it back and replace it ASAP.

12-26-2013, 06:07 AM   #5
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In your original post, when you metion the audio being too low, are you talking about during playback or during recording?

I know it's obvious, but I'll mention it anyway, have you checked the volume setting for the head-phone out or the playback volume ?
12-26-2013, 06:28 AM   #6
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Don't expect to achieve excellent audio quality on any camera or camcorder with the built-in mic. At best, they are adequate for normal voice or natural sounds for location shooting. The mic in the K3 is mono which additionally limits playback quality. Serious microphones can cost as much or more than a K3 body and better than average quality mics can cost a couple of hundred dollars or more.

As someone else suggested, use the manual controls and set the level accordingly so the peak sound levels never overload the mic and internal electronics. The internal electronics within the K3 processing the analog signal from the mic capsule will be a cheap IC at best and not capable of handling the dynamic range of studio/professional grade electronics. I think you're expecting way too much from the built-in mic.
12-26-2013, 09:19 AM   #7
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Sounds like my K-5 Pentax uses notoriously bad microphones, you'll probably need an external microphone if setting the audio level as low as possible won't work. If only Pentax could have used whatever Nokia has used in their Lumia 1020...
12-26-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
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Nokia,... Those buggers always did use good audio chips, mics and speakers, easily the equal of the BlackBerry, and both are waaaaaay ahead of the crap shoved in the iPhones.

This is what I think is the best solution for simultaneous recording of sound - and it has separate feeds to camera and to headphones.
The Tascam ADAC's have a lower sound floor and better conversion then the Zoom brand IMHO.

Tascam DR-60D 4-Channel Linear PCM Recorder / Mixer for DSLR - TAS-DR-60D | Videoguys Australia

12-27-2013, 01:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your replies.
I know the built-in mic is not that good, but just wondered if the breaking up sound is normal.
Since kadajawi's K5 performs the same way, I guess there is nothing wrong with the mic on my K3.
12-27-2013, 02:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PiDicus Rex Quote
In your original post, when you metion the audio being too low, are you talking about during playback or during recording?

I know it's obvious, but I'll mention it anyway, have you checked the volume setting for the head-phone out or the playback volume ?
When I said the audio was low, I mean both on camera or computer playback. I didn't see the audio level during recording because I was using auto level.
Besides, the clip posted here is to show the breaking up sound (bass), the volume is not small since it's a loud outdoor concert
Thanks.
12-28-2013, 09:34 AM   #11
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Ahhh,... On 'auto' then, you have to deal with the Automatic Gain Control and Limiter, it could be kicking in and causing the record level to become choppy,.. I'll go have another listen to the sample with that in mind.

Annnnd after a listen, I'd say that the sound level was simply to great for the Mic and Auto Gain Control to cope with on the bass notes. I down loaded the vision so I can look at the wave form in Edius, and the sections where the distortion is occurring is right on the peaks of the bass notes, with them being significantly louder then the rest of the 'music,..'

Manual level would have been better, but I'd also suggest the use of a piece of foam over the mic's openings on the body to damp down the energy of the sounds.
Oh, and Ear Plugs, not just for the 'music,..', but also to protect your hearing from damage.

Last edited by PiDicus Rex; 12-28-2013 at 11:54 AM.
01-01-2014, 08:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PiDicus Rex Quote
Ahhh,... On 'auto' then, you have to deal with the Automatic Gain Control and Limiter, it could be kicking in and causing the record level to become choppy,.. I'll go have another listen to the sample with that in mind.

Annnnd after a listen, I'd say that the sound level was simply to great for the Mic and Auto Gain Control to cope with on the bass notes. I down loaded the vision so I can look at the wave form in Edius, and the sections where the distortion is occurring is right on the peaks of the bass notes, with them being significantly louder then the rest of the 'music,..'

Manual level would have been better, but I'd also suggest the use of a piece of foam over the mic's openings on the body to damp down the energy of the sounds.
Oh, and Ear Plugs, not just for the 'music,..', but also to protect your hearing from damage.

Thanks for your detailed reply.
I'll try to use manual level to see if that could be improved.

Here's another video clip:
The level control is on Auto also. However, because the sound from the drums was almost continuous, I thought the auto level should've handled it without too much choppy sound, . Hopefully there's nothing wrong with my K3.
01-01-2014, 10:20 PM   #13
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Get yourself an external recorder like a Zoom H2n, really - you'll love it and syncing is a piece of cake.
Those drums at that distance would be hard for any in-camera mic to handle.
01-02-2014, 12:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steve.Ledger Quote
Get yourself an external recorder like a Zoom H2n, really - you'll love it and syncing is a piece of cake.
Those drums at that distance would be hard for any in-camera mic to handle.
Nokia has some pretty good microphones in their 808, 1020 and 920 (only in a mono version in this one), that are able to withstand up to 140 db. HTC seems to have something similar in their HTC One. It can be done...


Make a lot of noise for Nokia?s HAAC recording technology - Nokia Conversations
There's also a white paper that I haven't read... but maybe you'll find it interesting. Videos on YouTube sound rather decent. It's nothing I'd use for an official concert DVD, but it's way better than what comes out from your average DSLR. You can find plenty of samples taken at loud concerts on YouTube.
01-02-2014, 01:16 AM   #15
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Hmmm, I rather think you have gone right off topic because my suggestion to the OP didn't include any mention of mobile phones. But in response, I have a suspicion that mobile phone mics have been specifically engineered for high db audio input (screaming voices not 1cm away in noisy industrial environs, traffic etc) unlike dslrs etc which have not.
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