IPVMU Certified | 01/10/14 02:52pm
I'm sure you're aware that mic build plays a big role in the range of fidelity it picks up. In that way, most electret condenser types, and most 'surveillance duty' external mics are built to pick up the midranges (ie: human speaking voices), not low frequency bass notes or music.
What I am suggesting: even if you go through the expense of adding an external mic to your camera, it probably won't sound as clear or have the range of the ones coming through a soundboard, especially if the room is big. The closer you can get the mic to the source, the better the pickup will be.
With that said: connecting a mic to the Q1604 is straightforward. The backend of that camera looks like this:
That pink 'IN' port supports any 3.5mm mini-RCA microphone. I have used this mic in a meeting room application directly connected to an Axis camera in this way:
I am not sure how the streaming services you are using will impact audio latency or sound quality, but I know that audio inputs from the camera will be noticeably improved over the stock internal mic.
Does that help?
If the camera is in the back of the church, I really would get a decent directional mic. A shotgun mic (I used the AT897 back in my audio days) should do the job. You'll have to get preamp with phantom power, though, like the RDL EZ-MPA1, to power it, and also because I'd not trust Axis' internal mic preamp for this sort of streaming.
If you get something omnidirectional you're going to be picking up coughs and whispers and you'll lose a lot of clarity.
I agree with Ethan, use a professional audio mic. I undersand cost is a factor but don't expect much from using the audio through the camera. You can get a small mixer/pre amp for $50. I have used one from Behringer that I bought from a local music store. Back in the day, I got into a niche of police interrogation rooms. I used a Biamp, mix-minus system with echo cancellation. I was the highest price but once I sold one, the referrals rolled in.
One other consideration that hasn't been mentioned is that, if you put a mic at the back of the church, there WILL be a time-delay factor and audio will seem to lag slightly behind the video - if your camera/mic position is, say, 100' from the stage, there will be a 300ms delay in the sound arrival - enough to be noticeable and probably a little disconcerting to those watching, but not enough for most people to quite put their finger on WHY it's disconcerting. The closer the mic can be to the stage, the less this will be a factor.
Problem with a shotgun mic is, like so much in surveillance video, you're trading off one problem for another: the more directional the mic, the less outside noise, but the more sensitive the aim becomes. You could point one right at the pulpit, but if it's TOO selective, you'll start to lose audio as the speaker walks around. It's like having a tight zoom on one spot vs. a wide shot; detail vs. coverage.
Anthony is on the right track here, your best bet may be to implement a small mixer of some kind, and tap off their existing separate mics, since people are presumably already familiar with the operation of those systems anyway (one less thing you have to train on).
The other option, though not the cheapest, is the aforementioned PZM (pressure zone, or boundary) microphone directly on or above the stage. They're very good at wide-range pickup without picking up "direct" noise (like people stomping, if it is actually ON the stage), they don't suffer from "proximity effect" (where up-close sources get "boomy"), and pickup pattern can be tuned using any sound-absorbing material like a small rug. Back in the day, Radio Shack used to sell Crown factory seconds (under their own Realistic brand) for around $100; we used a couple of them in the my church and they were fantastic for all kinds of things.
IPVMU Certified | 01/11/14 12:44am
Thanks for all the replies. I thank you for all your input and suggestions. Found that they had mixer under table that we moved all there mics to that unit. We got it working on there Peavey XR684 im going out on the Monitor output. It's the only one i could get to work. It much better then before but i had to turn the input gain all the way up to 12.5 db on axis audio settings. And also had to turn up there moniter volume setting all the way up on the mixer. Not sure why? Come to find out they have some audio issues with that mixer already. We are fairly sure that that unit is going bad. So now we looking for a new mixer for them. Might just have to have Audio expert come in and help us out.
Im am getting a delay in the audio as well not sure if that from streaming or what? But they don't seem to match.
100' from the stage, there will be a 300ms
1. I know Canada is cold but where I live sound travels at 1 ms/1 foot, so 100 ms. (Ok 1.12 ms, but every studio hand knows it as 1 for 1). If point #6 is followed there might 10 ms.
2. As for boundary mics, Crown's are the name though placement is not easy and takes trial and error or sound survey, and last I checked they require seperate power sources.
3. Sure tapping in to an existing mic/ submix would be great but the OP seemed to think this was problematic. But of course if he could do it [note: now it looks like it may be possible! Yipee!]he probably would have never posted.
4. As for the shotgun mic be too directional, you are thinking like a video guy, audio has a much, much wider rate of dispersion so much so that at 50 feet it would envelope the whole stage. Perhaps Prof. Carl has a textbook he has written to back me up.
5. Proximity effect is unlikely to manifest in any of the proposed solutions due to a shortage of .... proximity.
6. Anyway, by far the best option if price/time is critical is to get a mic, any decent mic close enough to a speaker to get reverb free voice.
Which leads me to the twice maligned ecm-cz10, with wave tube included. For under a hundred bucks I feel its a clear winner.
Why not add a separate central mixer dedicated to the streaming? Music industry based mixers from many manufacturers are inexpensive and work very well.
Also make sure you are using AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) compression which is capable of higher fidelity. On most surveillance-grade cameras, the only choice is G.711 compression (technically compansion), which is only capable of VOIP (telephony) fidelity. On this camera you do have a choice, but I don't remember the default.
Also use the highest sample frequency (16 kHz) and see if that makes a noticable difference in quality.
IPVMU Certified | 01/11/14 06:54pm
It is AAC. But I changed the frequency to 64. I will put it back to 16. It didnt seem to have much affect.