5 Simple Steps to Get the Perfect Audio When Using the Wireless GO II with a Camera
The Wireless GO II is a revolutionary compact wireless audio solution that offers broadcast-quality sound in an affordable and compact package.
It is an incredibly versatile microphone and can be connected to virtually any device, including computers, smartphones, tablets and audio recorders. It also features onboard recording capabilities, so you can even use it without an external recording device.
For many content creators, the Wireless GO II is the perfect audio companion for a camera. Using the microphone with a camera is great because it means your audio is already in place, sync’d with your video file, making for a very streamlined post-production workflow.
Because the Wireless GO II is designed to interface with such a broad range of devices, the 3.5mm output (which is used to connect to cameras) has a wide output level range. This makes it very versatile, but it also means that you must take a moment to set the level to match your camera’s input in order to get great audio.
If set incorrectly, your audio could be too quiet (meaning that when you boost the level in post-production, you risk introducing hiss to your recording), or too loud, which may clip the input of your camera, causing unpleasant distortion that cannot be fixed in post-production.
This is the case with any microphone you use with your camera. Luckily, the Wireless GO II has flexible gain controls that allow you to get the perfect recording level every time.
Here are 5 easy steps to ensure you get the correct output level on the Wireless Go II for your camera:
1) Turn off AGC and Other Audio Processing Functions on your Camera
Many cameras have Automatic Gain Control (AGC) enabled by default, and sometimes other audio processing functions, such as wind-noise reduction. You should turn these off.
AGC and other processing can cause unexpected jumps in your audio levels, as well as other artifacts in your recordings. They are not needed with a high-quality microphone such as the Wireless GO II. Set the audio gain control to manual for the best results.
2) Turn Down the Input Gain on your Camera
The audio inputs on most cameras are not very high quality. This means they can introduce hiss into your recording. If you turn down the manual input gain to minimum or just above the lowest level (usually 1 or 2) and use the microphone's output control to boost your signal if required, you will get less hiss from the camera's audio inputs.
3) Talk into the Microphone Whilst Turning up the Transmitter’s Output Level
With the transmitter connected to your camera using the included 3.5mm cable, get your talent (or yourself if you're recording solo) to talk into the microphone at the level they/you will be talking during the take.
Starting on the lowest setting, turn up the gain on the Wireless GO II transmitter (using the ‘dB’ button) whilst watching the audio meters on your camera screen. Keep turning up the level until the meters are about 2/3 of the way up/across the screen at the loudest peaks.
This should give you great audio quality with some headroom in case of unexpectedly louder sounds.
Pro Tip: Activate ‘Fine Gain Mode’ using the RØDE Central desktop or mobile app for more precise control of the Wireless GO II's output level. This will make it even easier to match your gain levels.
4) Monitor the Audio from your Camera to Check the Quality Before Recording
If your camera had a headphone output, use this to monitor your audio in real-time to check for any issues, such as clipping.
If your camera does not have a headphone output, you may want to do a quick test recording to ensure your audio is perfect before getting started.
5) Set the Transmitters to 'Low Sensitivity Mode'
If you are recording a particularly loud sound source (for example, someone speaking loudly into the transmitter when it is mounted on the Interview GO handheld adaptor), it is possible that the microphone input could be clipping, even if the levels on the camera look ok.
If this is the case, you can activate 'Low Sensitivity Mode' on the transmitters using RØDE Central. This will engage an input pad.
Connect the transmitter to your phone or laptop using the appropriate cable and open RØDE Central. Navigate to the transmitter settings and click ‘Pad’. A small blue arrow will show on the screen of the receiver next to that transmitter when it is activated. This should eliminate any distortion from very loud sounds.
Pro Tip: Whilst it might seem like a good idea to leave the pad on all the time, using the 'Low Sensitivity Mode' for normal sound sources is not recommended as it will slightly increase the noise floor in your recordings when you boost the signal in post-production.