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Olympus EPM-1 and SEMA-1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Chesterfield, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Chesterfield

    Chesterfield New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2012
    I have the Olympus EPM-1 and was having issues with the audio. In fact after talking to Olympus and a few of you in this forum I realized that it was the auto-focus on the camera that was causing a fluttering sound to be picked up in audio while I was shooting video in relatively low light.
    Since then I have bought the SEMA-1 external mic and while there is a better audio so far I can not turn the internal mic off to avoid that sound or to avoid the extreme sensitivity to wind that the mic on the EPM-1 has.

    I have gone through the settings on the camera and I feel as if I am missing something. Can someone please confirm that I can or can not turn the internal mic off?

  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The internal mic will automatically turn off when you plug in the EMA-1 mic adapter. If you're still hearing the camera being handled, it's probably because you haven't taken the mic away from the camera yet. Try using the tie clip extension. The best thing to do is to pick up a rubber mounted shotgun mic (Rhode mics are very popular - they can be bought for about $150 and up). However, there are lots of creative things you can do with your little condenser mic and extension cord as well. For instance, if you mount your LED light array on a bracket, try hanging your mic from that same bracket with an elastic band. The alligator clip on the extension cord works well for that sort of thing. If you plug the mic directly into the adapter without using any kind of extension, then you aren't going to do much more than the built-in mics.

    As far as the wind noise, I'm not sure what your best bet for a muff would be on the little Olympus condenser mic, but all you need is a bit of foam. Maybe the filter foam from an aquatic tank? Personally, I found a little condenser mic that fit nicely in the deadcat from a headset I had laying around, so I made a new mic set out of that. If you purchase a shotgun mic, it should come with an external deadcat or an internal muffling system. The cheaper ones will come with the deadcat, but the more expensive ones don't even need it. When I worked with Clearchannel Broadcasting, we had $1,000 rubber mounted mics that gave perfect sound without a muff.

    The little condenser mic that comes with the SEMA-1 kit is quite good but it's certainly not perfect or a professional quality mic set. The important part of the set is the 3.5mm stereo mic adapter (the EMA-1 part). That's the part that allows you to expand your capabilities.

    So to sum up... purchase a nice shotgun mic if you can afford it, but if you don't want to put in any extra expense (I know, you just bought a camera, adapter, and all that...) then just find some foam you can cover the condenser mic with, and find a place to hang the mic from the tie clip extension cord, using an elastic band. That's the poor man's rubber mount. Of course, if you bought the Mini to be really sleek and compact, then the poor-man's solution is also the smallest. You'll still have a really compact kit, even more so than using an external recorder.
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  3. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    What sort of audio are you trying to pick up? The recommendations would be wildly different if you were shooting an interview vs shooting a heavy metal band.

    Ned is right, if you're not already doing so you need to get the mic away from the camera. Some earmuff foam from an old set of headphones can be used as a cheap solution to wind noise.
  4. Chesterfield

    Chesterfield New to Mu-43

    Apr 6, 2012
    Thanks guys. The problem is not so much the wind. I have solved that issue. It is the fact that the internal mic is not shutting off after I attach the SEMA-1. When I can find more time I will play around with it some more to figure this out. Any other suggestions please throw it my way.
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I did a quick check of reviews online and could not find anybody complaining that the internal mic was still functioning with this connected. Perhaps you are having an issue with your camera and/or sema unit??? I did find that lots of people did not like the "T-mic" that is included. I have access to pro mics so I have never used one but I can see how it wouldn't be the best{too small and too close to the camera and lens}. There is a way to turn off the internal mic however, here is what I replied to your other thread.

  6. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Turning off the microphone, prevents any sound from be recorded to the movie, this is good for adding sound tracks later when you edit your movie.
    The ME51S "T-mic" is actually a very good mic, however for best results, it MUST be separated from the EMA-1 (external microphone adaptor) by using the included connecting cord. If used directly attached to the EMA-1, noise from just handling the camera will be picked up, even your breathing will be noticed. I would suggest using a flash "L bracket" for the ME51S mic, or buy the $200.00 Sennheiser MKE 400 mic (Sennheiser USA - Camera Microphone - Camcorder Microphone - MKE 400 - Directional shot gun Microphone - Professional Audio )
    and mount that on the bracket.
    By the way, you can not manually turn off the internal mic, the camera will recognize the more sensitive external mic and use that as it's sound source.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Can I ask what kind of test you've done to determine that your internal mic is still live? As Sammy says, the camera will detect the more sensitive external mic when it's plugged in. Unfortunately, and I just tested this myself to make sure, plugging in the EMA-1 adapter with no mic attached still leaves the internal mic active... which does make it difficult to track down the source of your problem.

    When I plug an actual mic into the EMA-1 adapter however, then the internal mic definitely shuts off. I can hold the mic on a wire in one hand and the camera in the other, speak in the mic and shake the camera around like crazy... and all I pick up in the recording is my voice test - none of the camera shaking noise. This is the way the adapter should work. If yours isn't doing this, then the problem is somewhere in your setup, not your settings.

    Did you make sure the mic is plugged in tightly all the way? New SEMA-1 parts tend to come rather tight fitting and require a very firm push to fully activate.
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