Microphone Cables

See also: Camera Sound and Microphones

YSTV's Canon XM2 and Sony HVR-1000E cameras both ship with stereo audio connectors, yet outboard microphones (dynamics, and powered shotgun condensers) are inherently mono. We have therefore defined a wiring standard that is a little convoluted.

Cable wiring

Stereo mini-jack (camera) XLR (mic)
TIP pin 2
RNG pin 2
SLV pin 3
disconnected pin 1 (gnd)

This results the total hot & cold (+/-) difference across the microphone (not just + or - to gnd, which would be half the amplitude) being sent in parallel to both the left (ring) and right (tip) channels of the camera. The camera's ground line (sleeve) becomes the "cold" or "-" which is by now you know, the other side of the mic!

Why this way?

We used to have a mapping of stereo sleeve = XLR 1, stereo ring = XLR 2, and stereo tip = XLR1, and stereo sleeve = XLR3. This meant audio would only exist on the left channel, and be half the amplitude it could have been! This was understandably silly, and would result in people having to "fill with left" in the edit, but people would inevitably forget to do so. We then went with a T = 2, R = 3, S = 3 mapping. This made audio on both channels, both the left and right would be oppositely phased: this meant that on mono systems, the audio would be cancelled out when played back, and not noticed in the edit! Then Mike Chislett discovered it and changed it to this more sensible mapping. This means no more Fill Left, and no more phase issues! Yey! Happy days.