Canon HF G10 audio accessory trouble

I recently bought the G10 and while I can shoot video just fine, I'm having some issues with getting some equipment to work.

I rented a Beachtek DXA-4P audio adapter and it mounted perfectly to my camera and the jack plugged into my MIC input.

The Sony ECM-44B lav connects to the XLR input no problem, as well as a boom mic I also rented.

Everything connects; however, when I went to record some tests the camcorder didn't recognize they were attached.

1. Is there a menu option I have to enable to get these puppies to work?

2. If/when they do work, can I record audio tracks without video?

3. Is it possible to have the camera mics record in unison with the 2 XLR mics making for 3 combined inputs?

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I tinkered around and got the 2 mics to work, but still not at the same time.

I've tested both external mics and the audio is vastly improved over the internal mics; however, when both are connected only one is recognized.

1. Is there a menu option I have to enable to get the 2nd external mic working?

2. If/when they do work, can I record audio tracks without video?

3. Is it possible to have the camera mics record in unison with the 2 XLR mics making for 3 combined inputs?

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The BeachTek DXA4 is a

"passive" XLR adapter and mixer. Passive because it has no amplifiers, is a "mixer" because there are separate audio gain controls for the left and right channels and is an "XLR adapter" because it provides the correct signal and power to camcorders using a 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo audio input. But you already know this.

The Sony ECM-44 lavalier mics require a power source. When used wireless, the Sony WRT-805 transmitter provides power to the mic. When used wired, power is supplied by a AA battery in the XLR connector. The ECM44 does not use phantom power like that supplied by many mixers. The DXA-4 does not have phantom power capabilities - but the DXA6 does (this is irrelevant when using the ECM-44). You probably already know all this, too. I just want to be sure we are all on the same page.

The camcorder does not know the difference between connecting multiple mics or anything else. It knows only that there is a 1/8" (3.5mm) audio input plugged in.

We assume:
* on the DXA-4: between the two XLR inputs, there is a MIC/LINE switch (one for the left channel and one for the right channel) and both are switched to MIC.

* on the DXA-4: the audio gain knobs are both set at about halfway between 0 (low) and 10 (high).

* on the Canon HF G10: manual audio is the selected option setting. See page 67 in the manual
This single manual audio gain control in the camcorder controls the left and right channels at the same time so there is no separate individual channel control. For this testing, the gain should be about 1/2 way between low and high. And the audio levels should be visible on the camcorder viewfinder.

Plug in a known working ECM-44 to the DXA-4 - and plug the DXA-4 into the HF-G10. The audio level meters on the camcorder should show audio. Move the mic to the other channel. Use headphones to monitor the audio. See page 71 for headphone use.

Does the audio follow the mic when the mic is moved from one channel to the other? If yes, unplug that mic and do the same with the other mic. The results should be the same. Now plug in both mics. What happens?

Please clarify "record audio tracks without video". When the camcorder is recording, it is recording video and audio. Your video editor can strip out the audio if needed. As far as I know, the HF G10 is not an "audio-only" recorder.

Yes, it is possible to have the external mics and the internal camcorder stereo mics recording at the same time. See page 70, "Audio mix".

How are we doing so far?

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Ooops... forgot... the M/S switch

between the MIC/LINE switches... These are for "M"ono and "S"tereo.

When in Mono mode, both channels send the same information to the camcorder. When in Stereo mode, the audio from the mic on the right side and the audio from the mic on the left side are different. The "Aux" plug between the audio gain control knobs is controlled by the right channel knob.

We also assume the AA batteries in the two XLR connectors associated with the two lavs are fresh, installed correctly and working (which is why I asked you to test both mics separately).

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So when I switched to mono, both mics worked in both slots; whenever I did it in stereo, only slot #1 (left) worked. I tried using only one mic on the right, but only the one on the left works with stereo turned on.

I now know how to use both at the same (mono); however, I'm curious to know how exactly the audio quality will be captured in mono vs stereo (will it be lower quality?) when capturing audio with 2 external mics along with the internal.

Thanks for the help!

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So... it sounds like the DXA-4

wiring to the M/S switch is somehow disconnected (on the stereo side of the switch). It could be something else...

With stereo separation, the left and right channels capture different audio information. In mono, they capture the same information. Depending on your video editing application, or if you plan to use an audio editor, the mono channels can be made into "stereo" by using the left/right pan controls and replacing the recorded audio with this "enhanced" audio. Use a light hand and it could be decent.

Lower "quality"? No. When recorded in mono, everything is in the middle. I have no idea what it will sound like with the camcorder built-in mics added to the mix.

I don't know what you are recording. I don't know if you are expecting the camcorder mics to pick up ambient noise or have their own audio source.

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