How to avoid noise

well everything on here for avoiding noise from my understanding assume a pc is being used to record. well i keep getting noise in my sound when i use my digital camera thing is i dont have any control over the enviroment of the events i go to. so i was wondering about what causes noise and distortion with a digital camera and any easy ways to avoid them or negate them after the fact if need be


I predict (pressing fingers to forehead) that the bass guitar and kick drum are overloading the sound track in your camcorder. All the bass notes are crunchy and distorted and the drum pops instead of making drum sounds?

You generally don’t recover from that. You could try Effect > Clip Fix in Audacity 1.3.7, but high order distortion like that is usually permanent.

The big kids get around this by using separate dynamic (moving coil) microphones and special resistive attenuators between the microphone and the recorder. Some recorders have built-in attenuators you can switch in and out. The microphones that survive that kind of performance can produce a stunning hot signal and you need to lose most of it before you try to record.


Alternatively you can use an audio recorder to record the sound (with a suitable microphone) and then synchronise it to the pictures when you edit it.

Camcorders do not usually have great sound - one of the main problems is that many have Automatic Gain Control (AGC) and no means of setting the recording level manually, so the recording level is all screwed up straight away with distortion as soon as the sound goes loud, and an increasing amount of noise when the sound goes quiet. It’s not a problem for casual holiday videos, but for music or when high quality sound is required, they just don’t cut it (unless you are using a professional level camera).

i dont use a pro level camera mostly because i didnt see the point in paying that much money for a camera that would only be used at these events which only happen a couple times a year hence why i asked how to avoid noise

So did we hit it? Everything sounds dense and close and the bass notes pop?


in some cases yes you were on the mark other times no for example one time for whatever reason the clip had bits of silence in it somehow despite the other two videos of same event came out fine, another had like a wrapping sound if it helps i can post some of the clips that i’ve gotten with my camera with the noise in it

You can do that, but I think we’re going to tell you the same thing. Yes, the performance is way too loud for the type of microphone you’re using.

The little mic on top of the camera is an electret condenser microphone (or two) and they have one really bad overload problem, if the sound gets loud enough they stop dead. The little insulated plates inside the microphone touch and that can permanently take out the microphone. If that happens to a top end studio condenser microphone, it will punch high voltage holes in the plates and cause a multi-hundred dollar repair bill.

If someone had a gun on me and said I had to do this, I would put tape over the microphone or heavy wool socks or anything to keep the performance sound field away from the camera.


thing is i dont know where my cameras mic is its not external so covering it would be hard unless i covered entire camera


The microphones are almost always behind a black grillwork so the camera looks like an insect from the front. Sometimes they’re mounted on the handle if there is one.

What’s the model number of the camera? We might be able to tell you where it is / they are.


its a Vivitar 4100 4 MP Camera

question what kind of tape? i know where the mic is now so i can cover it or is it better to try external mic with the camera?

<<<its a Vivitar 4100 4 MP Camera>>>

That’s not a current Vivitar camera model, so we’re stuck.

Oops. Posting in the wrong place.

Where is it?


i think its the in the small hole below the first one by where the flash would go off

Give it a shot. Record somebody talking in front of the camera for five seconds. Stop. Cover the hole with, say masking tape, and shoot another five seconds. It should sound muffled and very much lower in volume.

I’m afraid even that isn’t going to stop a live band bass notes from shaking the beans out of the camera, but it should stop the overloading.


i did that it did cause volume to be lower and i looked at the Specturm and noticed diffrences so i’m pretty sure thats it
but i used scotch tape not masking