Does the New DJI Mic Have a Noise Problem?

I finally received my DJI Mic after pre-ordering it over a month ago, and at first I was disappointed. When I did the initial test with the DJI receiver hooked up to my Canon R5, the audio I recorded was much louder than what I was used to with my old setup, where I was using a Zoom H1 with a Rode Lavalier GO. But there is a solution to this problem, and in this article, I am sharing it with you.

First of all, this is not a comprehensive microphone review. I haven’t had it long enough. When I buy new equipment, I make sure with a series of initial tests that it works properly and does what I want it to do. If this is not the case, I send it back within the return period. And to be honest, that’s what I thought I had to do with the DJI Mic after listening to the first recording. But as you will soon learn, the noise was the result of poor microphone and camera settings. The DJI Mic can provide very good audio quality if used correctly.

Record a backing track

The first thing I did to identify the problem was to record a backing track directly to one of the transmitters. This is a handy feature that I will be using a lot. The transmitter has a dedicated record button that starts backup recording independent of camera recording. With it, I can either record a backing track in addition to the audio that comes into the camera through the receiver, or use it as a standalone audio recording solution when filming with the GoPro.

So how did the backup recording sound? I’m happy to say there was no audible noise, which tells me that the noise from my previous recording was introduced somewhere in the transmission chain between transmitter, receiver and camera. You can listen to this much improved audio cue in the second section of the overview video.

Once I opened the backing track WAV file in DaVinci Resolve, I noticed a low audio level. I had to boost it over 16dB to bring it in line with the audio I had recorded on camera before. Because this backup audio signal is very clean, stepping it up in post didn’t introduce any noise.

He tells me that on my first test, the audio signal must have been boosted by a similar amount inside the camera because I hadn’t applied any other gain in the DJI Mic. Since the audio signal entering the camera is already a decoded analog signal, any noise introduced now is intensified as the camera amplifies the audio signal.

Applying Gain in Transmitter and Receiver

In the DJI Mic, you can adjust the receiver and transmitter gain independently to values ​​between -12db and +12db. You should adjust the transmitter gain to a value that gives a strong audio signal that does not clip. On the receiver there is a level meter, which helps to fine tune this setting. You can also amplify the audio signal in the receiver itself by applying additional gain before it enters the camera. While having the microphone connected to the Canon R5 and my Dell XPS, I found that I needed to boost the signal significantly to avoid noise.

The later in the audio chain the audio signal is intensified, the more noise you get. The worst thing you can do is set the camera audio levels to automatic and the DJI Mic gains to low. The camera will then increase the audio level with any noise introduced along the way. That’s what happened in my first test when everything was set to default. You can hear it in the first section of the presentation video.

I’m still experimenting with different settings, but what works for me now in a desktop setup with no ambient noise is the following settings:

  • I set the transmitter gain to +6db

  • In the receiver I apply +3db

  • I manually control the audio level of the camera and set it to a value of 50% or less

This results in an audio signal of similar intensity to my first test but with much less noise.

Now I encourage you to do your testing and adjust these settings to what works for you. I will also try to further improve the audio by experimenting with the gains. But I felt it was important to share this now so that the information is available and you are not as confused as I was at first. If you film a lot, this is surely nothing new for you. But for me, there is still a lot to learn when it comes to audio and video recording.

How to sync audio and video

Since the backup recording sounds so good, you might still want to save it in addition to the audio you record on camera. If you somehow mess up the gain settings and the audio signal recorded with the video becomes too noisy or clipped, you can swap it out for the backup track.

In modern video editing software, audio and video synchronization is easy. As an example, I want to share how to do it in DaVinci Resolve freeware. Before dragging the video and audio clips into the timeline, select both in DaVinci’s file explorer, right-click on one of the files and select “Auto Sync Audio – Based on Waveform”. This will work perfectly for the backup track because the source audio is the same as the video file audio. The only differences are the intensity and noise level.

To avoid confusion when recording many video and audio clips, make sure the time and date settings of the camera and DJI Mic are the same. In DaVinci Resolve, you can then categorize files by their creation time, which will make it much easier to find matching tracks.

Finally, let’s hear your experiences. Do you also have a DJI Mic or similar microphone? Which settings suit you best?

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