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  1. #1
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    GoPro (Wide) Sound Quality

    I just purchased a GoPro and am very pleased with the results from a price performance standpoint. One thing that I should have known, is that the sound is non-existent with the plastic housing on.

    Since I don't need to submerge myself with the camera, I'm thinking of drilling out the housing near the microphone. Has anyone done this, and if so, would you be able to post a photo and comment on your results? Is there a noticable improvement?

    Thanks
    phil shep

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  2. #2
    yeah, uh............bikes
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    If you take out the o-ring you can get a little more sound, but not a whole lot.

  3. #3
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    I don't plan on submerging mine either, but I'd hate to mess with the integrity of the case. I love that fact that if I hit rain or other water I'm totally safe. Plus, I'm not sure what audio I'm actually missing... just me whining and grunting.

  4. #4
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    ^^ lmao, I was just thinking that yesterday when I tried mine out for the first time. Grunting, babbling to myself and suckin' wind.
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  5. #5
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    Drilled out

    OK - I have a fair bit of experience on this.

    On the LO setting you get nothing, and on the HI setting not much more inside the case.
    My first step was to complain to the GoPro manufacturers who were very helpful. They first told me to try with the seal off which I did. This worked reasonably well on HI (still not much on LO) but gave a lot of wind noise and the volume was still quite low.

    I posted my videos on YouTube and got the manufacturers to watch. The next thing they told me was that, as long as I'm not ever wanting to submerge, I could drill out the case with a small drill. But they told me specifically where to do this. It is in the back, top left where there is a circle moulded into the plastic case. This position is they say the best due to the location of the mic and the integrity of the case.

    This worked much better, on HI (still no good on LO) but the recording sounded like the end of a tunnel. Next step I enlarged the hole to about an eighth of an inch. This was the best result yet. However, when the camera is turned so that the hole is not shielded from the wind, you get bad wind noise that overloads the camera electronics and sounds like really loud static. Next I tried some foam inside by the hole. Not much better but a slight improvement with the static. I reckon this is the best I'm going to get.

    The next logical step is to make the hole bigger - say a quarter inch, and use the LO setting, but I haven't done that yet. (You can always tape up the hole if the sound gets too loud I figure, but these steps are not reversible )

    Whatever you do, DON'T try to drill out a hole above the mic. As this is on the top, I guarantee you will get horrendous wind noise (if you ride fast) which will overload the electronics causing very bad static noise.

    No doubt about it, audio is the Achilles heel of this camera.
    Last edited by BigwheelsRbest; 05-15-2009 at 01:16 PM.

  6. #6
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    Awesome thanks fort the info!!

    I will try to go with the 1/4" hole right off the bat. It's good the mic is behind the camera!

    I guess if the case cracks you can always buy a replacement?
    phil shep

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  7. #7
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    Whooa cowboy!! the mic is on top of the camera, not behind it, and I would strongly advise you try say an eighth of an inch or at the most a 3/16" hole first so you understand what I mean about the "static" electronic overloading noise due to the wind rushing past.

    best

  8. #8
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    doh! got it...

    BUT... perhaps if a hole is drilled on the backside of the housing it will allow sound to get in without the horrible wind noise...

    cheers
    phil shep

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spencerfrater1
    they told me specifically where to do this. It is in the back, top left where there is a circle moulded into the plastic case. This position is they say the best due to the location of the mic and the integrity of the case.
    that's right mate

  10. #10
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    done!

    I'll see how it turns out this weekend....
    phil shep

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    done!

    I'll see how it turns out this weekend....
    Please share your findings phil - its always good to learn more about this camera.

    Cheers

  12. #12
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    Hi spencerfrater1,

    Thanks much for your drill-out info. My GoPro is no longer "brand spanking shiny new" now that I'm willing to drill the casing for better sound.

    So, I'll first go with 1/8" drill on that spot with HI setting. Just curious - Have you tried a bigger hole with LO setting like you mentioned yet? (If so, pls provide feedback.)

    As for "<I>when the camera is turned so that the hole is not shielded from the wind</i>", I'm only gonna use mine on either Chesty or "<a href="http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=5938596">brumski</a>" helmet setup. Do you consider these will be "shielded" from the wind?

    Thanks,
    - PiroChu

    PS.
    Do you have a vid posted somewhere with this drill-out setting, so that I can hear what the sound is like?
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  13. #13
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    I posted many videos with the drillout setting. The sound is still, to put it politely, crap. In a nutshell, don't bother.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiroChu
    Hi spencerfrater1,

    So, I'll first go with 1/8" drill on that spot with HI setting. Just curious - Have you tried a bigger hole with LO setting like you mentioned yet? (If so, pls provide feedback.)

    As for "<I>when the camera is turned so that the hole is not shielded from the wind</i>", I'm only gonna use mine on either Chesty or "<a href="http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=5938596">brumski</a>" helmet setup. Do you consider these will be "shielded" from the wind?

    Thanks,
    - PiroChu

    PS.
    Do you have a vid posted somewhere with this drill-out setting, so that I can hear what the sound is like?
    I disagree to a certain extent with LeeL. Yes, the sound quality is still rubbish, but it is better than it was for me.

    In answer to your first question Pirochu, I have for a while been using a slightly larger hole than 1/8" - probably about 3/16". And I always have the setting on LO now as on HI I get overload static most of the time. All my videos on my YouTube channel (see the link in my signature) for the last 3 months have been with this method. It is noisier on the seatpost, as the hole is facing into the wind, but still doesn't produce overload static on LO. So it doesn't matter about the mounting options when the setting is on LO in my opinion.

    I'm happy with the mod. LeeL maybe you could try a larger hole on the LO setting?

  15. #15
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    spencer I'll try it. I tried the smaller hole per your instructions in Hi setting and got the donald duck effect in voice and sound
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  16. #16
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    OK, thanks - I'll try the "<I>3/16" with LO</I>" setup from the get-go. I'm about to do it shortly...
    (In case of a screw-up, it's $40/housing.)
    Last edited by PiroChu; 10-28-2009 at 01:15 PM.
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  17. #17
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    PS.
    Just watched this one from your collection to sample the sound, thanks.
    &nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/user/stumpy25.../3/bIypRbMrpDw

    BTW, I'd assume that the people/goat scence were with a point-and-shoot, not GoPro?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiroChu
    PS.
    Just watched this one from your collection to sample the sound, thanks.
    &nbsp; http://www.youtube.com/user/stumpy25.../3/bIypRbMrpDw

    BTW, I'd assume that the people/goat scence were with a point-and-shoot, not GoPro?
    Oh yeah, sorry, forgot about that one! That's actually a Kodak Zx1 HD which I got the other day.

    You must have also seen/heard how I had an annoying rattle on the final descent which I think was the camera rattling around in the housing. Looks like I'm gonna need a piece of foam to put in there to keep it quiet.

    BTW both you guys make awesome videos - keep them coming. I wish we had trails in the UK like you do in America/Canada
    Last edited by BigwheelsRbest; 10-28-2009 at 02:20 PM.

  19. #19
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    Patiently awaiting my new Go Pro HD to test sound...and excited about ext. mic input.

    But

    And not trying to de-rail the thread here..

    but the ZOOM H4N recorder is an excellent solution for mobile audio recording.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...KBID=3570.html

    Combined with one of these!
    http://www.redheadwindscreens.com/

    You'd have to sync the audio in post- and yes, its one more device and piece of gear to worry about.. but this my friends, separates the men from the boys in the production world. Not to say simply documenting the experience of the ride and the trail isn't worth it with the GoPro alone, but sound is much of any experience.

    For me, the sound of riding lightly over terrain, hearing the crunch of dirt and the drivetrain and the breathing adds so much than simply slapping a copyrighted track to your videos.

    Just some thoughts..

  20. #20
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    drilled

    I'll test this out later...

    <a href="https://is.pinkbike.com/photo/4212/pbpic4212877.jpg"><img src="https://ar3.pinkbike.com/m4/4212/spbpic4212877.jpg"></a>
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  21. #21
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    I agree with you drexlerkm buuuuut.... I'd rather be riding then futzing with more gear and learning new video-editing software. To each their own
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  22. #22
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    LeeL, for sure..... I knew I'd maybe snag noone's attention, just an alternative for those wanting more for their productions..

    definitely excessive tho

    Fortunately, film production is my full time job, so this stuff comes to me-

    Haven't tried applying riding and filming yet.. I have a feeling it won't be as fun as purely riding.. W/O wires and crap to weigh me down.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by drexlerkm
    LeeL, for sure..... I knew I'd maybe snag noone's attention, just an alternative for those wanting more for their productions..

    definitely excessive tho

    Fortunately, film production is my full time job, so this stuff comes to me-

    Haven't tried applying riding and filming yet.. I have a feeling it won't be as fun as purely riding.. W/O wires and crap to weigh me down.
    that's why you have the GoPro - no wires and crap!

  24. #24
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    True, but with external microphones, etc..

    Also, at some point I'm going to bring a Sony HD rig and carbon tripod out into the woods for a day and tool around..

    Trying to talk my buddy into filming me all day, but it's kind of an arrogant request tho- Need to get a lot better before doing something like that!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by philshep
    done!

    I'll see how it turns out this weekend....
    Phil - I've watched a few of your vids now - great vids but you don't seem to use audio. Did your drill-out not work? Did you try the larger hole with a LO setting or not?

  26. #26
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    yes, the sound is still miserable on both settings. Sorry I should have posted that up. Looking forward to the new model with improved sound and a remote mic would be amazing!!
    phil shep

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiroChu
    I'll test this out later...
    Just tested the "<I>3/8" LO</I>" setup <i>very briefly</I> last night.
    I was just standing <10ft from a friend who was talking, while I was hand-holding the cam/housing (no wind factor). Unfortunately, I can't hear anything in playback.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiroChu
    Just tested the "<I>3/8" LO</I>" setup <i>very briefly</I> last night.
    I was just standing <10ft from a friend who was talking, while I was hand-holding the cam/housing (no wind factor). Unfortunately, I can't hear anything in playback.
    Yeah - it still won't pick up talking if you're more than a metre away.

    I just like having some of the noises of the tyres on the ground and a bit of wind noise to give an idea of speed. In WMM I usually increase the volume of the audio when editing. At least on the LO setting you don't get the static overload.

    But I realise the audio on this GoPro is still a pile of sh!te - just trying to make the best of it

  29. #29
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    Just tested (on Chesty)...

    Quote Originally Posted by spencerfrater1
    I just like having some of the noises of the tyres on the ground and a bit of wind noise to give an idea of speed.
    With the drilled hole, it took me a while (had to get mine replaced by GoPro) to test ride it on Chesty (well, actually, by my friend, because I'm still recoverying from a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=061Afrf4o5E">crash</a>).

    So, on Chesty, it picked up wind sounds now, with a <i>hint</i> of tire/shock sounds. Not <i>too</I> bad, compared to the silence of before, but - like y'all said - it is what it is. (I'll keep it to LO so not to get overloaded by the wind noise.) Once I'm better, I'll try it on my "brumski" helmet setup to give my verdict.

    Cheers,
    - PiroChu
    Last edited by PiroChu; 11-11-2009 at 10:45 PM.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiroChu
    Once I'm better, I'll try it on my "brumski" helmet setup to give my verdict.
    So, it took me a while but I'm finally back (from a crash/injury on Halloween) to testing of the drilled casing on "<a href="http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=5938596">brumski</a>" helmet setup. The physical therapist told me on Friday that I can go flat road riding, so here it is (my 1st ride in 3 weeks)...

    <object width='500' height='375'><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true' /><param name='AllowScriptAccess' value='always' /><param name='movie' value='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/110755' /><embed src='http://www.pinkbike.com/v/110755' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' width='500' height='375' allowFullScreen='true' AllowScriptAccess='always' /></embed></object>

    The sound quality still isn't "great", as we all already know it, but I'm glad that "it's there" now. (At least it captured my "Woohoo!" in the vid, hahah...)

    Cheers,
    - PiroChu


    PS.
    The self-riding scene angle is using the 2-piece "legs" from a Roll Bar Mount ($30), connected to the "brumski" setup base (a modified piece from a Head Strap Mount: $15). The '<a href="http://www.pinkbike.com/video/101197/">general-lee</a>' guy from Pinkbike really has this angle down. I'm <i>guessing(?)</i> as to what I need now is a Handlebar Mount ($20) and connect its 2-piece "legs" as well (total of 4 pieces) to have it far enough away from the helmet, in order to get General-Lee's angle.

    PPS.
    My 3yr old <i>just</i> learned to ride without training wheels this weekend! Super-stoked!!
    Last edited by PiroChu; 11-23-2009 at 01:09 PM.
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  31. #31
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    You might want to check with GoPro on getting a second backdoor that has holes in it already. I just got the new HD and it came with 2 back doors. They state the door with the holes should be used when only if you are going slower than 100mph. And the fully enclosed door for faster conditions.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorto
    You might want to check with GoPro on getting a second backdoor that has holes in it already. I just got the new HD and it came with 2 back doors. They state the door with the holes should be used when only if you are going slower than 100mph. And the fully enclosed door for faster conditions.
    I don't go faster then 100mph that often, so decided to drill my own back-door - just like Pirochu. I guess if you were a BASE jumper...

    Welcome back Piro - can't wait to see more vids of those insane jumps you do (try not to break anything else)

  33. #33
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    The GoPro HD's skeleton door doesn't work with the GoPro Hero WIde. Slightly different size among other reasons
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  34. #34
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    Sounds good to me:

    <object width="853" height="505"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YbBhLjtA1I4&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YbBhLjtA1I4&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="853" height="505"></embed></object>

  35. #35
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    ^^^^ awesome!
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  36. #36
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    Lol nice one polar bear.
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  37. #37
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    I drilled out a 5/32" hole on the back, in the spot mentioned above, and it helped a lot. It has more of a thunder/tunnel sound to it now, but it's a whole lot better than the buzz it had before.

    Videos below are taken on the same trail, same speed (~25mph), same bike; first one without the hole, second one with.

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/pt1oX1Ow9Tg&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/pt1oX1Ow9Tg&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tOYM3F-Eo7M&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tOYM3F-Eo7M&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

  38. #38
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    It would be so much easier to access the sd card and charge port via holes in the case, rather than having to remove the camera from the case every time you need to charge it or remove the card. The rectangular hole made for the sd card would have to be quite large since the card is flush with the camera when in place and you would have a hard time getting it out unless the hole was at least twice the thickness of the card slot.
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