JVC GY-HM170 Camera

Recording Audio

The JVC GY-HM170 uses a built-in microphone, an external shotgun microphone and an additional XLR (3-pin) cable input for other microphones such as stick (hand-held) or wireless microphones.


The external shotgun microphone is set up to record NAT audio (natural or ambient sound). It uses phantom power, which means that its internal electronic circuitry relies on the camera as a power source. The shotgun on the TV-1 cameras should be connected to the Input 1 terminal. 

NOTE: It’s inadvisable to record interviews with the shotgun microphone. The reason why concerns the fact that the shotgun has a wider pickup range, meaning that it will pick up as much ambient audio as it will the person’s voice. Also, it’s crucial to get the microphone as close to the voice as possible. Students who use the shotgun for interviews always come away with voices that sound distant or are overwhelmed with ambient sound.

Using Stick Microphones or Wireless

These accessory microphones can be connected to the Input 2 XLR terminal. The stick and the wireless microphones are ideally suited to record voices during interviews. 

NOTE: Do not disconnect the shotgun microphone from the Input 1 terminal. Remember, other students will use the camera after you. Don't disconnect things that you might forget to reconnect later.

For the clearest, sharpest reproduction of voices, it’s important to always consider first using the stick and wireless… and only use the shotgun as a last resort. Never start with the last resort first because audio quality is as important as video quality. 

Using the Wireless Microphone

Connect the wireless receiver to INPUT 2 and attach it to the camera’s shoe (top track on the camera – see picture). Make sure the receiver is connected securely to the camera. 

Audio Input Settings

The controls for setting the audio input of the microphones can be found in a compartment located in the camera’s grip. The controls are divided between CH 1 AND CH 2 settings, AUDIO INPUT and AUDIO SELECT.

The CH 1 and CH 2 settings allow you to send audio from a selected microphone input to a specific audio channel. Typically, CH 1 is considered to be the left channel and CH 2 is the right. The settings allow the option to set the camera’s internal (INT) (the microphone that is built-in to the camera) to either or both channels, in addition the microphones that are attached to the INPUT 1 and INPUT 2 terminals (INPUT is always going to be the shotgun microphone). 

Under AUDIO INPUT, the user can select microphone options attached to the input terminals. For both INPUT 1 and INPUT 2, there are three microphone options:

  • LINE – allows you to connect the output from a sound board or other audio device.
  • MIC – this setting is used when connecting to a stick microphone or wireless
  • MIC+48V – this setting is used when connected a microphone that requires phantom power.

Under AUDIO SELECT, you adjust the recording levels for the two channels manually or automatically. When adjusting the recording levels manually, make sure that the audio bars, displayed in the monitor/viewfinder, don’t peak in the red, otherwise, the audio will become distorted.


BEST PRACTICE: Always wear headphones when recording. You must be able to monitor the quality of the audio, not just simply look at the meter to know that you’re recording sound. Headphones will help you hear for distortions, including unwanted static, cracks, pops and hissing sounds that could interfere with the audio. Without headphones, you’ll never know the quality of the audio.

As an example, when using the wireless microphone:

  • Plug the receiver into INPUT 2
  • Set CH 2 to INPUT 2 (you can leave CH 1 to INPUT 1 so that you’re still recording with the shotgun microphone at the same time you’re recording with the wireless)
  • Set the AUDIO INPUT for INPUT 2 to MIC