How to Add Mic Input and Headphones Output to Samsung HMX-T10 Camcorder
This is the cheapest device to gather interviews as a small, easy-to-carry recorder. I started to use it for preproduction and film documentation after I bought it in a Polish discount shop for about 100 Euro. The only problem was very poor sound quality.
I decided to mod the camcorder to improve the sound quality with the extra "mic in" socket for lavalier mic. I added also a headphones socket to monitor a recording process.
I loved the picture from my new Samsung HMX-T10 camcorder, but the sound quality didn't match up. Since it records video that can be directly edited in my Final Cut Pro 7 (but not FCPX), I didn't want to just buy a different model, so I cracked it open and I added an internal jack input. :)
Here is my video camera after I did the mod.
On the photo you can see additional sockets for external mic and earphones.
I had to get down to the bare wires from a main circuit board to get to the audio input connections.
I made some space in the case by cutting a bit of the plastic structure.
Finally I cut a hole for mini jack in the cover and glued the socket in place.
I soldered up a shielded extension wire to an audio jack. This is a schematic diagram on how to connect wires and socket.
Because I found out while shooting an interview, I couldn't check sound quality. I realised I need another mod.
The other modification was to add a socket for headphones to monitor recording process. The problem was activating a sound output in the camera's main board. I did it when I found out on the bare circuit board which pin to switch sound output mode.
I soldered up a socket to the circuit board.
The last thing was to choose a proper headphone socket to activate the external audio for headphones. I decided to use an input for 4-pin mini jack, because when I put in the headphone plug, I turn on the switching signal to ground. That way I can activate an output signal to feed my earphones.
This mod still lets me use the two stock microphones when mic jack is off.
Below is some rough footage, shot with my modded camcorder. Please, compare the left and right audio channels. One of it was recorded with the built-in mic but the second channel was recorded with a cheap wired lavalier mic which was attached to my son's T-shirt. The price of external mic is about 4 Euro.
This mod is to connect only left channel to one external mic. I used to record this way before with "normal" PRO camcorders with XLRs. One channel is for microport and the second is for audio effects. During the postproduction, you can always choose which channel is most important for you or you can mix both.
When I record an interview I always use MONO sound becouse it is the safer option with less noise. I always mix that mono recording with the ambient sound of the room in postproduction. In my opinion, that way is the best for quality and to prevent any problems with broken cables, unexpected noises, etc. You can always choose a "safe internal mic" audio in case of any problems.
For me,after my KALWIN MOD, the sound quality of HMX-T10 is good enough for a reasonable price.
Enjoy HMX-T10 and make the T10 KALWIN MOD!