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How do I turn off AGC on the A6500? It is ruining my videos.


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 When I am recording video, as long as there is constant noise, the audio stays normal.  But if there is a period of silence, the camera boosts the sensitivity of the mic way up, then when the sound starts again it is super loud and then starts to slowly go back to a normal level.  If I am not mistaken, what is causing this is a digital compressor, which I believe is called AGC (Audio Gain Compensation).   Essentially, it is trying to equalize the sound by adjusting the sensitivity of the mic according to the changes in sound level it is hearing.

I just want to turn this function off completely.  I have gone through the menu on the a6500 dozens of times and I can't find any setting that controls the AGC function. 

Does anyone know how to turn it off?

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17 minutes ago, Johnhoward28 said:

Does anyone know how to turn it off?

I tried to look it up, and my most relevant finding is this:

Quote

Note

  • Regardless of the [Audio Rec Level] settings, the limiter always operates.

This is the only occurrence of the word "limiter" in the linked  user guide, btw.

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10 hours ago, Chrissie said:

I tried to look it up, and my most relevant finding is this:

This is the only occurrence of the word "limiter" in the linked  user guide, btw.

Yeah, I saw that in the manual too, but as usual with this useless manual, it throws out these terms like "Limiter" without giving any explanation as to what the heck it is or what it does.   It's like going to the doctor and being told you have "Dermatographism" and the doctor walks away without telling you what dermatographism is, leaving you to think you are dying.  

But the useless manual aside,  I cannot believe that any intelligent person in their right mind would design such a counterproductive feature that ruins the audio without providing a way to turn it off.  I have used dozens of video cameras in my life and NEVER had this kind of problem.  There a lot of things to love about this a6500, but if there is no way to turn this crazy AGC thing off, Sony just lost a lot of respect in my mind.

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10 hours ago, Johnhoward28 said:

Yeah, I saw that in the manual too, but as usual with this useless manual, it throws out these terms like "Limiter" without giving any explanation as to what the heck it is or what it does.   It's like going to the doctor and being told you have "Dermatographism" and the doctor walks away without telling you what dermatographism is, leaving you to think you are dying.  

But the useless manual aside,  I cannot believe that any intelligent person in their right mind would design such a counterproductive feature that ruins the audio without providing a way to turn it off.  I have used dozens of video cameras in my life and NEVER had this kind of problem.  There a lot of things to love about this a6500, but if there is no way to turn this crazy AGC thing off, Sony just lost a lot of respect in my mind.

It is strange that with millions of folks making videos with these cameras more  aren't complaining about this.  I guess if what you want is total or near total silence you have to decrease audio level in post processing during those stretches where you want decreased ambient sound.  That is easy to do.

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4 hours ago, tinplater said:

It is strange that with millions of folks making videos with these cameras more  aren't complaining about this.  I guess if what you want is total or near total silence you have to decrease audio level in post processing during those stretches where you want decreased ambient sound.  That is easy to do.

I am not sure you even understand what the problem is.  And there are hundreds of other posts online like mine complaining about this issue.  

Here is a quote from my original post, " But if there is a period of silence, the camera boosts the sensitivity of the mic way up, then when the sound starts again it is super loud and then starts to slowly go back to a normal level."  How you got that I wanted "Total Silence" from that statement, I do not know.  I will try to explain it clearer so that hopefully you will not get the exact opposite idea than what I am trying to convey.  

Say you are doing a recording of you talking into the front of the camera.  So you are talking and everything is fine, but then you stop talking for 10 or 20 seconds and then start  !TALKING AGAIN AND THE SOUND IS WAY TO LOUD AND PEAKING BAD! But then starts to taper down as you continue talking until it gets back to a normal volume level. 

It is clear that the camera as some function that is BOOSTING the sensitivity of the microphone during periods of silence searching for sound.  This function is called GAIN and is referred to Auto Gain Compensation, or AGC, and is performed by a device called a "Compressor".  The purpose of this function is to keep sound levels even in an environment in which incoming sound levels are variable. Think of a speaker on stage that is walking around while leaving the mic on the stand, moving closer and farther from the mic.  So there is a purpose for this type of function, but the need for it is extremely limited and rare.  In most cases, this function is not needed and it makes sense that Sony would have provided a way to disable it, for the majority of the cases where it is not needed.

I am looking for how to turn it off.  

Just to be clear.  I don't want total silence, I DON'T WANT TO BE SCREAMED AT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BY MY RECORDINGS

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Forgive me, instead of total or near total silence I guess i should have said "relative quiet".  I get what your problem and complaint is...what I don't get is, if indeed there are "hundreds" of other posts on line complaining as you are, didn't any of those "hundreds" get an answer to this question?  Why bring it up here again if there is so much information out there already?

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5 hours ago, tinplater said:

Forgive me, instead of total or near total silence I guess i should have said "relative quiet".  I get what your problem and complaint is...what I don't get is, if indeed there are "hundreds" of other posts on line complaining as you are, didn't any of those "hundreds" get an answer to this question?  Why bring it up here again if there is so much information out there already?

Logical deduction would be that if I had read other post about this problem and still posted here, then those post did not offer a solution, just as you answer here was not about providing a solution, but about distracting away from the problem by trying to insinuate that the problem is not Sony's crappy programming, but my fault somehow because I am not happy with this magnificent piece of amazing SONY technology that is ruining my video with blown out audio.  You Sony fanboys are absolutely useless at helping work through problems because you get your little feelings hurt anytime some mentions that there is a problem. 

If you don't have a solution, please do not respond.  I came here for help to SOLVE the problem, not to argue with you about whether the problem exists. Get back on course or, Goodbye. 

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Just wondering why you couldn't find help in the "hundreds" of folks with this problem or issue who have previously posted about it on the internet.  If the hundreds haven't been able to help you, its very unlikely the few folks here are going to have a solution, if one exists.  But fine, goodbye.

 

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  • 1 year later...

Any solution?
Really anoying that the audio boosts your signal... I set the volume to 0... listes... to ZEROOO and still i got that boosted compressed audio.
And by the way, no NO, i'ts NOT the mik, i have to record the lav connected to my Tascam if i want a truly smooth and professional sound.

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  • 8 months later...

Hello.

I am also affected by the dreaded AGC feature on my A6400. I think this is actually an analog circuit, rather than a digital processor, that's why you cannot turn it off in the menu.

I am up to purchasing the XLR-KLM2 interface to attach external mics to my camera. My question is: will AGC still be effective on that device? Because, given the ridiculous price that Sony's asking for it (you can get a decent 3rd party 48v-powered XLR preamp for around $50), also force-bundling it with a poor mic that needs to be thrown away, if it also has AGC, then it's totally useless.

Please share your experiences about the XLR-KLM2. Thanks!

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  • 5 months later...

I am also affected by this issue on my 6400, which is how I found this page. If anybody ever comes across a real solution other than doing audio separately please reply! Wish I had a tip other than that if you need to do external audio cheaply, a voice memo/audio recording app on any recent phone can get the job done if your mic is compatible. Make sure you go in your phone’s settings and uncheck “compressed” though. The file will be bigger but the audio will be better.

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  • 1 month later...

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