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Old October 20th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #16
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Further thoughts..........

on you mic problem, Ashok.

Taking your opening budget of $450, I've gone back over your options versus requirements again.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot see how even the best shotgun is really going to give you what you want. BUT, every time I seriously look at the parab solution, a little alarm bell goes off which I just can't shake.

The problem I'm having is this. When you trawl the net looking for bird song, you find shed loads of song, but little or no accompanying video. Most of the pictures of "bird song setups" contain person with mic, recorder and headphones. Few, if any, show a camera, even fewer show a video camera.

From memory, you're shooting an XL2, Manfrotto 519 head, 525 sticks, rails and humungous great lens. Quite a handfull in itself, especially if your chosen target is 300 feet away travelling at relatively high lateral speed.

I've just looked up the parameters for the Crystal Partners Big & Little Ears parabs. Both are rated @ 100Hz - 15 kHz (good) with a "pick up pattern" of 30 & 24 inches respectively @ 100 feet (whoa, hold the phone here!).

This means that the tracking of the parab has to be absolutely spot on or the sound is going to be missed.

Can you see what's coming?

Yep, who's going to be tracking the parab whilst you're tracking the camera?

I've never seen you mention working in a team, so, unless you can somehow get the parab to track with the camera, you have a major problem. I believe this may be one of the reasons for the dearth of video acompanying so much recorded bird song.

So, lets go to the tracking. Try as I might, I cannot see how you can mount a parab on your camera/ rail/ lens setup (don't get me wrong, I can envisage the engineering of a mount utilizing the external mic holder, for example). What concerns me is the effect of having a 2 foot diameter, 5 + pounds weight, sail mounted on top of your existing rig.

I'll leave that there and let you and others ponder, and return to that budget.

Given the above, with such a tight budget, I can really only suggest at this point you go super, super cheap, just to see if the engineering and practicality issues can be satisfactoraly overcome. If you can make it a viable option, then think of spending the lions share on bringing the system up to a better standard.

Bottom line, if the parab itself is locally sourced, the engineering done by locals (thus relatively cheap) and a really really cheap mic is used, if it all turns out to be impractical, then there should be enough in the kitty to go to plan (B) - a shotgun of one flavour or another.

Of course, if you are shooting as a team and can get the tracking synchronised (could take some practise) you don't have to worry about the camera mount.


CS
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Old October 20th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #17
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And more..........

Have given the practicality of the head mounted parab a lot more thought.

On top of the camera seems to be just asking for trouble - you won't be able to see through it, the COG will go through the roof and the entire system will just want to nose dive etc, the slightest breeze will turn that big lens into a shake, rattle and roll machine.

There may just be a way which ameliorates all these issues. If you can get an intermediate plate made to go between the head mount plate and the camera (ie. the intermediate plate is fixed to the camera base, the 519 head plate is fitted to the intermediate plate), then as part of that intermediate plate you have a bracket extending to the right/ left at right angles from the camera, roughly centred on the head pivot point, for a distance of say, a foot.

From the end of that bracket you hang a "U" shaped bracket which holds the parab, which is hinged about it's central COG plane looking side on, with friction fittings at the top (for lateral adjustment and locking) and at the central plane (attitude, ditto).

This has the advantages that:

1. The weight (COG) of the parab is actually below the pivot point of the head/ camera, so does not add to the "above pivot point" COG, which solves the "nose dive" probem.

2. The weight of the parab will tend to even out the mass of the head/ camera system so you should be able to wind down the counterbalance system to compensate. The entire setup should be relatively stable.

3. Wind effects should be somewhat reduced, as the wind effects on the camera will to some extent be counterbalanced by the same effects on the parab.

4. The parab is out of your field of view, so will not restrict your vision. It will also not be in front of the camera, so it will not collide with the tripod during a downwards tilt.

In use, you would need to mount up the entire system, pick a target at a suitable distance, centre the camera lens on the target, then align the parab to also target the same spot for the audio. At significantly different distances forward or back from that set distance there will be some sound fall off due to the two not targetting the same spot, minimised by keeping the dish as close as possible to the camera, without risking collision with the tripod.

Sounds good to me. What do you think?


CS


PS. Good morning!


PPS. You will probably need to get the head mounting plate for the 519 modified to allow for at least 2 X 3/8" mounting bolts to the intermediate plate. Expecting one rediculous 1/4" bolt to hold all the above is really asking a bit much.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; October 21st, 2007 at 12:14 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old October 21st, 2007, 03:46 AM   #18
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Thanks Steve, Chris...

I will check with Sennheiser India regarding Lav connectability, here Sennheiser cost 75% more than B&H. (plz do not comment on this, I don't want to deviate from PDmic)
Chris, I would like to work as a team. B'cos with all this gear itís humanly not possible as you said even slightest breeze can ruin the footage. I have spare 055/701RC2 on that the PDishMic can be mounted.
Passing thought, how about recording the bird call on a recorder & mix it in the post processing/editing. If this is ok then which recorder would be better?

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Old October 21st, 2007, 08:27 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashok Mansur View Post
... Passing thought, how about recording the bird call on a recorder & mix it in the post processing/editing. If this is ok then which recorder would be better?

Ashok
You could certainly use an audio recorder instead of the camera if you wished but that doesn't change anything. Camera versus recorder is just a matter of choice of storage device and won't have any impact on the mic placement issues.

My question before regarding what you want to do with your lav remains ... you mention Sennheiser, are you asking if you can unplug the mic from a Senneiser wireless transmitter you already have and plug it directly into the camera instead or are you asking if you can purchase a conventional hard-wired lav mic and connect it to your camera? If it's the first, what wireless set do you have and what camera?
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Old October 22nd, 2007, 01:37 AM   #20
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Exactly I wish to record it on a separate recorder, so that I can use it whenever such situation arrives. B'cos carrying all the equipment by self will be impractical & exhaustive, now onwards prefer to work as team.
I want to purchase the mic & mount it on the cam. Have XL2, EF lenses, Rail, Tripod. Can you tell me, how to avoid the wind sound on my stock cam mic?
Ashok
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Old October 24th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #21
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sound magnification

Good information - I have been one of those of the uninformed who was hoping a good shotgun mic would actually amplify & focus the sound at some distance. I discovered this weekend that apparently I was wrong. I was shooting a kids karate sparring competition from a distance of about 25', with a borrowed camera & shotgun mic, & got very poor results. Since I could not use a boom, nor a lav, and am not prepared to go to the parabolic solution at this early juncture, does anyone have other alternative techniques or suggestions for such an event? Or perhaps I am just trying to get somehting done that is not practical. I am practicing to learn at this point. Thanks, & sorry for the "newbie" question.

Last edited by Bill Spearman; October 25th, 2007 at 09:05 AM.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #22
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Hi Bill.................

Only way I can see to get anything like decent sound under the circumstances you describe would be to drop a couple of mic's from the roof/ beams to hang over the mats, as close to the action as possible.

Putting mikes right to the mat boundaries is not an option, overhead is the only way to go.

Of course, if the roof is 100 feet high, you have another problem..................


CS
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Old October 25th, 2007, 04:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Spearman View Post
Good information - I have been one of those of the uninformed who was hoping a good shotgun mic would actually amplify & focus the sound at some distance. I discovered this weekend that apparently I was wrong. I was shooting a kids karate sparring competition from a distance of about 25', with a borrower camera & shotgun, & got very poor results. Since I could not use a boom, nor a lav, and am not prepared to go to the parabolic solution at this early juncture, does anyone have other alternative techniques or suggestions for such an event? Or perhaps I am just trying to get somehting done that is not practical. I am practicing to learn at this point. Thanks, & sorry for the "newbie" question.
I don't know enough about competitive Karate to have a feel for what distances might be involved. If you could get right at ringside, as close as possible without interfering with the match, how far away would that be? I'm thinking that a shotgun up there, mounted on a pistol grip, aimed by a sound person, and with a cable run back to the camera position might partially solve the problem. It also depends too on just what you're trying to record - speech, shouts, the slap of blows landing and grunts in response, etc. You got to closer to get a good recording of speech than you would a loud shout.
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Old October 25th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #24
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Thanks

Thanks for the great replies. I had not thought of the ceiling - not applicable in this instance, but a great creative idea for going forward. The pistol mounted shotgun would indeed work for these applications - I need to eventually buy my own mic, for this typr of thing which typr or pattern would be better? I have read of the cardiod & supercardiod, am not sure how significant the difference is.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 02:58 AM   #25
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Tellinga the European parabolic dish

http://www.telinga.com/
Sassi
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Old November 6th, 2007, 09:43 AM   #26
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Thanks Sassi...

Which model do you find better & connecting it to XLR is better or records the call on a recorder & mixes it later. If that the case, which recorder is good. Since you're in hide bird videography & seen those fantastic close up shots. I use my jeep as a hide & designed a hanging bracket with 75 mm bowl to mount it on the window.
In India official prices for all photographic goods are very high,
e.g.. Sennheiser ME66+K6 will cost Rs80K where as B&H sells it Rs20K. XL2 costs Rest 405K.
Rs 40=$1


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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #27
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Try also BirdForum

I never used one of those so I can't comment.
I would inquire with the Telinga staff . I am sure that they will offer you the appropriate product to suite your needs and budget.
Their products are used by the leading bird sound recorders.
For lower budget or other options you can go to "Bird Forum"
http://www.birdforum.net/forumdisplay.php?f=481
you will need to register but I am sure it will worth the effort
(there is a very knowledgeable person there named Ermine).
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Old November 7th, 2007, 09:56 AM   #28
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Thanks Sassi.

Yes I did become a member to it, it's really a very informative like dvinfo. Meanwhile I'm also interacting with Jon Strandberg of Telinga.

Ashok
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