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Old January 3rd, 2008, 09:37 PM   #1
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Tips for recording a band with Rode Videomic

Hi, twice now I've tried to record live bands with my Panny DVC30 & Rode Videomic without success. The first time I had the audio wound down manually to what I thought was the lowest setting (1 green bar) & the meter wasn't peaking but the result was terrible, couldn't use it. The next time I found I could wind back even less than 1 bar on the manual setting & the level was hardly even going above -10 on the level meter. I also used the high pass filter. This resulted in lower playback levels, too low in places, but it was still distorted. I had run a feed off the mixing desk to my minidisc recorder & I mixed that with a little ambient audio from a camera that was recording an unmanned wide shot & the result was pretty good. Didn't use the Rode audio though. Anyone help? Thanks.
BTW, this combination works fine for general recording purposes, just very sensitive, so I always try to err on the cautious side. I can always boost in Audition if I need to, but once it's clipped.........
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:06 AM   #2
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Rode Videomic (which version?)

Question for you. I have Rode VM (& SVM) and both work superbly and flawlessley with Sony HC1 and PD150 (with XLR conversion plug/Phantom power off.)

I believe Rode recently (last 6-12 months) upgraded the Videomic so that it has a 3 position pad switch within the battery compartment. This might be why the VM is sold very cheaply now on the web (off loading old stock?) The original VM (that I have) lacks this feature. I suspect this was added by Rode in response to issues with the mic being too "hot" (or maybe too "cold"?) for some camcorder brands, maybe? They are certainly a very progressive company and welcome (and act positively to) customer feedback from what I've read.

Now an obvious question is (and I suspect I know the answer will be negative.....) but does yours have this feature or not?
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Old January 4th, 2008, 04:35 AM   #3
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Both versions of the Videomic work fine. As Andy says the only upgrade to the new version is the 3 position dip switch in the battery compartment. It's a set and forget arrangement, for normal work you set the switch to -10db.

I'm fortunate enough to know Peter Freedman and the RODE folk well, there's some great stuff coming.
Cheers.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 07:51 AM   #4
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'does yours have this feature or not?'

'Fraid not, at the back of the mic, on the outside, is On, Off & High Pass. I bought it from a local music store about 6 months ago, but yes it was at a reduced price. I might try contacting Rode & see if they do Trade Ins!
Thanks for the help.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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Your camera may be a bit too sensitive. I find the VM works well with my GL2 if i put -10dB attenuation on in the camera menu. Mic attenuation is sometimes hidden pretty well in the camera menu system - on the GL-2 it's on the VCR menu.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Carroll View Post
'does yours have this feature or not?'

'Fraid not, at the back of the mic, on the outside, is On, Off & High Pass. I bought it from a local music store about 6 months ago, but yes it was at a reduced price. I might try contacting Rode & see if they do Trade Ins!
Thanks for the help.
G'day Alan - it's *not* on the back of the mic !

The 3-way attentuator is inside the battery compartment.
Open the batt compartment, take out the battery and you should see the 3-way switch. For loud live bands set it to -20dB. (strongest attentuation).

If you cannot see the switch then you have one of the older Videomics that don't have the attenuator. Certainly i think if you've bought it in the last 12months yours should have the attenuator.

Back to the live band.... the reason you get horrible audio is it's disorting or "clipping" the signal. This is because the Videomic is a "hot" mic and is outputting so much voltage (it's only millivolts though!) that its overloading the pre-amp in your camcorder. The manual audio levels that you are setting comes *after* the pre-amp (i believe) in the signal "path", so the signal is already clipped badly and so changing the manual audio levels does nothign (unfortunately).
I too have a VIdeomic (one of the original ones without the attenuator) and i get exactly the same thing taping live bands.

So... solutions :
1) Check inside batt compartment, and switch the 3-way to -20db (if you have it!)

2) if you don't have the attenuator (or you do, but thats still not enough attenuation) then buy an in-line cable attenuator and attach that between your Videomic and the camcorder socket. THey're pretty cheap and are usually rated at -10db, -20db, or -30db. Do a search on google or the usual online video or music-equipment websites and you'll find one. Try microphonemadness.com for eg.

3) Get a Beachtek XLR box. www.beachtek.com
That will eliminate the problem and allow you to fine tune things nicely.
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Old January 4th, 2008, 11:13 PM   #7
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'Your camera may be a bit too sensitive.'

I think you're right Mike. Not when I use the internal mic, but certainly when the Rode VM is hooked up.

'G'day Alan - it's *not* on the back of the mic !

The 3-way attentuator is inside the battery compartment'

Thanks Stu. Yes I know, that's why I said 'Fraid not', it definitely doesn't have the attenuation pad.

'buy an in-line cable attenuator and attach that between your Videomic and the camcorder socket.'

There's a good idea, I'll look into that, thanks.

(Yes I would like to know how to enclose quotes!)
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Old January 5th, 2008, 02:17 AM   #8
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Alan,
I've been using a Rode Videomic with my DVC30 for about a year and a half. I set camcorder mic volume to manual, with the loudest sounds lighting almost all the bars. Seems fine, but I'm not doing music.... just voice and sound effects.
Of course, if you're shooting outside, you've got to use a furry wind muff, like the DEADCAT that Rode sells.
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