Opinions on Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone at DVinfo.net

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Old May 7th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #1
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Opinions on Audio-Technica AT875 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone

I'm looking upgrade to a better shotgun mic for on camera and boom audio recording. I work as a one man production crew so I want something high quality, yet small - but I do have a budget.

I like the size of the Audio-Technica AT875 mic since I work with small camcorders for the Solo video Journalism work I shoot and want to keep my kit as small and compact, yet as high quality as possible. Anyone know of the sound quality of this mic?

I've been getting by with a low end Azden SMX-10 but I have begun to notice the limitations of the sound quality coming from this mic - it has gotten me by on a couple of paying shoots and those shoots are now affording me the opportunity to upgrade to a better quality mic. I've read good things about Audio-Technica's mics but am open to other suggestions for other mics in this price/size range? I'd like to keep the mic length to around 7 inches or so - specifically for when I use the mic on camera.

In addition, I'm a novice to the jargon of mics - what does phantom powered mean and does this preclude my using this mic on my HC7's directly from the mic jack? I already have a mini jack to XLR adapter.

TIA,
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Old May 7th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #2
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All condensor mics require power to operate. 'Phantom power' is a specifc arrangement to provide that power through an XLR connector and balanced cable. The HC7 does not provide it so you would need to get something like on of the Beachtek XLR-to-mini that provide phantom or some other phantompower supply to use that mic. Some mics like the Rode NTG-2 have an internal battery to provide their power and they can be used with a simple XLR to mini adapter such as you might already have.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for clarifying that Steve.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:19 PM   #4
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One thing I have found is that often when using a battery powered mic that can also accept phantom power, the mic sounds better on phantom power than it does on battery power.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #5
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Hi Cliff,

I can attest to the performance, durability, and value of Audio Technica's shotgun mic. We actually use the AT897, so I can only comment on that.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...#goto_itemInfo

We've had it for more almost two years, usually mounted on the Canon XL2 (one man band most of the time), in run-n-gun interview situations. Works great. Bought a wind muff with it that filters out most of the wind (under 20mph).

Agree with Chris that using the phantom battery (on cam batt) sounds better; but I usually put a battery in the mic anyway (doesn't seem to hurt).

Best,
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Old May 7th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #6
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Purchasing situation:

If you had to pick one over the other which would you purchase:

A quality shotgun mic or a quality wireless lav setup - I can't afford both and I'm trying to make do with one or the other for the present time. I do have a wired lav, but that doesn't do me any good if needing to record someone as they are on camera out on location where mobility is essential. I currently have a single channel Samson Airline Micro wireless lav and an Azden SMX10 Shotgun mic. Basically anything more is probably going to sound better - but size is a crucial issue for me, wanting to keep things as small as possible as I work self contained.

Shotgun mic - I'm looking at the Audio-Technica in my original post. Wireless lav - I honestly don't know - although I seem to read that the standard these days is the Sennheiser G2, but it comes at a price that is double the cost of the shotgun mic.

I really need some help here - I ran into audio difficulties on my last shoot and no amount of post processing in either Sound Forge 9 or Audition is going to make things any better. Having said that - Which was is the best bang for the buck AND provides the most versatility - Shotgun or wireless Lav???
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Old May 7th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #7
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So if I mounted say...the audio technica AT897 on my PD170 and had a battery in it and set the xlr switch to 48 volt phantom power, it would just be powered by the camera and not the small mic battery?
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #8
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I'm sure someone will either confirm or correct me, but I think you need to remove the mike battery for it to accept phantom power and actually run on the phantom voltage. It's what I do anyway with the AT815b and the Rode NTG2.

By the qway I HIGHLY recommend the NTG-2. If you haven't looked at it, do by all means.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 05:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Acosta View Post
So if I mounted say...the audio technica AT897 on my PD170 and had a battery in it and set the xlr switch to 48 volt phantom power, it would just be powered by the camera and not the small mic battery?
Yes - or you can remove the battery. A/T explicitly says the battery need not be removed to use phantom power.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 05:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff Etzel View Post
I'm looking upgrade to a better shotgun mic for on camera and boom audio recording. I work as a one man production crew so I want something high quality, yet small - but I do have a budget.

I like the size of the Audio-Technica AT875 mic since I work with small camcorders for the Solo video Journalism work I shoot and want to keep my kit as small and compact, yet as high quality as possible. Anyone know of the sound quality of this mic?

I've been getting by with a low end Azden SMX-10 but I have begun to notice the limitations of the sound quality coming from this mic - it has gotten me by on a couple of paying shoots and those shoots are now affording me the opportunity to upgrade to a better quality mic. I've read good things about Audio-Technica's mics but am open to other suggestions for other mics in this price/size range? I'd like to keep the mic length to around 7 inches or so - specifically for when I use the mic on camera.

In addition, I'm a novice to the jargon of mics - what does phantom powered mean and does this preclude my using this mic on my HC7's directly from the mic jack? I already have a mini jack to XLR adapter.

TIA,
Cliff:

After writing the shotgun/cardioid variant article http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage..._brockett.html I was so impressed with the AT875r, that I bought one for myself and have been using it for about 6 months on a big doc that I have been shooting a lot of interviews for. Read the article and you can compare the sound quality of the AT7875r with a lot of much more costly mics. It is a superb value and I like how it sounds in most situations.

IMHO, it is one of the best values on the market. It was designed as an on-camera mic, just like the Sanken CS-1, but it sounds very good on a boom as well.

Almost all dual power mics sound better and have better specs when powered by phantom power.

Enjoy!

Dan
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