Sony PCM-d50 versus AT822/AT825 and Rode SVM at DVinfo.net

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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:22 PM   #1
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Sony PCM-d50 versus AT822/AT825 and Rode SVM

I'm curious how you guys think the sound quality of the sony pcm-d50 compares to the AT822/AT825 and the Rode Stereo Videomic. They all provide stereo audio, but of course the d50 is more convenient and offers the built-in limiter.

Purely based on the sound quality though, how do you think these mics stack up?
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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That's really hard to compare because it would depend greatly on what you're using to record the AT822/ AT825 or Rode SVM with. I have the D50 and love it. I use it in addition to a par of Rode M3's connected to an Edirol FA-101 then into my laptop.

I have taken the M3's into the Edirol and then into the D50. Judging from that I would say that that the weak point in the D50 is probably the mic. However, I do have to say that the mic's and the preamp on the D50 have very very low noise. for ease of use and when I'm going as a one man show (me on the camera and no one else to monitor the audio), the limiting circuitry in the D50 is absoluting great. You still can clip the sound but with a little testing and sound checks ahead of time, it will not let you down unless under the most extreme cases.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 04:45 PM   #3
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Good to hear the praise for the d50..that's about all I've been hearing from it! Few people seem to be unhappy with it.

I should have clarified in my first post that I would be using the microphones for recording music (band concerts, orchestra concerts, choir, marching band, recitals, etc.) in my local area.

If I had one of the stand-alone microphones (i.e. not the d50) I would be connecting them to my Sony HDR-HC1 camcorder. Ideally I would love to have a pair of hypers and arrange them in an XY or ORTF configuration and then connect THAT to the d50, but I just don't have the money for all of that.

Another possible option though might be to get a cable like this one: http://www.markertek.com/SearchProdu...le&pagesize=20 and purchase a studio pair and hook them up to my camcorder that way. Of course, I won't have the limiter on the d50 which is what really draws me in (especially since, like you said Garrett, it would be a big help when working a one man show).
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Old July 31st, 2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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The only problem with taking the mics directly into your HC1 is that you're recording greatly compressed audio since it's on an HDV stream.

I'm not sure which would give better sound. I have a Canon XH A1 and a HV20. When I take audio directly into my XH A1 it sounds very good but then again it has XLR's and a decent mic pre. Mic's directly into the HV20 is a diffrent story. The pre's in that are a lot noisier so I generally don't do that.

The D50 alone gives better sound than the HV20 with external mics and it provides the security of having an additional audio stream. The downside is that you have to do some adjusting to the palyback speed in post because the video framerate is 29.97 fps instead of 30 fps. So there's a little extra post work but for me it's worth it. I mostly shoot stage shows, dance recitals and music/dance festivals so the audio is very important.

My usual setup is camera mics (mostly for synching), direct feed off the board and two Rode M3's into an Edirol FA-101 then into my laptop running Sony Acid; and my Sony D50 up close to the stage to pick up additional ambient of performers.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:35 PM   #5
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Glenn,

I'm not so sure about using hypercardioids in X/Y or ORTF. I'm pretty sure it would normally be done with regular cardioids and I know there are some sensitivities to the polar pattern in the X/Y and ORTF setups.

There was a handy dandy calculator on line somewhere that would take the descriptions of the mics and suggest modifications to the mic angles and spacing to approximate the effects of ORTF or NOS. Wish I could remember where I found it. One of the engineers at Schoeps pointed me at it once when I asked similar questions about using various polar pattern mics in these configurations. In fact he was kind enough to make some runs for me and suggest modified setup parameters.

I'll search around and see if I can find it.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 07:31 PM   #6
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Garrett,

It sounds like I should go for the d50 based on your recommendations. I'm sure you're right that the audio compression and quality of the microphone input/pre-amp in the HDR-HC1 is going to deteriorate the quality a lot. I've used the Rode Videomic that I have now with both my camcorder and into a usb audio interface going into my laptop (which only works indoors, of course! I would love to get a nice xy stereo pair and just connect that into my laptop, but that would only work inside for concerts and things and would be impossible when recording the marching band). The audio that I get definitely sounds better when it's going into my laptop instead of the camcorder.



Jim,

I agree. A hypercardioid setup is definitely not ideal for a stereo pair, but I have seen the idea thrown out there and I remember seeing B&H selling some stereo pairs of hypers. The reason why I would lean towards the hypers would be to also use them for recording interviews and things indoors. That calculator though sounds promising! I'll try to see if I can do some google searches too. That could be very helpful on this forum!



As far as the equipment goes, it sounds like I'll be purchasing a d50 with a windscreen and seeing what kind of quality I can get out of it.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 05:29 AM   #7
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I've used hyper pairs for recording amplified music in small reflective spaces. Seems to help get rid of the room a bit.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 05:58 AM   #8
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Hypers are OK for a crossed pair. Depends on what width you want. I like the tighter pattern. What really matters is the mic as a good wide mic will sound better than a not so good tight mic or vica versa. Same goes for pairs - a good odd pair will sound better than a bad matched pair. Different noise floors are a bit of putting mind - solved by panning in slightly.

Oh and the windscreen is not great outdoors. It allows you to wave the thing around indoors. Without it the unit needs to be on a table as it is sensitive to air movement or being moved though the air. I've had to make secondary wind protection to record outdoor ambiance with the on board mic's. Sounded great though in a rycote for wind.

Maybe I should join the club and find away to upload some examples...
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:43 AM   #9
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I'm in the hypers (or supers) are good group.

The Schoeps cmc641 are actually listed as supers on the Schoeps website, even though they commonly get referred to as hypers.

I use them in XY stereo in my music studio for drum over heads, making sure the tips are together. Schoeps makes a stereo bar with lots of little markers and adjustments for a variety of stereo mic configs.

Schoeps do a great job, period, but also as mentioned above the tighter pattern hears less room and most rooms today are far from nice sounding. I use two different stereo reverbs simultaneously to create the space I want and that has never failed me.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 11:56 AM   #10
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Well, you learn something new every day!

Interesting comments re use of super-hypers. I'll try it. Of course I'll have to wait until I get a second super-duper. Which at their new US prices may be a while!

However, I think it's still true that the differences in polar pattern will yield different stereo imaging for the same mic configuration, which I think was the real point of the gentleman at Schoeps when I asked them a similar question a year or so ago. So if you want an ORTF feel and use something other than cardioids you would have to modify the mic pattern to get the "ORTF" image.

Have I got it right?
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 12:10 PM   #11
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pretty much, but i've never been a stickler for which method.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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