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Old August 15th, 2003, 03:45 PM   #1
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Two-microphone configuration.

Elsewhere on this board I've read about users running two different microphones into their camera using the XLR connectors.

This appeals to me: you can just shoot using two different mono mic's and then ride the levels of each mic in post. I'd get a nice pair of headphones with a balance knob to test each mic out.

Two questions:

1. Which should be mic #2? (see below)

2. What should be their mounting configuration?

Mic#1: Audio Technica 835b into channel 1 - shotgun for narrow field pickup/interviews, etc.

Mic#2: (?) into channel 2 - A mic with a wider field. Ideally, still directional (not omni), just significantly wider. For interviewing 2-4 people, or when the camera is moving.

What should be Mic #2? I'd like to mount both next to each other on the handful of days i'll be working solo. I'm not worried about phase issues or looking ridiculous. Any red flags here?

FYI: For ambient scenes, large groups or musical events, etc., I already use the RØDE NT4 stereo condenser. I highly recommend this one as a field recording engineer. This can be used for wide stereo field ambience, large group scenes and musical events, etc. Great stereo mic, personally I think it's the best, easiest and most suited for field applications (runs off 9V when it doesn't detect phantom, comes with 2 XLR-out OR 2-1 stereo mini plug, preconfigured XY pattern so you can just point it at the center of your sound source and go without worrying about phase issues, etc.).

Thanks so much in advance.

-Scot

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Old August 15th, 2003, 08:09 PM   #2
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Hi Scot,
Maybe a Senheisser ME64 for #2.
Incidently, I have the Rode NT4 also. I use it camera mounted
on a VX2000 but I don't think I'm getting everything out of it
running it off the 9V. I'm gonna get a PD150 so I can send it
the full 48V. (For critical work, the 48V is supperior to 15V phantom powering.)
The NT4 isn't the easiest mic to mount on a camera when it
comes to a mic mount considering its 1 1/4" diameter. And its 20oz weight is not well supported by those rubber band set-ups.
For a mount recommendation, I called the distributor, who called
Rode. I never got much help this way. I ended up going with
a Lightwave Minimount, which I had to beef up abit. The diameter of the mic is a little more than the max specified for the
Lightwave but a Lightwave rep said he thought it would fit --
and it did.
Just thought I'd share so others are not afraid to use this fine
mic this way.
If anyone is curious the *details* of mounting this mic on a camera I'll post it. Let me know.
Best stereo mic under $1000. Very sensitive to handling noise. Also to wind blast; the supplied foam windscreen is inadequate in any wind.
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Old August 17th, 2003, 10:40 AM   #3
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Scot, I've been thinking of how to use two mics (XLR) into my camera as well, to have more flexibility in post. But I've been considering using a wireless into one channel of my DVX and a wired lav into the other. I'm shooting a doc, not fiction, though. For my interviews my thinking is that, since most of them will not include the interviewer on camera (me asking questions off-camera which will be edited out), if I get one of each I'll have more variety in my inventory down the line (for occasions where there might be too much interference for clean wireless, for ex.). But I'm curious if anyone knows if this could cause any problems regarding interference (one wired, one wireless)? I could always buy one wireless rig and rent the second I suppose, but at the cost of wireless rentals it won't take long before I could've bought a good wired one.

I'm also considering the ME64, Dave. I have the ME66, but the sound houses in LA tell me the 64 is superior for indoor interviews, that it picks up a wider field with less wall type interference. And one guy told me he thought the ME64 on a boom would pick up both my people suffieciently, but I'm not convinced (yet).
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Old August 17th, 2003, 11:06 AM   #4
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2 mics

Thanks Janine.

The ME64 sounds perfect, but expensive for a single-purpose microphone, especially if one doesn't already own the K6.

So I'm looking for a companion to the unidirectional tele AT 835b *or* the Azden SGM-X.

Under $200, wider field for picking up small groups of 2-3 people.

Then I have to figure out how to mount *both* of them.

Any thoughts?

Thanks. -Scot
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Old August 17th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #5
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nt4

Dave -

I agree with your assessment of the NT4. Best stereo mic under $1000 (currently $449 at zzounds), but definitely heavy and NOT designed for camera mounting. I'm amazed you got this to work!

Can you take a picture of your setup with the mic mounted and post it?

This would be HIGHLY valuable for us to see. Especially if you somehow addressed the handling issue - I tried holding it in my hand, and found it unusable.

I haven't noticed the difference between phantom and 9V battery performance. I'll have to check that out.

Thanks,

Scot
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Old August 17th, 2003, 02:39 PM   #6
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2 mics into stereo mini?

Let's say I have 2 mics, each battery-powered, each with 1/8" mono mini-plug outs...

... I *should* be able to plug both into a Y adapter (two 1/8" mono -> one 1/8" stereo) directly into a DV camera with a stereo mic input, and have:

mic #1 recording onto right channel
mic #2 recording onto left channel.

Right?

This eliminates needing an XLR adaptor... Although if I *did* get one, I'd probably go for the "XLRPRO" at zotzdigital.com. It frees up the accessory shoe, and accepts both XLR and mini plugs.
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Old August 17th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #7
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Marcia,
I have the ME64.
If you'd like me to run any tests with it I'd be happy to do that.
Let me know the specifics of what you need. For example, if you're mostly planning on using it on a boom pole, what distance
will the mic be from your subjects and how wide a pick-up area
do you need? Or any other. Let me know.
Dave.
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Old August 17th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #8
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Scot,
Yes, I could take a picture.
Do you have a good idea where it could be posted. Also,
I'd need some instructions on doing the upload as I've never done
that before. The Lightwave Minimount is not a cheap mic mount but I got it based on a sound guy saying it was the best. He said he did a test where he tapped right on the mount itself and still no sound was transmitted to mic.
The mic is mounted on a VX2000. It is much more sensitive than the on-board stereo mic that comes with the cam. The 2000's on-board mic is really not too bad. But in comparison to the NT4, the on-board sounds "thin", and as if the subject is standing farther away than what they really are. The NT4 is a little less sensitive than the ME64, but the NT4 generally gives a
more natural, nicer-sounding result -- even with speech.
Right now I am running it with a 9V battery and it is connected mic in to the VX with a cable that was custom made by Trew Audio. (Incidently, Trew Audio does alot of business in making
cables to order, and they've been friendly to deal with, and they
don't charge extra for custom orders.) The cable is a 5-pin female
XLR to a 1/8" stereo mini, about a foot in length.
Regarding powering the mic, prior to purchase I read in a review that best performance is achieved with 48V phantom, even though the owners manual gives the options as 9V, 12VP,
24VP, and 48VP. So when I first got the mic, I did a test with it where I played some songs that I was very familiar with (having
also used these same songs for A/B speaker and sound card tests). What I did was I powered the mic with 15V and then 48V from a mic preamp and did the recording line in. At first, upon comparing the results, there was not any difference. But upon listening closely, I found that, with the 48V powering, there was more detail in the vocals and more seperation between instruments. My conclusion was that 9V was okay for speech and
non-critical music. But for something important such as a music video/band demo, the 48V would be the better way to go.
One problem I had with it recently was this. I was recording
a DJ with the 9V powering. When I was standing near to the speakers, I believe the mic may have been overloaded by the volume. My understanding is that mics are able to handle loud volumes better with higher-voltage powering.
For these reasons Scot, I would suggest you also consider the
Beachtek DXA-6 because it not only is an adapter box like the XLRPRO, but it also provides dual 48V phantom power. ($250 at
B&H.)
By the way, what camera are you using now?
Brackish.
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Old August 17th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #9
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Hi Scot,
As to mounting configuration of the two mics, I would consider
getting a Mini Rover. ($50 at B&H.) It's an L shaped handgrip
bracket with a hot shoe on the end for a second mic. I've
heard it also helps for increasing stability.
Dave
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Old August 17th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #10
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camera

I'm using the GL2.

I'm testing out a Schriber mic that Brian @ zotzdigital *thinks* might not exhibit the hiss described in so many other posts. I'd be very curious...

It also seems that Schriber is working on the hiss problem, and that if they can fix it, you'd have a pretty nice cheap alternative.

However, the option of riding levels of two different (and probably better) mics in post seems to be the way to go, if I can think of a good 2 mic configuration.

The only mountable mic with a wider cardioid pattern recommended so far is the ME64 -- this gets up there in price if you don't already own the K6. Any other recommendations?

Thanks,

Scot
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Old August 20th, 2003, 10:08 PM   #11
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I have been considering getting an NT4, but was concerned about the XY configuration having too much phase cancellation when the signal is converted to mono. Do any of you have any experience with summing the NT4 stereo signal to mono? If so, how does it sound?

I will always be mastering in stereo, but viewers may be watching on a mono TV.

Randall
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Old August 20th, 2003, 10:25 PM   #12
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Randall,
I could run some type of test for you if it would help. Let
me know what set-up you'd like.
Also, how are you planning to use it? Mic stand mounting?
Dave

P.S. Like I said, it's *very* sensitive to the wind. If anyone has
an idea for a furry that would fit, let me know.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 09:13 AM   #13
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That would be great. A simple test would be to just record a stereo image, perhaps of a person talking and moving back and forth in the stereo field in front of the mic. We could then listen to it in stereo and mono. It would be great if you could email me the .wav file of the test.

I was mainly thinking of using the mic for environmental recording either mounted on a camera, boom or a stand. I would also use it for studio recording of piano, etc.

Thanks,

Randall
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Old August 21st, 2003, 12:01 PM   #14
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What about the ME-65?

How does it compare to the ME-64 in sound quality?
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Old August 21st, 2003, 04:14 PM   #15
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nt4

The NT4 is a wide-field, highly sensitive stereo condenser mic. The 64 isn't. Apples and oranges.

Phase issues occur when two mics in a stereo configuration aren't place properly. The nice thing about the NT4 is that they are placed perfectly permanently, it is built in an optimized XY configuration.

You will not experience a phase cancellation of any kind when mixing down to mono.

Anyone have a recommendation for a mountable directional shotgun with a wider field than the narrower tele's? For less than $300?

Thanks,

Scot
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