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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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Audio/SFX into Minidisc recorder.

Hi all,

Just a quickie...(mind you, I always say that). I've been looking around the most efficient (and cheapest) way to gather some audio/sound effects from the outside/inside world.
This will mainly be in the form of sound effects (capturing those I haven't already got on my drives). I initially attempted (then aborted) to try and capture to an iPod, but this seemingly requires an add on unit and s/w embellishment (I have the latest classic and cannot for the life of me find a record audio option)...

So, I remembered I had a portable minidisc player/recorder knocking about and thought that (without any expenditure) would be a fine option. I thought the pre-amp with the player (Sony MZ-R91) would be enough to fire up the Sennhieser MK416, but unfortunately it isn't (this would be my preferred mic). I guess I'll need a battery powered pre-amp for this purpose...which isn't an option, at this moment at least. This leaves me with the dynamic SM58 - good for close up sounds (isolated, and in a quiet area at least) but not so good for 'street ambience' and 'covert' pick ups (conversations in cafe/bars etc). Of course if I were filming then the Sennhieser would be the one I would use, but I sometimes need to fit this stuff in pockets/backpack when out and about.
I've set the minidisc to 'mono' (stereo just giving me the one channel from the mono mics) but I'm missing that clarity and distance the M416 achieves. Might there be smallish (pocket sized!) pre amps available?
The resulting audio will be fed into Logic/FCP for various projects.

Many thanks.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #2
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If the MD has a mic. input, you won't necessarily need a pre-amp.

All you will need is a 48V battery powered phantom power unit - and a special XLR to mini-jack lead from that to the MD - this cable should have a blocking capacitor in the XLR to prevent the plug-in power from the MD getting to the PSU or mic.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
If the MD has a mic. input, you won't necessarily need a pre-amp.

All you will need is a 48V battery powered phantom power unit - and a special XLR to mini-jack lead from that to the MD - this cable should have a blocking capacitor in the XLR to prevent the plug-in power from the MD getting to the PSU or mic.
Yes - it does have a mic input (and a separate line input). So essentially, instead of feeding the Sennhieser into a 'jack to mini jack' adaptor I could use a XLR (male/female) into the plug in power XLR insert (should a model have one) then from here use a small XLR to mini jack cable to enter the mini-disc. Perfect (getting Audio out from the mini disc into Logic/FCP is another matter entirely!).
Are these units fairly cheap, small and battery powered? I'll have a quick search but I'm none to sure how to describe them...'portable phantom power units'?!

Many thanks.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #4
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As it happens those search terms seems sufficient:

BEHRINGER PS 400 - PORTABLE PHANTOM POWER SUPPLY- EACH

Not sure where a battery would fit in that mind?!!
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #5
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Actually (and this might be a daft question) what is the K6 capsule (powered by an internal 1.5v) battery for if not for phantom powering the ME66? Does it not quite power it enough?
When I use this mic on the JVC HD100 cam, I have it set as MIC input and not +48v which the on board mic needs to be on. Slight confusion...
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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The ME66 is a very hot mic and will work great with your minidisc. In fact you might even need a pad with it if the subject is really loud.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #7
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^^ It should be Marco, but truth be told I'm struggling to find an affordable (cheap as possible at the moment to be fair) battery powered phantom power unit. I had a look at the Beyer MSB48, but this looks to be discontinued. Google isn't really my friend on this one I'm afraid. There are many cheap options for phantom power: the Behringer Micropower PS400 would be ideal (less than £20 too) should it have the options of taking batteries too (it doesn't).
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Old January 28th, 2009, 11:53 AM   #8
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This:

ART Phantom II | Dolphin Music

but with the one mic input/output only would suffice (and bring the cost down a little).
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #9
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This is an industry standard:

Denecke | PS-2 - Portable Dual 48V Phantom Power Supply | PS-2

I'm a bit skeptical of ART personally, as I associate them with consumer grade gear. Perhaps that's unfair. I haven't used any of their products, so if someone knows better by all means speak up.

Also, as you posted, the K6p module is indeed phantom power for your ME66. That's what the P stands for.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
This is an industry standard:

Denecke | PS-2 - Portable Dual 48V Phantom Power Supply | PS-2

I'm a bit skeptical of ART personally, as I associate them with consumer grade gear. Perhaps that's unfair. I haven't used any of their products, so if someone knows better by all means speak up.

Also, as you posted, the K6p module is indeed phantom power for your ME66. That's what the P stands for.
That looks good Marco, but a little out my price range at the moment (so yes - working with bits of consumer gear!)...although saying that, it's in dollars and perhaps I can pick up a 2nd hand one in the UK.

I'm just not getting any signal from the Sennhieser ME66 despite it having the phantom power - was wondering if this only gave a limited phantom power to the minidisc recorder and therefore would still require a boost? The Shure SM58 works fine, but it's suitable for some of the 'stuff' I'll be doing.
Cheers Marco.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #11
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Marco - the Denecke PS2 which runs at $129 is being sold in the uk (and on ebay) for nearly £200. Way out of my price bracket at the moment. If I went down that route (and I may do) I'd think about another solution for recording audio (either mini DAT or perhaps flash drive...eye's a little off the ball in that respect).
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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #12
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Does your K6 module take a battery? I had it backwards there. The K6p doesn't have a battery and needs phantom power. The K6 has a battery and supplies its own phantom. Make sure it's switched on. The LED should glow bright red briefly if the battery is good. With the K6 module the ME66 should run much, much hotter than the SM58. Also make sure that your XLR adapter has a voltage blocking capacitor as many, maybe all, minidisc recorders have plug-in power.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
Does your K6 module take a battery? I had it backwards there. The K6p doesn't have a battery and needs phantom power. The K6 has a battery and supplies its own phantom. Make sure it's switched on. The LED should glow bright red briefly if the battery is good. With the K6 module the ME66 should run much, much hotter than the SM58. Also make sure that your XLR adapter has a voltage blocking capacitor as many, maybe all, minidisc recorders have plug-in power.
Yes - it is the one with the battery (I soon know when it's fed into the camera and I'm getting no audio...spare pack of AA's are always in the bag!).
I've put a brand new battery in today and the red light does indeed briefly glow.
I'm not sure I follow you with regard to the XLR adaptoer: I'm running a XLR from the ME66 which has a jack on the end (this particualar cable isn't XLR male to female) which in turn is fed into a jack to mini jack adaptor the into the mic input of the minidisc (battery has died in the machine, currently running on mains).
So should I be getting audio (and strong at that) off the Sennhieser from this set up?
I'm bewildered! I can only assume I need that extra power boost from a power unit, or something in the cabling/adaptor is dropping the audio somehow...?

Cheers.
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:01 PM   #14
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Can you describe the cable better? On one end you have XLR female (which plugs into the mic). What's on the other end?
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Old January 28th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Marco Leavitt View Post
Can you describe the cable better? On one end you have XLR female (which plugs into the mic). What's on the other end?
Yes - the other end is the Jack (my camera and mixing desk both have male XLR connections so I don't usually this type of cable). This jack end then goes into the mini jack and then the Mini Disc itself. The Shure SM58 is using the same cable (the mini jack adaptor is pretty awful by the way - I need to pick up a decent one tomorrow - any slight movement and you get an awful amount of noise - it's a cheap plastic thing which needs throwing).
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