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Old November 27th, 2003, 03:31 PM   #1
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MKE-300s and DXA-4P questions

G'day everyone,

I'm quite new to the DV scene and am currently putting together my system. I have a few questions about microphones. I am only going to buy one mic initially and was going to get a Sennheiser K6/ME66 with a Beachtek DXA-4P. I've decided that this is outside of my budget and will be getting a Sennheiser MKE-300s (MKE-300 with stereo plug) instead.

What I would like to know is if there is any benefit to still buying a DXA-4P if I am only using a MKE-300s? I will buy a second microphone eventually, but not for a while.

My camera is a Panasonic MX-500a.
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Old November 27th, 2003, 10:49 PM   #2
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Welcome Shane,
As you likely know, the MKE-300 is designed strictly to be mounted on-camera and it plugs directly into the camera's mini jack. So the DXA-4P, which features XLR connections for mics such as the ME-66, would not be of any use with the MKE-300.
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Old November 30th, 2003, 02:53 PM   #3
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Thanks Ken,

I was just wondering if sending the signal through the converter would give me any improvement in the sound quality. It will at least let me control the recording volume and to record in dual-mono though right? If I wasn't planing on geting a second microphone at a later stage, I wouldn't even consider it.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 11:50 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Shane Kinloch :
I was just wondering if sending the signal through the converter would give me any improvement in the sound quality. It will at least let me control the recording volume and to record in dual-mono though right? If I wasn't planing on geting a second microphone at a later stage, I wouldn't even consider it. -->>>

The Beachtek converter is a passive unit, so it only attenuates your signal. No improvement in sound quality, except going down with level.

What are you planning to record with the MKE-300? Its quality is below average, and it's not much better than the mics some cameras already bring... which is very poor.


Carlos
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Old December 1st, 2003, 03:21 PM   #5
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G'day Carlos,

Thanks for that. My first project is a short 10min film for a local film festival. It's a very amateur festival and there is no prizes just an opportunity to get your film shown to an audience on a big screen. All of my scenes are internal and I was planing to attach the MKE-300 to a make-shift boom with an extension cord if I couldn't get a good enough recording from being camera mounted.

I know the microphone is not the best, but it's better then the in-camera mic. I will buy a K6/ME66 combo with a DXA-4P eventually and probably before my second project. I would also like to get into recording events for friends and colleagues like Weddings, Birthdays, etc.

I will be taking all my gear on holiday to Tasmania with me in a couple of weeks and plan to short enough footage to test every function and option I have in preparation to shooting my film. I may even take it to a few rock concerts that are playing while I'm there.

My total set-up is:
Camera - Panasonic MX-500A
Microphone - Sennheiser MKE-300s
Headphones - Sennheiser PXC-250
Filters - Cokin A Series Filter Set
This set includes 5 "A" size series filters (A028 Warm 81C, A056 Star 8, A121 Gradual Grey G2, A123 Gradual Blue B2 and A164 Cir Pol). Cokin A Series Adaptor Ring, Cokin A Series Filter Holder and Cokin A255 Modular Hood.
Tripod - Will purchase on holiday
Editing - Various set-ups available at my workplace
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Old December 1st, 2003, 04:23 PM   #6
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The MKE should be a considerable improvement over the onboard mic. It's major shortcoming is the poor shock isolation.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 04:43 PM   #7
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Shane,

Have you considered the Audio Technica AT835b? This mic works well on its internal battery and will also accept 48 V phantom.

I have both this and a K6/ME66 among my collection of mics. When phantom powered their performances are similar, but when powered by their internal batteries the AT is significantly quieter than the more expensive Sennheiser (which is disappointing in comparison). Before getting a Beachtek, you could try a simpler, cheaper cable adapter from XLR to minjack.

Best,
Helen
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Old December 1st, 2003, 05:42 PM   #8
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Bryan, is it possible to get some kind of shock-mount for the MKE-300?

Helen, Audio Technica equipment is hard to come by in Australia so it's hard for me to check it out in-person. The prices from the US are much cheaper than locally at the moment so chances are I'll buy a second mic on-line. I will definitely consider the AT835b when the time comes. The problem with only using a cable adaptor is I can't record from a different source for each channel. I'd like to have some flexibility with the mix. I'm interested in being a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to DV work and a master of none. This is just a major hobby of mine not a profession.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 11:17 PM   #9
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Shane
I don't know if there is any form of shock mount. You could get it off the camera using a $12 L bracket or blow the family fortune on a mini Rover. That would keep the camera and zoom noise to a minimum.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=131401&is=REG

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=194070&is=REG

I suppose you could isolate the L bracket or mini rover shoe with a vibration pad or some soft rubber.



The cable Helen speaks of is only $9.50 US at B&H. The problem is getting it to you. Even the Beach is made way up here in Canada.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=158476&is=REG

Enjoy
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 03:10 PM   #10
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Thanks again Bryan,

What is so crash hot about the mini Rover to justify the cost?

As far as buying from B&H, I have no problem with that. The current exchange rate and local Australian prices mean that I can import equipment cheaper than buying it here. E.G. The best price I can get a DXA-4P in Australia is about AU$500 delivered. I can get one delivered from B&H for AU$273. That's one big saving!
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 11:02 PM   #11
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What's so hot about the Mini Rover is it's contruction. Solid aluminumbase, nice finish and really comfortable grip. The $12 special that I listed is just a $12 special. The Mini Rover is a balanced tool, the $12 L bracket is a Wally World special.

Kinda like the difference between a 12 year old McCallum and McDowells #1 or even worse Bagpiper (Really cheap Indian Scotch).
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 02:45 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Beasleigh : What's so hot about the Mini Rover is it's contruction. Solid aluminumbase, nice finish and really comfortable grip. The $12 special that I listed is just a $12 special. The Mini Rover is a balanced tool, the $12 L bracket is a Wally World special.

Kinda like the difference between a 12 year old McCallum and McDowells #1 or even worse Bagpiper (Really cheap Indian Scotch). -->>>

Fair enough. I ordered a Mini Rover yesterday.
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 06:32 PM   #13
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Shane
What convinced you? My reference to Bagpiper? ( that stuff is disgusting)
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Old December 3rd, 2003, 06:38 PM   #14
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Beasleigh : Shane
What convinced you? My reference to Bagpiper? ( that stuff is disgusting) -->>>

I actually decided after viewing the items on the B&H website, before you even made that last post. But the whisky reference was a good one, althogh I've never seen Bagpiper.

I'm sure you can tell from my last name that I have a Scottish heritage. My Dad is big on single malt and I'm sure when I'm older I'll develop a palate for it. I haven't tried a lot but Laphroig was nice, very peaty.

Thanks for your help. I'll let everyone know how my film goes when I shoot it next January.
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