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Old December 4th, 2003, 09:38 AM   #1
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Any suggestions for a low cost general purpose mic?

I am looking to get a low cost ($100 - $200) wired mic that can be plugged directly into my DV953 (1/8" mini). I don't want to mess with a mixer or a pre-amp, but a simple adapter is expected. I would like to use it primarily for 3 applications.

1. To record is the goo goo sounds of my newly born daughter, the mic should be just out of the frame, but I expect to be close.

2. To record interviews with family members in noisy areas, mic can be visible.

3. For voice over and narration.

I think an ENG style dynamic mic would be a match for 2 and 3, but I am not sure that it will pick up the subtle sounds of a baby. An AKG c1000s looks like a good choice for 1, but I am not sure it would work in cases 2 and 3.

Any suggestions?
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Old December 4th, 2003, 01:24 PM   #2
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Why don't you purchase 2 microphones?

A $45 Sony T145 lavaliere that you can probably get a Fry's. Or Guitar Center (don't know about Guitar Showcase). Small and fairly sensitive.

Then get a real ENG style interview microphone. Shure makes some nice dynamic microphones with extra-long bodies. Or get the old reliable Shure SM58 which will do well for almost all applications. $99 at the Guitar Center or Guitar Showcase.

Then take your camera and microphone to Radio Shack and test one of their mini to XLR adapter cables. I think the 3VDC coming out of the camera will not be a problem for the SM58. If it tests bad, then you can get the $40 cable with the blocking capacitor from Markertek or Shure.
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Old December 4th, 2003, 01:50 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus :
Then take your camera and microphone to Radio Shack and test one of their mini to XLR adapter cables. I think the 3VDC coming out of the camera will not be a problem for the SM58. If it tests bad, then you can get the $40 cable with the blocking capacitor from Markertek or Shure. -->>>

An advice I always like to give when hooking pro mics onto non-pro cameras: the 1/8" to XLR adaptor cable should stay plugged and secured all the time.

Don't plug and unplug it every time you finish a shot or even a the end of the day. Leave it on and tape it or velcro it to the camera body or strap.

In fact it would be much better to get a stereo adapter with two XLRs. Velcro it to the hand band and don't pull from the mini-plug or move it.


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Old December 4th, 2003, 04:36 PM   #4
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Sounds like a good setup.

Do I need to use the two way power supply or can the mic go directly into the camera? The DV953 manual doesn't say what the output voltage of the mic input is, but it does say the following.

Mic sensitivity -50dB
(0 dB = 1V/Pa, 1kHz)
(Stereo mini jack)
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Old December 4th, 2003, 06:32 PM   #5
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That is info on the on-camera microphone. Either give the manufacturer a call or just try the microphone first without the battery supply and see what happens. If it works, you are home free. If not, add the power supply, it shouldn't deliver volts anywhere but upstream to the microphone. I'd check mine but I seem to have lost the battery since I've never had to use it.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 07:54 PM   #6
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The SM58 is a pure and simple dynamic mic and does not use or require a power supply.

BTW, this mic is probably the epitome of a good low-cost all-purpose mic. I have used them for everything from podium mics at meetings to lead and backup vocal mics (it happens to have been Roger Daltrey's personal favorite, and if you can remember seeing mics get tossed and twirled around at a Who concert, well...) to interview mic plugged into a Canon XL1 or a wireless plug-on transmitter. It's the closest thing I have seen to a universal industry standard. Not bad for $99 (w/o cable).
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