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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:00 AM   #1
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built in mic on PD150 and phantom

Please forgive my ignorance, I'm a true amateur :)

I've two questions:

1. What exactly is phantom power in PD150/170? DVX100 doesn't have it?

2. How's the PD150/170's built-in mic perform? Is it acceptable? It says shotgun, does it means boom? Can the mic be unmount from the camera and use like an external boom that don't always follow the direction of the camera lens? Cable long enough (i doubt) ?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 11:22 AM   #2
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Phantom Power is power supplied, by the camera in this case, to the microphone so it will operate.
I do not know if the DVX100 has it as I have not looked at the camera at all as I'm not buying any new cameras at this time.

As for the mic on the PD150, on the 2 that I have, the mics came off right away and were replaced by Sennheiser ME66's. The stock mic is too wide a pattern for my liking and will pick up ambient sound from behind it as well. It is however not as bad as I've always pretended it to be. Any mic with an XLR connection can be used but the "shotgun" types, be they Sennheisers, AT's, AKG, Sony or whatever brand can be used as a boom mic with a boom and a long cable and yes the mic can be changed in about 5 seconds or as long as it might take you to unscrew 1 little thumbscrew.
The cable on the stock mic is only about 6 inches long but you can use another cable attached to that if you need to.
Hope this helps,
Don
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Old December 17th, 2003, 12:00 PM   #3
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Thanks Don, it helps a lot. I thought phantom power has something to do with audio gain (an amp).

In fact, the wider pattern on PD150 may be even better for me, since i can use it to pick up environment sound, and then use another ME66 (everybody loves this mic in this forum!) for boom.

Are boom mics usually (or always) mono?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 12:12 PM   #4
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Kaifoong wrote: '...ME66 (everybody loves this mic in this forum!)...'

Not everybody! It's worth comparing it to the cheaper (and to some of us, 'better') AT835b.

and then asked 'Are boom mics usually (or always) mono?'

Sometimes stereo, but using stereo recordings is not easy if the camera angle keeps changing. I don't know the proportions, but I suspect most movies are recorded in mono (possible multi-channel, of course) and turned into stereo during post. There may be a separate stereo or surround ambience recording. Stereo is used in documentary recording to give good ambience.

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Old December 17th, 2003, 12:24 PM   #5
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Helen,
Right you are. Mics come in all different sound 'shapes' for good reason, different jobs need different pattern pickups. I'm looking to make a decision soon about a new mic for doing some work coming up where I think something wider than the ME66 and less wide than the stock Sony is in order but thats another thread:-)

Kaifoong,
On the 150 the mic/line /mic att switch will give you another option to adjust the audio. I use mine on manual but in a very loud envioirment I will switch to MicAtt as that will drop the gain by 20db.

Search the forum and I know you will find many posts regarding audio issues and how to get good audio with the PD150.

Don
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Old December 17th, 2003, 07:43 PM   #6
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I like the AT835B a lot. The ME66 seems a bit delicate to me a more prone to sound pressure overload. All shotguns seem to be quite 'tender' in this area.

All shotgun microphones (except the microprocessed AT shotgun) are only directional at higher frequencies. At lower frequencies they might as well be omni's. And they are sensitive to noise at their back too.

A good cardiod is just as good and frequently sounds better than a shotgun. Cardiods can be boomed to good effect.

I really like the Sony no-name microphone that came on my DSR-300. Wider than a shotgun but able to handle quite high impulse noises like gunfire, auto exhaust and the like.

I use the microphone that came with the PD150 frequently. It isn't super directional but it works OK in close.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 09:27 PM   #7
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Mike, do you know the model number on that
microprocessed AT?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 09:44 PM   #8
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Hope you don't mind me jumping in - is it the AT895 'adaptive array'? That's a remarkable mic, but a little noisy compared to simpler shotguns - and it isn't cheap.

Best,
Helen
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Old December 18th, 2003, 04:26 AM   #9
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Thanks Helen for bringing up another choice for me; AT835b (especially that it's cheaper!)

Thanks Don for the tips to get better sound in PD150.

Thanks Mike for the feedback on PD150's mic.

I thought motion pictures usually re-record sound in studio and then dub with the picture in post? It's hard to imagine they could capture those cristally clear sound that we hear in cinema or DVD on location, unless the location is in very close environment (indoor) or faked studio set up.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 09:33 AM   #10
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Has anyone yet used the new AT897 short shotgun? It's looks to be kind of a cross between the 835b and the 4073a.
It's physically short (like the 4073a) but can still run on AA battery if needed (like 835b). It's more sensitive than the 835b but less sensitive than the ME66, which should be a good compromise for a lot of people. It's also low cost at about $280, but I haven't heard from anyone who's used it in the real world yet.
On a side note, the DVX-100 does supply phantom power.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 11:37 AM   #11
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Anyone know of a shotgun mic more sensitive than
the ME66? I know the 66 is rated at 35 mV/Pa.
The ME64 is 31 mV/Pa and the Sanken CS-1 is
32 mV/Pa.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 11:55 AM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Helen Bach : Hope you don't mind me jumping in - is it the AT895 'adaptive array'? That's a remarkable mic, but a little noisy compared to simpler shotguns - and it isn't cheap.

Best,
Helen -->>>

Yes it is. I've been looking at it for my police work. I have been corresponding with a person in Miami who bought a couple for use with their PD. He also tried it out at an ice-hockey game. Said it worked a treat.

Some of the networks used that particular shotgun at the las Olympics and liked it a lot.

I've only played with it at NAB.

Noise is a relative issue here. In the use I contemplate of that unit, surrounding noise is going to mask any self-noise as it usually does outside of a sound booth.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 12:10 PM   #13
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Dave asked: 'Anyone know of a shotgun mic more sensitive than the ME66? I know the 66 is rated at 35 mV/Pa.
The ME64 is 31 mV/Pa and the Sanken CS-1 is
32 mV/Pa.


Dave,
Here is a selection of higher output shotgun mics, all of which are true condenser mics, all of which can be recommended:

Sennheiser MKH60: 40 mV/Pa
MKH70: 50 mV/Pa
AT4071a: 89 mV/Pa
AT4073a: 71 mV/Pa

Best,
Helen
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Old December 18th, 2003, 02:08 PM   #14
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Just for the record here, I believe the spec I gave for the ME66 may be incorrect.
On the Senn site there is an overview info page about
the mic and then you can look at the PDF spec sheet
if so inclined. The overview page lists 35 mV/Pa
and the official spec sheet PDF lists 50 mV/Pa. I'm more inclined to believe the PDF. For the ME67 it is
also listed at the 35/50 while the ME62 and ME64 are
listed at 31 mV/Pa at both locations.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #15
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I did not want to reply to this post as it might bring up opposition to what I have to say. I have to say that my husband and I have had a great deal of experience in this area as we used two PD150s to film a feature length movie. We used a ME66 and ME67 for the mics as we found while searching the Internet for more info we found on PD150 forums that there was a problem that Sony did not share to the public openly. We found the mics are to hot for the input of the PD150 and that it was advised by several people to use a mixer to bring this under control. We also installed two ground lifts as this helped to stop hums that would develop from the mics as they were coming in to hot. Also as an extra precaution Jay Rose suggested that we use two “Pads” as this will help the input connections to the PD150. When we started shooting we found that the cameraman’s PD150 inputs were blown. He did not believe this in that we tried to sustain a constant level yet we had to tone it down as the mixer would start to hum so we removed the pads this helped yet when we went to a longer shoot one night near the end f the shoot we still had this hum. All items were shut down and the humming could be heard from the PD150s.

The point I am making when using a 150 check the source for input and make sure that the levels don’t blow the inputs of the 150. it is not widely stated yet it does exist.
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