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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:52 AM   #1
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Any recomendations on a mike for my VX2000?

Hi there...

I wish I would've read this website before I purchased the ECM-HS1 for my Sony DCR-VX2000. I've taken a glance at the comments about this microphone... yeesh!

Any suggestions on what would be good for my cam? I plan on using it for an up and coming wedding, as well as a documentary I am in the process of creating. Although much of the documentary will not have the microphone attached to my camera... I want to have my sound having the best quality possible for the one attached to the camera.

Cost is not necessarily an issue at this time. Thanks in advance!
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Old February 4th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #2
 
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Linda, search the forums a bit, you'll find lots of recommendations. The Sennheiser 66 is a high recommend, but me personally, I find it too expensive and not enough umphf for the price. I really like the AT 897 and their other shotguns. the AT845 is a great stereo mic too, and has a beautiful sound.
Shotguns aren't just cam or 'zoom' mics as they are often called, they are great for voiceovers, and great for other situations too.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #3
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I have to recommend an Oktava 012 with hypercardioid capsule.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 08:47 PM   #4
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I have a VX2K
The VX2000 needs a hotter than average signal due to it's lousy preamp. The AT mics are great and the oktava 's a great mic but not for on camera. Both the AT and the Oktava would need preamplification and the oktava would need phantom power.

I use an ME66 on camera and it is hot enough so my internal preamp is set to about 40% gain. When you get around 60%-70% the preamp gets noisy (hissssssssssssssssssssssss!)

Beachtek has a new camera mounted preamp, phantom power supply, mini mixer with limiters. this will get you past the hurdle.

There is also the precise audio mini mixer http://www.preciseaudio.com/brochure.
Carlos Martinez is a member here and rumour has it that he will give people on the list a healthy discount.

The campressor has a lot of goodies , but there are far too many open switches for my taste.
http://campressor.com/

So in review
To get a decent input you will need a hot mic like the Sennheiser ME66.

To expand your horizons further you will need a field or mini mixer with mic preamps and maybe phantom p[ower and limiters.

Some mics will work from a 1.5 volt or even 9 volt battery, others require 12 to 48 volts DC. This higher voltag DC is known a phantom power. If the mic needs it it takes it if it doesn't the mic just ignores it. The premium mics all require phantom.

Mics like the AT that Douglas mentioned are great mics for the money but they will need to be preamplified or have their signal boosted. This higher level signal doesn't put a strain on the Sony VX2000 onboard preamp and the signal remains clean.

If you try and amplify the lower AudioTechnica mic output through the VX2K then you have major hiss.

Some of the mixer /preamps also have limiters. these keep very loud sounds from distorting by compressing the sound.


I got tired of the limitations of the VX2K's audio so I run a Sound devices 302 mixer into a camera mounted beachtek. When i want to go light I use the sennheiser ME66 into the beachtek or XLR to 1/8 stereo adapter.

If I confuses you i appologize.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 09:04 PM   #5
 
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Bryan,
I'm confused.
The Senheiser also requires a pre, any mic does in this situation unless you are willing to deal with hiss from the preamps that are on board. That's why there are tools like the Beachtek and others. Phantom in the AT's are a single AA battery. The AT is just as hot (hotter actually) than the 66 is. The 66 is a good mic, not knocking it. I've got one too. There is a reason that they recommend the K6/K6P for these mics, it's needed.
Anytime you are using an external mic with MOST cams, particularly consumer cams like the VX series, you need a good pre to avoid the noise of the built in pre. Even much more expensive, more sensitive mics require a good pre with these cams.
You've got the right deal going with the mixer on the input side of audio/output to the cam, but regardless of what specs say, the AT 897 and the AT4073 are hotter in actual output than the 66.
Come to NAB, I'll be showing them in the Audio for Video seminars. 66's, AT's, EV's, plus a few oddities.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:15 PM   #6
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Douglas
The ME66 is an electret condenser and operates from a 1.5 volt AA batterey or phantom. It has about the hottest output of any of the electret catagory. When you're at the show talk to Jay Rose and he will explain.

While it may not be the best mic it certaily is the hottest. the 4073 requires phantom, the VX2000 \doesn't have phantom.

Douglas I bought an AT 8035 and I had to return it and spend more money for a mic of lesser tonal quality simply because it didn't have the balls to drive the VX2000.

Again this is a known issue by anyone that ever used a vx2000.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:30 PM   #7
 
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No offense meant, Bryan, but I don't need Jay to explain anything...I've got these in the real world, and have used them in the real world.
The 897 doesn't require phantom, and that's the mic I generally recommend. Next to the me 66, it's hotter on output, and more sensitive (as it should be)
The 66 is a very nice mic in it's class. The 897 is based on newer technology, which is probably part of the higher cost.
If I can get clearance, I'll post MP3's of the two, recorded 18" apart, in the same sound environ, recorded to discreet channels, using the same preamp and settings.
We did an MHK 70, an 897, Azden 2X, and an ME 66, covering the 'wide' spectrum of affordable mics. We missed the Sanken's and Neumann's deliberately as well as most folks aren't spending 2K on a mic for DV work.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:38 PM   #8
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The 897 has been available for about a month or two and i have no experience with it. If it has a higher output then that makes 2 mics that the VX2000 can use without a preamp.

The 897 is cheaper than the senneiser by $100 and if the tonal quality is better ( and I suspect it is) then we have a winner. I absolutely hate the sound of the ME66 compared to the AT's

I do know that i was disapointed that the 8035 and 8015 didn't have a high enough output. The other AT and sennheisers require phantom.

Next time I'll buy a camera with everything.
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Old February 4th, 2004, 10:45 PM   #9
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Sennheiser lists the me66 sensitivity at 50mv/PA. Audio Technica lists the 897 at 10mv/PA.

Sennheiser offers a free modification to lower the sensitivity of this microphone as it has a tendency to distort preamps in loud environments.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 09:13 AM   #10
 
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This is what we noticed with the ME 66 as well, it distorts inputs quite easily on voiceovers and in Broadway environs. Oddly enough, so does the MHK 70 as well. The Azden fared well regarding it's paper spec, but in real use, it failed miserably. This is what prompted the test we did, as in another forum someone was swearing up and down that the Azden was as good as the ME66, the 897, and the AKG CK98. It was a good alternative to a standard camera mic, but no alternative to any of the others, IMO.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 09:29 AM   #11
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Hi Linda,

did you want a "true" stereo mic,
a M/S mic (like the Sennheiser 418 (faux stereo))
or a mono mic that only takes up a single channel leaving
another channel open for a 2nd mic?

We have a VX2K and use a Beachtek DXA-6 adaptor that
allows us to use anything from a dynamic mic to a stereo
Neumann that requires phantom power (the dxa-6 provides it).

I don't mind the Sennheiser ME66 or 67, but there are better sounding
mics IMO (less hiss).

It all depends on the level you want and you probably know that
small increases in quality = big $ increases.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 09:43 AM   #12
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Geez-oh-man!

I am definitely "green" when it comes to all these particulars and what-not! I am a "newbie" and am currently a novice when it comes to the inner-workings of the digital video cam. So clueless, in fact, that I invested some money in the purchase of "Digital Video for Dummies". I know that the book covers alot of this subject.

However... I want to replace the mic currently on my VX2000 with one of better quality and will pick up sound on what I am shooting, not what is behind me, etc. The current mic, as we all know, sucks.

As for other stuff... I will cross that bridge when I come to it (documentary work, etc.)

Thanks for all your help, guys!
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Old February 5th, 2004, 09:58 AM   #13
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There is one thing about microphones that differs greatly from
cameras. A good mic keeps it's value. Some mics are even good
investments and increase in value all the time.

If you go on ebay, you'll find that top of the line pro microphones
not only keep their value, they are easy to sell.

Camcorders are like computers . . . 'nuff said ;)
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