XL1s.. does this sound like the right XLR setup? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 7th, 2004, 01:02 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 173
XL1s.. does this sound like the right XLR setup?

Apologies for my ignorance when it comes to sound; everything i know related to video is known out of necessity.. due to the nature the subjects i've shot on my own in the past (mostly motorsports stuff), or been involved in shooting where I was just an operator and had nothing to do with sound.

I've been doing some reading here, and i THINK i have an idea of what i need.. appreciate if someone can confirm or deny that this is the right setup.

I intend to purchase an XLR mic to use for onboard sound with the XL1s, and on occasion (maybe 1/3 time) use as seperate audio in combo with a minidisc recorder.

---

Audio Technica AT-897, seeing these for around $245 new. I have seen a couple posts where Douglas Spotted Eagle and others who appear knowledgable say this is a new mic (newer technology) that performs very well, at least as well as the sennheiser 66.

If i'm using this outdoors, especially where it might be windy (welcome to Las Vegas haha), any reccomendations for a muff/screen to cut/kill wind noise?

Beachtek DXA-4.. ( http://www.beachtek.com/dxa4c.html ) .. this looks like it plugs right into the RCA inputs on the XL1, running through manual audio. Can be used as phantom power for the mic, so i get normal levels and no hiss, etc, correct..?

What actually powers this adapter.. an internal battery? or..? Is it possible to hook the minidisc recorder up to the output on this to record in tandem with the XL1s and also indepdenantly (using the oem xl1s mic for onboard audio)? If i intend to use the AT897, with the minidisc, i still need phantom power to get good sound, correct?

(in case i am not making sense, i want to know what i need to get good sound with 1: the XLR mic on the XL1s, 2: the xlr mic on the XL1s and also going to the MD recorder, 3: the XLR mic going only to the MD recorder).


Sorry for the laundry list of questions, just trying to wrap my mind around everything I need to get relatively good sound in my pricerange ;)
Adam Burtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2004, 01:24 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Saguenay, Québec, Canada
Posts: 1,051
Hi adam,

I don't think that the DXA-4 supply phantom power. If you need it, you should look at the DXA-6. This unit is powered with a 9v battery. Or you could use a separate phantom power supply in addition to the DXA-4. Personally, I prefer to use the MA-100/200 from canon for XLR inputs. It provide a good shoulder support and some places to hang accessories like wireless receiver or third party batteries. These adaptors doesn't provide phantom power.

But you do not need phantom power with the AT897. It can be powered with a single a 1.5v AAA battery.

Here are the specs of this mic:

http://www.audiotechnica.com/prodpro...les/AT897.html

Hope this help,
__________________
Jean-Philippe Archibald
http://www.jparchibald.com - http://www.vimeo.com/jparchib
Jean-Philippe Archibald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2004, 02:10 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 173
From what i see, the DXA-6 only has a minijack for output, not the two RCA's that the beachtek DXA-4C has.. i guess i'm trying to find something that has both, a mini jack output AND the RCA out so i can use with the XL1s and/or MD recorder.

I dont think the MA100/200 will mount properly when used with a varizoom SP-7 ( http://www.varizoom.com/pages/mediapro.php ) ..correct me if i'm wrong. also, (and again, i may be wrong) but it's my understanding the MA series doesn't have level adjustment like the beachtek does.. or am i wrong here?
Adam Burtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2004, 02:58 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,922
The AT897 is no where as sensitive as the ME66. It could well sound better and I certainly hope it does. The AT897 is -41 db or 9 mv/1pa. The sennheiser is 50mv/1pa and if anything too hot for some applications. Too hot can always be attenuated by using a pad though.
Bryan Beasleigh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
The AT/Sennheiser specs indeed say that the ME66 is a more sensitive mic. What a paper or website says vs real world use are two very different things.
Sensitivity, although it has a standard measurement, doesn't demonstrate honestly across the spectrum. It is indeed so that a 1K tone will create a higher voltage output with the ME 66 over some other mics. But that isn't relevant in real world use.
Either way, the 897 doesn't need phantom, it runs great without, by using a battery that lives under the mic body. I've got both mics, so my opinions and experiences are fairly grounded in real world use. Today we shot a training vid using the XL, a Mackie 1202, AT 831, and 897. Right/left of the cam were fed by right/left of the Mackie, 897 is less sensitive than the 831, but ended up being -11dB than the 831. 831 was on-body, 897 at a distance of about 4 feet.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2004, 10:34 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cass Lake MN
Posts: 221
So, just suppose that you were to pick the better "sounding mic" -what do you prefer? The sennheiser or the AT?

I'm looking for putting a rig together that I can use with a GL2 - here's what I would like to do in the best of all possible worlds - have an on camera shotgun for just walking around - plus a binaural set that would gather ambiance - and then if I'm not too crazy - plug a wireless lav for interviews.

Is it true that you can have 4 audio tracks on the GL2? Is this just too over the top?


Thanks for the advice,

Milt Lee
Milt Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 9th, 2004, 11:03 PM   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
I'm pretty clearly in the camp of the AT. On a shoot this past weekend, it saved my butt, too. It sounded great, and with a small amount of tweaking, I could make it indiscernable from the lav that the talent was wearing. (Talent kept hitting the lav with his hands no matter where it ended up being located in the prime zone) Hot isn't important to me, because I use great preamps anyway. Quality is MUCH more important to me than output level.
The ME is a good mic, but here's my feeling about a lot of the 'trusted' mic brands; many mics came out quite a while ago as a response to the poorer technology mics available. During the Viet Nam era, a lot of things were changing in broadcast, various Euro countries began exporting some really great stuff that got a lot of market notice here in the US, and the prejudices for various mics set in. I've had many an engineer stand up and say "only a 414 for this, only a 424 for that, only an 85 for this, only an 87 for that" etc. Hell, if Phil can mike a dead rat with a 414 after 'testing' a dozen other mics, it's easy to see how foolish some of these prejudices are. There are mics that are tried and true, no doubt. But new technologies from a variety of makers of mics, whether they are Eastern or Western Euro, Japan, and even China, they are still new technologies. I have a really hard time with the 'new' mic brands being put down simply because they don't have the long-term name brand that others do. Look at Sennheiser, Koss, and Pioneer's headphones. All once among the very best, now they put their names on Walmart crap. So does AT, so does anyone else that can make a buck doing so. But...AT, Audix, and a few other newcomers to the game really do have some great new stuff to offer that isn't founded on old technology.
Sennheiser, Shure, AKG, etc are all really great mic makers. But don't limit your options simply because you have heard the maker's name for many years.
Off soapbox.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 173
So what's the new technology in microphones?
Martin Garrison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th, 2004, 09:10 PM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cass Lake MN
Posts: 221
Great Preamps????

Douglas,

Don't leave us hanging like that. What do you mean by "great preamps? And do they go in to the camera's at Line level or mic level?

Thanks!
Milt Lee
Milt Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 10th, 2004, 09:29 PM   #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
New technology is from new metals, transformers, winding materials in the coils, more efficient power transfer, etc.
great pre's? We use John Hardy M1's or Avalons for most everything.
http://www.imjohn.com/JohnHardy/products.htm
Expensive, but worth it. If you are doing heavy metal or lots of brass where there is little detail or harmonic content, then you won't want these. But if it's intimate vocals, fleas on a leaf, or subtle, rich instruments....there is nothing finer.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th, 2004, 10:56 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Cass Lake MN
Posts: 221
but for Documentary work?

The John Hardy preamps look wonderful, and for studio work, they seem like the real deal.

I wonder if you or anyone has had experience with the Sound Devices preamps for documentary work?

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mx2master.htm

These seem to be excellent for road work, but who knows what the sound is like.

Thanks,
Milt Lee
Milt Lee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 13th, 2004, 01:41 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Singapore, Rep of SINGAPORE
Posts: 749
I use Sennheiser ME66 and ME68 in conjunction with Sound Devices MixPre (2 channels). Output from MixPre goes into XL1 RCA.

Usage - mainly documentary (wildlife/birdlife/nature).

MixPre - is extremely rugged (LEDs), powered by 2 AA batteries. Have taken it up to Everest Base Camp - 5500m (no problems). LEDs are very bright - even in direct sun, can still tell the sound levels. The thing I liked is the auto limiter / compressor that comes on when input exceeds +8db (MixPre shows up to +12db on the LEDs). So, you can never get a clipping audio on your XL1 if you calibrate the Audio correctly.

Sound wise - a bit cold (all electronic amplifiers are like this) = compared with Shure (sounds warmer). BUT, the alternative (Shure) uses expensive 9V batteries (and needs 2 of them). And, standard 9V don't work well at 0deg C or below. Lithium 9V - prices are in the strastoshpere.

I am very happy with the MixPre - no doubt.
TingSern Wong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2004, 06:19 PM   #13
Tourist
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Cuyahoga Falls, ohio
Posts: 2
This post (reply) is just my observation based on experiences:

Unbalanced (RCA) to balanced (XLR) audio can present a problem called a "ground loop". Whereas the ground potential is different between the input/output devices. Causing low z hum or 60 cycle hum in the signal.

This can be eliminated by using a good mixer that isolates the ground or by using an inline balancing transformer. So even if you have the worlds best XLR mic (whatever that may be), you may still get killer "noise" into your signal (noise defined as: any unwanted aspect of the signal).

Another problem with unbalanced mics is that when using a long cable run at mic level "impedance" -48db, you increase the likelihood of picking up "noise" via induction. This "noise" can be picked upped from things like: RF, nearby light ballast's, nearby transformers or AC.

I suggest picking up a inline balancing transformer (very inexpensive) and inter-connects and always having it handy in your sound kit. Because even balanced(XLR) to balanced(XLR) audio can have a noticeable ground loop, if the input/output devices ground potentials are radically different.

just my 2 cents....
Bob Barter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Singapore, Rep of SINGAPORE
Posts: 749
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the comments. RCA to XLR - yes, you are right. BUT, I don't have a choice - Canon XL1 only comes with RCA. Hence, I always use a FPM (MixPre) here. I keep the cable length between MixPre and XL1 as short as practically can (about 1m long) - using XLR to RCA connecting cable. The microphone cable are 100% XLR all the way (input into MixPre) - 50m - not a problem audio wise. But, carrying 50m cable will be a heavy proposition for a one man operation :-). Anyway, I solved that problem of noise coming directly ino RCA. It does mean one additional box (MixPre) to carry. This MixPre has switchable phantom power (15V or 48V) - great stuff.

TS
TingSern Wong is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:28 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network