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Old February 25th, 2004, 09:57 AM   #1
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New VX2100 ate my budget, but...

The Scope is: I am new to the pro end of this. I would have preferred to buy a PD-170, but I needed to economize. I still have to buy a second tripod ($230) and want to consider what to upgrade audio to.

My main shooting so far has been on-field band performances, sports including football and cheerleading, and one wedding shoot as a favor because their videographer gave them a week's notice that they could not make it. For a majority of my shooting, the distance is 10'-250' (but they are loud). Stereo is important for the band stuff because some textures that should be captured.

I think I need a wireless system this year and a mic with a little more reach than the builtin Sony. A ME66 is not stereo and moving to a bit much for the current budget. The AT845ST is way too much for the budget. An AT822 seems to fix closer to budget with stereo, but I don't know how it will perform for what I want. I shoot from the pressbox and from the field for the band stuff. I was even wondering if there was a wireless system that I could possible put a stereo mic at field level and video from on high.

I also figure that I will have to buy a Beachtek DXA-4 (or 6).

I am too green to this to know if I have asked the right question. Thoughts or suggestions? TIA
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Old February 25th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #2
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The 822 is great but camera mounted you are going to pick up sound from everywhere - the press box, field,camera operation etc. It would be better to have the mic down on the field or in the stands rather than on top of the cam.You could always put it on a stand for the band shoots away from the cam.IF looking for quality/good pricing on a shotgun mic you may want to have a look at the Audio Technica AT897 as well.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 09:39 AM   #3
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The AT822 is great if the camera to mic cable distance is 25' or less as its output is unbalanced. If you need to send the audio over a longer distance, consider the AT825 which provided balanced left and right audio. Then you can use standard mic cables to go a much longer distance.

If you decide to do a wireless link, you will need two complete wireless systems (one for left channel and one for right channel).

I recorded a high school marching band using the AT815ST stereo shotgun mounted on a stand placed outside the press box. However, I ended up needing a zepplin and dead cat (The large furry covered windscreen assembly often seen in film and TV). With my mic safely snuggled in these, the sound was quite good. Now if I could only get the band to stop marching and always face the pressbox, it would be great!

The zepplin and dead cat were borrowed... as they are quite expensive!

Hope this helps!
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Old February 26th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #4
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Thanks Steve.

I gathered that you ran cable up the stands? At home, we usually have 1000+ people in solid concrete stands, so I would have to run it up and use about $50 in tape ;). I have been searching, as this is new to me, and discovered that wireless stereo does not really exist (which really surprised me.) I was starting to see that it would require two wireless systems to do it "cable-free". In that case, something like the Samson C02 set might be the way to go. But now, with two wireless systems, I am into the $1000 level.

I think I will look at a DAT and sync in post then. Otherwise, maybe a shotgun and a lav for everything else.

Did I miss something?

BTW Steve, which band? I am at Collins Hill High School in GA. I have now done 2 seasons with a Sony 520 and am kicking it up a notch.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #5
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Actually I had the shotgun mic in the press box.

It was put up above the top level so my cables were only 25' or so. The nice thing about the shotgun is it's pattern was narrow enough to reject the sound of the close in fans but still pick up some ambiance as well as the band.

I did my test in Hudson Ohio where they have a very large band 350+ players... Loud is good!
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Old February 27th, 2004, 03:00 PM   #6
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OK, am I crazy, or will this possibly work? Still trying to figure this out as a boot.

Azden WR-22 Receiver (S series)
Azden WX/T-Pro (S) 171.105
Azden WX/T-Pro (S) 171.845

Maybe Samson C02 (solid as a stereo pair?)

The could give me wireless in stereo, maybe. Azden's site does not do well on the detail or specs so it is hard to tell if this might even work.
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Old February 27th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #7
 
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>>>Azden's site does not do well on the detail or specs<<<<
They might be afraid to have you know the truth.
The very few experiences I've had with Azden equipment have all been less than good, and certainly far from professional. But people must buy their stuff, they're still in business.
Caveat Emptor.
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Old February 27th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by George Ellis :
Maybe Samson C02 (solid as a stereo pair?)

-->>>

The more I compare mics by listening to my own samples or samples from the net or which are send to me, the more enthousiastic i become about the Samson C02' s.

I made an immediate comparison between the ME64 and the Samson C02: the Samson shows an extended high frequency range and a bit less presence as the Sennheiser ME64. I saw a few db more bass with the ME64.

I have compared the ME64 with the Neumann. The ME64 let hear some more bass, but this does not really show in the measured frequency response seen in Adobe Audition. Again a few db. But those basses where less natural as those from Neumann to me.
( I also corrected the curves for a neutral comparison)

The same effect i heard clearly comparing the samples which Bryan send to me from the Oktava and the Schoeps. The difference was significant. The Schoeps did not have any coloration! The Oktava's had their typical sound as the Rode's have.
Coloration is not what i want for video sound. I wish I could afford those Schoeps! But they are far to expensive for my little PDX10(p).

I don't know but may be every mic has his own acoustics and resonances.

To my surprise regarding this the Samson was more neutral as the Oktava and the ME64 and as you can hear from my sample. It sounded very natural. And it is sensitive!

I think the Samson C02's are a big challenge for video implementation.

I think i am challenged myself to give them a try. Often people are afraid to ackowledge that a cheaper mic can be good. I agree this was my threshold first too.

Other cheap mics are: Beyerdynamic MCE 530, CAD GXL1200
and MXL 603 . They have good reviews. They sound fuller but may be that is their coloration: the MXL 603 is said to sound very much as the Oktava MC012.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 04:52 AM   #9
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OK, I am revisting this to go a little further.

I might be able to afford an AT-815ST or AT-835ST. Barring that, I think I will get the 897 based on the glowing recommendations in this section. I will get a Beachtek DXA-6 (I released that Phantom voltage gives a dB range, correct?)

Still on the bubble about what to do with wireless. There does not seem to be any wireless solution that will do stereo from a single source. Azden appears to be the only solution from two sources. Am I missing something?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 11:17 AM   #10
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Look at the DXA-8, for a few extra bucks you'll get limiters and preamplification. The sony VX 2100 preamps apparently still leave something to be desired. The only other option would be a mixer.

There is a current thread discussing this item. You've bought a decent camera now match it with a e decent audio setup. Until you can afford better use your onboard mic. You will regret half measures later. getting a device with preamps, limiters and phantom will give you much more latitude in mic selection.

Any of the balanced AudioTechnica mics would be a good thing. AT makes a truly professional product. (Azden do not) I think wireless could introduce more problems than it would be worth.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:25 PM   #11
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Thanks Bryan. I am considering the DXA-8 now.

BTW, all roads have lead to not using the Azden, but I wish I could find a two channel receiver that was camera mountable. I guess I will just get a multi-channel this year and see if something arrives for next year.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:41 PM   #12
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Look at the bracket1 it's $60 at B&H

http://www.bracket1.com
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Old March 10th, 2004, 06:49 AM   #13
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Thanks again Bryan.

I think I am down to one question. If I have either an AT815ST or AT835ST which splits from a 5 pin XLR to 2 male 3 pin XLRs into the Beachtek DXA-8 (or otherwise), could I also run a wireless into the unbalanced mini? The online doc is not clear enough. The unbalanced would be right channel according to the Beachtek doc if you plug into that port. With both male connectors requiring phantom voltage, and being new to this, I am not sure that using a 2 3pin male to 1 3pin female would work going back in while using Mid?

Not sure this would work and it might just be less hassle in that situation to run a second camera taking the mini off of the wireless to my consumer dv cam.

I think I will see what they say (Beachtek). They do say call "if you have any questions" in their docs. :)

Edit - I did send a note to Beachtek to see what they said. Made sure to let them know that Bryan talked me into the DXA-8 :)
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Old March 10th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #14
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The DXA-8 is a 2 input. The mini in is unbalanced input to the right channel. You'd have to ask Harry from Beach Tek what happens.

You've only got 2 inputs on the camera anyway.
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