Will AT897 work well with VX2k? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 16th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #1
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Will AT897 work well with VX2k?

After hearing some great things about the AT897 Im thinking of ditching my ME66. Will the AT work as well as far as output goes with my XLR-Pro and VX2k? Enough to lower the gain on the cam as required from the hot output of the ME66?
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Old March 16th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #2
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No it won't, you'll need a preamp. The mic will work but it will be noisy.

I bought an AT 835 which has a 11 mv output. I had to return it and buy the ME66/K6 rig in order to get a high enough output.
The 897 is a fine mic as are all the AT line but it actually has a lower output than the 835, it's spec'd at 9 mv.

The ME66/K6 has a 50mv output and as such will let you set your camera audio level at 40% gain. With the AT it had to be at 70%.

The XLR pro is a passive device and will only attenuate a higher output.

You would need a mic preamp such as the Sound Devices Mp1 or MM1, the Beach Tek DXA-8 or a full blown mixer.

I had a DXA-8 to try and posted some info on this forum. It's $370 at B&H. It's a 2 channel , camera mounted mic pre with limiters and phantom.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=277932&is=REG

The Sound devices MP1 is a very high quality single channel mic pre , with limiters, high pass (80hz) filter and phantom.

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mp1master.htm

It's $300 at B&H
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=292990&is=REG

The MM1 includes a high quality headphone amp

The beach is more convenient, has 2 channels and has 15 db of gain. that's enough to give you a mic level input that would require 20% gain on the camera preamps

The Sound Devices is top of the stack so far as quality and has mic and line outputs (66db) plus all the other bells and whistles.

It's cons are, it's not camera mounted although it could be used with a bracket 1. It's also single channel.

There is also a 2 channel that's belt mounted. Carlos, one of our members sells this unit and has mentioned a discount for members. I haven't had a look at it, so I can't comment

http://www.preciseaudio.com/brochure.html

I own a Sound devices 302 mixer and have tried the MP1. I still have the DXA-8 sitting on my desk, so I do know those 2.

Sorry if I've gone overboard here. Look at the recent threads discussing the VX2000 preamp problems. That'll give you more incite.

I just had my VX2000 audio modified so I can input a mixer directly into the Analog to Digital converter at line level.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 02:21 AM   #3
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Hmm maybe I should opt for the ME64 capsule instead. Thanks for the info Bryan. I actually dont mind the VX2k audio for run & gun capturing as long as the gain stays low.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 09:09 AM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Bryan Beasleigh : No it won't, you'll need a preamp. The mic will work but it will be noisy.

I bought an AT 835 which has a 11 mv output. I had to return it and buy the ME66/K6 rig in order to get a high enough output.
The 897 is a fine mic as are all the AT line but it actually has a lower output than the 835, it's spec'd at 9 mv.

The ME66/K6 has a 50mv output and as such will let you set your camera audio level at 40% gain. With the AT it had to be at 70%.
-->>>

Alan Barker advices to use an attenuator with the Me64 which will bring the Mv back from 30mv to 7-8mv.
Why he advises that?
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Old March 16th, 2004, 09:30 AM   #5
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Other than his camera is a PD150 which has XLR inputs and better preamps, we're talking about VX2000's. That's a whole different situation as well as $1000 difference in cameras.

Bringing it down to that low an input for his stated type of work doesn't make alot of sense. I agree that 50 mv would be way to high and presents problems with loud venues, many opt for the red dot K6 mod to reduce output. Unfortunately with the VX2000 you need the high output, at low sound levels.

Edit
I've just read his site. Jan, he's "optimizing his output for auto-gain" and he's using a 10db pad to bring -31 db down to -21db. I guess that controls the surging better.

Very few people will bother with the autogain and as I said it's a PD150, a totaly different audio setup with XLR inputs as well as separate gain control.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 10:13 AM   #6
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I see. I have no experiences with the VX200

I have a PDX10p and I think the XLR input-characteristics are comparable with the PD150.

It is said that the soundquality of the autogain is better than without autogain. Do you know if that is true?
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Old March 16th, 2004, 12:29 PM   #7
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I've always thought it to be the other way around. There are always drawbacks to either method. For truly accurate reproduction manual is a must. AGC will tend to cause surging and accentuate noisy mics or preamps. It's ok to record a board meeting or casual dialog.

To me manual is always best in exposure, white balance, audio level and sometimes focus.

There are those that prefer everything to be automatic.

Alan Barker has an opinion, that's all it is. Any audio people i know advise against it. If something works for you then use it.
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Old March 16th, 2004, 03:08 PM   #8
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I agree with you, but i have heard that the autogain of Sony is not a real autogain and compensates/compresses only for the last one percent of the volume. So in practical use I think it maintains one gainlevel.

When I attach 2 different microphones on both channels and choose 1. separate 2. automatic they will remain a different level depending on their sensitivity. So may be this is true.

Regarding this someone on a forum said that automatic should provide better better frequency response, but I really don't know how true this is.
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