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Old June 26th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #1
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mic recommendations for loud venues

Hey all,

Posted before about trouble with my shotgun mic in loud venues. Lately I've been shooting some events that are louder than I've done in the past.

So now I'm looking for recommendation for mics I can use on camera (sony Z1 for now) that can handle loud bass-heavy music, dj voice, etc. Since this is for ambient sound, I don't care if the mic has the rear and side rejection of a shotgun. In many cases, it would be better if it didn't.

Alternatively, I could get a stand alone recorder like the Zoom H2 and this would give me a backup track as well. Is this a better option?

I googled around, but couldn't really find much. Does anyone have suggestions so I can start to research and compare? I'm an audio amateur so any help is welcome.

Thanks a million.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #2
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First, make sure that your problems are actual 'microphone' problems or 'overloading the 1st pre-amp stage' problems.

In case it's them microphone, you might a) use a mike that can be padded down (i.e. AKG 480 series built-in, Schoeps has an add-on).

For searching around I would suggest a visit at :

Taperssection.com - Index

Tapers are very much used to very loud venues......!

good luck.

If all fails, most dynamic mics are pretty much game for brain squashing volume levels. You will probably give up first before the microphone does. Too bad your hearing's gone for good after very few of these happenings.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 05:49 PM   #3
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Gr dich, Karl,

That's a great looking audio forum! I think I have some reading to do...

Thanks a lot.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 09:25 PM   #4
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there is another way that MIGHT work for you. IIRC the Z1 has a setting on the audio box for a minus 20db attenuation OR you could pick up a pad like a Proco -10 attenuator. they also have an adjustable one. it goes from -10 to -30. Can't guarentee it would solve the issue but I've used a -10 on my drum mic that I put in front of a DJs speaker (when the DJ is bad-you know levels like a 747 at 100% power for take off) I set my plugin transmitter to -6 so I get a total of -16 and so far it's worked out quite well, plus it gives me a nice range of attenuation. minus 6 on the transmitter, minus 10 with the attenuation and another -20 at the camera so if needed I could knock it down to minus 36. in your case an adjustable might get you up to -50. like I said I thought the Z1 has 3 settings on the side of the audio plugin box. MIC, LINE and ATTENTUATION or it might be marked -20.
Thats just another way to go in case you don't want to buy a new mic whichmight not even be the cause of the problem.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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Hey Don,

I think you're thinking of the PD150. The Z1 doesn't have a mic att switch. The only switch next to the XLR inputs is phantom power on/off.

In the menu the Z1 has "audio trim" which I'm finding out doesn't seem to be the same as mic att. The MIC and LINE settings are also in the menu, not on a switch.

I sure WISH there were a mic att switch on the Z1. If you find out there is one, let me know where right away, sigh...

Thanks a million.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 06:47 AM   #6
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yeah, I couldn't remember if it had MIC ATT or not. Guess not but again perhaps by suppling outside attenuation as I described above, it might just take care of the situation for you.
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Old June 27th, 2009, 08:03 AM   #7
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Thanks, Don!
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Old June 27th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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Ran across this in one of my catalogues...AKG Perception 170 | Sweetwater.com
AKG Perception 170 small diaphragm condenser mike
It accepts an astonishing 155db SPL, and has a 20dB pad to ease the load on your preamps....it is primarily used as an instrument mike, but this just implies that it needs an external shock mount, because these mikes generally don't have internal shock protection, and a windscreen or other breath protection if used as a vocal mike, to protect the diaphragm. This mike has about 20dB more headroom than the NGT2 I think you mentioned using. Price is right, I think, at about $140. You could spring for their similar C451B, at just short of $600, but I doubt it's worth it for the purpose....hth.../Battle Vaughan PS elsewhere I think I mentioned maybe a dynamic mike, which would also take some of the load off the preamp as dynamics have a lower output than condenser mikes
Not a bad idea, as far as the preamps go, but this particular mike has a very high spl headroom that would help prevent the mike itself from overloading...
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Old June 27th, 2009, 11:56 PM   #9
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That's a great recommendation, Battle. Thanks a million, I'll check it out.

Cheers,
Vito
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Old July 13th, 2009, 09:30 AM   #10
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Hey all,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Battle Vaughan View Post
Ran across this in one of my catalogues...AKG Perception 170 | Sweetwater.com
I ordered one, Battle. Hopefully I'll get it in time to use this weekend, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Got a Zoom H2 for backup recording, too. Used it last weekend to hook into the dj board and it was brilliant.

Thanks,
Vito
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Old July 13th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #11
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As an alternative to the AKG (quite similar, actually), investigate the Sennheiser e914 - it too has an on-board switchable pad: 0dB, -10dB, -20dB.

Max SPL 137, 147, 157 dB

Absolutely impossible to overload this mic. I have used it on-camera (not ideal) in discos and next to church organs.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 10:37 AM   #12
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Hope it works for you! / bv
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Old July 13th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Mayer View Post
Absolutely impossible to overload this mic. I have used it on-camera (not ideal) in discos and next to church organs.
Too late. I bought the other one :-)
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Old July 13th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #14
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Yeah, the Sennheiser e900 series can take a beating.

My youngest son plays in a band and does the audio work. He recently got the e902 bass drum mic.

Sennheiser Worldwide - e 902

He had been recording his guitar with an SM57 - the classic guitar amp mic. But the '57 is really a midrange mic. It doesn't have a strong bass response, and the highs really fall off. Recording a club with a '57 would sound really thin and wimpy.

Enter the e902. A bass drum has two components to the sound - the pressure wave and the slap of the beater. To capture that this mic is really scooped - it's all bass and treble with little in between.

Anyway, by placing the e902 right next to the SM57, he can handle the amp cranked to "11", and can mix the two mics to get the sound that he wants. The same would work in loud clubs and concerts.
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Old July 19th, 2009, 09:41 PM   #15
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Hey guys,

Just to update. I bought the AKG 170 that Battle mentioned, and tried it out yesterday. Here are a couple of sampes. One to compare with my NTG2, the other some audio from the wedding I shot yesterday.

The test was basically just plugging one mic into each channel of my Z1, sticking them side by each in front of a speaker at home, and playing some music. I preface with some VO.

The samples show ambient audio from the event. One channel on manual, one channel on auto. Each file starts with one quick sample with the -20db attenuation of the mic turned on, followed by the next song with it turned off.

I've added some normalization to make the levels similar for easier comparison, but other than that, they're unaltered.

To my ears, the Rode records my voice much better, but can't handle the bass in the loud music. The AKG handles the volume with no problem.

In the ambient samples, when the DJ comes in, he distorts in the manual channel, although it was peaking at about -10db at the time. The auto channel, although it was peaking much higher, didn't distort. This makes me wonder if the internal limiter of the Z1 (which I had switched on) only takes effect when the audio is switched to auto gain.

I saw no advantage to leaving the attenuation on in this situation, and it actually was a disadvantage during speeches for example, as the signal became much too low. Fortunately, I had my ZOOM H2 plugged into the DJ board, so it wasn't an issue.

I also felt the crowd noise felt more distant with the AKG. But at least it wasn't distorting in the bass, so I can live with it.

All in all, I feel it was a great purchase, and shows me that the NTG2 was being overloaded, and not the preamp of the camera. I'm happy to have another mic in my kit, and the ZOOM H2 was a great purchase as well.

Thanks to all you guys for your help and suggestions. Hopefully these samples will help others in similar situations.

Cheers,
Vito
Attached Files
File Type: wav akg_test.wav (5.60 MB, 61 views)
File Type: wav ntg2_test.wav (5.60 MB, 46 views)
File Type: wav akg170auto.wav (2.80 MB, 53 views)
File Type: wav akg170manual.wav (2.80 MB, 35 views)
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