Audio Technica ATR-25, any good as a low cost consumer stereo mic? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 25th, 2004, 01:41 PM   #1
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Audio Technica ATR-25, any good as a low cost consumer stereo mic?

Anyone have any comments about the Audio Technica ATR-25 Stereo Condenser Microphone, and it's use on a consumer DV cam? I just ordered one from Axxes.com for $30. I will be using it with my Optura 10 camcorder, mounting it on a Beyer Dynamic EA86 shockmount from B&H I also ordered today for $30. I'm doing this in an attempt to reduce the motor noise that camcorder produces on my videos, all I'm looking for is a stereo mic that sounds as good (sic) as the one on the camcorder, sans the motor noise. I have an Audio Technica AT822 Stereo Condenser Microphone which I use with my Panasonic DV camcorder, this works very well, and it should, as it cost 10 times as much. Is the ATR-25 going to be comparable to the Optura's built in mic, or is it a cheap hiss monster?
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Old May 26th, 2004, 12:24 AM   #2
 
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It's as good as any sub-50$ is gonna be. It's going to be slightly better than the Optura mic that's built in, and given that you can get it away from the camera and closer to the subject, it's going to be eons better. Cheap mic close to source is often better than good mic distanced from source.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 02:07 AM   #3
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i found this french review of the ATR25.

It seems to give a very good sound according to the price with an exellent intelligibility, but is very sensitive for handlingnoise. So it is not advised to use on the cam, where it will be worse then the build in mic for that: motornoise. Well isolated or on a good stand it is perfect.
It has batteryfeed, mini=jacks( stereo/dual), metal housing, difficult to find in Europe.
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Old May 26th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #4
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Thank you Douglas Spotted Eagle for your comments, and Jan Roovers for your link to that review! It seems that at $70 shipped the mic, and shockmount together, might do the job. I'm hoping that the Beyer Dynamic EA86 shockmount which is a shoe mount will isolate the mic from the camcorder enough to keep it from picking up the motor hum, and also reduce the handling noise when I have the mic attached to the camcorder. I am not expecting anything professional from this setup, just a viable work around to the consumer camcorder built in mic problem. I will post back next week letting you know the results after I've had time to give it a try.
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Old June 5th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #5
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I said I would post the results of my tests using the Audio Technica ATR-25 stereo condenser microphone along with the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount mounted on a camcorder's accessory shoe. I compared my results also using a Audio Technica AT822 microphone which is a $370 (retail) stereo condenser microphone, and two different consumer camcorders, along with there internal microphone's. To save you from a very long boring read I will give you my conclusions here. The combination of a ATR-25 stereo condenser microphone with the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount is a very good low cost method of getting rid of that nasty camcorder motor noise for about $70 total (on line), and proves to be a good mic to improve your overall consumer camcorder sound. The bad news is that it does not seem to work as effectively on all camcorders, I.E. Cannon Optura 10 = great results, Panasonic PV-DV901 = not nearly as good. Now for the best audio I use a microphone stand, but there are situations that prevent one from doing so. If you enjoy the fine details, pour yourself a tall beverage, get some snacks, and read on.

Tests using the Cannon Optura 10 camcorder:
1. Internal microphone: Unacceptable level of mid to high frequency motor noise. Handling noise is acceptable due to lack of bass recorded, and no microphone cable to transmit any bumping movement sound as the cable is touched while you are holding the camcorder. Overall sound quality lacking any low bass, poor stereo separation, lacking in high frequencies. This is your average consumer camcorder internal microphone, the problem being the Optura 10 produces a high level of motor noise, and it's internal microphone's pick it up.
2. ATR-25 microphone with supplied shoe mount on camcorder: A little motor noise, at about an acceptable level. Overall sound quality much better than the internal microphone, but lacking in the warmth, and bass, compared to the AT822. The ATR-25 has better stereo separation than the internal microphones on the camcorders. The handling noise can be a somewhat higher than the internal microphone's. The sound of panning while using a consumer tripod and your hand movements on the camcorder will be picked up at an annoying level. The ATR-25 would be very good as a microphone to record conversation, but if you want to record a musical performance you would probably want to use the AT822 if you have the additional $200 (on line) to spend for it. The ATR-25 has very little self-noise such as hiss for a consumer microphone.
3. ATR-25 microphone, and the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount mounted on the camcorder shoe mount: Very little, to no, motor noise heard. Overall sound quality the same as No. 2 above. Adding the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount to the camcorder shoe reduces the handling noise significantly to an acceptable level although it is still audible.
4. AT822 microphone with supplied shoe mount on the camcorder: The motor noise is at a higher level than the ATR-25 due to this professional microphones ability to pickup lower frequencies, you will hear a low frequency humming sound, but not the mid, to high, frequency motor noise of the internal microphone's. This holds true even with the bass roll off switch on. The handling noise is also higher because of this microphones ability to pickup the lower frequencies, there was however less handling noise than with the ATR-25 using this same setup. The overall sound quality is much better as you would expect with a microphone at this price point.
5. AT822 microphone, and the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount mounted on the camcorder shoe mount: Very little, to no, motor noise heard. Overall sound quality the same as No. 4 above. Adding the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount to the camcorder shoe reduces the handling noise significantly to a very acceptable level, although it is still barely audible, it is even less prone to handling noise than the ATR-25 with the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount mounted on the camcorder shoe mount. The Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount is a must have if you are going to mount the AT822 to your Optura 10 camcorder shoe.

Tests using the Panasonic PV-DV901 camcorder:
1. Internal Microphone: This camcorder has less of a problem with motor noise than the Optura 10 when both camcorders are using there internal microphone's, but there is still to much motor noise for me. Handling noise is acceptable using the internal microphone's. Overall sound quality is better than the Optura's internal microphone's, which is not saying much. The Panasonic also does poor when it comes to stereo separation.
2. ATR-25 microphone with supplied shoe mount on camcorder: This is where things get a little strange. I would have expected the motor noise to be reduced using an external microphone mounted on the camcorder shoe, but it was about the same as the internal microphone's, just barely acceptable. Handling noise was picked up a little more than with the Optura using this same setup. Again overall sound quality was better than the internal microphone's. This in itself would be enough reason to warrant using an external microphone.
3. ATR-25 microphone, and the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount mounted on the camcorder shoe mount: Again I was disappointed with the result using this camcorder, and the external microphone & shockmount, although adding the shockmount to the setup did reduce the motor noise a little, it was still just barely acceptable. Handling noise did although show an improvement. Sound quality was the same as No. 2 above.
4. AT822 microphone with supplied shoe mount on the camcorder: The motor noise is unacceptable because this microphone picks up the low frequency humming sound that mounting this microphone directly to the camcorder produces, but this time using the bass roll off switch helped to elevate some of this problem. Handling noise, and sound quality were the same as using the Optura camcorder and this same setup.
5. AT822 microphone, and the Beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount mounted on the camcorder shoe mount: Bad news again, you could still hear the high frequency motor hum, although the low frequency motor noise was totally gone. Handling noise, and sound quality were the same as using the optura camcorder and this same setup.

Testing method used: In a very quite room I recorded each of the above combinations. I, then using VideoStudio extracted the PCM wav. audio. Then I listened to them all with a pair of Koss Pro/4AA headphones and made my conclusions.
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Old June 8th, 2004, 01:09 AM   #6
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Robert, thanks for the time you took to make this detailed mini review.
It was very usefull for me as I'm aiming at exactly this price range of consumer sound products.

I think the Japanese analog for the mic you are talking is that: http://www.audio-technica.co.jp/products/mic/at9450.html

I own this one: http://www.audio-technica.co.jp/products/mic/at9440.html

I've used it for some MD recording and even in a mixer set up. I also checked it with the cam and can confirm it's very sensitive and prown to handling noise.
I've been wonderring for using it on cam but it's probably too short for any decent shoemount. Any advise about such small mic and video use?
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Old June 8th, 2004, 01:46 AM   #7
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Robert, did you make any note of the stereo seperation
of the AT-822? Did you try it with music? What do you think
of its sound overall?
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Old June 8th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #8
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Bogdan: I took a look at the Japanese spec sheet of your mic. I could not read it, but it sure did look like a shorter version of the ATR-25 maybe with the same stereo mic capsules inside, just speculation on my part. If it is, you might benefit also by getting the beyerdynamic EA86 shockmount ($30 on line at B&H) for use with your camcorder, or even on a mic stand for use with your MD recorder & camcorder. As I pointed out that shockmount made a big difference with my Optura 10 motor noise problem, but did little good with my Panasonic camcorder, so it depends on the "type" of motor noise your camcorder makes. As to the length of your mic I don't see that as a problem, but rather an asset, as it will not stick out where your camcorder lens may see it.
Dave: I've never owned a Rode NT4, or any more expensive stereo mic to compare it to, but I have worked in the past in a studio, with studio grade mono condenser mic's. The AT822 does to me sound very good with excellent stereo separation for a one point stereo mic at this price point. I first purchased it to use with my Sony portable PCM-1 DAT recorder for recording nature ambiance, and general portable stereo recording. I like its ability to pickup nature sounds in stereo from a distance, I live on a lake and can pickup the loons crying a mile away. It is prone to wind noise, and the supplied foam windscreen does not filter it. If anybody knows of a furry windscreen that will fit this mic let me know. I have also used it at family gatherings, and like it's way of picking up the feel of the room with some voices 3 feet away, and some 30 feet away. I can't say I've tried it recording any concerts, or musical performances on a professional level, but I hear that people use it for that, and say it works well. It has a frequency response (30~20,000Hz), and an SPL of 125dB which means it will not distort in a very loud concert environment, these spec.'s make it appear to be up to the task of recording live music. I have tested it with my home theater system, and it does a good job picking up music replayed on that. I find it to be a great value at around $230 on line, $370 retail. It is the little brother of some other more expensive Audio Technica XLR phantom powered stereo condenser mic's. It has the same spec.'s, costs less, and has a eighth inch stereo plug, and is powered by a single AA battery which lends it to being used with portable MD\DAT\camcorders. I usually use it mounted on a mic stand with boom attached, to avoid any handling noise.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 02:15 AM   #9
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I just bought the ATR25, and have not tested it much. However, due to the number of people who have bought them for consumer miniDV cams, I assumed the shoe plug would fit my Pana GS150. But unless there's some trick to get it to work, the attachment for it does not fit into my cam's shoe. For making (scripted) movies, this doesn't matter since I'll be isolating, but it would be nice to be able to clip to the cam for taping little unscripted things (gatherings of high school friends, etc.). Does anyone know if it can be done with the included parts or what kind of part I would need to buy? Thank you.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 09:17 AM   #10
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Thomas: Check to see that your cam does not have a powered shoe mount for powering a light or a Panasonic microphone that might interfere with using your ATR25 supplied shoe adapter. Also make sure you raise the round disk that is used for tightening the adapter to the cam, before you mount it to the shoe by unscrewing it, then tightening it after you have it in place. As an addition to this old resurrected thread I have found some software that helps to reduce the motor noise problem with my camcorders. Iím using the Noise Reduction filter of Adobe Audition (Nero Wave Editor has one also) to capture a profile of an area on a DV tape that just has the motor noise. I then apply it to the whole audio of the video. It even lets you save that profile and use it as a template for that cam, and mic combination, which I have done for all my cam & mic variations. This works out best when I donít have enough time to attach an external mic to the cam, or use a mic stand, and have to use the cam's built in mic.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 03:52 PM   #11
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Thomas,
Are you sure you are inserting the mic adaptor in the right direction? Many people make mistake with Pany cams - you have to slide out the viewfinder and insert the mic from behind!
Hope that helps.
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Old October 21st, 2005, 06:44 PM   #12
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Actually, I have just discovered my own problem. In my idiocy, I didn't realize that the circle part above the square part of the mic clip had to unscrew before the clip slid in. For some reason I though it just slid in and clicked in instead of the screw action it's got. Oh well, I'm dumb, but it works.
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