AT-897 questions 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 June 6th, 2004, 12:06 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 130
AT-897 questions

I will be using a GL2 to make a short movie. I have been researching different mics and read through many threads in this forum, but am still confused. I have been looking at the AT897 mainly, and need to know a few things.

Can I get an XLR to mini-plug adapter and attach the mic to the top of the camera and still get good sound? Or do I need something like an XLR-pro?

Will I need to use the mic on a boompole above actors heads? Or can I just aim from the top of my camera? The short is going to be filmed in a small quiet room.

Does the mic come with attachments for the top of the camera?

Thanks
Stewart McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 03:30 PM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: S.F., California
Posts: 61
You'll probably find a XLR-phono adapter, which'll connect to a phono-miniphone adapter. You'll be losing the balanced connection, but the mic's quality will still be very strong. You should use a boompole, because getting it up close next to the actors lowers ambient noise, handling + mechanical noise (from you, and from the camera), and reduces reverb. Additionally, it'll also sound a lot louder. closer = louder, generally. You want it close because this mic isn't very hot like a ME-66, it needs to be close to speech when picking it up for nice results.

I have the mic, and I don't think it came with any attachments for the top of the camera. Again, though, use a boompole.
Allen Nash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 04:11 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ft. Myers Beach, Fl
Posts: 243
I just got my at897 in the mail from b&h the other day. I'm using it with the sign video xlr adapter. The mike came with a shockmount that will fit on the shoe on your camera but I'm planning on combining this shock mount with an NRG ball joint and a light bulb changing rod to Jerry rig my own boom. (can't spend money on a real boom right now). I actually have a question while we are on this subject, when should I use the bass roll-off?
Dustin Waits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 05:20 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: S.F., California
Posts: 61
I'd use it in general during a production for a narrative film. The low end which is rolled off basically gets rid of a lot of the handling and mechanical noise (good), but will also slightly reduce ambience in a scene and some of the thickness in a voice could be lost (somewhat bad). the good, however, usually outweighs the bad. If you're in a very controlled setting, possibly with a stationary mic, you might want to avoid the roll-off. When capturing sound effects or ambient sounds, I'd also avoid it.

It's important to note that the mic's roll-off and a post-production high end pass filter have different results. This is because, on the mic, the bass is cut off at the source before having a chance to be recorded. In post-production, you can reduce the bass but the overtones and harmonics will remain throughout the frequency spectrum. Therefore, it's generally better to use the roll-off on a mic (ie. a pre-production choice) as opposed to later using a filter to create a psuedo-similar effect (ie. a post-production choice)
Allen Nash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 05:58 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ft. Myers Beach, Fl
Posts: 243
Thanks Allen.
Dustin Waits is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 130
Would I be better getting an ME66 if I don't want to use a boompole? An xlr adapter is necessary with an ME66 is it not?


Thanks again
Stewart McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: S.F., California
Posts: 61
the ME66's output is around 50 mv (millivolts), while the AT-897's is around 10. This means it is about 5 times as sensitive as the AT mic, so you'd be able to get away without using a boompole, if you really want to. I don't think you really want to, however, because no matter how sensitive the mic is or isn't, if it's far away you'll have increased reverb (and possible phase cancellations) and possible noise from the camera, crew, etc. The reverb and phase cancellations will make your sound hollow and weak, ie. very amateur-ish. it can make the difference between the sound you hear in a theatrical release and the sound heard in a poorly produced student film. if that isn't a problem for you, then go ahead and mount it onto the camera. two suggestions:

1) if you absolutely don't want to use a boompole, at least set it up somehow (a stand, someone holding it, duct-tape, anything) so that it's closer to the actor than it would be if it's mounted on a camera. This'll also keep it away from the camera, which is always good. you want to minimize the distance between the mic and the source of the sound at all times, if possible. this is a good start.

2) if you insist on having it camera mounted, then at least check the acoustics of the room. if there's lots of echo (you might not notice it right away, so test record some sound and hear for yourself), you'll want to reduce some of it. you can do this by placing blankets or other sound-dampening materials on the ceilings, floor, walls, etc. those flat surfaces can contribute to lots of reverb and if they're not in the shot you'll want to take care of them somehow.

hope this helps.
Allen Nash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 6th, 2004, 07:34 PM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 130
OK. I think going with a boompole sounds like a must. They're pretty expensive. Am I going to need something like an XLR Pro with my AT-897 to minimise interference if it's on a boom, because the cable is much longer?

Thanks
Stewart McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 7th, 2004, 09:22 PM   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stockton, UT
Posts: 5,648
A boom pole isn't a *must* but a good boom pole is very handy. A good boom operator is a *must* if you're gonna use a boom. Or, a stand mount holder for the boom.
K-Tek and Gitzo are two of the price extremes that you'll find. We have a K Tek, but Gitzo makes good booms too from what I hear. It's tempting to want to build a boom from a light holder or something like that, but noise transmission is a huge issue with these, not to mention any number of other issues.
It's well worth spending a few bucks (ok, not just a FEW) to get a good boom. A static boom can be cheaper since no one is holding it, but a good shock mount is critical.
__________________
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
Author, producer, composer
Certified Sony Vegas Trainer
http://www.vasst.com
Douglas Spotted Eagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 8th, 2004, 05:26 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 130
Do all Booms come with shockmount connections on the end of them?

Like this Lightwave one for example Here
Stewart McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 8th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 130
Well, just spent 600 in less than 10 minutes. Phew, these accessories all add up.
Stewart McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 11th, 2004, 05:00 PM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 44
<-- Originally posted by Allen Nash : the ME66's output is around 50 mv (millivolts), while the AT-897's is around 10. This means it is about 5 times as sensitive as the AT mic, so you'd be able to get away without using a boompole, if you really want to.>

i'm thinking about swapping my AT897 for the ME66 for just this reason. but i want to be sure i understand correctly. echo issues aside, does the ME66 effectively have more "reach?"

(i'm camera mounted b/c i'm working alone, run-and-gun. and i'm using a pre-ampless beachtek--don't really want to replace it.)

will the ME66 give me more signal than the AT897 when positioned at a reasonable distance?
Paul Bravmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 15th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 235
The absolute output voltage of a microphone is not terribly important except in the case where you have limited pre-amp gain. Most camcorders should have plenty. Saying the Senn is five time more sensitive is a bit misleading. The more important measure is the signal to noise ratio of the two mics. When the mic is amplified, like from 10mV to 1 v and 50mV to 1 volt (equalizing both to line level), the signal and the noise get amplified together (same idea with padding the mic down). As long as the SNR is 60dB or so, you'll be fine with either mic.
__________________
dB
Dan Brown 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 07:06 AM.


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