GL2 Shotgun mic setup - need advice at

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Old October 3rd, 2004, 05:28 PM   #1
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GL2 Shotgun mic setup - need advice

Hi All,
I'm sick of on-board audio and am trying to find the least expensive mic-setup to vastly improve my audio on my GL2. Here's what I've come up with, keeping everything under $500.

Audio-Technica AT897 Short Condenser Shotgun Microphone

MA-300 XLR audio adapter

Here are my thoughts on this possible setup..

The MA-300 doesn't provide phantom power, doesn't offer balanced inputs and has a crappy shockmount. A field mixer would free up the audio controls from the camera and allow someone to ride the levels.

I expect to shoot relatively close to my subjects and don't expect to run cables in excess of 15 ft. thus removing the unbalanced problem.
I expect to use a pistol grip or boom pole to hold the mic as opposed to mounting it on the camera, thus removing the crappy shockmount consideration.
The AT897 can be powered by a battery and thus the lack of phantom power on the MA-300 is not critical.

So, what I need to know is, am I overlooking something critical? Will this setup provide the best sound for under $500? Am I better off buying a dxa-8 or dxa-10 and the cheapest shotgun I can find? Should I just use adapters down to 1/8" instead of buying the MA-300? Will my on-board limiters work in this situation? Is the shockmount so crappy it's unuseable or can I modify the shockmount to make it useable?

Is the AT897 the right mic choice for my dialogue intensive, close-range filming? Is the AT897 not "hot" enough to use in this setup without requiring too much gain? Are there other mics I should consider in this setup? Anyone have familiarity with this kind of setup or another setup in the $500.- range?

Lots of questions, I know, but I want to make sure I pick the right equipment from the get-go as I can't afford to experiment.

All help is appreciated! Help me find the way to more respectable audio!

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Old October 3rd, 2004, 06:39 PM   #2
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,922
You could look at the beach DVX-8. it has phantom, some gain, limiters and balanced inputs. It attaches tothe camera and costs $360. there is a new beach the DXA-10. it doesn't attach to the camera, doesn't have limiters but has a totally different set of features.

Do a search on both in this forum. If you go cheaper you will regret it. the AT mic is a good choice. You should also look at a decent shock mount. look at the AT, the K-Tek or the PSC. Do a search on this forum.

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Old October 3rd, 2004, 08:09 PM   #3
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I've been using the AT897 connected to the mini-plug on an Optura Xi. I'm satisfied with the sound I'm getting from this setup.

I usually use it with a 1' or 15' XLR cable.

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Old October 3rd, 2004, 10:19 PM   #4
Fred Retread
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I think you can rest comfortably with the idea that you're doing the best you can with the AT897 as the centerpiece.

BTW, the MA-300 does accept balanced inputs. But you would only need it for long runs or if you want to use two independent inputs for the two audio channels. If you don't anticipate such needs for a while, I think the best use of your money would be to go for the mic and forget the adaptor for now, and go with 1/8". Buy a shock mount like the Beyerdynamic at B&H, and save the rest toward a DXA-6 or DXA-8 for future versatility.
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