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Old November 29th, 2004, 08:39 AM   #1
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cheap solution for non-phantom powered camcorders

http://www.behringer.com/MIC100/index.cfm?lang=ENG

I was looking for cheap solutions on the net camcorders which didn't have phantom power. We all know that the better microphones (shotgun, condensor mic) need phantom power . So check out the link. I think that one is a reasonable solution. There is another version as well, but damned...the thing looks sexy and wil do just fine I think. PLug it in there and you can use phantom mics for your movies and stuff.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 08:45 AM   #2
 
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For $60.00 USD to gain phantom, this is indeed a handy unit. On the other hand, it's also quite noisy based on tester comments. Reviews out there have panned it. Trying to do a tube system for so cheap means cheap parts, and cheap parts= noise induction or generation. A decent replacement tube sells for half that amount.
I don't know that the "better microphones" need phantom power any more than I know that condensers are any "better" than dynamics.
I do know that different jobs call for different mics. Otherwise, if condensers were across the board superior, then no one would buy dynamics, and the demand for condensers would be very, very high, and the cost would come way down due to manufacturing demand.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 06:47 PM   #3
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hi

my personal opinion is that condensor mics have better quality. Every mayor recording studio uses condensors for vocals, acc guitars, violins etc etc.

The problem is that they are heavier and no option for outside recordings or when heavy usage is applied.

With the behringer tube pre-amp I think it works just fine if you know how to connect xlr cables. There are hum-free plugs you put between your cable and the pre-amp's input. And I was reffering to recording music for movies, not music studios. If you make music, you can better buy a focusrite preamp or a RNC. If you record it for music, you won't hear the noise, cause ambience is also noise. Noise is good.
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Old November 29th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #4
 
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Jose,
Again, I'll suggest that the generalization of "condensers are always better" is inaccurate at best. I'd submit I've worked in some of the largest/best/most professional studios in the world, and condensers are of course there, but not always first choice. It entirely depends on the situation.
For instance, would you dismiss the AKG D112, Sennheiser 441 or 421, EV RE 20, Coles 4038, Shure SM 57/58 as inferior mics? Lots and lots of very professional and famous recordings have been made with these and other dynamic mics.
My point isn't to argue, it's to suggest that painting yourself into a boxed opinion might easily cause you to dismiss choices that might be the best ones to make.

Additionally, ambience (in the professional sense) is never considered to be the same as noise. If you were to define it that way, that's fine, but there is a tremendous difference between room ambience, outdoor ambience, and "noise" or room noise.
Noise might be a computer fan, air conditioner, air flow, water pipes in the wall, flourescent light ballasts, deep cycle wall vibration, or rumble from far away traffic, but in any event, at no time is this sort of noise good nor desirable.
Ambience (usually) refers to the personality of a room, and is separate from noise. For instance, the ambience of the Sydney Opera House is a wonderful, highly desirable ambience. Same with Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and other great halls. The hall has an ambience, and great care is taken in these halls to minimize noise. Studios like Abbey Road, Fantasy, the Power Company, Caribou, and other studios are famous for their recording ambiences. Ambience can be designed, noise rarely is or would be.
In other words, noise is nearly always undesirable in recording, while ambience is nearly always desirable. Even a very non-reflective room is said to have a "dry ambience."
There are lots of "ambience enhancers" known as reverbs, but I've yet to see a "noise enhancer." ;-)
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Old December 2nd, 2004, 08:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle : Jose,
Again, I'll suggest that the generalization of "condensers are always better" is inaccurate at best. I'd submit I've worked in some of the largest/best/most professional studios in the world, and condensers are of course there, but not always first choice. It entirely depends on the situation.
For instance, would you dismiss the AKG D112, Sennheiser 441 or 421, EV RE 20, Coles 4038, Shure SM 57/58 as inferior mics? Lots and lots of very professional and famous recordings have been made with these and other dynamic mics.
My point isn't to argue, it's to suggest that painting yourself into a boxed opinion might easily cause you to dismiss choices that might be the best ones to make.

Additionally, ambience (in the professional sense) is never considered to be the same as noise. If you were to define it that way, that's fine, but there is a tremendous difference between room ambience, outdoor ambience, and "noise" or room noise.
Noise might be a computer fan, air conditioner, air flow, water pipes in the wall, flourescent light ballasts, deep cycle wall vibration, or rumble from far away traffic, but in any event, at no time is this sort of noise good nor desirable.
Ambience (usually) refers to the personality of a room, and is separate from noise. For instance, the ambience of the Sydney Opera House is a wonderful, highly desirable ambience. Same with Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and other great halls. The hall has an ambience, and great care is taken in these halls to minimize noise. Studios like Abbey Road, Fantasy, the Power Company, Caribou, and other studios are famous for their recording ambiences. Ambience can be designed, noise rarely is or would be.
In other words, noise is nearly always undesirable in recording, while ambience is nearly always desirable. Even a very non-reflective room is said to have a "dry ambience."
There are lots of "ambience enhancers" known as reverbs, but I've yet to see a "noise enhancer." ;-)
Doug's right Jose,

There are a ton of crappy condenser mics out there masquerading as Neumann knockoffs.

I bought a sennheiser battery powered phantom supply a few years back. Not only does it provide phantom power, it also has a high-pass filter and pad. The high-pass lets you roll off any unneeded lows before they get recorded. The pad can be useful in VERY HIGH SPL situations.

Better yet, a Sound Devices MixPre is a two channel preamp with phantom, NICE sounding preamps, an excellent limiter and hard pans (L, C, R). It runs a long time on AA cells and will most definitely improve your sound. I own the big brother (SD 442).

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 7th, 2004, 11:34 AM   #6
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Ok,

I agree with both of you guys. trying to record vocals in a room which has a ventilator or a coffeemachine running. Ok, time to do some voice-overs. If you got the money and time, go do that. And I have learned one thing (see other post as well) I am tooo lazy and toooo self-minded about audio. I always try to find the cheapest and easiest way of recording sound. Maybe I am lazy cuase I am poor. I guess I want to become like the best poor talent out there and create better results then the rest. And Doug is right. Doug went though hell but he made it in the business. I envy him. Congrats.

I always work with audio layers, masking sounds, trying to fix the problem. Of course the best way is to NOT record noise at all, but I am seeing more and more movies nowadays which are very well recorded without noise, but they sound sooo unnatural to me. It isn't about having no noise at all or less noise than if the original sound you hear on the spot. We are all about trying to create a fantasy world here with audio. Imagine a movie in 20 years from now with noiseless films, all beautifully recorded and wowww and everything, but.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 11:48 AM   #7
 
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Jose,
Douglas made it in the business because he learned how to access the good stuff. My first record was made on a 600.00 budget, but at the time of release, it was the ONLY thing of it's kind out there, so people would listen to crappy recordings just to have access to the music. I used the money from that to buy more gear, and more gear. My second album had a budget of 1k.
3rd album had a budget of 5K. Eventually, I'd spent an easy 75K on gear, and still had little "profit" to show for my efforts. Then I was found by BMG. All the while, I was working my front end. I knew that if I had a GREAT front end, I'd be able to go anywhere.
For 15K, I recorded my "Closer to Far Away" CD in my own studio to DA88, using my BK 4011 and 4001 mics along with my standby AT 4053's and a used Neuman I found for sale on an AES board. I used a John Hardy M1 pre to go straight into the DA88 while split monitoring.
We took that to Fantasy and mixed it there. That CD is still the best selling Native American music CD in history, and got me named Jazz Artist of the Year. It took 10 years to get there, and a lot of learning and money spent.
You're on the right track, absolutely. You might "make it" if you keep at it. But realize that lots of others have gone before you, and collectively we've screwed up more than you'll probably get to attempt in your lifetime. So we've learned the wrong and right ways to accomplish things, and more importantly learned what corners can be cut and what ones can't.
The front end just simply can't be cut, or cheaped...you've got to get it good, before you can make it GREAT. But you don't have to buy great, you can rent it, borrow it, trade for it....I still do lots of that in my side of the biz.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 11:24 AM   #8
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I'd like to recommend another mic preamp: The ART TubeMP series (available from B&H). I have the TPS model, which is basically two StudioV3's in a single-rack unit. So far I've been very happy with the unit -- it's really surprisingly quiet. I've used it mostly for studio recording as a preamp for my recording interface (a friend did a demo recording with a lot of acoustic instruments and hand drums -- best recording I've ever produced). The disadvantage is that it can't be powered from a battery (at least not the TPS).

I believe there's even a model with a built-in A/D converter.

As for mics, the one you choose will depend on what the situation requires. For studio work, I've occasionally chosen dynamic mics over more expensive condenser mics because they fit the source better. True, quality can range from inferior to exceptional (for either type), but in the middle it's as much an art as a science when it comes to which mic to use.

Bottom line -- use what's available and sounds best to you.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 02:41 PM   #9
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There are several battery powered phantom supplies. They don't (or shouldn't) add any noise and you can plug them inbetween the mic and camera.......HOWEVER.........You really do want a good preamp and a good limiter to make the most of your sound.

In your situation, the Sound Devices Mixpre is the best investment you can make right now.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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