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Old March 2nd, 2005, 10:41 AM   #1
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Dual use mic?

Hi folks! New to all of this stuff.

Is it possible to get a dual use stereo mic that I can hook up to my camera(Optura 40) and also use to plug into my sound card for doing voice overs?

I'll be shooting instructional videos in our shop, average camera/mic to subject distance ~ 3-4 ft. Voice over editing will be done in my office with the problems of ambient noise from various sources(traffic, people, cats, furnace, etc).

What kind of quality can I expect for <$200?
Jeff Wagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2005, 10:56 AM   #2
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Yes, you can do this, but it will probably sound terrible in stereo. Especially under $200. Working with a stereo mic when it isn't needed opens the door for greater pickup of ambient noise, reverb and odd shifts while moving the camera.
You might want to look into the Rode VideoMic for $149 to mount on the camera. You can still get the older non-modular version of the AKG D880 for $45 from an online vendor (2 for $90) while they last.
Depending on your sound card inputs, this mic will work for VO in bad acoustic environments. If your sound card has bad mic inputs or line-level only inputs, then you'll need something to boost the mic levels, like a preamp, a small mixer, or an external USB sound input. All available for $100 or less.
Add a couple of XLR cables, a mic stand, pop filter and good headphones for another $90.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 12:10 PM   #3
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thanks

The Rode looks very nice. So I just plug it into my camera and it records in mono, correct? And I take it the sound level is reproduced equally between r and l channels upon playback?

Is there a chance with this type of mic, because it extends so far out from the camera, that it can end up being visable in the video frame? And if so, since it is mounted right on the camera, what do you do? Are the connections from the mic to the camera and soundcard typically the same, or is an adapter usually needed? It would seem like I'd need at the least a cable long enough to go from the mic to the sound card.

I saw in one review that this mic would also be a good mic for VO, provided I can posititon the camera/mic combo where I need it...I don't think that presents a problem.

Can you explain this:"If your sound card has bad mic inputs or line-level only inputs, " What is a bad mic input? And if I need something to boost the signal, of the alternatives you gave, what determines the best solution?

Thanks much for the help, very appreciated!
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:11 PM   #4
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The Rode mic will record the mono signal equally to both tracks of the camera.
It is possible for a longer camera-mounted mic to show up in the shot, but this mic isn't that long. If you aren't adding a wide angle lens, I think you'll be safe.
Much of the rest of your questions are highly dependent on the exact nature of your sound card and there's huge variation there.
If this is just the generic sound input that came with the computer, it would be very rare that it would be better than using an external connection and a balanced mic with XLR connector.
You'd have to do some checking in your computer documentation and test it with a compatible mic in order to know if it's up to your satisfaction.
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Old March 5th, 2005, 06:15 PM   #5
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how would this work for voiceover?

I see that Sure makes a transformer called the A96F:

"Low to medium impedance microphone transformer with mini-plug output connector. Adapts a balanced, low-impedance microphone to camcorder/recorder and computer sound card input. 3-pin XLR female input connector. 2-circuit, 3.5mm mini-plug output connector with 18-inch (45 cm) cable."

This way, it seems like I could use a decent mic with an XLR cable(Shure recommends the SM58) and plug it right into my sound card for VO or into the camera.
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