PD-170 + AT4073a: best configuration at DVinfo.net

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Old April 17th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #1
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PD-170 + AT4073a: best configuration

I bought recently the AT4073a. Im not totally satisfied with the tests I made using a homemade boompole. Too much "room sound", though the mic is very near to the person whos talking.

I dont know anything about audio issues, so, I thought the problem was me, not my mic. Maybe I didnt make the necessary adjustments. What do you guys recommend me?

PD-170 settings:

NR - ON or OFF?

AT4073a settings:
high-pass filter: ON or OFF? When?

Questions left:
1- If I use ONLY my AT4073a, do I set my PD170 key to CH1-CH2 or to CH1?
2- What is the length of the XLR cable I can use without the danger of capturing interference?
3- When I user my Rycote Mini Windjammer, which settings Ill have to change?

Thank You!
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Old April 17th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #2
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Ouch, you've found out the hard way that shotguns, especially longer/tighter shotguns, are not ideal for indoor work at all. Shotguns tend to be fairly omni directional at lower frequencies, and if the reflections in the room are nearly as loud as the sound source, the shotgun works against you.
It's not your mic settings, or your homemade boom pole.
The only thing you might want to change is the highpass filter, to remove some of the lows, but as a general rule, you don't want to use shotguns indoors, and this is one of the models I'd never consider using in a "smaller" sized room. Maybe a warehouse with a person talking....
Roll those lows whenever you're outdoors, it's windy....or when you're in a larger room and the sound is a bit muddy. At 150Hz, the hi pass is going to remove a lot of the bottom end.
This is a great voice over mic when you've got close proximity.
BTW, try to get your mic closer with your boom. That will help tremendously. Get it as close as possible without having it in the frame.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
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Old April 17th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #3
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Along with what Spot said the settings for the camera, based on what I use, should be;


If using 1 mic only set to channel 1/2

Now heres why.

Wind Off-I've never really found it to be of any help
NR Off--Same thing
AGC Off-by using manual controls you have far more control over the audio and by listening thru GOOD headphones AND watching you audio levels you have a much better chance of getting good quality audio in the first place-the AGC is simpler but can open up a can of worms-
Mic ATT Off-Mic ATT lowers teh input level on the 150/170 by 20db so unless you are in a very very loud enviorment I don't feel its needed-I use a PROCO 10db attenuator on my ME66 with the 150 for things like most live music events but for people speaking-it comes off.

Set mic to CH 1/2-gives you both channels to work with.

Now, having said all of that-heres a way to give yourself 2 channels to CHOOSE from when working in post.
Set channels to 1/2 but in the menu set channel 1 to AGC and channel 2 to manual. Set channel 2 levels to about 50% or even a bit less than channel 1 and now you've got the same audio coming in at 2 different levels so if need be you can just use the one that gives you the BEST sound or you can even cut back and forth between them.

Don B
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Old April 17th, 2005, 12:34 PM   #4
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Thank you VERY MUCH for your help, guys.

Don, Im not so sure about the MIC ATT. I read an Adam Wilt article about turning it on especificaly for the AT4073a. Im confused now. Anyway, your tip about the AGC on one channel and MGC on the other solves the problem, I guess.

What about the length of the XLR cable and the changes Ill have to make when I use the Windjammer?
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Old April 17th, 2005, 12:59 PM   #5
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Well, Since I don't use the AT4073, I can't say. I do know what I hear when I use the gear I own. With the ME66 or even the AT897 in a "hot" place-like a wedding reception or loud club, I use a 10 db attenuator. For normal speaking. like a wedding ceremony or a speaker at a seminar I don't use any-Thats a genreal statemnt as each venue will pose it's own set of challenges.

As for the length of cable, I've used up to 40 feet with no significant drop in values or levels but I prefer to stay within 20 feet if I can. As for a Windjammer, well it's going to do what it's supposed to . Knock down the wind noise but in doing so it will probably also knock down the voice so you might need to boost the level a tiny bit. Thats something only you would be able to know when you monitor thru a good set of phones on the job. Do a sound check to get your starting point.

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Old April 17th, 2005, 04:45 PM   #6
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Even 100 feet or more of XLR cable is no problem at all. I've used 100 feet with an AT3031, which is only a moderately sensitive phantom powered mic. The DC resistance of the cable's conductors is very small compared to the other circuit impedances, therefore little voltage is dropped across them.

The reason for turning on MIC ATT with the 4073 (which is even hotter than the ME66) is that it can otherwise overload the cam's mic input circuitry, causing clipping. This is a condition that cannot be compensated for with the cam's gain controls, or detected by its recording level meters, both of which tie in "downstream" from the input circuitry. You can hear it in your headphones when it occurs, which is just another reason why headphone monitoring rules. Don's comment, "I do know what I hear with the gear that I own," says it all.

The ME66 can clip cam inputs too. I've seen a number of GL2 owners post this problem. Whether it happens or not of course depends on how loud a sound the mic is picking up. I suspect that this is why Don uses a -10 dB pad for music venues but finds it unnecessary for normal speaking levels.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 08:41 AM   #7
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I have made the same experience - I got far too much room sound when recording with my ME66 in small rooms. Thanks to Douglas explanation, I now know why.

Does it make sense to buy a ME64 module (cardioid) to use instead of the ME66 (lobar) for small-room indoor recording? Has anybody had any hands-on experience with this?
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 11:23 AM   #8
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Yes, I've tried this recently using an ME64 and it wasn't satisfactory but I did correct it enough to be useable. Basically the room reflections have less off-axis coloration than with an ME66, but they are still over-powering because the pattern is so much wider.
Using a hypercardioid, especially one that has a moderate sensitivity level and a bass roll-off with a better (lower) knee point than the K6 will give much better results that require less post-EQ.
The ME64 has a very wide pattern, a frequency response with a high peak, a high sensitivity (but not as high as the ME66), and the K6 bass roll-off switch will damage dialogue frequencies and therefore I generally keep it flat. All those factors work against it in a small reverberent room for visually-related dialogue. For audio-only work, or times when you need that wide, very sensitive pick-up, it can be useful.
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 07:39 AM   #9
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So, Spot, what models would you recommend
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