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Old June 16th, 2005, 02:05 PM   #1
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Okay I have been doing a bit of reseacrh from this forum and B&H and other websites.
Looking at so many things has really confused me. So first, what is the difference between the BeachTek DXA-6 & the DXA-8 (besides $100).
And secondly has anyone copared the MA-300 with either of these?
Thirdly, Iam going to be doing interviews with two people & two wireless mike blow my budget, so those are completly out, so I am going to be using a shotgun mike. Any recomendations? Also should I use half-omni condenser or directional or whatever else you call it? O so confusing! I think Iam gonna go laydown now.
Thanks in advance.
~Matt
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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The Rode Videomic is a great budget "on camera" mic. for around $160 and has a built in shockmount and plugs directly into the mic miniplug of consumer/prosumer camcorders. there is a great review of this mic on www.pana3ccduser.com lots of pics. I just got mine and love it! Mark
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Old June 16th, 2005, 03:44 PM   #3
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Matt, to the capabilities of the DXA-6, the DXA-8 adds a preamp and a limiter to each channel. The preamp, of course, strengthens signals from less sensitive mics. The limiter allows you to set the input level higher without fear of distortion of louder sounds.

The MA300 is highly inferior to either of those Beachteks. It doesn't have mic/line level switches, or channel trim controls, or a stereo/mono switch for applying a single mic to both channels, or a phantom power supply (which most high quality mics require). A better buy than the MA300 is the DXA-4P. Same price as the MA300, but with all the features I just mentioned except phantom power.

If you control the interview setting, consider wired lav mics. A shotgun at anything over a few feet away simply won't give you professional sounding audio quality. If you do everything you can to deaden the room to echos (hang blankets, etc.) you might get away with having a shotgun (or, better, a cardioid or hypercardioid) three or four feet from the peoples' mouths, shooting up from about knee level, out of the shot. I've done this with acceptable results.
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Last edited by David Ennis; June 16th, 2005 at 04:10 PM.
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Old June 16th, 2005, 05:22 PM   #4
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Tyanks for your help fred, but one other question, what would be better the Azden - http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=204722&is=REG or Rode VideoMic - http://www.dvcreators.net/products/videomic.html for doing two person interviews? If the Azden is better then Iam willing to cough up the extra $70.

What about with a recital?

I though about doing the wired mikes, but the cheapest I would find was $150 each. Is there something cheaper ($100) but can still give me good results?
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Old June 16th, 2005, 06:36 PM   #5
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here is something that lights have in common with mics: neither should ever be on the camera unless you really have no other choice.

camera mount mics- usually crap sound (unless you just need ambient stuff or you are really close to the person)
camera mount light- usually crap picture, unless it's a fill light used in conjunction with another, stronger light source.

now, i know you sometimes have no choice, like in run & gun news-type situations, but otherwise don't do it.

i will second fred retreads wired lav recommendation. yes, the good ones cost some money, but they'll make a world of difference on your sound. i do a ton of interviews, and for me, though i like to get a good picture, ultimately my content comes from what is being said. i can cut away to b-roll, insert a still photo, etc. but if you can't hear them or they sound like crap, it's no good.

one of my wired lavs is an audio technica ck-77. these go for about $300 at b&h (they sound nice,) but i got mine for around $75 on ebay. and i'm fairly certain it was unused. if it was used, it was less than 5 times. point being, do some research, and shop wisely.

a good short shotgun or cardioid will sound great, IF you get the positioning right. this can be done with a 1-person crew, but it's really best to have a boom-op for that. you can put the mic on a stand, but you'll need to spend some time getting the position right to pick up 2 people.

also, if you do go with wired lavs (or a better shotgun, hypercard or cardioid,) most of them need phantom power. so if you get a beachtek box it has to be the 6 or the 8.

one more difference between the 6 and the 8: oddly, the 8 (the more expensive one,) can't take line-level signals. probably because it's the only one with an active pramp. this probably won't matter for you, and if it does it can be fixed with a $25 pad that attenuates a line signal down to mic level.
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Old June 17th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #6
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I got pretty good results with the videomic with the subject in the 3-6ft range in front of the camera on an indoor shoot. The subjects voice was clear and upfront with a natural feel, not even comparable to using the built-in mic on the cam. I suppose it's all relative though. I found that with the videomic mounted on the camcorder that you will still pick up a slight amount of motor noise. I moved the mic onto an "L flash braket" and that dropped the motor noise to an almost inaudible level. If you go to the review of the mic at pana3ccduser there is a really good test audio clip of a subject from 5 feet away, that will give you an excellent impression of what this mic sounds like.
Mark
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