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Old August 15th, 2005, 07:38 PM   #16
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Andy,
How are you connecting the 897 to the Beachtek? Using an XLR cable or XLR to 3.5mm (1/8") connection?
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Old August 16th, 2005, 01:02 AM   #17
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Revising.....
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Old August 17th, 2005, 11:33 AM   #18
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Andy, sorry for the delay, still with us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Landies
...Fred when you say the AT897 is a great mic, but not hot, what do you mean? Does "hot" refer to how loud it can receive sound?
Basically, yes. For a given actual sound level, the AT897 puts out a somewhat lower signal voltage than some other mics. But this can be compesated for with your gain controls, and is not the source of your problem.

I'm a little confused as to how you connect the BeachTek to RCA jacks. All it has is a 1/8" stereo mini plug, no? Are you using an adapter cable or something? If so, there could be a problem with that. Try plugging the Beach directly into the mic jack in place of the XL1's shotgun. Cam switch set to mic, menu set to mic, Beachtek set to mic, Beachtek volume control all the way up (of course). Try both channels of the Beach, in mono and stereo to expose any possible flukiness on its part.

Other than that, I don't see anything wrong with your approach, so the BeachTek would move up on the suspect list. They've been known to have problems with particular units here and there, but they're great to work with if that's the case.

To find out, get youself one of these for $10:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
If you get better results by plugging the AT897 directly into the camera's mic jack, the Beach needs to go back to BeachTek. This cable will be a permanent asset that will come in handy if you're running and gunning and don't want to lug around the Beachtek.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #19
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How is the spread of this mic? Is the field too narrow for more close in work indoors?
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Old August 20th, 2005, 01:12 PM   #20
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Shotguns aren't great indoors, but nearer is better. You want the direct sound from the source to be much stronger than reflected sound. The flattest response region for the AT897 is a 40 cone centered on the dead ahead axis. Frequencies above 5khz drop off to about -5dB at the surface of a 60 cone. So a 60 cone is a pretty good concept to work with. The numbers come from audiotechnica.com, but the opinions are mine.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #21
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If you have a shotgun and a pair of heaphones and a mixer, you can play around with it and move the shotgun off-axis as you speak into it.

I find that at about 30 degrees off-axis is where you can hear the tone of your voice change a lot.


If your boom op is skilled, he/she would know which actor is speaking next and would point the mic into place before the talent delivers the line. Moving the mic during a line can lead to a situation where you can hear the tone of the sound change. This doesn't work for rapid-fire or overlapping dialogue.

If two people are close enough, you just aim between them and they can be both in the cone where everything sounds pretty good and pretty much the same.
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Old August 20th, 2005, 06:52 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
If you have a shotgun and a pair of heaphones and a mixer, you can play around with it and move the shotgun off-axis as you speak into it.

I find that at about 30 degrees off-axis is where you can hear the tone of your voice change a lot....
Lest there be any confusion, that's consistent with what I said. Rotating a 30 angle about the axis generates a 60 cone.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:27 PM   #23
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Ok, i can't explain it, i have to show you pics....

testing...

http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php...ok_004-med.jpg
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 11:50 PM   #24
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ok, so here is how the beachtek is connected. it has a wire coming out of the front and it has a black and red jack that i plug into the audio 1 or audio 2 receiving inputs on the camera. i use audio 2 if i want to hear both my wireless and the AT897. The at897 has a 3 prong connection in the back and a 3 prong that i plug into the side of the beachtek. I hope these pictures will help. I've tried all suggestions and am still not getting any quality sound. Actually, last time i tried the mic, the sound was almost non existant.




http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php...ok_004-med.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php...ok_005-med.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php...ok_006-med.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php...ok_007-med.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/watermark.php...ok_008-med.jpg

thanks for any help you can give, and feel free to ask any questions about the setup.
andy
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Old August 23rd, 2005, 08:44 AM   #25
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Andy,
I'm sorry for the confusion, I should have looked up the DXA-4C and seen that it had RCA connectors on it. I was hung up because all the others have 1/8" mini plugs.

So, with
  • (menu) mode set to 16 bit 2-channel recording
  • (menu) level set to mic (the Beach always puts out mic level)
  • (audio 1 panel) set for audio 1, manual control, balance center, volume full
  • Beach plugged into Audio 1 jacks
  • Fresh battery in the AT897
  • AT897 plugged into left (or right) Beach channel at mic level
  • AT897's Beach channel trim control full, unused channel trim control minimum (important)
  • Beach's mono/stereo switch set to mono

It seems you've already read all the instructions for all the devices and done all the above, but I'd go through it again methodically before contacting BeachTek, which is where this seems it is heading. Try the switch in stereo also, and then repeat the whole procedure with the AT897 in the other channel. You should get usable audio in both channels with the Beach in mono, and in one channel with the Beach in stereo.

I's use the same setup and go through the same procedure, but substitute the wireless with the used Beach channel set to line level (I assume the wireless puts out line level).

After that you're ready to talk to Harry Kaufmann. You can call, or email him at Harry@beachtek.com. Be sure to mention that the mic has been checked and cleared by Audio Technica. He'll probably have you send the Beach up to them.

While that's happening, and assuming that you don't send him the mic too, I still suggest that you order the adapter cable in the link I included in an earlier post above. It will allow you plug the AT897 in the Canon's mini jack in place of the Canon shotgun. It's only $10, and is a useful thing to have with a battery powered XLR mic.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 02:13 AM   #26
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Sorry to rehash this thread, but I had a similar experience with the AT897 and my Sony Z1U. The mic's output was incredibly low, forcing me to boost gain on the Z1U to levels I wasn't comfortable with using. I ended up returning the mic to B&H and picked up the Audio Technica AT4073a. Now that's a hot mic; 73mv output vs 10mv (both XLR w/ phantom on).

People say the AT897 is a good mic, but I don't think it's at all great with on-camera work.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 02:37 AM   #27
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James,
My experience with the AT897 on both the FX1 and the Z1 is completely different to yours.
I've used it onboard as well as handheld for interviews/ pieces to camera and it performed faultlessly.
I suggest that you may have had a defective mic to start with...

Robin
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Old September 29th, 2005, 08:56 AM   #28
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Sarte
Sorry to rehash this thread, but I had a similar experience with the AT897 and my Sony Z1U. The mic's output was incredibly low, forcing me to boost gain on the Z1U to levels I wasn't comfortable with using. I ended up returning the mic to B&H and picked up the Audio Technica AT4073a. Now that's a hot mic; 73mv output vs 10mv (both XLR w/ phantom on).

People say the AT897 is a good mic, but I don't think it's at all great with on-camera work.
James, you've made your point on more than one location; several people here and elsewhere are exceptionally happy with the 897 and their Z1 and/or FX1, and/or A1.
Your difference of opinion is noted.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 09:03 AM   #29
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Yes DSE, that's why I'm writing. You claim many people are happy. I'm not. I'm trying to find out why. Is it my camera at fault, or is was it the mic to blame?
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Old September 29th, 2005, 09:13 AM   #30
 
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my point, James, is that you've got a thread going. No need to start seeking out and reviving old threads that might contain the 897. Stick to the thread you have going, please?
Thank you.
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