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Old July 9th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #16
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

I don't know that a mic that ONLY ends in 1/8" mini is worth it, especially if you're going to use adapters to bet back to XLR AND if you accidentally leave Phantom power on you fry the mic.

Here are some: Stereo & Specialty

Maybe this?
Tascam TM-STPRO X/Y Stereo Microphone TM-STPRO B&H Photo Video

This one looks great quality:
Audio-Technica AT8022 X/Y Stereo Phantom and Battery AT8022 B&H

The sound quality is important isn't it?
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Old July 9th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #17
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Chad Johnson View Post
I don't know that a mic that ONLY ends in 1/8" mini is worth it, especially if you're going to use adapters to bet back to XLR AND if you accidentally leave Phantom power on you fry the mic.
I think I know what you mean, that if I use a phantom powered XLR mic and then I connect the Azden using the adapter cable then I would damage the microphone if I forgot to turn the power off. I think I'm covered in that aspect, because I'm considering the Azden SGM-1X, which is XLR mono but self powered with a AAA battery that lasts like 800 hrs, so I would never have to turn Phantom power on in the camera.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 04:39 PM   #18
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Oh I didn't catch that you were going to use the Azden. Yeah, I'd try to get another mic ASAP. My point was that the AT stereo mic is not meant to use plugged into a camera that takes XLR cables. Though it has an XLR connection, that is only as a way to carry unbalanced 1/8" stereo. It's meant to go into consumer cameras/recorders that take 1/8" (3.5mm) connections. Most stereo mics that properly come out as 2 XLR connections, also come with a cable for 1/8" mini jack too. The AT mic would be limiting, and could be ruined with one small slip of the mind forgetting to turn off Phantom.

Save for something better is all I'm saying.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 04:49 PM   #19
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

You might look at the Audio-Technica Pro24. I bought the CM version (with hotshoe foot) for my DSLR. Sound quality is good, stereo effect is, of course, most pronounced when used close; like most AT mikes the output is not particularly "hot" but adequate level for the preamps in my Nikon D7000. Has 1/8" stereo plug. $63, I think it's pretty darned good for that price...

EDIT: nevermind, I misread your OP, thought you WANTED at 1/8" plug. Sorry.

Audio-Technica Pro 24 Stereo Condenser Microphone PRO 24 B&H

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; July 9th, 2011 at 04:51 PM. Reason: oops
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Old July 9th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #20
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Thanks Battle, but see one of my posts above about the PCM24. The Azden SMX10 is much better which is another reason I'm considering the Azden SGM-1X. In fact, I could get two. If you see pictures of the Sony HDR-AX2000 you can see that it has a place to attach a microphone to with a clip, but also the show on top of the built in mic. So two of these would give me two separate channels that I could pan in editing to make a stereo image. In theory it wouldn't be perfect, because one microphone would be about an inch lower than the other, but it would still give me a stereo ambient sound, and at the same time each channel would have a good mono signal from a directional microphone if I'm recording speech, so while not perfect, it would be a decent solution.
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Old July 9th, 2011, 05:07 PM   #21
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

If you are recording speech, just use one mono mic. Stereo only hurts speech recordings for the reasons I mentioned earlier.. And if you are recording indoors, a shotgun is the wrong tool anyway. Stereo mics are best used only for ambient, and music recordings. Those mics are usually "cardioid" pattern.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 12:34 AM   #22
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Following up on what Chad said, stereo on camera is generally not a great ides - as you pan the camera around, the stereo image moves as well and generally in ways that can be disconcerting to the viewer.

Also, any mic on camera is just about guaranteed to be in the wrong place to capture good sound.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 07:22 AM   #23
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Following up on what Chad said, stereo on camera is generally not a great ides - as you pan the camera around, the stereo image moves as well and generally in ways that can be disconcerting to the viewer.

Also, any mic on camera is just about guaranteed to be in the wrong place to capture good sound.
It's not disconcerting to me. It would be disconcerting if the source of the sound would be coming from a specific point and you pan around but the stereo microphone stays in the same place.

Ideally, if the event is very long and without pauses, you can have the mono shotgun mic on the camera and then place a stereo digital recorder somewhere else to capture ambient sound and people clapping. However, if you are doing an event where you are not recording all the time, it would drive you crazy in editing to sync all the clips from the camera to the one long audio clip from the recorder. In the same way, it would drive you crazy to have to stop the digital recorder every time you stop the camera. Besides, you also have to be able to find a spot where your digital recorder will be safe, where nobody can get to it. That's usually hard to find.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 07:28 AM   #24
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
OK, so then 3 pin XLR is mono, except that in this case they just use as unbalanced and it goes down to a 3.5mm connector. I suppose that if you use a XLR cable to connect this then it would carry a balanced mono signal? Or it wouldn't work because it's just meant as unbalanced to end in a 3.5mm connector?
That does not make for a balanced signal. What you'd have at the end of it all is left and right mixed, 180 degrees out of phase with each other, a recipe for disaster.

That particular mic (AT2022) is meant to end up with a 3.5 plug at the equipment end of the cable, tip carrying left and ring carrying right. The XLR is just to connect the mic body itself to the supplied cable, I presume setup that way so if the cable develops a fault you can replace it without throwing away the entire mic.

Consider the Audio Technica AT8022 or BP4025, or Rode NT4 if you really want to go the stereo route. But has been said by others, stereo as a boom or on-camera mic is NOT the way to go, so to replace your marginal in-camera mics you're barking up the wrong tree. Stereo mics certainly have their place - typically in a fixed position mounted on a stand at the proper "sweet spot" for recording a music ensemble, for example. Human speech is a mono source - it comes out of ONE pie-hole - and is properly recorded mono. Later in post is where you position it screen centre by panning the mono source track equally to the left and right stereo output tracks.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 07:42 AM   #25
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

So the AT2022 having that XLR output is just a gimmick. Because it's unbalanced and meant only to go down to a 3.5mm plug, so why do they even bother with an XLR output on the mic that is XLR only in the way it looks?

I know what everybody says about the voice being mono and all that, but check my post right before yours. Yes, ideally I would have a mono mic on the camera, and a stereo digital recorder somewhere else, but not every event is the same and what's optimal is not always possible. If the whole video is just one guy talking at a podium, a mono mic is optimal because even when people clap and there's no stereo capture, most likely that video is going to be seen at a company coming out of a TV set where there's barely a difference between mono and stereo even if the TV set has two speakers.

But for a wedding or other social events, where there's music, maybe outdoor nature sounds, clapping, etc, and there's a big change that the couple may later watch that video in a home theater with Dolby Prologic II which is going to turn the stereo into a nice 5.1, it would be absolutely awful if everything comes out of the center channel speaker. That would drive me crazy, far more than if the stereo image is not 100% perfect.

That's one reason why to me the Azden SMX10 is such a great microphone, because it's stereo directional. It gives me a nice stereo image but it focuses on what's in front of the camera, so the human voice comes out much better than with any built in microphone.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 07:45 AM   #26
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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It's not disconcerting to me. It would be disconcerting if the source of the sound would be coming from a specific point and you pan around but the stereo microphone stays in the same place.

....
Panning the camera is the equivalent of moving your eyes around, looking from one place to the another when you're standing at a live event. But sounds don't pan as you turn your head - look left, look right, the sound source always stays in the same place in the room in your perception because your ear's localization does not automatically track to follow your eye's attention. Recording on with a stereo mic that moves with the camera pans, OTOH, creates an acoustic IMAGE that moves around with respect to the "room" that is defined by the screen edges. The view isn't what is perceived as changing but rather the location within the view of the sound source itself ... one moment it's on the viewer's right side, the next moment it's on the left. The sound space gets jumbled with the result being the destruction of the illusion of space that is built up in the screen, you have eroded what is often called the 4th Wall and drawn attention to the process rather than the subject. The stage is considered a fixed spot within the room, a window into another reality ... when a character moves from far screen left to far screen right while speaking his voice DOES NOT go from the far left of the ROOM to the far right; it goes from the left side of the WINDOW to the right, a far more limited distance. Recording it in stereo causes the voice to leave the confines of the screen and appear to come from some unseen location some distance outside the frame in which the action is taking place.

I'm curious about the rationale behind your budget ... As I recall you're aiming at doing this professionally; you've spent $3500 on camera and who knows how much on tripods, lights, etc and yet you want to cheap out on consumer level crappola toys (and techniques - covering an event with a camera mounted shotgun, for example) when it comes to sound. Don't you realize that high-quality professional sound is as important - if not more important - than high quality images when it comes to the audience acceptance of your work? And the success of your business, whether full-time or part-time, is 100% dependent on that audience's reaction. If it doesn't surpass their expectations, they won't buy it. And their expectations are set by what they've seen every day for most of their lives in movie theatres and on network broadcast television. For better or worse, that's what sets the standards we have to maintain in our own work.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 08:25 AM   #27
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

I agree with part of what you said, but not with that the stereo image stays the same when you move your head around. If you just move your eyes your perception of sound doesn't change, but when you move your head, it does, unless we have very different brains. If there's a person talking in front of me and I turn my head to the left, his voice will sound on my right and viceversa. Same thing with a live band or any other sound source. However, it doesn't matter because if there's a live band I wouldn't need to pan around, I would stay focused on the band. And in that case I would use a stereo directional anyway because a full 180 stereo would sound awful, but a mono would also sound awful. In 2008 I recorded a rock concert outdoors for the Red Cross as a favor (they had organized the concert). Back then I had nothing remotely professional, I recorded it with a Canon HF100 and a hot shoe microphone made for that camera, which had a switch with three positions, 180, 90 and mono directional. I chose 90 and even though it was outdoors and I was about 40 feet in front of the stage, I got very decent sound, of course after I equalized it in Vegas, And even though I had to pan every now and then to follow the lead guy (Bo Bice) the stereo image didn't suffer. Of course, this wasn't a pro audio capture by far, but it is decent enough that it can recreate the illusion of being there on a big screen and a nice home theater with Dolby Prologic II in Music mode.

But like I said, it all changes depending on the type of even. Last Friday I did a social event for a wealthy family that had rented a ballroom at a Hilton. For most of it I didn't have to worry one bit about the pathetic audio quality from the AX2000 built in mic because I also had a Zoom H2 connected to the mixer, so the music and the main microphone were recorded directly and I can use that in editing. The problem was that they hired a magician, and he brought his own equipment with mics, amplifier and speakers, which to make things worse, were placed very far apart and on the floor, so from where I was standing, I could barely hear the speakers, and even though I was only a few feet away from him, the pickup was horrible. If I would've had the Azden SMX10, I still would have gotten stereo but with a decent voice pickup. Of course a true mono directional in that case would have been the best choice if I had only been concerned about picking up his voice, but then when the children in front of him clapped, it would sound awful, with all the clapping coming from the center channel. Same thing as later in the evening when they started dancing and I was moving around camera on hand, a mono mic would sound flat and give you no sense of realism when watched later with the sound coming out of anything better than a small TV set.

That's why I really would like to get that adapter for the SMX10 to record stereo, because it's a great microphone and it's like the best of both worlds, good voice pickup without sacrificing stereo.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 08:33 AM   #28
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Just use two XLR mikes, one for each channel. You can buy decent quality mikes for a few dollars to anything you can afford.

Problem solved.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 10:31 AM   #29
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Just ouf of curiosity, may I ask what you're recording that requires a stereo mic?
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Old July 10th, 2011, 10:41 AM   #30
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Just ouf of curiosity, may I ask what you're recording that requires a stereo mic?
I don't have anything planned at this point, but if you read my posts above you'll get a good idea.
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