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Old July 10th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #31
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
I...
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.
How about 1 of these Hosatech Stereo Breakout, 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual RCA - 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual RCA plus 2 of these Hosatech Adaptor, RCA to XLR3M - Adaptors. I HATE stacking connectors and adapters but if you're careful it will work. You could also go with this http://www.hosatech.com/product/3399...l_XLR3M%2C_2_m plus a barrel gender changer http://www.hosatech.com/product/3253...mm_TRS_to_Same Or clip off the TRSM and replace it with a TRSF from Radio Snak, easy soldering job, take about 10 minutes if that.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 01:15 PM   #32
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

One last time I have to say that even if the mic is not moving whether on a camera or on a stand, if the subject is voices talking, stereo is the wrong way. Even without any movement, recording voice with stereo mics makes the voice lose focus, and you pick up a lot more room which makes it harder to discern the words. My only exception on that might be at a play, putting the stereo mic right up to the front/center of the stage. But for the most part a stereo mic is just for music and ambient stuff you want the stereo effect on. You seem to be in love with the idea of having a stereo mic. I say try testing out a stereo vs a mono mic with speech. There is zero advantage with stereo. The mics on cameras are stereo because they mostly just pick up everything around the camera - what's in front, what's in back, on the sides, noise, everything. Sure it's awesome to have a stereo mic, but it shouldn't be the go-to mic for a lot of stuff. I guess you will figure it out empirically when you get a chance to hear the difference. If I were you I'd be getting a good hypercardioid mic first. That's what I use 95% of the time.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #33
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

As Chad said "...for the last tine..."

The relatively fixed perception of an audio image is a well known physiological fact, also well known by sound guys. The ears work hand in glove with the brain to maintain a consistent perception of a relatively fixed space. When you turn your head, the brain knows that you are turning it and the stereo image of the room stays fixed - you can close your eyes and turn your head and you know that you're turning your head - if you kept your head fixed and the stereo image of the room revolved by the same amount, you would perceive it differently - you would think the room was spinning.

OK - here you are in your living room watching your 180 inch TV from a comfortable chair 10 or 15 feet away. Do you turn your head when a person walks from one side of the screen to the other? Not likely - you mostly move your eyes.

So if you don't swing your head by more than a degree or two and the stereo image swings by 60 degrees - guess what - you'll hear/feel the room spinning. Not good.

Anyhow. best of luck in your endeavors.

Sayonara
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Old July 10th, 2011, 02:01 PM   #34
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Chad, I understand perfectly the advantage of using a mono mic to capture human voice. But unless an event is 100 % speech and nothing but speech, I'd rather use a directional stereo. Mono sound for things like clapping, audience sound, nature sounds, etc, drives me crazy. It takes away any illusion of being there. I would absolutely hate recording a whole wedding with a mono microphone for example. That's why I have two digital recorders, the Zoom H1 and H2, that I put in closer locations to get the voice in mono. That can be by using a lavalier microphone with one of them in the groom's pocket, or like I did in a wedding last year, the H1 placed behind a floral arrangement that was right on top of the pastor and the couple. So that gave me perfect voice capture that even if I would've had the best mono directional microphone, I wouldn't have gotten from where I was standing with the camera. Of course, I had two cameras recording in stereo so I got good sound for the clapping and the ambient nature sounds.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 02:04 PM   #35
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
As Chad said "...for the last tine..."

The relatively fixed perception of an audio image is a well known physiological fact, also well known by sound guys. The ears work hand in glove with the brain to maintain a consistent perception of a relatively fixed space. When you turn your head, the brain knows that you are turning it and the stereo image of the room stays fixed - you can close your eyes and turn your head and you know that you're turning your head - if you kept your head fixed and the stereo image of the room revolved by the same amount, you would perceive it differently - you would think the room was spinning.
I think you guys must have your brains wired differently than mine. When I turned my head around, my own stereo image turns around with me. It would be very confusing if it didn't. The stereo imaging in your brain is how you are able to pinpoint where sounds are coming from, and one of the things needed to keep balance. It's even more important for blind people. If you turn your head around and your stereo imaging doesn't change, then something is not right.

Last edited by Sebastian Alvarez; July 10th, 2011 at 02:40 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 02:39 PM   #36
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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How about 1 of these Hosatech Stereo Breakout, 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual RCA - 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual RCA plus 2 of these Hosatech Adaptor, RCA to XLR3M - Adaptors. I HATE stacking connectors and adapters but if you're careful it will work. You could also go with this Hosatech Stereo Breakout, 3.5 mm TRS to Dual XLR3M, 2 m - 3.5 mm TRS to Dual XLR3M plus a barrel gender changer Hosatech Coupler, 3.5 mm TRS to Same - Adaptors Or clip off the TRSM and replace it with a TRSF from Radio Snak, easy soldering job, take about 10 minutes if that.
Thanks Steve, I think the first option with RCA would probably be more steady than the coupler. The second one would work if I got another stereo mic that has a jack in its back, unlike the SMX10 which has a cable coming out of it to a male plug.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 03:17 PM   #37
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
Thanks Steve, I think the first option with RCA would probably be more steady than the coupler. The second one would work if I got another stereo mic that has a jack in its back, unlike the SMX10 which has a cable coming out of it to a male plug.
That's what a barrel coupler does ... it's female on both sides so you can use it to plug two male terminated cables to each other end to end.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #38
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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That's what a barrel coupler does ... it's female on both sides so you can use it to plug two male cables end to end.
Oh, I was talking about the stereo breakout cable. Or at least a similar version, because that one is two meters, obviously too long for what I need. The Stereo Breakout, 3.5 mm TRSF to Dual RCA doesn't say how long it is, but if it's like the picture, it's very short and perfect for this use.

In fact, this could be a pretty good solution overall, because I could have on the camera both the Azden SMX10 (stereo) connected using these adapter cables, attached to the camera on the shoe, and then the mono Azden SGM-1X on the clamp holder. That way, if I do an event that has a lot of speech I can use the mono one and then if it changes to something else where I need stereo, I only have to change some cables quickly and that's it.
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Old July 10th, 2011, 03:46 PM   #39
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

BTW, the Hosa GXM-133 is $11 on their website, but $5.08 on Amazon. And I enjoy the benefit of a girlfriend who pays for Amazon Prime :)
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Old July 11th, 2011, 02:54 AM   #40
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Chad Johnson View Post
One last time I have to say that even if the mic is not moving whether on a camera or on a stand, if the subject is voices talking, stereo is the wrong way.
Hi Chad, your post has made me think. I have a Rode SVM and have been using to record interviews (alone). The scenario is always outdoors in the countryside, with the mic mounted on the camera (HV40).

I use a wide angle lens so am able to get pretty close to the interviewee, close enough indeed to pick up a good signal i.e. about 2 feet or so. It's important that I capture well the ambience of the natural environment we're in hence the stereo mic. The camera is static on a tripod.

So far I thought the sound was pretty decent, natural and pleasant and clear! Would you say I was wrong headed here?

Also if I combined the stereo signal to mono in post could that help focus the sound or is it too late for that?

Geoff
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Old July 11th, 2011, 06:01 AM   #41
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Geoffrey Cox View Post
Hi Chad, your post has made me think. I have a Rode SVM and have been using to record interviews (alone). The scenario is always outdoors in the countryside, with the mic mounted on the camera (HV40).

I use a wide angle lens so am able to get pretty close to the interviewee, close enough indeed to pick up a good signal i.e. about 2 feet or so. It's important that I capture well the ambience of the natural environment we're in hence the stereo mic. The camera is static on a tripod.

So far I thought the sound was pretty decent, natural and pleasant and clear! Would you say I was wrong headed here?

Also if I combined the stereo signal to mono in post could that help focus the sound or is it too late for that?

Geoff
Once recorded it's too late. The best approach for the situation you describe is to record dialog and ambience separately. When recording the interview, focus on the getting the speech recorded as pristine and free of other sounds as possible, shooting in mono. Then record the ambience of the location in stereo in a separate take, focussing on getting the best recording of it that you can. The ambience recordinbg does not need to be at the same time or even on the same day as the dialog ... you don't even need to have the interview subject there. Then combine the two in post. Trying to record both at once is going to be a compromise no matter what you do.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 09:16 AM   #42
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Quote:
Output for each stereo channel is low impedance (Lo-Z) unbalanced. The
unbalanced signals appear across Pin 2 for the left channel and Pin 3 for
the right channel. Pin 1 is ground (shield) for both channels. Output is
“Pins 2 and 3 hot” – positive acoustic pressure produces positive voltage
at Pins 2 and 3.
It's really rather stupid to use a non-standard output on a mic - imagine how many normal balanced mics are out there, and this one won't work without one-off adaptors. Daft!

As for the stereo image of a microphone attached to a camera, convention in the matching of audio and video is that it depends on what you actually want. If you have a busy soundfield, lets say a railway station, and you pan with mic fitted with a stereo mic then for the person watching and listening it's very very strange. If you watch in a darkened room, it's sometimes enough to induce mild nausea. When you turn your head, you very rarely fix your eye position and let your head do the pan. Try it and see, it's quite hard to do. So for effect, maybe in a whip pan - it does the job extra specially well. It goes wrong too when you zoom. As you zoom in do you also zoom in the soundfield so the sound sounds 'nearer'. If you have the sound source you want, in the edge of the frame, do you want their location to shift there? Imagine the TV weather from the OB, presenter dead centre, sound coming from the middle, then the cameraman pans to one side so the empty space in the frame can show the map - does the stereo image move to reflect what you can see, or not? Normally it doesn't - but it would with a camera mounted stereo mic. That's why I like m/s. You always have the front sound, on axis, and if you want the stereo info in the side channel, you have it. That Audio Tec microphone, like the Rode it's modeled on is a standard x/y near coincident type excellent for stereo detail when mounted on a stand and fixed, but I simply hate them for on camera use. Editors like nice simple sound, so I never record stereo but frequently record twin track/sort it out later audio. There's also the fact that the actual angle the mics are angled at sometimes means there is a slight null at a point directly in front of the camera. They also have the same reach as a hand held mic used on a clamp on the camera body - as in they don't go deep enough. Even a modest size conventional camera mic means that you can work a little further away..

The OP has a camera with proper professional XLRs with phantom, and that audio tec microphone is a real compromise. Easy to bodge up a non standard 3 pin female to two unbalanced XLR males, but just wrong, somehow.
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Old July 11th, 2011, 10:20 AM   #43
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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...

The OP has a camera with proper professional XLRs with phantom, and that audio tec microphone is a real compromise. Easy to bodge up a non standard 3 pin female to two unbalanced XLR males, but just wrong, somehow.
i've never understood why people insist on getting proper professional level video gear and then screw it up by trying to economize by making do with a bargain-basement consumer-level sound kit (and the OP's Azden mic is pretty much bargain basement).
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Old July 11th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #44
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

OK thanks Steve. I take the point. Made enquiries and can borrow a Schoeps CMIT 5 U from work. I can use a Rycote shock mount to attach the mic to the camera hot shoe and my juicedLink CX231 pre-amp to convert the XLR output to mini-jack input whilst also reducing the gain on the camera pre-amp. The only weak link now is the camera itself which is HDV which I think is not much better than mp3 quality but at least the source sound should be high quality. The alternative would be to record onto my Sony D-50 but that would require syncing in post which I want to avoid. Can use the D-50 for the ambient recording.

Sorry to hi-jack the thread Sebastian but mostly on topic!

Geoff
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Old July 11th, 2011, 01:52 PM   #45
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

I find it quite amusing people always talk about mp3s being horrible and wavs being excellent, when the truth seems to be that low bitrate mp3s can indeed sound quite rough, but high bitrate recordings with quality atrac codecs can be very good, and make a very good stand against some wav recordings. In fact, I firmly believe that the cheap audio processing on onboard or cheap card based audio cards is pretty horrible.

Originally introduced to it with local radio, I bought an HHB portadisc, and really think the audio quality is rather good. Frankly, I'm very happy with it. By comparison, the 48K 16 bit recordings made by one of my computers here is simple awful in comparison.

There are good microphones and there are poor microphones - I suspect the Audio technica one discussed here actually has electret capsules that are in fact, quite good. I've only found a few AT microphones that were truly poor. This one is idea for cheaper audio recorders that have unbalanced inputs, which I suspect is what it's really designed for. It will probably be a battery operated recorder, and without connection to the mains, the unbalanced design shouldn't cause major snags unless used in RF noisy environments.

It's just not really a video mic. I do think, however, it's likely to sound pretty good. Many far eastern small format mics use what appear to be almost identical elements, sourced from OEM manufacturers. 3 pin xlr to mini jack is a simple way to make the connection - but it wrecks the usual standard, that's my beef!
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