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Old July 15th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #61
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Are you saying you can hear the sound with your naked ear when you put your ear next to the camera? Can you still hear it when you put your ear close when the mic is not connected at all? When you said you hear it when the cable was at it's maximum I interpreted that to mean it was audible in the recording even when the mic was removed from the holder and held out several feet away from the camera body.
Right, that's what I meant. If I keep the Azden connected, and the inputs switched to use it, the noise is still there, even when I pull it away from the holder and extend it as far as the cable will go, and even then, the noise is still the same volume, which I think confirms that this is an electronic interference rather than the noise being picked up by the microphone acoustically, because if it was, then it would make sense that the farther I extend the mic, the less the noise is audible, but it remains audible even at about two feet away.

And to answer your first question, yes, if I put my ear really close to the camera's card compartment, I can hear the same noise. I haven't tried with the mic not connected, but I'm sure it would make no difference. At the same time I hear that noise, the green LED next to the card turns red.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 06:26 PM   #62
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Heap big mess bad voodoo.
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Old July 15th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #63
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Heap big mess bad voodoo.
The what now?
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Old July 15th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #64
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Then it does sound like electrical noise of some sort being picked up, probably related to connecting the unbalanced mic to balanced inputs via the adapters, most liekly a ground issue of some sort.. Exactly what is causing it would be hard to guess from a distance. It's likely it wouldn't happen with a balanced mic instead of the Azden - either one mic feeding one channel or a pro-grade stereo mic going into both - but you'll need to try it to know for sure.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:05 AM   #65
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

It turns out it was the card causing the noise. It can be because the original card that made the noise was a class 4 and this one is class 6, or that the other was 32 GB and this one 16, or that the other one is a Kingston and this one a Trascend, who knows. To answer that for certain I would have to format all these cards one by one and make several recording tests.

Still, I'll probably order a mono XLR mic because even with the class 6 that doesn't make the annoying chirping noise, I can still hear this hum that while is not excessive and probably wouldn't even be audible when recording a room full of people, it's still there and the built in mic, while inferior in audio quality, doesn't have it. That's the kind of hum that seems to me might be caused by trying to use unbalanced audio with balanced inputs in the camera. I may be totally wrong, but well, I'll order the MXL FR-304 and see, at worst I will have to lose shipping back and forth if I don't like it.

What really sucks is that Sony makes a camera that is superb in almost every aspect but has an internal mic that is worthless. Because if the mic was the same quality as the rest of the camera, then having an external mono XLR mic would be all you need; you flip the two switches to switch to external when you have to record voice, and then flip back to the internal mic when you need stereo. But as it is, with this camera you need two external mics, one mono and one stereo depending on the type of event, but if it is an event where you will need both mono and stereo, you have to disconnect and connect XLR plugs, and if you're using a camera light, then you also have to remove one microphone and put the other in the holder. I couldn't really recommend this camera even though the picture quality is excellent, because the audio part in it is pretty bad.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #66
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Cameras in general are their weakest in the audio section, even those costing many times over your Sony. The earliest incarnations of the Red had audio so bad it was virtually unusable for anything beyond a scratch track, for example.

That MXL is kind of long (14.5 inches) for a ' short' shotgun mic and mounted on the camera you likely to have trouble keeping the end from intruding into the edge of the frame when you're zoomed wide. You can only pull it so far back into the holder - all the vents have to stay in front of the clamp. Something like the Rode NTG-1 or -2 at 10 inches long would be a far better choice. Even though it costs double the MXL, IMHO it is a far better value and will actually prove cheaper in the long run. Give some thought to your mount and wind protection. Note that any mic, no matter how directional, is still going to be susceptible to camera and handling noise - a directional mic is not completely deaf to sounds at its side and rear, just less sensitive to them than it is to sounds in the front. The whine of the camera's zoom motor 4 inches from the mic might still be louder than the voice of someone standing 6 feet away.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 11:19 AM   #67
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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That MXL is kind of long (14.5 inches) for a ' short' shotgun mic and mounted on the camera you likely to have trouble keeping the end from intruding into the edge of the frame when you're zoomed wide.
Good observation. That made me measure this with a tape and it turns out up to 8 inches it's good, then it shows. If I were to put in on a holder on the shoe on top of the camera I have a lot more room until it shows, about 15" or so, but that shoe I want to save in case I need to put the light on it.

I'll probably end up getting the MXL FR-303 for now, which is even cheaper and it's 6" long. Later when I have money I'll look into something way better.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #68
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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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
Voices work best in MONO. Ask any professional. I've already explained why. If one wants to get stereo ambient audio as well, that's perfectly fine, but if you only have one mic and have to choose between stereo and mono, you best go with mono, as the voice/dialog is the most important element. You don't sacrifice the most important element so you can hear the birds chirping better, or applause in true stereophonic sound. If stereo ambiance is so important, then make sure you have enough tracks/mics for it. But no, even a Rode SVM at 2 feet is not going to sound as focused as a Rode VM at 2 feet. Dialog is king, and should be preserved.

Remember that most of the Beatles albums were recorded in mono. Stuff sounds good in mono! If you guys want to go rogue and record vox in stereo - go for it. I'm just telling you the proper way to record voice. It's up to you to decide if the trees rustling and crickets and applause is more important. My suggestion is to get enough tracks / mics to do all elements of your sound-scape properly.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 12:35 PM   #69
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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I find it quite amusing people always talk about mp3s being horrible and wavs being excellent,
Even 320kbps mp3s cut off some frequencies, and their lack of fidelity is more apparent when you start to process them with plugins and EQ. It's like low bitrate video not standing up to color correction. Sure it looks OK off the camera, but when you apply polish it breaks down. IMO wave files don't take up much space compared to video, and disk space is cheap. Don't intentionally use MP3 - there's no real up side to it.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:03 PM   #70
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Good observation. That made me measure this with a tape and it turns out up to 8 inches it's good, then it shows. If I were to put in on a holder on the shoe on top of the camera I have a lot more room until it shows, about 15" or so, but that shoe I want to save in case I need to put the light on it.

I'll probably end up getting the MXL FR-303 for now, which is even cheaper and it's 6" long. Later when I have money I'll look into something way better.
FR-303 from B&H $120. Rode NTG-1 from B&H $249 Difference = $129 Take PB&J sandwiches instead of visiting McD's for lunch the next two weeks and you've covered it. Buying cheap and later upgrading IS ALWAYS more expensive than figuring out how to get the right stuff with your first purchase.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:20 PM   #71
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Take PB&J sandwiches instead of visiting McD's for lunch the next two weeks and you've covered it
Well it might take a bit more than two weeks, but that's certainly the right direction to go. McD's lunch = $5.00; three soft drinks = $3.00; there's $8.00 per day = $40.00 per week, buy a better mic in three weeks, very conservatively.

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Buying cheap and later upgrading IS ALWAYS more expensive than figuring out how to get the right stuff with your first purchase.
Another problem with buying cheap is that you eventually end up with a house full of old abandoned cheap stuff that didn't quite make the grade. Sure, you can sell it on eBay for 25% of what you paid (unless it's computer gear, in which case take it straight to the recycling dump). All that money down the drain.

Dang, I just figured out where all my money went!
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #72
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Voices work best in MONO. Ask any professional. I've already explained why.
Chad, we already argued back and forth about this. Yes, voices sound better in mono, but I'm not willing to record a whole outdoor wedding in mono especially when I have the people talking with a mono lavalier on them recording to a digital recorder. Truth is, unless you are like four few feet away from the bride and groom, which is normally not the case, their voice is going to sound awful even with the best mono directional microphone. Sames goes for let's say, a corporate event with a stage and a speaker. Unless you are four feet away from the speaker all the time, which no company will allow, you gotta have a digital recorder plugged into the mixer and get audio from that.

So a mono microphone on the camera is only useful if you do interviews yourself without a journalist, or in the event that you are not allowed to plug your digital recorder into the mixer.

And most of The Beatles albums were not recorded in mono. They were all published in mono as well as stereo. I know because I have the full collection box set, the one that you could buy in either mono or stereo. Even the first album from 1963 is in stereo.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #73
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Take PB&J sandwiches instead of visiting McD's for lunch the next two weeks and you've covered it.
LOL, what makes you think that I go to McD's for lunch every day, or even once a week? And I eat sandwiches, just not PB&J. That's disgusting, at least to me.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:31 PM   #74
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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I eat sandwiches, just not PB&J.
OK, just eat the bread, leave off the meat, cheese, lettuce, and condiments. It might take a few more weeks, that's all. ;-)

Seriously, here's another way to look at the issue.

For $500, you can get a $500 quality mono mic. Or you can get two $250 quality stereo mics. Would you rather record with $500 audio quality, or with $250 audio quality?
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Old July 16th, 2011, 01:39 PM   #75
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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OK, just eat the bread, leave off the meat, cheese, lettuce, and condiments. It might take a few more weeks, that's all. ;-)

Seriously, here's another way to look at the issue.

For $500, you can get a $500 quality mono mic. Or you can get two $250 quality stereo mics. Would you rather record with $500 audio quality, or with $250 audio quality?
That's not really the issue here. I can barely afford to buy a $140 mic, more than that is out of the question. Sometimes it's not a matter of what you want, it's what you can buy that affects your purchases.
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