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Old July 16th, 2011, 02:00 PM   #76
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

OK, would you rather have a recording with $140 quality audio, or a stereo recording with $70 quality audio?

I guess it depends on the intended use, and on the expectations of the audience. Some people use point-and-shoot cams, some use DSLRs. Depends on whether it's quickie vacation snapshots which will be glued in a scrapbook and never seen again, or professional quality photos with some potential market value.

I have to admit I often carry a DR-03 in my pocket, and get some "audio snapshots" if I hear an interesting street musician, or flock of geese, or passing train, or whatever. But I'd never expect to market something of that quality.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #77
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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OK, would you rather have a recording with $140 quality audio, or a stereo recording with $70 quality audio?
Price and quality don't always go together. Like I said earlier in this thread, my consumer Canon HF100 has far better audio quality than the AX2000's internal mic. To give another example, my $100 Zoom H1 digital recorder has far better quality than the AX2000's internal mic. So the production cost of the H1 is what, $50? So why the hell can't Sony include audio circuitry that is at least the same quality as a $100 digital recorder in a camera that sells for 35 times that price? To me that's outrageous. One thing is for sure, I will seriously look at other brands when I have to purchase my next camera.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 03:07 PM   #78
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Hi the stereo mic that I use is the sony ECM MS957 which is a true M/S mic terminating with a five pin XLR, I then have extension cables to make it into two 3 pin XLR's for hook up to my mixer or camera.

It is mounted on a rode pistol grip with its windgag and a dead rat softie type cover, I use it as my general purpose stereo mic and for collecting stereo sound FX and wild tracks.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 03:38 PM   #79
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Hi the stereo mic that I use is the sony ECM MS957 which is a true M/S mic terminating with a five pin XLR, I then have extension cables to make it into two 3 pin XLR's for hook up to my mixer or camera.
Thanks, but after hearing the dreadful quality of the internal mic, I'd rather stay away from Sony.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 06:08 PM   #80
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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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.
Nope, as a professional you're buying the tools necessary to do your job. You have to find the money somewhere. You client doesn't care whether you can afford a Schoeps or only an Azden ... all he cares about is you delivering the same or better sound than he would get if he hired your competition. As I've quoted before, to get where you want to be, you have to look (and sound) like you're already there.
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Old July 16th, 2011, 07:42 PM   #81
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

It's all relative. Not every videographer in the world has the same equipment. Some work with $2000 cameras, some with $5000 and some with $10000. The same goes for every other equipment a videographer has. You start small and you build up as you get more jobs and have the money to get better tools. "You have to find the money somewhere" means nothing to me. Money doesn't grow on trees. Now if you tell me I'm making $10,000 a month and I still don't want to buy a $500 mic, then you would have a point.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #82
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Hi the stereo mic that I use is the sony ECM MS957 which is a true M/S mic
Of course the nice thing about an MS mic is that the M element is cardioid to begin with. (In theory the S element is a figure-8 capsule of some sort.)

So if you mix down to mono, and the side channel disappears, you have a recording from a cardioid mic. Not a hyper-, not a short shot, but a cardioid. But at least it's one single element pointed straight ahead.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 01:07 AM   #83
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Thanks, but after hearing the dreadful quality of the internal mic, I'd rather stay away from Sony.
All internal mic's are hugely limited so it is not just sony, my canon HF11 has a dreadful internal mic, I have used the ECM MS957 on mainstream broadcasting work and also have the smaller ECM MS907 that I use as an M/S mic for gathering stereo sound effects in the field.

I recently sent the HF11 with the 957 on a job to shoot interviews and as said as it is an M/S mic I can be assured a good mono signal if I don't need stereo audio.

I have used these mics for over 15 years now and they are fantastic value for money even though at times I have access to the best kit available, good audio recording is about using the kit to its best capabilities and I have always used budget kit and to this day the sony's are in my kit bag along with two mini disc recorders and several budget AT875R shot shotgun mics. It is all used for mainstream broadcast and I never get anyone questioning the quality of the results.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 01:13 AM   #84
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Of course the nice thing about an MS mic is that the M element is cardioid to begin with. (In theory the S element is a figure-8 capsule of some sort.)

So if you mix down to mono, and the side channel disappears, you have a recording from a cardioid mic. Not a hyper-, not a short shot, but a cardioid. But at least it's one single element pointed straight ahead.
But a shot shotgun is just a cardioid mic with a phase cancellation tube bolted on the front to reduce background noise, the capsules will always be the same distance from any sound source, yes a hyper cardioid will give a more focussed sound due to the added side rejection but the laws of physics will remain the same and any mic that is too far away from the source you wish to record will have limitations.

At least with an M/S mics you have phase coherant stereo audio and if you wish you can adjust the stereo width in post prod( or on the sony mic), shotguns with phase cancellation tubes can also give problems indoors, I tend to use the AT875R as my general short shotguns these days as their pressure gradient design gives a more pleasing sound than phase cancellation tubes.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 01:22 AM   #85
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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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.
Yes and they were recorded mono but post produced into stereo, most of the early stereo versions are actually just the triple track machines panned in the stereo image and were never recorded with stereo in mind, that is why you get strange stereo images with drums panned far left etc.

In my 30 years in broadcast and film and have always shot most things in mono with certainly all dialogue and sync sound and then post produced it into stereo, that way you can concentrate on getting the dialogue nice a focussed in the centre of the stereo image and add stereo sound effects or a stereo ambience recorded at the same time to adjust the balance and width of the image.

I don't do weddings but if I did I would concentrate on getting all the sync sound and any important dialogue in mono but also run a stereo ambience track on a sep recorder such as my mini disc that I can add in post rather than try to record everything at source in stereo. One other advantage of this is that if you then edit you will not get the stereo image changing as you cut from shot to shot and adding an overall stereo ambience buzz track can also help to cover edit points and give continuity to a scene that may be time shifted due to the editing.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 06:45 AM   #86
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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Originally Posted by Sebastian Alvarez View Post
It's all relative. Not every videographer in the world has the same equipment. Some work with $2000 cameras, some with $5000 and some with $10000. The same goes for every other equipment a videographer has. You start small and you build up as you get more jobs and have the money to get better tools. "You have to find the money somewhere" means nothing to me. Money doesn't grow on trees. Now if you tell me I'm making $10,000 a month and I still don't want to buy a $500 mic, then you would have a point.
So why did you invest in a $3500 camera instead of saving the money and sticking with a $250 basic consumer camcorder from your local Big Box store? After all, either camera will work to record video. Don't you get that the same reasoning that led you to invest in a pro quality camera needs to be applied equally to your sound equipment, that having the right tools to do the job in a professional manner is just as important for sound as it is for picture, if not even more so?

Frankly, if you only had a total of $3500 to invest to begin with, you would have been better off with a $2500 camera and devoting the other $1000 to sound, or even a $1500 camera so you could devote two kilobucks to the sound kit. Especially if your goal is weddings where most clients would consider crystal-clear sound to be even more important than crisp images - realistically, they have a still photographer at the event to take the pictures and the images from a video camera will never be as good as those he gets. The most important part of what you're doing is the emotion of the event and that is carried more by the sounds than it is by picture. When wifey views this DVD, she going to want to hear her hubby's vows repeated just as clearly as she heard them when they were standing at the alter. You don't get that with a bargain basement shotgun mounted on the camera 25 feet away, the inescapable laws of physics dictate that it simply ain't gonna happen. For that matter, not even a $2500 Schoeps CMIT shotgun mounted on the camera 25 feet away will do that!
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Last edited by Steve House; July 17th, 2011 at 07:29 AM.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #87
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Totally agree with you there Steve and my HF11 or the HF100 is very capable of doing some really good pictures but the sound on a wedding would need my sennheiser radio mics and sony stereo mic to get it anywhere near right.

My main camera is a 10k panasonic HPX371 but I use the same sound kit on both cameras but I suppose my 30+ years in location audio and post comes into play a lot more than just the kit I use!
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Old July 17th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #88
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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So why did you invest in a $3500 camera instead of saving the money and sticking with a $250 basic consumer camcorder from your local Big Box store? After all, either camera will work to record video. Don't you get that the same reasoning that led you to invest in a pro quality camera needs to be applied equally to your sound equipment, that having the right tools to do the job in a professional manner is just as important for sound as it is for picture, if not even more so?

Frankly, if you only had a total of $3500 to invest to begin with, you would have been better off with a $2500 camera and devoting the other $1000 to sound, or even a $1500 camera so you could devote two kilobucks to the sound kit.
It's the way life works, Steve. Sometimes you have a lot of money to spend, sometimes you don't. Besides, do you seriously think anybody would buy a $1500 camera to spend $2000 in the sound? You, maybe, but I doubt anybody else. With this I'm not saying sound is not important, but for most types of events the shotgun mic is not something worth spending huge amounts of money on. If I do a wedding, I put a lavalier mic on the groom connected to a digital recorder, and another digital recorder as close to them as possible, or with another lavalier on the officiant. If it's a corporate event, I connect one of those recorders to the mixer, where I will get a hundred times better sound than the best quality shotgun mic could give me from the back of the room. So unless I do news interviews on the street, which I don't, a shotgun mic is secondary to the lavaliers or the mixer feed. So it's not something I want to spend a lot of money on, even if I had money right now.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 04:55 PM   #89
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

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It's the way life works, Steve. Sometimes you have a lot of money to spend, sometimes you don't. Besides, do you seriously think anybody would buy a $1500 camera to spend $2000 in the sound?
Just those that do a careful needs analysis looking at the big picture and assuming they are gearing up for both picture and sound instead of partnering with or hiring a sound person who provides his own kit.
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You, maybe, but I doubt anybody else. With this I'm not saying sound is not important, but for most types of events the shotgun mic is not something worth spending huge amounts of money on. If I do a wedding, I put a lavalier mic on the groom connected to a digital recorder, and another digital recorder as close to them as possible, or with another lavalier on the officiant. If it's a corporate event, I connect one of those recorders to the mixer, where I will get a hundred times better sound than the best quality shotgun mic could give me from the back of the room. So unless I do news interviews on the street, which I don't, a shotgun mic is secondary to the lavaliers or the mixer feed. So it's not something I want to spend a lot of money on, even if I had money right now.
Nope, I didn't suggest spend huge amounts on a shotgun but $250 to $500 for an entry level 'gun is not a huge amount. (Mainstream pro 'guns run from about $750 to about $1500, top-shelf models can run over 2 grand) But to expect to spend a couple of grand on the whole basic sound kit, not including wireless, would be very reasonable in order to get a kit that can cover most typical situations for event and ENG work. Possible components of such as kit ... A good entry level short 'gun boom mic such as the previously recommended NTG-2 that could do double duty on camera where appropriate, a decent entry level (such as AKGSE300B/CK93) hyper for interior booming, a fishpole somewhere around 8 to 12 feet long with shockmount and wind protection for both mics (Boom Buddy or Fisherman's Friend to mount the pole on a C-stand for stationary booming), a couple of hard-wired lavs (Tram?) for sit-down interviews, a hand-held (EV RE50?) stick mic for standups, a basic field mixer such as a Sound Devices MixPre or better, a SD302, plus cables, batteries, and a bag to carry it in and you're already well north of 2 grand and maybe north of 3 before you even look at recorders or wireless. Oh yes, since you've said you want to be able to get stereo ambo, add a good quality stereo mic (AT8022?, Rode NT4?) or a pair of small diaphram cardioids to that kit as well. That will give you the sound kit comparable to the camera you own and then you can start to add wireless and recorders as needed. It's not at all unusual for the cost of the sound gear to exceed the cost of the camera gear. In fact it's not even unusual for the total cost of the sound kit to be several times the total cost of the camera kit.
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Old July 17th, 2011, 07:06 PM   #90
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Re: I need a very cheap stereo XLR mic

Steve, you're missing the point. You said "Frankly, if you only had a total of $3500 to invest to begin with, you would have been better off with a $2500 camera and devoting the other $1000 to sound, or even a $1500 camera so you could devote two kilobucks to the sound kit." What person in their right mind is going to buy a mediocre camera that can't even be called professional at $1500 and then add $2000 of state of the art professional audio equipment? A typical videographer that does weddings and corporate events would never do that. It's completely unbalanced. Top notch audio with mediocre video at best . I particularly prefer top notch video with decent audio, which is what I get with my digital recorders. All that equipment you mentioned is perfectly good for a large production company, but excessive for a single videographer, unless there is a specific project that requires it, in which case you rent it all, or if it's going to be a series of highly paid projects, then it makes sense to purchase it.
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