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Old August 24th, 2005, 07:50 PM   #1
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AT 897 setup

I can imagine how tedious these setup topics must be for everyone here so let me apologise for mine in advance. Anyway, I have a pvgs-200 with a 1/8 mic input. I, however, like any good filmmaker want to have good sound quality. So through my process of elimination I decided to get the AT 897. Here's the question: despite the boom pole and shockmount, all I should need is this:http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cg...ource=froogle: converter and just like a 50 ft. XLR cable right? Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 08:09 PM   #2
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Yes, but you do want the one "wired for dual-mono." Make sure that the AT897 is returnable. It's a sweet mic, but not terribly sensitive. Some people are disappointed with the volume they get. It depends on the cam's input. If you found you wanted to return it, or if you just want to avoid that route, consider the Rode VideoMic. Either way, please let us know how you made out. I have a GS200 too :>)
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Old August 24th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #3
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The converter wired for Dual mono or the shotgun mic itself? (Thanks for the help by the way.)
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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:40 PM   #4
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Alex,
The converter. And I neglected to say the first time, welcome to the forum.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #5
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When I got started I was shooting on a Sony TRV38. I bought an AT897, thinking like you do. Then I realized it was so long that I had no good way to mount it on my camera without a bunch of it appearing in the shot. So I bought a used MKE-300 for about $100, and it is a wonderful shotgun for my consumer cam. I use the AT897 now with my DVX, but the Senn MKE still travels with the consumer cam.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:17 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help guys! These forums are great!
Costa: I'm not planning on mounting it, but using a boom pole so I should be good. Thanks for the help though.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #7
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Hey Alex welcome to the boards!

I also wanted to jump in here and make the comment about the 897.

I'm a fellow 897 user myself and it's a great mic for the price (and obviously very popular around here). I've used it on a boom pole and on camera. The one thing I found about using it indoors is that it can sound kind of "boomy."

I brought my setup to the boards looking for ideas and was told on all fronts not to use a shotgun for indoor recording due to the boominess of the pickup pattern.

I picked up a used AT3031 cardioid on Ebay for around $100 (a steal!) and found it to sound much cleaner for indoor recording. A cardioid mic however will need a phantom power supply, so you'll need something like a Beachtek DXA-6 or Phantom Power supplying mixer in the chain. If you use a mixer get a good one! (See "Weird Noises" thread :)

If you want I can post a side by side indoor recorded MP3 example of both mics.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 10:12 PM   #8
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That would be great, I'd love to hear them. Was the indoor caused by hardwood floors or something?
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Old August 25th, 2005, 10:42 PM   #9
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Well, a lot of the indoor stuff was recorded in an office conference room. The room itself was carpeted but then you have this gigantic tabletop and flat walls. The side pickup on the AT897 (or any similarly priced shotgun) picks those up and adds them as room echoes or "boomy" sound.

I'm relatively new to the finer asects of mic selection, so I did an entire corporate video job using the AT897 in a corporate board room. The sound itself came out quite usable, but after switching to a cardioid (based on advice from these boards) I will never use a shotgun indoors again. It just came out cleaner. The difference may be more or less pronounced in my home office, but it will be interesting to test. The reflective properties of the room will obviously be the deciding factor for the type of mic to use.

I'll upload those mp3 clips tomorrow morning. I'll post back as soon as I have them up.

Last edited by Patrick Swinnea; August 26th, 2005 at 12:17 AM.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 10:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Bruce
That would be great, I'd love to hear them. Was the indoor caused by hardwood floors or something?
The indoor "boominess" is caused by room echos arriving at the mic from the sides and rear. The acoustic physics of the way shotguns work to get their directivity means that off-axis low frequencies are suppressed less than are the mid/high frequencies so what sounds there are coming in from the sides will sound boomy because less of the mids & highs are being picked up while a lot of the low frequencies still get through. It's less of an issue outdoors simply because there are fewer environmental echos to deal with (but you will notice a loss of highs if you don't have the mic aimed right at the sound source.)

Fellow forum member Ty Ford has posted a video on his web site comparing the characterisitics of a shotgun, a hypercardoid, and several other microphone types that's very informative to listen to. www.tyford.com, select the audio and video file library and download his mic tutorial from the video section. Big file but absolutely worth the download.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #11
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Yeah, I've used Ty Ford's site quite a bit for the different samples. I also ordered his book, the Audio Bootcamp Field Guide.

It's a handy little pocket guide that covers all the basics, including what kind of mics to use when. It gets right to the point and explains things without getting too technical. There are plenty of more detailed books on audio for video production in the market, but the appeal of Ty's book is that's it's such an easy read you actually retain the information.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 09:09 AM   #12
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OK, here's that file. I recorded it this morning in my home office. I have a little bit of a cold so I'm speakng through that. There doesn't seem to be a huge difference in my office. There difference is there, but it's slight.

In a board room setting like I mentioned previously, it's a night and day difference.

Both mics were aimed directly at me from about 12" away.


http://www.cheezwhiz.org/microphones/897 vs 3031.mp3

Last edited by Patrick Swinnea; August 26th, 2005 at 05:05 PM.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #13
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So it would be worth my money to get both mics then. Thanks for going through all that trouble, it was very much appreciated.
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Old August 26th, 2005, 05:05 PM   #14
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You're welcome!
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