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Old September 18th, 2005, 12:26 PM   #1
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Next set of mics

Howdy all! I come to the trough to partake in the wisdom of the masses....

I have got two mic issues to deal with. I have been shooting some rather loud events lately (live bands playing, lots of yelling) and my PD-150 mounted ME-66 is clipping and overloading like mad. Two questions:

1. Will an inline attenuator do anything for that? I have one but all it seemed to do was drop signal level not the overloading. Makes sense I guess.

2. If that is the case, what would be a good on board mic for general ambiance inclusion while maintaining some ability to isolate a targeted source. More important in good overall sound without the overloading.

Second issue deals with my lavs. I am using a sennhieser wireless and currently have the ME-2 that came with it and a Tram TR-50. I am considerling a Countryman B-3. Anybody got any thoughts on this one? Primary uses are interviews, presentations and weddings.

Thanks folks, you are always too kind with your help!

Mike Cook
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Old September 18th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #2
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Overloading the input is a common problem with the ME66, a very sensitive mic. The XLR inputs want about 1 to 20 milivolts. The ME66's output is about 50 milivolts at shouting level and is probably putting out about 200-400 milivolts with a loud band.

If you tried a -10 dB attenuator, that would not be enough for a loud band. -20 to -30 dB would be more like it. That protects your input from overloading, and then you crank up the gain contols to get the proper recording level. Always remember that the cam's level meters, when present, indicate recording level not input level.

The AT8202 in line attenuator, switchable between -10, -20 and -30 dB would be a good item to have.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 07:33 PM   #3
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Did you try the attenuator that's built in to the PD-150 input (MicAtt)? If so, then you may need even more external attenuation than what you've tried.
Are you running on phantom or battery? Phantom will allow higher SPL before the mic distorts but will also increase the mic's output which will make it even easier to overload the input. A low battery will make it easier for the mic to distort too. Have you changed mic cables or moved to a different physical spot in the room while shooting to see if that helped? Tried the bass rolloff switch on the mic?
You could try an AT U873r instead of the ME66. It can handle up to 155db.
The B3 is a good lav. I don't know that I'd spend the money for one for weddings or presentations if what you have is still working. If you're doing pro level interviews though, the small size of the B3 makes it easy to be unobtrusive in the shot.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; September 19th, 2005 at 05:20 PM.
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Old September 18th, 2005, 08:05 PM   #4
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I have used an ME64 (similar to 66 but a tad less sensitive) around live bands with a PD and you need atleast a
10dB attenuator PLUS switching to the MIC ATT
position to prevent clipping. My guess is that it
is not the mic itself clippinp; it is the PD input.

And, Jay, soon I will have a "review" up of the
U873r, but I will say that I would not
recommend it for music. Even with EQ in post
I couldn't get the 873 to sound decent with
music recordings.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 07:47 AM   #5
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Can you describe roughly why it sounded bad?
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Old September 19th, 2005, 09:50 AM   #6
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I agree with Dave. I seriously doubt you're overloading the mic.
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Old September 19th, 2005, 02:15 PM   #7
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OK, off I go to check this out. I have the switchable attenuators so I will conduct some tests.

I'll get back to you this evening and thanks for the suggestions!

By the way the B3 would be for "professional" interviews. Cable and network mostly in addition to the other stuff. I don't do a whole bunch of that but it is happening more and more often.

Thanks

Mike
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