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Old November 13th, 2005, 10:05 PM   #1
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Audio Technica ATR-55

Hello all. I just recently bought an Audio Technica ATR-55 shotgun mic since it was one that I could afford. I'm not much of a sound guy, so I know very little in this department, which brings me to my story.

I had just recieved my mic through the mail the same day I needed it to film a short project for my girlfriend, and had no time to test it out. When I hooked it up too my Canon GL1 through the mini-jack input, I tried to monitor the sound through headphones. When on "normal" mode, I was unable to hear anything unless someones mouth was very close to it, so I opted to use the "tele" setting, which I could at least hear. So..when shooting was done, and it was time to upload the footage, I found that the sound was very quiet. I then remembered a time when I tried hooking up a cheap uni-directional mic to my GL1. When monitoring the sound through my headphones, the sound was loud enough, but on the final uploaded footage, the sound was very faint.

In both cases I ended up amplifying the audio in Adobe Audition, but I don't really want to have to do this for all of my projects. Also, when I amplify the sound in Adobe Audition, it just makes the hissing background noise louder, decreasing the quality.

I'm sorry if I've just been rambling here, but I get a little frustrated when dealing with sound. I've spent so much time working on my Mini35, that I completely ignored my sound problems. I know that you get what you pay for, but I am feeling pretty dissapointed right now, and would appreciate anyone who could shed some light on my situation. Thank you.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 01:29 AM   #2
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Hi Rob,

I'm not sure about the GL1, as I don't have one myself, but is there a menu setting or manual switch that allows you to choose between LINE level and MIC level?

If so, you have to record in the MIC setting if you're using a microphone, as this is a very low level signal. If you were to record with a microphone at LINE level, it would sound very very faint, and similar to what you describe.

Also I'm not sure if the ATR-55 uses a battery or requires phantom power from the camcorder, which may not be available from the mini jack.

Good luck with your problems, and thankfully audio post and digital noise reduction have come a long long way. It won't make your audio sound good most likely, but it may get to the doesn't suck level.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 02:26 AM   #3
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I used to use the AT55 with my XM2 with no problems but as it has just been stated, you must choose MIC level. Don't bother with the TELE setting since it introduces a lot of hiss into the signal.
I generally found that the mic produces a very "toppy" sound, so you might like to try adding more bass in the edit stage.
(BTW, it uses one AA battery)

Robin
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:07 PM   #4
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I thank you for your replies. I did not see a MIC or LINE option in my menu, but I did notice that the MIC ATT was on which was contributing to the very faint audio. However, when i tested it again, the audio was still faint, and a hissing noise could be heard whether in "normal" or "tele" mode.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 03:27 PM   #5
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It might be an issue with the mic. I have the same set up, and no problems.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 01:57 PM   #6
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sorry to dig this up but I am in the same situation as the OP.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #7
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Tom the output of the ATR55 in "normal" mode is about 1.6 millivolts per Pascal, and in "tele" mode is about 5 millivolts (Assuming that I have correctly interpreted AT's obvious error of using dBm in their specs, about which I have queried them). That normal mode output is only about 1/6 of the output of the popular AT897. The AT897 itself is not particularly sensitive mic.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 08:17 PM   #8
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the expected input on the canon's cameras is mismatched with the atr-55...I had lots of problems with it on my XL1s as well. I ended up using a plug converter to turn it into RCA and get it into the audio1 connector, then set the input to mic and turned up the volume a bit...keep in mind, this mic is also a bit noisy when encountering fluorescent lighting and any kind of dimmer or electric motor (ceiling fans, refrigerators). Other than that it's really good for its price point!
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Old August 16th, 2007, 10:08 PM   #9
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I guess it will just have to stick to being my dubbing microphone (which it has done the job very well)

are there any small mini jack pre amps I could get instead?

Cheers
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Old August 16th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #10
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There are preamps like these (scroll down on the page).
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=&cltp=&clsgr=
But if you can afford about $120 US, a Rode VideoMic would be a higher quality and more convenient solution. It is excellent-sounding, comes with a built in shock mount, and has ten times the output of the ATR55's normal mode. It would easily drive your camcorder's input.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 11:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Ennis View Post
There are preamps like these (scroll down on the page).
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=&cltp=&clsgr=
But if you can afford about $120 US, a Rode VideoMic would be a higher quality and more convenient solution. It is excellent-sounding, comes with a built in shock mount, and has ten times the output of the ATR55's normal mode. It would easily drive your camcorder's input.
definitely. Just right now I still need the ATR-55 to get me by for a bit longer until I can afford to upgrade.

Need a mic to get paying jobs (interviews at the moment)
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