iriver Giant Squid + iriver mp3 recorder vs. wired GS at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 25th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
iriver Giant Squid + iriver mp3 recorder vs. wired GS

I am planning to do my first interview resp. recording a person who doesn't move much around but explaines while cooking ( in a very limited space - it's my old Indian friend in her tiny kitchen in New Delhi )

I was wondering what kind of mic to get for this.

First I was looking into wired lavs as wireless will be too expensive, I prefer spending, possibley max. 100 US$ only.

Now I am favouring the solution iriver Giant Squid + iriver mp3 recorder ( though that could set me back more then 100$ if I buy anything bigger then a 128MB iriver model )
However my camera will not be far away from the recorded person, and I wonder if not a wired lav, e.g the omnidirectional mono or stereo Giant Squids, connected directly to my Pana GS400 would be a better solution?

anybody has thoughts on this?

if the wired GS, should I go for the omnidirectional mono as it would be best for the purpose described? Or could I go for the omnidirectional stereo as it could be a good general stereo mic using while travelling? I mostly shoot while travelling and this mic would be appealing as it would be so much smaller and lighter then 'conventional' camera mounted stereo mics, which also would be much more expensive if same sound quality, right? ( Would try to make a custom mount for the hot shoe with the two mics fixed left and right of the cam )
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2006, 01:10 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Posts: 342
Distance

How big is the room? How far away are you from the subject?
Jack D. Hubbard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2006, 01:22 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
the room is very small, abt. 3x3 meter, I will be at max. 2 meter distance.
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2006, 06:33 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
A stereo lav used on the talent seems to me to be a contradiction in terms. There's no need to record left and right tracks for what is essentially a point source of the sound and a mono mic would be perfectly fine. Just because you record the original in mono doesn't mean it has to come from one side in the final release. In post you can position it as desired in the left/right soundstage of the final soundtrack. A lot of people seeing your video will hear it in mono anyway and it's far easier to get dialogue that sounds good downmixed if it's recorded mono in the first place. Remember when you see two mics on the talent in broadcast news, etc, it's not for stereo, they mic'ed mono with a backup in place in case something goes wrong with the primary while on the air.

And a big plus, you can get a much higher quality mic with a mono than you will with stereo for the same amount on money - after all, with a mono mic you're just buying one but with a stereo mic you're essentially buying two.

The omni mic will help you keep consistent audio as the talent turns their head and looks around. Cardioid lavs require the talent to have more experience so they're aware of the mic and don't accidently move their mouth out of the zone. Cardioids, OTOH, are less subject to spurious background noises and ambience creeping in - your call as to which ones works best in this situation. Why not get one of each and be prepared?
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2006, 11:56 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
thank's for the input.
I will get a iriver GS+ an iriver mp3 recorder for sure as it seems to be the best for my purpose as I understand now that the mono mic will be best for the porpose.
Still I am wondering if it the same mic plugged into my cam instaed of into the mp3 recorder would give even better result ( taken that the cam and the mic are very close to the sound source )
and if, in addition, a omni stereo GS could be a good mic for my shots 'on the road' while travelling.
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Griesmayr
thank's for the input.
I will get a iriver GS+ an iriver mp3 recorder for sure as it seems to be the best for my purpose as I understand now that the mono mic will be best for the porpose.
Still I am wondering if it the same mic plugged into my cam instaed of into the mp3 recorder would give even better result ( taken that the cam and the mic are very close to the sound source )
and if, in addition, a omni stereo GS could be a good mic for my shots 'on the road' while travelling.
Feeding audio directly to your camera could potentially be better than using the iRiver for several reasons but there's a downside as well. Lavs are intended to be on or very close to the talent so you'd never have the mic at the camera trying to record someone any distance away and you'd need a longish extension cable between the mic and the camera. The Giant Squids are unbalanced mics which means that long cable runs between would be subject to noise pickup. Of course it would be over your budget but you'd be better off getting a higher quality lav with a balanced connection and a Beachtek or similar XLR-to-mini adapter at the camera end.

As for your last question, I'm confused at what you're thinking here. If you're talking about a mic to use instead of the built-in mic in the camera, I wouldn't consider a GS lav for that role, or any other lav mic for that matter, nor would I choose an omni. Since stereo is mainly important only if you're recording music or ambience I'd go mono again. A directional mic helps reduce background distractions, so I'd be looking at something like the Rode Videomic if I was on a tight budget.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 25th, 2006, 09:52 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
Steve thank's a lot, all clear now.

As for my last question: I am a pure hobby filmer and mostly shoot while travelling, which I suppose would fit into what you pro's call recording 'ambience'. When buying my cam I bought an external stereo Panasonic mic. with it, a socalled VW-VMS2. Later I learned that there must have been better choices for a similar, a just little higher prize. I had tried on various forums to get critics for this mic and how it compares to the favoured Videomic, but obviously nobody owns that Pana mic. as I never got answers. Eventually I might buy another mic and I have been thinking to go for another stereo mic, - or would that be a wrong choice? Was there not a rumour that there will be a Videomic II which would be stereo?
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2006, 12:12 AM   #8
Sponsor: VASST
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York
Posts: 516
If you do get the iRiver and Giant Squid mic, you should know that if you plan to record in mono you must get the GS mic thatís specially wired for the iRiver. Otherwise the iRiver will default to recording in stereo and that will cut your recording time in half. I have an iRiver 790 with the Giant Squid omni that is wired for it and it works great.

BTW the Rode Videomic II is not a rumor. They announced it at the AES show last October. I have the Videomic I and itís great. I use it with my little Panasonic GS200 for everyday use.

~jr
__________________
Developer: VASST Ultimate S, Scattershot 3D, Mayhem, FASST Apps, and other VASST Software plug-ins
Web Site: www.johnrofrano.com
John Rofrano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hell's 6 acres in S. Texas
Posts: 203
I also have the VideoMic (I) for my Sony FX1. GREAT microphone and it uses a stereo mini plug. Can't go wrong with this mic.

Likewise, I've been looking into getting an iRiver with a GS mic. I'm seeing "refurbished by the factory with warranty" IFP-899's (1GB model) on eBay for $99 and am >this< close to snatching one up. However, I'm leery about the 'refurbished' part. It may be as simple as them converting an 895 to an 899, but who knows.... Anyone else gotten one of these and been happy?
__________________
Edward Slonaker
El Pilon Productions
San Patricio, Texas
www.elpilon.com
Edward Slonaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2006, 10:07 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Griesmayr
Steve thank's a lot, all clear now.

As for my last question: I am a pure hobby filmer and mostly shoot while travelling, which I suppose would fit into what you pro's call recording 'ambience'. When buying my cam I bought an external stereo Panasonic mic. with it, a socalled VW-VMS2. Later I learned that there must have been better choices for a similar, a just little higher prize. I had tried on various forums to get critics for this mic and how it compares to the favoured Videomic, but obviously nobody owns that Pana mic. as I never got answers. Eventually I might buy another mic and I have been thinking to go for another stereo mic, - or would that be a wrong choice? Was there not a rumour that there will be a Videomic II which would be stereo?
I have mixed feelings about stereo mics in general. Not about the mics themselves nor about the desirability of stereo sound in the final production, just under what circumstances shooting with a stereo mic, especially one on camera, would be a good choice. Truly effective stereo presentation requires careful planning, shooting, and mic positioning so the sound perspective and position works well to complement the on-screen images. There's nothing wrong with using a stereo mic at the camera but I think you can get more bang for the same money with mono for the kind of shooting it sounds like you do. More importantly, what is your Panasonic mic NOT doing for you in your general travel shooting that leads you to look into other options? Where is it letting you down?
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2006, 10:42 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
Steve, when I first tried out the Panasonic Mic. I was disappointed because I hardly could hear a difference to the sound recorded by the built in mic. Later I learned that I should not have expected a big difference and did realize that music recorded with the external mic certainly does sound much 'richer and fuller'.
So I am quite satisfied with the mic., it does not let me down.
However once I realized that mics offered by the producers of the camcorders as my Pana mic. are not even considered as a choice by anybody active in these forums I never stopped wondering just how much 'better' e.g. the Videomic would be, and if it could be a worthwhile investment.

on the iriver front:
My understanding is that it is the iFP-700 and iFP-800 series and the H100 and H300 harddisc irivers do have the line in which can be put to 'mic in' with adjustable recording levels.
Does anybody know if the recording quality resp. options are the same for all these models or if they differ? And if they differ in which way? - recordable file formats, bitrates etc.
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2006, 11:12 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
Steve, when I first tried out the Panasonic Mic. I was disappointed because I hardly could hear a difference to the sound recorded by the built in mic. Later I learned that I should not have expected a big difference and did realize that music recorded with the external mic certainly does sound much 'richer and fuller'.
So I am quite satisfied with the mic., it does not let me down.
However once I realized that mics offered by the producers of the camcorders as my Pana mic. are not even considered as a choice by anybody active in these forums I never stopped wondering just how much 'better' e.g. the Videomic would be, and if therefore it could be a worthwhile investment.

on the iriver front:
My understanding is that it is the iFP-700 and iFP-800 series and the H100 and H300 harddisc irivers do have the line in which can be put to 'mic in' with adjustable recording levels.
Does anybody know if the recording quality resp. options for recording are the same for all these models or if they differ? And if they differ in which way? - recordable file formats, bitrates etc.
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House
I have mixed feelings about stereo mics in general. Not about the mics themselves nor about the desirability of stereo sound in the final production, just under what circumstances shooting with a stereo mic, especially one on camera, would be a good choice...
I've done lots of stereo and multichannel recording, both with video and sound only. Fed to the camera, and/or recorded on a second system.

But stereo recording only comes out for music. I can't think of any other use, except perhaps stereo sound effects.

Never with a camera mounted mic or mics - the only time the camera-mounted mic is used is for general ambience or to help sync double-system sound. I wouldn't want the stereo sound field affected in the slightest when I move the camera.

Strongly agreeing with Steve... and I have hundreds of hours of music recordings that sound great! Primarily acoustic and ethnic/world.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2006, 12:42 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Amstetten Austria
Posts: 140
thank's a lot everybody.

what I have learned:

the iriver omni mono giant squid + iriver mp3 recorder will make a good substitute for a more expensice wireless lav system. I then even will have 2 sound recordings which I can mix in postproductuion.

Iriver models which have the 'mic in' with adjustable level are:
flash models:
iFP-500, iFP-700, iFP-800, iFP-900
HD models:
H120, H140, H320, H340
all of which are discontinued, better get one fast.

According to manuals I have downloaded from iriver:

iFP-700, iFP-800 and iFP-900 series:
recording in MP3 only,
BitRate adjustable 8 Kbps – 320 Kbps,
sampling frequency 11025 KHz ~ 44,1 KHz,
recording level adjustable

H120 and H140:
recording in WAV or MP3,
mp3 Bitrate adjustable 40 Kbps – 320 Kbps,
recording level adjustable,
recording is automatically stopped if file size of mp3 is over 195 MB, or file size of WAV is over 795 MB.
---there seems to be a way to get a level indicator --- it is too high for me, but check out www.rockbox.org resp. http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=2513.0

H320 and H340: I have not downloaded their manual because I have a VERY slow connection here of average 2 KB/sec, the download of this 30 MB file would take ages and cost 10 to 15 US$ just for the time used online. Maybe somebody could do that and check out their in line recording functions? Download site: http://www.iriver.com/html/support/d...pSearchString=
Which is for the European version, there is another link for the US version.

The newer T20 and T30 models do have a line in, but it cannot be set to 'mic-in' and only has 3 levels to choose from, low, medium, high and from what I have read in forums they are not considered fit for our porpose.

Mics generally: Stereo mics are only used for recording of music, for any other use shotgun would be prefered.

my personal conclusion:
I will get an iriver GS and an iriver mp3 player for the 'interview' setting, though I am not yet decided which iriver it will be.
If not for the simple joy to get yet another toy no real need to get another mic, I first should learn how to use my Pana well.

which does leads me to one more question:
to use that Pana mic off my cam, do you think it is possible to use an extension cable? If so, which quality and how much max. lenght?
If yes, I could order a cable together with my Giant Squid from here: http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.com...tom-cables.htm
but which one would be the indicated one, and besides I only saw a plug, no femal part to make an extension offered there.

Last edited by Andreas Griesmayr; February 27th, 2006 at 01:24 AM.
Andreas Griesmayr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2006, 04:43 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Griesmayr
thank's a lot everybody.

what I have learned:

the iriver omni mono giant squid + iriver mp3 recorder will make a good substitute for a more expensice wireless lav system. I then even will have 2 sound recordings which I can mix in postproductuion.

...

my personal conclusion:
I will get an iriver GS and an iriver mp3 player for the 'interview' setting, though I am not yet decided which iriver it will be.
If not for the simple joy to get yet another toy no real need to get another mic, I first should learn how to use my Pana well.

which does leads me to one more question:
to use that Pana mic off my cam, do you think it is possible to use an extension cable? If so, which quality and how much max. lenght?
If yes, I could order a cable together with my Giant Squid from here: http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.com...tom-cables.htm
but which one would be the indicated one, and besides I only saw a plug, no femal part to make an extension offered there.
Rephrase that to "the GS and iRiver combination will make a USABLE substitute ...." You'll need to make sure you convert the sample rate of the iRiver recording from 44.1 to 48 kHz in post in order to sync your audio, you may have sync drift betwwen the audio and video that you'll need to be alert for, and MP3 is not as high quality a recording format as WAV/PCM or BWF. Be sure to slate each take, preferably both a head slate at the start and a tail slate at the end of each shot, so you can sync things up later.

The best substitute would be a professional grade balanced lav mic from Countryman, Sony, Sennheiser, A/T, etc with a Beachtek or similar adapter at the camera end supplying phantom power and adapting the mic's XLR connector to the camera's unbalanced miniplug input. Or for a recorder to slip into the talent's pocket, use similar professional mic plugged into an m-Audio Microtrack 2496 CF card recorder. But those solutions are several times the budget you mentioned you were aiming for.

Note 2: You need a mic-in, not a line-in, to plug the lav mic into. Your post sounded sort of like you had that reversed.

Your Pana mic is an unbalanced stereo mic. Looks like the connector is a standard 3.5mm stereo TRS miniplug. Any shielded stereo extension cable with a stereo plug on one end and jack on the other such as are used for headphone extension cables would work. Unbalanced cables are subject to noise pickup however so you should keep the length as short as possible and make sure it doesn't run near wires carrying mains AC or other noise generators. Note: just getting a "balanced mic cable" and adapters for the connectors won't help with the noise pickup issue - balanced versus unbalanced is a characteristic of the devices you're connecting, not the cable per se, though you do need to use a properly wired cable in order to keep a balanced system balanced.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:11 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network