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Old March 4th, 2006, 07:25 PM   #1
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A little help please

First off to make it clear that I am new to all this and a little unsure of my footing. This is strictly a hobby for me and never intended to do anything even semi professional but I do like good audio.

1. After review of many threads I have decided (most likely) to purchase a Sennheiser ME-66 with K6 power system. I get the impression that this is a good mid range ($) setup. One thing I dont remember seeing (could be my memory) is the effective range of this mic. At what point should I change over to a hand-held (maybe wireless) setup?

How is phantom power supplied to this mic?

I realize that there are no hard and fast rules; Im just looking for educated experience.

2. Which to use: MA-300 and BeachTek DXA-4P Dual XLR? Advantages/Disadvantages?

3. Im also considering a ME-64 to go along with the ME-66. Does anyone have experience of using this mic with a wireless adapter?

FYI this is to use with the GL-2, Firestore FS-4 and Ch-910 dual battery setup. So if there were a way to power the mic(s) from the Ch-910 this would be great.

Thank you
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Old March 4th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #2
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1. Forget the MA300. For the same price, it's highly inferior to the Beachtek DXA-4P.
2. You seem to have some latitude on spending, so I would strongly suggest that you go another $100 over the price of the DXA-4P and get the DXA-6. That will power any two mics you get now or in the future. No, the Ch-910 will not power mics.
3. The ME-66 is not such a good mic, IMO. It has one strength only, and that is sensitivity. It's probably a fairly good choice for capturing sounds to go with outdoor nature footage. For virtually all other applications there are better mics and better deals--again IMO.
4. Always plan on getting the mic within a few feet of the source, unless the source is a wide field such a chorus or orchestra. Shooting with a shotgun mic from a distance is a last resort.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 09:31 AM   #3
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Oktava?

Thanks for the input Fred.

1. Ok the DXA-6 it is. It really is nice to only have to purchase something once.
2. From what I can tell the DXA-6 uses a 9-volt battery for power is this correct?
3. Ive done a couple of searches on IMO and cant really come up with much except possibly Oktava. So does IMO = Oktave?
4. Distance to source looks like my thinking might be correct, sounds like say from 5-10 feet.

Thanks for the help.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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I think Fred is using IMO as an acronym for "in my opinion".

The Sennheiser K6 system has the advantage that you can buy one power module - the K6 - and then use a range of microphone capsules with differing characteristics with it.

If you are not working professionally, the standard K6 would suit you fine.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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Yes, tha's what I meant by IMO. Thanks, Alan. Don, you'll often also see IMHO when the writer is feeling humble (or touting his honesty--I'm never sure).

Speaking of honesty, I've never tried an ME66 myself. I'm going by some comparative online sound clips and posted comments from others. It's a very widely used mic and a lot of people do like them. I think that its sensitivity is what made people flock to it--that's what a lot people think they need in a shotgun.

Also, Don, not to nickel an dime you to death, I actually chose the DXA-8 which adds some amplification capability and built in limiters (they prevent clipping of sudden loud passages. Without limiters you have to set your levels lower if you anticipate loud passages). Correct, they all do use 9V batteries. I find that a 9V Duracell is good for 3 hours when supplying phantom power to two mics. I recommend that a $6 or so Radio Shack battery checker or equivalent be part of your kit.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #6
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Yes, I would certainly like a DXA-8 to use with my K6/Me67 (the longer, narrower pick up field version of the ME66). I use this mike because I am "shooting" wild birds and I cannot fit them with a lapel mike! Its high sensitivity means it will pick up quiet birds some distance away, but louder, closer, birds can be a problem.

I have to set my levels lower than I would like to stop the stray mallard exihibitionist wrecking my audio, and the limiter would prevent that. If your mike is going to be close to your camera, and your camera has manual audio gain control, like the Canon GL2, you can get away without the Beachtek, using just an XLR to 3.5mm jack lead.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #7
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I second the recommendation for the Beachtek DXA-8.

The preamplifiers and limiters in this unit are well worth the extra cost.

The quiet preamplifiers allow you to compensate for the noisy preamplifiers in some cameras, such as the XL1 or Xl1s. The difference is remarkable if the Beachtek is used correctly.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 09:59 PM   #8
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Ok

So far what I have used my GL-1 (Now GL-2) for is taping my daughters rugby games and other basic home video stuff. As in all sports things can get exciting and noisy having an adaptor such as the DXA-8 would seem to be a good thing. Anything that will help prevent clipping is a good thing. Im not sure how the pre-amp will perform with the ME-66. It is my understanding that the ME-66 is supposed to be a hot microphone anyway. However with the limiters mentioned it may actually make the audio cleaner guess I will have to wait and see.

Does anyone know what the current drain on the 9 Volt battery is?
I ask this because I do not like to purchase non-rechargeable batteries or carry different types of batteries around. 9V, 1 V, Batteries for the camera and for the FS-4. Well I will be building a Li-Poly cell to help the FS-4 along and am planning to add a 9V regulator to feed the DXA. Should be no problem. I would add the 1 V also but I see no easy way to attach wires since the K6 is encapsulated.

Alan

"If your mike is going to be close to your camera, and your camera has manual audio gain control, like the Canon GL2, you can get away without the Beachtek, using just an XLR to 3.5mm jack lead."
Not a bad way to go actually I think that if you insert the mic into a Y adaptor you will actually be able to use 2 mics this way.

B & H seems to have a good price on the ME-66, any suggestions on the DXA-8?

Thanks All
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Boosinger
...Im not sure how the pre-amp will perform with the ME-66. It is my understanding that the ME-66 is supposed to be a hot microphone anyway. However with the limiters mentioned it may actually make the audio cleaner guess I will have to wait and see....
Your're right, the ME66 is a hot mic. It puts out about 50 milivolts when shouted at from about a meter away. But with MIC ATT set to ON in the GL2 you should be fine. Since you're apparently an electronics do-it-yourselfer, you may be ineterested in some measurements I made regarding levels with the GL2 and the DXA-8:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=secrets
and
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=secrets

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Boosinger
...Does anyone know what the current drain on the 9 Volt battery is?...
It just so happens that I did some measuring and analysis of that too:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...hlight=secrets
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Old March 6th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #10
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9V it is...

Fred

Interesting to say the least. Thank you for doing the test it will make the initial operation of DXA-8 much simpler now I do not have to do a lot of testing to have a ballpark starting position.

The voltage/current test shows me that if I really wanted to I could power the DXA from the CH-910 (I use two BP945) but I probably will just stick to the plan of using a 11.1V @2100 ma. Li-poly and a regulator. In addition to not using 9v dry cells this should approximately triple the time the FS-4 can be used. This is just a guess since the FS-4 came with a 850ma battery.

This is probably not necessary but let me say it anyway

Safety Warning:: Please do not play with Li-poly batteries unless you have researched it and KNOW what you are doing. If charged incorrectly they become very hot and can explode or catch on fire. I use a programmable charger for cells that I make up. While fast charging it monitors the temperature of the battery and will shut down if they get too hot. If you purchase a battery/charger pack it should be fine Im talking about packs that can be built from individual cells.

If anyone is wondering why so much power is needed well although I may only end up with 2 hours of video a rugby tournament can last up to 6 hours or more.
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Old March 9th, 2006, 08:44 PM   #11
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What mic system for XL-2

Saturday, my new XL-2 is coming. I don't have a clue as to what brand/type of microphones I should purchase. Wireless lavs or wired ones. Please advise. I should mention that I'll primarily be doing talking heads and one on one interviews.
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