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Old May 5th, 2006, 07:07 PM   #1
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A1U Mic question...

Just recieved the A1 today. I will not be doing any paid events etc, but am wondering what my best Mic options are for things like High school graduations etc..? I read a post that said certain mics are not meant for indoors so I am wondering what I should be looking for. My preference would be a better mic than the one that came with the A1, but universal at the same time. Meaning....I would prefer one that can be used for these events and other family ventures I may run into. I know this is very broad, but I am in the learning phase with Audio and video for that matter. Also...if someone could guide me just a hair on the proper XLR settings or push me to a good site for this.....

I really appreciate any help you give and will thank you now for the 1000 other questions I will have ;-)
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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #2
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A hypercardioid or cardioid are good for indoors, while shotguns are good for outdoors but not indoors usually. Try the Sennheiser ME64 + K6 power capsule as a cardioid mic (that actually sounds acceptable outdoors too) - $365 for both the mic and the power capsule.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
A hypercardioid or cardioid are good for indoors, while shotguns are good for outdoors but not indoors usually. Try the Sennheiser ME64 + K6 power capsule as a cardioid mic (that actually sounds acceptable outdoors too) - $365 for both the mic and the power capsule.
Thanks for the info. So you are saying it would be best to swap out mics depending on the occasion? If that is the case, could you recommend a good cardioid indoor mic and also a shotgun outdoor mic that are not terribly expensive but decent quality. This may or may not include the above mentioned. I do like high quality, but need to budget because the wife would kill me if I went and paid a fortune for some mics just a day after she ok'd this A1 purchase :-)

Thanks for your help
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Old May 5th, 2006, 08:50 PM   #4
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Well, not sure how much is expensive for you, but the ME64 is a good cardiod, and a good shotgun for cheap (comparatively) is the Rode NTG-1 or NTG-2. They are identical mics except that NTG-2 is longer/bigger and has the option of using battery power as well as phantom power (power that comes from a device, such as your recorder or camera). NTG-1 is smaller, but phantom powered only. If I were to make my purchases again, I would go for the NTG-2 for its versatility - it helps you have a battery powered mic for boom pools instead of phantom only.

The Rode shotguns are about $200-250. I got a BH Foto kit that included the Rode SM3 shockmount, 1.5 feet right-angle XLR cable (Audio Technica), and the Rode NTG-1 shotgun mic (which includes a nice carry pouch, mic clamp to screw onto boom pools, and the foam windshield) for $250 free shipping. Don't make the same mistake I did and buy a separate, new Rode windshield ($19.95) because you thought the mic didn't come with one. The BH Foto deceived me because it showed the mic with no windscreen and it didn't say explictly that it was included.

If you were only to get one mic though, get the ME64 as it works well indoors and still pretty acceptably outdoors. Shotguns tend to sound boxy/echo-y/weird indoors.
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Old May 5th, 2006, 10:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Well, not sure how much is expensive for you, but the ME64 is a good cardiod, and a good shotgun for cheap (comparatively) is the Rode NTG-1 or NTG-2. They are identical mics except that NTG-2 is longer/bigger and has the option of using battery power as well as phantom power (power that comes from a device, such as your recorder or camera). NTG-1 is smaller, but phantom powered only. If I were to make my purchases again, I would go for the NTG-2 for its versatility - it helps you have a battery powered mic for boom pools instead of phantom only.

The Rode shotguns are about $200-250. I got a BH Foto kit that included the Rode SM3 shockmount, 1.5 feet right-angle XLR cable (Audio Technica), and the Rode NTG-1 shotgun mic (which includes a nice carry pouch, mic clamp to screw onto boom pools, and the foam windshield) for $250 free shipping. Don't make the same mistake I did and buy a separate, new Rode windshield ($19.95) because you thought the mic didn't come with one. The BH Foto deceived me because it showed the mic with no windscreen and it didn't say explictly that it was included.

If you were only to get one mic though, get the ME64 as it works well indoors and still pretty acceptably outdoors. Shotguns tend to sound boxy/echo-y/weird indoors.
Thanks Alex. I am assuming the ME64 would sound better outdoors than the mic that comes with the A1 which most think is not very good? It sounds like, for my purposes, I would do very well with just the one mic.

Thx
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:03 PM   #6
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I have the ME 64 and it's a great mike. However, I just did a short project with the A1 involving lots of interviews/talking heads both indoors and outside. I decided to shoot it with the Sony mike (the ME 64 with the muff is, like, twice as big as the camera- I thought it would look wierd-- O.K., not a great reason, but there you are). Anyway, I just finished watching one of the final delivery DVDs and thought the audio was quite acceptable.
I would urge you to put a few miles on the Sony mike before spending more money. If you are someone who is in the habit of routinely doing detailed audio editing (filters, compression, tweaking the EQ, etc.) the ME4 might make a difference that you would think is worth the extra bucks. Actually, if you are that kind of producer, you are going to use boom and lapel mikes, not on camera sound. If you are not that deep into the audio, you might be pleasently surprised using what you have.
It's conventional wisdom to thumb the nose at that Sony mike, But I noticed that it is listed for $280 @ B&H. I thought that put it at least out of the throw away category
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Old May 5th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #7
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What are you talking about? The ME64 is not twice the size of the camera. It doesn't look weird at all. In fact, it's pretty much the same size as the Rode NTG-1, which is not much bigger than the supplied Sony ECM-NV1 mic. Even with a windscreen, the ME64 with K6 (battery + phantom) attached to the Sony shockmount, it looks completely right. Check out Laurence or Adam's custom A1 setups for pictures.

The ME64 does better indoors than outdoors. But it seems acceptable in both areas.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 04:38 AM   #8
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Thanks guys. I probably should experiment a some before jumping the gun. I have until June 2 for the graduation so I could probably get some good practice and make some better decisions before then. Again...this is all pretty much family stuff so I just want good quality. I will not need the top of line by any means. That being said...it will be HD and the sound is a crucial part of that...

Thanks for your help and keep it coming if there is more...
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Old May 7th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Well, not sure how much is expensive for you, but the ME64 is a good cardiod, and a good shotgun for cheap (comparatively) is the Rode NTG-1 or NTG-2. They are identical mics except that NTG-2 is longer/bigger and has the option of using battery power as well as phantom power (power that comes from a device, such as your recorder or camera). NTG-1 is smaller, but phantom powered only. If I were to make my purchases again, I would go for the NTG-2 for its versatility - it helps you have a battery powered mic for boom pools instead of phantom only.

The Rode shotguns are about $200-250. I got a BH Foto kit that included the Rode SM3 shockmount, 1.5 feet right-angle XLR cable (Audio Technica), and the Rode NTG-1 shotgun mic (which includes a nice carry pouch, mic clamp to screw onto boom pools, and the foam windshield) for $250 free shipping. Don't make the same mistake I did and buy a separate, new Rode windshield ($19.95) because you thought the mic didn't come with one. The BH Foto deceived me because it showed the mic with no windscreen and it didn't say explictly that it was included.

If you were only to get one mic though, get the ME64 as it works well indoors and still pretty acceptably outdoors. Shotguns tend to sound boxy/echo-y/weird indoors.

Alex -

You mentioned the Rode and the windscreen...does the Me64 come with one?
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Old May 7th, 2006, 06:10 AM   #10
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No, it doesn't.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
No, it doesn't.
Do you recommed getting one for it or will another one, say the sony, fit? Also...I was reading another forum that the ME64 needs about 10db attenuation but the A1 XLR only allows 20db. Do you find this an issue as well?


Thanks again
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:29 PM   #12
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Personally, I didn't change any settings (I don't know how to do attenuation) and my audio sounds fine to me with the ME64. You can get a Red Dot K6 or K6P power module, which reduces the sensitivity of the mic too.

Also, I remember someone (I think Laurence Kingston) saying that he was able to use 10db attentuation with his A1.

If you're using the ME64 indoors where there's no wind, you probably won't need a windscreen. I believe the Sony windscreen will fit though.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Personally, I didn't change any settings (I don't know how to do attenuation) and my audio sounds fine to me with the ME64. You can get a Red Dot K6 or K6P power module, which reduces the sensitivity of the mic too.

Also, I remember someone (I think Laurence Kingston) saying that he was able to use 10db attentuation with his A1.

If you're using the ME64 indoors where there's no wind, you probably won't need a windscreen. I believe the Sony windscreen will fit though.
Thanks Alex...the more I read on the more things change :-) I have also read something about 10db attentuation on the A1. I probably will not see an issue either. What about a windscreen?

Thx
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #14
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Wait, I'm confused. You first said A1 only allows 20db att. but then you just said you also heard it does 10db.

Anyways, while I don't think its necessary to keep the windscreen on indoors, I don't hear a difference with and without the windscreen on with the ME64 indoors. Because I don't use my ME64 outdoors much (I use my Rode NTG-1 shotgun for that), I don't really know if the windscreen makes a big difference, though I expect it will make a difference as that is the windscreen's function.

To me, I feel the Sony windscreen is cheaper quality (from touching it) than the Rode windscreen, but I have no real reason to say one is worse than the other.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Thames
Wait, I'm confused. You first said A1 only allows 20db att. but then you just said you also heard it does 10db.

Anyways, while I don't think its necessary to keep the windscreen on indoors, I don't hear a difference with and without the windscreen on with the ME64 indoors. Because I don't use my ME64 outdoors much (I use my Rode NTG-1 shotgun for that), I don't really know if the windscreen makes a big difference, though I expect it will make a difference as that is the windscreen's function.

To me, I feel the Sony windscreen is cheaper quality (from touching it) than the Rode windscreen, but I have no real reason to say one is worse than the other.
LOL..sorry about the 20db vs 10db. This is why I said that things are changing. I had read the A1 could only do 20db but alsr read the 10db adjustment was possible. I guess I really don't know which is correct. I am not going to worry about that right now.

I would say I will be 70% outdoor use so I would need a windscreen. I would love to have both mic's but just not in my budget right now since I need some other items as well..
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