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Old May 10th, 2006, 07:12 PM   #1
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Rode Videomic question end it all

Hey all,



After finding a good price on a rode videomic, I decided to pick one up because of great reviews of the sound comparing it to the Rode NTG2. So now I've played around with the video mic for a bit, and realized like many others that it is indeed very sensetive. I'm wondering if it's best to get a stero volume control from radio shack to adjust the sensetivity of the mic, or get a beacktek or similar adapter. I plan to use the video mic for the majority of it's use as a shotgun mic on a boom pole.



so I guess here are my choices



1. from the Pan gs400 mic input a stero volume control from radio shack, and plug that into either a 25 foot 3.5mm extension cable, or a couple rode videomic extension cables attached together because they are only 3m long, which i don't think is long enough for attach it to a boom pole. Is it acceptable to buy a bunch of rode extension cables and attach them together, or is it better buying something longer from radio shack?
I understand for production you need at least 25 feet for booming?

http://www.rodemicrophones.com/?page...ts&product=VC1

And then into the rode video mic wrapped around a rode boom pole, or something similar..not sure what to opt for. Also I've noticed there is no way to control the volume in the gs400 i get from my headphones, it's usually loud, I may opt for another volume control for headphones, so they';re not blasting in my ears or the sound persons. What do you guys think of that?



Not sure which set up is going to give me the most noise out of those cable choices.



Now my second choice is from a post I read on here where a gentleman said this

"It isn't necessarily true that you "get what you pay for" with these cables. They are all

shielded, and all are going to deliver about the same level of performance whether you buy

from the shack or from B&H. If I recall, you have the GS150.. unbalanced input..the best way

without question to pull long cable runs is using balanced cable, connectors, inputs and

outputs.. this means looking into something like the beachtek XLR adaptor, converting your

Rode to a balanced XLR connector at the end of its built in cable, and running the rest of

the distance over balanced line into the beachtek. Any 25' unbalanced cable is bound to pick

up noise and deliver it to your preamp. (in your case the mic input on the 150) This is why

I am so opposed to spending so much money on anything with "monster" in the name.. it's like

using 20 feet of concrete when 5 will do just fine.

By the way, you need more than just a 1/8" phone plug to 3 pin XLR to convert properly.. You

need a 1:1 isolation transformer somewhere in the line as well, between the unbalanced phone

plug and the balanced cable. Radio Shack sells these guys, and they are the only way to

properly interface unbalanced equipment with balanced. They allow the signal to pass

unmodified (not amplified or attenuated) from one side to the other while blocking RFI (the

noise induced on the cable from external sources)

The Rode VM's primary purpose is to be mounted on the shoe, and used with the supplied patch

cable. You'll note it's coiled. The length and number of coils is a deliberate engineering

technique to minimize noise induced on the cable. It is unbalanced gear and is not intended

to be used for long cable runs. That being said, a little creativity will help you around

this limitation.

Tim



So now I'm wondering if you could actaully get a balanced connection from that set up, or if you'd just be benefitting from using xlr cables, which have more shielding?



So It would go from Pan GS400 to beachtek http://www.beachtek.com/dxa4.html to xlr cable say 20 feet, into maybe the rode vxlr http://www.rodemicrophones.com/?page...s&product=VXLR then going into video mic, on boom pole with dead cat.



(or instead of the beachtek maybe use that shure a96f that's supposed to be used for hooking up xlr cables to 3.5 mm camcorder inputs.)



Also as regards to lgain evels for having the videomic on the acessory shoe, where is the best place to have it at?



And when the video mic is used on a boom pole where is the best place to have the gain?



So basically I want to find out a couple things. How to adjust the high sensetivity of the video mic hooked up to the pana gs400 using either the stero volume control or beachtek or shure without getting additional noise, hiss etc.



I want to try and get enough extenstion cable to a boom pole and video mic without getting a noisey setup, using either the unbalanced lines, or the xlr set up if that actually decreases the noise and makes it balanced?



And finally to hopefully make this as a sticky for future videomic users who need to just find one spot for their answers.



Thanks all for your help in the past, and maybe you can help me out!



Luke
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Old May 11th, 2006, 03:32 AM   #2
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Hi Luke

I am having similar issues to you with regards to trying to reduce/control the hot videomic signal. Particularly because often I am filming very loud rock bands in clubs and pubs.

Here's my thread
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=66607

I originally contacted Rode and said my mic was very hot... they got me to send it back to them, and they sent me a new one that was less sensitive. This helped somewhat. Not sure if you can try the same thing... I am in Australia so it was easy as Rode is an Australian company.

I tried the stereo volume control solution but found it was introducing a lot of noise into my recordings (particularly when i adjusted the volume control), hence I have given up on using the stereo control.

Now I am looking at Beachtek adapters, but am learning that adjusting their trim controls can also create problems (see that other thread).

Best solution at the moment, outside of a real mixer, seems to be the Beacktek DXA-8.

Good luck.

Dave
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Old May 11th, 2006, 04:41 AM   #3
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Well, I don't have experience with most of your problem, but you mentioned you can't adjust the volume of your headphone out on the GS400. I believe you should be able to preset it to a reasonable level by switching to playback mode and using the zoom control to adjust the volume down. I don't know of any way to do it on the fly in record mode, but its better than adding another adapter to the mass of cables sticking out the side.

-Terence
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Old May 11th, 2006, 05:11 AM   #4
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Two questions about using the Rode Videomic in very loud environments:

- is it possible to use an inline attenuator to reduce the levels reaching the camera? I found an Audio Technica attenuator at BH
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/sitem/sk...&is=REG&EB=324
however it is designed for balanced devices with XLR connectors, and both the videomic and the gs400 have unbalanced minijack connections. Is there any way around this? (will minijack > XLR connectors work?)

- is it possible to use a sign video unit to ride levels
http://www.signvideo.com/xlr-pro_xlr...udio-mixer.htm
Then, if recording in a very loud environment (such as recording a rock band in a club) where levels are still clipping, would it be possible to change the "mic" switch to "line" - causing a drop in amplication, and hence acting as an attenuator. Would that work?

Dave
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Old May 11th, 2006, 05:33 AM   #5
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ahaha would this be the sort of attenuating device to use with the videomic
http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...t1&svbname=425
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Old May 11th, 2006, 05:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Erceg-Hurn
ahaha would this be the sort of attenuating device to use with the videomic
http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...t1&svbname=425
I've seen one of those that does 11dB of attenuation
if 20dB is too much.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 06:39 AM   #7
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If you have a GS400, make sure you adjust mic levels down when using the Videomic. In loud environments, you may have to take it down to -30dB plus use an attenuator.

The Radio Shack volume control will work, but you should not adjust it while recording. As you noted, it will introduce noise if moved during recording. The inline 1/8" attenuator cable is a good substitute (if 5X more expensive) but it is fixed attenuation. The volume control can be adjusted which makes it more flexible if you just set the level before the recording starts. The same thing goes with the Beachtek, you set the levels before recording starts and don't ride the controls. The Sign Video XLR-PRO seems to have better pots. I have not noticed any noise when levels were adjusted with it during recordings.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 06:49 AM   #8
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Which Radio Shack model are you referring to, Guy?
I've been thinking about getting one of
these 1/8" attenuator cables but if there
is something just as good -- but adjustible --
I'd like to take a look at that.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:37 AM   #9
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Other than basic wire and parts (resistors, capacitors, etc) I'm not sure i'd want to go with anything Radio Snak. To lower the level of the Rode Videomic I'd suggest you investigate one of the Beachtek adapters. It would have a plus benefit of letting you use balanced professional mics as well as adjusting levels.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #10
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Dave,
It's this one.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #11
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FYI

The Rode mic output is rated at -38dB (0dB=1V/Pa)
The Panny cam mic input is rated at -50dB, same reference.

The exact match is thus a 12dB attenuation.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Erceg-Hurn
ahaha would this be the sort of attenuating device to use with the videomic
http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?...t1&svbname=425
Thats the sort of thing you want - but it's 20db attenuation.

As Steve said, ideally you want something closer to 10dB.
Does anyone have a link to a simple cable attentuator, very simialr to the one in the etronics link, but 10dB and not 20dB??

thanks in advance
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Old May 11th, 2006, 12:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Thats the sort of thing you want - but it's 20db attenuation.

As Steve said, ideally you want something closer to 10dB.
Does anyone have a link to a simple cable attentuator, very simialr to the one in the etronics link, but 10dB and not 20dB??

thanks in advance
Here's the one i was mentioning:

http://core-sound.com/attenuator-cables/1.php
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:08 PM   #14
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Hey ,

Thanks for the replies so far. Still curious about which is a better option using unbalanced cable, or getting a beachtek to just gain the advantage of xlr shielded cables?

the stero volume control sounds decent, considering I won't be adjusting levels during recording. Does anybody have any recomendation where to set the panasonic gs400 for booming with the video mic?
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Old May 12th, 2006, 05:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke McMillian
Hey ,

Thanks for the replies so far. Still curious about which is a better option using unbalanced cable, or getting a beachtek to just gain the advantage of xlr shielded cables?

the stero volume control sounds decent, considering I won't be adjusting levels during recording. Does anybody have any recomendation where to set the panasonic gs400 for booming with the video mic?
Luke, The Beachtek won't give you the advantages of balanced cable unless you also have a balancing transformer at the mic end. When a balanced cable or device and an unbalanced cable are connected together using a simple adapter, the entire system becomes unbalanced and any advantages of the balanced cable are lost.

If you're booming and the cable will be too long to use a simple stereo-wired extension cable (very likely) you might consider a Beachtek and using something like the Rode NTG-2 instead of the Videomic and make the whole thing balanced.
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