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Old May 16th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #1
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Need Input On Audio Kit

I posted this in the Sony HDR-HC1 forum, but I think I'll get more responses here.


Here is what I am saving up for this summer.

-Beacktek DXA-8-

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

-Audio Technica AT4053a- (Hypercardioid)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

-Audio Technica AT4073a- (Shotgun)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

-Rycote 12cm Medium Hole Softie- (For AT4073a)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...cessory_detail

-K-Tek KE110CCR Boompole- (Internally Wired, w/ side exit)

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

-Audio Technica AT8415 Shock Mount-

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

-Canare Star-Quad XLR Cable-

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=194516&is=REG

-Sony MDR-7506 Headphones-

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search


So what do you guys think? This will take me a while to save up for. (I'm 15-years-old.) The total is going to be around $2000. I'm currently trying to get my mom to get some of my money out of my bank account. (I can't get it for another 2 and a half years.) I'm going to keep bothering here, she will eventually do it.

But first, I got a few questions:

1. Does anyone here have a similar audio setup for the HDR-HC1? How it is?

2. How is the sound quality going to be with this setup with the HDR-HC1?

3. Does the Beachtek DXA-8 work great with the Sony HDR-HC1?

4. Does the Beachtek DXA-8 work good with the Audio Technica AT4053a and AT4073a?

5. How is the sound quality of the Audio Technica AT4053a and AT4073a?

I hope this audio set up is really good for the Sony HDR-HC1, I don't want to regret spending $2000 on something that isn't good. (That is a lot of money at my age, well, I guess that is a lot of money at any age!)

Also, I'm new to audio. Any pointers for me?

I'm going to be filming my first big movie with my HDR-HC1, and hopefully this audio setup, this summer and I can't wait!

Last edited by Selim Abdullai; May 17th, 2006 at 08:01 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selim Abdullai
I'm new to audio. Any pointers for me?
Looks like some nice kit you're planning to get. It's going to sound geat with the Beachtek adapter. I used to shoot with a Schoepps mic with an early model Beachtec adapter into a Sony Hi8 camera and people were blown away by the sound. It's all in the mic placement, actually, the mic comes second.

For starting out, your kit might be overkill, however, it's wise to put money into sound at a ratio of 2:1 compared to camera gear. Too many people starting out short-change sound, which I like to say is "half of the picture." Camera gear comes and goes, but investment in good sound kit will provide many, many years of use, long after the camera you got at the same time as the sound gear becomes obsolete. I'm still using a Tram lavalier I got in 1999, the video camera I had back then is useless today.

In terms of actual choices, sound gear and microphone choice is a very personal thing, even more than camera choices, so the only thing I can suggest is listen and develop your ear and learn to listen in a critical manner. I have a friend who's very happy with the very cost effective and excellent performing Rode video mics, but the mics you have on your list are excellent.

There's only two things in your wish-list I'd suggest you consider differently, and that's (1) include a mixer, and (2) the choice microphone cables. For microphone level runs between the mic and the camera (or mixer), Star Quad cables offer much better rejection of RF interference, I personally own a collection of Canare Star Quad Mic Cables, and in addition to being fine mic cables, they are also available in a wide range of colors. A mixer allows you to monitor and control microphones separate from the camera, it's often hard to control levels on the camera. A mixer allows you to set the camera input volume and leave it alone and control and monitor levels on the mixer. Good mixers also provide phantom power (better to spend your mic money all on mics rather than power supplies and mics in one) and soft limiting. This is not something you need to get right away, but as you do more sound work, I bet you'll want one.

Start with one basic mic into the camera via the Beachtec, and work your way up from there. You are wise to consider sound an important part of the total sound/image package. And then there's lighting... My personal sound kit is cataloged on my web site if you're curious where I'm coming from.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #3
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Seconding Dabid's comments. You might want to consider a bit longer boompole and one of K-Tek's carbon fibre models - longer reach and lighter weight make them worth the cost. Also take a look at a Sound Devices MixPre or 302 mixer. Trew Audio has breakaway snakes to connect the boom op to the mixer and the mixer to the camera that would be worth checking out as well.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 07:51 PM   #4
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I think that David's advice on cables is good. Not knowing any better, I started out with less expensive Hosa cables and still have them. They've served okay, but when I see the construction in Star Quad that I could have had for a few pennies more, I wish I had bought them. I gather that they are also more flexible than my Hosa cables, which would be a plus. The AT cables you're looking at may be higher quality than the Hosas, but for that price you could have the 4-conductor construction of the Star Quads.

I have the DXA-8. No regrets there, its a nice piece of equipment for the money. I do want a MixPre, but I want a few more mics first.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #5
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OK, I added a 15 foot Star Quad cable to my wishlist, and got rid of the Audio Technica one. I'm most likely not going to get a mixer anytime soon, but it's definently something I'm going to look into. Thanks for the advice everyone.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #6
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The thing about Star Quad cables is that they are less prone to be affected by RF interference and are easier to work with when you're around power cables that give off all sorts of RF you don't want in your mic cables. Ironically those super fancy looking Monster mic cables are not Star Quad. Canare Star Quad are the majority of the cables in my kit. I use non-Star Quad for line level connections sometimes, but never for microphone level connections. They actually might be a little less flexible due to the pair of twisted pairs, but the Canare's are very flexible, as they use a large count of thin strands of copper per conductor.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #7
 
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Another thing about Star Quads is they are significantly more prone to earlier failure, even though they're thinner, more flexible, and potentially better. We've quit using quad cable now, as we had 3 fail in a year. One, we didn't figure out until we'd wasted at least 40 minutes trying to track down noise.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas Spotted Eagle
Another thing about Star Quads is they are significantly more prone to earlier failure, even though they're thinner, more flexible, and potentially better
That's a very important point to make, yes, if you use Star Quads (or for that matter any professional equipment) it's probably going to require more care on your part. In order to prolong the life of my microphone cables I always wrap them perfectly the same way every time, I treat them with the same care as my microphones and mixer, I never twist or bend them tightly or crimp them (those thinner strands of copper are more fragile) and I don't loan out my sound gear to anyone unless I know they will be equally fastidious in how the wrap the microphone cables. There is often this kind a trade off with professional gear. A little extra love and attention will pay off in better RF interference rejection.
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