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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:31 PM   #1
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phantom or no phantom

Can someone give the pros and cons on phantoms mics...
My main interest is in a mic that can both be used to pick up dialogue from one person and or a speaker at an event.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:46 PM   #2
 
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*generally*, condensor mics (electrically powered mics) are more sensitive, and often have a better response. Phantom vs battery is nearly always preferable.
Cons?
You need a power source, either in-mic battery, camera, or inline from a mixer or in-line power source. The power can run out. Some mics are sensitive to the power that they are fed, others aren't. Condensors usually cost more. Condensors usually require more love and feeding when it comes time to set up or strike. I've dropped many an SM57 and similar into swimming pools, diving tanks, aquariums, puddles, streams, etc. They always come back easily. Most condensors won't offer you that flexibility.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #3
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There's already some good stuff written on this topic in this thread:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&threadid=9064

In summary, when considering phantom powered condenser microphones vs. condenser microphones with their own power supply, here are the pros and cons as I see it:

PROS
1. phantom powered mics are able to handle higher sound pressure levels
2. phantom powered mics exhibit better dynamic range
3. dollar for dollar phantom powered mics may offer better audio performance than mics that come with their own power supply
4. phantom powered mics may lead to less battery waste

CONS
1. use is limited to a camera or mixer that supplies phantom power (or an inline power supply)

Note that Pro items 1, 2, 3 will probably not lead to a significant audible difference under normal operating conditions, but it is a difference. It depends on how critical you recording needs are.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 05:56 PM   #4
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"I've dropped many an SM57 and similar into swimming pools"

DSE, Ha ha...that reminds me, gotta go fish my 58' out of the aquarium.

Dynamics have been the standard for when your condenser breaks. Dynamics put up with much more abuse than any condensor. ENG crews use dynamic mics for handheld stand-ups, when you dont have a dedicated boom operator. Through wind and rain, sleet and snow, fire etc etc dyanamics hold up. Starting off, I would invest in a good dynamic before a decent condensor.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Wang
Starting off, I would invest in a good dynamic before a decent condensor.
This is good advice when it comes to hand-held or close-proximity applications, however, if your application requires the directional characteristics of a hypercardioid, you're going to have to go the condenser route, dynamics just don't have the sensitivity.

However, when it comes to dynamic microphones, I sing the praises of my Electro-Voice RE50 B which I use a lot. It sounds good and is versatile and durable. I use it for recording narration, podcast interviews, and even on occasion use it as a "reporter's microphone," which is what it was designed for (the capsule is isolated so you don't hear much handling noise and the built-in wind/pop filter works very well). There's a reason why a majority of the time when you see an on-camera reporter taking on the nightly news they are holding a beat up RE50 in their hands that looks like it's been owned by the station forever. The things don't die and yes, you can even drop them in a pool (though I'm not suggesting you do this).
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:38 PM   #6
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does anybody know which mics the reports used for the big hurricanes last season (Anderson Cooper on CNN etc).
I guess it was something like RE50. if i remember even in the real thick of the storm when the guys were struggling to even stand up the sound really wasnt too bad and i think was live broadcast so no time to put the audio thru sound soap or whatever to smarten it up.
Just imagine what a condenser would be like !!! probably wouldn't survive...
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