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Old May 24th, 2006, 05:12 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi
Hi
Thanks for your suggestion. But again, where I'm going, I can't carry extra equipment and I certainly won't have the time to set up all the equipment properly as I move from one site to the next. I'll need the M-S mic.

I was reading about the AT835st at http://emusician.com/mics/emusic_aud...tst/index.html

Does anyone have experience with this mic?
Though I've never used that mic I'd have concerns about
using it indoors because it's a shotgun and shotguns
sound hollow indoors most of the time. The only
mic that comes to mind that fits "M-S plus battery"
is the Shure VP-88. They're $690 new. There's a used
one on ebay right now for $500 "buy it now". The
description on ebay says it only runs on phantom
but I believe that's a mistake; I think they all
run on a battery, also.

http://www.shure.com/microphones/models/vp88.asp

Last edited by Dave Largent; May 24th, 2006 at 06:18 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:05 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi
Hi
Thanks for your suggestion. But again, where I'm going, I can't carry extra equipment and I certainly won't have the time to set up all the equipment properly as I move from one site to the next. I'll need the M-S mic.

I was reading about the AT835st at http://emusician.com/mics/emusic_aud...tst/index.html

Does anyone have experience with this mic?
I am just getting started with an AT835ST. It is phantom power only, I think they have another similar model with battery.

I am using the built-in matrixing to get a L-R signal. I find that for interviews the L-R N pattern works well, but I need to turn OFF mic attenuation on my HVR-A1. For outdoor ambience the L-R W pattern is good. The stereo separation is very good, strikingly "wide".

I am not using low cut. I find that doing so makes the sound seem a bit empty. Maybe use it only for interviews.

It's a "hot" mike, but not so hot that you need to pad it all the time.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 07:16 PM   #33
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Gian, are you using that 835 indoors or outdoors?
If indoors, what type of room(s) and how's the
sound?

The only other mic Ray might want to look at is
the Sony ECM-MS957 ($200). I don't know
anything about it. Maybe someone else here
has tried it.

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...ctSKU=ECMMS957
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Old May 25th, 2006, 02:36 AM   #34
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Verdict on the Sony ECM-MS957??

Well,.. this is getting interesting!
Now I've shifted my attention away from the X-Y stereo Rode NT4 to either a M-S stereo mic: either the $500 Shure VP-88 (it does take a battery or can be phantom powered) or the $200 Sony ECM-MS957. The Sony takes a single AA battery and has an XLR connector. I could use the AT835ST with my Beachtek to provide phantom power but really prefer a mic with its own battery so I can swap mics among my cameras and Minidisc players.

The Sony is much cheaper. Does its performance compare favorably to the SURE VP-88? Or is the SURE a far superior mic that I should get at any cost?

Again, I have to take into consideration the facts: The performances I want to record and people I want to interview are for archival research. I am recording their stories and experiences of an art form that will likely fade into history. I hope to get good audio, but I must take into account overall value for the dollars spent. I'll look to the the experienced members out there for advice once again...
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Old May 25th, 2006, 03:00 AM   #35
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I haven't used the Shure or the Sony but one
difference I might guess there to be is that
the Shure will give you the option to work
in post to set the width of the stereo image
by doing the decoding yourself, so as to
be able to bring out the center channel
more if you'd like, or to drop it back and
have a wider stereo image, blending in
the center more if it's overpowering.

The Sony might not give this option as it
could be all decoded within the mic and
the mix of the M and S deterimined by the
mic, so that if the center is overpowering
the sides you are stuck with it.

I made a recording with the NT4 of a small
choir but I could only get back so far from
them and the mic picked up all the center
and near singers more than the side
singers. If I had recorded it M-S I could
have dropped down the center M channel
to blend it better, atleast this is the way I understand
how M-S works. For this reason, I personally would
be looking for an M-S mic that would allow
me to decode the signal myself, and adjust
it to my liking in post. You may decide that
the price difference is not worth having
this capability.

I'd like to hear from anyone here who has
used the Sony.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi
I could use the AT835ST with my Beachtek to provide phantom power
Ray, do you have a Beachtek DXA-6 or DXA-8?

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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:46 AM   #37
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I'm certain Sanken would have a mic to fill the need for a stereo shotgun although none of their kit is exactly 'cheap'. They work very well indoors as well.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 08:52 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant
I'm certain Sanken would have a mic to fill the need for a stereo shotgun although none of their kit is exactly 'cheap'. They work very well indoors as well.
And probably not battery operated.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:15 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi
a M-S stereo mic: either the [...] Shure VP-88 [...] or [...] Sony ECM-MS957 [...] is the SURE a far superior mic that I should get at any cost?
As with all things subjective, you should take a listen. When it comes to things like mics and speakers, it's really boils down to, "is it good enough for me," and "does it fit my budget." Do you have a rental house nearby that you could rent the Sure from and determine if the sound it produces is what you're looking for? Listen... that's the only way to compare mics. Somethings "good enough" is all you need, other times, "the best I can afford" is the way to go, if the differences make a difference to YOU.

By the way, Rycote makes a Windjammer for the Shure VP-88, you'll want to have one of those (or the equivalent) in your kit to go with it.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tames
By the way, Rycote makes a Windjammer for the Shure VP-88, you'll want to have one of those (or the equivalent) in your kit to go with it.
Probably nobody makes a fur cover for that Sony.
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Old May 25th, 2006, 03:34 PM   #41
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If Rycote fails, try Reinhardt :

http://www.reinhardt-film.com/products.php

they make a lot of windshield for all kinds of unlilkely mics.
They'll be able to make one up for the Sony i'm sure. They even say to email them with your request :
info@reinhardt-film.com

hope this helps
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Old May 26th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #42
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Sony ECM-MS957 or Rode NT4

Thanks everyone for the feedback

Everyone posted a lot of good info. Thanks!

I check out prices an M-S stereo AT835ST will cost about $600 and so will the SURE VP88. That's over my budget! So as far as M-S mics go, the only one I can afford is the Sony ECM-MS957

It seems like I can only afford X-Y stereo. So I'll have to choose between the AT825 stereo or the Rode NT4. Or I can go with the cheap Sony ECM-MS957 M-S mic. Any recommendations?

Rodger had asked which Beachtek I am using. I will be using DXA-8 that supplies phantom power. It will be used either on the mindisc equip or with my video camera. I will also use DXA-2 on the remaining equipment.

There is a company advertising on Ebay that can make furry covers for any mic. Is there any difference in these furry covers? I mean, does the quality or performance differ?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 05:22 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Ambrosi
Thanks everyone for the feedback

Everyone posted a lot of good info. Thanks!

I check out prices an M-S stereo AT835ST will cost about $600 and so will the SURE VP88. That's over my budget! So as far as M-S mics go, the only one I can afford is the Sony ECM-MS957

It seems like I can only afford X-Y stereo. So I'll have to choose between the AT825 stereo or the Rode NT4. Or I can go with the cheap Sony ECM-MS957 M-S mic. Any recommendations?

Rodger had asked which Beachtek I am using. I will be using DXA-8 that supplies phantom power. It will be used either on the mindisc equip or with my video camera. I will also use DXA-2 on the remaining equipment.

There is a company advertising on Ebay that can make furry covers for any mic. Is there any difference in these furry covers? I mean, does the quality or performance differ?
Just a thought - the NT-4 is essentially two NT-5 cardioid heads mounted together. If you were to get a stereo matched pair of NT-5's you'd get two mics for a total cost that is actually a few dollars less than the NT-4. A stereo bar would let you put them on a stand for X-Y recording just like the NT-4 but with the additional flexibility of other mic placements like ORTF, A-B, etc, or to use them singly for interviews, instrument mics, etc. If one of them craps out on you on location, you still have the other so you can at least record in mono while if all you have is the NT-4 and it fails, you're toast. When traveling light the more different things a single piece of gear is capable of doing the better off you are. Two mics that can be used either together or separately in a variety of jobs is a better bang for the buck spent than 1 mic that is fairly specialized. Of course, the NT-5s don't have a battery and required phantom so that might be an issue but if you have the Beachtek along it's not a big deal.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #44
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Whatever you get, you should check out this free software: http://www.voxengo.com/product/msed/

It is an M-S to L-R encoder/decoder in a VST plugin. So you can run it in Vegas Video, for example, and any other editing software that accepts VST.

It decodes M-S to L-R, allowing you to control spatialization, and encodes L-R to M-S (the other way round). It also has an "inline" mode, which simulates putting two instances of the plugin in sequence, hence allowing you to adjust mid-side values even if your source is L-R stereo. It is very cool!
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Old May 26th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #45
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Nice tip on the MSED software.

Here's what I'm thinking of doing on my next production: I'd like to record a mono shotgun and a M-S pair simultaneously. The shotgun is for the talent, and I'd stomp on it with noise reduction. I'd add back in some ambience from the M-S pair.

The idea is that the shotgun with noise reduction and EQ will get me the cleanest dialog. I only need mono, as I'd keep it in the center. With a nice clean signal, I can ride the levels syllable by syllable, if needed.

The M-S is for the ambient noise tracks. I'd keep it away from the talent. I'd EQ out the primary dialog frequencies to dampen the dialog, and phase align it with the shotgun as best I could. If I still get phase problem with the dialog, I'd just loop some quiet parts behind the dialog with a wide stereo spread. If I need the ambience to be sync'd with the video, I'd just mix it down low enough that the phase problems aren't too bad.

This technique should give a clean dialog track, a natural, wide stereo ambience without the hollowness of a shotgun, and the ability to mix down to mono without phase issues.

I'm working theoretically on this. Does anybody have any practical experience with this technique?

-Jon Fairhurst
http://PoorlyProjectedPictures.com
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