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Old August 15th, 2006, 05:03 PM   #1
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Rode Stereo Video Mic? What do you use it for?

I'm writing a review of the Rode Stereo Video Mic, and would like to hear your favourite uses for a Stereo Mic, and how an On-Camera Stereo mic could aid you?

I've seen the videos and read as much as I can, but if you have purchased the Rode or intend to use the Rode as an ON-Camera Stereo mic, please list your comments.

Thank you,

Graham Bernard
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Old August 16th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #2
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I don't have a Rode Stereo VM (maybe someday soon) but I do have a couple of stereo cardoids. I have camera mounts for both. Mainly I use them to record music events. I prefer a single mic to record live music. I've tried recording from a sound board many times but I always think that a single stereo mic gives the best representation of what a person sitting in the audience actually heard when the music was played live. You can mix for good sound if you have access to a board and that board has seperate controls for your feed. But IMO it's easier and still better to record with a single stereo mic.

If you think about it a single stereo mic (or binuarl mics) record what the audience member is supposed to be hearing. If you can get away from the audience so that you don't pick up too much ambient sound then you can get excellent sound from a stereo mic.

I also often record a bluegrass band playing live. It takes some practice placing the mic in the right spot but I think it comes out pretty well. Bluegrass played live doesn't lend itself to be altered by a mixing board all that much. The band just isn't using any amplification most of the time. So recording them live is either a matter of setting up a series of mics and trying to get just the right sound through each or it's a matter of setting a single mic in just the right place. The single mic is really much easier to do and it works pretty well IMO.

Mostly I record to a minidisc though. My cameras just don't have mic preamps that are that good. Still a person could record to a camera and get decent sound.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 02:00 AM   #3
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Jeff, thanks for your informative reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
I have camera mounts for both.
Sure, I'm also wanting to hear how you WOULD/DO use it as an on-camera mic?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
Mainly I use them to record music events. I prefer a single mic to record live music. . . . . But IMO it's easier and still better to record with a single stereo mic.
Excellent feedback on the use of a single point stereo for ease. I liked your description of capturing bluegrass - yes, I can see/hear that too. I can imagine the mostly acoustic, the swaying of the artists providing that particular variation in the stereo experience making/becoming a "live" experience for the viewer. Yup, I can really understand that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
Mostly I record to a minidisc though. My cameras just don't have mic preamps that are that good. Still a person could record to a camera and get decent sound.

SO, 'cos your preamps are not what you wish, you do the recording to a minidisc. Good, and out of necessity you have separated the mic from the camera. And, quite understandably, you imply that a good sound could be gained from "another" camera.

Jeff, and here is the point I'm wanting to expand on - where would you or others employ an on-camera stereo mic? For example doing ENG-type work, how would this be employed over and above a shotgun? I'm wanting to do my own tests and employ real world situational samples/environments.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 06:42 PM   #4
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Hi Graham,

Recently I tossed the SVM on a Canon GL-2 and walked around St. Louis. There was a helicopter tour at the waterfront so I got as close as they would allow and shot a chopper just as it was lifting off. It was extremely windy -pushing me and the camera around. When I got back to the studio and listened to the sound I was really impressed by the imaging. It felt like being there.

Over a traditional on-camera mic you have a few points:

* Included shockmount cuts down on amount of camera handling noise as well as zoom/tape transport noise.

* Included "dead kitty" long haired windmuff cuts windnoise.

* Ability to detach the mic from the camera and get it closer via boom pole or stand.

* Cardiod pattern allows for rear rejection as opposed to a typical camcorder's built-in Omni.

In the helicopter example you can almost close your eyes and visualize where the helicopter is. It's not just a "left to right pan" on the X axis, you actually get depth, dimension, distance on the Y and Z. Stereo feels more like actually being there.

If you can take a listen to the Cowboy Junkies album "The Trinity Sessions"
It it rumored to have been recorded with a single stereo mic.

Also, take a listen to the helicopter and a car peeling out left to right in the SVM episode at http://dvgeartalk.com/
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Old August 16th, 2006, 08:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Cochran
Hi Graham,

Recently I tossed the SVM on a Canon GL-2 and walked around St. Louis. There was a helicopter tour at the waterfront so I got as close as they would allow and shot a chopper just as it was lifting off. It was extremely windy -pushing me and the camera around. When I got back to the studio and listened to the sound I was really impressed by the imaging. It felt like being there.

Over a traditional on-camera mic you have a few points:

* Included shockmount cuts down on amount of camera handling noise as well as zoom/tape transport noise.

* Included "dead kitty" long haired windmuff cuts windnoise.

* Ability to detach the mic from the camera and get it closer via boom pole or stand.

* Cardiod pattern allows for rear rejection as opposed to a typical camcorder's built-in Omni.

In the helicopter example you can almost close your eyes and visualize where the helicopter is. It's not just a "left to right pan" on the X axis, you actually get depth, dimension, distance on the Y and Z. Stereo feels more like actually being there.
Ah finally i find out the polar-pattern of the SVM! so each capsule is cardioid yes? also can i ask - did the long-haired DeadKitty (you should copyright that name and charge Rode a royalty fee to use it...) STOP all noticeable wind noise ? or just a substantial reduction? And is the hair on the DeadKitty longer than the hair on the DeadCat?
I have Rode VM with Deadcat and whilst the Deadcat works ok, i still get SOME windnoise on it. In fact to try to counteract that, just a day or two ago i took a haircomb to it (first time in 1.5yrs...) and detangled the hairs (took a good 10minutes+!) and then 'back-combed' it.
Backcombing makes the hairs stand up more which is what you want for max. windnoise reduction.
I haven't tried it out since the 'grooming' session but i'm hopeful that will have improved it. I'll post up here if i notice it's better.
I think Rycote actually supply some of their windshields with their own special combs!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Cochran
If you can take a listen to the Cowboy Junkies album "The Trinity Sessions"
It it rumored to have been recorded with a single stereo mic.
Yes ! I agree it really is a superb album and it was recorded in one 'take' in a church or similar in Ireland (i think) a long time ago. Beautiful mellow stuff. It's kinda hard to stay awake it to it as its so amazingly dreamy/mellow!
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Old August 16th, 2006, 09:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Ah finally i find out the polar-pattern of the SVM! so each capsule is cardioid yes?
Just realised/remembered why i should have known that each SVM capsule is cardioid - i think i'm right in saying that each of the 2 capsules in SVM is basically the same capsule that is in the NT5 cardioid instrument-mic.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard

Sure, I'm also wanting to hear how you WOULD/DO use it as an on-camera mic?

Jeff, and here is the point I'm wanting to expand on - where would you or others employ an on-camera stereo mic? For example doing ENG-type work, how would this be employed over and above a shotgun? I'm wanting to do my own tests and employ real world situational samples/environments.
I've used my mics mounted to my cameras in recording concerts I've been to where I was limited in what I could set up without annoying the other people at the concert too much. I might use it in situations where I've had to set up quickly to record a group of musician's mainly wanting video with decent audio also a consideration. I actually needed to have my mics with me in a situation like this one night. I ended up using the built in mic on my GS250 with predictably average results.

I could see mounting the mic on a camera that will be mostly stationary when recording live music when I didn't really have access to another good point to mount my mic. It would give me the same audio perspective that my camera was getting in the video. Audio location cues are more important than some might think in an overall experience with music. For example if my mic was mounted much more to one side and my camera more to the other side people would notice that the audio location of the instruments didn't match the visual location of the instruments. Having the tripod there is essentially the same as having a mic stand that is exactly located where the video view is located. This is probably the most important reason for having a mount available for the camera even though it could still be overcome by placing a mic stand in the right place. It just seems unneccessary to use two stands in this situation to me. If you have a good shock mount and your camera is going to be stationary then there really isn't much reason to have a seperate stand.

Imagine recording a bluegrass band practicing in a living room. One camera is set to center the band both visual and audible. It won't be moved at all during the recording. Another camera will be responsible for moving around and getting different shots. You should want your mic to pick up the sound location of the instruments exactly as the video is picking them up. This is what stereo imaging is really about IMO. If your mic is just a couple of feet away from where your camera is then it will be noticeable to people who pay close attention IMO. I would want to try to avoid that problem by placing the mic and camera in the same spot. It's almost like binuarl recording except it's with a camera and mic. It should match the condition of the human head as closely as possible. Having your ears just above your eyes and on the same axis in relation to the band is going to be more important than many people would think.

This concept really extends to any situation where stereo imaging is going to add to the experience. Recording conversation in a room full of people for example. You hear one person begin to speak off to one side of the straight ahead line of view of your camera. Your camera turns just as your head would turn and your electronic ears turn at exactly the same rate. This may not be the way you want to record a conversation but some could want to do it that way and a camera mounted mic could make it work well.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 12:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
Just realised/remembered why i should have known that each SVM capsule is cardioid - i think i'm right in saying that each of the 2 capsules in SVM is basically the same capsule that is in the NT5 cardioid instrument-mic.
This is the way an X-Y pattern stereo cardoid works I believe as opposed to an A-B pattern or a M-S pattern. There are advantages and disadvantages to this pattern. Mostly the advanatage is that the signal from an X-Y pattern is mono compatable. The Rode SVM is an X-Y pair.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 02:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
I've used my mics mounted to my cameras in recording concerts I've been to where I was limited in what I could set up without annoying the other people at the concert too much.
This cannot be understated. Ah yes! Quick=efficient=pro-appearance=good!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
I might use it in situations where I've had to set up quickly to record a group of musician's mainly wanting video with decent audio also a consideration.
Again, looking efficient and BEING efficient and capable is a big turn-on for a client. Or rather, the contrary is definitely NOT. And yes, keepin'-it-simple is my mantra too.


Guy:
The helicopter example demonstrates the very crucial, urgent and valuable effect of getting an audience in and amongst the action - and when appropriate, as often as possible. I can now see/hear that when used with almost surgical precision at a point in a video, could make an audience sit up and take note. After all, that is what we are ALL trying to achieve.

( . . . And Guy? Thanks for the other tutorials on the G2! Excellent)

What I am now considering is the option for a kind of stereo B-Roll audio to place "behind" and/or on the sides of an interview. Having this stereo B-Roll, mixed with sensitivity, could place the talent within the environment - could be better than just killing background sound with my previous use of a shotgun directional mic! I'll see.

To this end I can see me "ganging" my RVM and the RSVM and alternate between the two. I'll see .. or rather "hear".

Now, if only I could find a simple way of capturing a mono feed from a Tx wireless lapel AND the Rode SVM on my simple camera?

Thanks gentlemen.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 03:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Holmes
i think i'm right in saying that each of the 2 capsules in SVM is basically the same capsule that is in the NT5 cardioid instrument-mic.

I'd be a bit surprised if that's true.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dave Largent
I'd be a bit surprised if that's true.
Which part, Dave? I can try and ask for you?

What I can tell you is that if I hold up the mic against the light, I can see 2 nodule-type "capsules" lying obliquely across each other.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 05:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
Which part, Dave? I can try and ask for you?
That it's the same capsules as the NT5.
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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dave Largent
That it's the same capsules as the NT5.
The answer to your observation is being sought from Oz as we speak! We should know by Monday - good enough?
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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
The answer to your observation is being sought from Oz as we speak! We should know by Monday - good enough?
Sure, Graham, that's fine.

Are you a Rode dealer? Or do you work for Rode?
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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:47 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dave Largent
Sure, Graham, that's fine.

Are you a Rode dealer? Or do you work for Rode?
Neither. But I know where and how to ask questions.
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