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Old September 4th, 2006, 06:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Phelps
There are certainly many "serious" mics that are made to adapt to unbalanced use. The AT892, which I mistakenly thought of in this thread, is a good example. It's a very good mic that comes with it's own adapter to the unbalanced world. Then there's the Rode VideoMic and the Stereo VideoMic. Both are hardly anything less than excellent quality.

My own Nady CM-2S records excellent quality and it comes packed with 2 XLR to unblanced cables and no straight XLR cables at all. My GS doesn't come with any XLR cable or any connection of that type at all.

I'll admit that these mics are not the top of the line but to label them as not "serious" strikes me as condescending. The only thing that makes XLR any better is the shielding. To say that HIMD recorders are less than serious is to miss the boat if you ask me.

You sound like the producer of many Beatles albums, Geore Martin, who disapproves of excessively convenient recording technology (read cheap) because it takes the ability out of the hands of the few and gives it to the many. You might find the quality of lesser known equipment to be startling if you give it a try. There's a lot of snobbery in the world of audio it seems. I don't know you well enough to say whether you fall into that category but many do. Martin said we could all be producing albums in our bathtubs that equal the quality of those Beatles albums. I hate to tell George but we can exceed that limited early 1960's quality quite easily and do it in the bathtub (where no AC power is allowed of course). HIMD is very good quality and so are many of the unbalanced mics you lump together and deride. The few who can actually hear the difference between a HIMD recording using a GS compared to the best quality money can buy can spend their money on something better if they choose. The other 99% of the population will do just fine without the extra cost thank you.

Maybe the mic preamps aren't the best in the world. And maybe the unbalanced lines require extra short cable runs. But the noise level is actually very low compared to much of the stuff on the radio because of the fact that levels on those radio songs are pushed to the max and headroom is nil (and maxed out levels mean more noise of course). HIMD is a music format for the most part and it compares favorably to much of the trash being sold by the truckload at Wally World. Have you heard the stuff they sell there? Don't tell me you can't produce that level of quality on HIMD. Low cost, high quality pre-amps are also commonly sold for these devices so you can get around the one true limitation they have. XLR adapters are certainly not uncommon either. Our friend here must be using them.

The fact is (IMO of course) that cheap equipment can produce very high quality these days. It may not be on the level of the high priced stuff but it's on the level of the high priced stuff of just a few years ago. Quality is relative and the progression of increased quality has a much more shallow angle on a flow chart than the price progression to obtain that quality. How good is good enough? You might find that many here are gear heads and as such they are not at all concerned with the bottom line and the question of how good does it need to be to be acceptable. Some of us make money with equipment on the low end of the scale and get surprising results in the process.

Whoa! I never said there was any problem with using the proper adapters to connect balanced mics to unbalanced inputs or that only low quality cheap'os were used that way. Nor have I said that mics that are either unbalanced to start with or come with adapters aren't any good. Far from it - I said there are many excellent mics out there that are unbalanced from the get-go.

What I have also said is that what is labeled "mic plug-in power" on consumer recording gear is intended to supply power to the $10 blister-pack mics designed to sit next to your computer monitor or the $25-$50 consumer "accessory kit" mics - you know, the hand-held mic, genuine leatherette carrying case, and spare battery sort of thing - sold to be used with iRivers, iPods, audio cassette recorders, consumer camcorders and the like and it will not supply the needs of higher level mics. The Rode Videomic is a solid prosumer performer but it does NOT run on plug-in power. Same with the Audio Technica - and by the way, it's the AT822 stereo mic under discussion, NOT the AT892 micro headset earpiece and mic combo. The AT822, and your Nady for that matter, are good examples of unbalanced mics that happen to have XLR connectors - their XLRs are actually a way to have two unbalanced 2 conductor channels in the same connector with more strength than you get with the typical 1/8 inch TRS stereo miniplug. These are certainly mics accceptable for hobbyist and low budget professional use, but the mic that came in the box with your Soundblaster card isn't. Don't try to record music, mic the talent in your low-budget indy feature or the groom in a wedding with a Soundblaster accessory mic and that's the sort of mic that plug-in power is intended for.

As for GS mics being acceptable for serious use, there I'm not sure. If the results you hear on most wedding videos are an indication of what you'll obtain with a GS plugged into an iRiver, I remain skeptical. The vows might be understandable, but they certainly don't have the presence, clarity, and general realism of a character's dialog on "CSI" and it's that kind of rendition that sets the bar to aim for.
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Old September 4th, 2006, 03:47 PM   #17
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That's what I thought of the GS when I heard the results from it but other people seem to think it's a great mic. I wondered if it was my hearing going bad for a while. I'm really not sure why people seem to give it so much creedence but they do. I see it mentioned in lists of "what to buy" all the time. For example over at another board concerned with taping concerts half the people there use GS's. Sure they're small (stealth is big for those guys) but I don't think they sound all that great.

I guess I made the same mistake again and mentioned the wrong AT mic. It is the 822 that I was talking about.
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Old September 5th, 2006, 08:20 PM   #18
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Thanks

A huge thanks to everyone for their help and feedback regarding my original post about MD recorders. My question about microphones and using the (powered) plug in socket for EV RE50 and AT897 has had an incredable amount of response. This Dv info site ceases to amaze; it’s a true font of knowledge.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:21 AM   #19
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I also have question regarding the plug-in power on cameras. Is it ok to connect the tip and ring together to get dual mono (left and right channel from 1 mono mic) or theres a big possbility to shorts the circuit of the camera when the tip and ring solder together?
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Old September 6th, 2006, 04:31 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Dela Cruz
I also have question regarding the plug-in power on cameras. Is it ok to connect the tip and ring together to get dual mono (left and right channel from 1 mono mic) or theres a big possbility to shorts the circuit of the camera when the tip and ring solder together?
The plug-in voltage is between ground and both the tip and ring of on a stereo jack. Since tip and ring are at the same voltage with respect ti it, shorting them together is safe. IF your adapter doesn't have the blocking capacitor it might affect the sound but it won't short out the camera.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 05:42 AM   #21
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but if you use a mono 1/8" TS it automatical shorts the Ring and sleeve right? hmm confusing.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 07:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Dela Cruz
but if you use a mono 1/8" TS it automatical shorts the Ring and sleeve right? hmm confusing.
It depends. Some adapters short ring to sleeve, others short ring to tip. That's why it's crucial to know precisely how *yours* is wired. A <$20 multimeter from the Shack is a must have, IMHO.
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