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Old September 15th, 2006, 02:08 AM   #1
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Rode SVM vs NTG-2 w/DVC30 for indoor concert recording

Hi Everyone,

I'm trying to decide which of these two mics would be better to use w/my Panny DVC30 for indoor concert recording. I currently do not have the XLR adapter for the '30 but plan on picking one up somewhere down the line--for this reason the NTG-2 appeals to me.

On the other hand the small size & stereo capture of the SVM looks good as well--esp considering I don't have the XLR adapter yet.....

Are there any DVC30 users here who have experience using either of these mics for indoor music recording? Or are you a DVC30 owner who uses a different mic for this purpose that you've been happy with? I'm trying to stay within the $250 to $300 price range.

In a music environment, what am I losing by going with the SVM and not having the NTG-2's XLR capability later one?

Thanks for any input!

~Mike
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Old September 15th, 2006, 05:35 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowe
In a music environment, what am I losing by going with the SVM and not having the NTG-2's XLR capability later one?
Management summary:
For the simplest and cheapest set-up, I'd choose the mono Rode VideoMic mounted on-camera. If you can get the mics close to the performers, and you have a bit more cash, then I'd go for a classic "stereo pair" of balanced cardioid-pattern mics, a camera-mounted converter box (e.g. Beechtek) and a couple of good, long XLR cables.

Discussion:
I think there are two parts to this issue:
1) pros and cons of short shot-gun (NTG-2) vs stereo pair (SVM);
2) pros and cons of balanced (normally XLR) vs non-balanced (mini-jack) mics.
Add to this the questions of microphone-placement, type of music to be recorded and type of venue: it's not a one-size-fits-all answer...

A short shot-gun will give you a fairly narrow pick-up area - i.e. the sounds coming from immediately in front will be much louder than those coming from the sides or behind (less so with lower frequencies). If your mic is mounted on the camera and the camera is some distance from the stage, this sort of mic will reduce the noise from the audience a bit and will make the most of the sound coming from the performers. In this situation, I think you must forget about stereo. Rejecting as much extraneous background noise as possible is the most important thing. The down-side of shot-gun pattern mics is that they can sound "odd" indoors because of reflections from the sides of the room (there are better explanations of this effect in other threads). The larger or less reverberant the venue, and the "shorter" the shot-gun, the less of a problem this will be. Normal advice around here tends to be that a "hyper cardioid" pattern mic is a better bet indoors. Since you seem to like Rode kit, have a listen to the Rode NT3, which has had several honourable mentions in this respect recently. In either case, if the mic is on or very close to the camera, you can use a short adapter cable to connect a balanced mic direct to the unbalanced camera mic socket without using a special adapter box, though they have other advantages of their own. You mic dealer will be able to supply such a cable.

You should try to get the mics as close to the sound as you can. If you can get the mic close to the performers (either on-stage or right in front of it) the SVM will give a good stereo image of the music. However, because it does not have a "balanced" output, the SVM is much more likely to pick up noise (e.g. mains hum and other glitches) on a long cable run. Have a search for posts that mention balanced and un-balanced equipment for a description of this. You are probably OK with 12 - 15 feet of good quality cable, depending on the type of lights in use and so on. One alternative is to record to mini-disc, DAT or hard-disc recorder (which you can put right next to the mic), then add the sound to the pictures during editing - but that can be a lot more work and on a long piece of music you may lose synchronisation.

Is the music amplified? If so, can you have access to the mixing desk? But that could throw up other problems...

Is it a one-off concert or something you do a lot? For a one-off, could you hire something?

Just to confuse matters a little: I once made a very acceptable recording (to DAT) of a church choir using two omni-directional boundary microphones mounted on large pieces of plywood hung on pillars either side of the nave about 20 feet from the performers. The mics were unbalanced, so I had to be careful about the routing of the cables because of hum from the flood lights on the stage, but once that was sorted out all was fine.

HTH
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Old September 17th, 2006, 10:01 PM   #3
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

The NT-3 was something I was considering too--and may be a mic I'd like to explore a little later on--but for now the SVM looks like it may fit the bill. The small size, light weight and ease of setup of the SVM appeals to me....and if I can get right up close to the band with e.g. a Spiderbrace maybe I can get a nice stereo image....

Quick question: you mentioned recording straight to a DAT or hard-disc recorder--is it possible to simultaneously record to a hard-disc device and the camera itself without any loss of quality to either? Ideally I'd like to mount an iAudio X5 under the mic but am not sure if this will affect the 'power' of the mic somehow.....

Thanks again~

Mike
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Old September 19th, 2006, 06:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowe
Is it possible to simultaneously record to a hard-disc device and the camera itself without any loss of quality to either?
Er, dunno... It might be worth a try, if you need two copies. A simple Y cable should be fairly cheap, but for heaven's sake, test it before shooting anything important ;-) The output from the SVM is supposed to be fairly "hot", so splitting it between two inputs might be OK. I don't remember much from my A-level physics course, but I think that a lot depends on the impedence of the mic-inputs on the camera and the recorder. If they are roughly the same, you should get roughly equal signal strengths on the two inputs, otherwise you may, at best, get much more on one than on the other and at worst, you may get horrible noises! If you really need two copies of the sound track, you may need to buy a mixer of some sort. Something small enough to carry around and with good enough circuits to make it worth doing are quite expensive - of the order of a few hundred dollars...

Why do you think it's a good idea? I suggested a separate recorder as a way to locate the mics at a distance from the camera without having to run long cables. I'm not sure what you gain by carrying a second recorder around with you. Are you concerned that the sound recording quality of your camera is not as good as your hard disc recorder? How good are the preamps on the recorder? Again, sounds like some testing is required...
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