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Old November 29th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #1
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Sony ECM-HST1 Modification Suggestions?

I have a Sony 3CMOS DCR-PC1000 and I'm looking to get better sound by connecting an extenal mic all while keeping the form factor as compact as possible. Now the HST1 fits the hot shoe, but the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. Is there a way one could improve it by replacing the capsule inside with a Shure MX184, with an external power supply for example? I realize the HST1 is a stereo mic, and the latter is a mono.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 04:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Adam Palomer
I have a Sony 3CMOS DCR-PC1000 and I'm looking to get better sound by connecting an extenal mic all while keeping the form factor as compact as possible. Now the HST1 fits the hot shoe, but the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired. Is there a way one could improve it by replacing the capsule inside with a Shure MX184, with an external power supply for example? I realize the HST1 is a stereo mic, and the latter is a mono.
I don't have any personal experience with this mic and camera but I doubt that most the faults you're trying to eliminate are due to it having an inferior mic capsule or that replacing it would be much advantage. A far more important contributor to poor sound, unless the mic is truly a dog, is the fact that the camera position is absolutely the worst place to put a mic - ANY sort of mic - 99% of the time, depending on exactly what you're filming of course. If what you're trying to record is speech and dialog, concentrate on choosing a mic or mics and ways of using them so that you can get them away from the camera and close to the subject, ideally within no more than a couple of feet away from the sound source at most.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 01:34 PM   #3
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Ideally, I tend to share your view. However, (a) I don't always have a second person who can assist with the audio recording. (b) I'm mainly interested in recording better quality ambient sounds, not necessarily dialog or instruments. So, having a nice and quiet mic with good S/N that is sensitive enough is what I'm after. I might end up going with a modified hot shoe attachment and a Sound Professionals single point stereo mic setup.....Still working out the details.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 02:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Adam Palomer
Ideally, I tend to share your view. However, (a) I don't always have a second person who can assist with the audio recording. (b) I'm mainly interested in recording better quality ambient sounds, not necessarily dialog or instruments. So, having a nice and quiet mic with good S/N that is sensitive enough is what I'm after. I might end up going with a modified hot shoe attachment and a Sound Professionals single point stereo mic setup.....Still working out the details.
I looked over a couple of reviews of this camera and it doesn't look like you have many options since it doesn't have any external mic input and its hotshoe is proprietary. If sound is critical you might want to start thinking about double system, using a separate digital recorder for the sound and letting the tracks recorded in the camera to be used as guide tracks to marry sound and picture in post. It would certainly open up a lot more options.
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Old November 30th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #5
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it doesn't look like you have many options since it doesn't have any external mic input and its hotshoe is proprietary.
AND no manual gain control either. It's all AGC. Do you think AGC defeats the purpose of hacking together a better camera mounted mic?
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Old November 30th, 2006, 05:19 PM   #6
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AND no manual gain control either. It's all AGC. Do you think AGC defeats the purpose of hacking together a better camera mounted mic?
It sure makes it problematic that any gain you get will be enough to actually be worth the effort. A separate file-based recorder can capture your audio and wouldn't be difficult to sync up in post if you remember to slate your shots. I was reading a good review of the new Zoom H-4 in Sound on Sound today plus there are good recorders on the market from Edirol and m-Audio among others. For a bit more $$ there's the Tascam HDP2 that's getting good press as well. Getting ahold of something like that opens up a whole realm of quality mics and other options for you. My feeling is that hacking something for the cam is a waste of time and money. Of course I haven't used one, as I said, so I might be totally off base about it.
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