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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:30 AM   #1
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Azden vs. Audio Technica?

I've been looking for a more robust mic for my Canon XL2. I just purchased the Rode Videomic, and though I'm pleased with it, I realize it wobbles from side to side due to the kinky shock mount. The Stereo Videomic Rode has is slightly better, but not enough to warrant the $250 price tag.

Anyway, I was trying to compare the Azden SGM-1000 and the Audio Technica AT897. Which one would be better? I'll primarily be using it for commercial videography, wedding shoots, etc. I've read a couple of threads where people have mentioned Azden's "poor" quality. I have no prior experience with either company to believe or disbelieve such statements.

Perhaps one of your chums can offer some advice?
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #2
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Vishad
I think it's mainly an issue of cheap construction and poor quality control.

AT has been around longer and so its stuff seems to be better put together, plus its service department is very together. Plus the 897 has been around awhile longer, I believe.

So I'd say buy locally if you can, and make sure your after sales rep is cool about your possibly returning stuff that isn't up to snuff.

If you can get that going, then either way will be fine.

HTH, YMMV, etc
Chris
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #3
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AT.

Can you afford to buy cheap?

Regards,

Ty
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:24 PM   #4
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As long as it's good and cheap, why not?
(It's not fast, either way LOL!!!)
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #5
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You use that laugh when you try to explain to your client why the audio has problems.
sucks.
Regards,

Ty Ford

Last edited by Ty Ford; May 15th, 2007 at 06:26 PM. Reason: personal
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Old May 15th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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Sure I do! And great tap dancing too!

No, seriously, the Pro 88W VHF setup I've been using has worked well for me so far. No compression in the audio chain means great dynamic range and the S/N ain't bad enough to complain about. I've used 834a's and b's too, and an 897 once, again, not the greatest, but not bad, either. Good mics for the money.

I was recommended the 88W (with VHF caveats, of course) by a pro audio shop here in Los Angeles, and it hasn't been bad enough to complain about yet. The 830R mic that came with mine is a $200 list lav mic, and it's pretty decent.

Plus the work I've been doing with it is mainly run-and-gun reality, and, as we know, there's mainly wall-to-wall rock music under those passages anyway. Plus subtitling if we really can't hear what the talent's saying.

For sitdowns and OTFs I use wired lavs and boom, and for the more important stuff my partner has a full Sound Devices / Lectrosonics / Schoeps / Sanken / G2 setup. (Of course, on that stuff I'm usually shooting a 900 onto IMX anyway, and not HD or HDV of any flavor, not yet anyway.)

But for my own shows, or when my partner's not free or if there's little pay involved, I'll bring out the 88W and use it. Sure.

Why not? It's good, clean audio. There are shortcomings, of course there are, but it's like a very very fast computer on a word processor - the machine may not be the fastest computer around and it may be cheap too, but it's sure fast enough to be spending most of its time waiting for the monkey on the other end to make up its mind what to type into it.

The stuff I use my 88W for, and the type of shooting I do, is mainly dramatic, shot slowly (not fast), more not shooting than shooting (film discipline, not pray and spray), and with a lot of time in between for the monkeys to make up their minds how to play the scenes. So if a taxi drives by, so what? One more rehearsal...

Plus I've heard rotten results from a Scheops badly placed, and very decent ones with a Samson or Audio Projects mic set and rigged correctly. The 88W is pretty good as a plant set as well, and besides, it sits in my camera bag so it's there on set more often than not.

Sure, I'd love a quartet of the Sanken COS/Zaxcoms we use at work. Who wouldn't?

But sometimes, when the dollar just isn't all there, you have to stretch to make ends meet and just get the show on the road. That's the time when, in my experience, you have to start thinking "good enough" rather than just "good".
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:13 AM   #7
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Just an update to the last:

I just finished shooting a series of pickups for a documentary and a reality show, a pretty extensive shooting schedule, it turned out, with eight locations in and around the Los Angeles metro area from Venice and Santa Monica to LAX, the airport, over two days.

There was no audio guy on the shoot so we ended up using my pair of AT Pro 88Ws and went the entire weekend without a glitch.

I guess most of the Los Angeles taxi drivers have switched to UHF... :)

Cheers
Chris
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Old June 18th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Leong View Post
Just an update to the last:

I just finished shooting a series of pickups for a documentary and a reality show, a pretty extensive shooting schedule, it turned out, with eight locations in and around the Los Angeles metro area from Venice and Santa Monica to LAX, the airport, over two days.

There was no audio guy on the shoot so we ended up using my pair of AT Pro 88Ws and went the entire weekend without a glitch.

I guess most of the Los Angeles taxi drivers have switched to UHF... :)

Cheers
Chris

Impossible. Everyone knows you can't get great sound from budget gear. ;-)
thanks for the update, Chris.
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