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Old January 15th, 2011, 06:58 AM   #1
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Rode Stereo Video Mic

I have the Sennheiser MKE400 and have been pretty happy with it for shooting Athletics and normal travel videos.

I recently was asked to film two musical events. One a classical Oboe concert and the other a Musical We will rock you. The sound from the 5D and Sennheiser was diabolical. I installed Magic Lantern after the sound from the first event was unusable (fortunately they had a wav file I could use).

With magic lantern the sound was better and I used it. However it is still very hollow and light sounding. I am wondering if it is becuase the Sennheiser is a mono mic or maybe just the limitations of the 5D?

Before I purchased it I did hear some tests on Vimeo comparing the Mke400 with the Rode Stereo mic and I liked the Sennheiser better. However having heard a recording of music I am not happy.

My question is - do you think I should sell the MKE400 and get the Rode. Or should I forget these low end solutions and go the way of the juiced link, etc. I have seen the post on here about the juiced and magic lantern and I understand the sound is top quality with that set up.

Musical video is here - password is WWRY-WWOOD

With regards

Jeff
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Old January 15th, 2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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Hi Jeff,

I have a Sennheiser MKE400 and it is an excellent mini shotgun microphone for recording interviews, dialogues etc. For live events, concerts, a stereo microphone is more suitable. I believe Rode Stereo videomic will work well. I use an Audio-Technica AT825 with great results (see the video below). You may also consider Sony ECM-MS957.

P.

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Old January 15th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #3
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I would also not get rid of the Sennheiser. There's no one mic that will do it all. You said the MKE400 is good for athletic videos and normal travel videos. The SVM (or AT825) are stereo mics that are better used for music recording. As you've discovered, using the wrong mic for the job sounds awful. Getting rid of the MKE400 will force you to use the SVM all the time, which will put you in the same bad audio situation later.
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Old January 15th, 2011, 12:49 PM   #4
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Excellent help

Dear Both

Thanks so much for the replies - both make good sense. The problem is lack of stereo. I do like the portability of the MKE400 and its has reasonable wind noise suppression.

I'll look into the Audio-Technica AT825, Sony ECM-MS957, AT825 and the Rode SVM. Sound is my learning curve for these jobs and it took a lot of post to get the sound as it is on the WWRY video. I had to apply an equaliser, normalise and tried to reduce echo (to no effect).

Again thanks for the help, much appreciated.

With regards

Jeff
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Old January 16th, 2011, 12:20 AM   #5
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With a 5D2 and Magic Lantern, the new Rode will be far superior than the Sennheiser - assuming that the gain at +20dB is clean. That should feed as strong a signal as I can get from an XLR mic and a juicedLink.

But it really depends on your application. If you are doing narrative work, an XLR mic on a boompole or lavs are the way to go. However, if you're doing one-man-band interviews on the street, a camera-mounted mic is the right choice.

If the 5D2 had clean preamps, the Sennheiser would be fine. But they aren't clean and need a HOT signal. With the Rode, you should be able to use +17dB Analog Gain and 0dB Digital Gain in Magic Lantern, which sounds pretty good.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 03:14 PM   #6
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Rode SVM

Thanks John I'll invest in the Rode and use the settings you suggest. I shoot all manner of stuff mainly amateur - with a little paid work coming along now.

So far the paid work has been the two events and music was involved so the stereo mic will make a huge difference. The sound off the Sennheiser was not really saleable. My mistake and lesson learned.

With regards

Jeff
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Murray View Post
I have the Sennheiser MKE400 and have been pretty happy with it for shooting Athletics and normal travel videos.

I recently was asked to film two musical events. One a classical Oboe concert and the other a Musical We will rock you. The sound from the 5D and Sennheiser was diabolical. I installed Magic Lantern after the sound from the first event was unusable (fortunately they had a wav file I could use).

With magic lantern the sound was better and I used it. However it is still very hollow and light sounding. I am wondering if it is becuase the Sennheiser is a mono mic or maybe just the limitations of the 5D?

Before I purchased it I did hear some tests on Vimeo comparing the Mke400 with the Rode Stereo mic and I liked the Sennheiser better. However having heard a recording of music I am not happy.

My question is - do you think I should sell the MKE400 and get the Rode. Or should I forget these low end solutions and go the way of the juiced link, etc. I have seen the post on here about the juiced and magic lantern and I understand the sound is top quality with that set up.

Musical video is here - password is WWRY-WWOOD

This is a password protected video on Vimeo
With regards

Jeff
If you are recording music I think you definitely want to go with an external recorder and not just a stereo mic into the 5D if you want the best quality. Jon Fairhurst who has done some extensive testing with audio for 5D commented on this on another forum. I don't remember the specifics but I think it was something along the lines of the 5D's gain stage having a built in low pass (or high pass) filter that is going to rob your signal of bottom end so you'll never get really decent music recording with the 5D's audio system. Unfortunately I don't have a link the forum thread.

Cheers,

Scott

**Ooops- just noticed that Jon posted above. Hopefully I wasn't talking out of school and he'll correct me if I am remembering incorrectly!
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Old January 18th, 2011, 04:04 AM   #8
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Jon's sound comparisons

Hi Scott

Thanks for your advice.

You are right to refer to Jon's tests they were very combrehensive.

I have I read the post you refer to it was a comparison of the Juiced link and Zoom H4. My impression was the conclusion was Magic Lantern Juiced Link into the Canon gave the cleanest sound signal.

I like this approach for me as I can ease into that solution (being an amateur) gradually. First investment mike - second juiced link. This approach also does not incurr the sync issue.

My problem clearly was an issue with mono aural versus stereo for music.


Regards

Jeff
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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Scott, you're exactly right. The 5D2 with Magic Lantern and a juicedLink preamp is wonderfully clean, but the 5D2 has a high-pass filter enabled at all times. It's fine for dialog and would be fine for music with no bass instruments, but will sound thin for full-range music. For voice and guitar, you'd be right on the edge. It would be a bit thin when going for a deep, strummed dreadnaught sound, but would be absolutely fine for a higher, capo'd fingerpicking sound.

The other thing is context. If you want a studio sound, you need a solid bottom end. For a man-on-the-street video, the audience expects a thinner sound - the mics aren't typically close, you don't have warm reflections, and an HPF is often engaged due to wind. Even halftime marching bands on national TV sound super thin compared to how they sound live or on a good recording.

So the 5D2 won't deliver good bass for studio quality music, but it might be adequate for live video quality audio. It works great for dialog!
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Old January 18th, 2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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Thanks Jon. That's definitely a much more thorough explanation than I provided! And it sounds like Jeff has enough info to make a good decision.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 12:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedanes Bol View Post
Hi Jeff,

I have a Sennheiser MKE400 and it is an excellent mini shotgun microphone for recording interviews, dialogues etc. For live events, concerts, a stereo microphone is more suitable. I believe Rode Stereo videomic will work well. I use an Audio-Technica AT825 with great results (see the video below). You may also consider Sony ECM-MS957.

P.

Quartet in C Major K157 Allegro on Vimeo
Also, anyone in need of a good mic should look at Sony's latest entry specially designed for DSLR and small camcorders. At an amazing $150 street price, the ECM-CG50 has all the features needed, is super light and very well built. Much better to what I have seen with Rode or Sennheiser MKE400 (broke two of those already..). Here it is from BH:

Sony ECM-CG50 Shotgun Microphone ECM-CG50BP B&H Photo Video

Just received mine today...

Thierry.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 02:35 PM   #12
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Thierry, I don't have personal experience of this ECM-CG50 mic (if you like it I'm sure it's good - did not know about that one so thanks!) but just so everyone is clear this is a mono shotgun (the thread title is about the Stereo Rode Videomic). Different specs for different needs...but for music I'd say stereo is often (not always) the way to go, and that is what Jeff was asking about as pointed out several times.

I have the mono Rode Videomic and the Rode Stereo Videomic (amongst many mics, including a stereo AT825) and I have to say I've often been really (and very satisfyingly) impressed by just how beautiful and "open" the stereo sound can be from these two stereo mics I have, when well placed, for recording live music. In my case the AT825 feedes into a Fostex FR2-LE, whilst the Rode SVM (with it's stereo 3.5mm jack) punches well above it's weight for a non-XLR mic with some cameras (it's better on my Sony HC1 than on my Canon 7D for reasons similar to those mentioned, I guess), if used wisely. I have managed pretty decent results with the SVM on the 7D at times and, if I'm putting a mic on that camera it's often the one I choose.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #13
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I'm confused. It looks like there are mics all over the stage. Is getting a live feed from the board an option? You would then just need a basic BeachTek or a Juicelink XLR adapter to switch from LINE/MIC level. Just make sure to carry necessary adapters such as 1/4" to XLR, a few gender changers, long XLR cable etc.
If you can't get a feed from the board, I would drop a portable recorder on top of the speakers or next to the stage. For events such as this where the mixer operator was "too busy", I've even used my wireless and just dropped my own mic on a stand at the base of the stage. One mic on camera for backup, then mix in post to taste.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 11:29 PM   #14
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Board feed

A board feed would have been helpful. It was a school show presented right before Christmas break and they shut soon after so couldn't ask if they took a feed.

I have edited the project now though if they come up with a wav file or similar I'd be glad to dub it in.

Thierry the Sony does look a nice mic, although as has been said I was after opinions on whether Stereo is better for music and we have established that.

I agree the Sennheiser has a fragile mount if pushed too far. Mine hasn't broken however I can see if bent too far, the rubber will come away from the plastic where it is fused for the shock mount.

With regards

Jeff
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