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Old November 7th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #1
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Sennheiser MKE 300 & the GL2

Does anyone have experience with the Sennheiser MKE 300 mic? I primarily film bands and the mic on my GL2 has been clipping lately. I suspect I need a condenser mic of some sort. Is this a correct assessment? Money is certainly an issue right now, but would I be better off investing in a Beachtek XLR adapter and buying an XLR mic instead?
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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:02 AM   #2
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Band music and clipping? You might try "Mic Att" first. It sounds like you're over-driving the audio.

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Old November 8th, 2007, 08:22 AM   #3
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It appears to be clipping. A lot of my shots require me to move around the band. So when I'm near the drummer, the cymbal crashes drown everything else out. I believe I've tried the attenuator before and it did nothing but 'muffle' every person in the band. I could be wrong. I'll try to post a video clip as an example.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 09:10 AM   #4
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rode videomic

sure, you'd be better off getting an xlr adapter and a nice shotgun mic, but it'll cost ya..for $150, you can get a Rode VideoMic..It's phantom powered by a 9v battery, uses and 1/8" miniplug. I believe they have a
-10 and -20 db pad on them so it can handle higher SPLs, like in your situation (live music). I've not had the chance to use one, but I've heard some great feedback on this mic.
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Old November 16th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #5
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The MKE-300 is probably not a good choice if you are getting "clipping." Per it's specifications, it will probably clip at lower sound pressure levels than the GL1's built-in mic. (Rated 1% harmonic distrtion at 116 dB SPL).

Again, in a loud venue, use the MIC ATT setting. If you need balanced sound (not the nearest instrument) when moving around the band, use a separate mic appropriately positioned and separate recorder and sync the sound in post, or consider using a wireless mic appropriately positioned)
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Old November 18th, 2007, 09:27 PM   #6
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Hi everyone, I really appreciate the feedback I'm getting. Here are a couple of clips demonstrating the problem I'm having.

NOTE: I set the levels for the camera but did not film either--I was busy enjoying the music and asked a friend to film. The video quality of the second clip is pretty bad due to the lighting, but try to focus on the audio.

Clip 1: This was filmed without using the Mic Attenuator on the GL2 and I'm fairly happy with how the audio came out:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=2EKDRkNqRCM


Clip 2: Same band several months later. Again, no Mic Attenuator, but it's abundantly clear that this audio is far worse than the first clip. In fact, it's virtually unlistenable. What I've continuously been describing as 'clipping' is the muddy/vibrating sound that drowns everything out--hopefully you'll see what I mean:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CaMsgRIJWB4

Clip 3: I filmed this one. Different band, but the audio quality falls in between the first two. It's a bit muddier than the first, but much clearer than the second. It gets bad at 2:20 and 3:10 in.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=amNeME3GXmM

I have no video clips as of right now that were filmed using the Attenuator. I've tried it in the past and I found that the overall audio was too low I and couldn't make out the vocals when it was used. In the first two clips, the filmer was close to the PA system/speakers, so I don't know if that was a factor or not.

Could it be that the levels set by the sound guy at the second show were just bad? Or it it most likely something wrong on my end? I always set my audio levels to peak just above the 'green dot' on the GL2 indicator. Will using the Attenuator leave enough room for me to increase the volume in post and have it sound decent (on par with the first video)? Is there a specific microphone type or brand I should look into? Is it wise for me to make sure that I get an XLR mic and a Beachtek adapter (as opposed to using a mic that plugs right into the GL2?

Lastly, is the problem I'm having something that can be easily fixed in post? I don't think it is, but I figured I'd throw the question out there.
I apologize for all the questions. I do value everyone's expertise!
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:02 AM   #7
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Can you save just the audio to a file and post somewhere it can be downloaded so the actual audio file can be evaluated?

It looks like the sound guy for the second clip had no clue as to how to feed audio to the camcorder, and was overloading the input preamps.

Judging from the video, for this type venue, MIC ATT would be a must have setting, and then you should be OK, if watching levels, or using AGC.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
It looks like the sound guy for the second clip had no clue as to how to feed audio to the camcorder, and was overloading the input preamps.
Don, thanks your continually following up with this thread; it is greatly appreciated. I will post the audio clips soon. However, I'm not too sure what you meant about the above quote. Nothing was plugged into the camcorder (I was using the GL2's built in mic).

I think I will force myself to film the next show using the MIC ATT option and see how it comes out.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:55 PM   #9
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Here are the audio files as per your request:

http://www.sendspace.com/file/7fslc5

I opened them up in Audition and, unless I'm completely oblivious, I don't see any 'clipping' of the waveform. I really wish I knew what I was doing wrong and why my audio sounds so terrible.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
In the first two clips, the filmer was close to the PA system/speakers, so I don't know if that was a factor or not.

Could it be that the levels set by the sound guy at the second show were just bad? ....
The above quote made me think someone else was connecting audio to the camcorder.

If you can try, try the camcorder at a practice session to workout the audio issues before a money shoot.

Will try look at the audio file and get back to you on it later.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:29 PM   #11
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Had to dig up a .rar file decoder first.

Looking at the audio file, my impression is that the mic preamp input stage was overloaded and clipping, especially on the waveform negative peaks. The clipped output signal from the preamp was then sent to the level control where it was reduced so that the clipped signal was recorded well below maximum digital record level, thus it looks "ok" on the meter and the waveform envelop in Audition. (Zoom in on the waveform and see all the clipped (flat) bottoms on the signal, except for the very beginning where the level ramps up.)

Using MIC ATT setting should help avoid this, but in extremely loud venues it might not be enough. And IMO the MKE-300 would be a very poor MIC for this application.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:46 PM   #12
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I'll certainly take your advice and do a test run using the MIC ATT. I'll relay my experience on this board as soon as I can. Thanks again for your input. Knowing me, I would've purchased an MKE only to be unsatisfied and $150 in the hole.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #13
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Alternate Fix

Forget a different shotgun mic in most of these cases. Pic up a wireless lav, position mic someplace safe towards the center of the room, set sensistivity levels of mic, and receiver output, check sound with headphones, move mic to "sweet spot". Test during rehearsal and write down settings for a quick setup during the performance. TEST TEST TEST
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Old December 31st, 2007, 09:44 AM   #14
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Just keep in mind that moderate priced wireless mics tend to have higher noise levels and higher distortion than a wired mic. They are mainly intended for use where use of a wired mic is not practical, and do cost a lot more because you are paying for a mic, a transmitter, and a receiver. I do use wireless mics for music pick-up in some situations, mainly where I cannot reasonably run cables.

Note that a mic in the center of the room (any type of mic) will pick up audience noise in live venues with an audience.

Most "economical" package units are designed for voice, not music. Many use a type of compression/decompression in their audio path to improve their dynamic range of the RF connection. They may be equally susceptable to overloading. It is a matter if selecting the right tool to do the job you want done.
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Old December 31st, 2007, 11:06 AM   #15
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Concert Audio

Actually I like to place a Sennheiser Evolution G2 high overhead centered just above the performer closest to the audience. Kind of a sweet spot. About $500 USA $$$. Highly adjustable unit.

Once for a test I actually put the mic directly on a big speaker and was able to adjust it not to clip and other than a little vibration from the lows it worked fairly good. You get what you pay for.

Yes you can hear the audience in the background (depending on placement) but that is part of the gig. We are not talking studio right?

Last edited by Ron Edwards; December 31st, 2007 at 11:10 AM. Reason: additional info
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