GL1 Shotti Mic: SGM-1X or SGM-2X? at DVinfo.net

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Old July 2nd, 2003, 09:01 PM   #1
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GL1 Shotti Mic: SGM-1X or SGM-2X?

After sifting through the forums for several hours regarding good shotgun mics for the GL1/GL2 i've decided to post and ask for advice on my specific situation. I own a GL1 and have been considering getting a shotgun mic for a while. The mic will probably be on the shock mount on my cam, or on a boom for the most part. As a college student I've got little to no money in my wallet, so I wanna get all the bang for my buck I can. I've got 2 questions:

1. Azden SGM-1X or SGM-2X? Both mics have gotten rave reviews in the forums, and I think I could live without the omni capablities of the 2X (mostly interested in hyper-cardiod pickup). Is the extra 50$ worth it? What more does it buy you?

2. Can you survive without an XLR conversion box like Beachtek makes? I've heard it suggested in the forums that you can use a mini stereo male to 3 pin XLR female converter and go straight into the camera. What will I lose with this configuration? I really don't have the extra $200 to drop on a Beachtek!

I'm not trying to gather hollywood quality sound, just a step up from the on cam mic that will add some dynamic audio to my short films. Thanks for your help! - Devin

PS - These forums are the best around, easy to use, and jam-packed with helpful information. Good job guys!
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 09:10 PM   #2
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Although I dont own either the shotgun mic or the gl-1 i figure I will put in my 2 cents. i just purchased the audio-technica AT835b. Its not here yet, but on the way. I decided on this mic after reading the article on this site, http://www.lafcpug.org/review_shotgun_mic.html You might have seen it already but it compares this mic, the sgm-2x and the Sennheiser K-6/ME-66/ME-67. Hopes this helps ya out and yes I agree this forum is the best place on the web for digital video help.

I should mention that zotz sells the AT835b for 195 (but i believe its on backorder right now) and the Sennheiser K-6/ME-66 for 375 thats both the mic and the powering unit. They dont sell the sgm-2x but b&h does for i believe 240 something
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 01:55 AM   #3
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i have the 2x...

I have the 2x and it is indeed nice to have "2" mics in one. today I was using the combined shotgun in a small, hard walled room and it was noisy with all the reverb in the room so I took of the extender and just used the short stick omni and it worked great. If all you need is the shotgun, then the 1x is probably a better deal since the 2x is really, really long and a bit of a pain (although quite usable) to use as a full shotgun. I'm about to get an xlr adapter but currently I just use a cable that has a mini plug on the male end that goes right into my GL2 so I just get the whole thing in stereo. No problem. If you have no real use for the omni ability then there isn't much reason to get the 2x. I'm quite sure there are many better mics out there, but for the money I'm quite happy with my 2x, but I'm looking at getting a second one and it will be a 1x simply because when I do want a shotgun I'd prefer a shorter one now that I have the combination with an omni built in.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 07:09 AM   #4
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Brian and Bud - Thanks for the quick respsonses! I have consulted that comparison a number of times Brian, and have found it pretty useful. Bud - I'm glad to hear straight from the source that a mini plug to xlr converter works on a shotgun mic. I also appreciate your great advice on the 1X and 2X. You've already helped to sculpt my decision. Thanks guys! Does anyone else have any input on these 2 mics/set up? I'd really like to know more about what I'm losing when I don't use an adapter like the Beachtek. I appreciate your input!
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 11:49 AM   #5
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you get two things

First a disclaimer...this is what I have gleaned from my reading. I don't even own an xlr connector yet...

You get two things from an xlr connector 1. You get the ability to connect two mics. One for the right channel and one for the left. It also 2. provides balanced connections and that means you can run a cable to your microphone. Without a balanced connection you will get noise if your cable length is too long. this means that if you only need a single microphone connected to your camera, an xlr adapter is not necessary. However...almost everyone doing anything more than home movies needs more than that (which is why I'm about to order a studio1 xlr adapter myself). Feel free to correct me here. I am NOT an audio expert...but I do my homework :) so I hope this isn't too far off. You might want to take a look at http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/accessories.html#xlr, which includes the note "I am a professional sound mixer and was just on a multicam shoot with 2 100a cameras and we had one Studio One and one Beachtek. We needed the ground lift with my sound craft mixer, along with external line level isolation transformers ( whirlwind IMP 1x3) . The beachtek was unuseable because of no ground lift. The studio one ground lift switch was in 2 position. We had to use the sony mono adapter for the other camera and go mic level and do a mono combine with a Shure line to mic level adapter ( the audio has to be relaid down in post for stereo from the other camera). You never know what kind of mixer and other problems you might encounter in the field, a ground lift is important. ". That information may be stale and beachtek may have made improvements since then, but I've already made up my mind on the studio1.
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 12:11 PM   #6
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I wish I could afford an XLR connector, but right now i just opted for the cord. Hte lengths arnt that long because for now I will be using the microphone on the camera itself *cringe* I would rather use it on a boom, but its not possible yet. I went with the stereo cords so hopefully they will produce ok sound. I am mearly a student learning and perfection is un-needed at this time (which in some cases is a really good thing)
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 02:06 PM   #7
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Wow, thanks for the info Bud. I'm sure I could use extra mic inputs, but at this point I really can't afford them, and also an unbalanced line stinks, but it's something I'll have to live with until I can scrounge up some more dinero! I really appreciate your help! Brian - Can you let me know what results you have with the XLR to mini adapter? Also: What shotgun mic do you have? What camera do you use? Thanks!
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 02:24 PM   #8
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Sure, being that its a holiday weekend most of the stuff I ordered wont be there until next week, but I will post my reactions when i get the shipments. BTW I have a vx-2000 and will be getting the audio-technica AT835b.

UPDATE: I now may be buying the sgm-2x because I ordered the audio-technica AT835B i think on monday and was told that the factory didnt have any, but would real soon, they felt within a day. Well its Thursday night and still no shipment, so if there is no activity on monday I will try to cancle the order and buy the sgm-2x. Just figured i'd tell ya
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Old July 3rd, 2003, 04:37 PM   #9
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Cool beans. I'll look forward to hearing your results. Good luck Brian!

Does anyone else use an XLR to mini plug adapter instead of a Beachtek appliance? I'd like to hear your 2 cents on it!
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Old July 6th, 2003, 01:27 AM   #10
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Greetings Devin.

i do a lot of ENG work here in the bay area with my gl1. i use a beachtek box and a shotgun mic. i started out with sennheiser mke-300 but was disapointed with its low frequency response (it only gets down to 150 hrz). it's great for voice but not much else. it is also made of plastic. i did not want to spend a bunch of money on a better mic because i get into situations were gear can get smacked around and broken. so i took a chance on a cheapy shotgun: an audio technica atr 55. it's cheap (i got it for $45 at the sound professionals) it has two settings: cardioid and hypercardioid, and it gets down to 70 hrz, for a fuller sound. it is also made of metal and uses AA batteries. i have used it in the field several times now for eng work and it sounds great. plug it into the 1/8" aux jack on the beachtek, turn the volume all the way up on the box and let the camera do the rest. i do run and gun interviews with it that sound great. the one thing that needs to be done on this particular mic is have the cord cut down. it comes with 3 feet coming off the back, which is enough to hang yourself with. if you buy one from the sound professionals, have them cut the cord down to something manageable like 10 inches and have them put a MONO mini-plug on it. it has to be mono because a stereo jack WILL NOT WORK with the beachtek aux input!

this set up gives you volume control, xlr inputs (great for talking heads), and some mixing capabilities. if you run the box in stereo you can get two different audio tracks from two different sources which you can mix any way you want in post. if you run the box in mono it puts the aux signal into both channels. this set up will also only run you around $200-$225.

cheers!

jay
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Old July 6th, 2003, 09:06 AM   #11
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Jay, thanks for telling me about your setup. I think it does a lot of good to hear other people's experiences who have dealt directly with the equipment rather than the dealer's bloated sales pitch. And of course this is what DVinfo is all about. Unfortunately I'm considering the next rung on the ladder of consumer shotguns: the azden sgm-1x. Money is really tight around here so I'm trying to get around using the Beachtek, but there are too many positives to having one that I'm just now beginning to face the music! Gathering sound from more than 1 mic is just about what I need, and mixing live to tape sounds sweet. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about your experience Jay, I really appreciate it!

On another note, I'm also considering a different shotgun microphone but it requires phantom power. (no batteries like the azdens or AT-835b) Now I'm no noobie, but I'm def. not an expert on audio matters, but correct me if I'm wrong: that mic wont run hooked up to a beachtek device will it? It needs phantom power from a mixing board or something. I know my GL1 has a DC 5V terminal on it, is there somehow I could rig this mic to hook up through that? I think phantom power comes through the XLR lines though, right? I need an audio gurus guidance!

And I'm still interested in hearing other people's experiences using a 3 pin XLR female adapter to mini stereo adapter from their shotgun mic to their camera instead of a Beachtek device. Thanks for your time!

=====================
UPDATE
=====================

I did some personal research and answered my own question regarding the phantom power.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 10:53 PM   #12
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UPDATE

I recently shelled out the money for the AT-835B. After reading reviews/using one/and spending countless hours researching what others had to say I chose the Audio Technica over the Azden. I decided the extra dough was worth that quality. Just thought I'd let you know.

Brian - I'm still very interested in hearing what you have to say about skipping the Beachtek box and using the $10 XLR to mini cable instead. Keep me posted brotha!
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Old July 9th, 2003, 07:55 AM   #13
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Well thanks to the long weekend and slow UPS 3-5 day service, I havent recieved all my stuff yet, but when I do I will post my feelings on it. It should come today, I havent tracked it in awile but the schld. drop off was today. But like I said, when I do get it all i will post

sorry for the wait

Brian

*its been confirmed, I will recieve 2/3 of the rest of my stuff today althought I think one of my tracking numbers dosnt work cause theres been no activity on it since July 1st
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Old July 10th, 2003, 07:50 PM   #14
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Results of the Mic Test

Ok I just got the mic today and have been testing it out for a few hours. First I tested it with a simple mixer set up without using the camera and the sound was very good. The mic doesnít completely remove sounds from behind it but it takes most of it out. Then I tried the mic on the camera outside with the mic under battery power and I found that the sound was very clean. I would have to test the mic with the xlr box for a true comparison but from what I listened to on my TV and the sound was very good. Overall I really like this mic and would recommend it. The only think I really didnít like was the beyerdynamic EA 86 shock mount. The accessory show on my vx-2000 doesnít have a back to it so it was very easy to slide the mic in and out. I solved that problem with some Velcro so it stays in now but I still have some front and back motion and some side to side motion. If anyone has any suggestions on a good shock mount please tell me. Other than that I think that a standard xlr-mini cord with this mic works just fine. Also with the standard lens at full wide you CAN NOT see the mic in the shot

Brian
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Old July 10th, 2003, 08:19 PM   #15
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Brian, which mic did you end up with? The SGM-2X or AT-835B? I read your previous posts but couldn't quite deciper. I was considering getting the Beyer EA-86, but after hearing what you had to say I'm having second thoughts. Maybe it'll fit better on mt accessory shoe on the GL1. Did you get it from B&H? If not, where? I've been reading more and more about how an unbalanced XLR to 1/4" mini is good for short distances (obviously cam mounted) but for a good clean signal over some distance you need a balanced line (Beachtek). I'd like to use my mic with a boom a lot, so I'm leaning more and more to the Beachtek. I'm glad to hear that it does work well for you w/o a beachtek tho!
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