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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old March 4th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #1
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External mic

I shot a play event last night and had another Sony VX2000 cam there as well, we were both the same distance from the speakers etc but the sound from my on-board mic was pathetic on my XM2 where as the Sony's was next to perfect.

Its this that has gave me the kick up the backside I need to get good audio.

The 3 choices I have picked is the Rode Videomic, Seinheisser MKE 300d or the MA-300 with an external XLR mic, which model I don't know. In your own experience what do you find works best and should I go for the MA-300 adaptor and mkic as this will pay of in the long run.

Some help please as I was really dissapointed with the finished audio.

Paul
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Old March 4th, 2006, 08:22 PM   #2
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I have a Sony VX2100 and a GL2. I find it strange that you found the Sony's mic to sound much better. Mine are about equal. They are passable and sometimes even good for music that fills the hall, but very bad for dialog.

If the talent in a play is miked, recording a track from the house board is the way to go to minimze echo. Otherwise it's inescapable. You also need a room mic track because the house system is often weak on pit ensembles, applause, etc.. Also, these things are often get muted between scenes by the board operator.

Forget the Sennheiser. The Rode VideoMic sounds better according to people who have heard both. Among other mics, I have the Rode. It is a very nice sounding mic, and quite sensitive. Despite the cautions about using a shotgun indoors it does about as well at dialog and music from the stage shooting from the rear of the auditorium as anything I have tried besides the house mixer. I find it to be a good match for the GL2 or the Sony.

But yeah, if you're going to get serious about audio, an XLR adapter is a must sooner or later. That's what I usually use for stage productions, taking a line from the house board and room ambience from an AT3031 cardioid mic. Forget the MA300. For the same price you can get a Beachtek DXA-4P with many more important features.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 01:14 AM   #3
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Sitting on top of the camera makes the MA300 very vulnerable to damage, which would in all probability extend to the camera mount. Plus, there is the microphone mount sticking out. This will only accept certain microphones due to its size. As Fred says, the Beachtek is a far better bet. It is also pretty weel universal inm fit, so you can transfer it to any other camera you may get in the future.

I found that the Sennheiser MKE300 is an improvement on the camera's own microphone, but you need the more expensive D version to eliminate electromagnetic noise pick-up. It is also better mounted off the camera in a shock mount to reduce mechanical noise pick-up.

I currently use a Sennheiser K6/ME67 in a Rycote multimount fitted to a bracket off the tripod. This is a major step forward in audio quality.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 02:44 AM   #4
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If I'd bought the Video Mic 3 years back I would NOT now have the Senni66 - which IS remarkable for "other" work that the Video Mic is not so precise. But then the Rode VM wasn't available then. My point is that once you've experienced a higher end mic then you are "aware" of what IS possible. Not having this experience you might have "closed-ears" to what could be - yeah?

I've described THIS experience - Senni66<>Rode VM - to give you a framework of my next experience:

If I had had an understanding about XLR and Audio Adaptors I would have bought a Beachie, or the like. I didn't and got the MA300 instead. The MA300 is a Canon-specific adaptor. I can't use it on anything else. An adaptor can be. The MA300 = 127 A Beachie 4 = 176.20. This meant 50 for something else - this was when all I could see/understand was a way to get XLRs into my XM2. But now, 50 quid is a non-brainer when I now understand I could have had a Beachie - or equiv. But then, it was ALL I knew!

Do I still use the MA300? Yes. Do I treat it with kid gloves - oh yes! Would I now buy a Beachie - nope. Why? I'm "waiting" for Mr Canon to have XLR inputs as standard on a Prosumer HD cammie! Well, I can wish!

Grazie
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Old March 5th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #5
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Thank you both Fred and Alan for your help.
I also think the MKE 300D sits very close to the camera itself so it would have to be mounted away from the camera to cut out handling noise.......

If I used one of the Beachtek adaptors I can plug in a line from the house mixer for the main dialog which would be a clean feed without the crowd ambience and applause which would be perfect. Do you still need to mount the cardioid mic away from the camera on a stand to pick up the crowd ambience and not on the camera itself?

I also notice when in a very quiet room if I turn up the volume on the TV I can pick up the tape whirring in the camera as well so I want to have an all round external mic for free hand work as well to avoid picking this up and I don't know if the Beachtek can still be mounted on the camera for free hand work as well, does it cause a problem when used like this?

I want to have a good mobile setup for doing Weddings as well and not just mainly for plays etc.

Paul
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Old March 5th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #6
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Thanks for your advice Grazie,

I think the new HD XL model has the XLR inputs and the XL2 but they are bound to come up with a newer model of the XM2 with them fitted as standard. I know Panasonic make a 100B model I think it is and its about the same size as the XM2, and it comes with 2 XL2 points, but no auto audio setting, its all manual.

It makes more sense to buy a more universal Beachtek as apposed to the Specific XM2 Ma-300, but how do you mount the other mic onto the camera body to keep it as far away as the Ma-300 does to avouid all of the onboard handling noise?

Paul
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Old April 14th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #7
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I make many wedding videos.
At evening when i stay near the musicant (2-4m), the sound is too loud.
Even when i switch to manual mode, and lower the signal, and set MIC ATT to ON! What can i do? The sound is distort. The XM2's mic cannot record this volume? Do i need an external mic? Which is the cheapest for this music recording?

thx
Marton
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Old April 14th, 2006, 07:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prech Marton
Even when i switch to manual mode, and lower the signal, and set MIC ATT to ON! What can i do? The sound is distort. The XM2's mic cannot record this volume? Do i need an external mic? Which is the cheapest for this music recording?

thx
Marton

Prech? In the environment you describe, do experiment/try the on-board MIC on AUTO, leaving the MIC ATTN on. Having the MANUAL turned down hasn't worked for me. Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don't. The on-board for this type of noisy work, in my experience, has been pretty efficient in keeping the audio within boundaries. But there are limits to all things! And sometimes even the actual loudspeakers themselves are throwing out distorted audio.

Grazie
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Old April 14th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
Prech?
No, Marton :)

I will try AUTO mode with mic att ON, maybe this is the solution.
But i think, the xm2's mic cannot handle this loud music, which is not distorted for my ears, just loud.

In auto mode the audio peak indicator goes higher than in manual mode.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prech Marton
No, Marton :)

I will try AUTO mode with mic att ON, maybe this is the solution.
But i think, the xm2's mic cannot handle this loud music, which is not distorted for my ears, just loud.

In auto mode the audio peak indicator goes higher than in manual mode.
So, you haven't actually "tested" AUTO with MIC ATTN on? Is that true?

G
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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prech Marton
I make many wedding videos.
At evening when i stay near the musicant (2-4m), the sound is too loud.
Even when i switch to manual mode, and lower the signal, and set MIC ATT to ON! What can i do? The sound is distort. The XM2's mic cannot record this volume? Do i need an external mic? Which is the cheapest for this music recording?

thx
Marton
This problem happens to many people. You could find many posts on this subject in the "Now Hear This" forum. The explanation is that either the mic itself or the GL2's input circuitry is being overloaded. Adjusting the GL2's audio controls does not help this situation because the signal is distorted before it reaches those controls.

MIC ATT should work for unamplified music and even for amplified music unless it's very loud. The same is true for the mic. You didn't say whether the music was amplified. Remember, if you don't want surprises you must always monitor with headphones while recording. Here are two inexpensive mics which are not great, but which are superior to the built in mic. I don't use them with my GL2 because I have better mics. I bought them for the video club at the school where I work.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old April 14th, 2006, 08:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Bernard
So, you haven't actually "tested" AUTO with MIC ATTN on? Is that true?

G
No, i dont have tested Auto mode, with mic att on.
Maybe on next wedding.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 09:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prech Marton
No, i dont have tested Auto mode, with mic att on.
Maybe on next wedding.
Don not test it at the NEXT wedding!! Test it now! Doing/testing at the wedding will be too late. Wear headphones now and test.

Of course Fred is spot on.

I would definitely NOT test at a wedding. Go along with several options - yes!

Grazie
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Old April 14th, 2006, 09:33 AM   #14
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Unfortunately i cannot make such a loud thing here in my room :( Very, very big speakers, amplifier, etc..

At the next wedding i stay far away from the speakers to make a good audio, and when a not so important dance is coming, i go near to the speaker. So, i test.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #15
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Why don't you just go along to a local venue holding a live band show, be it a wedding or party and just ask if its alright to test out your microphone, if someone else is videoing at the venue go upto him and ask him if its alright to do this and maybe if your lucky he owns a similar camera and can help you out. If hes not to keen on it just keep the lens cap on.
Don't leave it to your next wedding.....its too late then.
Listen to what these people are telling you, they know what their talking about.
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