Best audio settings using ATR55 Mic at

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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old June 30th, 2006, 08:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 32
Best audio settings using ATR55 Mic

I have a Canon GL2 and was given an Audio Technia ATR55 shotgun mic with a 3 foot cable and a 10' extension.

I am shooting a short film and need good dialogue, or at least acceptable dialogue, but my budget is zero. Or close to it.

The ATR55 is powered by a AA battery and the specs are below. What I am looking for is the best settings on the GL2 camera for my dialogue needs.

The shoot is all outdoors in the woods, so there is no loud noises to worry about.

Any help would be appreciated.

Mic Specs:

Element: Condenser
Polar Pattern: Normal - Cardioid Telephoto - Supercardioid
Freq response: 70-18,000 Hz
Sensitivity: Normal - 56 dBm Tele -45 dBm
Impedance: Normal - 1,000 ohms Tele - 2,200 ohms
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 09:48 AM   #2
Fred Retread
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Location: Hartford, CT
Posts: 1,227
Those output levels are in the GL2's range but on the low side, plus it's a high impedance mic, so you'll get a bit of hiss since the ATR55 is not a quiet mic and the GL2 is going to have to apply a lot of gain. Hiss can usually be removed in post. For that purpose make a habit of recording ten seconds or so of continuous mic noise under recording conditions with no other sound present.


Always get the mic as close to the talent as possible.

Set audio to manual mode and have the talent recite the magic audio mantra "check 1 2, check 1 2..." or something while adjusting the levels to get good indications. That usually means -12 dB peaks, i.e., hitting the big dot when they talk very loudly, close to shouting. If you can't get it that high, you'll have to settle for what you can get. The tele mode may help since it puts out more voltage.

And follow the standard advice to experiment, and to always monitor with headphones while recording.
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Old July 2nd, 2006, 11:53 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sauk Rapids, MN, USA
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that all said...when you get it dialled in, it's a really nice mic. If you have to turn the gain up past half on the camera to get a signal, you'll start to hear a full frequency hiss that cannot be removed in post. This is normal for canon audio and can be corrected by adding an inline amp or beachtek thingy (the specific one will be known by the folks on here). The beachtek will allow for higher end mics when you go there too, it ahs XLR inputs on it.

I condition my ATR55 to line level for input through the RCA jacks on the back of my XL1s using an AT wireless T/R pair. This corrected all of the problems with levels being too low for the camera to get cleanly. Now I get pristine audio from it (new battery every shooting day - rechargeables work fine) with good crisp rumbly bass.
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