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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:34 AM   #1
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Request recommendation for ext mic for HV20

Need a 'warm' external mic to record a classical female singer with big voice with piano accompaniment. Mic to be placed 6'-10' away from singer in large room.

Prepared to pay up to $300. What accessories do I also need to make the mic connection with Canon HV20?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Alex Moskvin View Post
Need a 'warm' external mic to record a classical female singer with big voice with piano accompaniment. Mic to be placed 6'-10' away from singer in large room.

Prepared to pay up to $300. What accessories do I also need to make the mic connection with Canon HV20?
For $300 you'll be kind of limited. To shoot with an off camera mic you'll need some kind of balanced input into the camera - otherwise your sound quality will suffer (greatly). An adapter like the Beachtek DXA-2s ($180) is a place to start. http://www.beachtek.com/dxa2s.html - notice the HV20 in the pic :-) Note: the DXA-2s doesn't have phantom power so you'll need a powered mic.
Next you'll need XLR cables - they usually come in 25ft runs. Price varies depending on quality of connectors/ cables but expect to pay $1-2 per foot.

As for microphones, while they run the gamet in terms of price/quality, don't expect anything very good for less than $250 and you can easily pay $1000 or more for a good mic. I can't say what a warm mic is for you, but assuming you'll want to use the mic in different situations/environments, possibly a good choice in your price range would be a shotgun mic like the AT 897. http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...4dc/index.html
While the AT897 is more of a dialogue than music/instrument mic, at 6-10 feet away you'll definitely want a cardiod type mic and in this price range the AT897 is very well regarded. (Street price is significantly less).

Edit: Alex - I found one of these in my audio gear bag http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...tId=2062443&cp It was allow you take a balanced XLR connection and (with a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter) go to unbalanced mini that can plug into your camera. For $14.99 you may want to give it a try before you spring for something like the Beachtek. I notice a slight decrease in the signal but since you can manually adjust your audio level in the HV20 it should be OK. Of course your sound wil be mono - you need an identical setup (mic/cable/transformer) and a Y-adapter to do stereo.

Last edited by Peter J Alessandria; May 4th, 2007 at 05:31 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:44 AM   #3
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re: recommendations

Many thanks for your reply and recommendations!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #4
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what is exactly a "balanced input into the camera "? I have a rhode videomic mono with jack plug , would get better sound with a Beachtek DXA-2s?

thanks
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:31 AM   #5
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what is exactly a "balanced input into the camera "? I have a rhode videomic mono with jack plug , would get better sound with a Beachtek DXA-2s?

thanks
There are "balanced" and "unbalanced" audio inputs. You can find out more on Jay Rose's website here http://www.dplay.com/dv/balance/balance.html but the gist of it is unbalanced connections are inherently noisier than balanced connections. On my first short film we used unbalanced cable (basically 25ft headphone cords) and it was a nightmare - all kinds of RF interference, buzzing from my halogen work lights, etc.) Balanced audio cancels out any interference and the only noise you get is from the mic or camera itself. For on camera mics, this is not an issue. But the minute you have a cable of more than a few feet running off camera, you're toast. So an adapter like the Beachtek's are a good idea if your running a mic off camera. On camera it's not necessary. Most balanced inputs use XLR connectors. The mic jack on the HV20 is unbalanced and uses a mini (1/8") plug.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 07:11 PM   #6
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For about $300, you could pick up Zoom H4 recorder, with built in stereo microphones. Just put it where you were going to put your microphone. I suspect this would give better sound than the HV20, with Beachtek and external microphone. Recording dual sound is not difficult. You match the sound track on ther camera with the separate sound track in your NLE. I think you would really notice the quality difference with classical music. Also, it is much easier to record a wide dynamic range when you have 24 bits to play with.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #7
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Peter thanks for the excellent info , I will do some test with possible interferences.


the Zoom H4 recorder seems to be a good alternative.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 12:40 AM   #8
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Peter thanks for the excellent info , I will do some test with possible interferences.


the Zoom H4 recorder seems to be a good alternative.
I'll be testing the Beachtek DXA-2s tomorrow with my AT 897 and HV20 and may post some sound clips.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 01:48 PM   #9
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any final words Peter?

Hey Peter,

I'd love to hear how your test went. I can't afford a AT897 but need an audio solution for my HV20. The Zoom unit sounds interesting. Any final words on the ideal setup for your HV20?
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Old May 18th, 2007, 10:03 PM   #10
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Hey Peter,

I'd love to hear how your test went. I can't afford a AT897 but need an audio solution for my HV20. The Zoom unit sounds interesting. Any final words on the ideal setup for your HV20?
The AT897 and DXA-2s work/play very well together. That will be my audio setup for my filmmaking adventures (you can see photos of the setup here though for my films the AT897 will be mounted on a boom pole rather than on camera: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=93967 )

For fun/family stuff I'm using the Azden SMX-10 ( http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html ). Better than the built in mic but not (nearly) as good as the AT897. Someone mentioned this mic: might be worth a try though it has a 6ft cord permanently attached http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Condenser.html
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