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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
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Old July 12th, 2008, 09:03 PM   #1
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RODE NTG-3 on the A1.

Hi all, to go along with my A1 I wanted a good shotgun. I knew the NTG-3 was coming last year and was advised to wait and check it out. It's worth it, this is a very serious mic. It's RODES first pro grade shotgun and I think it'll challenge guns twice the price.

A few observations on the A1. I first set it up in a quiet room with Senn HD600 cans to check out its noise level, the G3 is very quiet as the adv. says. My wife stood 2feet in front and delivered the old 'testing testing' and 'she sells seashells' routine. She's had plenty of practise married to a sound wallah for 35years :)

There's plenty of gain on the A1 and it sounds rich and warm with a great low end. Siblance is also rich and thick, in short the G3 sounds great to my ear. 48 volts rock again.

Mounting it on the A1s external mic mount, like other guns, the G3 needs more support around it to keep it level. After experimenting, a small strip of bubble wrap around it does the trick, anyone got any better ideas? With the A1 zoomed out, there's no overhang from the G3 in frame.

If you wrap tape around the G3, you'd have to remove it each time you put it away.

With its supplied windshield on, the G3 is 10 1/2" long with 3" at the other end for a mount. So far I think the ideal position for it is in a RODE SM3 or 4 shockmount on the A1s shoe. The G3 sits up well away from the A1s mic which will sit right next to it in the external mount. Not happy Jan, the G3 left vents get blocked out.

I also have the AT8415 mount with the rubber bands, they're not strong enough, the G3 dips down at the front. That mount with the polymer supports would be the answer, apparently available as an upgrade.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...th_Deluxe.html

My next level of wind protection on the cam is a Koala Mini-Max 190. It pulls on over the G3s windjammer and *just* appears in frame on WA. Mounted up on the shoe is OK. Medium breezes only though, whatever they are. ;)

BnH say the Rycote zeppelin kit 4 for the NTG-3, mine just fits my kit 3 and with its windjammer on.

There's no on/off or filter on the NTG-3, to keep the audio path as clean as possible, I don't miss 'em, just turn the juice on *after* I connect it up. That's not mentioned in the manual and I questioned this. RODE make their own XLR socket for the G3, pin 1 is longer to help earthing and to further help negate RF interference they're big on that.

Oh yeah, you also get a weather resistant aluminium cylinder and pouch for the G3, great protection in the field. The 10 6/10 inch long cylinder just fits sitting across the short side of the Pelican 1510 case.

The pro grade NTG-3 is indeed a major step up from the NTG-1 and 2, very well worth checking one out. IMO it's going to sell a lot of booms.

Cheers.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing, Allan. I expect to order mine early this fall (sight un-heard/un-seen) and it's great to hear user experiences.
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Old July 14th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #3
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With all due respect:

"Siblance is also rich and thick."
-Sibilance. Rich and thick "S" sounds?

"After experimenting, a small strip of bubble wrap around it does the trick,"
-Hopefully not covering up the interference tube slots.

"If you wrap tape around the G3, you'd have to remove it each time you put it away."
-Hopefully not covering up the interference tube slots.

"I don't miss 'em, just turn the juice on *after* I connect it up. That's not mentioned in the manual and I questioned this."
-You can connect the mic with or or without the phantom power or camera power on and off with no problem.

"RODE make their own XLR socket for the G3, pin 1 is longer to help earthing and to further help negate RF interference they're big on that."
-It's not that it helps negate RF interference, it just provides a ground slightly sooner in the connection process. The RF condenser circuit used in the Sennheiser 416 is known for its ability to ignore moisture. How Rode is doing this without violating patents, I don't know. I'm not a lawyer. Knowing Peter Freedman, it's perfectly legitimate.

For more info on the Sennheiser process: http://www.phonomorphics.co.uk/resou...ennheiser).pdf

"The pro grade NTG-3 is indeed a major step up from the NTG-1 and 2, very well worth checking one out."
- I agree. Unless the one I have here craps out (which I don't expect it to based on past performance of Rode mics), I'll be adding the NTG-3 to the "Good Gear" list in my book for the next printing.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old July 15th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #4
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Hi Shaun, the NTG-3 is a great choice. The cylinder opens both ends, the BnH demo has the guy unscrewing both to take the mic out, that's not necessary. Just don't rip it out like I saw here last week, came out with a loud POP! bad scene bix.

On the A1 you need a short XLR cable, I'm currently using an Audio Technica ASP-00127. It has a right angle Neutrik XLR which suits the G-3 when it's mounted in the mic holder and especially up on the A1s shoe. The cable is just marked 'Korea' It's not my preferred Canare cable but it's only 15" long.

G'day Ty, I see you're well respected here and I enjoy your posts too. Yes sir! after 46years in pro audio including 30years with our own production studios, rich and thick, that's how I'd describe good sounding sibilance....versus sounding scratchy and thin.

No, never block any gun vents of course, I figured most would know that, and that's why I don't like the G3 in the A1s mic holder, it's to close to its own mic. masking 3/4 of the G3s left vents. Sometimes you'd have no choice with another accessory up on the A1s shoe; even then I'd try to swap them around to get the G3 out in the clear.

Old habits die hard, I always connect the gear then power up, try too anyway.

RF biasing mics is not patented, been around for a long while but it takes a lot of development.

Pete Freedman told me RODE make their own NTG-3 XLR to help kill RF interference. The pins are specifically insulated. I work around aeroplanes, our Lockheed Super Constellation has 144 spark plugs, I think I've heard from every one of them at one time or another. My G3 is going to get a workout in that dept.

For my uses, I'd like a stereo version of this mic.

The NTG-3 was 2 years in development and with their reputation, now RODE is really making waves, very helpful as the G3 is good in wet conditions :)

Cheers.
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Old July 15th, 2008, 05:36 AM   #5
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"Yes sir! after 46years in pro audio including 30years with our own production studios, rich and thick, that's how I'd describe good sounding sibilance....versus sounding scratchy and thin."

>>>Dear Allan; I appreciate and respect your experience. Maybe it's a hemisphere thing. Up here, sibilance, is the production of S, Z, Ch and first moments of a T sound. Normal sibilance is the correct amount of high frequencies. Excessive sibilance is when these sounds are too thick. You can actually see them on a DAW waveform screen. The sounds aren't louder, they are just thicker. That's a bad thing.

Pete Freedman told me RODE make their own NTG-3 XLR to help kill RF interference. The pins are specifically insulated. I work around aeroplanes, our Lockheed Super Constellation has 144 spark plugs, I think I've heard from every one of them at one time or another. My G3 is going to get a workout in that dept.

>>>>It's getting to be a nasty RF world out there, at least up here in the states. Most mic manufacturers have had to redesign their mics to keep RF out. Grounding and shielding have become increasingly important. Blackberries and other personal portable devices are leaking into everything. More and more devices have "a computer" in them. Peter's very aware of things like that.

I expect the NTG-3 to do well, especially at its price point.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 06:36 PM   #6
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I'd really like to get the NTG-3 for my A1. Is this the best mic in that price range or would a Sennheiser ME-66 or 67 be better? I saw a coupon on this forum to save $100 at the DVe store which tempted me to seriously consider upgrading now.

I currently use an Oktava Bello Nero which is a great mic for the price, but not always great for what I use it for: one-man show indie filmmaking with the mic on a shockmount (rarely do I ever have a boom operator). I am always moving around, changing angles and distances when shooting (I rarely use a tripod) and my amateur actors never seem to remember to speak up loud enough no matter how many times I tell them to, LOL. The Oktava is just not sensitive enough for my purposes if I am more than a few feet away and I usually end up having to crank up the audio in FCP by anywhere from +5db to +10db, which is a pain in the neck.

Will the NTG-3 answer my prayers? Also, those Rycote windshield kits from B&H are outrageously expensive--almost the price of the mic itself! Highway robbery, LOL, but how many are they gonna sell no matter what the price is?

So which Rycote kit do I need for the NTG-3? Somebody said either windshield kit 3 or kit 4. I tried clicking the "more info" links on the B&H listing but it only led to techno-babble on the Rycote site that did not tell me which kit would fit the NTG-3.

Kit 3: Rycote | Windshield Kit 3 | 086002 | B&H Photo Video

Kit 4: Rycote | Windshield Kit 4 - $695 | 086001 | B&H Photo Video

Last edited by Jim Duggins; September 2nd, 2008 at 09:57 PM.
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 10:35 PM   #7
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Hi Jim, of course with any shotgun you still need good voices within 3-5 feet. Yes the NTG-3 is a great sound especially for the price. A big consideration is, there's no low or low cut on the A1 if you run the G3 into the mic input. Outdoors this can be trouble if you haven't got good wind protection for your rig.

I ended up getting an SD 302 with its 2 low cuts. It's brilliant. Look up Juiced Link for another preamp.

Right now RODE have new accessories, and the WS7 for the NTG-3. They also have a new zeppelin (or blimp) arriving soon. Not sure of the current US availability.

I already had a RYCOTE 3 kit for my other mics and the NTG-3 just fits it. The XLR plug sits in the rear mic holder and it works fine, also has the connbox (insulator for the output cable) and I think that's needed. B&H recommend the kit 4 which is slightly larger and if I was buying it new I'd get that.

That particular RYCOTE range is the most expensive, but they work. I've been in winds that would almost blow the camera over but you didn't hear the wind.

Then they have their cheaper S series, don't know about those. Then there's the Indian zeppelins off the web. IMO you get what you pay for there but some buyers say they work too.

If you get a zeppo, then you need an operator, you may as well get a boom for him/her?

Cheers.
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Old September 3rd, 2008, 02:48 AM   #8
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I have a K-Tek KE-89 boom pole but gave up using it because the boom operator I hired was lousy (and cost me $50 a day) and running boom greatly slowed down production and limited my freedom of movement with the camera. Getting an extra person to show up and run boom is usually too much trouble and expense, but just in case I do get a boom op for my more important shoots, will the KE-89 work with the NTG-3?

I currently use an Oktava Bello Nero mic with a Baby Ball Gag and dead cat. I've never used a long shotgun mic or zeppelin before. Why do I need an operator for a zeppelin? It doesn't just fit on my shockmount? I currently have a K-Tek K-SM shockmount for my boom and a Rode SM-3 for my hot shoe; will those both work with the NTG-3?

What's an SD-302?
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Old September 4th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Duggins View Post
I have a K-Tek KE-89 boom pole but gave up using it because the boom operator I hired was lousy (and cost me $50 a day) and running boom greatly slowed down production and limited my freedom of movement with the camera. Getting an extra person to show up and run boom is usually too much trouble and expense, but just in case I do get a boom op for my more important shoots, will the KE-89 work with the NTG-3?

I currently use an Oktava Bello Nero mic with a Baby Ball Gag and dead cat. I've never used a long shotgun mic or zeppelin before. Why do I need an operator for a zeppelin? It doesn't just fit on my shockmount? I currently have a K-Tek K-SM shockmount for my boom and a Rode SM-3 for my hot shoe; will those both work with the NTG-3?

What's an SD-302?
A shot-gun mic will give you better "reach" than an ordinary cardiod, so if you have to work with the mic on-camera, it should help you. As Allan has said, you will need a good shock mount and wind protection, because they shot-guns are more sensitive than other mics. You'll also have to keep a careful eye on your levels, for the same reason.

Zeppelins are normally too large for camera mounting, though I have seen them on special brackets bolted to a tripod. More often they need their own stand or a separate operator. You might be able to do something with the XH-A1's round microphone mount, rather than the hot-shoe? Alternatively, try a Rycote Softie, which is much better than just a "dead cat" and less bulky than a proper zepplin basket. It's fine in moderate breezes.

Won't your boom-pole work with any mic, or does it have a mic-specific shock-mount on the end? Even so, the pole should be fine with a different mount.

An SD-302 is a portable sound-mixer, made by Sound Devices. Not exactly cheap, but widely used on film sets, etc. and often used when you have a dedicated sound operator.

I really recommend having a good browse around the "All Things Audio" forum. Most of what I know about improving audio, I learned from the regular posters there. Very little is camera-specific - bad sound spoils the whole thing whether you are shooting the grandchildren on VHS or making a Hollywood movie.

The two things that really spoilt my early efforts were poor sound and an unsteady tripod. The tripod was the easier thing to fix!
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Old September 4th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #10
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I have a K-Tek KE-89 boom pole but gave up using it because the boom operator I hired was lousy (and cost me $50 a day) and running boom greatly slowed down production and limited my freedom of movement with the camera. Getting an extra person to show up and run boom is usually too much trouble and expense, but just in case I do get a boom op for my more important shoots, will the KE-89 work with the NTG-3?

>>>Hello Jim. Advancing from a solo to duo operation requires some thought. If you hired a green boom op, that's on you. At $50/day, you can't hire a good boom op. A good location audio person can help your entire shoot move more smoothly and increase the quality of your audio dramatically.. exponentially.

I currently use an Oktava Bello Nero mic with a Baby Ball Gag and dead cat. I've never used a long shotgun mic or zeppelin before. Why do I need an operator for a zeppelin?

>>>Getting really good audio from a camera mounted mic is pretty impossible. You had a bad time because of inexperience. You learned something from it. Keep at it.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old September 4th, 2008, 04:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
As Allan has said, you will need a good shock mount and wind protection, because the shot-guns are more sensitive than other mics. You'll also have to keep a careful eye on your levels, for the same reason.
Ah, I see. I originally wore pro-headphones when shooting, but haven't bothered the past year because I don't like them (too bulky). I just keep an eye on the A1's LCD audio bars instead and hope for the best, LOL. I can get a pretty good idea when the actors are too low from that. I suppose I'll have to go back to wearing headphones with the NTG-3 then?

So which shockmount do you recommend for the NTG-3?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
Alternatively, try a Rycote Softie, which is much better than just a "dead cat" and less bulky than a proper zepplin basket. It's fine in moderate breezes.
So I should get a Rycote Softie instead of the Windshield Kit if I plan to use the NTG-3 mostly on the A1's hotshoe? Anything else I should get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fry View Post
Won't your boom-pole work with any mic, or does it have a mic-specific shock-mount on the end? Even so, the pole should be fine with a different mount.
The boom pole itself should work with any mic (I would hope!), but I'm not sure about the K-Tek K-SM shockmount. Do you know if it will work with the NTG-3?
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Old September 4th, 2008, 04:40 PM   #12
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I suppose I'll have to go back to wearing headphones with the NTG-3 then?
Jim,

With all good humor intended.

Repeat after me, "When do you wear headphones?...ALWAYS."
"When do you wear headphones?...ALWAYS."
"When do you wear headphones?...ALWAYS."
"When do you wear headphones?...ALWAYS."

We don't want to see you back here posting for advice because you weren't wearing them and ~thought~ everything was OK, but your audio turned out to be crap because you weren't listening.

My advice on which headphones? Sony MDR7506 or AT ATH-M50. the MDR7506 are smaller.

Regards,

Ty ("When do you wear headphones?...ALWAYS.") Ford
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Old September 4th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #13
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I'll second that headphone rant. If you don't like bulky headphones, get some less bulky ones. You can not record sound without wearing headphones. The meters let you know if the levels are good, but they don't tell you if anything weird is happening, like low wind noise, clothing rustles, background noise, etc., not to mention a dying battery hiss or interference in a wireless system. Not wearing headphones for sound recording would be like not looking through the viewfinder when you're shooting.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 03:46 PM   #14
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Make mic fit with o-rings in camera mount

if you get some o-rings from the hardware store, you can find a size that will fit snugly on the mic. Space several to fit in the XH-A1 mic holder, it will then hold the mic firmly without having to remove tape, bubble wrap or some other hack.
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Old December 30th, 2008, 06:26 PM   #15
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Blimp

Rode makes a reasonable looking blimp that apparently comes with a real fur cover, which I read somewhere works better than the synthetic ones.

BH sells them for $299, a good deal less than most.
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