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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old April 11th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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What's Your Mic?

Hi All,

New to the forum (and thank god i found it too!!) Loads of great and helpful info already.

I'm on the hunt for a shortgun mic for the camera. I used to have a Sennheiser K6/ME66 for my previous VX2000 which i used for weddings, but although i could hear that it was a great mic i had very mixed results using it with that camcorder. Whilst during a ceremony, it would pick up the dialogue perfectly, especially in a non amplified environment; but then there would be a loud noise (for example going from quiet vows, to loud applause) and the levels would burst my eardrums before i could reach the dials! Also, using it for speeches where some people could be quite, and then the audience could suddenly roar with applause, again it was a nightmare - add to that Bagpipes, and i had a video that was slightly difficult to edit!

Anyway, i remember talking to someone about it and an 'Attenuator' was mentioned, in that i could set levels that the mic wouldn't distort over (possibly not correct description). Is the XH-A1 capable of this?

I ended up selling the Sennhesier as it was just too sensitive for me, but i would go back to it if i thought that it would work well for this use.
I'd hate to think that i'd have to keep adjusting levels whilst recording speeches as the dials are not partuicularly easy to adjust at best of times.

I'd love to hear if anyone has any advice or experience of this.


Martin Trotter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2007, 10:56 AM   #2
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What is needed to cope with changing volume levels is a fast hand on the level controls, or AGC. Alternatively you could use an external mixer and limiter/compresser, but that does not work well for mobility or a one-person operation. Al alternative is to record a low enough level not to clip on loud sounds, and do the compression in post as needed.

As to dealing with a mic with high output, the first thing to do with the A1 is to enable the MIC ATT setting. That provides 20 dB attenuationwith an external mic, and will help with most situations. If that is not enough, an external attenuator will be necesssary. (If using the internal mic, the attenuation is 12 dB)

To help with issues such as crowd response/noise, the trick is to get the mic closer to the speaker, and orient the mic to put the source of the crowd noise into the minimal sensitivity zone of the mic. For the hypercardoids like th ME66, that usually is the a bit rear-ward of the side of the mic (not the rear of the mic, more like 8 and 4 o-clock if the sournd source is at 12). Check the directional pattern of your mic to see where this would be. The worst case is to have the audience between the mic and the sound source of the sound of interest.

The ME66 is a "hot" mic with high output. Some well liked short shotgun mics often used for video with somewhat lower output include the AT-897 and Rode NTG-2.
Don Palomaki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 11th, 2007, 06:01 PM   #3
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I use the Rode NTG-1. It's hot enough for sure.
Rob Hatcher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 14th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #4
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audio technica 897 here.
David Warren is offline   Reply

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