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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 May 10th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #1
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Rode Stereo Video Mic and A1?

I'm considering getting one of these for the A1. Has anyone tried it out or could pass on any advice on it? From what i can see it's basically the same as the Rode mic although stereo, and comes with a 'deadcat' windshield cover.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:50 AM   #2
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See the review at:

http://www.pana3ccduser.com/article....tereo-Videomic

First, I've not use one so this is conjecture. While it clearly would be a significant improvement for many handicam type camcorders, I have a hunch that it would have limited if any benefit over the A1 built-in mic, if mounted on the camcorder.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:45 AM   #3
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but would it not be much more directional than the on board stereo mic?
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Old May 10th, 2007, 11:22 AM   #4
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I have the Rode stereo video mic that I use on the HV20. It is definately superior to the onboard mic and eliminates piciking up camera motor noise.

I have not compared it to the A1 onboard mic yet. Be aware that this mic is not as directional as a shotgun mic.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 12:33 PM   #5
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My understanding is that the A1 mic has essentially a cardoid pattern for each channel.

It should be better than a mic build into the case as with the HV series, but the A1 mic is in a special external mount, not totally unlike the mic in question. A side-by side double blind test, using similar record levels and program material, would be the only fair test.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 01:19 AM   #6
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Shotgun vs.built in mic.

I recently compared 3 microphones for use on the XH-A1; a stock Sony short-shotgun from my DSR-390 (love that camera!) with a furry wind-sock, and an AT-897 shotgun, with a foam (stock) windscreen. First of all, both have a better frequency response than the stock mic, and are much more directional. The low-end is especially noticeable in the AT-897, and is often too sensitive to light breezes. Even with the rolloff switch, you really need a dead-cat cover for that mic to get decent results outdoors. The one thing that you should be aware of, is that the noise from the servo zoom will be more noticeable in quiet environments. In fact, it was too noticeable for my taste, so I'm looking for the best way to isolate the mic from the camera. So far, I found that a bit of foam padding in the shock mount helps to minimize (but not eliminate) the offending noise. Be aware that the more sensitive the mic, the more handling noise it will pick up.
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Old May 13th, 2007, 06:57 AM   #7
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A key issue with pick-up if stray noise is the ratio of the unwant4d noise to the sound you want. The solution is to get the mic as close to the desired sound source, so the desire sound is louder relative to the unwanted sounds.

Shotgun and other directional mics help because they have reduced sound pickup/sensitivity off the forward axis. You can orient and position the mic to maximize pick up of desired sound and minimize pickup of unwanted sound.

On the camcorder is about the worst place for a mic (well, IN the camcorder is probably worse), but it often is the last resort for run-and-gun shooting without a sound crew.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 02:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
I recently compared 3 microphones for use on the XH-A1; a stock Sony short-shotgun from my DSR-390 (love that camera!) with a furry wind-sock, and an AT-897 shotgun, with a foam (stock) windscreen. First of all, both have a better frequency response than the stock mic, and are much more directional. The low-end is especially noticeable in the AT-897, and is often too sensitive to light breezes. Even with the rolloff switch, you really need a dead-cat cover for that mic to get decent results outdoors. The one thing that you should be aware of, is that the noise from the servo zoom will be more noticeable in quiet environments. In fact, it was too noticeable for my taste, so I'm looking for the best way to isolate the mic from the camera. So far, I found that a bit of foam padding in the shock mount helps to minimize (but not eliminate) the offending noise. Be aware that the more sensitive the mic, the more handling noise it will pick up.
Try moving the microphone forward or backward in the holder. The pattern of this mic is not as directional as one would expect as the off-axis dead zones are fairly narrow. They do exist, however, and moving the mic towards the BACK of the camera may actually improve the servo noise cancellation. This depends, of course, on where you are starting from (you could be back too far already). Take a look at the response pattern of the mic and remember that the center of the drawing is the front edge of the mic (or very close to that point).
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Old May 15th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #9
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More experimentation needed

Thanks Robert, I have not had a chance to test more variables regarding the fore/aft adjustment of the Audio Technica shotgun. The determining factor to me will be the length of the 'dead cat' which I ordered for it. I can't put it too far forward, for risk of getting fur in the edges of the shot (interesting vignetting!), or to far back in the holder so that the windscreen no longer fits well.

In outdoor situations, the noise floor should be high enough so as to mask any zoom noise, but indoors in the quietest of rooms, it will definately be noticeable. I might have to sample the zoom noise and create a profile in Adobe Audition for the worst of cases...but I'd rather not fix it in post.

I wish the mic mount were better isolated (rubber grommets anyone?). If I have to resort to a suspended mount, there aren't many attachment points on this camera (other than the hot shoe).
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Old May 15th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
If I have to resort to a suspended mount, there aren't many attachment points on this camera (other than the hot shoe).
How about the lightwave MM-XL Universal Minimount? (Does it fit the XH A1)

or the Rode SM5? Both may use the existing mount on the A1.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #11
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The Stereo Videomic is definately an improvement over whatever stock mic you're using right now. But (and this is that uh-oh part) it's not worth the $250, at least in my experience. It just doesn't offer all that boom for the buck. I switched to the regular Videomic, and it performs pretty well. Still, I'm currently looking for a more standard shotgun mic from Azden or Audio Technica.

The weird thing about Rode mics is their shock mount system. They've got these little rubber band thingies that kind of keep the mic in suspension; but the mic wobbles from side to side on the mount itself (on the regular Videomic). The Stereo version uses a different shock mount system, but the rubber thingies are prone to slippying off a little too easily, and shock mount itself could use some improvement. Then again, I'd take either one of these mics over the standard rubbish they ship with your expensive camcorder purchase.
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