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Old August 21st, 2002, 10:57 AM   #1
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Any Recommendations to Basic Audio Package

Dear all,
I am about to buy a basic audio package to my XL1S, but I am not sure exactly what to buy and what brands.

I am going to be doing mostly shortfilms and perhaps a few documentaries as well.

I was thinking something like:
- MA200
- Shotgun mic
- Windscreen
- Boom
- 2 wireless mics

Any recommendations in the mid-price range?

I have also been considering getting a preamp device to provide phantom power, but I think I will start by getting an internally powered mic and then get the preamp later. Any comments?

I am going to shoot a couple of scene where there are as many as 5 people who will talk (not at the same time though), but in the same scene. I hope that I can manage to reccord it without having 5 wireless mics. I guess if that can't be done I would either have to buy additional wireless mics or to cut my scenes. Any ideas?

This leads me to the next question. Because if I can't get a decent sound with the 2 wireless mics and the shotgun mic on a boom, I would assume I would have to invest in more wireless mics and then also a field mixer since the MA200 'only' has 4 XLR inputs. Any comments?

Finally, my last question is about what is most important? Since I am on a sort-of-a-budget and I don't really know how much the audio equipment is going to cost, I was wondering if or what I could leave out such as the wireless mics? Or will the sound become terrible without them?

Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing your responses.

Thomas
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Old August 21st, 2002, 10:49 PM   #2
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instead of wiring everyone with wireless mics...you might want to consider using a boom mic. I think that would be a lot easier.
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Old August 22nd, 2002, 07:14 AM   #3
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Thomas:
Hi, I'm considering an audio package with my yet-to-be-bought XL1S as well. Based on my doc shooting requirements, I came up with a combination like this:

MA-200/Shure FP32 field mixer (3 XLR inputs, also provides phantom power)/Sennheiser MKH 416 shotgun mic (if I can afford it :-)/Sennheiser ME-66 + K-6 if I don't go with the 416

Your package will depend on your shooting style and requirements.
Commenst, anyone?
Best,
Ram
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Old August 22nd, 2002, 07:15 AM   #4
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Oops, a thousand pardons..
That should be "Comments, anyone?"
Ram
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Old August 22nd, 2002, 08:20 AM   #5
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Thomas,

The MA-200 has 2 channels of 16 bit sound and 4 channels of 12 bit sound. The 12 bit may not be high enough quality for what you wnat to do. I rarely use the 12 bit mode. So, if you need that many inputs you'll need to budget or rent a mixer. Then feed the mixer into the MA-200, 2 channel, 16 bit. Mixers aren't cheap, so think carefully about what will meet your needs.

As far as the mics go, try to listen to some different mics if you have the chance. Don't get me wrong, Sennheiser make good stuff, just they are not the only company out there. For the work that I do, for my ear, I prefer the Audio Technica mics. But that's me, it just a personal preference.

I agree that a boom mic would make more sense than 5 wireless mics and alot less money. Another possibility is to use a PZM mic. Radio Shack used to make one that if your good with a soldiering gun can be fitted with an XLR connector. PZMs can work well in a group situation.

Jeff
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Old September 15th, 2002, 01:54 PM   #6
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I suggest a different strategy.

Avoid the MA-100 or MA-300 adapters.

Stay in 2 channel 16 bit audio mode on the XL1.

Use a decent mixer for multiple mics. The cheapest decent portable mixer is a Behringer MXB1002 ($119 US) but the preamps are only mid-quality and the phantom power is only 15 volts. Of course the Senn k6-ME66 does not need phantom power.

If you use only 2 mics (a boom mic and 1 plant or wireless) go through a real mic-preamp such as the Sound Devices MixPre.

Use decent (UHF Only!!!) Wireless lavs such as the Sennheiser Evolution or even better use wired lavs or plant mics when possible.
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Old September 16th, 2002, 10:16 PM   #7
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Beachtek has the new DXA-6 XLR to miniplug adapter which also provides phantom power. This will make even an inexpensive mic such as the Audio Technica 835b sound great.
There is some great info at http://equipmentemporium.com/articles.htm

Guy Cochran
DVcreators.net
<http://www.dvcreators.net>
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