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Old January 12th, 2005, 06:50 AM   #1
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Query on Sennheiser MKE 300D Microphone

Hi, just bought a Sennheiser MKE 300D mic for my Canon XM2 (GL2). The idea behind this purchase was to allow me to capture better audio towards the focal point, or sound from the object I am focusing on. I have a few questions if anyone can help:

1. I understand this is a mono mic, with mono jack. But how do I set my Canon GL2 to record mono on both "channels", i.e. left and right? At the moment, I am only getting audio on the left channel, the opposite audio channel is silent?

2. The model I ordered was the Sennheiser MKE 300 "D" model. But the only apparent differentiator I can see is a lable on the box that says MKE300D. The actual mic is marked as MKE300 - no "D". Have I been sold the anologue version, or does the "D" model also just display MKE300?

3. Having read many reports on audio quality using the Canon GL2 built in mic, I decided to get this Sennheisser to capture clearer, crisp audio. Perhaps I have a dud unit or am doing something wrong but I must say that so far, I am not all impressed with the audio. At best, it is marginally better than the built in mic, certainly not worth anywhere near 155.00 I paid. Can anyone confirm just how much better the audio should be?. I have tried recording from close to far and the improvement is only marginal. I actually sold a Ross mic for a fiver that had comparible sound to this over priced piece of plastic. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.
Sean Gallagher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2005, 09:55 AM   #2
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Hi Sean,
There's been quite a lot of discussion of the MKE300D both here and on DVdoctor.net's Audio forum. Have a search and see what you can find.

There's nothing you can do in the camera (AFAIK), but you can get short adapter leads (e.g. from Keene Electronics) to put the same signal on both tracks. I used one for a while, but don't bother now - I copy the audio track in my NLE, if I need to.

IIRC, the "D" model simply includes some extra shielding to avoid picking up electronic noise from some digital cameras. In all other respects it is identical to the standard model. I'm not sure that the mod is necessary with the bigger Canons.

The mechanical isolation is not the best. If you mount it directly on the hot-shoe socket of an XM1 or XM2, it will pick up some tape- and zoom-motor noise (low freq rumble). I use mine in a simple shock-mount (Beyer EA86, about 15) to avoid this.

What are you using the mic for - what sort of shots are you taking? Indoors or out? What is it about the sound quality that dissappoints you?

I use my XM1 & MKE300 outside almost all the time. I have found that it is more directional, less prone to wind noise (especially with a wind shield), has a wider frequency response range and picks up very little camera and handling noise, compared with the built-in mics. I'd be very interested to know of other mics that do this as well or better at around 150. BTW - I've not heard the new Rode Video Mic yet. That should give the MKE a good run for its money.

Finally, you might get more response if you can get this thread moved to either the GL2 Watchdog forum or the Audio forum.

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Mark Fry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 12th, 2005, 10:20 AM   #3
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Hi Mark, thanks for your reply. I'll get hold of a shock mount for this mic. With regards the audio quality, I have found that the audio pick-up is not that impressive. It can pick up audio fairly clearly up to a distance of about 8 meters. This is no different to the built in Canon mic (at least with mine!!). Where it does improve on the built in XM2 mic is in reducing the impact of unwanted surrounding audio. However, the audio using the MKE300D sounds tinny, low in volume even with manual audio settings set to max on the XM2.....it honestly doesn't reflect 150.00 worth of mic. So far, I'm very disappointed with this purchase.

Understand now the dif. between the anologue and "D" versions, so thanks.

I bought this mic because I will be videoing our sales conference in a couple of weeks time (both indoor and outdoor events). My intention is to edit a DVD complilation using Sony Vegas. (I'll just copy & paste left audio onto right audio track to achieve audio balance.) We have about 350 odd people attending so want to produce something they can use as a momento.

I'll play around a bit more with the mic and camera settings - maybe there is something I have overlooked. I hope so, or the mic is as good as useless.

Thanks again.
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