Audio Technica 897 is an excellent external at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old April 30th, 2005, 12:32 PM   #1
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Audio Technica 897 is an excellent external

I decided to buy the mic for my Z1 after reading about it on this forum. For $249 I can't believe the results. On one occasion I forgot a friend turned down my camera volume. When I captured the clip I took the audio into Sound Forge and ran it through two processes and there was NO artifcact, no buzz or hum. The sound was crisp, clearl.

Later I shot some wind surfing on a Calif beach. The wind was blowing and the wind surfers were talking thirty feet away. I wasn't using a headset and wasn't expecting to pick up anything. When I captured the footage I was amazed how clear their conversation was -- more than "usable."

Thanks for the recommendation.
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Last edited by Jerry Waters; April 30th, 2005 at 12:34 PM. Reason: didn't mention the camera
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Old April 30th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #2
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Just remember to obeserve good audio recording techniques during production because even though we have powerful tools to correct things in post, the idea of avoiding fixing problems in post is still quite alive as it was 50 years ago.

Good audio recording techniques never die.

Sound Forge should be kept in mind to improve things and not to correct problems even though you can also do the latter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Waters
I decided to buy the mic for my Z1 after reading about it on this forum. For $249 I can't believe the results. On one occasion I forgot a friend turned down my camera volume. When I captured the clip I took the audio into Sound Forge and ran it through two processes and there was NO artifcact, no buzz or hum. The sound was crisp, clearl.

Later I shot some wind surfing on a Calif beach. The wind was blowing and the wind surfers were talking thirty feet away. I wasn't using a headset and wasn't expecting to pick up anything. When I captured the footage I was amazed how clear their conversation was -- more than "usable."

Thanks for the recommendation.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 04:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reminder. I have a tendency to forget headphones when shooting little personal things. I'm working on making them a habit.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #4
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Jerry,

Does the 897 plug directly into the HDR-FX1, or does it require some sort of interface?

The external microphone mount on the HDR-FX1 is pretty far forward (in front of the LCD screen). How do you mount the 897 so that it stays out of the field of view of the camera lens, or is this not a problem?

Russ Snyder
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:19 PM   #5
 
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If you wish to plug the 897 directly into the FX1, you need an XLR to 3.5mm adapter, about 6" in length. This will give you a mono feed to the stereo input. Even at extreme wide, I'm not seeing the 897 get in the frame, as it's a short profile shotgun.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:46 PM   #6
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Douglas,

Thanks for your response.

Is the adapter you mention a (passive) cable with different connectors at the two ends, or is it something more complex (active)?

Is the 897 mounted above the axis of the camcorder or off to the side? What sort of mounting hardware is appropriate?

Have you used the 897 with the HDR-FX1?

Russ
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #7
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Douglas,

Another question:

With the 897 in place, is it possible to open and close the LCD screen?

Russ
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:22 PM   #8
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There is no problem opening the LCD screen or the mic getting in the shot. The only thing (and I don't consider it a problem) is wrapping a piece of foam (or DSE suggested a band from an intertube) so it fits in the Z1 holder. I use a piece of foam with a rubber band to hold it in place. After that, it fits so well you forget you have it. Incidentally, B&H sells an 18" XLR cable that works well for $9.95 plus 4.45 shipping. The product is described as:
"Audio-Technica AUAT83141.5 3-pin XLR Male to 3-pin XLR Female Balanced Cable - 1.5 ft"
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #9
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For some reason, my email folder is getting notifications from this thread as if you are all replying to my posting. Would like to know how to fix this because all email replies to this thread mean I will get notifications someone has responded to my posting. I only posted something on this thread not related to microphones.

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Originally Posted by Jerry Waters
There is no problem opening the LCD screen or the mic getting in the shot. The only thing (and I don't consider it a problem) is wrapping a piece of foam (or DSE suggested a band from an intertube) so it fits in the Z1 holder. I use a piece of foam with a rubber band to hold it in place. After that, it fits so well you forget you have it. Incidentally, B&H sells an 18" XLR cable that works well for $9.95 plus 4.45 shipping. The product is described as:
"Audio-Technica AUAT83141.5 3-pin XLR Male to 3-pin XLR Female Balanced Cable - 1.5 ft"
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Old May 6th, 2005, 10:29 PM   #10
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I'm not sure about the FX1 mount. I have a Z1 but my friend has the FX1. I'll try to check how it would mount on his. The mic is 11" but the handle is 5 so only 6" sticks out.

The mount on the Z1 is to the right of the lcd screen. If you mounted it on the shoe it would be a problem opening and closing it. However you have to mount it, the sound is worth it.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #11
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Jerry,

Not sure how appropriate the 897 is to the FX1, which does not have XLR input. Don't want to load up the FX1 with a lot of heavy stuff - it's heavy enough as is. If all that's involved (?) is the microphone, a shoe mount, and a (passive) cable, that might be OK. Monaural sound is OK. Not being able to open and close the LCD screen might also be OK, as I would not have the 897 permanently mounted and would only be using it intermittently.

Russ
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Old May 7th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #12
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true. It would take extra gear - a Beachtek and mounting. It's definitely easier with the Z1. Still, if you ever need a shotgun, I think this one for the price can't be beat.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 11:30 AM   #13
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I am using the 897 on my FX1 with an offset extender to the shoe-mount, which puts the mic (and Rycote Softie) to the side of the camera, which allows the LCD screen to open. I have a BeachTek XLR box permanently on the camera since I need to have the option for sound recordists to plug in their mixers whenever needed. If I have to shoot an interview without a recordist (ugh!) I can quickly put the Rycote assembly onto a short Canford fishpole and get someone on the team to hold it.
The added weight isn't a problem - I actually prefer it, though having just added rails for a matte box and also in the process of building a follow-focus system, some of these extras will mostly be used for tripod work!

Robin
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Old May 8th, 2005, 10:05 AM   #14
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If you connect the hot and cold leads on an XLR cable to stereo1 and stereo2 of the 1/8" stereo input connector and, after digitization, combine these two signals into a single signal by subtracting the one from the other (inside Vegas or Sound Forge), wouldn't you achieve the same noise reduction as you do with the Beachtek? In other words, if you are willing to do some extra digital processing and are happy with using up both stereo inputs to get a single low noise signal, is the Beachtek really necessary?

That would leave the question of power and some sort of mounting arrangement. Is it possible to power the 897 with AA or AAA batteries? Is a battery compartment for such batteries built into the barrel of the 897?

Russ
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Old May 8th, 2005, 11:00 AM   #15
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There is a battery compartment in the barrell - 1 AAA.
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