Z1U and Audio-Technica AT897 Mic Problems at DVinfo.net

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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old January 14th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #1
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Z1U and Audio-Technica AT897 Mic Problems

Just got one, and attached it to the Z1U.

Changed the inputs in the audio settings to XLR.

Turn the switches in front of the XLR inputs 1 & 2 to on

Attached the AT897 to input one, and set that as the input in the audio menu.

Did not install any battery because it runs on phantom power.

Pushed the little recessed lever forward on the mic as I believe that switches it to phantom power.

Recorded my associate about twenty feet away and could barely hear her.

The only thing that helped was manually increased the audio levels in the back of the camera.

Is this the best this mic does, or am I missing a setting?

Thanks
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Old January 14th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #2
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I don't know about the technical settings for that camera, as I haven't used one, but 20 feet?! What's the point? You can't get useable audio at that distance.

I used to have an 897 and I don't remember a switch for phantom power. I think you may have been engaging the low-cut filter which you generally want to do anyway.

It would make sense that you would need to boost the in-camera gain quite a bit for the scenario you describe. Try it in auto. That should give you an idea if there is a problem in the chain. If you still can barely hear the subject, you've got something else set wrong. The first thing I'd check is the incamera attenuator. Also, make sure the inputs are set to mic, not line.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 09:31 PM   #3
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Twenty feet is a helluva reach for most shotguns. I've got the at897 (Yeah, I BOUGHT mine from Marco!) and it's a good mid-priced shotgun. Great outdoors at four feet or so, indoors too as long as the room is not too bright (acoustically speaking)

Shotgun mikes aren't going to pull perfect sound out of dialogue twenty feet away. That's just not what they are designed for.

And the switch on it is for Bass roll-off, to cut out ambient low frequency noise.
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Old January 14th, 2006, 09:43 PM   #4
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Great Camera, Great Microphone Choice

I'm using the exact same set-up of camera and microphone as you have described, and while it may seem as if the audio is a bit low at first, I found that when editing the footage in Final Cut Pro and boosting the audio gain the signal is extremely clean when made louder, so perhaps it has more to do with the poor audio monitoring function of the HVR-Z1U than anything else? I say this as someone else who has also tested recording a normal speaking-voice with the AT-897 at about 20 feet away from the camera; the boosted results were surprisingly good (as the initially recorded level looked disappointingly low).

This is my first post on this forum, by the way, and I just want to say that I visit here everyday and have learned much from the accumulated wisdom of all the great people who post here. I hope to make whatever small contribution I can to this forum.

Sincerely,

Scooter McCrae
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Old January 14th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #5
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I appreciate all the responses.

I also want to confirm that my in camera and mic settings are correct.

The slider (recessed) should be pushed forward?

And the in camera audio elections are what they should be?

thanks
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Old January 18th, 2006, 07:03 PM   #6
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not as sensative

I have heard that the AT897 are not as sensitive in the Z1 as some other high quality shotgun mics are. I'm not sure what may cause this, but maybe someone else on here does. Where I work, we have AT897 and ME66 I believe. And from what I've heard, the ME66 are reading higher sounds than the AT897, but that's just what I've heard.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #7
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Me66 does record at a higher level through the Z1 than the audio tech but thats not a problem with the Z1 thats just the difference in the mics overall performance they are different mics. But I do agree the Z1 records levels with any mic lower than other cameras for instance the DSR's. One thing we have done where I work is add trim in post which prevents adding unfixable audio on our master stock footage. You can fix it if its a little low but if its blown out, good luck.
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Old January 20th, 2006, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jody Davis
I have heard that the AT897 are not as sensitive in the Z1 as some other high quality shotgun mics are. I'm not sure what may cause this, but maybe someone else on here does. Where I work, we have AT897 and ME66 I believe. And from what I've heard, the ME66 are reading higher sounds than the AT897, but that's just what I've heard.
Does Z1 have a pre-amp on the mic circuit? Would putting a pre-amp in the path help the signal in this case?
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Old February 12th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #9
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The AT897 is a weak mic. I had the exact same problem, and ended up purchasing a AT4073a instead. What a world of difference a hot mic truly makes. Search for my posts here, you'll find what I wrote.
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