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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:44 AM   #1
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mounting small diameter microphones on Z1

Iím reading the DVi website for some months now. It has helped me a lot with choosing my video equipment. Iím still learning and have doubts and questions, but I wanted to start in this forum by making a positive contribution.

Iíve read about the different methods people use to mount a smaller diameter mic to the mic shoe of the Z1 but most of them I consider rather bulky, so I tried to come up with an adaptor of my own. I took a 45mm (1 ĺ") rubber tube with 5mm (3/16Ē) thick walls I had lying around the house, and cut out two pieces of 36 (1 3/8Ē) by 33 mm (1 5/16Ē), the shorter measurement being the curved part of the tube. I cut the edges straight (the angle is somewhat important) and sanded them down (a piece of 120 sandpaper on a piece of wood) a little (depending on the thickness of the mic), and then clicked them in place inside the mic holder off the Sony Z1. The pieces never fall out even if I open the mic holder. They hold the mic very well. A lightweight and practical solution for my Sennheiser 416 and AKG393B that could work for other microphone and camera models as well.

I hope this helps.

Johan
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:20 PM   #2
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Biggest problem we've found is the mic holder on the Z1 doesn't provide enough isolation. We're using the Rode rubber band kind of mount. By drilling two extra holes we can use it in place of the original Z1 mount. Need to remove all the other mounting hardware from the Rode unit first.
Will see if I can post a pic shortly.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:08 PM   #3
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I cut off the end of a broomstick. The plastic cap at the end just happened to fit perfectly into the Z1 holder. Then I screwed a Rode shock mount onto the stick. Works great!
Attached Thumbnails
mounting small diameter microphones on Z1-tn_01-broom.jpg   mounting small diameter microphones on Z1-tn_02-broom.jpg  

mounting small diameter microphones on Z1-tn_03-broom.jpg   mounting small diameter microphones on Z1-tn_04-broom.jpg  

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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #4
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I would post a picture if I only know how I could send you a Picture by email if you want. The farther away the mic from the camera the less the camera noise I imagine, but on the other hand if the mic holder is supposed to be good enough for a thick Sony microphone (isolated by some very thin pieces of rubber inside the mic holder) than I think it will certainly be good enough for a 18mm diameter sennheiser 416 with several mm (4 mm of extra rubber on either side of the mic) of extra isolation. I havenít found any problems with camera noise.

I donít like the idea of an extra shockmount sticking out above the micholder fitted with a piece of wood or metal that much. Nor do I like to put tape on the mic to make it thicker. That why I looked for a more simple solution, which by the way is very cheap and easy to make. The trick is just to use a large (45mm for example) diameter rubber pipe. Putting a piece of this in the smaller opening of the Z1 mic holder creates a tension that holds the pieces of rubber in their place. You almost donít notice the pieces to be there. They look as if they are part of the existing micholder. No need to buy Rode in this instance if you ask me.

Thank you for the reply by the way.

Johan
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:35 PM   #5
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I just saw your fotos Vito. My first reaction was: that is some big solution. At least it will give you enough isolation I suppose. Seems to be a rather thick mic or am I mistaken.. It that case you can not use 4mm thick rubber as I did.

Johan
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Yeah. I thought about using rubber or something, but I wanted to use the shockmount. I hear so much handling noise from the built in mic, that I was ready to look for better isolation.

So far, it's worked great. Don't hear any handling noise at all. So I got what I wanted!

Cheers,
Vito
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:49 PM   #7
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But still. Wouldnít you rather use the existing micholder if it could be made to work equally well as your shockmount?

The build in mic is another issue. If I use the internal mic I canít even touch a button of the camera or I record the noise it makes.

Also cheers,

Johan
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:28 PM   #8
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Perhaps, but it doesn't stress me out. I'm perfectly happy with the way it is. If it annoyed me somehow, I suppose I would change it....

And with the way I have it, I could mount other things on the side of the stick by screwing on another shoe or something.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #9
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Why change? When itís something invented by oneself, you personalize the camera, you love it more to work with, and in the end you will make better picturesÖ.I think so.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:56 PM   #10
 
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Why change? When itís something invented by oneself, you personalize the camera, you love it more to work with, and in the end you will make better picturesÖ.I think so.
I couldn't agree more. Anything you do that makes you more involved with your craft only fuels the passion for being more creative and more adept.
Congrats to finding a good solution for yourself, Vito!
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Old May 10th, 2007, 11:00 PM   #11
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Thanks, Douglas, for the kind words. And you as well, Johan. A fun discussion.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #12
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Vito,
we've been using almost exactly the same solution as you've devised except we've used the complete SM5 unit from Rode, here's a link to it:
http://www.rodemic.com/?pagename=Products&product=SM5

Only problem we've found is so far is out of 4 Z1s, two have had the Sony mic holder crack from the load, it's only plastic.

So as I mentioned before and sorry I wasn't able to get a photo today, what we've done is to take off the Sony holder and attach the same shock mount as you've screwed to the wood directly into the two threaded holes originally used to hold the Sony original mic holder. To do this you need to enlarge one of the holes in the Rode unit to 3.5 or 4.0mm and drill another hole 28mm from that hole, preferably slightly off centre to compensate for the angle of the LCD screen assembly.

This modified Rode shock mount can then be affixed with 2x 10mm long M3 round head screws. I'll try to get a photo asap, it's really obvious once you see what I've done although you do need a drill press and a vice as the Rode mount is hard to hold while you drill the holes.

Reason for going to all this bother is the Sony mount seems to allow noise from the zoom, head motors and handling into the mic, there's just not enough mechanical isolation. The Rode mount seems to solve that problem with both 416 and Rode mics.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 06:53 AM   #13
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The main problem with this solution, which is certainly quite inventive, is the closeness to the Z1. Camera noises or handling noises will be picked up by the mic.

My suggestion would be to use a longer stick, putting the mic as up front as possible, holding the mic on a rubber suspension from it.

Some tests on different stick materials and/or how to damp them should be in order. That might be the harder part of this project, which may not be too hard to achieve.

To test this, find a quiet place and use a sensitive headphone, cranking the input level up to the top. Even if this might be overkill and unrealistic, it should let you pick the right stuff for your project.

The rubber strings should be chosen too. One problem of suspensions that use the strings inherent friction to hold the mic, instead of using a clip of some kind, is that they have to be too stiff, which goes against the isolation the suspension should provide. Perhaps buying some Rycote replacement mic holders and using more flexible strings would help filter camera handling and noises.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 08:00 AM   #14
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Only problem we've found is so far is out of 4 Z1s, two have had the Sony mic holder crack from the load, it's only plastic.
Yeah, doesn't it just look flimsy? The PD150 mic holder seemed much stronger to me. The Z1 holder looks like it would snap off easily.

I'd like to see your solution if you manage to get a photo up.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 10:24 AM   #15
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Maybe it's just me, but I don't seem to be able to post some pictures. Anyone interested in photos can contact me at johanlieve@hotmail.com. It is basically a solution for the diameter of the mic if you want to use the micholder as Sony intended it. For handling noise the other solutions posted here should work better because they use a more flexible suspension (If I understand Carlos well) and are farther away from the camera. The disadvantage is that they seem to put more strain on the micholder, are heavier and bigger. Until now the handling noise of my adapted micholder didnít bother me, but my experience with isnít that extensive.

Johan
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