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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old December 17th, 2004, 11:30 AM   #1
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About the mic on the pdx..

Hey, I'm sure that someone has asked this question before, but I can't figure out how to search for it...


I know nothing about audio. I'll be reading up over the next couple of weeks and trying to get the basics, but in the meantime, I'm trying to kit up and budget for a short.
So, I have some questions.
If'n I were to build a boom pole, make a wind muff, and buy a length of xlr cable (say 30-50 ft) and a cheap sound board, and use the pdx10's external mic as my boom would I get good/ and or adequate results?
Is the sony mic adequate for foley work?
Is it good for anything?
How much would I have to spend on a mic to make a significant jump in quality?

I'm in that position that everyone here has been in from time to time: I have about 75% of the gear I need, a script, some story boards ect.. and a tiny bit of cash left. I want put as much of he remaining cash as I can in front of the camera.


$100.00 spent here or there on this or that would probably make a big difference, it's just that once you start down that road, there is alsways another $100.00 purchase that makes sense, and then another...

any input or advice would be very welcome...
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Old December 17th, 2004, 12:55 PM   #2
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I thik you'd probably get pretty good results -- there is a lot of dialog on this group about the audio level from the Sony mic, but that shouldn't be a big factor on a boom. I've used an AT-897 on a home-made boom with great results, but not the Sony mic. Boyd dreams about PDX-10 mics -- maybe he has some input...? :-)
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Old December 17th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #3
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Ha, very funny... believe me, it ain't microphones that haunt my dreams ;-)

Actually audio is an area where I'm woefully inexperienced. I get an audio feed from the board when taping performances, and my other shooting has been mostly silent. We're also moving towards a point where we hope to start shooting a movie, so I've been pondering these same questions.

The PDX-10 uses the ECM-NV1 mike which is the same as the PD-150/170. You should find some discussion of its merits if you search or browse through that forum.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 05:45 PM   #4
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HI Michael,

I was in the same boat as you, until I bought a sennheizer ME66 shotgun mike, this week. I like the stock mike with the PDX10, but the effective range of it is only like within 20 inches, if you've lucky. That is just not good for me and you will see a VAST different with a good shotgun with broader range.

The stock mike is fine if you don't care about getting the best sound for your stuff, like day to day shooting, but when it counts, you'll need a better mike.

I have the same question about wireless lavaliers. I have the Sony WCS999 and it's good, but I wonder if a more expensive lav set will sound much better....
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Old December 17th, 2004, 07:04 PM   #5
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I just ordered a PDX10. I will be using it to video western shooting events such as cowboy action shooting and world fast draw contests along with reenactments of old west shootouts. For the past two years I have been using a Canon ZR camcorder to video these events and I am betting this new camcorder will do much better on video quality. I looked up the Sennheiser mic and it seems you need the K6 power unit which makes it about a $400 package. Is there any mike that I can add to this camera that will do what I am looking for for less outlay? I am not ruling out buying a high quality mic but just wondered if you need the entire mic and power supply?
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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:04 PM   #6
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Earlier in this string, I mentioned the AT-897 -- I've had great results with it. I think it stacks up against the Senn pretty well. You can use external phantom power, or an internal AA cell. Do a search on the mic.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #7
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Dave, try to find a used ME66 that has everything included. Can be found for $350 around.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 09:19 PM   #8
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The K6 power supply is also the mic body. The ME66 shotgun capsule is just the mic element and the directional tube. Combining the two makes the complete mic.
The K6 and its capsules like the ME66 and ME64 have a very high output. The PDX-10 can handle it because it has an attenuated mic input setting. However I think I'd still want a less directional, medium sensitivity, higher SPL mic with a smoother high-frequency response to cover the shooting sports that you listed.
You could use an AT873r that costs anywhere from $100 to $200 depending on the vendor. Add a FatCat furry windscreen from Trew Audio for about $50 and a small black hairband to hold it securely. Add a really good shockmount like the K-tek adjustable K-SMS and ring-mount adapter together for $144.
If you do want a more directional mic, I also think the AT897 would be a better choice. It has a medium sensitivity, less off-axis coloration, costs considerably less and has a slightly higher SPL when run on phantom power. You could get good wind protection by covering the stock foam screen with a PoleCat furry slip-on from Trew Audio.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 09:30 PM   #9
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Thanks for the responses, this site is amazing. You guys know your stuff.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 09:32 PM   #10
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Hi Jay,

I am wondering, when would I need to use the attenuation with the ME66 on the PDX10? I tried it and I found that the mic got such a power boost that I heard everything, too much room noise and it was pretty sensitive.

Without attentuation and he range of the mic for good sound turns to about 3 feet, but it's cleaner.

Also, it operates on phantoms power, but the ME66 will also take an AA battery in the K6 part to power the mic. I put a battery in and had it attenuated to see if there was any different and for a while there I thought I blew a circuit or something. Anyone ever do that? Whew!
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Old December 18th, 2004, 09:52 PM   #11
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Ronald, I'm in Oklahoma City. There are NO pro video equipment dealers here so finding a used mic set up is tough. I'll probably just spring for a new rig as I go.
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Old December 20th, 2004, 04:21 PM   #12
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There are two switches on the K6, and 7 switches on the XLR box of the PDX-10.
The larger switch on the K6 marked "Battery On" serves only to switch on the mic when running under battery power. This switch position doesn't matter when running on phantom power.
The smaller, recessed switch is for either Flat frequency response or Bass Roll-off. The bass roll-off of the K6 is very high and would only be used under extreme conditions in my opinion. It substantially thins the sound of the mic under normal circumstances.

On the PDX-10, the first switch chooses if input one goes only to channel one or also to channel two as well.
Next is the Line/Mic/Mic Att selector for input one. Then the phantom power switch for input one. These two switches are repeated for input two. On the rear of the box are low frequency cut switches for each channel. There are several other menu settings and the rotary controller that are used for audio adjustments.
The "Mic" level switch should allow the signal from the K6/ME66 to be very hot. Every sound would be magnified because the output of this mic is so much higher than what the regular mic setting is expecting to hear.
The "Mic Att" setting cuts this sensitivity by 20db and should make the signal audibly quieter.
You need to employ the Mic Att switch in any situation where the output of your mic overdrives the regular mic input. You'll hear this clipping distortion on the headphone monitor during peaks and it will occur no matter how low you've set the recording level controls and meters.

Ronald, have you worked anymore with your mic? Your descriptions sounded backwards from the norm.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:31 PM   #13
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HI Jay

thanks for the reply. Yes, it turned out that I cannot use phantom power AND the AA battery at the same time, that is what caused the feedback and scared the crap out of me.

Yeah, I guess I'm going to have to use the Mic Att switch a lot, which kinda sucks.

See my post here:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37244
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Old January 4th, 2005, 08:56 AM   #14
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That's odd because there's supposed to be no problem with having the battery in while using phantom. It switches from one to the other automatically. Did you check the polarity of the battery? It goes in "backwards" with the positive end towards the XLR connector. Also if you plug or unplug a mic when phantom is on it will pop very loudly. You should only plug and unplug with phantom power off.
You will get slightly higher gain from the mic when running on phantom, but it's not a huge jump.
I suppose you could get a feedback loop from the camera speaker or the headphones since the mic is very hot.
Read my response to your other thread.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 09:16 PM   #15
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Hi sorry I'm late into this descussion but here's some good info on Low budget, but good quality Shotguns

http://www.lafcpug.org/reviews/review_shotgun_mic.html

They have reviewed 3 side by side, and if nothing else their report is a good lesson in the requirments for reasonable, or better, sound capture.

I can also recommend this FCP usergroup as a good source of many bits of useful Audio and tech info
Cheers
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