When do I need the ATT MIC Setting? at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old August 6th, 2003, 10:56 PM   #1
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When do I need the ATT MIC Setting?

Someone suggested earlier to use ATT MIC setting when shooting in loud environment. Is that all what it's for?

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Old August 6th, 2003, 11:09 PM   #2
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Yes, when you cannot bring the audio levels down with the normal level control, you can attenuate the incoming level so that the controls work in their normal range.
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Old August 6th, 2003, 11:53 PM   #3
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primary use of the MIC ATT to me is the better sound recording provided by the lower floor noise.

The internal preamp are noisy on most consumer camcorder so avoiding the high gain is always a good thing.

If you connect a microphone like ME66 you won't have any problem because this baby is so hot that you will still get a pretty loud signal even with MIC ATT on.

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Old August 7th, 2003, 12:02 AM   #4
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The attenuator is applied to the signal before it gets to the preamp.

So it has no effect on the camera's internal noise floor. And since the attenuator attenuates the desired signal as well as the noise from the microphone, it has no effect on the incoming signal to noise ratio.

In fact, by actuating the attenuator, you worse signal to noise ratio taking the camera and microphone as a system.

Use of the attenuator is for when the signal is overloading the preamps and you need to bring the input signal level down to somewhere closer to nominal.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 01:05 AM   #5
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I agree that the attenuator affects the signal before the preamp.

I use an external mic preamp (MM-1) so I can get a high level signal.
I know I can't bypass the internal preamp but at least I can decrease its effect as the gain knob is turned all the way down.

My concern is the noise generated when you use a lot of gain from the internal mic preamp.

Even without external mic-preamp when I made some tests with the ME66 with and without MIC-ATT (on a GL2 .. sorry) I prefered the results using the MIC-ATT.

Dany

[edited] I prefer the external preamp to take care of the 20dB I lose with MIC ATT enabled.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 11:31 AM   #6
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Interesting.

Electrically, it makes no sense unless Sony put the attenuation function in the preamp as a gain change.

Can you post a representative sample of this for us?
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Old August 7th, 2003, 02:38 PM   #7
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Back to the original question. Is MIC ATT used when shooting in a loud enviorment. I pretty much say YES! The drop is 20db from mic to mic att-when I do a reception be it live band or DJ I always go to MIC ATT and keep my channel 1 level at 50% and channel 2 at about 25%-that way no matter how bad they are (volumewise) I still have a track that isn't peaking and worse, clipping. I know we've talked about this before and Mike I know you trust the AGC, I don't, but I also know that the ME66 is kind of hot for most receptions (at least IMHO) so I tone it down by going to MIC ATT. I would rather sweeten it up in post than have to try to fix the clipping (can't be done well)
Just my experience and opinion. Your mileage may vary, do not try this at home, professional driver on closed course, and I DID sleep at a Holiday Inn Express this year. ;-)
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Old August 7th, 2003, 04:18 PM   #8
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Notice that I trust AGC on only one channel. Sort of the equivalent of your 25% channel.

I find the microphone that Sony supplies with the DSR-300 to be an excellent compromise between sensitivity (enough) and resistance to overload (very good). Not only can it handle the odd loud sound in a reception but it can also handle louder sounds like a .50 cal rifle shot and machine guns. I think that microphone is quite expensive if one buys it stand-alone.

Someday I'll have to get it out and record the model number.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 05:01 PM   #9
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Yeah, I was going to ask which mic they supplied on the 300. It almost sounds like it could be worth the investment. I have found the ME66 to be kind of hot for some of the work I do and I know you've mentioned before how you like the mic from the 300.
If you should be able to in the near future maybe you could get the model# and post it.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 05:33 PM   #10
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I'd like to but the microphone has no model number on it and when I look at the manual, it merely says microphone (1) under supplied accessories.

Even the service manual does not say anything about it.
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Old August 7th, 2003, 06:16 PM   #11
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Hmmmm,OK well thanks for looking. Maybe I'll mosey over to the Sony site and see if theres any info there.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 07:23 AM   #12
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Don,

The Senn ME66's K6 power unit is too sensitive for loud music or live band performances. In fact, Sennheiser recognizes this as an issue and they will make a warranty alteration to reduce sensitivity. I wish I was aware of that before we recorded a live band wedding where most of the music was distorted even with the manual gain at safe levels.

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Old August 8th, 2003, 07:51 AM   #13
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Yep,
I got that. I still use the MIC ATT setting and watch the levels closely as I said, so far it's been pretty good.
AAMOF, I just contracted with a 12 piece orchestra yesterday to do a new demo for them after showing them some RAW footage from a wedding reception they played at. I got some excellant sound but of course they too had good levels. I am however on the lookout for a mic that's a little less hot than the ME66.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 08:25 AM   #14
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How about the Senn ME67? I was told it's more directional than the ME66, but not sure if it's less hot than the ME66.
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Old August 8th, 2003, 08:49 AM   #15
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I actually have been looking at the 416-very directional but from what I've heard not as hot as the 66/67 but for now I'll keep doing what I"m doing until I find something that will really fill the bill.
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