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Old January 1st, 2004, 07:50 AM   #1
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VX2000 Mic

Hello everyone. I have been reading for several hours now about microphones for camcorders. I am planning on purchasing a VX2000 and would like to know if there is a mic that could be considered "general purpose" but that would be an upgrade over the one included on the VX2000. I know thru reading that there are so many different situations requiring different mics for the best effect. I will move to those situations later. Right now I am just wondering if there is an ironclad mic that could be mounted to the VX2000 that would give better performance for general home movies. The mic would have to be fairly reasonable in price but yet provide much better performance than the internal and provide for a 'stereo' effect like the onboard mic does. Obviously such a mic for 'general purposes' exists as Sony and the other mfts had to come up with one to use. Thanks!

We'll try more specific uses after I get used to playing around with it. Also....I like recording some live music such as guys playing live instruments at the house with no amplification. Any ideas there...?
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Old January 1st, 2004, 11:00 AM   #2
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There is no ONE answer on 'Best Mic' because different situations require different miking for best audio. The Sennheiser ME66 with a K6 battery module ($379 @ B&H) with a shock mount is probably the most common external mic set-up used on the VX2000. It's a good shotgun mic. I have one of these.

I can tell you from experience, there are several advantages and disadvantages of using this mic setup. The primary advantages is it gives great audio under the "right" conditions. The disadvantages are: It's long and cumbersome, very prone to wind noise, plus, mounted on the camera pointed straight ahead you can get plenty of distracting audio from behind the subject (like the car going down the road 1/4 mile away).

The above mentioned mic is not stereo, but it's very directional. Most people use mono mics on their camcorders when they go with an external, and use stereo auido, etc for their music and whatever effects. Hollywood also uses mono for most vocals. When you get into stereo mics, they are not very directional.

For other situations, a lavalier or wireless works best -- weddings for example or where people move around a lot. When I want to get clean audio for interview situations, I use a Sennheiser Evolution 100 wirelss mic setup. I like it a lot (other than it's heavy).

Still, in many cases, the onboard mic is a good application.

The best audio would be if you could have a boom mic operator follow you around and hold the mic just above your subject's head. Of course that's not practical. I recently saw a neat mic setup in this month's DV magazine (the one about Extreme sports). The lady cam operator has a Sennheiser MKE300 (not my favorite mic) mounted on a ball mount. The mic was up fairly high but pointing slightly downward (to avoid background noise). The MKE300 is a light and short shotgun microphone. I was thinking about doing the same thing with a ME64/K6 mic setup.

Anyway, didn't mean to get too technical. I would strongly encourage you to read Jay Rose's book: "Producing Great Sound For Digital Video" if you really want to know more about getting good audio. There is a ton to know about mics and getting good audio.

One other hint, if you plan to use the onboard mic outdoors, it's a good investment to get a Rycote furry wind sock (maybe it's called a Windjammer). B&H has them. $35 well spent in my opinion.

For family videos, the onboard mic will work best in many situations. You might want to consider an Azden SGM X short shotgun mic for more directional shooting. You will need a shock mount of some sort to cut cam noise into the mic. Then, get a good furry wind sock (like a mike muff www.mikemuff.com).

Good luck
Mark Goodsell
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Old January 1st, 2004, 11:37 AM   #3
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Thanks. Sounds like the internal mic is not that bad at all? I thought from reading everyone said it was terrible? That's why I thought a simple replacement with the same purpose in mind but better performance was in order.

Let's go to the next step.

How about a pair of xlr mics to record live music such as instruments being played inside a house with live concert being played on dvd? I would like for the mic to be able to go pretty low in frequency and be able to take the punishment of some potentially high sound levels. Placement could be anywhere as there is no real audience...just messing around.

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