PD-170 tape motor supposed to be this loud?! at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 06:46 PM   #1
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PD-170 tape motor supposed to be this loud?!

Finally ran some tape through my PD-170 to test the audio differences between my ECM-44 lav mic and my newly purchased ECM-77. I immediatly noticed the loud hum of the tape motor. It was even evident on my footage- though I was in the same room testing my wireless sytem only at the length of my headphones from the camera. I'm sure it's easy for the omni directional lavs to pick it up at such short range. However, what I was a bit dissapointed in was the fact the STOCK shotgun mic picks it up loud and clear.

Is the PD-170 tape motor supposed to be this obnoxiously loud?

...and would shooting in DVcam mode add to the noise, due to the faster tape speed while recording?
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 09:24 PM   #2
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What you are hearing is the heads and they don't change speed from DV to DVCam.

You are asking for an opinion without any of us being calibrated to the situation. But although I can hear (with my bad hearing) the drum and motor humming when I get close to my 150, I don't think I can hear it except in a very quiet room. Way more quiet than those in which I work.

The stock shotgun microphone will pick it up. Supposedly that's what the NR setting is for in the Audio Menu. Doesn't make much difference to my setup. But then I never work with the microphone on the camera unless I'm chasing the local police.

I also have my microphone moved up another inch from the stock location by using an optional Sony CAC-12 mount (DSR-300) and the DSR-300 microphone which is better and more directional than the stock unit.

The stock unit is good enough to hang on the wall although I do use one on a microphone stand in a teaching situation. But it is low-output and not great fidelity either.
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 09:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input. At least I know it's normal.

Regarding the onbaord mic, yeah I'm going to be using my ME66 however I have to send it in for the red dot mod- it's way too hot.

Tell me more about this optional mic attachment. Is it made for the 150/170? What does it do- simply mount the mic further away from the cam to help isolate it? Similar to the mic isolator for the XL-1s? Lastly- why is it so expen$ive?!

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It is an accessory for their pro cameras which is why it is expensive. Nicely made but a bit expensive. I bought both of mine used for $75 on eBay. Just unscrew the existing mount and screw this one right in its place. The pad on the bottom of the mount is bigger than the pad on the camera and it overhangs the edge of the camera a bit. I've had one on a PD150 for 14 months with no problems whatsoever.

What I especially like about it is the ball joint. When I store the camera with the larger microphone, I just spin the microphone around and it extends back over the camera body, it doesn't stick out in front. I also carry it that way when I'm moving fast and not using the camera. Just a little bit more protection.

Note that you will probably have to bulk up the body of your microphone to make it fit either mount. A regular rubber band works very well to add bulk although Gaffers tape does too.

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Btw, I thought DVcam does run the tape faster- thus record time in DVcam mode is only 40minutes compared to 60.

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The tape runs faster but the heads spin at the same rate. If you look at the rotational speed of the tape reels, you will see that it is very slow in either format.

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Old March 23rd, 2004, 10:21 PM   #4
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The CAC12 mount is expensive because it is made by Sony! Actually, there's more to it than that, it is a super mic mount as it's not only is taller than the stock mount but also is adjustable. It allows you to position the mic up or down from a higher position to a lower and to set the mic pointing straight up or edown or anywhere in between if one desired. I have no idea why anyone but you could. It fits the 150/170 like it was made for it and although it seems to be overpriced (IMO it is) you can find them on your favorite online auction site sometimes, and for way less money.
Hope that helps you out a little,
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Old March 26th, 2004, 07:58 PM   #5
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Mike-do ya think it could be the lower head drum assembly high pitched noise?


<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus : What you are hearing is the heads and they don't change speed from DV to DVCam.

You are asking for an opinion without any of us being calibrated to the situation. But although I can hear (with my bad hearing) the drum and motor humming when I get close to my 150, I don't think I can hear it except in a very quiet room. Way more quiet than those in which I work.

The stock shotgun microphone will pick it up. Supposedly that's what the NR setting is for in the Audio Menu. Doesn't make much difference to my setup. But then I never work with the microphone on the camera unless I'm chasing the local police.

I also have my microphone moved up another inch from the stock location by using an optional Sony CAC-12 mount (DSR-300) and the DSR-300 microphone which is better and more directional than the stock unit.

The stock unit is good enough to hang on the wall although I do use one on a microphone stand in a teaching situation. But it is low-output and not great fidelity either. -->>>
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Old March 26th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #6
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Lou, I think that's where the noise originates. If it is very loud then it may be faulty.

My 10 month-old 150 ate the lower head bearings one fine day and the tension arm roller bearings (which made most of the noise) but you could hear that anywhere in a living room in which I was taping an interview.

How about posting a sound sample?
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Old March 27th, 2004, 09:35 AM   #7
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How about posting a sound sample? -->>>

I could if need be- though I must state that it sounds practically similar to my very first DV cam I purchased years ago- the Sony TRV-17 (maybe a hair louder) but very similar.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 12:18 AM   #8
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Noisy Zoom

I'm still waiting for some tapes to arrive so I haven't check that noise out. However, I set up my ME66, red dot mod, plug in my Sony V600 headphone and played around with the zoom rocker. When you press all the way down for fast zooming. It get's obnoxiously loud. Do all PD have this problem or is it just mine.

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Old April 7th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #9
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The zoom motor noise is loud at full-speed. Very small motor moving very fast.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 09:57 AM   #10
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It's funny you mention that Ray, my K6 is at Sennheiser now undergoing the Red Dot Mod. I spoke to the tech "Dave Copp" for litterally an hour. That guy is loaded with info! I found out he can attenuate it via the red dot mod in differing degrees. The most extreme being -20db and as conservative as -6db. We settled on going with a attenuation of -10db. He told me to let him know once I got it back and tested it if it lost too much sensitivity and to send it back and he'll do a -6 or -8 on it. Very helpfull guy.

Anyway on topic- Oddly enough I think the ME66/stock shotgun can hear the zoom motor better than my own ears. As I turn the zoom ring (without headphones) I can't hear the zoom motor at all- maybe a smidge. I'm definitly going to invest in a CAC-12 mic mount however haven't brought myself to dishing out the $175 for it! I'm patiently awaiting it's return to an auction on ebay.

Hey Mike- want to sell me one of yours?
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Old April 7th, 2004, 11:21 AM   #11
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Glen,

Do you know what the standard db they use when they do the modification. I sent mine last summer but was never told the db they changed it to.

Mike,

If I were to use CAC12. Would I still hear the zoom motor when doing a fast zooming and also the tape noise Glen mentioned?


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Old April 7th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #12
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Yes you can still hear the full-speed zoom . . . it is quite loud. I don't hear the head rotation or tape transport noise.
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Old April 7th, 2004, 01:59 PM   #13
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I wonder if the PD-170 is different than the 150 in that respect. I honestly don't hear the zoom all that well. It's far from "loud". Now the tape motor...that's another story!
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Old April 8th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #14
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Glen,

Actually if you turn your mic volume a little higher and press on the zoom all the way down to do fast zooming you will hear it. Specially with a good headphone. You won't hear it when slow zooming.

I did some more testing today. The sound is hardly noticeable without the wide angle attach. With the wide angle is noticeable. This was done using a headphone with the cam. Which I use when I shoot. However, I attached it to my TV and the motor sound again is hardly noticeable. I guess you hear more clearly with the headphone. Also there must not be a lot of people that use a headphone when they shoot.

Ray
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