Sony ECM999 vs. Audio Technica AT825 at DVinfo.net

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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
Topics also include Sony's TRV950, VX2000, PD150 & DSR250 family.


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Old September 6th, 2002, 07:11 PM   #1
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Sony ECM999 vs. Audio Technica AT825

I would like opinions of the use of these mikes for recording acapella congregational singing in a small churches (150 seats)? Including the expected results of XY vs. MS Stereo. There is no amplification to tap into, so the mike is it. Unfortunately camera mount is the only option, but it will be shockmounted.

Also, I will have the BBCMOD/Glensound by next week, but that is another discussion.

K. Black
Raleigh, NC
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Old September 6th, 2002, 10:05 PM   #2
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Interesting microphones. You obviously know that the AT is about 1/2 the street price of the Sony. Doesn't mean that is is only 1/2 the microhone though. If I ever had to take one of them outside, I'd chose the Sony because I could get a windscreen over it.

The problem with an auditorium unless it is unusually well damped accoustically (most churches like the hard-wall reverb to spice up the sound) you are going to get some really muddy sound. This might be a place where a boundary layer microphone would do a lot better. Depends on the auditorium size, finish and people ratio.

I've not used either microphone as I tend to like using two separate microphones for stereo work. Which brings up a question. Why Stereo? In a church auditorium there really is no stereo image since the singers, Bass, Alto, Soprano, etc., (are usually) spread rather evenly around. So there is no left and right as such. The stereo image is uniform.

Might a good mono microphone do just as well? Something like an AT81C or a large diaphram microphone? The AT would accept camera mount. Most LDMs will not although you could mount one with an adapter if you could put the camera on a tripod.

Your specific comparison question is one I'm not really qualified to answer. You might think about posting this question on the Cow under pro audio, the pro audio newsgroup, and maybe seek out Jay Rose (DV Magazine columnist) and ask him.

CofC?
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Old September 6th, 2002, 11:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response...
Mike, You are right on that singers are spread evenly around and there is no seperation of voice types, so I suppose a good mono microphone would work just as well. I guess I always assumed one should use a stereo mike for live musical recording. I will investigate the AT81C. Any other good mono mics in that price range?

A LDM on a stand might work some of the time, but I usually have to setup in the isle so a small presence is preferred.

I don't know what a boundary layer microphone is.

Mike, can you reccommend an omni-directional over a cardiod for this recording situation? Or vice-versa? Thanks.
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Old September 7th, 2002, 11:53 AM   #4
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THe AT81C is just my choice as an all-around condenser microphone. I initially purchased it for its ability to handle extreme sound levels as I frequently record internal combustion engine sounds. At the same time, the microphone is recommended as a good over-the-choir microphone and for cymbals. The microphone does require external Phantom Power which means that you need a $60 Phantom Power box or a small mixer with Phantom Power to use it with your VX-2000 .

It is relatively easy to clamp a microphone onto a tripod. Lots of clamps and other bits and pieces to do that. Or put a suitable clamp on the handle of the VX-2000 and mount the microphone there. The microphone should work reasonably well clamped to the leg of your tripod.

A boundary microphone is a microphone that is mounted very close to a plate on a room surface. Typically the walls or floor. This kills the reflections from that surface and stops a lot of the muddy sound caused by reflections.

If you do a search on the Internet, you can probably find instructions on making one out of a more conventiional microphone. Although I haven't tried it, I'd guess just placing a microphone on a pad on the floor would create some if not all of the benefits.

I was able to purchase a couple of quite good Radio Shack boundary microphones for $70 each over the Internet. I find that I can place them on a mouse pad (to kill conducted sound) on a hard stage floor and get clean dialog and music.

These boundary microphones are omnidirectional except for the obvious fact that they are mounted on a room surface. So I guess you'd say they were hemispherical.

For your purpose, I'd go with an omni or Cardiod at the worst.

Three more thoughts. You could investigate a decent wireless setup so that you could position a microphone in a more advantageous location. I confess that I have not tried this with more than an actor's dialog but the sound was very good and clean.

Or if the church has a sound board with good microphone setup for the auditorium, maybe you could plug into it or put a wireless on the board to send to your camera.

A last thought would be to find a DJ in the membership (or someone who knows their way around a sound board and set up a portable mixer and microphone with a wired or wireless connection to your camera.

I'd go about it in this manner, assuming you don't want to disturb the membership very much.

1. Obtain a battery-operated mixer hung around the neck.
2. Use wires or a plug-in transmitter to connect to the camera
3. Drop a boundary microphone on the floor, center aisle or tape it to the wall midway down the auditorium.

All of this is guess work without some trial and error.

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Old September 7th, 2002, 12:21 PM   #5
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BTW, here is a pro sound web site that might be of interest.

I have no relationship with these folks

http://www.prosoundweb.com/
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