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


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Old January 2nd, 2003, 11:50 AM   #1
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Best on board mic

Hi

I am new to this post, and am being really educated reading
all the posts.

Right now I am booking bands for weddings, and I am
getting into shooting the bride's receptions, as I would
like to get more into video. (more enjoyable then booking
bands.)

My question is which of the two has the better sound
on board mike? Since the 2000 is stereo and the pd comes
with the mono shotgun.

Also, could I use my trv530 Hi 8 to put on a tripod and
tape just the sound, and mic that in with my the 2000
or pd 150?

I am just trying to get the best possible audio I can
between the music and the dancing.

I guess you could tell, I'm kind of new at this by my
questions, but I could use any help you could give me.

Mayn thanks,

Marty
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 05:06 PM   #2
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Here is the best advice I can give you. It will get you up to speed faster than any method I know.

Get Jay Rose's book, Producing Great Sound for Digital Video.

As you will find out, you don't get great sound from an onboard microphone, it will have to be very close to the sound source. And if you want to record great audio, you will not use a camera to do so. A MD or DAT recorder will do a much better job (for critical applications - see Jay's column in the November DV Magazine for details.)

Microphone requirements are all over the place. You want to record a band well, you need lots of appropriate microphones, a mixer and an operator. OTOH, if you want to record the reception and the band is background sound, then clip into the DJ's system for the music (or the PA) and record it on one channel of your camera. Get a wireless mic for the toasts, etc. and feed that into the other channel.

Your Hi-8 will go nuts with the interaction of the noise and its AGC circuits and you may even have it 'pump' the volume if you are unlucky. I'd not use it at all for sound.
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 06:08 PM   #3
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Thank you Mike, for the advice....
I will get Jay Rose's book.

But I am trying to decide on which camera to buy.
The vx2000 or the pd150, and would like to know which
one has the better on board mic (if you are just shooting
the dancing part of a reception?)
I am planning to buy one or the other this week.

Marty
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 07:51 PM   #4
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Why not go all out and buy the PD-150? If you have the money it's a better camera and has not only a better mic but 2 XLR inputs. But buy a better microphone anyway, it is "better" than the 2000's but it still sucks. Get a Sennheiser K6ME66 to replace it.
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Old January 2nd, 2003, 09:04 PM   #5
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Thank you Rhett

You guys are really nice on this post!!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 10:22 AM   #6
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I agree with Mike and Rhett. I have a PD150 and the onboard mike is OK but I also use a SennME66. I like to plug a second camera into a soundboard if possible or on a stand in front of a speaker if all else fails and then mix them in post.

Independent of which mike you use, be careful with your levels, DV sound has a low ceiling. If you overmodulate everything will end up clipped. Get a good set of headphones and watch your levels.

Rick
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 10:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input Rick

I also am curious about what kind of lights you use
at a reception. Is the sony 10/20 watt light sufficient?

Also is the ME66 the best mike for getting good vocal
sounds from the band?
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 11:00 AM   #8
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I should state at the outset that while I have shot quite a few events, several concerts and a batmitsvah for a relative, I try at all costs to avoid weddings. I have never liked weddings, even as a mere witness to the crime, err.. festivities.

If I were you I would try at all costs to avoid an on camera light. The PD150 damn near sees in the dark and lets you get up close without startling the folks that you are shooting. Get familiar with the exposure settings and you should do fine.

I went to wedding not too long ago where the videoguy had a big black camera mounted on his shoulder and a bigger video light on top. He kept marching around shining the damn light in everyone's eyes. I'm sure he got well lit shots but everyone must have looked like deer in the headlights. I think mine is a minority view on this point so take it with a grain of salt.

The ME66 is a nice shotgun but if two folks are chatting loudly over the band a couple of feet in front of you, guess what the mike will pick up.
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 11:19 AM   #9
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Thanks Rick

I guess I'll go shopping now for my pd150!
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Old January 3rd, 2003, 07:19 PM   #10
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The me66 is a shotgun designed to reject sounds from the side (higher frequency sounds, BTW). A cardiod is much better for music and will handle the noise a bit better. The shotguns also seem to overload easier.

There are several soft lights out there that will be better than a spotlight on the camera. Still, the 150 will do pretty good (although it does much better with 10 or 20 watts of light. Get a Frezzi HMI light if you can afford it. 18 watts with the lighting power of 55 watts of halogen.

Get the 150. It is much easier to manage in a rush and the sound input setup is much better than the 2000.

Unless you have a camera bag already, consider paying another $200 for the pretty need camera bag that Sony includes with the 150 as a kit. You also get a rain shield.
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Old January 4th, 2003, 11:08 AM   #11
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Thanks mike

Which cardiod mic would you suggest?
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Old January 5th, 2003, 01:51 AM   #12
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I always carry the Shure SM81C because I frequently need to record the sound of engine exhaust and this one can do that very well.

Shure built it for recording cymbals and as an overhead choir microphone. It really can handle high SPL environments. Much better than a shotgun.

I think it is close in sound quality to my large diaphram studio microphone. OK, it's different but equally nice.

What is nice is that the PD150 will power it since it does not have a battery power option.
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