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Old March 15th, 2004, 08:44 PM   #1
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Value of mic in regards to the camera recording the sound...

I know mics have a very large impact on the quality of sound recorded to tape. How does the camera limit it?

In other words for my DVC80, speaking of shotguns for ambient sound only, how good of a mic can you get before it stops making a difference in quality?

Hope I am making sense here. Thanks in advance.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 09:08 PM   #2
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Hi Laura, welcome!
I'll approach this from a slightly different tack...
Almost always, any mic that is closer to your sound source, or any mic that can perceive sound better than your on camera mic, is superior.
In other words, a 5.00 mic from Radio Shack that is on the subject will do a better job than an on-camera mic that is 10 feet away from the subject. A cheap shotgun mic is nearly always superior to an on camera mic, and a good shotgun is much better. It never *stops* making a difference in quality, because the DVC 80 can never catch up in quality to most any mic near the source, or any mid level shotgun.
Built-in mics are *generally* a waste of time. They pick up as many finger clicks, motor noises, operator breathing as they pick up sound from the subject being taped.
Mics are like hand grenades. The closer they are, or the closer they can appear to be via a shotgun, the better they can do their job.
Douglas Spotted Eagle/Spot
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Old March 15th, 2004, 09:53 PM   #3
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The Panasonic preamps are supposed to be very good quality, worthy of a quality mic.
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Old March 15th, 2004, 10:06 PM   #4
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Yay Laura! Another person from the midwest!

Hey if you want a sound file I can email you one that I made for Beas. I have a dvx. That means we have the same audio as far as the camera goes.

I'd be willing to bet that you'll nearly faint when you hear how good the sound is that you can get from your cam.

Up until 3 or so months ago I thought the me66 was as good as it got for our cams. You hear some sound gurus say things like, "For DV the differences between X and Y are hardly worth it."

Nobody said that on this forum thankfully.

At this point I try to steer people away from the me66. It's a perfectly serviceable mic and I had one for a year or so... but you'll be surprised at what some other mics sound like... including the very affordable Oktava mc/mk 012...

The one thing to keep in mind however, is that you MUST support any mic well. I.E. good shockmount and good windprotection.

I use one of the Oktavas on-cam when I run'n'gun and if I send you a recording of the IN-cam mic vs. the Oktava on-cam... it won't even matter that I'm 8' from either mic. Your ears will INSTANTLY tell that one mic is vastly superior to the other...

There is an article by Ken Tanaka on this very forum. Check it out.

In that article you'll hear a recording with an me66 ($400) and an mkh416 ($1000) and that's what you'll hear in YOUR cam too. See what I mean? No comparison!
Matt Gettemeier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 16th, 2004, 03:09 AM   #5
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The way I read your question: Does the camera's recording function put a limit to the quality of the recording so that beyond that, there is no need to further improve the quality of the microphone?

I think not - in principle. But the quality of the recording session may limit the advantage of using a microphone beyond a certain quality level. In other words, to hear the difference between very good microphones (or even measure it) you would have to record in a professional studio or at least a very select environment. And a lot of skill and experience would be required to utilize the quality of a very good mic. But the camera will be able to record whatever the microphone (and the person operating it) is able to provide.

So - in priciple - the better the mic, the better the result. The camera will not be the first "person" to let a good mic down.
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