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Thread: another microphone query

  1. Default another microphone query

    I am in need of a microphone for some filming next month on a steam loco footplate. I have tried filming on the footplate before with my canon hf20's inbuilt mike - it's not too bad providing I do not lean out of the cab window and get wind noise. I need something easily portable so the mike can be inside the cab and I can lean out holding on with one hand. Hopefully one mike can cover all shots, lineside run past, cab rides etc etc.
    I have read about no such thing as a cheap mike but cannot really stretch to £500 although it should be better quality than the inbuilt mike.

    PS Otherwise should I be looking at either of these
    Sennheiser K6 Powering Module with ME66 short gun £385
    AKG Blue Line Microphone Combination, C 391 B ----- big price differences £232 - £332
    Last edited by smokeyone; 03-30-2010 at 10:38 AM. Reason: update

  2. #2
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    Mar 2005
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    Both the Sennheiser K6 and the AKG Blueline are excellent and way, way better than the camcorder's mike. My impression is that the AKG is slightly more robust and it definitely is smaller than the Senny. I would get it with a CK93 capsule (the hypercardiod) which is a bit more directional than the CK91 which is suggested as "standard"

    You can get the Se300 pre-amp and the capsules from Thomann Cyberstore a firm which i can honestly recommend for value-for-money and reliability.

    My only reservation would be that the AKG requires 48v phantom power which I don't think the HF20 can deliver, in which case the choice is made for you in that the Sennheiser has a K6 power-preamp which can be powered from an AA battery (make sure you get the right one, there's one which only works on 48v phantom).

    Failing that... something like a Zoom H4 with built-in mics or the option to use 48v XLR mics might be worth looking at.

  3. Default

    Thank you very much for the detailed reply. Just what I needed. Of course this now merits further questions please..........

    I understand the Se300 pre-amp will run on 9v but I am guessing that's an external battery not a handy internal one like the Sennheiser K6 power-preamp. However if the AKG is much smaller than the Sennheiser then I guess I could cobble something together for the 9v supply.

    Please could you explain ..Zoom H4 with built-in mics or the option to use 48v XLR mics

    Lastly I assume the AKG C1000s mikes would not be any good at all - seems to be a few around secondhand...

    PS Just realised there are phantom power supply adapters.....
    Last edited by smokeyone; 03-30-2010 at 01:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    I've got the AKG and the K6 and, as far as I know, the Se300 will only work with 48v phantom power.

    The Zoom H4 is a separate sound recorder which has built-in microphones which are quite good, but it also has the ability to accept external microphones and supply them with 48v phantom power.

    Yes, you can get 48v phantom power supplies but, if you're working on your own without a dedicated sound recordist, the cheap ones can be a bit of a pain, purely on the size/weight front.

    AKG 1000 mics are popular with home-musicians but I've never used one, nor seen one used in a video context so I can't tell you anything about them.

    I'm trying not to get into a "once off" solution which would work for this job but hardly anything else. What might work is a lavalier microphone with a long cord. For a "suicide job" of a presenter saying a short sentence and then jumping into a river, I got an Audio Technica ATR 3350 expecting nothing decent as long as the five words were understandable. It was surprisingly good providing that there was a decent sound level (it doesn't do quiet whispers at all well) and at £30ish it's obscenely cheap. The advantage for you is that it has its own power supply and would plug directly into your Canon.
    Not something I'd normally recommend but for this once-off it might provide a solution.

    Failing that, it's worth having a look at the AT897 which is a lovely microphone for the price and it also has its own power supply.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the tips. The AT897 is slipping a bit more into my price range but as it's a shotgun mike how would it cope in a loco cab - I was thinking about fixing it to a bracket and just moving the camera around...

  6. #6
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    The advantage with a directional microphone is that you have more control over what is recorded. It means that you can point it at the various bits of the train and, more importantly, you can avoid that annoying bloke behind you who insists on talking all the time.

    Strictly speaking, regardless of the microphone, it should be directed at the sound, not panned with the camera. In practice this is almost impossible unless you have a dedicated sound recordist, or presenter who can help out. However, having the microphone on a bracket attached to the camcorder will still work "better" than the built-in camera mics and may be the only way to do it if you're on your own.

    It's also worth getting as much "atmo" sound as you can, even if you don't see any decent pictures, recording sound which can be edited together in post.

    I suggested the AT897 as a cheaper alternative which will still deliver the goods and can be used for different assignments.

  7. Default

    I'll look into the AT897. Thanks for the advice again.

  8. Default

    Another alternative is the Rode Videomic. It is very popular here in Australia and for the price it represents excellent value for money. It comes with an XLR adapter and accessories include a deadcat (not included) You can even move the hot shoe mount along the suspension mount if you need to to keep the mic out of your shot and also boom pole and mic stand mountable.
    You can read all about it here.

    Rode Videomic
    RØDE Microphones - VideoMic

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueStorm View Post
    Another alternative is the Rode Videomic. It is very popular here in Australia
    But not popular among some members of this forum. I was very disappointed in mine. If you're considering spending up to £500 then you shouldn't be considering it as the difference will be significant.

    Also, when I bought mine, it didn't have an XLR connector/adaptor - is this a new inclusion?

  10. Default

    The AT897 set up seems to leave me change out of £300. Is that going to keep me happy for years....

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