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Sennheiser ME66

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Dean Andersen
Sennheiser ME66
on May 18, 2005 at 2:31:59 pm

I just received a JVC GY-DV5100 camcorder and took off the stock mic. and installed a Sennheiser ME66 shotgun mic. Last night I taped a band concert. I had the audio set on auto and noticed this mic. was to hot. The levels were always peaking or near 0db (during the loud parts). Played the tape back and can hear some clipping. The auto mode seem to do it's best but not preventing clipping completely. The camcorder front mic. input was used and set at -20db in the menu setting. Is this mic. to hot for this camcorder? Is their away to turn this down? I tried manual mode had better results but had to consistently adjust the volume to hear host comments between songs. I tried this mic. on my JVC DV500 and had the same results. Should I abandon this mic. and go with another for loud environments?


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Matte
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 18, 2005 at 3:01:09 pm

[Dean Andersen] "Is this mic. to hot for this camcorder? Is their away to turn this down? I tried manual mode had better results but had to consistently adjust the volume to hear host comments between songs."

I would think you WOULD have to manually adjust the audio louder for spoken word vs. a band playing.
Recording consistent audio requires constant attention.
That's why many shooters employ a full-time audio operator for a gig.

"Auto-level" on a camcorder (especially with an on-camera mic) is going to give you only "passable" results suitable for "run & gun" footage but not anything that's considered "good" audio for many serious recordings (especially MUSIC).
Not a lecture, just the simple facts. We all have to live by them.

All that said, it is possible to PAD a higher-output mic (like your new one) so that it does not "over-drive" the pre-amp on a more sensitive camcorder.
A pad with a selectable attenuation is like this one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&...

These pads fit between the mic output and the input of the camcorder.

The main draw-back is they add about 3 to 4 inches to the total mic length when connected directly to the mic, or stick out by that much if connected directly to the camcorder, or "dangle" if you use a short XLR cord to attach it.

According to the Shure specs, you can use this pad and still use Phantom Power for your mic.




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Dean Andersen
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 18, 2005 at 7:22:10 pm

I found the problem. I called Sennheiser tech support and they realize the ME66 is to hot. They told me to send it in and they will remove a capacitor from the K6 module to bring it down to -15db. It will cost about $17.00. They do recommend if you by one in the future, order a K6-RD module instead. Just to let everyone know.


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Tom
Re: Sennheiser ME66
by
on May 19, 2005 at 11:39:21 am

You would also find it much easier to run your mics to a mixer and then to camera. Much easier to ride levels thru mixer

Tom


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Dean Andersen
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 19, 2005 at 4:25:23 pm

A mixer wouldn't work because of the moving around I do. Thanks for the info.


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David Jones
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 20, 2005 at 6:35:20 pm

[Dean Andersen] "A mixer wouldn't work because of the moving around I do"

I use portable mixers all the time in the field that fit nicely into a Portabrace audio bundle.

As Ty states, clipping a Cap is not the answer,
riding the gain manually is the solution.



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Ron
Re: Sennheiser ME66
by
on May 22, 2005 at 4:32:28 pm

I usually get a board feed if I'm runnin-n-gunnin during a performance. This way I don't have to worry about audio... especially while moving around. As a backup I'll run that on one channel and camera mic/shotgun on another. Simple to do with a butt plug and a receiver if you have one...and only if the board op is friendly enough to let you tap one of his feeds.


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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 20, 2005 at 12:40:14 am

Yah, OK fine, but how's that going to help you with the low level of the person talking? Now you have to crank up your preamp another 15 dB and introduce more noise.

I guess my "fix" would be to use a mixer capable of handling the hotter signalm and manually adjusting as needed.

Audio auto level controls on cameras are usually not very kind to the audio.

Congrats, you have stepped into the area where manual control is required. That means either you do it or hire a soundperson! They cost more than a capacitor, but work better. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford


Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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Dean Andersen
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 20, 2005 at 11:51:29 am

Sennheiser is aware of this problem. I asume they have the right fix. I will let you know how it works.


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Ty Ford
Re: Sennheiser ME66
on May 20, 2005 at 12:32:51 am

The problem isn't the mic, it's your expectations in that specific situation.

When performance levels change as drastically as those you describe, you need to manually adjust them.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Ty Ford's "Audio Bootcamp Field Guide" was written for video people who want better audio. Find out more at http://www.tyford.com


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