Hi everyone, I purchased a AT897 a few months ago to use as my on cam mic for my pd-150. I wasn't too happy with the stock mic, sounded thin. The AT897 sounds great in normal situations, clear and crisp. BUT, during receptions(more specically when recording bands and DJs) it overloads, breaks up , distorts leaving usuable sound. Saturday I did a test and ran the stock mic on the other channel, sounded like sh*$, but was very clean and useable. I've switched the low frequency roll off and still distorted. I've tried the AGC on (on the camera) and have tried it turned off while adjusting the input on the camera manually. Even though my camera levels are good, I'm still getting break up and distortion. This tells me the input on the mic can't handle the loud volume. Sounds like the bottom end of the PA is crapping out the mic somehow. Is this happening because it has a wider frequency range than the stock mic? Also, I'm using phantom power from the cam to power it.
You didn't mention putting the camera's input selector in the "Mic Attenuation"
If the distortion is coming from the mic feeding the camera's input too hot, that should help a lot.
If the Mic itself is being overloaded (and that would take some STRONG levels, as the mic is rated for up to 129 dB SPL) then you'd need to find a way to attenuate the mic internally.
Some mics have a -10 dB switch, but this model does not.
If the mic does need this attenuation, contact Audio-Technica directly and they may be able to offer a simple modification that you can perform.