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a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66

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david payne
a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 11, 2009 at 6:30:35 pm

Hi all,

I have only recently managed to work out what mic I have, as it says nothing on the mic and I bought it 2nd hand without the packaging. It turns out it is a Sennheiser ME66 and I was wondering:

1) After every 4 or 5 hours of recording I dispose of the AA battery. I have only just read it has 150 hours of phantom power. Does that actually refer to on and recording time?

2) Will the LED flash or anything to indicate that the battery is low? At the moment, the LED flashes on when I turn it on and then goes off, leaving the mic on.

3) If I leave the mic connected and switched on, but turn the camera off, would the mic still be using as much battery as it would be if the camera was on and recording?

Many thanks

p.s - yes I have had an extensive google on this subject but all I could find out was about the battery life, not the other specific questions.


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Sam Mallery
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 11, 2009 at 8:21:51 pm

1) After every 4 or 5 hours of recording I dispose of the AA battery. I have only just read it has 150 hours of phantom power. Does that actually refer to on and recording time?

---This is referring to "on" time. A single AA battery in an ME66 should last you a very long time. No need to change your battery this often. It doesn't take much juice at all to power the capsule of the mic. 150 may well be a very conservative number. Many people put a AA in their shotgun and forget that it exists.


2) Will the LED flash or anything to indicate that the battery is low? At the moment, the LED flashes on when I turn it on and then goes off, leaving the mic on.

---The LED will not start flashing when the battery is low. Your mic is operating properly. It's supposed to only flash once when you turn it on.


3) If I leave the mic connected and switched on, but turn the camera off, would the mic still be using as much battery as it would be if the camera was on and recording?

---Yes, I believe this will drain the battery. It's a good habit to train yourself to turn the mic off when you're finished, and to turn it back on before you begin.



It's important to use headphones whenever you use the mic. Listen to your audio. You will know that your battery is dieing because you will hear your audio quality deteriorate.

Also, if you're using your ME66 with a video camera that supplies phantom power, you may not need to use batteries at all. What camera do you have?



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Ty Ford
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 11, 2009 at 9:10:16 pm

[Sam Mallery] "Also, if you're using your ME66 with a video camera that supplies phantom power, you may not need to use batteries at all. What camera do you have?"

But you may need to leave the battery in the mic, even if it is dead, for proper conduction of the external voltage to the mic.

Regards,

Ty Ford



Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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david payne
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 8:36:27 am

thanks guys, I'm using it with a Sony HDR-FX1. I have done some research but can't find a definite answer on whether this gives phantom power to the mic?

By the sounds of it I've probably wasted a lot of AA batteries in the past then! Yes I always use headphones but I'm worried that the battery might die half way through a wedding ceremony and I dont really want to keep an AA on me at all times (I know its only small) in case it dies.

Perhaps I'll just change battery every 4 or 5 weddings to be on the safe side... Unless this camera gives phantom power ofcourse?




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Ty Ford
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 9:53:04 am

Hello David,

Let Google be your friend. Put Sony HDR-FX1 "phantom power" in the search field and see what you find.

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Randy Wheeler
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 12:14:34 pm

Instead of guessing how good your batteries are or how much juice they have left, why don't you use a battery checker? They come in all different sizes. I've been checking all my normal and rechargeable batteries with a volt meter for many years and know down to the 100th of a volt where each type of battery should be at for optimal performance when recharged and when they have gone bad or are too low to use.

I just caught two bad AA rechargeable batteries out of 20 (came in two 10-packs) the other day and these were brand new. I checked them after all 20 had been charged to see how consistent and where the voltage was at when these type of batteries are fully charged. This way I will know when these rechargeable batteries begin to lose their useful life.

I also keep track of how low batteries can go and still function by checking the voltage after a shoot.

I basically keep track of the voltages of five types of batteries, AA normal, AA rechargeable, 9V normal, 9V rechargeable and Sony Lithium NP-F### series rechargeable batteries.

Randy


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david payne
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 12:38:52 pm

thanks Randy, I didnt know such a thing existed. I will have a look what is available, I'm sure it will pay for itself when I consider how many AA's I will save.

And Ty thanks, I did just that for quite a while but couldn't find out what I was after, only similar questions from people like myself.



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Ty Ford
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 12:52:57 pm

[david payne] "And Ty thanks, I did just that for quite a while but couldn't find out what I was after, only similar questions from people like myself. "

David,

Step away from the expresso machine! I plugged in those parameters and got this from the very first post.

"Sony HDR-FX1: The FX1 has, unlike the DVX, one of the worst audio systems of a prosumer camera. There are no XLR jacks (which begs the question, what was Sony thinking?) and all input is done through a 1/8" unbalanced mini-jack. There are no phantom power provisions, and you can't control the audio level of a track individually (the dial controls both tracks simultaneously.) "

Regards,

Ty Ford




Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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david payne
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 1:23:06 pm

thanks big man



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Randy Wheeler
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 1:45:43 pm

I have the ME66, a AA battery will last a very long time as long as you either remember to turn off the mic after using it or take the AA battery out of the power module. Leave the mic on with the battery and power module still attached, it will be dead within a week.

Randy


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Sam Mallery
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 3:15:20 pm

Again, you have the option of using the Beachtek DXA6:

http://www.beachtek.com/dxa6a.html

This model supplies phantom power to the ME66. In a sense, you would still need to feed this Beachtek the occasional battery, but if you're worried about the battery dieing in the middle of a wedding, you could have a battery in your ME66, and if it dies, you can turn on the phantom power in the Beachtek.



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david payne
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 7:56:15 pm

thanks guys I will take the battery out when I'm not using it, and keep an eye out for a DXA-4 or even better DXA-6 on the cheap...

Is there any other cheaper way I could split the shotgun and wireless mic into the left and right channels so that I can mix them together if I choose to do so in post? I was hoping to 2 to 1 XLR cable would do the job but as I said I was disappointed to find it mixes the tracks together before it gets to the camera...



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Ty Ford
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 12, 2009 at 8:17:00 pm

sure.

http://www.trewaudio.com/store/product.php?productid=147&cat=21&page=1


Regards,

Ty Ford


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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david payne
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 13, 2009 at 8:18:30 am

Ty,
thanks a lot for that. Thats what I THOUGHT I was buying when I bought the $15 lead that I have... but obviously thats why it was so cheap?
I just need to find one in the UK now and try to confirm with the vendor that it will do left and right channels and not merge. I think that will do me for now while I get used to using the sennheiser wireless. Once I'm used to that and find that I use it a lot, I will consider a DXA-6.



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Ty Ford
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 13, 2009 at 12:22:04 pm

David,

If you have two mic level sources with XLRs that need to input a 1/8" stereo input without combining, that IS the cable you need.

It's a custom cable that Trew makes. They also make one that feeds a mono source to both stereo inputs so you can have one mic feeding both tracks equally.

Regards,

Ty


Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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david payne
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 13, 2009 at 3:29:05 pm

great thanks Ty I'm going to get one. I think the cable I must have at home is the one that combines the mono signals.

Hopefully I can find the cable in the UK, if not I will consider a purchase from that site. Of course if I can get a beacktek for slightly more then I will.

I've certainly learned a lot in this thread, thanks to all.



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Ty Ford
Re: a couple of simple questions about Sennheiser ME66
on Aug 13, 2009 at 3:41:16 pm

David,

If you're considering a mixer, please look very hard at a Sound Devices 302. Much better all around than any beachtek

Regards,

Ty Ford

Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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