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Novice consumer looking to improve audio quality in recordings

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Jonathan Miller
Novice consumer looking to improve audio quality in recordings
on Jan 26, 2013 at 8:05:45 pm

I came across this message board while doing some research on external microphones for video cameras. I'd like to see if some of the members of this forum would be able to provide me with some advice or suggestions.

I have a consumer Canon Vixia HFS100 camera. I'd like to get an external microphone to improve the audio quality of some recordings. Specifically, my wife is in a sketch comedy troupe here in LA, and I started taping their live performances. I have to situate the camera in the audience, and some distance (25-30 feet?) from the stage. The current external microphone that I am using (Rode Videomic) has been providing less than optimal sound.

I'm not an expert, and am for now the only person filming the shows.

I did a little research and found that there is a Crown PCC160 floor microphone, which looks like it might be a good option. Since there are multiple performers, and on stage, I thought I might be able to use the Crown floor mic and cable it into my Canon video camera.

The advice I am looking for includes:

1. Is the Crown PCC160 a good choice for a microphone for my purposes? Are there other brands/models that I should be looking at?

2. Is the Crown mic going to be compatible with my video camera? Is it designed for speakers, or cameras, or will it work with both?

3. What kind of converter will I need to take the Crown microphone cord into the camera input jack?

4. Any other thoughts/recommendations?

I'm including a link to a sample video from the first show, where I used the Rode mic. Hopefully, this provides a good idea of the current audio quality that I am getting, as well as a sense of the layout of the stage, etc.







Thanks.

-- Jonathan


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Peter Groom
Re: Novice consumer looking to improve audio quality in recordings
on Jan 27, 2013 at 8:57:41 pm

Hi Jonathan.
Ill comment here as no one else has so far.

1) The crown mic you are suggesting is a boundary mic and also pretty expensive from a google. Id suggest that as (having listened to your video clip) the resulkts you have at the moment are soooo distant, that just about any cheapish shotgun style directional mic on a small floor stand (on a rubber block to remove floorbound vibration as people move) would give a BIG improvement.
How will you get the cable from it to your camera? If you are in the audinece. You dont want to trip someone up and get sued!
This mic could be placed within a metre or 2 of the performers and get much better audio Id think.

2) The camera you have uses a 3.5mm jack. So you will need to extend your mic cable to an XLR cable and then get a cable to downsize the female xlr to a 3.5mm jack. perfectly easily available. DONT use an adapter into the camera. The weight of the XLR barrell, and then an XLR adapeter barrel and then the 3.5 will tear the socket apart inside the camera. Use a shortish cable that you can tie off.

3) the main thing to ensure when tou buy a mic is thet it had an INTERNAL battery. The camera wont power the mic, and a dynamic mic wont give the level or quality. Get one where you insert a battery in the mic. Look at RODE if youre in teh uS. They seem well resepcted over there.
I think in this sort of setup a max of £100 UKP would be enough to spend on the mic.

OH and were headphones always.

Peter

Post Production Dubbing Mixer


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