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which external mic for sony hdr-cx550v for recording classical piano

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi,

We have a Sony HDR-CX550V camcorder and the built-in mic is not good enough for recording classical piano concert or recitals. Is RODE videomic a good choice and does it need any additional shoe attachment? Also if for many occasions we will be in the audience at a distance away from the piano, should I buy a stereo or shotgun videomic? Would the Sony camcorder built-in audio control readjust the external mic input?
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by milku View Post

Hi,

for recording classical piano concert or recitals. Is RODE videomic a good choice

No, the RODE videomic is not the greatest.

Piano is a percussion instrument, and like all percussion instruments, you will need a high dynamic range recording device to avoid clipping the peaks and noise in the quiet bits, and to also give you the best chance of setting the final levels correctly in post.

The best quality/value mike is the ZOOM H1, approx 100 bucks. The H1 also has a built-in 96KHz/24bit recorder, so you can separately record the audio too and sync it up later in post. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...tal_Audio.html

You should also always use a shock mount, eg the RODE SM3 to avoid handling noise. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...hockmount.html

I use the H1/SM3 combo regularly.
post #3 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

The best quality/value mike is the ZOOM H1, approx 100 bucks. The H1 also has a built-in 96KHz/24bit recorder, so you can separately record the audio too and sync it up later in post.

I agree that the H1 Zoom is impressive for a portable device but when I compared it A/B with a Fostex and outside mics, the background noise of the H1 is obvious.

For handheld work, the H1 Zoom is perfect. For anything else, I'd look elsewhere.
post #4 of 6
1. The Rode mic is mono. That's not a good idea for recording music, even for a single instrument, especially one like a piano.

2. There are no audio levels to set; the Sony uses AGC. So, there is no dynamic range, or overloading. The agc will work also with an external mic plugged in.

3. The H1 is not a mic, it is a portable recording device that has mics built in.

The Sony camcorders are bad choices for recording any music because you cannot defeat the agc - quiet passages, including silences, are pumped up, and loud sounds are leveled down. Awful for music with real dynamics, and a piano has plenty. Panasonic, JVC and Canon all allow manual settings of audio.

A stereo shotgun mic is best, given you will not be near the stage.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

1. The Rode mic is mono. That's not a good idea for recording music, even for a single instrument, especially one like a piano.

2. There are no audio levels to set; the Sony uses AGC. So, there is no dynamic range, or overloading. The agc will work also with an external mic plugged in.

3. The H1 is not a mic, it is a portable recording device that has mics built in.

The Sony camcorders are bad choices for recording any music because you cannot defeat the agc - quiet passages, including silences, are pumped up, and loud sounds are leveled down. Awful for music with real dynamics, and a piano has plenty. Panasonic, JVC and Canon all allow manual settings of audio.

A stereo shotgun mic is best, given you will not be near the stage.

The H1 will work much better than a shotgun, I use the H1 for bands and percussion all the time.

Why?

Get close to the talent when using the H1 to minimise echo (delay, reverb etc) and to maximise the stereo sound field. I sometimes place the H1 on it's own tripod close up, as it is also a audio recorder, and then film where I want to.

Shotguns are best outside, where reflective surfaces are absent. It is the reflections that kill your sound quality - ie, turns it to muffled mud.

The problem with using a using a shotgun inside; eg, the rear reflection, directly behind the talent will be picked up perfectly by the shotgun (is on axis), but delayed, out of phase, and frequency coloured by the reflective surface - ie the recorded sound will be a mixed muddle of direct sound and reflected sound - ie relatively bad.

When any reflective surfaces are present, (nearly always the case inside), always use use close miking - the Zoom H1 is the best value here.

If the budget will extend, the Sony PCM-D50 is also 24-bit/96kHz, and is the best sounding portable recorder I have ever heard. The PCM-D50 records a second stereo track 20dB down, and this is substituted for the main track if any clipping occurs - clever, eh? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Portable.html

Up close miking will also give the best stereo sound stage - due to triangulation.
post #6 of 6
I agree that mic'ing up close beats a shotgun for sure. But I doubt the op is going to be able to place a tripod with an audio rig near the stage, which is what I assumed. And if that can be done, why stop with the mediocre mics of the H1? Get a real good mic pair, plugged into a recorder with phantom power and xlr inputs.
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