Warning: Azden microphones may be hazardous to your sanity

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by William, Jul 30, 2003.

  1. William

    William Guest

    I recently bought an Azden super cardiod shotgun microphone in hopes of
    improving the sound in my mini-dv camcorder, primarily because of the
    shotgun mike reducing side sensitivity. After three months with this
    useless device, I can only warn others.

    Azden is junk. The microphone comes with a shoe mount to attach the mike to
    the camcorder, but if you attach it--or even get the mike within several
    inches of the camcorder--it picks up a hum from the camcorder motor. When I
    called tech support, I was told, "Yes, that's a problem with that
    microphone. Our more expensive mikes don't have that problem." Yeah, I'm
    going to spend good money after bad! The Azden materials and the provided
    attachment device said that one was designed to use on a camcorder.

    Azden's more expensive microphones may not pick up the hum, but do you
    really want to test that theory?

    William, Jul 30, 2003
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  2. William

    Joe Guest

    Joe, Jul 30, 2003
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  3. Its very well known that if your using an external mic on a DV camcorder it
    has to be a certian type otherwise as youve found out it will pick up the
    "hum" and many other interferance noises, any decent camcorder/electrical
    supplier supplier should be able to tell you what sorts need. You need a mic
    with internal screening.

    check the link below for a decent mic specially designed for DV
    camcorders.You'll see in the description that this mic is specialy for DV

    Simon Wimpenny, Jul 30, 2003
  4. That's why I wonder why the dv camera in cameraman hands worth 3500$ and
    I have to carry about 20000$ equip around my neck..
    Good mikes live for ever ( maybe not for ever but 4 times the camera life at
    least) - next time if you wonna be cheap- buy used 416

    Oleg Kaizerman ( gebe) Hollyland Check Sanken CS-1 short shot gun -less
    than 3 onz
    Oleg Kaizerman, Jul 30, 2003
  5. William

    Ty Ford Guest

    Hi Bill,

    I'd probably never buy an Azden mic, but most shotgun mics are pretty much
    omni at mid and low frequencies, and that includes the Sennheiser 416 and 816.

    And yes, they will certainly pickup motor noise. If that's why you bought
    it, you were grossly misinformed.

    I suspect some camcorders are louder than others. Yours may be one of those,
    in which case, you need a good boom op. Hey! I do That!


    Ty Ford

    For Ty Ford V/O demos, audio services and equipment reviews,
    click on http://www.jagunet.com/~tford
    Ty Ford, Jul 31, 2003
  6. You need a mic with internal screening.

    "screening" is the European usage for what we call
    "shielding" here on the left side of the Pond.

    However electrical "screening"/"shielding" will do nothing
    for the mechanically-coupled noise/vibration through the
    camera shoe (or for the acousticaly-coupled motor noise
    Richard Crowley, Jul 31, 2003
  7. William

    Ron Charles Guest

    You many want to try....

    1) A better mic. Perhaps a Sennheiser K6/ME66 or similiar.

    2) A hotshoe SHOCKMOUNT which are made by Beyer, AKG, Sennheiser and cost
    $55 or so.

    Ron Charles, Jul 31, 2003
  8. ahhhhh thats why i didnt get the joke, i couldnt see what was wroing with me
    saying screening, but now i realise.
    simon (UK)
    Simon Wimpenny, Jul 31, 2003
  9. William

    Ty Ford Guest

    Well that can be equally misleading, Jay. I'm not talking about 120 or 180
    degrees in a laboratory I'm talking all the way a round, as in what happens
    during a shoot.

    Shotguns are the obvious pick for dialog, but they perform best on a
    controlled set where things are quiet except for the actors. Outside on a
    macadam parking lot with cars and trucks and people running any number of
    degrees off-axis, you have a totally different set of problems.

    Out in the real world, shotguns may be your best hope, but they still have
    the liabilities I described. They pickup all sorts of off-axis noise
    (especially lows and mids) if the noise it there. And because of the physics
    of the inteference tube used by most shotguns, that off-axis audio is very
    phase scrambled.

    Why do sitcoms using shotguns sound so good when using shotguns? The sets
    don't have ceilings and usually have only three walls.

    Shotguns don't work as well as hypercardioids in "normal" regular sized
    rooms because shotguns hear the off-axis ceiling and wall bounce.

    And BTW, back to the original point, a 416 mounted on a physically noisy
    camcorder is not likely to be much better than an Azden when it comes to
    ignoring the camera noise.

    The solution is; if you have a noisy camera, don't put a mic on it. Don't
    blame the mic, blame the camera. Ever get a mic near a Sony Digital Betacam
    field camera? Yeow! Trust me, just don't go there. And that's NOT a cheap


    Ty Ford

    For Ty Ford V/O demos, audio services and equipment reviews,
    click on http://www.jagunet.com/~tford
    Ty Ford, Aug 1, 2003
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