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Audio Technica AT897 with small consumer grade low end DVR

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Syed Junaid, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. Syed Junaid

    Syed Junaid Active Member

    I want to record the speech in acoustically live environment:

    1) Can we use a Condenser microphone (Audio Technica AT897) in small consumer grade low end DVR e.g. Sony ICD-UX200 or ICD-PX820 after patching cable from XLR jack to stereo mini jack without compromising on audio quality? (e.g. low speech intelligibility, hiss sound etc.)Or is there something missing in this chain e.g. preamp or impedance matching transformer etc...

    2) If hiss is inevitable in my chain then is there any good software which can delete this unwanted hiss and ambient noise?

    3) I will patch it like this:


    XLR Pin 1 to mini-jack sleeve
    XLR pin 2 to Mini Jack tip and ring
    XLR pin 3 to mini-jack sleeve (or to XLR pin 1)

    ICD-UX200 Recorder Microphone jack input for plug in power has
    minimum input:
    level 0.9 mV, 3 kilohms or lower impedance microphone.

    ICD-PX820 Recorder Microphone jack input for plug in power has
    minimum input:
    level 0.5 mV, 3 kilohms or lower impedance microphone.

    AT897“The signal appears across Pins 2 and 3; Pin 1 is ground (shield). Output phase is “Pin 2 hot”— positive acoustic pressure produces positive voltage at Pin 2. To avoid phase cancellation and poor sound, all mic cables must be wired consistently: Pin 1-to-Pin 1, etc.
    Nominal open circuit output voltage shall be 10.0 mV (phantom) or 8.9 mV (battery) at 1 V, 1 Pascal. Output shall be low impedance balanced (200 ohms – phantom, or 300 ohms – battery).”

    Spec. Sheets:
    Vienna Symphonic Library - Vienna Ensemble Pro
    Vienna Symphonic Library - Vienna Ensemble Pro
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Your best bet is to use one of those consumer stereo microphones. A real microphone with an XLR jack is not going to work correctly-meaning the AT you mentioned. The tip and the ring BOTH carry signal on the AT897 with opposite polarity.

    The jack on the Sony device is not a balanced connection. It is two unbalanced connections and a common ground (L + R + common ground). Just get one of the microphones recommended in the Sony pdf to which you linked.
  3. Syed Junaid

    Syed Junaid Active Member

    I will record it in a Hall, which isn't accustically engineered, it has many ceiling fans, serveral pillar, a net of Speaker for sound reinforement. Because cardioid mic have low axis rejection, therefore I will use the shotgun or line-cardioid to reject the all unwanted noise of fans etc. The Hall looks like:


    Though my hall has ceiling fans. Do you think shotgun won't help me? I saw many videos no youtube in which cardioid or omni mic picking so much ambient noise.

    Then what is the consequence of this signal carriage; your are trying to tip and ring will cancel each other due to polarity?
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Then get a different recorder that takes a proper balanced connection.

    The way a balanced connection functions. Signal is sent down pin 2 (tip) at "normal" polartiy. Signal is sent down pin 3 (ring) at "inverse" polarity. At the destination end the 3rd pin is inverted and added to pin 2. Any noise that has been added to the line between the mic and the recorder is then canceled out. This also means that if you cut out half the signal it will be half as loud. And since the ouput of the AT897 is not designed to be "loud" enough for consumer recorders I'm going to guess you are not going to get acceptable results. It is not like you have any real adjustment on the Sony recorder to bring the levels up.
  5. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Since you're recording to a DVR, I have to ask - is a video camera involved in this process somewhere?
    Also, are you leaning toward a shotgun mic because it is hyper-directional, or because you don't want any mics in a camera shot?

    Your recorder will make a big difference in how you would wire the 1/8" TRS connectors - whether the TRS is looking for right/left/shield or balanced audio (in-phase/out-of-phase/shield)
  6. Syed Junaid

    Syed Junaid Active Member

    No, I'll audio to still images.

    Due to it off axis rejection, nosie.

    It is XLR Mono Balanced to TRS Stereo unbalanced 1/8"

    In fact in my country there is NO trade, therefore we have no suppliers for audio equipment. We have some supplier but they have extremely limited number of running items for TV production etc. I get luckily Audio technica AT897, which costs me $280, otherwise they only have >$500 microphones, or some reporter microphones. For DVR we have lots of third class Chinese DVRs which only cost me <$35, otherwise we have one or two DVRs from Edirol, M-Audio etc. and they will cost me >$350. Summary is that we have some pro level thing and lots of third class Chinese consumer level equipment but don’t have semi-pro line available

    I have limited budget available, therefore I'm sticking with AT897, after that I can't buy any pro DVR which are available in my country. Now we have to choose from cheap toy DVRs which are available in my country. We have decided to try our fate with Sony ICD-UX200F.
    Now my question is that the Sony DVR doesn’t have Manual Recording gain control, it has only three sensitivity setting: S-High, High, and Low. If its low is too high w.r.t. AT897, and signal is clipped due high gain then is there any way to reduce the gain? As you guys told me lots patches and tricks.
  7. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There are inline signal pads available in 10 20 & 30dB amounts. Whirlwind makes some as well as other companies called the Whirlwind Imp.
  8. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    It is true shotgun mics are designed for the purpose of picking up in a very narrow pattern. They are made that way is so that they can be used from a long distance away. Consumer-grade models especially aren't great at handling the air-movement of normal speech up close. They're used in field video for keeping mics out of video shots, and even then only if there isn't another close-micing alternative. Since that is not what you're doing, I honestly think you would do better with a more conventional $100 or less cardioid dynamic vocal mic. In an untamed reverberant room, both are going to pick up the ambient noise in the room. But I believe getting right up close to a mic designed for handheld vocals will give you a much better starting point than a shotgun mic.

    If you "want to record the speech in acoustically live environment", because you love the sound of the room. Try to use the room to your advantage. You will be surprised how much you can affect the recording by changing your position in the room relative to walls corners, curtains, etc.

    If you have to record in the big lively room, get creative with positioning yourself, cushions, or drapes, or blankets, or rugs to limit the amount of reflections and unwanted noises your mic will hear.

    If you're trying to avoid the YouTube amateur ambient sound, close-micing is a better bet in my opinion - or record the audio in a smaller less lively room with some softer surfaces.

    There are a number of small simple very affordable mixers on the market, whether or not they're available in your country - I don't know. You haven't mentioned what country that is. My guess is, if you could find an AT897 and an IMP pad, you can find a little mixer such as this that could be your unbalanced pre-amp / mixer into the DVR.

    Option #3, if you have access to tons of cheap Sony DVRs, look into a Sony video camera with a decent onboard mic. USB or firewire into your computer, cheap/free video editing software to lay your stills over the video - you're on YouTube.

    Good luck!
  9. Syed Junaid

    Syed Junaid Active Member

    I'm reading about the attenuators, but I think I definitly need an attenuator b/c ICD-UX200 has input level of 0.9 mV and AT897 has Nominal open circuit output voltage of 8.9 mV (battery) at 1 V, 1 Pascal. Am I right?
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    No. You need a pad if the sound going into the microphone will overload the input of the camera or mixer or interface. If you are micing something with a camera from a distance this is entirely unlikely. If you are up close and have the gain properly adjusted it isn't likely with pro level equipment. If you are close micing with consumer level gear like your camera I have no idea without trying. Those IMP pads are quite useful to have even for a pro engineer though unless you are always using a mixer with pads built into the board. None of my non mixer interfaces have pads at all so I have a few on hand from my PA days even though classical music doesn't usually require such.
  11. Syed Junaid

    Syed Junaid Active Member

    No it is a "Toy" Sony Digitial Voice Recorder ICD-UX200, it doesn’t have Manual Recording gain control, it has only three sensitivity setting: S-High, High, and Low. AT897 shall be almost 1 feet away from speaker. Now what do you think?
  12. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I have no way to know how your recorder will react. It can't hurt to have an IMP on hand. Or follow Hawk's advice.
  13. Syed Junaid

    Syed Junaid Active Member

    Thank you for all, AT897 is working in ICD-UX200.I patched XLR Mono Balanced to TRS Stereo unbalanced 1/8” like this:
    XLR Pin 1 to unconnected
    XLR pin 2 to Mini Jack tip and ring
    XLR pin 3 to mini-jack sleeve.
    • I used 4.7 µf non-polar 50V capacitor between XLR pin 2 and mini jack tip/ring
    • I didn’t match their impedances (AT896 = 300Ω and UX200 = <3000Ω). Guys me that told impedance was Ok.
    • I didn’t use any attenuator or preamp.
    • Recorder’s Low Cut filter is on
    • I record it at “ST” High-quality stereo recording mode (44.1 kHz/192 kbps)
    • Recorder was set to “High” sensitivity however “high” is undesirably High and low is too much low, as you have told me before
    • Microphone 80Hz filter is on
    • Mic is almost ½ feet away from me
    • I record it in Room (12’x10’x10’) with Furniture

    My problem is that why it is creating hiss. How I get rid of hiss from recording?:
    • Is it capacitor problem (i.e. 4.7 µf non-polar 50V)
    • Is it impedance mismatch

    Or if there is nothing wrong in above two things then which is best software to denoise this type of hiss:
    • iZotope RX
    • Wave lab 7 or something else

    I’m complete novice. I mistakenly download Cubase 5 but it doesn’t have any denoiser.

    Please check my hiss test:

    YouTube - AT897 Hiss Problem with Sony ICD-UX200

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