Rode Videomic Pro Level

Started Jul 19, 2012 | Discussions
rfielder
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Rode Videomic Pro Level
Jul 19, 2012

My Sony A55 does not have any way to control the audio level when using an external mic. As far as I can tell, you also can not disable the auto gain feature. In other words, no control over the audio levels at all.

I am considering the use of a Rode Videomic Pro. Can anyone using one of these on a Sony SLT camera with no audio level control tell us what level you set on the mic?

The Videomic Pro allows you to set -10db, 0db, and +20db levels - which works best with Sony cameras?

Thanks in advance!

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Robert Fielder
Brampton, ON, Canada

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Sony SLT-A55
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johndfrey
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to rfielder, Jul 20, 2012

I purchased and extensively tested the JuicedLink DS 214 PreAmp on my A65 and other cameras. I ran my shotgun, wireless, ZOOM H4N and Shure dynamic mics through it into the A65 mic input. It can send a steady signal to the right channel of the stereo input of the camera, which defeats the auto gain "pumping effect", while recording excellent sound on the left channel. The preamps are excellent and, once you dial everything in, provides an extremely low noise floor - it flat works! It is tiny yet tough, and a little creativity will let you mount it onto your camera or rig. Read the info on their website on how to use it and check out the accessories that appear on the B&H site - they are necessary.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=757107&Q=&is=REG&A=details

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Dobilas
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to rfielder, Jul 21, 2012

I'm finding, in 'normal conditions', using the Sony ECM-CG50 shotgun mic, that a77 is generating +10-15 dB. That is reduced to the recommended -6DB in FCPX.

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rfielder
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to Dobilas, Jul 21, 2012

I rented a Rode Videomic Pro for the weekend, and have been running it at +20db. That works, and is needed since many of the instructors are not using mics.

Only one used a mic, and I forgot to reduce gain to 0db when capturing that workshop, so I don't have a way of making a direct comparison. At +20db, I am picking up a lot of background noise as well, so today I wlll try at 0db to see how it goes. Definitely getting clear vocals even without the mics using the Rode, so that is good.

Not sure if I would buy the Videomic Pro, or just the regular one - if the +20db gain is not needed, then I would go for the less expensive one which also looks way cooler!

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Robert Fielder
Brampton, ON, Canada

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Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD IF Macro Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS +1 more
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Denis247
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to rfielder, Jul 21, 2012

There's really no alternative than getting the mic closer if you want really good audio (without spending a fortune), but depends what you want the audio for, whether it's just for your own reference or whether you're making a production. The only time I wanted video + audio and couldn't get close, I placed a radio-mic near the subject and used my zoom lens, but that takes a little setting up and that's not always an option.

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Don't forget to smell the roses.

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rfielder
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to Denis247, Jul 23, 2012

The workshop is over, and the rented Rode Videomic Pro has been returns, and my bank account is $33.50 reduced. A very good price to evaluate the product, as compared to paying $210 to $250 (local prices) without knowing how it works.

I tried the mic at both 0db and +20db. Left it at 0db for the last day. The +20db might be useful if you had incamera audio level control - I don't, so at +20db I got lots of background noise. And, YES, I did have the HPF turned on every time. Just recording speaking voice, no music, so I set it up the same as I do all the mics in my various sound systems.

The sound quality was good - could do better if I were to mic the instructors and either feed from a mixer to the camera, or capture audio separately and add in PP, but that was not possible for this situation.

Overall, if I were to buy a mic, I would get the non-Pro Rode Videomic. Party because my A55 camera has no audio control so I can't really use the +20db setting, and partly because I don't like paying extra for stuff I can't use. The extra $60 for the Videomic Pro does not buy me anything I can use, as far as I can see.

And also partly because the standard Videomix looks a lot cooler, and sometimes how you present yourself to the other people with camera can make a difference as to how cooperative they are.

At the end of the day, the Rode mic was a good addition and allowed me to capture very clear vocals. Not pro level, but much much better than the oncamera mics would allow. Were I doing this for pay, I would use a very different solution, in terms of both the mic and the camera.

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Robert Fielder
Brampton, ON, Canada

 rfielder's gear list:rfielder's gear list
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD IF Macro Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS +1 more
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Marco Cinnirella
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to rfielder, Jul 23, 2012

Zoom H2N is very good as well, as an alternative to using an on-camera hotshoe microphone

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rfielder
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Re: Rode Videomic Pro Level
In reply to Marco Cinnirella, Jul 23, 2012

Marco Cinnirella wrote:

Zoom H2N is very good as well, as an alternative to using an on-camera hotshoe microphone

Marco - interesting product! And it sells for about the price of the Rode Videomics.

To do it right, I would see about renting four or six of the Zoom H2N, and use them like boundary mics. Downmixing it later would be fun - and since I am capturing in 1080p, the final output could include 7.1 stereo that really put each person where they appear!

Now, just to figure out how to win a lottery so I could afford all these really cool toys and the time to learn how to use them....

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Robert Fielder
Brampton, ON, Canada

 rfielder's gear list:rfielder's gear list
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II LD IF Macro Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II PZD Sony E 35mm F1.8 OSS +1 more
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