Sony XLR-K3M

scorsesefan

Well-known member
Does anyone have any experience with the A7SIII? Does it significantly improve audio quality/noise floor? Does it have it's own preamps? Thanks
 
I rented it once with the a7RIV. Although it's an elegant solution and includes a microphone/holder, you're still using the camera's preamps (IIRC) and only control the audio with this device.

I wasn't very impressed and I think shortly afterwards I purchased a few of the Beachteks below.

*Disclaimer* I am selling some in the marketplace somewhere but that's not why I'm posting them; they are just very powerful and clean preamps and Beachtek has been around forever. B&H has a used one right for $123.50.

However, if you need two XLRs then the one below won't help and I'm not sure if they ever made one with two XLRs for a similar price.

I used the one below with probably over a dozen Sony mirrorless'. Put the internal camera level around 3-5 and adjust the gain with the knobs.

Pure silence and no hiss...just quality audio from the microphone.

It's very nice (and it has a safety track).

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...cro_pro_dxa_micro_pro_active_xlr_compact.html
 
I own an older version the Sony XLR K1M adapter and it is excellent. I don't think a one time experience is a fair evaluation NorBro. I bought the K1M version because it allows me to locate the unit elsewhere than on top of the camera so I have mine placed off to the side on the cage. The flexibility and options of these units far surpasses any Beachtek unit which I also have used and still have one kicking around it a plastic tub somewhere. I would suggest you rent one for a shoot and see/hear for yourself. not having to deal with batteries and fewer cables sticking out of the side of the camera as well as input switching options etc. As I said I prefer the model I have which is the earlier/first one but I am sure that if anything the K3M is as good if not better.
 
Thanks, guys. The lack of preamps in the Sony unit makes it a less attractive buy. At $600 you would think you would get something that bypasses the internal preamps. I do like the idea of hot shoe connectivity, but I'll take a look at the the Beachtek.
 
I own an older version the Sony XLR K1M adapter and it is excellent. I don't think a one time experience is a fair evaluation NorBro. I bought the K1M version because it allows me to locate the unit elsewhere than on top of the camera so I have mine placed off to the side on the cage. The flexibility and options of these units far surpasses any Beachtek unit which I also have used and still have one kicking around it a plastic tub somewhere. I would suggest you rent one for a shoot and see/hear for yourself. not having to deal with batteries and fewer cables sticking out of the side of the camera as well as input switching options etc. As I said I prefer the model I have which is the earlier/first one but I am sure that if anything the K3M is as good if not better.

This is a simple device with nothing to it. One time was enough to hear no improvement in the audio quality.

Beachtek is way better if you're looking to strengthen your signal without raising the noise floor.

I mean...there's no comparison because the Sony doesn't do that. The BT has 30dB of gain built into it.

So if you want a microphone and a holder with some audio controls for $600 then that's cool, but if you want better audio then a dedicated preamp will be the better option.
 
Best of luck with your research. Still find it hard to accept NorBro's point of view based on a one day experience. I have been shooting and recording with it for three years on my A7iii's, A6000 and A6400. Never had any issues with sound quality or noise.Good microphones, and craft either on my part or the audio person working with me who usually records on a Zoom as a backup but we use camera sound in post.
As I said I have both and I have the Tascam 60D which was another under the camera audio device (PIA). So I look forward to reading about your choice and experience.But if you can spend a couple bucks and rent both rather than assuming. Cheers
 
Maybe reread what the OP asked and think about what exactly this device is and does.

IMO, the answer is: No, it does not improve audio quality/noise floor, and no, it does not have its own preamps (at least certainly not powerful ones with 30dB of gain).

Whether it's a nice design or a product that makes adapting gear to stills cameras seamless is a different question.
 
Brian, if you didn't mention me I would never have answered you.

It would have just been my opinion and your opinion and that's it. But I felt like I needed to respond. If I said, "I find Brian's POV hard to accept...", wouldn't you?

Why are you being weird about it?

You have too much emotion invested in your product to provide any reasonable advice because you're not even acknowledging what the person asked.

Whether it's 1 day or 1000 days, gaining practice or experience with this product will not magically change its specifications. Because it works great for you with your own equipment in your own situations is irrelevant to significantly improving noise floor.

And selling interest? Come on, man - exactly for how much? 50 bucks?

I have sold hundreds of items on this site and thrown away hundreds of dollars. It doesn't matter.
 
Best of luck with your research. Still find it hard to accept NorBro's point of view based on a one day experience. I have been shooting and recording with it for three years on my A7iii's, A6000 and A6400. Never had any issues with sound quality or noise.Good microphones, and craft either on my part or the audio person working with me who usually records on a Zoom as a backup but we use camera sound in post.
As I said I have both and I have the Tascam 60D which was another under the camera audio device (PIA). So I look forward to reading about your choice and experience. But if you can spend a couple bucks and rent both rather than assuming. Cheers

+1 on the above comments. I've found no issues with the Sony preamps on the A7iii or the previous XLR-k2m... or the FS7. Recording the same audio from the same mics on both cameras at the same time and there has never been anything in post that has attracted me to any specific issues. Not only is that my finding but that of one of Sydney's top feature film sound editors who has worked with audio from both cameras on an eight-part doco series and said he didn't find any issues to separate the audio recordings on the two cameras when doing the final mixdown and sweetening. A question I specifically asked him early on when the decision was made to use both an A7iii and an FS7 for the series.

My two cents. Like anything. I've found some cameras and audio recording devices don't respond the same way to the same mics and even cables. The type and quality of RFI/EMI shielding on the cables often being an invitation to additional residual noise floor levels if it is insufficient. Often impedance mismatches and shielding issues can cause issues that get ascribed to 'preamps'. Over the years I've drifted to using nothing but Canare and Mogami cables. Neither brand has given me any issues. As always we owe it to ourselves to test everything out thoroughly with the mics, wooly dogs, cables, mixers etc we intend to use before we commit. Failing to do so is letting yourself and your professionalism down. Incidentally, the noise and dB noise floor results in Gerald's video are more than acceptable for the bulk of video production.

Chris Young


Microphone Cable Noise: Quality vs. cheap cables
 
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That's a cool cable testing video.

Just for the record, in general, I have nothing against the camera's preamps.

There was a thread around here somewhere where some of us were discussing just how good the Sony a7RII's preamps are before Gerald Undone even had a YouTube channel.

This conversation should have little to do with the integrity of the camera's preamps but about improving audio with a piece of hardware if you needed to do that.

Modern day camera preamps, very good high-sensitivity microphones and proper placement eliminate the need for preamps for many people, but I can assure anyone that would like to question it that if you use a low-sensitivity microphone and you are a bit too far away for comfort and boost the Sony's internal preamps past a certain number, you will be disappointed.

Not everyone is filming with -20 dBV/Pa microphones 6 inches away from a mouth.

The device above is mostly an adapter, not a dedicated preamp.

This should be a very simple concept to understand.

___

Here...if anyone would rather not listen to me, listen to other people (about the older model), like Scott, #4 (link below).

http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread.php?345553-Audible-hiss-with-Sony-XLR-K2m-audio-unit

Not much has changed as far as improving audio quality, IMO.

It's like this thread is from The Twilight Zone...

The guy asks if the thing significantly improves quality presumably through the offering of a high level of clean gain and is not answered directly.

Does it significantly improve audio quality/noise floor? Does it have it's own preamps? Thanks

Maybe I'm from The Twilight Zone... :bath:
 
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My observations/experience with the A7SIIIs internal audio has been less than stellar although admittedly limited. I shot a man on the street with a VMP from about 3 feet away from the subject(s) and the audio sounded a bit thin and noisy to me. But that's on-camera mics for you. And the VMP (original) is pretty old tech now. But I also shot some sit downs with my Rode WGII (with their built in mics) and the audio going directly into the A7SIII sounded worse than the Rode's internal recordings to my ears. But it may be down to user error as my peaks on the street interview were at -4, -3 and around the same for the sit down. Also, I definitely should have used lavs on the sit downs. In any case my mindset on DSLR/mirrorless vs cinema camera pres is a bit antiquated I suppose. I still think of it in terms of 5D vs FS7/C100 and I'm sure that has changed...
 
My observations/experience with the A7SIIIs internal audio has been less than stellar although admittedly limited. I shot a man on the street with a VMP from about 3 feet away from the subject(s) and the audio sounded a bit thin and noisy to me. But that's on-camera mics for you. And the VMP (original) is pretty old tech now. But I also shot some sit downs with my Rode WGII (with their built in mics) and the audio going directly into the A7SIII sounded worse than the Rode's internal recordings to my ears. But it may be down to user error as my peaks on the street interview were at -4, -3 and around the same for the sit down. Also, I definitely should have used lavs on the sit downs. In any case my mindset on DSLR/mirrorless vs cinema camera pres is a bit antiquated I suppose. I still think of it in terms of 5D vs FS7/C100 and I'm sure that has changed...

does the Rode WGII audio get compressed before it's sent to the receiver or is it the exact same file on both sides of the transmission?

it's hard for me to believe that the audio circuitry on any video camera will be up to par with dedicated audio devices... but I guess hearing is believing. certainly my audix scx1-hc, which requires a lot of gain, sounds better going into my zoom f6 than directly into my c300 or fs7
 
My observations/experience with the A7SIIIs internal audio has been less than stellar although admittedly limited. I shot a man on the street with a VMP from about 3 feet away from the subject(s) and the audio sounded a bit thin and noisy to me. But that's on-camera mics for you. And the VMP (original) is pretty old tech now. But I also shot some sit downs with my Rode WGII (with their built in mics) and the audio going directly into the A7SIII sounded worse than the Rode's internal recordings to my ears. But it may be down to user error as my peaks on the street interview were at -4, -3 and around the same for the sit down. Also, I definitely should have used lavs on the sit downs. In any case my mindset on DSLR/mirrorless vs cinema camera pres is a bit antiquated I suppose. I still think of it in terms of 5D vs FS7/C100 and I'm sure that has changed...

Original VMP is -38 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz.

Their new-ish VideoMic NTG is -26 dBV/Pa plus it has gain built into it.

This difference is so large that you'd think your VMP is broken after using the new one.

And it's also the reason why these kind of conversations exist. Because people may use sensitive microphones in proper places and will go their entire careers in perfect circumstances not understanding how necessary good preamps are for certain microphones.

___

Funny story...

Early in my career I purchased a Sony ECM-44B lav (on a budget) and it has a whopping -53 dBV/Pa.

It initially wouldn't even show up on my recording levels with the settings I had at the time. I had to crank the internal gain so much which obviously created unpleasant results. So I exchanged it because I thought it was broken. Got a second one and returned that one too until I was enlightened about the importance of microphone sensitivity.

Maybe not that funny...but I learned!
 
@Abe, I'm not sure if there's any compression on the Rode units. For the internal recording there is a compressed and uncompressed mode and I just leave it on uncompressed... @ Norbro -- yeah I have to update my mini-shotgun. I didn't realized the VMP's native gain was so low...
 
@Abe, I'm not sure if there's any compression on the Rode units. For the internal recording there is a compressed and uncompressed mode and I just leave it on uncompressed... @ Norbro -- yeah I have to update my mini-shotgun. I didn't realized the VMP's native gain was so low...

if I had to guess, I'd guess that the Rode wgII is recording the same file on both sides of the transmission? because it's sending it digitally, so it probably digitizes the file and then send the same file that it's recording on the transmitter. but then it spits back out an audio signal from the receiver to the camera, right? so I guess there could be some additional noise introduced there...but I would expect it to come out in camera sounding pretty much just like it does on the transmitter file. but I don't know that much about audio

but yeah, sometimes I feel like my tascam dr-10L recordings sound richer than my Sennheiser G3 sound, which I attribute in part to the tascam recording the signal directly from a wired mic vs the sennheiser converting the signal to RF and then back to audio. of course, that's an RF transmission vs 2.4Ghz of the rode, totally different animals. and i don't have total confidence in the theory
 
@Abe, I'm not sure if there's any compression on the Rode units. For the internal recording there is a compressed and uncompressed mode and I just leave it on uncompressed... @ Norbro -- yeah I have to update my mini-shotgun. I didn't realized the VMP's native gain was so low...

It doesn't make it a bad microphone, it's just not as sensitive as others.

A $2400 CMIT 5 has pretty much the same sensitivity (I linked to the green screen one because it's cool): https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...ps_cmit_5u_cg_cmit_5u_shotgun_microphone.html

A lot of professional gear needs powerful, crystal clean gain from Sound Devices, etc.

Or even if the microphone hears very well, sometimes you will have to have it 5-6 feet over heads and it needs help (preamp).
 
if I had to guess, I'd guess that the Rode wgII is recording the same file on both sides of the transmission? because it's sending it digitally, so it probably digitizes the file and then send the same file that it's recording on the transmitter. but then it spits back out an audio signal from the receiver to the camera, right? so I guess there could be some additional noise introduced there...but I would expect it to come out in camera sounding pretty much just like it does on the transmitter file. but I don't know that much about audio

but yeah, sometimes I feel like my tascam dr-10L recordings sound richer than my Sennheiser G3 sound, which I attribute in part to the tascam recording the signal directly from a wired mic vs the sennheiser converting the signal to RF and then back to audio. of course, that's an RF transmission vs 2.4Ghz of the rode, totally different animals. and i don't have total confidence in the theory

Yeah, my Tentacle E/Oscar mic combo sounds very rich and full even compared to a G3...
 
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