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Sony ECM 680S Stereo Shotgun Microphone


Sebastian
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I have been offered a second hand Sony ECM 680S Stereo Shotgun Microphone and want to find out whether anyone is using such a mic and how it handles. I have a pending travel doc where the single mic/ 2 functions option would be quite useful. I've heard the Sennheiser 418-S is noisy but I've heard nothing of the Sony version.

Any input would be appreciated!

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Hey Sebastian, I keep up w a lot of new and old gear just because I read all the time, talk w peers, work in LA w many other sound people, etc..., but I have never seen/heard of this Sony that I can recall, or know anyone who has used this mic and talked about it. Sony makes many great products but they are not big players in our small pro market, at least in LA. I don't know you or your market, but I would suggest saving your $$$ n buy one of the standards. BTW, no production mixer records dialog w a stereo mic as I'm sure you know. Why don't you take the time and introduce yourself to the group when time permits.

CrewC

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Trew audio had a review on their site awhile back.

They were offering a promotional discount at one time too.  I was interested in this mic for a time to use for documentary atmosphere and SFX recording.  Look at the Audio Technica BP4029 as well since the features and specs are very close.

Good luck!  And if you do pick it up you'll have to post a review for us!

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Many thanks for the input guys. The RAMPS link was particularly interesting. The mic that has been offered to me belongs to a sound guy that works a lot on the CBS 60 Minutes front and is quite discerning about quality. My primary use for it would be SFX recording and then dialogue in mono mode- as I guess it has been designed for. I have had a look at the specs and the noise floor they claim is less than 20dB SPL compared to 13 dB of the Sennheiser 416 and 22dB SPL of the 418-S in stereo mode. CrewC, Apologies, I will introduce myself in due course. Under which category should I do this?

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  • 4 years later...

Hi!

So Sebastian, have you tried SONY out as years have passed? 

I use them all the time in Estonian National TV. ECM680S is our onboard mic on cameras. Can't say I love the sound.

I prefer Audio-Technica AT825 stereomic if possible. A bit noisy as well and electret, but still.

I haven't tried ECM680S in proper suspension.

I've been wondering, if the bigger sideholes are for the side-mics? So if the edge of softie-windjammer covers them, there won't be any MS stereo?

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  • 2 years later...

I know this thread is ancient, but I happened to pick one of these up a few months ago. I'd seen this thread and didn't expect much. I was impressed with it. It sounds very good, like I'd hoped the Sennheiser MKH418 would sound. But, the MKH418 is noisy. The Sony is quiet. The Sony's midside is premixed, which is fine for most of my use. If you don't agree, you can always decode and re-encode it. I'm beginning to think Sony is under the radar in the film community. This mike is a sleeper. I also find the ECM680s does outstanding indoor interviews, where the walls and inside acoustics are well captured in addition to the voice. SFX were also good. Again, quiet enough for ambient sound capture. A definite sleeper.  

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  • 3 years later...
On 4/27/2018 at 10:16 PM, Kevin Sinnott said:

I know this thread is ancient, but I happened to pick one of these up a few months ago. I'd seen this thread and didn't expect much. I was impressed with it. It sounds very good, like I'd hoped the Sennheiser MKH418 would sound. But, the MKH418 is noisy. The Sony is quiet. The Sony's midside is premixed, which is fine for most of my use. If you don't agree, you can always decode and re-encode it. I'm beginning to think Sony is under the radar in the film community. This mike is a sleeper. I also find the ECM680s does outstanding indoor interviews, where the walls and inside acoustics are well captured in addition to the voice. SFX were also good. Again, quiet enough for ambient sound capture. A definite sleeper.  


I'm resurrecting this thread.

Thanks for the information!

I've kind of gone a bit over to the dark side - camera department - and bought myself a nice Sony camera, and now I'm considering adding a stereo shotgun microphone on top of it.

Thing is, that the Sony ECM XM-1 mono shotgun microphone provided with the hot-shoe mic input section, sound rather good. And most of all, it performs really well in run'n'gun situations.

So, that's why I'm considering the Sony ECM 680 stereo shotgun mic. I think it looks great to be able to choose between shotgun mono sound and stereo sound (already M/S-transformed to stereo).

So, four years later, how does the microphone work for you?

And, how directional is the M-signal in the stereo sound, if MS-transformed back to mono? As directional as in "mono-mode"?


Thanks in advance
Frederick

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 4/11/2022 at 7:07 AM, ninjafreddan said:


I'm resurrecting this thread.

Thanks for the information!

I've kind of gone a bit over to the dark side - camera department - and bought myself a nice Sony camera, and now I'm considering adding a stereo shotgun microphone on top of it.

Thing is, that the Sony ECM XM-1 mono shotgun microphone provided with the hot-shoe mic input section, sound rather good. And most of all, it performs really well in run'n'gun situations.

So, that's why I'm considering the Sony ECM 680 stereo shotgun mic. I think it looks great to be able to choose between shotgun mono sound and stereo sound (already M/S-transformed to stereo).

So, four years later, how does the microphone work for you?

And, how directional is the M-signal in the stereo sound, if MS-transformed back to mono? As directional as in "mono-mode"?


Thanks in advance
Frederick

My experience is still good. I used it about a month ago. I was trying to boom rather than use a handheld x/y pair. While reviewing the clips, it sounded great. Very quiet. Nice stereo field. 

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On 4/29/2022 at 7:23 AM, Kevin Sinnott said:

My experience is still good. I used it about a month ago. I was trying to boom rather than use a handheld x/y pair. While reviewing the clips, it sounded great. Very quiet. Nice stereo field. 

 

Thanks Kevin

I picked one up on eBay after reading your post and listening to the few sound clips available on the Internet.

 

Like you say, it's a really good stereo microphone AND shotgun microphone - very quiet, smooth and natural frequency response, very directional (in a good way) and with smart functionality.

It's an interesting experience recording stereo ambience with a shotgun M/S-microphone, because it has better "reach" and can better capture soft sync sounds in the stereo ambience.

 

On 4/27/2018 at 10:16 PM, Kevin Sinnott said:

The Sony is quiet. The Sony's midside is premixed, which is fine for most of my use. If you don't agree, you can always decode and re-encode it. I'm beginning to think Sony is under the radar in the film community. This mike is a sleeper. I also find the ECM680s does outstanding indoor interviews, where the walls and inside acoustics are well captured in addition to the voice. SFX were also good. Again, quiet enough for ambient sound capture.

 

Agree, the off-axis response of the shotgun microphone capture room ambience in a natural way, making it less obtrusive in the recording.

 

Yesterday, I used it as a stereo audience microphone positioned 20cm under a Meyer E9 speaker on a stick - and it sounded really good. Very little speaker spill into the microphone because the figure-8 "side" capsule having a more or less null at 90 degree vertical angle and the shotgun interference tube "mid" signal also having great (and uncolored) attenuation at 90 degree.

 

What I like the most about the microphone is the low noise level and the smooth frequency response with very little resonance.

 

With a pair of good micpre amps, it just produces a believable stereo sound without sounding like a "recording".

 

The noise level is less than 20dB SPL and definitely low enough for most recordings. The Sennheiser MKH mics have an even lower noise floor, but arguably doesn't sound as natural.

 

Also, the Sony ECM680S weights 105 gram and is 25 cm long - I use it as camera microphone on my Sony A7S iii camera, and it works great!

 

On 4/27/2018 at 10:16 PM, Kevin Sinnott said:

A definite sleeper.  


Definitely!

 

I'm so glad I stumbled on it, googling for a good stereo camera microphone.

 

 

I wish you all a great and relaxing weekend!

 

Frederick

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