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Old 2006-11-06, 06:39 AM
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How to best use the Sony ECM-717 mic (and/or user's experiences)...?


In a few weeks time I intend to tape Iron Maiden indoors using a Sony MZ-R50 MD with an ECM-717 microphone, and I'm not sure how to get the optimal recording performance from this set-up.

Firstly, I have performed some tests with this combination, and there is a (seemingly) weird thing: when putting a (fresh new) battery in the mic, and switching it on, the LED flashes once (for a tiny fraction of a second) and then stays off. This seems weird to me. Can anyone tell me whether this normal?

Sony doesn't officially show the manual online anymore, but after some trial and error trying to change some of their documentation base URLs, I found the manual at:

However, I find the manual somewhat unclear regarding the LED status (in one place it mentions: "The red lamp (sic!) on the microphone will flash", and in a different location it says: "The red lamp (sic!) lights up dimly or goes out when the battery is weak.")...
I find this contradicting; is the battery supposed to only flash once, or stay on?!?

Secondly, on another seemingly weird note, the recorder's manual (see page 12 of: mentions that the mic should be plugged into the "MIC (PLUG IN POWER)" hole. All swell, but again, according to the above mentioned mic manual, the mic should then be switched to off (and hence should use the recorder's power, instead of the battery's one)...
Is this indeed the preferred setting, or are there better options?

Finally, I hope someone who has experience with this particular mic (and/or recorder) can give me some pointers for getting the best performance out of it. In particular, during some of the indoor tests of practice rehearsals of a rock band playing loud in a classroom, with the ECM-717 equipped with a battery, and the mic switched to "on" and with the levels set (manually) to the bare minimum, I still get heavy clipping. This is the case when the recorder itself is set to "high mic sensitivity", and I hope to be able to try it with low sensitivity tonight (or next week). I wonder about one thing though: would it be better to use the mic without the battery and the recorder set to high sensitivity, or to use the mic with battery and set the recorder to low sensitivity?
Intuitively I would guess the latter to be the best, but is that really the case or not?

Your help will be very much appreciated!


Last edited by mysterymadman; 2006-11-06 at 10:07 AM.
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