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Multiple lapel lav mics & interference

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Eric Jordan
Multiple lapel lav mics & interference
on Dec 7, 2016 at 6:02:15 am

I'm shooting an event coming up and the client has indicated that a sound company will be putting a lav mic on the speaker to amplify him (and am unsure if it's a wireless unit).

I want to put my own lav mic on the speaker as well in order to have my own dedicated audio (since I am responsible for capturing it and have no control over the sound company's audio feed). My lav mic is not wireless, it just plugs into an H1 recorder which goes in his pocket.

My question is, will there be any possible interference between the two lapel mics on the speaker for any reason?

Thanks for any insight anyone can offer.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Multiple lapel lav mics & interference
on Dec 12, 2016 at 5:38:12 pm

Hm, where's my other post go? Shorter highlights version: no, no prob, the other lav is likely wireless: it's the only reason to have a lav on in the first place, if they are moving around, otherwise a fixed mic on a stand or boom would have been fine. See if they will let you take a feed from their mixer to go into a spare channel of your camcorder, as insurance.

On your own lav, tape the cables down well, and point the head of the mic so that it won't easily catch breathing sounds or wind from the person speaking. Most all lavs are omni, anyhow.

Leave a short loop of wire as a strain relief to be clipped under the lav's mounting clip, against the back of the coat lapel. Gaff tape this if needed.

Tape over the controls of your recorder, or set the "lock" unction, so it isn't turned off at the wrong time by someone.

A proper mic to mouth distance is about from the outstreched pinkie and thumb of one hand.

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Peter Groom
Re: Multiple lapel lav mics & interference
on Jan 13, 2017 at 2:24:16 pm

I think this idea of a lav mic going into a recorder in a pocket is the worst Ive ever heard and completely amateur.
If you have responsibility of recording this audio as you say, then how do you have any means of intervening or control on a recorder in a pocket.
What if the batteries die, get dislodged, the recorder stops, the mic becomes knocked or any of a hundred other things that can go wrong with a un monitored recording. If thats your solution then id grab any help from the pa company you can get cos they're likely waay better than you .
Also, say the presenter gets changed at the last minute, to a lady who is wearing a figure hugging dress - what are you going to do then? tape it round her waist?

Why not get a proper pro radio mic, double mic him, record that properly and get the sound desk engineer to give you a feed of theirs too on a sep track.


Post Production Dubbing Mixer

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Jeff Pulera
Re: Multiple lapel lav mics & interference
on Jan 17, 2017 at 3:40:42 pm

I have to stick up for Eric and say Peter, you don't need to be rude if someone uses methods you don't approve of. You're certainly entitled to your opinion as to why you believe one method might be better than another, but you can lose the pompous attitude.

I've been a wedding/event videographer for 20+ years, and pocket recorders are extremely commonplace, and reliable, for that market. I used to use a wireless mic on the groom for years and years, and I lost count of how many times I'd have clean audio (monitored via headphone) all the way up until the moment the vows are about to start, then the static would kick in! It was like Murphy's Law or something. And I cannot stop the ceremony to do anything at all about it, so being able to monitor MEANS NOTHING at that point. I had many, many vows recordings ruined due to wireless issues. And of course one has to make sure that their frequency will not interfere with one being used by the church, etc. Not to mention FCC spectrum changes a few years ago which makes my existing investment in wireless mics illegal/obsolete.

Many years ago, these little iRiver recorders came out, about the size of a pack of chewing gum. Took one AA battery and recorded to .mp3 format. It would record for many hours on one battery, so if using a new battery for each wedding, never going to run out of juice. Impossible for the battery to get "dislodged". And there is a REC LOCK switch, so that the wearer could not accidentally stop the recording once I had it set up and running. I typically put one unit on the groom, one on the minister and another on the podium for readings. I've never had such beautiful clean sound via wireless as I get with the cheap little iRiver units, using a specially wired lav from Giant Squid.

I have 3 of the iRiver units and none has ever failed me for any live event I recorded. PERFECT sound, clear of any interference. They unfortunately quit making those units like 10 or more years ago, but Zoom and the like has replaced them, though none are near as small!

To answer your question Eric, a wireless should have no effect on your recorder, I've never had any issue in that regard. Make sure everything is set up correctly, fresh battery, rec lock and should be good to go for success. Good advice from Mark.

Thank you

Jeff Pulera
Digital Vision

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Bob Naik
Re: Multiple lapel lav mics & interference
on Nov 18, 2017 at 1:44:53 am

Well said Jeff,
Reading your post prompted a quick search where I found the Tascam DR-10L.
The specs I saw online list it's dimensions as 1"x1" and it looks like it will accept the locking connector of the Sennheiser ME2 lavs from my G3 kits as well.
If I didn't already have 3 - Zoom H1s I might have to get a few of these but at $200 a pop, they're not that big a priority.

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Greg Ball
Re: Multiple lapel lav mics & interference
on Dec 20, 2017 at 6:40:22 pm

I like Peter's solution (without the attitude). At least you can monitor the audio and also have a back-up.

We use a wireless lav on the talent (that we can monitor through our camera), and we work with the AV people to get a feed from their audio board as a back-up.

Often we have multiple people speaking, or a panel discussion. Then it's either tie into the house system, or provide a field mixer with multiple microphones and an audio person. I don't think I'd be comfortable using portable recorders that I can't monitor for a live event.

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.

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