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wireless mike for use with DVX100

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Michael Mejido
wireless mike for use with DVX100
on Mar 30, 2006 at 3:06:31 am

hello all. As you can see, i posted a similar question not too long ago ;) BUT, the difference is i need a reliable WIRELESS mic to be used with the Panasonic DVX100. I am going to be doing interviews in a professional sports stadium setting, such as:

1) Interviewing players at halftime as they are sweaty, impatient, and probably shouting
2) interviewing fans in the stands as they are cheering, with horns and chanting going on
3) interviewing players in a loud locker room.
4) interviewing tailgaters.

these will definitely not be quiet situations ;)

I don't have alot of money to spend, and these interviews aren't going to be shot for ESPN, so it doesn't have to be outstanding quality. But, if anyone could recommend me a wireless mike w/ reciever for around $200, that would be great. I really don't want to buy crap, so if your opinion is that there aren't any good wireless mics for around $200, please don't hesistate to recommend better ones!

thanks :)

Michael in NJ

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Will Salley
Re: wireless mike for use with DVX100
on Mar 30, 2006 at 6:41:32 am

Michael, normally, I would confirm your suspicions that there are no decent wireless mics for $200 or less, but given your list of uses, you may be able to use a "less than ideal" system that suits your price range. Before I go any further, let me clarify the term a bit - What I think you really considering is a wireless "system", not just a wirelss mic. That being said, your receiver end of the system is as important as the transmitter end. I assume you are considering a handheld transmitter and not a plug-on or beltpack.

Since you know in advance the situations in which you intend to use the system - in your case - several loud locations - you have a distinct advantage in purchasing that system. Most people being interviewed in in noisy conditions will speak loudly and in relation to the level of noise; similar to when someone listening to music with headphones will scream to others in the room when they really don't need to. Most high-end wireless systems go to great effort to make the signal path as quiet as possible (high signal to noise ratio). Many low-cost systems suffer from poor signal-to-noise and are unacceptable for most applications. You don't have to be as concerned about this however, because you already have ambient noise to mask the system noise.

What you do need to be concerned about are these:

- Is the system "frequency agile" so that a clear channel is available. With most metros in the US, it can be difficult to find a clean freq to use, and if your system is locked to just one and that freq is being used by another, you're out of luck.

- Is the system durable enough to stand up to what you plan to do? Many entry-level systems are plastic, with controls that break, and connectors that fail.

- You will need a "camera mountable" receiver. It will be smaller, and be powered by 9 volt or AA bats. Many stage-type systems have a bigger receiver with an external power supply.

- You will need a receiver with a balanced, XLR output to match the input of your DVX100 (which has good preamps but real a noisy headphone amp. I monitor the RCA outs and tolerate the delay)

And finally, most wireless sytems use a circuit known as a "compander" circuit (compressor - expander). It's a way to get more audio signal out of less radio signal and it's the reason most wireless mic systems are unusable junk. The reason is, that with some of these designs, the greater the input signal, the more the compander circuit kicks in and then you get more distortion - which is worse than noise. Some designs (such as the original Sennheiser E500 series) have a lot of noise on the carrier signal but do a good job with the actual program signal - that would be preferable in your case.

So to summarize, you could probably find a useable system for around $200, but it would most-probably be unacceptable for other work and it might not make it through the season. Check out the Cow classified section and see if someone has a used Lectrosonics, Sony, or Sennheiser. Also, you may need to buy a separate transmitter (handheld) and receiver (camera mount) because most systems with camera mounted receivers come with beltpack transmitters.

System Info - G5/Dual 2 - 10.4.4 - QT v7.0.4 - 4GB ram - Radeon 9800Pro - External SATA Raid - Decklink Extreme - Wacom 6x8

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Michael Mejido
Re: wireless mike for use with DVX100
on Apr 5, 2006 at 1:15:59 pm

good lord! thanks for all that detailed information :) I always know that CC is the place to go to ask questions.. thanks again so much.

after looking through everything, i'll probably go with something more expensive. seems like if i'm going to spend $200, i might as well spend $500 on something that is really bound to work.

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Re: wireless mike for use with DVX100
on Mar 30, 2006 at 11:59:50 am

I have used the Audio Technica 100 series. I use their tap that goes on a EV hand held and makes it wireless. This is a basic system and still cost me $800 +

What I don't understand you say its not for ESPN so it doesn't have to be outstanding quality, why ? you have a great camera, audio is half of your picture , why not strive to get the best audio ? Look into renting some gear. Or maybe find a begging audio person that is just starting out and maybe give you some help and team up with you.

Good luck in your project


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Michael Mejido
Re: wireless mike for use with DVX100
on Apr 5, 2006 at 1:13:55 pm

as of right now i'm leaning towards something more expensive... possibly the sennheiser g2 100 series.

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