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Wireless Shotgun microphone

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Donovan Werts
Wireless Shotgun microphone
on Mar 1, 2009 at 9:39:28 pm

Hi, I have a wireless mic, transmitter/receiver set-up for my video camera (link below for reference). My goal is to attach a shotgun microphone and transmit wirelessly to my video camera

I'm using the small clip on microphone that came with the transmitter. It has an 1/8 mini plug. Would it work to attach a shotgun microphone (with the same type of mini plug) to the transmitter and receive good audio? I understand that the quality of the shotgun mic will matter, but I was wondering if it would work as far as the shotgun mic having some power (it's battery operated) going into the wireless transmitter, when the little clip-on mic sends out no power.

Thanks in advance for any advice, Donovan

Here's a link for what I have now
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/564527-REG/Azden_305LT_305LT_Portable...


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Wireless Shotgun microphone
on Mar 1, 2009 at 11:49:50 pm

I can give you a couple of pointers.

1. Most lavalier mics require a bias voltage to charge the diaphragm. It's not much, usually (like 6VDC). You would need an XLR-1/8" cable that has been made with resistors/capacitors so that the DC voltage can't pass into the mic and cause hum. See here for what we use.

2. Does your shotgun mic have the ability to be battery-powered? If not, then you need another solution.

I have successfully used Sennheiser transmitters (the type you see on ENG mics in the field) to do what you are talking about.

Good luck and I hope that helps.

Wolf
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Donovan Werts
Re: Wireless Shotgun microphone
on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:56:07 am

Hi, thanks for the information. I haven't purchased the shotgun mic yet. It sounds like I'd be better off just using a xlr wire into my camera. I've seen those transmitters, but don't really need to be wireless, just thought it would be cool if I could use what I have already. When I see terms like "resistors/capacitors" my brain shuts off lol.

Donovan



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Ty Ford
Re: Wireless Shotgun microphone
on Mar 2, 2009 at 4:20:57 am

Hello Donovan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Jordan is probably correct. There may or may not be a bias voltage problem. There may or may not also be sensitivity issues between the transmitter input and mic output. Azden is not recognized as pro gear. I don't really know that much about how a particular mic might work in this situation.

Operationally, however, you are faced with a dilemma. If you're operating a wireless boom mic, how do you hear what you're doing? Given your setup, e.g. no mixer, you'd have to be plugged into the camera and that sort of defeats the wireless idea.

A better solution would be to have the boom op wear a small mixer with a headphone jack so he/she could hear where to put the mic. the transmitter would then plug into the mixer. You'd still need to have someone listening at the camera to make sure the audio got there intact. Unless you do that, you're courting disaster.

Regards,

Ty Ford




Want better production audio?: Ty Ford's Audio Bootcamp Field Guide






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Jordan Wolf
Re: Wireless Shotgun microphone
on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:48:48 am

Just today I was on a film shoot where I could've used a wireless connection (oxymoron?) for a shotgun. I bring everything to a Shure FP24 field mixer - not the best, and I wish there were more channels, but it's what the department has for us to use. In the end, I didn't end up going wireless because I could deal with being on the ground in the dirt. Wireless versatility is nice, but I gotta tell ya...I'd go with a wired option anytime over the wireless one.

I did go wireless in a large, open train station last semester. Because of the extremely wide shots, I couldn't have any wires trailing, so I stuck the ENG transmitter block on the shotgun, gave my headphones to a trusted member of the crew and situated the mic as I normally would, picturing in my head how it should sound. Apparently it turned out pretty good; there wasn't any dialogue, but the extremely reverberant room made it quite fun to get clean sound. I kid you not, there was a decay time of 8 seconds. I had to remind the actors to wait 8 seconds until after "action" because I didn't want it in the mix.

Anyways...all that to say that wireless is great, and sometimes necessary, but for now I think you should focus on building up to it. Work on the technique of capturing audio right, then move on to other ways of getting audio from one place to the next.

And as always, never, EVER stop experimenting.

Wolf
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Brian Reynolds
Re: Wireless Shotgun microphone
on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:10:36 am

The TV broadcast industry uses wireless shot gun mics on a regular basis but mainly for FX mics.
I have used them following golfers on the course fairways, Side lines of football/ soccer matches, Street Parades, Motor racing etc.
I have even used a low power (1 watt) FM transmitter at about 88mhz which will give me about 3km range with a shotgun mic for a car rally in a forest.
So all you need is a shotgun mic and a way to power it either internal battery or externally and the transmitter.
Most mic manufactures make internally powered shot gun mics of some sort.



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