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Phillip Taylor
Wireless Systems
on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:41:43 am

I need to purchase a wireless audio system for use in video production. I need some help in selecting a system. I have between $500 and $600 to spend but I want very good audio. Is that possible and what systems are ones that I should be looking at?


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Peter Groom
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:26:05 am

How many channels are you wanting for the money?
Peter

Dubbing mixer

Peter


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Sam Mallery
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jun 30, 2009 at 3:59:13 pm

Sennheiser EW100 system is $500. It's the only way to go in that pricerange.

I just bought a pair of Lectrosonics 100 Series. They are around $1100 each. I don't even have mics for them yet. I plan on buying Sanken COS-11 lav mics. They are over $300 each.

Sennheiser is good. If you "very good audio" then you have to go further.



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Michael Brown
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jun 30, 2009 at 10:39:38 pm

I second the Sennheiser. Great system for the price. If you want an upgrade to that for just a bit more, replace the Senn lav with a Countryman E6. You might can order the Senn kit with no mic, just a body pack (sometime this is called a guitar kit - same body pack, you just get a guitar adapter cable - it will work just the same with a mic plugged in) then purchase the Countryman lav with it. Make sure you get the medium sensitivity E6. The high sensitivity is worthless (shouting distorts it), and the low sensitivity won't give you enough output unless you are doing musicals.

The ultimate lav mic in my opinion is DPA. But you'll pay as much for that as you did your wireless kit - makes you nervous to let the talent ruin it!


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Michael Brown
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jun 30, 2009 at 11:39:31 pm

Or course, I meant B6 for the Countryman lav. E6 is the headworn model.


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Ty Ford
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 1, 2009 at 12:47:20 pm

Hello Phillip and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Sorry for the reality check, but you should be looking at your checking account; maybe buy a lottery ticket. Really good wireless audio doesn't happen at $500-$600 per set.

The best wireless audio I have heard (and I review gear for a living) is the Audio Ltd. 2040 with a Sanken COS-11 lav. That'll run you around $5k per set. For a listen, check out the files in the Audio Ltd folder on my site here. http://idisk.mac.com/tyreeford-Public/Audio?view=web
The range of the Audio Ltd is also the biggest I have measured.

Following that are Lectrosonics and Zaxcom. They run around $2500 to around $4k.

The Sennheiser G series, at about $600 are entry level for pro work. Replacing the stock mic with a better one (add $300-$400) and you'll improve the sound. I think the new G3 series comes with the MKE2 mic which is supposed to be better than the ME2.

Regards,

Ty Ford



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






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Tom Maloney
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 4, 2009 at 11:14:43 am

Just to add to everyone's post, All good and correct info. I moved to audio from camera about 15 years ago and learned the hard way you get what you pay for. Steping up to the Lectros made a huge difference in my work. also I think an assortment of lavs is good to have. Having a side addressed or end addressed does make a difference. Also you might consider hiring an audio person for your shoots, you can see and hear the difference in gear before investing. I know $500 to $600 seems like a big investment but it really in not. Think what you paid for your camera. Purchasing good audio equiptment will also last a long time , the gear does not really change as fast as cameras.

Best regards,
Tom


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Phillip Taylor
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 9, 2009 at 5:09:58 pm

Well needless to say I am disappointed in the answers to my original questions. I guess I live in a different world. The costs you have each associated with different systems are not only beyond my reach, they are excessive for most any videographer. Perhaps not those working with broadcast news etc, but for the average videographer (I include myself) working on such things as documentaries these kind of costs, $5000.00 wireless syetems, are way out of line, at least from my perspective. Now......I have viewed video which have been produced using various wireless systems,Shure, Sampson, Sennheiser and more, videos that in my opinion have excellent sound.
But it seems this forum and its response team has their head far above the clouds of average and normal in favor of reaching some level of unprecedented sound quality........regardless of marginal improvemnts in sound from the clouds below. Now I know you might say the improvement in sound will be extrordinary, but I tend to believe you have been discussing state of the art "wants" rather than realistic "needs."
You stated "I know $500 to $600 seems like a big investment but it really is not. Think what you paid for your camera." Well I do have a lot invested in cameras and other equipment, more than I would have liked to have spent. But this crazyness of exorbitant prices for equipment that gains marginal quality is just nonsense. The rush to HDV for example is in my opinion, a ploy by manufacturers to expand earning potentials. The quality of viewing for the consumer is not much better over SD. I'll point out one example related to HDV vs SD. I have among other cameras a JVC GYX2B and a JVC DV500. I also have a Canon XH A1 HDV. Now I have taken both the GYX2B and the DV 500 and used them in recording directly to a laptop.......out door documentary stuff that I also shot with my Canon in HDV. Being very careful with lighting and camera settings, the JVC cameras produced video competitive with the HDV shot. Now there is a difference between them but not a difference recognizable by a lay person. My point is there is a lot of waste in this business, associated with the cost of equipment and the hype about the gain in quality of product. Thanks for all of your responses but I guess I'll have to look for more advice in other circles.


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Ty Ford
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 9, 2009 at 5:25:27 pm

[Phillip Taylor] "But it seems this forum and its response team has their head far above the clouds of average and normal in favor of reaching some level of unprecedented sound quality........regardless of marginal improvemnts in sound from the clouds below. Now I know you might say the improvement in sound will be extrordinary, but I tend to believe you have been discussing state of the art "wants" rather than realistic "needs." "

Hey there Phillip,

Our heads are anywhere but "far above the clouds." They are in the trenches -- every day. The others who offered their help and experience are not so formal as a response team, but they did provide you good information.

We know what works and what doesn't and why. That this may disappoint you is regrettable. It sometimes happens when you tell someone something other than what they want to hear.

Regardless, we appreciate that you took your time to contact the Cow Audio Forum forum for assistance and wish you the best in finding a satisfactory "happy ending" to your audio situation. Please do consider enriching us by coming back to let us know what you found and how well that worked for you.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Tom Maloney
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 10, 2009 at 12:36:44 pm

Philip , sorry you took my post the wrong way. I was just trying to save you the grief and bumpy road I have been down over the years.

Sure a $500 - $600 system can get you by on a shoot most of the time. It did for me, until I am shooting the president of a local hospital in front of 3000 plus and it bit me with dropouts. Or shooting the CEO of a fortune 500 company and he turns slightly from the podium and he voice fades. After a couple of these I decided never again. Of course any wireless can have troubles at any time, but bettering the system lowers the odds IMO.

In a staged shoot I have the liberty to ask for retakes if I question the audio, but in a live shoot I have one chance to get it right, and I do everything possible to make sure I get it.

One thing I have learned from shooting video over the years is if it can go wrong it will.

Good luck, again I don't think anyone here is trying to do any thing here but help you out

Later
Tom



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Ty Ford
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 10, 2009 at 1:18:08 pm

Tom,

Phillip stipulated in his first post that he wanted "very good audio." That set everyone's threshold for the suggestions they made, yours included.

I recall becoming light-headed when I found out what a good tripod and head would cost. Here in the Cow Audio Forum, the messenger has been roughed up a bit before when the truth is told. The skin thickens with each experience. I hope you were not offended by his reply.

Thanks so much for lending your time and brain cells.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Archie Cruz
Re: Wireless Systems
on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:03:02 am

Ouch! The perennial problem of semantics on forums. Should be a title to my next book.
I note that the title of this sub-forum is :"Audio Professionals" . Though rookie in Video and even greener in audio, my past professional experience in another field, causes me to underscore what several have stated with regard to capture quality. In professional circumstances, Price is no object is justifiably at the top of the pecking order. Grand Cuvee is not obtainable at ginger ale prices. Obviously, there's a gradient below "best of breed". The problem lies in the semantics of "Good" versus better or less than "good". This issue is perennial on the forums- all of them!
So If you mean "good enough for weddings on DVD" then say so. Good enough for accompaniment of Broadcast caliber HD is a different level of "Good" altogether.
Documentaries span the range from home movies to those intended for the Silver Screen and then the Oscars.
Big Budget film making is that for reason, there's no skimping on quality.


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