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Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug

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Justin Cordes
Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug
on Oct 2, 2009 at 10:51:07 am

Hey Audio Pros...would love your best recommendation for a simple, inexpensive lavalier mic that plugs into a 3.5mm plug (1/8", 1/8th inch). Looking to mic about 4 separate people on a shoot on the cheap. I'm going to use this mic with a Zoom H2, ala double system, so each person will have one lav and one H2 on their body. I'd be willing to spend up to $100 per mic. Also, just curious, do I risk radio interference because it's not a "grounded"? I'm assuming not because the length of the 3.5mm mic line is short, going from chest to hip where the H2 will be, 3ft or less.

This model seems decent:
http://www.videoguys.com.au/Shop/p/4395/audio-technica-at9904-mono-mini-ele...

The Zoom H2 Unit:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/480163-REG/Zoom_H2_H2_Ultra_Portable_...


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug
on Oct 5, 2009 at 3:04:41 am

From the picture provided, the microphone has a balanced connector - meaning pins for +, -, and ground.

I would assume the microphone is dynamic, as many lavalier type microphones require a bias voltage from a wireless beltpack OR can be adapted/converted for wired use via a supplied/bought external preamplifier module that will properly power the mic.

Is there any reason that you can't use a single shotgun mic just out of frame? I understand using separate microphones for each person - it gets a nice, usable signal (sometimes).

I see no problem with the Zoom H2. Make sure you put a loop in the cable of the lavalier so that it does not become microphonic and cause vibrations to be picked up by the diaphragm.

Wolf
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Robert Kennedy
Re: Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug
on Oct 9, 2009 at 11:44:38 pm

Hi Justin,

The idea of putting a lavalier mic directly into a recorder on each talent is a very good one. I wouldn't recommend using the H2 however as it does not supply any power via the microphone port. You would therefore need to use a dynamic lavalier microphone and I don't anticipate you will be happy with the sound produced by such a mic.

Additionally, you will be compensating for inevitable drift between the 4 individual units and camera since those devices do not have accurate enough clocks to prevent drift over the course of only a few minutes.

Most lavalier microphones have 2-wires, thus are not balanced. They can usually be ordered with "bare leads" or "stripped and tinned." You may (or have a professional) solder any connector you want, in your instance, 1/8". Some lavalier microphones have 3 wires but it is common practice to wire them more simply as two-wire mics. The lack of a balancing circuit (my interpretation of your term "grounded") is not a major detriment. If you literally meant "grounded" as "connected to 6 feet below the earth," I don't anticipate this would reduce interference. Choose a lavalier mic with good shielding and keep cell phones (especially GSM) and walkies away.

Audio Technica is a reliable option in the price range you mentioned. If you can choose a recorder that provides electret power at a level compatible with a mic you like, you may find success.

The audio professionals solution of what you are attempting is the Zaxcom ZFR100 for $995 which is a bodypack style recorder with a professional lavalier microphone input. It records timecode stamped audio to a miniSD card and is a great choice for extreme sports situation or other situations where talent is too far from the sound mixer to reliably receive the a transmitted signal. They also built this recording function into their 900 series wireless systems which are truly revolutionary.

If you need this for a specific project you can rent the ZFR from a place like Coffey Sound. Otherwise, if you're intent on purchasing I would suggest you consider the Zoom H4N and a hard-wired lavalier that accepts 48V phantom power via XLR. Otherwise you could opt for a Marantz PMD620 (which claims to provide mic power of some kind) and an electret lavalier mic.


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug
on Oct 10, 2009 at 11:04:19 pm

Yeah, the H2 is limited, but so is the H4n - at least by itself.

If it were me, I would put a lav on the talent and then run the receivers into a mixer. Mix the inputs accordingly and record that to the 2-track recorder.

Wolf
<><


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Justin Cordes
Re: Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug
on Oct 11, 2009 at 8:05:15 am

Robert, thanks so much for such a detailed response. That's interesting to know that the H2 would drift. I figured if it's digital it's accurate.



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Les Stuck
Re: Plz recommend best lavalier mic with 3.5mm plug
on Oct 19, 2009 at 9:58:43 pm


I just wanted to point out that the little AT 9904 mic,
according to the posted specs, is an electret condenser,
so no need for phantom. That and the H2 for about $250? Not bad!

Also, for a short cable run from mic to H2,
hum and noise probably won't be a problem,
since you are floating compared to the rest of the world.

Might be worth dealing with a little drift,
especially if the takes are short.



http://www.stuckfootage.com


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