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Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking

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Khashyar Darvich
Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking
on Nov 12, 2009 at 1:41:04 am

Hello Everyone,

I am a documentary filmmaker, and will be using cameras that have XLR inputs.

I have been reading the threads here in the audio section, and am leaning towards the Sennheiser G3 wireless lav mic.

My understanding, from looking at the BH Video website, is that the Sennheiser G3 does not have an XLR jack.

Thank you for your help with these questions regarding a wireless lav mic:

1) Would I need to buy a 1/8 inch to XLR adapter to use the G3 for a video camera that has an XLR input? Is there a version of the G3 that has an XLR output connection?

2) Since this wireless mic will be for documentary filmmaking situations, do you believe that the Sennheiser G3 would be the best choice for a variety of outdoor and indoor situations? I want to spend about $600.

3) Is the frequency range of the G3 good for filming within cities that have more crowded and dense frequency signals?

Thank you for your thoughts and advice.


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Bob Cole
Re: Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking
on Nov 12, 2009 at 3:25:06 am

1. It probably comes with a short 1/8" to XLR cable.
2. Maybe, maybe not. It takes time to rig a wireless, and a wireless lav will record sound that is close to it much more than other sound, so it works best if you are following one person, but not so well if you are in a fluid situation with several people. Unless hidden, the supplied mic will be more visible to the camera than some other brands. Personally, I'd buy a good on-camera hyper-cardioid mic and mic holder first.
3. This requires some research online with your specific location information. You'll have to choose a frequency range anyway when you select your G3.

Good luck. It's a nice little system, relatively inexpensive, not the best quality but surprisingly decent imho.

Bob C


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Jordan Wolf
Re: Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking
on Nov 12, 2009 at 3:36:59 am

1. Yes, the G3 will come with the appropriate adapter cable for use with 3-pin XLR connectors found on pro cameras and audio mixers/recorders.

2. Are you located (or at least filming) in the United States? I would say that it would be fine if the microphone fits your use. If you are shooting one person, then it should be fine. If more than one, then you'll need another solution.

3. First, realize that anytime you utilize a wireless device, you are subject to whatever OTHER RF is in the area already. Digital Television and the like are all operating on frequencies that were not in use before. You would do well to use Sennheiser's Frequency Locater for the areas you'll be in and also know how to adjust things in the field when you realize you're taking hits. Line-of-sight also plays a big part in RF signal strength.

Wolf
<><


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Joel Servetz
Re: Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking
on Nov 12, 2009 at 4:44:16 am

My experience, which ranges from Central American Rainforests to skyscraper construction sites to cardiac operating rooms is that a good frequency agile, true diversity system is your best bet. I have in the past used the Azden 500UDR and Shure UP-4 receivers with their associated beltpak and handheld or plug-on transmitters with excellent results. The entire frequency spectrum has been re-configured by the FCC and those mics. in the 698 - 804 Mhz. range are now illegal. The new 1800 Series from Audio Technica is a good bet, I just bought a combo with beltpack and plug-on, and comes in a variety of outfits. Check the B&H website. The combo system I bought, the ATW-1813D will cost $697.00. It comes with a lav mic and XLR output cable. Supply any decent handheld or shotgun mic. in your inventory for the plug-on and you'll have a very versatile high quality outfit.

Joel Servetz
RGB Media Services, LLC
Sarasota, Fl
videobyjoel@aol.com


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Sam Mallery
Re: Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking
on Nov 12, 2009 at 4:20:55 pm

1) What Jordan said

2) For outdoor use you should get some kind of Rycote windshield:
http://www.rycote.com/products/families/personal-microphone-solutions/
I use Rycote Lavalier Windjammers. Just using the metal windscreen that comes with the Sennheiser isn't enough for outdoor use. You just have to be careful not to lose the little windjammers.

3) If you take a little time and learn how to use the frequency scanner that's built into the G2 and G3, you should be fine. I would buy the A frequency as opposed to the B frequency. Why? Both frequencies have some room for wireless mics, but the A frequency is lower and it seems like the future of wireless audio is going to be lower frequencies.





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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Best wireless lav mic with XLR audio output for documentary filmmaking
on Nov 12, 2009 at 8:21:48 pm

Thank you very much for all of your thoughts and suggestions.

A few hours after posting, I spoke with a sound person who had worked on one of my projects in the past, and you confirmed much of what he said.

He mentioned that the 500 "A" frequency range is best, as well as that the G3 comes with an 1/8" to XLR adapter (I didn't realize this, since I have a wired lav and a Sennheiser boom mic, which both have a wired XLR connection without an adapter).

Thank you very much for all of your thoughts and feedback.

Khashyar



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Khashyar Darvich
Re: ME-66 as a good companion for the G3?
on Nov 12, 2009 at 8:32:26 pm

Thank you again for all of your helpful advice and feedback.

I already have a Sennheiser ME-66 boom mic (with a pistol grip and windscreen). We have been using it for a few years without any noticeable issues.

Have you ever used the ME-66? If so, are you happy with it?

Thank you again.

Khashyar






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Jordan Wolf
Re: ME-66 as a good companion for the G3?
on Nov 12, 2009 at 9:19:00 pm

I used it a lot before my university bought some Rode NTG-2s and a Sennheiser MKH46 (sp?). I think they're alright, but they have their limitations, as a shotgun microphone. Use what you've got and upgrade as you get the money and experience to do so.

Wolf
<><


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Ty Ford
Re: ME-66 as a good companion for the G3?
on Nov 14, 2009 at 1:45:49 pm

Hello Khashyar and welcome to the Cow AUdio Forum.

You have received some solid advice here form everyone. The ME66 is a good mic, but student grade. As you up grade, get your ears on a Sennheiser MKH 60 or Schoeps CMIT shotgun for boom work in non-reflective spaces and a Schoeps cmc641 for interior boom work.

You don't mention a mixer. Are you going straight from mic to camera?

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Khashyar Darvich
Re: ME-66 as a good companion for the G3?
on Nov 15, 2009 at 10:09:44 pm

Thank you Jordan and Ty, both, for your thoughts.

Ty... Yes, in most cases, I was thinking of having the mics go directly into the camera (without going through a mixer first).

It looks like we will need to purchase some new boom mics as well.

Thank you again,

Khashyar



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Ty Ford
Re: ME-66 as a good companion for the G3?
on Nov 16, 2009 at 5:11:12 am

Hello Khashyar,

While it's simpler without a mixer between mic and camera, a good mixer, like the Sound Devices 302 brings a lot to the party.

Mixers are more than knobs that let you vary the volume.

1. They let you vary volumes without shaking the camera or getting in the way of the camera op.
2. You may need to do that a lot with some people. I ride gain even if one person is talking if their voice fades on the end of each line. You can only do this in a relatively quiet environment, otherwise you bring up the ambient noise.
3. Mixer preamps (good ones) sound better than camera preamps.
4. Good mixers have input transformers that scrape off RF before it get into your audio.
5. Good mixers have limiters that allow you to record hotter, keeping your audio further above the noise floor without distorting.
6. Good limtiers have EQ that lets you roll of LF HVAC noise before it gets into your audio.
7. Good mixers have mulitple outputs so you can feed more than one camera, or separate recorder simultaneously.
8. Good mixers make your sound better. If they didn't pros wouldn't use them.


Regards,

Ty Ford
_________________

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






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Khashyar Darvich
Re: ME-66 as a good companion for the G3?
on Nov 17, 2009 at 5:59:31 am

Thank you for your detailed helpful information.

Khashyar



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