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Allan Les
lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 1:15:30 am

Hello,

First post!
Anyway I have a camcorder with 3 pin female xlr input connections. I needed a lavalier mic and accidentally ordered the wrong kind. I got a mic with mini female connectors instead of regular xlr male connectors.
So I ordered a adapter (with both sides male, one side mini xlr and other side regular xlr. After connecting it all it will not pick up sound. When I stick the mic in just a bit and wiggle it around it picks up sound from me blowing on it.
I know the camera's xlr inputs work because a shotgun mic I have works fine. On the mic's description page it says "Compatible with Akg, Gemini, Samson, Audix Wireless Microphone System" but its wired. Do I need one of those wireless systems?
Anything I can do? Am I going about this wrong or would this setup simply not work?

Here is the mic I got. Here is the xlr adapter.


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 3:38:11 am

Hello Allan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Perhaps, as stated, that mic will work with the advertised wireless systems. I'm not familiar with the adapter you chose, but it's missing a power supply. Were I you, I'd send both pieces back and order something proper.

This AT is a good buy and included the power module:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/68267-REG/Audio_Technica_MT830R_MT830...

The Countryman EMW and B6 are very good.
The Sanken COS 11 is also a winner
The Sony ECM 88b, also fine.

Just make sure you buy versions with the powering module.

Regards,

Ty Ford








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Allan Les
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 6:27:42 am

Hey Ty,

I'm new to all this. I didn't realize I needed the power module. I'm looking at the Audio-Technica you suggested. Could you break down how this would work? Lav mic connects to the power module, then a cord from the power module goes to the camera with an xlr connection and I'm good to go? Do I have that right?

BTW my camera provides +48V phantom power. Not sure if that's useful info.

-Allan


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 3:29:12 pm

Hey Allan,

Yup. You got it right and, yes, the power module takes your camera's phantom power.

Don't feel too bad. I remember having the exact same thoughts years ago when I first encountered this.

Another thing that confuses some people is the Sennheiser modular boom mics. You can buy different capsules for them, but they all require the power supply. Some folks have ordered just the capsule trying to save a few bucks thinking that their phantom supply would take care of the power. not quite!

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Allan Les
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 3:33:33 pm

Thanks for the help. Now off to purchase a new mic/power supply.


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 3:40:43 pm

Allan,

The countryman B6 is absolutely the smallest lav I know. If your shooting depends on not seeing the mic on the talent, this is the best mic. I own two. Countryman sells it with a "link" (a pair of end to end connectors in the cable) so you can unplug it at the link and plug the mic into your wireless transmitter, or just connect into the power supply and go hard wired.

If you already have a wireless body pack transmitter, you need to make sure you get the correct connectors for the link.

The place you buy it from needs to know this, or you can call countryman direct and have them guide you.

Regards,

Ty

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Richard Crowley
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 21, 2010 at 5:42:01 am

No, it is not likely that it will work. It is not just the connector type or gender that is the issue. If it were, then your adapter wold do the trick.

The problem is that lav mics that are configured for plugging in to wireless mic transmitters use a completely different scheme for powering the mic than the XLR kind use. Wireless mic transmitters use low voltage batteries and electret mic capsules generally need only a low power voltage. Wireless transmitters take advantage of this combination and provide only a few volts on that connector.

But standard mic preamp inputs that use the full-size XLR connector use the "P48" phantom power standard. This puts up to 48V on the balanced signal pins. Standard microphones are designed to use this voltage. But if you apply that kind of voltage directly to an electret lav mic capsule, it will almost certainly be ruined in milliseconds. NOT recommended.

There are proper adapters for this kind of combination. Not cheap.


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Jordan Wolf
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 23, 2010 at 6:00:56 am

Ty Ford - "Were I you, I'd send both pieces back and order something proper."

I completely agree with Ty. You need to get your money back and invest it in something that will work for you.

Basically, they microphone requires a small amount of electricity to work. The adapter your bought does not have the circuitry to provide the element with said power, and that is why it only gives you audio when you're right up on the mic and/or the gain is cranked all the way up.

The reason it only works with the wireless systems mentioned is because there are different pin-outs used by manufacturers when building their gear. If the pins don't match, power and signal will be applied to the appropriate pins, etc.

Stick with a wired microphone unless you need the freedom of movement that wireless allows. You'll want to look at the Sennheiser ew100G3 series as the absolute lowest you can spend (it only goes up from there!). With wireless, you absolutely get what you pay for.

Look for some used Sony wired lavs...I'm sure there are some floating around on eBay, etc,

Wolf
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John Fishback
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 24, 2010 at 8:26:48 pm

This is a bit off-topic, but have any of you worked with Voice Technologies lavs? A soundman I hired a while back used them, and at the time I thought they sounded great.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 24, 2010 at 9:15:48 pm

John,

I have. They used to (may still) make the mics that came with Lectro, and a paddle style lav for AT.

Regards,

Ty Ford


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John Fishback
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 25, 2010 at 3:02:29 pm

Ty, how do they compare to your favorites?

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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Ty Ford
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 25, 2010 at 3:47:47 pm

John,

I called the US distributor for Voice Technologies yesterday as a result of this thread.

He said VT may use the same source for it's mics or capsules that AT does, but the mics are not the same. They don't look the same.

I did hear from one person that he thought those particular AT mics distorted more easily. That sounds like a headroom problem. I don't work in many situation in which there's a lot of screaming talent, so I may not have been exposed to the problem. So much if it has to do with what transmitter the lav is plugged into. There's a lot of engineering juju in the mic/xmitter circuitries. The AT lav sounds very good going into the AT U 100 I have. The pin outs are the same as earlier lectro, but the juju is different, so it's tough to say.

The best lav/wireless audio I've heard so far has been on an Audio Ltd. 2040 with a Sanken COS-11.

You can hear what that sounds like by downloading a couple of clips from my online server. (http://public.me.com/tyreeford)

Look in the Audio folder for a folder called AudioLtd2040 and SD 744T. There are two files, bit recorded to my 744T. One of me walking around and talking and the other with the mic wrapped around one of my mic stands while I play acoustic guitar into it.

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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John Fishback
Re: lavalier mic with xlr connection (can't get it to work)
on May 25, 2010 at 3:51:52 pm

Thanks, Ty. That's good to know.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.2, Motion 4.0.2, Comp 3.5.2, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.2)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO & 192 Digital I/O, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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