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Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder

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Sebastian Alvarez
Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 9, 2010 at 8:50:11 pm

I'm looking for a lavalier microphone to use with my Zoom H2 recorder. My budget doesn't allow me to go past $100, and it would be great if I could get by for now with one half as much. I was thinking about the Lectrosonics M119MN, which is omnidirectional and has an angled connector, which would be great to connect it to the H2 and prevent an accidental disconnection.

However, doing some tests with a few different microphones I think that the Zoom H2 might require a self powered mic. While monitoring with headphones, I plugged in an external mic from a Sony video camera and it didn't give me any sound at all. I plugged the same mic into the computer's mic input and once I raise the input level and output volume to the maximum, I can hear the pickup from the microphone, but barely. This microphone works perfectly fine when connected to its camera, so I assume this must be a very low power type of microphone. Another external microphone I have, an Azden that is self powered with a AAA battery, picks up audio perfect when connected to the Zoom H2 or the computer, so from this I think the Zoom H2 might require a powered mic, which is a problem because I would use this for wedding videography, such as placing the lavalier mic on the groom and the H2 inside his pocket. Obviously I don't want to bother the groom with two different bulky devices inside one pocket.

Since I'm not very educated in microphones, I thought I would ask here first. Is there any technical spec that I should look for specifically when buying a microphone for this purpose, both in the microphone specs and in the H2 specs?

Are there any lavalier microphones that would work with a digital recorder, without needing another device to power it?

Sebastian R. Alvarez


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Ty Ford
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 3:40:30 am

Hello Sebastian and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Good lavs cost more than $100.

I'm guessing the Sony camera input supplies the proper power. Without it, you'll get no or a very low level. Not a mic problem, but a mic powering problem you have there.

There may be some older dynamic lavs that don't require power, but they will be of low sensitivity and the H2 may not have that amount of clean gain. There are many lavs with AA powered modules, but you said you don't want that. The dynamic lavs I know of have XLR connectors. They are professional gear.

Stay away from Azden if you value your reputation.

I don't know of a lav that doesn't require power or that has enough sensitivity to work with the preamps in an H2..

Regards,

Ty Ford

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






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Sebastian Alvarez
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 5:53:23 pm

Thanks for the advice. There is one powered lavalier mic by Audio Technica with a design that is suitable for my use, the ATR3350. It's powered but the power unit is very small so it could fit well in a pocket along with the Zoom H2. However, at $25, I assume it must not be even decent quality. But I kept looking for similar higher priced alternatives and I don't see anything with that design, so I might give it a try.

However, I was also thinking, what about getting another pocket digital recorder with a mic input that will work fine with standard lavalier mics, such as the Lectrosonics that I was planning on buying? Are there small digital recorders with a mic gain high enough to work with standard lavaliers? If so, which ones do you recommend that are low priced?

Sebastian R. Alvarez


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Ty Ford
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 6:25:38 pm

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/446847-REG/Sony_MZ_M200_MZ_M200_Hi_MD...

Has it's own stere clip on mic. A little fussy, but otherwise inconspicuous.

Ty Ford

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






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Sebastian Alvarez
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 6:30:59 pm

Looks nice, but too expensive for me right now and I don't like the MD format, I would prefer to stay in the SDHC card format.

Sebastian R. Alvarez


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Ty Ford
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 6:35:37 pm

::sigh:: did you bother to read far enough to see it records wav files?

Ty Ford

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






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Sebastian Alvarez
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 7:00:20 pm

No, but I meant I'm not interested in the Minidisc format whether it records to ATRAC or PCM, my Zoom H2 records to WAV as well and not only 44.1 Khz like this Sony, it can go up to 96 Khz and 24 bit, not that I ever use that much.

Basically if I could find a recorder like the Zoom H2 but that worked with standard lavalier mics I'd be happy.

Sebastian R. Alvarez


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Ty Ford
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 10, 2010 at 7:03:21 pm

Right. Please do let us know if you find one that actually works in that application.

Ty Ford

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






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Sam Mallery
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 11, 2010 at 1:59:23 pm

Some consumer microphones require a little charge from the microphone input. It's the consumer version of phantom power, except in the consumer world you never concern yourself with turning it on and off. It's called "Plug In Power." I assume that the Sony microphone you have requires plug in power, and that the H2 does not supply it. That's too bad because Sony makes a decent consumer lav called the ECM-CS10 that would solve your problem.

Buying that Lectrosonics lav microphone is a bad idea. Any professional microphone that's designed to be plugged into a wireless transmitter typically will not be compatible with consumer microphone inputs. Lectrosonic lavalier microphones aren't very great sounding anyhow. They make some of the best wireless systems, however the lav microphones themselves are not the best. 99.9% of people who own Lectrosonics wireless systems use third party microphones like Sanken and Countryman.

I wouldn't be comfortable putting that Audio Technica mic on a groom. It looks cheap and unreliable. You could get the Sony ECM-719. It's a Sony stereo "lav" that runs on a battery, however, it's a little too bulky and amateur looking for doing weddings.

I think your best bet is to get a different portable digital recorder. You need one with a mini-plug microphone input that supplies plug in power. Unfortunately, that's not a spec that comes up very often, and I don't know which models do and do not have it. However, I'd be willing to bet a box of fresh donuts that the Sony PCM-M10 does. Get one of those, and get the Sony ECM-CS10 lavalier to go with it and you'll be golden. The two of those together will cost you $240, but you'll be able to mic your groom with confidence.

http://www.sam-mallery.com


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Sebastian Alvarez
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Aug 12, 2010 at 11:15:03 pm

Actually I just found out that the H2 has plug-in power, but it has to be turned on from the menu. The catch is that it works only for stereo microphones, if you plug in a mono microphone nothing happens. So hopefully, if it exists, I'll find a lavalier stereo mic.

Sebastian R. Alvarez


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david payne
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Sep 14, 2010 at 8:16:56 am

Did you have any luck finding a decent lav mic to work with the H2?



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Chris Pulleyn
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Oct 26, 2010 at 4:08:42 pm

FYI
Found this string while looking to do the same thing.

I have to send an inexperienced person out with a Handycam (quick and light travel the must in this case) to shoot a "quick n dirty" low budget podcast quality interview.

I have tested it and decided to send him off with an H2, with the power setting turned ON! (good call Sebastien, I'd never have looked) and Low or Mid gain and a lav that came with a Sennheiser SKP100 radio pack.
I'll then sync over the voice and hope to get a better result than the built-in.

I know this will make the hardened Pros wince a bit but some people don't always have the budgets to cover the best kit straight away.

Best to all

CP


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Robert Rowen
Re: Lavalier microphone to use with Zoom H2 recorder
on Mar 29, 2011 at 2:35:13 am

H2 "works only with stereo microphones"? Simply not true.

I've recorded hundreds of hours of lectures with a variety of mono lavaliers; I find the Giant Squid lapel mics an especially great value (see http://www.giant-squid-audio-lab.com/gs/gs-mono.html)

And yes, the H2's built-in mics are unusually good.


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