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Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?

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Ryan Stille
Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Dec 18, 2012 at 2:54:57 am

I'm looking for a wireless mic. I volunteer to record technical presentations around town and then post the videos online. I'm trying to spend as little as possible, I do this as a community service and it's all out of my own pocket.

I ordered a Audio Technica PRO88W-R35 from Amazon but am sending it back because the signal got staticy when my presenter moved around (I was only 20 feet away).

So I guess I need to spend a little more than that. I'm looking at two UHF systems that are priced around $200.
A Nady VR-3U and a Sampson UM1. The Nady has a 3.5mm output and will connect right to my camcorder (A Canon HF100). The Samson has a balanced XLR output. I found a version of this system for $20 more that includes a mini-xlr to 3.5mm cable. The samson unit seems nicer, it has a diversity receiver, I don't think the Nady does.

But I thought you needed more than a simple cable to go from XLR to 3.5mm, isn't the impedance different?

I only need something that will go probably 30 feet max. But I need it to be clear if the speaker paces back and forth a little.

Thanks for any advice. And if you have a used system you want to get rid of, please contact me. :-)


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Richard Crowley
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Dec 18, 2012 at 3:33:28 am

The general consensus is that no wireless microphone kit (mic, transmitter, and receiver) is worth the money unless you spend over US$500-600. Anything less than that is a fiddly, unreliable, plastic toy that you will regret sooner or later. You appear to have already done the experiment for yourself. Some of us have a box in the basement full of toy plastic wireless kit that was a complete waste of $$$.

Once you have a decent wireless kit, arranging the cabling from the receiver to your camcorder is the least of your worries.


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Ty Ford
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Dec 18, 2012 at 8:07:55 pm

Hello Ryan and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.

Without knowing the cause of your static, it's a little difficult to suggest help. Sometimes poor mic placement is blamed on bad reception. Sometimes if the speaker is wearing a smart phone, even if it's on standby, range can be negatively effected.

The AT mic is a mono mic. The 3.5mm mic input on your camera is a stereo input. The are not physically compatible. This could also have caused static. How did you connect them?

The impedance thing is not an issue here. Correct plumbing (which could be a simple cable) is.

Sampson and Nady have never impressed me with their wireless. The AT might actually have been working correctly. If not I'd skip the others and go to a Sennheiser G3.

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Ryan Stille
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 4:41:01 am

Hello Ty. Yes it's a mono mic but it outputs that signal on both channels of a stereo plug. So my camera was recording the audio on both L & R channels.

I'm a ham radio operator, so I know static when I hear it. :-) This wasn't microphone noise, it was the signal dropping out.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will keep an eye on Ebay and see if I can get some older, better equipment in my price range.


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Ty Ford
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 2:10:22 pm

Ryan,

Ah, yes, well when can I expect a QSL card? :)

OK then, as a Ham, you know about frequencies. Wireless mics operate on either VHF or UHF. Provided no one or nothing else is there to interfere, you're fine. As you may know, VHF may travel a bit farther than UHF due to its longer wavelength.

I've had the interference from a smartphone on the hip of a speaker take my range down to less than a foot. Without a site survey, it's difficult to tell what other frequencies are in operation. I've been in venues where my wireless wasn't working, only to find the house system was left on and its gear was destructively competing with mine.

Antenna orientation is sometimes an issue, which is why diversity antennae and dual receivers were invented. I also move my receiver as close to the talent as possible and cable back to my mixer, or in your case camera. Probably not Ideal for you if your receiver only has an unbalanced output due to the increased potential for interference.

Again, impedance is usually not a problem. In today's gear, as long as the output impedance of the mic or wireless receiver is below that of the input impedance of the preamp or camera and most are.
The old days of 600 Ohm to 600 Ohm Telco are over. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader


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


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Richard Crowley
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Dec 19, 2012 at 3:31:38 pm

If you understand RF propagation, you know that deploying the TX and RX antennas adequately is often a cause of poor performance. Folding the flexible wire over against the TX case or burying the RX antenna among a bunch of cable greatly reduces the effective range. And cheaper units have lower TX power, and less sensitive and less selective RX front-ends.


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Ryan Stille
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Jan 19, 2013 at 4:16:33 pm

I thought I would follow up. I pursued used Sennheiser G3 systems on Ebay for a while, but they are just out of my price range.

So I ended up buying a Tascam DR-05 and an Olympus ME-15 lavalier microphone. I will place the Tascam either on the presentation table, or perhaps even strap it to the presenter so they can walk around. This frees me up to place the camera anywhere, and then I will join the audio in post.

I do have a question about the settings on the Tascam, but I'll post a separate thread about that. Thanks again for your input.


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Ty Ford
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Jan 19, 2013 at 4:23:04 pm

Ryan,

Prepare to be disenchanted with the outcome. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford
Cow Audio Forum Leader

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


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Ryan Stille
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Jan 26, 2013 at 10:27:08 pm

I think it turned out pretty good. Here's a sample:







I think this is a good solution for someone who can't afford a wireless mic, but it does take some additional workto sync up the audio in post.


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Andres Paredes
Re: Suggestions on these two wireless mics. Also can I connect XLR output to a 3.5mm camcorder input?
on Aug 5, 2013 at 8:36:55 pm

Hi, I have a Sampson UM1, If you set up gain correctly you should go fine, I use it for interviews, weddings, etc.


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