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Looking for cheap and good lav mics

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Yang Tong
Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 13, 2013 at 7:05:07 pm

Well I'm starting a short documentary soon and currently I have a camera that has no audio jack at all. I'm buying a Zoom H1 and using the power of synching off-street interviews with Zoom H1, but right now I need a lav mic that can do the job with quality audio but at the same time inexpensive. The lav mic is for sit down interviews while I use Zoom H1 for random encounter interviews.

I heard that Audio Technica ATR 3350 is good, but I'm not sure I need more suggestions out there if any.

Thank you.


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Craig Alan
Re: Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 16, 2013 at 6:41:19 pm

Though I have no experience with the one below, from other end users, I would say it is a good starting point:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/49318-REG/Sony_ECM44B_ECM_44B_Omni_Di...

Don't go too cheap on sound gear. You'll regret it.

Also from just reading: the H1 provides "plug in power" but not true phantom power - so make sure any mike you buy is compatible with this device including getting the sound to both channels - the right interconnect.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Richard Crowley
Re: Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 17, 2013 at 2:54:35 pm

Yes, the ATR 3350 is probably a decent mic for your application. Note that a higher-end, XLR mic like the one suggested by Mr. Alan will not work directly with the X1 as it does not have XLR inputs. You could use an adapter, but that would make it even more clunky.

I'm a big Sony fanboy, but that rather old ECM44 design is battery-powered only and the battery case/XLR connector is almost as big as your X1 recorder.

If you wanted a bit higher-end, something from Naiant or Oscar Sound Tech might be worth investigation.

http://www.naiant.com/naiant/microphones.html

http://oscarsoundtech.com/


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Craig Alan
Re: Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 17, 2013 at 5:24:50 pm

Richard. I was just trying to come up with one that was battery powered and decent. Is there one that would benefit from "plug in" power that would help him out?

I have a Sony wireless kit that came with a lav and I have to say I'm surprised it's not mentioned more in the G3 conversations. It was about the same price point and holds its own.

When you say an adapter -- why not just an xlr to miniplug cable?

The other brands you recommend need the xlr/power supply connector too. Right?

But back to your first point - the ATR 3350 is mono. And at such a low price point, is it really decent?

FYI: Richard is way more knowledgeable about this stuff than I am and I'm always looking for affordable solutions because I get asked this stuff all the time.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Yang Tong
Re: Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 19, 2013 at 12:42:00 am

Thanks for responding you guy's suggestions, but during that time I was doing a little bit more research and found out bout the Giant Squid Lav Mic that sells for $40 and $6 for S&H. There's a clip online to show it's quality when plugged into the Zoom H1 and sounds quite nice. What are your guys thoughts on this?


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Craig Alan
Re: Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 19, 2013 at 1:34:33 am

I listened to the clip on-line. Was not impressed. I would spend a bit more. If my suggestion is dated and not quite the right fit then for sure there is one that is. But I would think in that price range. For a documentary heavy on interviews it is more than 1/2 your production. I have also found that more expensive audio gear tends to last longer. I don't know how long your doc is but if i have to listen for longer than a few minutes to sound that is noisy, or hollow or thin it just starts to get on your nerves. If the sound is natural and intimate it draws you in. Here's another thought: since interviews are not a drama, there really is no need to hide the microphone. For less than a good lav you can get a quality dynamic hand-held. But granted you do see the mike that way. Depends on the type of interview. I like the Huell Howser approach to subjects. But it depends on the style you're after. You are going up to people on the street and using your recorder as a handheld. Remember in a noisy environment you need to get very close to the source.

MacPro4,1 2.66GHz 8 core 12gigs of ram. GPU: Nvidia Geoforce GT120 with Vram 512. OS X 10.6.x; Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170, Sony Z7U, Canon HV30/40, Sony vx2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Michael Martin
Re: Looking for cheap and good lav mics
on Feb 25, 2013 at 5:09:40 pm

+1 on Oscar Sound Tech. I own 5 of the TL-40 and 1 of the 801's, for around $120 each they're a great deal and they blend well with a boom, given the right situation.

-Michael Martin
Martin Media Company LLC
Location Sound/Audio Post Production/Sound Design


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