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Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions

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Kevin Seidule
Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 13, 2013 at 12:38:01 am

Hopefully the right forum. Please direct me elsewhere if it's not.

I am looking at ordering some wireless lav mics, and the Sennheiser seem to fit the bill (?).

I can't seem to find definitive information on these, so I'd like to know the following from some experienced pros:

1. I would get a bodypack and a receiver. Can I just order another bodypack and use the same receiver for both? This is to lav 2 people at the same time. Yes, I could boom, but that's another discussion.
2. Can I get good sound into the Canon 5D Mark III (assuming not) and would it be better to use a Zoom (assuming so). I'm not interested in adding a preamp to all this, unless it REALLY makes a differece? I'm totally OK with syncing sound in post, and already do so with my wired lavs.
3. I want GREAT sound, not ok, not good.
4. So many different models. The Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 G-Band seems to be in the budget. Are there better models?
5. They have an A, B, G, etc. band models. Does it make a difference?
6. I assume the additional bodypack will have to have the same band?
7. I am looking at spending about $1000 for the 2 bodypacks and receiver, possibly an H4n with the deal. Is there some setup that you would suggest with the same bang for the buck that is better than this wireless system? Please don't suggest Azden. Nothing against them, bad experience and noisy.

Thanks in advance for any advices. The more valid info I have on this the better.

My Best,

Kevin

Best,

Kevin


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Craig Alan
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 13, 2013 at 1:53:57 am

If you want great sound not good then get really good HyperCardioid mikes on a boom or shotgun (outdoors) and a good recorder for the same price point as two g3 kits. G3 can give you good quality not great. And if you want great sound you need a mixer or mixer/recorder from sound devices.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, 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: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 13, 2013 at 3:04:13 am

1. NO, you cannot use a single receiver for two different transmitters. Unless it is a SPECIAL dual-channel receiver (NOT the same as "diversity").

2&3. "Great sound" and "DSLR" never belong in the same paragraph. There are NO DSLRs that record "great sound". For that matter, there are not even any DSLRs that record "good sound".

4. Sennheiser G3 is generally considered to be the LOWEST-price decent-quality wireless microphone. Most models are better.

5. The letters designate different frequency bands. Different frequency bands may be better or worse in various locations. Note that if you are in North America, the "700MHz band" is no longer legal for wireless microphone use. By "700MHz band" they mean between 698 and 806 MHz. In many places (especially large cities) finding a frequency that is clear of interference is a challenge, even for a few hours at a time.

6. Transmitter and receiver pairs must be on the same frequency/channel. Note that you can use multiple receivers for a single transmitter, but NOT multiple transmitters for a single receiver. Note further that when operating multiple wireless mikes, you must coordinate the frequencies so that they don't interfere with each other.

7. Your budget does not correlate with your stated requirement for "Great sound". It will be a challenge to get ONE channel of a decent wireless mic and a decent recorder within your $1K budget. And, as Mr. Alan says, the mic that comes with the Sennheiser G3 is OK, but not really "good". It would be advantageous to upgrade it when possible.

Note also that a wired microphone of the same price is ALWAYS better than a wireless. If you really want "great" sound on a budget then forget the wireless. A $15 cable is better than a $1500 wireless mic system. And $1500 is the "low-end" for professional wireless mic systems (transmitter and receiver, and then add several hundred $$$ for a decent microphone).

If I wanted a pair of lavs on a budget to produce above-average performance, I would (and HAVE) get a pair of Oscar Sound Tech OST-801 or 802 wired mics. Around $180 each.


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Craig Alan
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 13, 2013 at 5:08:15 am

Richard is correct. I edited my post. I have used two receivers with one transmitter but not the other way. But they do sell individual units of both.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Eric Toline
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 13, 2013 at 4:09:08 am

The A, B & G bands only designate different frequency blocks. Everything else is the same. Putting two transmitters on the same frequency will cause nothing but headaches as it's the RF circuits beating against each other and causing problems at the receiver.

You can get more than acceptable audio from a DSLR like a Canon 5D if you set up your feed properly. The Sennheiser ME2 mic that is included with the set is adequate nothing more. Be prepared to spend $200+ for a very good lav mic.

Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Craig Alan
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 13, 2013 at 5:40:38 am

We added some countryman mikes to our G2/3 kits (B3 and E6). They sound good but not as good as our Audio-Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone. I would describe the AT as more intimate. Not sure that's the right term, but it sounds more like your with the talent rather than just clear dialog. They do pick up more back ground noise however than the lavs. I've used the AT with a G2/3 Plug-On Transmitter for Handheld Mic and it works fine. The point being you are going to spend $600 for just for the wireless tech which is not the same as spending $600 for a mike.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Eric Toline
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 16, 2013 at 2:03:22 am

You're comparing apples & oranges. A boom mic will almost always have a more natural sound over a lav mic. Actually they both hear the same background noise except that the lav is closer to the main sound source and the proximity of mic to mouth works in your favor with the lav.


Eric

"I push the RECORD button and hope for the best"


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Craig Alan
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 16, 2013 at 2:14:59 am

Yeah I agree. Just saying if I want the best sound possible I go with the Hypercardioid. If I have a smaller crew or a talent doing a live show/presentation I'll use the cordless kits.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Camcorders: Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV30/40, Sony Z7U, VX2000, PD170; FCP 6 certified; write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Kevin Seidule
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Jul 17, 2013 at 2:39:25 am

Thank you all for your informed replies.

For what I can tell, here's what I've learned (corrections welcome):

When possible, boom indoors or shotgun outdoors. Use good mics and a good recorder.

If using a wireless mic system, use the best quality, and only if necessary, such as shooting live performances where other options such as a boom or shotgun are not feasible.

The money is better spent on good sound mics and recorders than a wired system.

You're not going to get sound as good as you will get with a comparatively priced hypercardoid mic or shotgun mic.

Wired is always better.

For example, I think the Rode NTG-3 into a say, a Zoom H4n, would be a better purchase than trying to rig the wireless mics up just for the presumed convenience.

I also think a wired lapel mic into a zoom works pretty good to.

Lastly, forget trying to mess around with in cam sound. Losing battle. Syncing sound is not that hard.

Thanks again for all the feedback!

Best,

Kevin

Best,

Kevin


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Pat Spahr
Re: Sennheiser Wireless Lav Mic Questions
on Nov 5, 2014 at 6:02:38 am

This is an older thread by now but I learned what I came here looking for, i.e., a discussion about the available frequency bands.

A word on lavaliere mics. Someone mentioned the Countryman mics above. Yes, they are really nice and surely superior to the M2/M4 Sennheisers. But no one mentioned the Sanken mics. I had a chance to do some location sound for a short feature using Sanken mics (into the Sennheiser G3 transmitter/receive pair) and fell in love with those little gems! Well worth the cost (not cheap).

And a word on boom mics. If you have the equipment and adequate tracks to record on, use both! And I took a workshop with a gifted Hollywood type supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer who gave the tip that if you have the luxury to do so (and on my recent projects, we did!) use TWO boom mics! (in addition to your lav mics.) It really is not overkill. There is nothing better than having options when it comes to doing the dialog mix. And nothing worse than finding you didn't get what you needed.


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