Beating My Head Against Wall! - Sennheiser G3 EW112 / ME4
Hi everyone! Long time lurker, first time user/member.
So I'm going to get straight to the point.
I have a small home studio setup. I'm using the Sennheiser G3 EW112 wireless Lav system. I'd like to buy a good cardioid lavalier mic to pair with it.
I need a mic that's great at cutting out background noise, superior in voices, hopefully small enough to not notice if I have to clip it to my collar, but prefer to have it hidden/taped under my t-shirt because I'm on camera in a relaxed manner (youtuber). And if I do have to clip it, I'd need some sort of special clip so it doesn't look like I'm a news anchor.
I've quickly realized that, like my camera that I paid good money for, I can't get away with cheap lavalier mics, I need GOOD audio for speaking.
That said, I'm already invested in the G3 system, so I need something that can plug directly into the G3. I think I've got a budget of $500 max for the mic. If I absolutely have to and there's no alternative than getting another system al together or a super expensive mic, I'm willing to go as high as $1000.
Any help from the wizards and masters of audio?
Thanks soooo much in advance everyone!
Have you done a google search for ME2 v ME4 microphone?
Why have you wanted to go Cardiod and not omni?
Do you have to wear a T-shirt (one of the hardest shirts to mic up..well)?
You mention that you don't want to look like a news reader.... are you happy to use a sick on setup?
Thanks for the reply Brian.
I have looked into the various ME2 vs ME4 threads. I chose the ME4 because the studio/room I'm in is very echoey. And I don't want to put up a bunch of sound material because it'll all be in the shot, as I face the camera at many different positions in the room.
I wear a t-shirt because wearing a dress shirt is not the style of the videos I shoot, it's not corporate or business, (I'm a youtube tech reviewer).
From time to time I might wear a polo shirt, at which point I'd just tuck the mic through a button hole.
When you say "am I happy to use a sick setup" I'm assuming you mean a Stick setup? No I'm not, I've transitioned from that. I can't stand mic poles, the cables and the space they take up, I've fallen in love with the Lav idea.
If instead you meant, stick on setup, I'm more than happy to stick it on me, as in paste it onto me with tape and stuff, that's what I'm currently doing with my ME4 and ME2 mics.
I've been doing a bunch of research and I think the Countryman B2D might be the way to go for me, unless you can recommend a fantastic Omni lav mic that is really good at cancelling out ambient room noise =)
First things first, using a cardioid mic for a lavalier is hardly ever done. Why? Unless you are well trained and well disciplined, you'll end up turning your head while you talk and take your mouth out of pattern. This is a bad thing, very hard to fix in post. Use an omni. Just do it. Probably 98% of lavaliers in actual use are omnis.
Look at the Oscar SoundTech (http://oscarsoundtech.com/) mics. If you insist on hiding the mic, look at the 801 and the very small TL-40. These mics are surprisingly good values. If you want "the best" you can look at the Sanken cos-11d and DPA 4060 lavaliers. They sound a little better, for a lot more money. There are of course many others in between. The OSTs are easily the best value though.
There are many, many ways to mount a lavalier under a t-shirt. For one, look at the Rycote Stickies. If you insist on wearing a t-shirt, make sure it's 100% cotton, no synthetics, and as thick as you can find. Resist the urge to mount the mic high up, mount it close to your "nipple line" on your chest, right on your sternum. Don't forget to tape down a strain release loop right under the mic.
Finally, you say you're doing this for better sound. So... go wired. It's cheaper, more reliable, and it sounds better. The most expensive wireless kit is almost as good as a $20 wire. Almost. And that kit is a lot more expensive than the Sennheiser G3s. I own and use a G3 kit myself, I'm certainly not down on them. But when I can I use a wire, because it sounds better.
One of the joys of the OST mics is that you can get them wired for Sennheiser, and you can also get their phantom/plugin power converter wired for Sennheiser. So you can use the same mic either wired or wireless. OST sells it all in a kit, and I liked mine so much I bought a second one.
Thanks Bruce, great tips and information.
I don't want to use an Omni because of the room reverb/ambient noise. It sounds like I'm talking in a long corridor. If I wanted to use an Omni, I'd just continue to use the Sennheiser ME2 that I already have.
I don't ever turn my head in my videos, so the cardioid works just fine for me, I've already recorded a video with the Sennheiser ME4 cardioid and it worked just fine, it's just that the shape and 12.5mm size of the ME4 has proven to be a big pain to work with. Plus, when I've listened to several demos of the Countryman B2D, it sounded much, much more superior to my ME4 and ME2.
I've also been looking into the Sanken COS-11 as you mentioned. It seems to be the defacto lav mic for sound pros. But the Countryman B2D and or B6 (omni) seem to be defactos as well.
With regards to wireless vs wired, there's a reason I switched from using a shotgun mic with my ZOOM H5, I hate cables, hate, hate hate cables. I'm a tech reviewer, so I've been spoiled with wireless everything. When it comes to the mic, I'm willing to sacrifice the smallest amount of audio quality for wireless. I've listened to many, many wired lav mics, and the difference is so minimal to me, that I'd rather just have a high quality wireless system.
Besides, as I mentioned above, I'm already invested in the Sennheiser G3 EW system. I'm not about to just set aside a $650 wireless mic system for a $20 wired mic, lol.
Speaking to the ability to have the OST mics hardwired for the Sennheiser system is awesome! I was wondering of any other companies did that, as I've also been looking at the B2D for that very reason.
I'll go have a look the OST mics as recommended, thanks for that =)
But unless you can recommend an omni lav that has amazing room reverb/ambient noise cancellation, I'm going to stick with my cardioid idea.
Thanks again, Bruce!!! Much appreciated =)
If you are stuck motionless in front of a camera it is not clear why you are even using a wireless system at all?
Insisting on using a lav, and a HIDDEN lav at that, and refusal to use any kind of acoustic treatment in the space really puts you in an almost impossible situation. If you REALLY refuse to do any acoustic mitigation, then getting the mic as close to your mouth is the best way of increasing the RATIO of SIGNAL (your dialog) to NOISE (the room reverberation and ambient noises). That is why you see (and in many cases CANNOT see) those "headset" microphones. They are quite tiny nearly invisible.
Dressing casually is fine, but insisting on decent audio, while hiding the microphone and refusing any acoustic treatment paints you right into a corner that no directional microphone will help you out of.
You can continue beating your head on the wall, or you can do something more useful by using the proper microphone in the proper place, and/or doing some acoustic mitigation.
In the immortal words of Scotty: "Ye cannae change the laws of physics!" Your requirements are incompatible with the laws of acoustic physics as we know them on this planet.
Hello Jared and welcome to the Cow Audio Forum.
We're all here to help each other and Brian, Bruce and Richard have given you good advice.
Stop besting your head against the wall. You can't fight physics, period.
You say you are a tech reviewer. My suggestion is to go "tech" as Richard suggested and get a head or ear/worn lav. The Countryman E6 comes in an omni and a cardioid.
You say you have a crappy, slappy room. WHY? Half the fight of getting a good soundtrack is the environment. Again, please see yourself banging your hear against a wall. Please stop it.
Here's a link to my review of the Audio-Technica System 10 wireless, using their Pro 92 ear worn lav.
The shoot was in my studio which has been acoustically modified. No big deal, but it's tight and quiet. That plus having the mic on my cheek (really close to my mouth) pushes back the room sound even more.
Countryman also makes one similar and they also make a cardioid version.
You'd probably want the W5 directional "no band" version unless you scream a lot. You can probably get one with a cord to plug right in to your G3.
Regards and please save the head. Head trauma in which brain enters the blood stream can result in fibromyalgic pain. People think it's part of what brought Elvis Presley to his death.
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Thanks for your input, Ty.
I've decided to take pretty much everyones advice and go with an omni, I've ordered the Oscar Soundtech TL-40. I'm going to see how it goes with that, but I;ve heard really great things about it, and then some bad experiences from others. But always good feedback on the customer service.
If that doesn't work I'm going to buy a Sanken COS-11.
In addition to that, I've started to reconsider the sound materials. Do you think I can install enough in a room, but keep it out of sight? As in maybe on the ceiling and corners of the room? Or should I just get a sound blanket and just have it draped behind the camera, where I'm speaking towards?
"I've ordered the Oscar Soundtech TL-40. I'm going to see how it goes with that,....If that doesn't work I'm going to buy a Sanken COS-11."
It still sounds like you are trying to solve your acoustic problems with just the right magical selection of microphone. If the OST microphone "doesn't work", the Sanken isn't likely "work", either.
You CANNOT solve acoustic problems by selecting the magical brand/model of microphone.
I mentioned quite clearly that I would now like to use sound foam to address the acoustic issue. Can you comment on that?
Room acoustics are kinda complex. The BEST rooms for clean audio recording you've seen in pictures of recording studios. In them, EVERY surface is treated to eliminate unwanted audio reflections OF ALL TYPEs.
I put ALL TYPES in caps, because there isn't ONE type of room problem, there are potentially dozens. A room that overly emphasizes low frequencies (boomy) needs a different approach that one that has echo issues. Reverberation times are related to the distance to reflective surfaces (often multiple surfaces including walls, ceilings, floors and possibly even large items such as furniture)
In addition, there are the issues of how much room sound you WANT to keep. For instance, one reason that in the movies, they often use boom micing is that they prefer the recorded sound to match the visual of the space portrayed. So you don't want a big open space to sound like your ear is a half inch from the listeners ear, which is what you can get with a very closely positioned mic.
You seem to be looking for as close as you can get to a pure "recording studio" sound - which is ALL voice signal and virtually no room sound. If so, then you MUST get the mic as close as possible to your mouth. If you can use a headworn mic and therefore position the element an inch from your mouth, ALL other sounds stemming from reflections will be pushed toward the background because of Physics and the inverse square principle of wave propagation.
Moving the mic element from 2 inches from your mouth to 12 inches with a bodyworn LAV has a MAJOR effect on allowing room sounds to increase in your recorded mix.
Remember, no matter WHAT type or brand of mic you use, it can ONLY record the sounds that actually hit the element. That's why a shotgun or cardiod or omni mic - while exhibiting some differences in that PARTS of the signal they enhance or diminish at the element, are all receiving EXACTLY the same signal if they are in the same position. Yes the sensitizing of the mic is a factor. But often, the more sensitive the mic, the more poorly it will perform in a noisy sound field. Mics cannot "reach out" differently. That's fantasy. The element sits there and vibrates based on what sounds arrive at it's position. Period. This is why great sound requires you to manage background sounds. Manage what HITS the mic. That's the pros game.
That also means, sadly, that mic type is often relatively incidental to the process. Half the mic, used twice as well, often yields ten times better sound.
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Yes. As Mr. Davis said, treating a space for acoustic problems can be a complex exercise.
OTOH, I was commenting on your statement about "If that doesn't work I'm going to buy a Sanken COS-11." You would be FAR, FAR MORE LIKELY to get significant improvement from spending some money on acoustic treatment vs. spending 100s of $$$ trying one similar mic after the next. I was trying to say that at least your budget priorities seem to be still misplaced.
Remember that very effective acoustic control does NOT require expensive, brand-name products. You could also consider shooting in some more acoustically appropriate location. Especially if you are just doing a locked-down "talking head" shot.