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New to the business. Question about lavalier systems.

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Sebastian AlvarezNew to the business. Question about lavalier systems.
by on Jul 4, 2009 at 11:28:08 pm

I'm trying to get into the event videography business, and I need to buy a lavalier system. I'm confused by the choices I have just from going through the B&H section on them. There seems to be VHF and UHF systems, with the latter being more expensive, so I assume that UHF must be better, but is VHF really bad? For an event where you keep the receiver at less than 100 feet, would you get any interference?

Me and my partner are on a budget, since we're just starting. If anybody who owns an Audio Technica W88 system can give me their opinion on them it would be great, but also to clear my confusion about them because I see several of them listed at the same price with only a difference in the frequency, and checking the A.T. website it shows me this:

# PRO 88W-829, PRO 88W-830
T13 (169.445 MHz & 170.245 MHz)
T24 (169.505 MHz & 170.305 MHz)
T57 (171.045 MHz & 171.845 MHz)
T68 (171.105 MHz & 171.905 MHz)
TVHF (179.400 MHz & 180.600 MHz)

# PRO 88W-R35
T24 (169.505 MHz & 170.305 MHz)

Since I have no experience with this type of microphone I have no clue what difference would it make for me to choose a model with a specific frequency instead of another one.

There's also the Azden WLX-PRO, which looks like a toy, and the Azden 111LT, which is like $75 more expensive, also with several different models with their own frequency to choose from. If anybody owns these and can give me their opinion I would appreciate it.

Sebastian R. Alvarez


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Mark SuszkoRe: New to the business. Question about lavalier systems.
by on Jul 11, 2009 at 7:00:47 pm

In general terms, watch out for the cheap units. They are *very* prone to interference, also, large swaths of the broadcast bands they use are being re-purposed for other things as part of the shift to Digital TV, which sooner or later makes them obsolete. If you don't want to re-create the wireless guitar scenes from "Spinal Tap" for your weddings, avoid the low-end units from Nady, Samson, Azden, etc. This is not to say those companies can't make a good unit, but only in their high end lines.

You want to get a diversity type receiver over a single-style, the diversity RX fights interference by switching between or combining the signals from two antennas.

You can now get digital transmit/receive units on the newly-assigned bands, and some of these have other cool features. One records inside the transmitter onto a removable chip, so even if the RF link is broken, you still have the clean audio. I think Azden makes one like that.

Me I'm a Lectrosonics fan, myself.




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Jason YoungRe: New to the business. Question about lavalier systems.
by on Jul 12, 2009 at 4:59:21 pm

The very best is the 100 series lavalier system by Lectrosonic.


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Beau BrothertonRe: New to the business. Question about lavalier systems.
by on Jul 12, 2009 at 5:35:02 pm

Great post Mark,

I'm using the Sennheiser EW100ENG G2 Wireless Lavalier Microphone Kit. How does that rank up with your thoughts. I know it's no Lectrosonics though. :)

Also, which Lectrosonics are you using? I'm sure we'd all love to know.

Thanks Mark! :)

Beau Brotherton
Reel Memories Wedding Films
http://www.reelmemories.ws
FCP6, HVX200


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Jason JenkinsRe: New to the business. Question about lavalier systems.
by on Jul 26, 2009 at 2:55:46 am

[Mark Suszko] "You can now get digital transmit/receive units on the newly-assigned bands, and some of these have other cool features. One records inside the transmitter onto a removable chip, so even if the RF link is broken, you still have the clean audio. I think Azden makes one like that."

Mark, you mentioned that technology once before and it really intrigued me, so I went googling but couldn't come up with anything. Any more clues you can throw my way? I'm in the market for a new system since I accidentally left my transmitter behind after a shoot. (A $500 oops! What's worse, it was a pro-bono shoot. Doh!) It sounds brilliant to have wireless and memory card recording in one unit.

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Chris BryanRe: New to the business. Question about lavalier systems.
by on Jul 15, 2009 at 12:37:23 pm

Great question, Audio is something I am always working to improve and Lavalier systems are something that I really don't understand!



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