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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #1
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Lavalier Mic with HV20

I'm trying to find the best Lavalier mic to use with the HV20. (I know, I know... asking for "the best" of some product is kind of a dumb question.)

I have been reviewing mics for the past two weeks and my head is spinning. Questions like, will XLR even make a difference because my camera doesn't have a balanced input, are eating my brain.

I don't know much about audio, I'm just looking for kind of the "gold standard" in Lavalier mics.

If you had the HV20 and 500 bucks to spend, what mic would deliver the best bang for my buck? I don't really care if its wireless, but the cord would need to be long (15+ feet).

Help!

Scott
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Old December 17th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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The Sanken COS11 lavs are the industry standard. I have one for every wireless unit I own. I also have the DPA 4061, which is nice, but almost too expensive and honestly you're better off with the Sanken. You can get it in a wired version or wireless.

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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #3
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What are you going to be recording?

If you are going to be wired 15+ feet, you need an XLR adapter to run balanced for most of the run:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Dual_XLR.html

You say wireless is okay. Do you already have a wireless transmitter and receiver? If not the best ones by Zaxcom or Lectrosonics are $3000-5000. You can get a Sennheiser G2 for $500, and the price goes up from there for Sennheiser or any other brand.

You can use any lavalier to work with these systems, as mentioned above.

If you go wired and use a DPA mic for example, you will need to add a box to supply 48v phantom power to the mic.

One version of the Cos11 has a hardwired power supply that uses a battery:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...LIER_MIC_.html

There is also a version of the Cos11 that can use phantom power:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html

If you use a wireless system, you can get the Cos11 with the proper connector to connect to the transmitter. Here's the one for a Lectrsosonics or Audio Technica:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...icrophone.html
When the Tram TR50, for example, you can get the wireless version of the mic, then a plug on power supply to use it wired. I don't know if there is a plug on power supply that works with a wireless version Cos11 or not.

Here are some considerations, though I hate to confuse the issue:

1. Wireless
--needs a transmitter and recevier
--need proper connection or adapter to go from receiver to mini-jack on camera
--some mics could be used wireless, then wired with the addition of a power supply, making them more versatile

2. Wired
--need XLR adapter to adapt mic to camera and give balanced connection for most of run
--need to power mic with battery power supply or phantom power
--if you use phantom power, you will need to add a box to supply phantom power.

Here are some industry standard mics:
Sanken Cos11
Tram TR50 (or Sonotrim)
Countryman B3, B6

Sony and Sennheiser also make mics that are used. There is the DPA mentioned above and maybe others.

Some mics are water resistant for use on stage and difficult environments, such as the Cos11, Cuntryman and DPA. Some aren't.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #4
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I really appreciate the info... the mic will be used in a small indoor studio (~12x12) for just spoken words.

I found this:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sennheiser-EW122...QQcmdZViewItem

I know its probably not as nice as the Sanken, but probably good enough for my needs... and it looks like a complete system. (or would I need more equipment?)

Also, if I went with a wired mic, like the Sanken... and ran a 20ft balanced cable, then converted it back to an 1/8" jack, isn't that defeating the purpose?
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Old December 17th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #5
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If you bought a G2 system you might be happier with the camera mount receiver:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Series.html

With the table top receiver, you still have to run a cable to the camera, and you either have to carry the receiver with you or have a long cable.

The system you link and the camera mount system I link (the transmitters are the same) are the same price in "A" stock -- $499.

The mic on the system you link (ME4) is a cardioid mic. The mic that comes with the camera mount receiver (ME2) is an omni mount. The omni mount would probably be better for your use and general use.

There are different ways you can mount the reciever on the camera, one being on the shoe mount.

Both the ME2 and the ME4 are not great mics. You could upgrade the system with a very versatile professional mic by buying the Tram TR50, a mic used in the film industry for years:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Lavalier.html

This mic has many mounting options. The link above is to the mic alone. The mic can also be purchased with a detachable power supply, so that you can use it wired. Here is the mic with the power supply in a kit:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Lavalier.html

You could also buy the power supply separately later:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...er_Supply.html

The Tram comes in beige, gray and black.

The transmitters come in versions with different sets of frequencies. The store should be able to tell you which to get for your area (though any of them will probably be fine.)

If you bought the Sennheiser G2 you need to get the proper cable to go from the receiver into the camera mini-plug. Ask the dealer.

The Sennheiser G2 is very popular. I suggest the camera mount receiver. In the long run it will prove more versatile.

The Tram TR50 mic upgrade is not overly expensive and will give you a true professional mic with many mounting options.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Regarding running a wired mic. The run from the mic to the XLR adapter would be balanced (using the right XLR adapter). Only the short run from the XLR adapter to the camera would be unbalanced. There is no difference in quality of audio between balanced and unbalanced. The difference is that unbalanced lines are susceptible to interference. For a short run in a controlled enviroment there should be no problem with the unbalance run from the XLR adapter to the camera.

I should note that the Sennheiser G2 camera mount receiver is smaller and lighter than an XLR adapter.

++++++++++++++++++++++++
Here is one other option, the Audio Technica pro88:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...8W_Camera.html
It has an unbalanced output from the receiver that will plug directly into the HV20. It is fairly small and lightweight. In a controlled environment (your studio) it should work fine. I have used them in theaters for years without problems, feeding an extra mic into a consumer camcorder. The mic that comes with it is very good, better than the Sennheiser included mic, though the Tram would be considered better.

One reason for the low cost is that it is VHF not UHF. However, for your use, this is not a factor. This unit is certainly something to consider for what you describe.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker View Post
...Regarding running a wired mic. The run from the mic to the XLR adapter would be balanced (using the right XLR adapter). Only the short run from the XLR adapter to the camera would be unbalanced. There is no difference in quality of audio between balanced and unbalanced. The difference is that unbalanced lines are susceptible to interference. For a short run in a controlled enviroment there should be no problem with the unbalance run from the XLR adapter to the camera.

....
That depends on HOW it's unbalanced. If you use a transformer device such as a Beachtek or Sign Video box to convert from the XLR balanced line to the unbalanced TS plug, you're absolutely right. But if you unbalance by using a simple adapter cable made up by connecting XLR pin 2 to TS tip, XLR pin 1 to TS sleeve and shorting XLR pin 3 to XLR pin 1, the whole cable run becomes unbalanced and the common mode noise cancellation properties that make balanced cables desirable vanish.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 06:22 PM   #7
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I have tested the G2 with the HV-20, There isn't any level control for the HV-20, only an attenuator setting, which I turned on......seemed like the levels were more in the ballpark this way and just turned the G2 RX up a notch.
Receiver mounted nicely on top of camera. Only complaint..... stock omni lav that comes with it is dull sounding. I have recently upgraded to Countryman EMW shelved lav. That would bring the total price up to $700.

Last edited by Brooks Harrington; December 17th, 2007 at 06:22 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old December 17th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #8
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Jack (and everyone else)... Thanks a lot for the info! The spinning has stopped for now.

I went ahead and purchased the G2 unit that attaches to the camera. I am going to wait and see if the ME4 mic that comes with is "good enough" for me...

I don't do this professionally or anything, but I am pretty picky when it comes down to it. So I will probably order a Tram or Countryman in the near future.

The good news is I can buy it in chunks, I'm not planning on launching my show until the end of January anyway.

Oh, one more question... can I add additional wireless units (for "guests") in the future? Or is the G2 just a one man show?

Again, thanks for the input!
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Old December 17th, 2007, 08:15 PM   #9
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Hi Scott,

I went through this same process with my HV 20. You've chosen wisely, I think. The Senn is a very good system for the money. It should come with the proper cable to go directly into the HV20; mine did. I noticed an immediate improvement over what I was using and there's a multitude of ways to adjust output in the G2 menus.

The other posters are correct in that the lav isn't the best but, if this is your first wireless and lav, it will get you up and running. The Countryman B6 has a great reputation and it's tiny.

Yes, you can add other wireless but then you run into the issue of how are you going to get those signals into the camera. You're probably looking at a mixer down the line. Each speaker gets a transmitter & receiver. So it can get a little costly buying a bag full of wireless set ups!

Good luck. You have a good combo.

Bob
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Old December 17th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #10
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Bob,

Thanks for that... I never thought about multiple inputs into the camera, duh! :P

At least it will be good for now while I get things launched. And it has to be better than my current ATR35 (http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...3ec/index.html) I am using.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #11
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I started with an AT unit and found it prone to drop outs at about 6 feet and it was just devouring batteries. Much happier with the Senn. Keep the AT, however, as it will serve as a backup or when you want to film in inclement weather etc.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 10:07 PM   #12
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About using more than one wireless with the HV20...

The input is stereo, so you have two tracks.

You just need a stereo plug into the came that comes out into a pigtail with two mono jacks.

Plug each mic unit into one of the jacks. You'll have to adjust the input of each mic to match if you can't split the channels in the HV20. However, with two identical systems, it shouldn't be a problem. Obviously a mixer would give you more control, or an XLR adapter, some of which can act as a mini mixer such as this one, the XLR-Pro (this has always been made by Sign Video but used to be sold by StudioOne, which now has a different one.)
http://www.signvideo.com/xlr-pro_xlr...udio-mixer.htm

+++++++++++++++++++++++
Regarding balanced/unbalanced, yes the proper has to be used at the camera to get a balanced line.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #13
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Well, I received the Sennheiser G2 today and have been doing some testing.

The only thing I have noticed is there is considerable hiss with the audio. Any ideas what might be causing this?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #14
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I didn't have any hiss. I had the auto gain control off on the camera.
I had the mic attenuater on thru the menu also.
Try these things plus scan for open channel on G2 with RX. turn pilot on.
readjust TX and RX levels.
I think I had my RX turned up quite a bit.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #15
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I have done everything except the TX/RX... not sure what you mean by this?

Here is a sample (don't mind my sloppy appearance, bad lighting and boring jabbering):

http://thatsawesome.tv/senn-LOW.m4v

The mic was rubbing on my shirt, but the times where I am not jabbering on you can hear a slight hiss or noise.

Is this is good as this unit gets? Or should I be getting better results?

I can post out most of the noise, but I rather not have to do anything.

Last edited by Scott Aubuchon; December 20th, 2007 at 03:09 PM.
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