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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:35 PM   #1
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Sony line of ECM series lav mics...

Hello all,

I'm interested in videotaping and interviewing subjects, and am looking at the Sony line of ECM lavs. I've been checking eBay and see that I can get them at a reasonable cost. I know the ECM-88s are the newest incarnation, but anyone have opinions about all of the others (77,66,55,44, etc...)? I want the best audio I can get. I'll be using XLR inputs to my Canon XH A1 camera, too. If anyone has an opinion about another line I should look into, all advice is appreciated. For this first purchase, I'll be looking at eBay...

Thanks,
Jack
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Old January 4th, 2008, 11:03 PM   #2
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These mics are good enough. I use the 44B and 77, they sound a little less nasal that the Tram TR-50 I used previously (in my opinion) and I like the smaller size. Good gear combined with good sound capturing practices will guarantee you the best audio.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:14 AM   #3
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the 66 is unidirectional, skip it .

the 55 sounds great, but is BIG. great plant mic, also has hotter output then a 44

I have 2 44's and use them all the time and I'm pleased. a little bit bigger then a 77. pro's seem to snub them a bit for the 77's, but the work for me

the 77's are smaller, and seem to be the broadcast standard just for being smaller and sounding ok
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #4
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I use 44's and 77's a lot. They are two of my every day "go to" mics for interviews.

The big difference is sensitivity and "reach."

When I'm in a noisy location like a retail store (particularly the grocery variety with a lot of people sounds, overhead PA music, rattling carts, etc.) I'll typically reach for the 44. It's much less sensitive and tends to push the background sound farther away relative to the voice of the person who's mic'd. That's useful when I want the audience concentrating on the words - rather than those crashing shopping carts.

The 77 on the other hand, is a MUCH more sensitive mic with a lot more reach. In the same store situation I typically find the 77 picks up TOO much background noise.

Does that mean it's worse? Not at all. In a quiet setting the 77 will often well outperform the 44 getting a much more REAL sound with a sense of the location along with crisp dialog.

And I've often paired the 77 on one track and used a boom mounted quality shotgun or hypercardiod for dialog recording on the other track - the 77 is MUCH better for intercutting with a good quiet shotgun.

That's the thing with audio. There are a whole lot of mics out there to choose from because most of them have unique characteristics that make them better suited for one thing over another in one situation compared to another.

And a good beginning to start understanding that there there will never be an ideal "general purpose mic" for everything.

Just a lot of different mics that are particularly well suited for specific circumstances or specific uses.

Good luck.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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I use 77s on Sony UWP wireless rigs...especially good for non pro voices. I find them robust as well, jumping off the talent as he/she waddles off used to be...well now I don't worry.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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I use 77s and echo the positive comments above. For exteriors they can be a little chancey with traffic or airplane noise.

My sense of the 44, the 50 (older), the 55 is that these mics have a built-in eq curve suitable for voice. This suits broadcast in many instances, and is not bad for interviews. The 77/88 are designed to be flat, therefore pick up more environmental sound.

I've had good experiences hiding a 77 as well. An inch or two of gaff tape, or in the knot of a tie, or under a collar. It is pretty small.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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How do the Sony 77 and 88 compare to the Sanken Cos11 and the Tram Tr50?

I have 44s that I've used for interviews and conversation-type recordings. They work well. As pointed out above, they have a little more isolation than the more sensitive mics.

I have a 55B that sounds very good on voice, with a full sound. I was told that in the past this was a popular mic for news announcers because of its nice sound.

I also have a 66. It is a cardioid, not omni like the others. This is intended for use with musical instruments.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #8
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But...

Hi guys:

The Sonys are not bad but Sony has never been an audio-driven company at all. To me, Countryman, Sanken, DPA all have more attractive sounding options at more reasonable prices. To me, the Sony lavs were always an extension of Sony shotguns. Usable but not very good sounding for the money.

I am undertaking a huge lavaliere shootout article that will include the Sony 77/88, the brand new Sanken COS-11X, the Countryman B6, Countryman EMW, Tram TR-50B, DPA, Voice Technologies and the Audio-Technica AT-899. Each microphone will be subjected to four or five different tests including sound above clothing, sound below clothing, cable noise test, male voice, female voice, plant mic and ability to intercut with a shotgun/cardioid.

BTW, if you are in the market for a shotgun or cardioid, there will something good for you read and listen to on the Ken Stone website tomorrow ;-)

Regards,

Dan Brockett
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Old January 5th, 2008, 06:41 PM   #9
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Please include Sonotrim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi guys:

The Sonys are not bad but Sony has never been an audio-driven company at all. To me, Countryman, Sanken, DPA all have more attractive sounding options at more reasonable prices. To me, the Sony lavs were always an extension of Sony shotguns. Usable but not very good sounding for the money.

I am undertaking a huge lavaliere shootout article that will include the Sony 77/88, the brand new Sanken COS-11X, the Countryman B6, Countryman EMW, Tram TR-50B, DPA, Voice Technologies and the Audio-Technica AT-899. Each microphone will be subjected to four or five different tests including sound above clothing, sound below clothing, cable noise test, male voice, female voice, plant mic and ability to intercut with a shotgun/cardioid.

BTW, if you are in the market for a shotgun or cardioid, there will something good for you read and listen to on the Ken Stone website tomorrow ;-)

Regards,

Dan Brockett
Hi Dan,
Please include the Sonotrim in your shoot out. I think its a better sounding alternative to the Tram with the same form factor. Glad you're undertaking this big task.
Thanks,
Bernie
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Beaudry View Post
Hi Dan,
Please include the Sonotrim in your shoot out. I think its a better sounding alternative to the Tram with the same form factor. Glad you're undertaking this big task.
Thanks,
Bernie
Hi Bernie:

Thanks for the input, I will see if I can get one. I think it will be cool to test both so that readers can hear the differences. I'll add that one to the list.

Best,

Dan
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #11
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Wow, great info...

Hello, and thanks to all of you who responded to my question. I step away for 24 hrs, log back in tonight, and see plenty of good advice about the Sony ECM line. Thanks to all of you, and to Dan who is going to do a lavalier "shoot out."

Thanks,
Jack
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Old January 6th, 2008, 06:16 PM   #12
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ECM 88 is waterproof and can handle immersion I am told by those in the field, (or should I say jungle).
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Old January 7th, 2008, 03:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Hi Bernie:

Thanks for the input, I will see if I can get one. I think it will be cool to test both so that readers can hear the differences. I'll add that one to the list.

Best,

Dan
Sonotrim will be sending me a unit to test as will PSC send the Millimic, AT the AT899, Sennheiser the MKE2 Gold, etc. etc.

I have inquired with Sony, hopefully they will come through with some samples. Some huge companies care and are very responsive and others? Not so much ;-)

Dan
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Old January 7th, 2008, 10:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett View Post
Sonotrim will be sending me a unit to test as will PSC send the Millimic, AT the AT899, Sennheiser the MKE2 Gold, etc. etc.

I have inquired with Sony, hopefully they will come through with some samples. Some huge companies care and are very responsive and others? Not so much ;-)

Dan
Outstanding! Looking forward to this.
Thanks!
Bernie
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