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Old July 16th, 2008, 03:29 PM   #1
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Audio Kit (Upgrading) - Advice Please!

OK, so here is what I currently have (or is on order for delivery within the next few weeks):

Sony PMW-EX3 cam (I'm upgrading from my much loved Sony HC1 - will still keep the beauty though!)
Rode NTG-3 (I'm hoping the VM deadcat below will fit it)...well I love their products and early indications are that this will be a great mic (need to get a short XLR cable too).
AT825 Stereo Mic with it's 5M XLR stereo cable....bought for a great price on eBay, lovely mic.
Fostex FR2-LE (on sort of permanent loan from a mate) - superb recorder, preamps a bit too low but super quiet noise floor so easy to boost in post.
Zoom H2...cheap and cheerful but sure has it's uses - very portable!
Rode Stereo VM (3.5mm minijack) and it's Rode dead cat...great budget stereo mic
Rode VM (3.5mm minijack) and it's Rode dead cat...almost a living legend
Rode suspension mount
Hama lapel mic (it was a cheap one...no further comments necessary!)

I edit in Vegas 7 (on a PC) and FCS2 (on a new Macbook Pro - soon to be supplemented by a new MacPro)

And here is what I'm also thinking of getting:

Sennheiser EW112 G2 radio mic system (about 350-400 quid in UK for the Transmitter with lapel mic and one Receiver pack with XLR lead for camera/Fostex)
Rode 3M boom pole with a(nother) Rode suspension mount and 5 Meter XLR cable (totalling about 115 quid)
Fully adjustable mic stand (not sure what yet - any suggestions for UK purchase?)

And here is what I will be doing:

Corporate (interviews/training/promo stuff), documentary and event video work (outside events, indoor live classical music etc.) for DVD and web delivery (and weddings.... but only if I'm pushed/really desperate!). Sometimes I'll need to work as a one man band, but mostly with at least one other video mate (where I'll be our team's sound man at times).

Now if I can squeeze another 500 quid ($1000 US) into my AUDIO budget on top of all this (and that's all I'm seeking advice on here, the audio aspect) then what exactly do you think am I missing? Maybe a better wind protection system for that new Rode NTG-3....or what? I'm listening! - suggestions and advice from you audio experts (and everyone else!) is much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; July 16th, 2008 at 04:44 PM.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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Hi Andy,

I would recommend a decent field mixer for those times that you're not one-man banding. You can send the mixer's main outs to the camera and the aux out to your Fostex or Zoom for dual-system recording. Most decent mixers will have better mic pre-amps than the Fostex or your camera. You'll have a lot more control and options than recording directly through camera or trying to route through the Fostex.

Gary Nattrass mentions a pretty promising field mixer that should be in your price range in the "Rolls v Azden" thread (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=125876). A 20'-25' ENG breakaway cable would be a good idea if you go this route. PSC, Canare and Remote Audio all make good ones that go for about US$200-$225 each.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #3
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Hi Andy,

I second Ngo's suggestion (I don't pretend to be an expert in sound, but for the money I think the ENG-44 is a really good mixer), and I would add a decent lav (I use a PSC Millimic and a Countryman, both preowned, and I'm pretty happy with them).
Good luck

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Old July 16th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #4
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Andy, unless you find one the RODE boom is not in production at present.

The RODE VMs deadcat doesn't fit the NTG-3, it's too short. I use a Koala Mini-Max 190, seems Ok but when the wind gets up, at what point does any similar windjammer crap out.

So you'll need a zepplin for better wind protection. The AT822 might be better than the RODE SVM, it (and your 825) will fit in a zepplin, the SVM and VM won't. And they have XLR outputs versus the minijacks.

Rycote springs to mind, expensive but great. The NTG-3 and ATs will fit their kit 3. Maybe check out the S series and the Indian zepps, don't know 'em.

So you'd have a shotgun and a good stereo mic that'll fit your zeppo.

For the NTG-3 I currently use a RODE SM4 shock mount for a boom and I add a short extension to it for the Canon A1s shoe.

Cheers.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #5
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Hi Andy.............

Long time no speak.

I'm curious about your choice of EW112.

My suggestion would be to instead go for the EW100 G2 plus an extra receiver (from memory, the second receiver does not come with a cable, you need to order the appropriate ones seperately).

This would allow you to run both a lav and the Rode "off camera", or even a decent second (mono) mic to accompany the Rode.

Having the camera "tether free" is sooo handy at times.

Much as a mixer sounds like a great idea, in practice I still haven't managed to figure out how to incorporate one into my "one man band", where I already don't have enough hands to do what's required.

Instead I use the two channels on the camera and the two channels on the Zoom H4 and sort the mess out later, if, indeed, it is necessary.

Check out the weight of the Rode boom pole, mine is a beauty, but aluminium and weighs a ton. In hindsight, I should have gone CF and bought a stand for it.

If the budget would stretch I would add a super long shotgun to the mix.

My Senn ME67 (not well loved here on DVinfo) actually does most of the heavy lifting, as urban wildlife doesn't give a monkeys about air con/ heatpump units, exhaust fans and motor mowers.

The sound system, unfortunately, does.

Last but not least, (you may already have this sorted), but a REALLY good set of cans.

Absolutely indispensible. Mine have saved me from more audio disasters than I care to think about.

Hmm, think I see a second mortgage on the cards.


CS.


PS: BTW, in case you don't know, there are cables/ adapters available that let you plug a standard XLR based mic into the Senn BodyPack transmitter (with the proper screw latching plug), and another that lets you plug a Lav into the Senn "buttplug" transmitter, giving you an amazing amount of versatility with these units.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; July 16th, 2008 at 10:35 PM. Reason: +
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Old July 17th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for these thoughts everyone - great inputs and exactly the sort of information I was hoping to get (i.e. to point out the "holes" I still have/would have had in my audio gear). Gives me lots to think about! And Chris, I'll look into the Senny wireless model details now that you've pointed that aspect out. Great stuff.

I can already see that the "extra 500 quid" I'd planned probably won't be enough (!!!), it's already looking like a Grand - but at least I can spend it more wisely etc. over the coming months thanks to the (as always) superb input on DVinfo! I don't like the idea of a second mortgage though - took 20 years for me to clear the first one! (which is why I now have the opportunity to upgrade my kit).

If anyone else has any suggestions, keep them coming, and thanks again everyone!
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Old July 17th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #7
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I have pretty much the same kit plus an eng-44 mixer and two senn 112 radio mics with a sony diversity radio mic for allowing the mixer to be wireless.

One bit of advice if you buy a senn radio mic kit, get the eng kit as it will also give you an extra transmitter that can be plugged into a boom or mixer.

I recently got two 112's for a really good price here:www.digibroadcast.com I paid £669 inc vat for two sets.

And the eng-44 is available in the UK here:http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Pinknoise-Systems John at pink normally has them for £329
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Old July 18th, 2008, 12:56 AM   #8
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Sennheiser SKP100 G2 (Phantom Power or Not?)

OK, thanks again. I've been looking at the EW112 ENG G2 wireless pack and it's the one I am interested in for sure. My video mate is also considering the same pack so between us we'll have a potentially good capability.

However, I can't see in the instruction manual (a download on the Senny site) anything about Phantom power for the XLR on the SKP100 G2 (the "butt plug" as Chris so aptly described it).....maybe I missed it somewhere but does this mean this transmitter only works with self powered XLR mics plugged into it? My new Rode NTG-3 needs Phantom!

http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/icm.nsf/root/21418

Thanks!

Edit: A bit of searching around on DVinfo in this forum section led me to this 225-250 quid unit so I guess I know the answer to my own question now. The SKP 100 will only work with self-powered XLR mics (i.e. those that have an internal battery).

http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser...nsf/root/21640

Edit 2: OK, NOW I have another question!!!!!

The Senny brochure link above says the SKP 500 can be used with any of the 500 range G2's, but no mention of the 100 range. Anyone know if I bought mixed and matched items from both 100 and 500 G2 systems if they are compatible? (I suspect I know the answer).
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; July 18th, 2008 at 02:50 AM. Reason: Thought I'd "sussed" it - now I'm even more confused!
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Old July 18th, 2008, 11:19 PM   #9
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Hi again..........

That last question of yours is a corker.

I've been trawling the net and can't come up with a definitive answer even now.

It does seem that the 500 series transmitters send more status info to the receivers than the 100, tho' whether that renders them incompatible is a moot point.

I think that, failing an answer here, a quick e - mail to Senn themselves or your favourite Audio supplier is in order.

That the 100 series "butt plug" doesn't provide phantom is bizarre in the extreme and nothing I've ever even wondered about, as all my mic's are self powered.

Interestingly, I tried the bodypack transmitter with my special 3 connector 1/8" to XLR cable to mic and it isn't supplying phantom either - tho' I strongly suspect that is a wiring fault, the lav works fine (I'm assumng Lavs do, indeed, need power?).

Anyone know the correct tip/ ring/ sleeve to XLR pin connections?

Something I noticed on the Senn site BTW, the 500 series stuff doesn't seem to include things like the receiver camera mount plate in the package, think the price could climb pretty quick if all the necessary bits and pieces have to be bought as extras.

Oh, when you talk of the 112, I assume you're talking of the 112p?


CS
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Old July 19th, 2008, 01:45 AM   #10
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Hi Chris. Thanks for trawling the web for me trying to find an answer - I certainly couldn't find it and I appreciate your efforts!!!!

The kit (that both myself and one of my video mates - not the Kiwi one, this guy's a Cambridge bloke through and through) are considering is this one, as recommended by Gary. Actually, my post above has a direct link to the Senny website (for full details).

Sennheiser EW100ENG G2 Package Includes

1 EK 100 G2 portable receiver
1 SK 100 G2 bodypack transmitter
1 SKP 100 G2 plug-on transmitter
1 ME 2 clip-on microphone (omnidirectional pick-up pattern)
1 CL 1 jack cable
1 CL 100 XLR cable
1 camera adaptor
6 AA batteries
Operating instructions.......yeah but they don't tell me if it will work with a SKP 500!

Now IF the SKP500 works with this kit I'd get one of those on top. However, if it won't I'll still go for this 100 series pack as it's affordable (similar components in the 500 series would break my budget) but I'd need to borrow my mates Rode NTG-2 (has battery or phantom option).

Hopefully someone on here knows and can enlighten us all. Failing that I'll shoot an email at Sennheiser on Monday morning.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:11 AM   #11
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Confused?

Yep, now I am.

I thought (no, don't think, Gary DID say 112, not EW100 G2), er, never mind.

I was the one suggesting the EW100 G2 (clot! - er, me, not you)

Given the Rode mic, which is not self powered (what a waste!) the EW100 G2 seems to be a non starter.

The "butt plug" transmitter which comes with it is bloody useless for the Rode, so what's the point?

Unless you're considering other self powered mono mic's?

In the light of this "dissapearing phantom" revelation, I could not recommend the EW100 G2 to anyone with an un- self powered mic.

Which leaves you right back at the 500 "butt plug" and the 112P (which is simply a EW100 "bodypack" transmitter, receiver and mic), always assuming they will talk to each other.

Have I had too many glasses of vino or simply missed something really important?

Yours Truly,

Confused,

Fairfield.


CS
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Old July 19th, 2008, 02:46 AM   #12
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OK, you are CORRECT and I see excatly what you're suggesting now! Link to 112p system below...but it seesm to me to comprise 100 units as you know, so it's down to whetehr or not the 500 and 100's talk to each other. Anyone???

http://www.sennheiser.co.uk/uk/icm.n...11?Open&print=

I'm fighting heavy summer cold/bad headache (unfortunately not vino inflicted, did have the odd beer last night in the pub tho.!) I'll go through and check my details again once I'm clear of this nasty bug! Thanks again.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #13
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If you need phantom power, you will need to get the "500" series transmitters.

I use the "500" series "Plug-on" transmitters with the "100" series receivers. They work well together.

B&H used to sell a "B&H Kit" that had 100 series receivers with "500" series transmitters.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 05:46 AM   #14
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Brilliant! Thanks Dan for the speedy confirmation.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 06:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
...
That the 100 series "butt plug" doesn't provide phantom is bizarre in the extreme and nothing I've ever even wondered about, as all my mic's are self powered.
Actually not so wierd. Buttplugs are primarily used to let you replace a hard-wired cable connection for a hand-held mic with a wireless hop for reporter's standups, interviews, etc - right? But most of the time dynamic mics are used for hand-helds because of their ruggedness, relative lack of handling noise and so so forth and dynamics don't use phantom.

Quote:
Interestingly, I tried the bodypack transmitter with my special 3 connector 1/8" to XLR cable to mic and it isn't supplying phantom either - tho' I strongly suspect that is a wiring fault, the lav works fine (I'm assumng Lavs do, indeed, need power?).

Anyone know the correct tip/ ring/ sleeve to XLR pin connections?
Lavs do require power BUT NOT phantom power - that's why the DIY adapter didn't work, the bodypack doesn't supply phantom either. Lavs typically use 3 to 5 volts and there are several wiring schemes - lavs set up for hard-wired use have electronics in the belt clip-on XLR connector that transform the phantom sent to them into the power the mic actually needs - that's why the adapters are a couple of hundred bucks instead of the $20 or so you'd pay for a simple adapter cable.

For what it's worth, a conventional XLR to TRS adapter intended for a balanced mono connection at both ends would be wired XLR-2 to Tip, XLR-3 to Ring, XLR-1 to Sleeve. That one could theoretically pass phantom. But the Senny bodypack mic transmitter mic input is not balanced TRS. It's unbalanced on a TRS connector, using the tip for mic level signal hot, ring for line level signal hot, and sleeve as ground for both. To connect an XLR mic to it you'd use XLR-2 to tip, both XLR-3 and XLR-1 go to TRS Sleeve, TRS Ring also connects to TRS sleeve with a jumper shorting the ring to ground. Note that this wiring is NOT the model CL2 XLR/mini TRS cable from Senn - that one is designed to feed line level to the transmitter and connects signal to the ring instead of the tip. Note that you should also provide a "DC Blocking" capacitor in the signal lead to prevent the 5 volt mic power from the transmitter from going up the cable to the mic. I just found a reference to an accessory cable from Sennheiser, model CM1, that is built to do exactly that - plug a (self-powered or dynamic) XLR microphone into the bodypack transmitter that wired correctly incuding the blocking capacitors.
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Last edited by Steve House; July 19th, 2008 at 06:35 AM.
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