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Old August 19th, 2003, 02:09 AM   #1
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Final Word: Wireless lav or Mini Disc

I am on the verge of buying all the gear I need for an upcoming wedding and am completely lost as to which type of mic setup to get for the vows. I have done research on wireless, MD, even one of the portable hard drives that do it all like the Nomad Jukebox or Archos' drives that play/record audio.

I want the best quality solution at a reasonable price, but it would be nice to have something that can do other things like the portable drives. If a wireless lav is the best way to go, please list all that I would need to get to attach to my camcorder (will be either the DVX100 or DVC80).

Thanks to all for your wisdom!
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Old August 27th, 2003, 07:44 PM   #2
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Anyone?
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Old August 27th, 2003, 08:03 PM   #3
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I don't do weddings, but I know quite a few videographers that do. I would say at least 90% of them use lavs. I know one that uses MD as a back up, in case a lav gets unplugged or battery fails etc.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 08:29 PM   #4
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The DVX100 has XLR inputs which all of the best microphone systems/setups use. You shouldn't have a problem connecting a wireless lav to your camera.

MD has its advantages and disadvantages compared to a wireless lav.
possibly better placement (depends if you can plant the wireless lav on anyone)
price
takes time in post to sync
can't monitor it while you shoot
mini-jack can be easily knocked out (nothing a little duct tape can't fix?)
might skip if knocked?
immune to radio interference (if using a wireless lav, you should scout out your location beforehand of course, preferably at the same time of day as the wedding will be)
MD needs a sound card to capture

I have never shot a wedding so I don't know which is more reliable or which you can get closer to the sound source (the closer the cleaner your recording). It will depend on who will agree on wearing a wireless lav. The safest setup is to have both of course.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 11:57 PM   #5
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What i don't like is critical dialog being linked to the camera. A lot happens when the camera isn't running. The recorder is cheap insurance.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 07:28 AM   #6
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There really is no right answer for this, you just have to decide between the two major drawbacks between a wireless lav, and a MD lav.

Wireless lav = potential distortion to the sound by interference in the radio frequency (could happen at a critical moment within the dialogue, and a moment could be lost forever, this would be beyond your control.)

MD lav = Can not be monitored, and so the lav could be knocked out of place, or the equipment could fail, and you would never know it.

There just is no right answer, there is only what you feel comfortable with. A question like this makes me really wonder just how I use to be just a little simpleton with my mic setups.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 07:36 AM   #7
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Higher end (UHF, diversity) lavs have little, if any, trouble with line of sight audio production. VHF is more prone to interference in a church environment (PA system, urban RF noise).
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Old August 28th, 2003, 09:16 AM   #8
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That's very true, I should have mentioned that. When it comes to wireless Lavs, what you pay for is what you get.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 12:22 PM   #9
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Hi Matthew,

I'm not an expert but recently did a wedding. I used both and you may want to consider doing the same. A decent entry level UHF wireless lav is going to cost ya $450 or so, and MD recorders with both a mic and line in can be had off ebay for under $100.

With the wireless you'll definitely want to hook the receiver to your primary camera and monitor it. I wired the groom to make sure I got the vows clearly. I hooked the MD player up to the church's sound board to record the officiant and readers (who were mic'ed with the church's equipment), which produced unbelieveable quality. As a matter of fact, I ended up using this track for the whole ceremony and just mixed in the wireless part of the vows since it picked them up a little better on the wireless. Then I got the CDs that had all the music that was played and mixed it in and the whole thing sounds incredible. I also mixed in sound from another camera for a little added reverb.

It you want specific equipment, there's a lot of choices, but I ended up going with the Sennheiser Evolution 100 ENG, and a Sony MZ-R55 minidisk. Both performed very well, if I had to pick one I would go with the wireless because you know what you are getting while you're getting it.
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 06:13 PM   #10
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Just came onto dvinfo with this (these) very question(s), and badda bing. Words lifted from mouth. Thanks guys. Is whatever that attaches to cam (the wireless now) a problem for handheld work?
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Old September 10th, 2003, 02:37 PM   #11
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Good question. If you are going to use a wireless LAV, do you need to purchase one of those brackets that attach to the bottom (tripod socket) of your videocam to attach the wireless receiver to, or can you just wear it on your belt?
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Old November 19th, 2003, 07:15 PM   #12
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Well, "need" is a matter of definition. Sure, those brackets (like the "Bracket 1" available from B&H) are real slick and sweet, but they cost $60. Many receivers come with a shoe mount to fit on top of your camera, but of course that's out if your camera shoe is already occupied by a light. A belt clip is fine if the receiver is fairly small and you don't mind the audio cable dangling down (and you remember to take it off when putting down the camera). I usually Velcro the receiver to the back of the camera. Except when I am using half-rack receivers, which I just set on a nearby table or on the floor (in lockdown shoots only, of course).
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