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Old February 25th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #16
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Let me make this point clear: My Samson Systems are not malfunctioning or anything like that. I simply am not totally happy with the sound quality. Its not terrible, just that I would like a little better sound. Also, I stated earlier that they were staticy. That was a wrong choice of words. I should have said they have a low background hiss.

When I am in the field, I actually want the mics to pic up as much background sound as possible. I want a good strong voice, but I also want to hear what the hunter or fisherman hears. Now when I do interviews, I only want the voice. With this being said, should I keep the gain up on the mics and "average" on the camera while in the field and when interviewing turn the mic gain down and the camera up?

Am I asking for too much from this equipment? I am trying to learn as much as possible so that my productions are as professional as possible. Thanks for all the input.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 11:49 AM   #17
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That's a lot to ask for one mic. Most use a boom or camera mic for ambient sound, mixing the two channels in post as needed.

Background hiss could be an issue with the mic, the transmitter, reciever, or improper gain staging. See if you can borrow a known good mic to try out, since that's #1 in the signal chain .
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Old February 25th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #18
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Well thats another question I have. Would using a boom mic for my interviews be a better choice?
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Old February 25th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #19
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That's a loaded question! Depends on the mic, location and other factors, Lavs "usually" yeild better isolation, however a "good" shotgun or cardioid boom mic "may" sound more natural with better clarity.. Again, that's a loaded question.
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Old February 25th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #20
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If your 'interview' is shot in a quiet location medium or close-up a good boom microphone will always sound better. If the character doesn't move (too much) you can put the boom on a stand and voila !
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Old February 25th, 2009, 11:14 PM   #21
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Boom should be better if it is quiet enough. If you're solo you have to be realistic about time though. If I was setting up the lights and running the camera I'd probably just go with the lav.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 08:45 AM   #22
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Thanks

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions. I think I am going to continue tweaking the Samsons with the idea of moving to the G2's eventually. My sound is not bad, I am just so darn picky. But thats what makes us stand out. There is so much junk out there.

On the G2, Is the stock mic pretty good or would I want to go countryman or sanken route? Also what is the range of the G2's? I get over 100 yards with the Samson if its open and no interference. However, I dont really ever need that much. Usually 50 feet is about as far as we get from the camera.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 02:37 PM   #23
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Hi Brandon,

We bought a 200' tape measure and went to a local park to test the Sennheiser Evolution G2. Within about a 250' line of sight it was perfect. I went over a small hill and it dropped. I was also wearing a Sony UWP-V6 and it was still transmitting perfectly. So the Sony had more range, but it's audio quality was not as good. Weird compander noise. I also tested the dual receiver Audio Technica 1800 series and found it to have a higher noise floor. I still have that for sale used if you want a dual system that was used once. So in other words, I've tested a few of the more popular under $1200 systems and still vouch for quality of the Sennheiser for the price. If you have more of a budget, go Lectro or Zaxcom. That Zaxcom with the built in recorder looks sweet if you have the dough.

I would try the stock Sennheiser ME2 mic initially and see if it is good enough for you. We can offer a 30 day money back guarantee on the Sennheiser, buy it, use it, return it for any reason. If you know off the bat that you want the upgraded lav, we can do $629 for the Evolution G2 with Countryman B3 and no stock ME2. We call this the "puppy dog" transaction. Take it home, play with it, fall in love with it. :)
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #24
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Guy,
Do you remember what settings you used with the AT? Their specs list the signal to noise ratio at 104 dB and the G2 is listed at greater than 110 dB, so while the G2 is measurably higher, it's splitting hairs, at least on paper. I do find that if you put the transmitter on the AT on the highest gain setting and set the output on the receiver to two thirds, the hiss is about the same as I have been able to get with the G2. That's just what I've found, anyway. Certainly both systems need to have their gain staging adjusted carefully, or the results aren't so great. Personally, I'd upgrade the stock lav of either system, unless you were doing straight ENG run and gun type of stuff maybe.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #25
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Hi Marco,

I hooked the ATW-1821 up directly to an Edirol R-44 and just tested adjusting the levels on the transmitter and the receiver.
Audio-Technica - Microphones, headphones, wireless microphone systems, noise-cancelling headphones & more : 1800 Series Camera-mount UHF Wireless Systems

I test a lot of mics and gear through the R-44 and after spending a bit of time with the AT 1800 I decided it wasn't something that I would recommend. Those transmitter even feel like plastic toys. I wish AT or another manufacturer would come out with a smaller dual receiver. I love the idea of one device able to pick up two transmitters. Someone just needs to make one a bit smaller to mount on a camera's cold shoe. The ATW 1800 series is designed to go on a full sized broadcast camera. I want to put it on my Canon 5D Mark II so I can transmit wireless Timecode on one channel from the field recorder and the output of a mixer on another. That would be cool. Sony, Sennheiser, AT - please make a dual channel system in a small package under $1k. Pretty please.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:45 PM   #26
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I would agree that camera mounting the AT is way more difficult. A single channel G2 sits on the hotshoe quite nicely, but of course it is just one channel. I also like the smaller size and metal construction of the G2 transmitters. The transmitters of the AT, as you mention, are cheap feeling plastic. The belt hook is a flimsy wire as well. Still, the dual receiver and diversity performance make the AT the hands down winner for me. From my experience with the two, I'd say the AT has way more range and is much more reliable. In fact, I wouldn't want to have to rely on the G2 on any job where I was getting paid. I know lots of people do it, but I don't trust that system entirely. I do feel that in practical situations, the signal to noise ratio is comparable between the two units as well if they are adjusted properly.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #27
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The ATW-1800 transmitters are pretty tough.

A fisherman had one on his belt and he ended up leaning against a railing, applying pressure directly on the face of the transmitter. It put a small crack in the plastic window. And the next time I sent it in for routine maintenance the little window was replaced.

The transmitter never had a problem. Guests generally wear them all day long. Although the transmitters are in holsters or body packs, they're not perfectly protected from salt spray or from the occasional bumps and knocks.

I haven't noticed a problem with noise. The air conditioner ducts in the studio will be a problem long before the mic exhibits any problems. So I know that my own units are fairly quiet.

Ty Ford did a review a while back and he seemed to like them.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/all-thing...ss-system.html

For myself the decision was based on:

-- Reliability. Other mic systems have proven to be problems when in certain types of enclosed spaces. Dropouts with this setup have been entirely eliminated at normal working distances.

-- Audio quality.

-- Price. I could get an outstanding diversity system with tremendous range, encased in solid metal housings and totally waterproof, but I'd pay several times more for it.

-- Service. AT's service is outstanding and reasonable. Very helpful tech support.
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