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Old March 2nd, 2009, 12:51 AM   #1
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Looking for decent lav with mini-jack connector.

I just picked up 3 DS-30s from a shop going out of business for $150 total. :) So, now I am looking for something to plug into these things!

FYI- DS-30 comes w/a 3.5 mm mini-jack connector. Not sure if it matters but product specs say- impedance 680 Ohm

Here's my application. I've decided to go with the DS-30 both because I got a good deal, but also because there will generally only be 1 guy helping me and he'll be running the boom/other camera. At highest quality you can get 4 hours straight with no problem. So basically we're going to turn them on, start shooting, and turn them off when all the takes are done. Little extra work to document it all for editing, but worth it.

I'll be using these to record audio for a documentary. The situations these will be used for include a mix of indoor/outdoor with various enviroments ranging from a office building to a national park to a boat to a highway. Basically a little of everything although I'd say the majority will be indoor work.

The type of interaction will range from one on one sit downs to dynamic content like walking a walk-marathon or learning to rock climb.

Concealability is important.

The number of people miced at once will range from 1-3. Generally 2.

Budget- I am a bit of an audiophile so I want good sound, relative to my budget of course. I am trying to keep around $100-150 a mic, but I am open to spending more if the quality warrants it. I'd like to spend more but I have to buy 3 of them which makes it tough.

Alright guys hit me with your suggestions! I tried to provide as much info as possible, but let me know if there is anything else that would help.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 10:10 AM   #2
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So you need a self-powered lav with a mini-jack...some of the small lavs require power from the recorder, which as far as I can tell the DS30 doesn't do...so either you need to provide phantom power separately or get a battery-operated lav. My colleagues will flame me for suggesting a low-price option, but try it before you knock it:

At the less expensive end of the scale, you might try the Audio-Techica ATR35s, which has a mini-plug and is powered by a button battery. We issue these with Edirol R-09 recorders for reporters to use and they are very competent for the price ($35 or so).

Going up, you'll find mostly XLR-equipped mikes, some excellent ones from Sony, Audio-Technica, Countryman, etc; most come with an AA-battery powered interface or take 48v phantom power.....a walk through the B&Hphotovideo site will bring up a plethora of choices. With these you will need an xlr-to-miniplug cable. Some of these cables are stereo and invert one side of the signal, which makes a signal cancellation on the timeline; If your recorder takes a stereo plug for the mono signal, you might want to look into a cable made for the purpose; we buy cables from soundprofessonals.com that allow us to hook a mono mike via stereo plug to the Edirols. But the ATR35s mikes are ready out of the box, the price is right, and the quality is nice.. hth/ Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com

Last edited by Battle Vaughan; March 2nd, 2009 at 10:10 AM. Reason: fix spelling
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:16 PM   #3
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Hey thanks for that BV!

Amazon has those mics on sale right now for $24 bucks/free shipping. I have to admit the prospect of buying 3 mics for <$75 is appealing. I found two youtube videos where people check these out for anyone how is interested.

http://www.youtube.com/v/_sBDOOqUioM&hl=en&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/v/VWY5kprwNfM&hl=en&fs=1

I've read some amazon reviews and it seems to be a failure rate on these...if I go with this I'd probably buy 4 just be sure I got 3 good ones.

Anyone else?
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 02:59 PM   #4
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The "failure rate" isn't really that, I think. You have to be careful to get the button battery in the right way ...the polarity marker on the case is hard to see....if you get it in backward the mike will sort of work --- badly. If you get it right, it works just fine..../bvaughan
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 05:43 AM   #5
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You might want to consider mics that use plugin power - according to the online manual for that recorder the external mic jack provides it. The wedding shooters and concert "tapers"
often sing the praises of Giant Squid's mics - worth taking a look at. Don't have any personal experience with them myself but they do have a good rep as a budget lav. Not sure I'd use 'em for really serious work but then not sure I'd use a pocket 'audio notes' style recorder for that either. They might make a good marriage.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:53 AM   #6
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Thanks, Steve, I missed the spec on the mike power. Our Edirols do this which makes it possible to use the Sennheiser ME2's ($120) and, afaik, the Tram50's which I'm not about to let some reporter run off with...although the screw-mount on the Senns fouls the input on the Edirols and makes it dicey....I'm betting the A-T's I mentioned (with the battery put in right way round) will do the trick.../bvaughan
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 01:31 PM   #7
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You need a mixer with 1/4 inch inputs with adapters

You need a mixer for a 2 to 3 input setup with 1/4 mic cord inputs. All pro mixers use XLR (for good reason) and you need the older 1/4 inch plug input mixer. Radio Shack made a mixer that used a 1/4 microphone inputs. You might go to your local pawn shop or Ebay for the mixer. You will need to use 1/8 to 1/4 inch adapters for the Lavs. Limit your cord runs as the 1/8 inch Lavs have unbalanced lines.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 01:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
You might want to consider mics that use plugin power - according to the online manual for that recorder the external mic jack provides it.
Yeah I hadn't actually gone through the manual until late last night.

Here's what I am doing. I've ordered one of the ATR-35s mics from amazon.

In addition I went over to microphonemadness.com and emailed Mike about wiring a headset mic specifically for the DS-30. They wire for custom your application so I figured it was worth a shot. Here's the link: MM Audio - The Next Generation of Pro Audio Equipment

He says they can wire one up for it so I placed an order for 1 that terminates in a 3.5mm plug so I run it straight into the DS-30.

I will post sound samples of both approaches once they arrive in the mail!
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Old March 11th, 2009, 11:51 PM   #9
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Everything has arrived!

I'm going to have some free time on friday to record audio using the mics I talked about above and also a rode videomic using the ds-30 recorder.


Does anyone have specific requests???? :)
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Old March 12th, 2009, 12:56 AM   #10
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The DS's sure sound good with a decent external mic, but the WMA format at 44.1khz does not stay in sync with video at all. Be prepared for some sync/drift work in post.

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Old January 10th, 2010, 11:45 AM   #11
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Steve House writes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
[...] wedding shooters and concert "tapers"
often sing the praises of Giant Squid's mics - worth taking a look at. Don't have any personal experience with them myself but they do have a good rep as a budget lav [...]
I can say from experience (I own three of them) that the Giant Squid Audio Lab microphones that use plug-in power are an excellent value for the money. They are available as omnidirectional or cardioid. You can order them with custom cable lengths, which is very handy. For my high-end work I continue to use my Tram-50 lavaliere, but I keep the Giant Squid Audio Lab mics in my portable recorder kit and small camera kit (both have plug-in power on their 1/8" mic input jacks) so I always have a lav available if I need one in a pinch.

When I shoot with a wireless mic (into channel 1) I often use a Giant Squid Audio Lab mic on the camera (into channel 2) so I can capture sounds close to the camera as well as the person I'm following. I simply use a splitter cable so I can run both mics into the 1/8" mini microphone input. If your camera or recorder does not support plug-in power, Giant Squid Audio Lab has a power-supply module available for their mics. But I have to say, it's really nice having plug-in power for mics so I need not worry about camera batteries and turning off microphones. Unfortunately, not all cameras with 1/8" stereo mic inputs support plug-in power.
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