My Senn. G2 lavalier microphone has a lot of background noise. How can I reduce it? at DVinfo.net

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Old April 2nd, 2009, 09:50 AM   #1
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My Senn. G2 lavalier microphone has a lot of background noise. How can I reduce it?

I have a sennheiser g2 wireless mic set hooked up to my Canon XH-A1 camera via xlr input. I have been having problems finding the "sweet spot" in terms of voice clarity for interviews. What should I be looking for to get the best clarity with the smallest amount of background static and/or ambient noise?
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:07 AM   #2
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You can notice noise from
(1) weak batteries

(2) transmitter sensitivity set too low (see age 32 of manual, you have to find a setting that works for you, the "sweet spot" depends on your location, level of radio frequency noise where you are, intervening obstacles, etc)

(3) intermodulation interferance with another G2 on a nearby frequency, if you are working with more than one set. (answer there is to set units in the same bank, the 4 freqs there won't intermodulate) (Page 32)

(4) exceeding the usable working distance from transmitter to receiver

(5) interference from strong external signals on a nearby frequency (like a radio or TV station) Answer there is to use the pilot tone function (page 35) and run an open-channel scan to find noise-free channels (page 32) There's not a one-magic-setting, you have to find what works for you in your area. HTH / Battle Vaughan /miamiherald.com video team
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:04 PM   #3
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In addition to Battle's comments, starting with the mic capsule in the right position also helps with the ambient noise issue. Place your fist against the subject's upper chest against his sternum. The lower edge of your hand will demarcate the starting point where the mic capsule should be fastened - roughly where a line between the nipples crosses the sternum in the centre of the chest. Form a 'broadcast loop' in the cable there and lead it to the transmitter. Make sure the antenna on the transmitter and on the receiver are parallel and don't let the cable from the mic capsule wrap around or cross the transmitter antenna. Don't let it dangle free either - roll up any excess and stuff into the talent's pocket or under their belt.
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Old April 4th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #4
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Dear Kelley,

On the Transmitter, in the menu, is a menu item for sensitivity.

It may be set to 0 dB. You could try the other settings, such as -10 dB, or even -20dB.

I would start with -10 dB.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Kelley,

On the Transmitter, in the menu, is a menu item for sensitivity.

It may be set to 0 dB. You could try the other settings, such as -10 dB, or even -20dB.

I would start with -10 dB.

That's probably not a good idea. Effectively what you're doing is under modulating the transmitter which will increase noise and distortion across the RF link. You should set sensitivity to get a good level as indicated on the transmitter's level meter without it hitting full scale. O dB is a good setting unless you've got the mic very close to the speakers mouth, they have an exceptionally loud voice / shout very loudly or are likely to walk in front of foldback speakers. -10dB would be as far as we'd normally go when using Sennheiser lapel mics with the G2 systems. You may well need to adjust what I've said if using other mics.

Once you've got the transmitter set then adjust the receiver's output match whatever it is feeding.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 07:15 AM   #6
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Dear Bob,

I took Kelley's statement, "There is a lot of background noise", to mean that she was getting more ambient sound than she wanted.

It is certainly worth a try to use the Sensitivity setting during a test.

While the Sensitivity setting is clearly in the menu system, a know that some overlook this setting and leave it at the factory default.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 10:28 AM   #7
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Sennheiser G2 units original settings are set too high. After watching Guy's youtube video I was able to re-adjust my G2 unit (I have moved up to Lectrosonics since) to a better level:

YouTube - Sennheiser Wireless Evolution G2 Tutorial
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Old April 6th, 2009, 10:40 AM   #8
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It's best to get a great signal first, but if it's good enough you can fix it a bit in the post. Isotope RX can work some wonders. Just find a spot with only the noise, use that to grab the noise profile, then noise reduce about 25%. This way, you still keep your sound integrity and have a lot less noise. Now, you still have some, but it's not noticeable while talking... what do you do? Throw on a gate. DON'T JUST TURN UP THE NOISE REDUCTION BECAUSE THAT KILLS THE SIGNAL. However, a gate plus noise reduction works wonders together.

Still, fix up your signal first since that will help more than anything, but this technique will be useful in saving those first takes (if they aren't too bad).
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