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Old December 14th, 2003, 09:10 AM   #16
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can you give more details on the shure attenuators?

models and usage?

matthew
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Old December 14th, 2003, 03:36 PM   #17
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Shure A15LA - 600 ohm line input to 150 ohm microphone level output with 50 dB of attenuation. Works very well when a camcorder doesn't have a line input capability.

Shure AT8202 - 10, 20 or 30 dB attenuation with low impedance in and out. Works well when the microphone (supposed) level out of a mixer is too hot for your microphone settings and too low for your Line settings. Also can be used to tame a too-hot output from a microphone.

Markertek in-line isolation transformer - This makes certain that any possible voltage bias on the source (them) doesn't make its way into your input. Voltage bias can cause different problems with input circuits but in general, it is a bad idea.

Markertek ground lifter- Not connected between pin one on the input and the output and the connector shells are connected by a plastic sleeve. Can absolutely kill ground loops because there is nothing connecting the input with the output but pins 2 & 3 which are the balanced connections. Any signal common to both wires is automatically canceled.

All in all, the 4 bits cost about $180 and all look like XLR barrels with a normal in and out (female and male) connectors.
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Old December 15th, 2003, 11:16 PM   #18
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If you are stocking up on accessories for your audio bag here are a couple more suggestions. First, buy a 100’ XLR cable and a XLR to balanced ¼ adaptor. The XLR outputs on boards can be limited but there is often several ¼” options that will work if you have the adapter. That will keep you from having to go wireless unless you have to, wired is always my first choice.

The XLR input on a Sennheiser transmitter is mic, but the output from the receiver on the 100 series is line level only.

Most press boxes, also known as audio distribution amplifiers usually have a separate gain control for each output. The problem is that it is usually a small slot that requires a screwdriver instead of a standard knob or fader. If you’re getting a poor feed from one, adjust it there.

Matthew, your concerns about level are legitimate and not dumb questions. If you try Mike’s suggestion about taking the loop from the back of powered PA, just remember he said powered. Non-powered PA has a ¼ loop out and you would be getting the speaker level straight from the amp.

Mike, taping microphones to speakers??? Sounds kinda scary to me.

Steve
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Old December 16th, 2003, 02:53 PM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steven Digges :

The XLR input on a Sennheiser transmitter is mic, but the output from the receiver on the 100 series is line level only.

Steve, I do think the output is adjustable and can be set from line to mic with the output attenuator.

Mike, taping microphones to speakers??? Sounds kinda scary to me.

Steve, Done all the time. What is scary? I learned it from a Channel 7 ENG crew who used a large spring clamp to hold their microphone.

Steve -->>>
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Old December 16th, 2003, 05:48 PM   #20
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Mike,

I make configuration decisions based on 2 primary considerations; goal of the final product (quality), and risk factors.

Hence my preference for going wired as my first option, higher quality and safer. Wireless is sometimes necessary and a good second choice.

Attaching a microphone to a speaker is a technique that makes sense for ENG crews because their primary goal is to make sure they maintain a rock solid signal. High quality sound is a little bit less of a priority (that ought to get somebody yelling at me). Attaching a mic to a speaker removes the audio technician on the board from the equation and lessons risk factors. ENG also requires proficiency in run and gun. Clamping a mic to a speaker is fast and convenient. Also, ENG crews show up after an event is in progress, stay 15 minutes and leave. They understand that unless there is a press box already in place the audio guy is not going to be crazy about patching them into a hot board.

Scary? Yes and I disagree with “the quality is as good as a feed from the board”. The reason this technique requires having just half of the ball peaking out from the top of the speaker is to defeat the pick up pattern on the mic. That same mic pointed at the speaker from the same distance would probably damage the internal components of the mic if we are talking about any reasonable level of volume. Vibration is also a concern that must be dealt with. If the PA is run stereo you are only picking up one channel. No matter how many audio components are being utilized to processes the signal (EQ, compressors etc.) you now leave your self dependent upon the quality of the chosen speaker for your feed, many times I have seen beautiful audio racks putting out signal to junk speakers.

I feel that putting that same mic on a stand at an optimal distance from the speaker is a better solution when getting a good feed from the board is not possible. No offence intended, your suggestion is in common practice, it is just not one of my favorites unless I am ENG.

Steve

PS The Sennnheiser EK 100 receiver has a variable output from 0-40 db. Thank you, I stand corrected. I own one and did not realize it was that wide, that should tell you something about my information.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 08:12 PM   #21
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Using a Beta58 with a plug-on transmitter where the head of the microphone is inside a windscreen (the fur type) is still a good choice. The speaker is not going to be able to damage the microphone since the microphone is over the horn, not the bass driver. The Beta58 is Omni so I'm not screwing up the pattern. The shock mounting of the capsule in that microphone probably wouldn't pick up vibration if one used it for a hammer.

Placing a stand in front of a speaker at any reception I've been to is just asking to see it knocked onto the floor.

The most important part of a reception and the one I can never piggyback microphones the on the people making toasts. They have to have the PA microphone so everyone can hear them. They don't want to hold another mic and it is way too cumbersome to ask them to wait while one adds a wireless lav. And they sure don't want to see a boom moving in either.

For voice, it is hard to tell the difference between the mic on the speaker and a direct feed.

I always overdub any music played at a wedding. That one is just too hard to do right and so easy to just dub onto another sound track in editing. Never had a bride that couldn't get that for me. In fact, some want me to use a different arrangement or an entirely different piece of music sometimes.

When I really have to get good music, i.e., when there is a live ensemble or something else, then I do mic the sound directly. I wouldn't trust the sound guy do do that properly. But that is a different matter.

Usually sound guys are a real disappointment as a feed for music. They have no interest in working with the videographer and frequently don't understand their gear well enough to help.
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Old December 16th, 2003, 11:55 PM   #22
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Mike,

I have no intention of turning this into an argument, I am well aware of the decorum here, but I will continue to offer my suggestions. As I said no offence, we just have a difference of opinion.

First, next time you do this technique, hold the mic directly in front of the speaker (the horn if you like), with your wind screen, and see what you get for a signal. It will not be the same as skirting the fringes of the pick up pattern; in fact it will be unusable. A Beta 58 is an incredibly durable microphone and probably will not be damaged, just look at them, half of the Sure 58 series microphones in existance have dents in the wire ball and still work. Personally, I try to treat ALL mic’s as though they are delicate instruments.

Recording the music at a reception is not “just too hard to do right”. Get a feed from the sound guy, who, at most weddings is not an audio specialist, but a DJ. Tape your mic to the speakers (your style, not mine) for the spoken word and send his music and your mic feed through a small mixer to get the level correct and you no longer have to recreate the music in post. Just one of the wonderful things of all of this digital video these days is our audio options. A small mixer and 4 tracks of audio on the tape create a multitude of options and incredible results.

Mike, I have no doubt that you know much more about the technicalities of audio than I. I am a jack-of-all-trades in the audiovisual world. That gives me one strength, I never forget the basics. Signal flow is always no. 1, how good that signal becomes is dependant upon my abilities.

Steve

PS every time I see a tech. using one of my SM58’s for a hammer it makes me mad:)
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Old December 17th, 2003, 12:25 AM   #23
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Interesting discussion guys. A couple of comments.

We hang SM58s over guitar amps all the time; further than peaking usually. We've even been known to hang a sturdy condenser over a guitar amp. They don't need to be quiet, 58s can handle tons of noise. This technique sounds great, not clean exactly,but much more realistic(and rockin) than a DI.

Shure is pretty sure that their Beta 58 is a super-cardiod dynamic mic. Fairly even off-axis response, judging from the diagram.

We recently took a tap off a djs board, at a wedding, ran a cable a few feet away from his gear and plugged in the transmitter from a evolution 100 series. I had some drop outs when I went into other rooms. It got what I needed it too, much cleaner than my room mic. But I'll probably mix the two. The DJ was super cool, let us do whatever we wanted as long as it didn't get in his way, but maybe that's just the way they are in College Station, TX.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 05:13 AM   #24
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I've been planning on getting the EW100 receiver
and pairing it up with the EW500 plug-in transmitter.
I, of course, was planning on getting them as
seperate components. I just ran across a combo
deal on the EW500 receiver with the EW500 plug-in
for less money than the aforementioned 100 + 500
setup. What's the difference between the 100 and
500 receivers? Which combo would you get, cost
being equal?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 10:22 AM   #25
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Martin,
Thank you for being a voice of reason and diplomacy. Tactfulness is not one of my strengths. Your comment about “Shure is pretty sure that their Beta 58 is a super-cardiod dynamic mic” made me laugh because it is so true. In my passion over this topic I have clearly committed a Dvinfo net crime by not clearly thinking through every aspect of my responses. I value the information I gain here so much I cringe at the thought of me spewing bad information. The Sure 58 series Mic’s are the world’s most popular mic because they are so durable and can be used in almost any situation, including your tool belt when necessary. I do know and understand that a 58 will not be damaged in front of a speaker, sorry Mike I know that’s not what I said earlier.

Mike,
My passion for this topic comes from years of experience working corporate audiovisual events, many of which have budgets well over $50,000.00 a day just for equipment rental. I have worked all aspects of these programs, audio, video (beta & digital) lighting, projection, and technical direction. On countless occasions I have walked into a room and found the audio technician having difficulty with something and pulling his hair out. Many of them are much more knowledgeable than me in the areas of condensers, frequency response ranges and so forth. On a lot of those occasions I have been able to troubleshoot the problem quickly because of my strong belief in staying with the basics. Ninety percent of the time a bad signal is being output or recorded because of a simple error or oversight that has to do with signal flow; attenuation, routing, cables, power issues etc. That is why I harp on about keeping things simple, safe, and high quality. A delicate balance.

On the subject of recording video at live events I feel I have much to offer as I have worked all sides of it, from broadcast projects to digital documentation. For example I have been the guy on the board hundreds of times when a video operator shows up, remember, I too am a video guy, so if they arrive early enough I will bend over backwards to provide them with anything they need to ensure a quality feed. If they show up 5 minutes before kick off, run over and shove a XLR cable into my face and scream “Gime a feed” they are dead in the water. When I have time to do it properly I will start a thread on recording at live events, and hope that you and many others here will join in. That particular topic comes up often but usually emerges from a thread of a different start.

Steve
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Old December 17th, 2003, 11:07 AM   #26
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I have to make one more contribution and end this with a funny story (I gotta some work done). Several years ago I was working a gig where the MC was a woman well known in broadcasting. I was the on the video switch and the audio engineer was a friend of mine that was an outstanding operator. He told me he was worried because we had so much Meyer PA flying from the truss in a low ceiling ballroom and he did not want to feed back with such a professional personality about to step up to the podium. Well she stepped up all right; she did the usual “may I have your attention please” routine several times. The din in the room was loud and everyone was ignoring her. My friend was gently pushing the gain until I could tell by the look on his face he had no headroom left and people would not shut up even though she could clearly be heard over the din. It made her mad to be ignored so she suddenly slapped the head of the SM99 hard with a spoon! It sounded like a bomb went off. I thought the Meyer was coming down. After the initial screams the room fell dead silent and there she stood in front of a SM99 she killed with a spoon. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. So much for being professional.

Dave,
I have the 100 series and love it but there are people here that can help you much more than I in debating the 100 vs 500.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 05:43 PM   #27
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Get the 500. It's a 100 with goodies. Like battery life reporting back to the receiver from the transmitter. Not to mention the Phantom power to the mic from the plug-on.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 06:25 PM   #28
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One thing I've found confusing is that the 100
plug-in transmitter is advised to be used with a
metal mic as the mic is the antenna. (Is aluminum
considered "metal"?) And of the 500 plug-in, I've read that the antenna is *internal*. Is there anything to this?
Signal reception should be identical between the
100 and the 500, right? The difference is just
the goodies, right?
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Old December 17th, 2003, 07:08 PM   #29
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Mike,
To my knowledge, the "battery life reporting back to the receiver from the transmitter" feature is only on the half rack receiver and not on the camera mountable model.
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Old December 17th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #30
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No S$%& ! Darn. I've only got the 100 manual. A Senn rep told me that it did go back to the bodypack receiver. Good thing I didn't order one although the real reason to buy one would be to use with my Shure SM81C (which can take overloads as well as the Beta58).
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