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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:56 AM   #1
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Lapel Mic for Weddings - Help!

Hey guys, I'm new to the forum and was hoping yall can help me out. I been looking around for a lapel mic to use for weddings. I just need a single mic and receiver, since I only have one camera. I am doing my first wedding very soon and forgot I needed a mic!

I do weddings as it is, but I am starting my own company. I don't want to spend to much on the mic. I tried amazon and ebay, I don't care if they are used I just meed to know if they work or not. There's some cheap crap on ebay and scared to even consider but they have a few that I am curious about. Tell what you think or if you know of any better ones!

AZDEN WLX-PRO VHF WIRELESS LAPEL MIC MICROPHONE NEW - eBay (item 230367648376 end time Aug-21-09 23:00:24 PDT)

NADY 151VR-LT PRO WIRELESS LAPEL MIC FOR CAMCORDERS - eBay (item 230368246225 end time Aug-23-09 17:53:39 PDT)

Azden 200LT Lavalier Wireless Lapel Mic Set New in Box - eBay (item 200372907266 end time Aug-19-09 11:55:07 PDT)

The last one runs off of a AC adapter...I was think of dumping the audio to a laptop instead of the camera. I don't know if that would work. It's really cheap and shady.

Hope I didn't make myself look like a totally idiot! Thanks!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 06:05 AM   #2
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Friends don't let friends buy Azden or Nady. Neither manufacturer has a particularly sterling reputation in professional audio circles.

VHF sets, in general, are subject to limited range and increased susceptibility to dropouts and interference compared to UHF units. But if you look further towards UHF, remember that the 700mHz band is off-limits for wireless in the States since the switchover to digital TV. Since that was one of the commonly used bands for wireless, there are a lot of units going to be dumped on eBay and the like - to stay legal and reduce the chance of interference from the new services now moving into that band, make sure you know what you're getting and avoid units that operate in that part of the spectrum. (That's not an issue with the VHF units you linked to but was offered as a caution as you keep looking.)

The Sennheiser G2 (now superceded by the G3) with an upgraded lavelier capsule is generally considered the minimum entry level mic for serious work.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Steve!

Well I searched for the one you mentioned and found this:

Sennheiser EK100G2C G2 & SK 100 - eBay (item 390081965293 end time Aug-21-09 10:24:55 PDT)

I realized it is the exact one that I use for the company I work for!! Cheap to so I might just buy that one.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alex Babin View Post
Thanks Steve!

Well I searched for the one you mentioned and found this:

Sennheiser EK100G2C G2 & SK 100 - eBay (item 390081965293 end time Aug-21-09 10:24:55 PDT)

I realized it is the exact one that I use for the company I work for!! Cheap to so I might just buy that one.
Worth checking out. But m,ake sure that the frequency is not the "C" band, that's the band that's now illegal. I know their ad says it's the "B" band but I'm not convinced the C in the part number "...G2C" and the C on the front panel in one of the photographs doesn't mean it's really a C band set. John W, are you around to clarify?
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:01 AM   #5
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Alex,

I bought the Azden and there's gonna be hate on here, but it worked great for me. Like you, I jjust got into wedding vids, and needed a lav. Couldn't drop the $400+ into a system, as "only $400" here and "only $400" there, for lights, lavs, CS3 etc, soon enough it would add up.


I bought mine thru Amazon, which as an added bonus came with a usable handheld mic to shoot "Congratulations" segments with guests, which the B&G loved. Maybe over time I'll run into issues with clarity, or cell phone interference (although it even had cell phones go off at the ceremony & reception, nothing occured), at which point I can look to upgrade & invest more, until then I'm pleased with the results I got.

Amazon.com: AZDEN WMS-PRO Lavaliere System with Hand-Held Microphone: Camera & Photo
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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Give an Azden system to your competitors as a 'gift', watch them pull their hair out after 3 weddings and eventually close shop. If you are charging for your product and don't care about the quality of your audio enough to spend $600 on a mid-level sytem (like the G2), then you don't deserve to be in business. Are you expecting your clients to watch your video with the sound off? Then by all means, go cheap on your audio. I'm guessing that you don't take into account that a good audio system will outlast your next 2 cameras. I have a Lectrosonics unit that is approaching 11 years old but will blow away almost anything else you can pick up today.
Sorry if this seems harsh, but I've been asked to 'clean up' work from clients who hired cheap videographers with cheap gear. It gives a black-eye to our profession, and costs the client twice as much in the end.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #7
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If you are charging for your product and don't care about the quality of your audio enough to spend $600 on a mid-level sytem (like the G2), then you don't deserve to be in business.
Hey guy, keep these comments to yourself, alright!!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:02 PM   #8
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I learned my lesson... I purchased a lower quality system years ago and soon discovered that you need to buy the best you can afford or your looking for trouble. I would rather purchase a used medium or high end system than waste my money on a lesser quality audio component. Everything in my audio kit - Tram, Lectrosonics, Fostex, Sennheiser, K-Tek, Countryman, Rycote and PSC was all purchased used and in excellent shape.

The Sennheiser wireless unit is a good selection for a first mic.

Last edited by Mark Boyer; August 17th, 2009 at 02:43 PM.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #9
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Hey guy, keep these comments to yourself, alright!!
"You don't deserve to be in business" is a bit over the top, true, but it's frustrating to see people spending thousands on cameras and then cheap out on sound gear when crystal clear sound is vastly more important to the audience than are crystal clear pictures. The audience will easily forgive the occasional less than perfect pictures but they're used to the sound of network dramatic television and broadcast news and that sets the bar for everything we do.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:24 PM   #10
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"You don't deserve to be in business" is a bit over the top, true, but it's frustrating to see people spending thousands on cameras and then cheap out on sound gear when crystal clear sound is vastly more important to the audience than are crystal clear pictures. The audience will easily forgive the occasional less than perfect pictures but they're used to the sound of network dramatic television and broadcast news and that sets the bar for everything we do.
Thanks for understanding. FWIW I didn't spend thousands & cheap out on audio. I have a used GL2 which I got off ebay 2 years ago. And just recently as I began getting into weddings I've spend $$ on CS2 as my old premiere didn't have DVD menu software (Encore), licensed music, and a lav mic. I could've spend $600 for a better mic, and I could've spend $600 CS3, and I could've spend $600 for a second cam.. but its' all a slippery slope, on a budget I gotta make decisions. And being that I'm just getting into the biz, I could've charged $2000 for the wedding, but it's doubtful a couple would have chosen me, being that I don't have the portfolio or referrals/recommendations. So I charge alot less, and with that the B&G spend less, yet fortunately for me expected adequate. Which they got, better than adequate in fact. After I get a few more under my belt, and a bit more cash flow, I'll look to invest in a higher quality mic, but all I'm saying is it worked suitably fine for me. If someone doesn't like it, fine, disagree. But don't bitch at me because you had to reedit some other persons video. It wasn't my video, and who's to say they even used the Azden & not the on-cam mic or some other pos. As I said, it worked good for a beginner like me, apparently someone in San Jose got some bad audio, whether or not they used the Azden I don't think we even know.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 02:11 PM   #11
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I used Azden 500Us for a number of years with Sony and Countryman mics and frankly, the audio was good. Real good. Yes the cheaper Azdens can be problematic but with the right mics they aren't as bad as a lot of people think.
For the last 2 years I've been using the AT dual channel setup again with Countryman mics. Is it an improvement? Absolutely, but the 500Us with the Countryman mics did a really good job. Not just weddings, seminars, TV commericals, talking heads and corporate training vids.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:00 PM   #12
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Years ago when I was starting a production company we wanted to lease a total package. It was for a Canon XL1 camera (hey it was 10 years ago!), mics, lights, a computer, storage, a deck and NTSC monitor. The only choice for a lav from this particular outfit was an Azden WDR PRO. We were booked to shoot over 20 interviews of some corporate folk. The main man was the CEO of a Fortune 1000 company. Just starting out, I made a crucial mistake I'll remember for the rest of my life.

I mic'd the CEO with subpar equipment and took multiple wireless hits during the interview. I cringed with every static burst as if I was getting punched right in the gut. I knew we had only 10 minutes with this guy and it took weeks to book this interview. Rookie move buying the cheap stuff. Bottom line - I would have paid 3 times as much to get out of that scenario. I was sweating bullets as I had to kindly ask the gentleman to stop and answer the same question again due to an audio issue. Then....BAM. Hit again mid sentence. I didn't have the heart to stop him again. We walked away with barely enough usable footage to squeeze into the final edit and the bummer was that he actually had a great story to share.

Nowadays, for sit down interviews I hardwire a lav mic and have a shotgun or hyper backup, usually it's the RODE NT3 indoors as it has a loose pattern and doesn't suffer from the hollow echo you get with a shotgun. For moving subjects, I'm still using the Sennheiser Evolution G2 wireless and an upgraded lav. The stock ME2 that is included is ok, but when you hear how much livelier a Countryman B6 or Sanken COS-11 sounds, you'll be floored. Countryman B6 lavalier at DVcreators.net

Audio In Close Up - Which Lavalier Should I Use?"

Of course you don't have to get a better lav right away, but its always good to know what your options are.

Bottom line, please don't go cheap on wireless, either the Sony UWP series or Sennheiser G2/G3 in the $500 range is a good bang for buck system at the minimum. For higher end explore the Lectrosonics brand. Good equipment will pay for itself over the years of service you'll get out of them - and you get the peace of mind that you can count on 'em. If you do the math as to how many times you'll use the unit over 3 years, the couple extra hundred for better quality winds up being a solid investment.

Hope this helps,
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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:29 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies! Well I didn't want to quote everyone it would have been to long!

Well, yes I am just starting out in video, on my own tho, and all I need is audio during the vows and that's it. I'm not trying to go cheap on my audio, but I am working on a budget. I didn't spend 1000's of dollars only a 1000. I have a VX2000, and I work will the Sony Xcam and FX1's for my other job, so it a complete down grade from that, but I have a photographer that is guiding me. He was a top New Orleans videographer a few years ago.

I am also buying lights as well. I don't need to buy programs since I already have the CS3 and CS4 master suites. I use flash for menu buttons so it would have some animation in it. Premiere or Vegas to edit of course.

I know people has different experience with products and frankly I am still confused on what to get. My wedding is on the 21st so it right around the corner and it's just my cousins wedding. It's not a huge fancy wedding. Soon I will be able to afford better equipment, but for now I need something just to work for five minutes.

Thanks again everyone!!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:32 PM   #14
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Guy,

Holy crap! that demo video for the countryman is incredible. I've been using a G2 for 3 years and that's a great upgrade.

Re: quality mics. I use my g2 so often it isn't funny. I also have a Senn k6/me66 which use far less often. The only one sweaty moment I had with the g2 was when a client accidentally flicked the 'mute' button on. IMHO, Unlike camera technology, audio technology is pretty much done, so you don't have to worry about good expensive equipment becoming obsolete.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #15
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Guy... after a simular situation I always carry enough spare XLR mic cables to hardwire 2 mics up to 100' each.

I fiind the best option to record the vows is to use a Shotgun mic located near the couple and a long XLR mic cord run around the guests into the camera. Then I get a sound check from an assistant to set my levels. I will have a wireless mic on the Minster and montor everything with headphones. If I get RF hits on the wireless I will shut down that channel and just use the shotgun. Get ready to drop or raise your levels during the ceremony due to a loud PA or organist.
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