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Old December 29th, 2004, 03:27 PM   #1
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I need to be able to use three wireless lavalier mics at the same time with a Sony PD 170. I have a mixer but it weighs about 28 pounds and is thus non portable. I'm looking for a recomendation on a model that is protable (attaches to belt would be nice) and can take at least two XLR inputs and output them to a single XLR line to the camera. I figure I can just hook the third lavalier into the camera directly. Any ideas or recomendations? Ideally I suppose it would be three mics into one channel so I could use the boom as well, but I know beggars can't be choosers.

Oh, and under 300 would be great and under 200 would make me even happier:) But I know it might be more.

Also, does anyone have recomendations for a good wireless lavalier that is cheaper than the Senheisser stuff? And what is the differnece between diversity UHF systems and the Senheisser G2 100 series that mentions nothing about diversity, just that it is UHF? Also, is diversity just two antenas versus one?
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Old December 29th, 2004, 05:48 PM   #2
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The lowest price field type mixer that would qualify as "professional" for this would be the Marenius MM-3100. Which is a 3x1 mono mixer with meters, tone generator and headphone out. It's $369 and I have no experience with it. As I said, it is a mono mixer so it will do what you've asked, but would be handicapped if you wanted to keep two outputs separate.
Next up the list is the PSC DV Promix3 at $495. It's a 3x2 mixer. I just received one and have only slightly tested it. I can't fully comment on its performance yet.
Next would be the SoundDevices MixPre at about $665. It's a 2x2 mixer with outstanding quality.

There are less expensive belt-type mixers that don't have XLR out or meters or headphone output, etc.

There are also very small desk-top style mixers that can run on battery power and be carried around the neck. They do have headphone outs and limited metering but are somewhat cumbersome for true field use. They are however much less expensive than the mixers I mentioned in the first paragraph.
Nady, Behringer and Peavey make these.

There really isn't anything less expensive than the G2 systems that are as good. Some people report good results with the better Samson systems, but others don't. The same is true with Nady. The G2 are really about as low-priced as you can go for a dependable system.
True diversity receivers have two complete antenna and the ability to switch between the one receiving the best signal. This helps prevent dropouts in transmission of the signal. Indoor situations are usually more prone to dropout due to multipath reflections, which is what diversity helps with. However, indoor situations usually involve shorter distances, which also helps prevent dropouts. The bottom line is all systems can have a dropout or interference. Diversity is beneficial, but many people have no problems using the G2 systems.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 06:21 PM   #3
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Try this. Of course if the outputs die it's not my fault. But I have done a similar thing with good results, for mixing the output of three identical MIDI sound modules. Just make a cable that physically sums the line outputs of the receivers to a single input on the camera, should work well because the impedance of the three ouput circuits should be identical. You can then control levels by controlling the output level at each receiver. This should work well at line or headphone level. Not sure about mic level or balanced operation.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 07:24 PM   #4
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Hmm. This is depressing:) For the PSC DV Promix3, can I mount it on a camermans body easily? It needs to move with the action. Also, can I make all wireless mics transfer to on channel so I can leave the boom mixing to the right channel?

Hmm. Also, any recomendations on one that could perhaps make mics go to one channel? I'm wondering if I could do without the third lavalier and perhaps just have two going.
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Old December 29th, 2004, 07:41 PM   #5
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Another thing, because this looks like it might save me a little money and I am hoping against hoper here, do you know anything about the Samson UM1/Airline Series Combo System. It comes with a plug in transmitter for basically the same cost as the G2 and I would love to have one.

Thank you both for your help. And I might have to try the rigged way but I'm still hoping I could do it cheaply.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 09:33 AM   #6
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The ProMix3 comes with a fitted bag that the operator can hang around their neck. Each of the 3 inputs can be routed to either the left output, right output or both outputs.
Some people report good performance from the Samsons. You would have to be more careful in buying a unit with a good frequency range for your locale, because the Samsons have a much smaller number of frequencies on each unit versus the Sennheisers. In other words, even though the Samson has selectable frequencies, there may not be a wide enough range of adjustment to escape interference from a local TV station that broadcasts in the same band. The G2 units have a very wide range of selectable frequencies on each unit. You can check the wireless websites for lists of TV stations in your area and then pick an unoccupied channel.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 10:45 AM   #7
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Does anyone have any experience with the Studio 1 XLR adapter? They make one that can ake three seinhesiers and put them on one channel. BH recomends them, and since I don't need phantom power, I'm thinking about giving the 200 dollar item a try.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 01:13 PM   #8
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You have to get the one designed for cameras that already have XLR inputs.
http://www.studio1productions.com/xlr-mix_pro.htm

That's different from the regular ones for cameras with 1/8-inch mic inputs. B&H doesn't list this newer model so make sure they know the one you want for the PD-170.
While that device will mix the signals, you won't have meters, headphone output, or a way to boost the gain other than with the controls on the wireless system itself. This device is passive, you mix by turning the signals down from full as needed.
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Old December 30th, 2004, 01:26 PM   #9
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Hmm. The BH audio guy I talked to recomended it to me, so I called Studio 1 and they have it in stock (thus I'll have it for Tuesday's shoot).

I think that since I already have a studio mixer (takes 120 volt and is heavy) this might cheaply fix my issue. I can adjust volume going to the camera for each input and that will honestly probably do me until I can afford something better and portable. I'm not totally happy about the compromise, but it will save me 300 dollars I sorely need for pay for the crew. Thank you all for your help, I think I'm going to order this one.
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Old December 31st, 2004, 07:07 PM   #10
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Good luck and you're welcome. B&H probably has the right one, it's just not on their website yet that I could find. I didn't even know about it myself til I looked it up the other day when you mentioned it. Just make sure they know the one you need and let us know how it works for you.
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Old January 1st, 2005, 07:12 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by James Lilly : Hmm. The BH audio guy I talked to recomended it to me, so I called Studio 1 and they have it in stock (thus I'll have it for Tuesday's shoot).

I think that since I already have a studio mixer (takes 120 volt and is heavy) this might cheaply fix my issue. I can adjust volume going to the camera for each input and that will honestly probably do me until I can afford something better and portable. I'm not totally happy about the compromise, but it will save me 300 dollars I sorely need for pay for the crew. Thank you all for your help, I think I'm going to order this one. -->>>

DO let us know how that works out Jim. I'd be looking for a Sound Devices 302 to fill the bill on the mixer. It filts all of your criteria but price.

Smiles,

Ty Ford
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Old January 10th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #12
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I used the studio 1 this weekend to have three G2 lavaliers going into one XLR input and I was shocked at the quality. I highly recomend it. I wish it had phantom power, but I was really impressed with what it was able to do with it.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 02:26 PM   #13
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Two things to consider here;

1. No phantom power

2. This is a passive device. That means you can't turn your mics up, you can only turn them down from unity. (Unless you use the sensitivity control on the camera audio input.)

If you have low sensitivity mics (like dynamics) be sure that you don't need the gain that a powered mixer with an actual preamp provides.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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