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Old February 27th, 2005, 11:55 PM   #1
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Lavalier confusion--It's all greek to me :-(

This is my first post. I'm so glad I found you guys becasue I'm so lost and confused. Here's the situation. I have a very very small budget and don't understand a lot of what people tell me "impedence, phantom power, roll off, etc" I just want to know if I get a lavalier mic and an xlr adapter like a beachtek or something that goes into my gs120, will I be okay? I'm making a suicide documentary and don't want to use the camera mic, it sucks. So, shopping around, everyone talks in five syllable words and they end up telling me I have to buy four or five items to make it work. Is that true? I cant just get an XLR adapter and plug it in? Please help me.


Will
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Old February 28th, 2005, 01:11 AM   #2
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Hi Will!

I laughed when I read your post, because much of the stuff I hear is "Greek" to me, too.

Doesn't your camera have mini-inputs for audio? I don't think you even need XLR adapters if you're wanting to keep things nice and simple. If I were in your place I would spend the money on a decent lav. Period! Mine has RCA plugs. If that's what you found, then all you would need is adapters to convert from RCA to mini. My lav was used for a horse training video this past weekend and sounded just fine--nice and clear.

Does that sound better?
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Old February 28th, 2005, 08:06 AM   #3
 
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If you're on a small budget, I'd look at the AT831b. An industry standard, it's batterypowered, the AA battery will last for around 40 hours of use. XLR output, you'll need:

AT831
Low impedance mic cable (standard is 25')
XLR to 1/8 adapter cable.

That's it.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #4
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Although the XLR to 1/8" cable will need to be a correctly wired version for this purpose. There are different kinds available that can cause problems. You'll want a cable with an XLR female end that's wired to go from balanced mono to unbalanced stereo 1/8" male. ( I know, more Greek, but if you get the wrong cable that looks just alike then you won't get any audio...)
That is the simplest and least expensive way, however there are alot of advantages to using an XLR adapter box if you have the money.
The AT831b that Douglas mentioned is a good, low-cost choice. The omni version AT803b also works well. The choice depends on where you want to shoot. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Next up the line in quality are the AT898 and AT899. They have superior sound, are much smaller and come equiped with better clips. They can also run on battery power and are $200.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 01:51 PM   #5
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Thanks so much you guys. $200.00 sounds so much better than 2500.00 and it makes much more sense. I'll let you know how they work for me.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 02:19 AM   #6
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hey guys, I just got another damn sales pitch for the aTR 288w wireless mic system. They swore it would work. I don't know. Don't I need a beachtek adapter too? Why does everyone have sooo many answers but never give you one? It's so frustrating. I'm gonna stop going to stores because they either don't know what they're talking about or just want to make a big sale. Is this system good for my consumer camcorder? Help please!!

I must sound like a complete loon, but I promise I'm not. It's just I want to make a good sounding documentary.

Thanks for all your help everyone.

Will
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 09:51 AM   #7
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It would work, but that's not the way I would go. You should only use wireless when you absolutely have to, and low-cost wireless like this can be even more troublesome. The AT Pro88 and 288 are supposed to work well for the money, but I would still go wired for seated interviews.
Using good wired mics with XLR connectors will require that you get an adapter, either the right cable or a BeachTek-type box, but it will give superior sound.
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