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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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Headset Microphone

Hey there-

We've got a unique recording situation we're considering and wanted to bounce it off you folks. We produce radio programs featuring interviews with ordinary people from a certain ethnic group. Most of these folks tend to be pretty quiet when speaking and will often look down or away when speaking. So, years ago we decided to use a cardoid condensor headset mic (Shure WH30). The mic is always in the same position relative to the mouth and within a couple of minutes everyone forgets they have it on. It's worked great.

Now, we would like to capture some of these interviews on video. However, we don't want to do two separate interviews (one for audio, the other for vid). It's been our experience that it's really not possible to capture the same emotions and responses in the second interview. So we need to do them both at once.

Our problem is with this particular headset mic - a great solution for radio, but not video. It's pretty obvious because of it's size. But we can't compromise on the sound quality because radio is the main thing.

We are considering a more discreet headset mic and shooting from the opposite angle of the mic. But we want to hear from you.

1. Are any of you doing something like this... or know of someone who does?
2. How would you approach this?
3. Do you have any mics you would recommend for this situation?

Thanks!
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Old September 16th, 2009, 06:16 PM   #2
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Countryman E6 earset mic?
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Old September 16th, 2009, 10:24 PM   #3
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MM Audio - The Next Generation of Pro Audio Equipment

VERY comparable to the Countryman E6/E6i. A LOT less money. very pretty on camera too.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 10:37 PM   #4
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I ordered and received three of these:
MM Audio - The Next Generation of Pro Audio Equipment

The ones I received were noisy, so noisy that I couldn't reliably tests their tone compared to the ME2s that came with my Sennheiser G2 units, nor with my MT830mw mics from Audio Technica. So I have sent them back and the company has promised me a refund. I don't know if the ones they sent me were from a bad batch but they were unusable for me.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 11:09 PM   #5
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Kent,

I've also got a radio background and my overriding question is whether there is any benefit of going to video for this sort of content?

There really needs to be something more than "talking head" for it to be worthwhile. So many times I have wished there was a "just listen to the audio" option on YouTube as this would incidentally save on my internet bandwidth.

In the end, it's the content that counts.

Andrew
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Old September 19th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #6
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I understand the liability of trying to do video on a radio project. Our interest isn't in producing an entire video project off of one of these interviews, but rather to have a camera rolling for that "once in a while" priceless moment that can be used in other productions... supporting other forms of content that we're producing. We're pretty settled on this. So we're trying to get some advice on how best to do it.

Technically, we're trying to keep the ambient noise minimal... so a directional headset mic is preferred. I know that's really thinning out the options. That's why I'm asking. :o)
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Old September 19th, 2009, 12:16 PM   #7
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Back to Steve's suggestion, the Countryman E6i sets the standard for small headset mics, in my experience.

A mic of this type isn't directional, so much as it depends on proximity to the source to reduce ambient sound pickup. In this, it's nothing like an omni lav, even though if you took each apart you'd be looking at much the same electronics.

Proximity in this case means an inch or an inch and a half. Followers of the math of the inverse-square law will recognize that this means tremendous gain.

In my experience, this is the only mic other than a handheld dynamic cardoid or supercardoid that can be easily used in front of speakers for PA work.

Street price about $300, well worth it. One of my clients has 4 of them, they really do sound great.

Note that the mic cable system is detachable - about $50 will get you from XLR output to TA3, TA4, Hirose, 3.5mm, these mics are used with many wireless systems as well as wired.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #8
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Just to clarify, are your saying that the with the E6i I wouldn't have to worry about excess ambient noise like I would an Omni lav?

Thanks all for the input.

Kent
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Old September 19th, 2009, 01:10 PM   #9
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Short booms would easily do what you need, and shot from the other side would be invisible - the best solution would be a single sided over the ear mount - you don't need to spend huge amounts of money, either. This is a UK supplier, but I'm sure you can find similar ones.

PULSE|MIC-1000J|MICROPHONE, EARHOOK 3.5MM JACK | CPC

you also need a power supply - these kind of mics normally get powered by a radio pack, but this gadget does the same job - and can be used to power most small condenser mics.
CANFORD ELECTRET MICROPHONE ADAPTER 3.5mm jack
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Old September 19th, 2009, 02:39 PM   #10
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Countryman's E6i is a good directional headset.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #11
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Theatrically speaking, it could be very interesting to pick up some antique headset mics, revitalize the mic and use them as functional props.
No sense hiding a good joke.

:)
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Old September 19th, 2009, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Fraser View Post
Just to clarify, are your saying that the with the E6i I wouldn't have to worry about excess ambient noise like I would an Omni lav?
Yes. The proximity of the mic to the mouth gives the E6i *much* better performance than an omni lav in terms of pickup of ambient noise.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 09:44 AM   #13
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If you have the money I prefer the DPA 4066 omni and the 4088 cardiod headsets over the e6 mics. They are dual ear design which means that they don't move around as much. I always have issues getting the e6 mics to stay in place when the same mics get used on different talent. And after a while the ear piece gets kinked and misshapen. I also have had the connection at the ear peice of an e6 come loose during a live television show, after that I try not to use them if I can help it. I own both of the DPA mics and they sound and look great. The omni sounds better if you can go with it but in loud enviroments the cardiod does well.

The down side of the mics is that they are expensive. Like $500-600.

DPA Microphones :: Products
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