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Old March 13th, 2005, 10:13 AM   #1
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Wireless Boom Mics?

With many prosumer cameras having XLR in now, it would be much more convienent to pump audio directly onto the DV tape rather than recording it on DAT and syncing it up later (especially on a documentary shoot, where there could potentially be hundreds of hours to sync, although most people would probably only sync once they've significantly reduced the footage)

Of course being tethered to your sound guy(or gal) also somewhat limits your mobility as a camera man, so that isn't exactly the best option.

What wireless boom mic setups are out there for the prosumer market (Under $1500) ? (I.e. what portable wireless transmitters/recievers that provide XLR without significant signal degregation should I check out?)

Thanks -
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:19 PM   #2
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I have an ATR55, which plugs right into my Azden wireless lav bodypack. Are you starting to follow my drift? It isn't XLR, but will work as a wireless boom setup. Just plug the reciever into your cam, and you have the tool you are looking for.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:22 PM   #3
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Lectrosonics butt plug provides phantom power in it's xmitter.

I think the Zaxcom does as well, but check me on that.

That still doesn't really work without a way for the boom op to hear what the mic's picking up.

To do that, you need some sort of powered belt pack with a headphone jack for the boom op and a separate spigot to feed the wireless xmitter .


Regards,

Ty
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #4
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Keith - I was wondering about XLR specifc solutions, as I have access to a few XLR-only mics -

Ty - I thought of that too, and was considering something like a Rolls PM50 if there were no wireless transmisters which had that functionality.

I just thought maybe there was a specific product designed for using medium to high-end boom mics (like a 4073a or something) wirelessly
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Old March 13th, 2005, 05:59 PM   #5
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Sorry Ari, but I don't use XLRs very often these days. I was just relaying one of my work-arounds, hoping it might help you come up with your own solution.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 06:04 PM   #6
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Keith - I appreciate your contribution, and it does seem like a nice easy way to go if I end up buying some new mics as well. Anyone else have any ideas?
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Old March 13th, 2005, 06:46 PM   #7
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<<<-- Originally posted by Ari Shomair : Keith - I was wondering about XLR specifc solutions, as I have access to a few XLR-only mics -

Ty - I thought of that too, and was considering something like a Rolls PM50 if there were no wireless transmisters which had that functionality.

I just thought maybe there was a specific product designed for using medium to high-end boom mics (like a 4073a or something) wirelessly -->>>

Ari,

I think a trip to a location audio website like John Coffey's place
www.coffeysound.com is in order.

John has lots of doo dads that do those jobs.

Regards,

Ty
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Old March 13th, 2005, 08:58 PM   #8
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You gotta' get a pretty good plug-on beyond even simply getting phantom to the mic... I used to love the convenience of a wireless boom until I A/B'ed my 416 wired and wireless. I couldn't believe how much soul the transmitter was sucking out of the mic... I called Lectro to have my transmitter tuned up and they said it was probably fine after I described the difference in sound quality.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but you may be surprised at how much of the mic's quality that you lose when running it wireless... unless you get a REALLY good wireless set.

I ended up selling my Lectro plug-on set 'cause I can't imagine being in a situation where I'd accept the quality drop from the mic vs. dealing with a wire. (I still run a Lectro lav and love it.)

If Ty or somebody else can offer a suggestion for a plug-on that doesn't affect the mic detail too much... and is cheaper then a Zaxcom... I'm all ears.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 10:17 PM   #9
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Interesting. here's what I'm guessing. I said guessing.

The 416 requires full 48V DC phantom at 2 mA. It may be possible that the plug on you used was not capable of supplying the total power reqiured. Power being the product of voltage times current. 96 mW is a lot to ask for one 9 Volt battery.

Then too, it may be the wireless transmission and reception itself. Lectro makes a line of good and better gear. Which Lectro plugon and receiver were you using?


Regards,

Ty (who always prefers a wire) Ford
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Old March 14th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #10
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It was a cr187... I have two of these sets... one plug and one bodypack... (2 complete sets, not 2 transmitters and 1 receiver)... and maybe it WAS something in the one set. It's not like it sounded like crap... it just sounded like 75% a normal 416... The bass thinned out and there was a subtle "fizz" that you could only hear with headphones... but it drove me nuts.

When I plugged in a couple other mic types (that you wouldn't normally use wireless) such as large diaphragms... it would absolutely KILL them... and even ENG mics were hit or miss. A Beyer m58 sounded fine, but my AKG d230 lost it's soul too. So you how would you assess that? I'm thinking that the reason every ENG mic you see on TV is an re50 is 'cause it sounds best with a wireless. What do you think of all this?

Is there an "affordable" plug-on that DOESN'T have this anamoly?
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Old March 14th, 2005, 07:29 AM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Matt Gettemeier : It was a cr187... I have two of these sets... one plug and one bodypack... (2 complete sets, not 2 transmitters and 1 receiver)... and maybe it WAS something in the one set. It's not like it sounded like crap... it just sounded like 75% a normal 416... The bass thinned out and there was a subtle "fizz" that you could only hear with headphones... but it drove me nuts.

When I plugged in a couple other mic types (that you wouldn't normally use wireless) such as large diaphragms... it would absolutely KILL them... and even ENG mics were hit or miss. A Beyer m58 sounded fine, but my AKG d230 lost it's soul too. So you how would you assess that? I'm thinking that the reason every ENG mic you see on TV is an re50 is 'cause it sounds best with a wireless. What do you think of all this?

Is there an "affordable" plug-on that DOESN'T have this anamoly? -->>>

Maybe the higher sensitivity condenser mics were overdriving the transmitter input and/or not mating well with the mic preamp?

Maybe the drain on the transmitter battery to provide phantom for the mic is pulling the system down.

There IS a mystical relationship between wireless mic inputs the the mics used, no doubt. :) RE50 + wireless = success is one example. I'm certain there are others.

You might have tried to run the 416 through a phantom powered mixer and plugged the lectro transmitter into the mixer output. That would eliminate the possibility of phantom drain and mic preamp mismatches.

And, NO. There isn't a cheap way to get quality. Having said that, there are some new mics for video that aound pretty darn good for the money. When I consult a shooter about sound and audio, we go over the options.

What's depressing to me is the number of people who make posts saying they have, for example, $300 for sound and want good sound. I can only read this sort of post as one made by someone who may have a passion for shooting, but doesn't really have a grasp of what's involved in getting professional quality; not only the equipment, but the process as well.

The flood of afforadble camcorders has empowered many people as never before. There's an ineresting sense of entitlement that sometimes surfaces among the newly empowered; an "I'm making a film (video) and I'm doing it MY way." sort of vibe.

In my gut, I'm seeing this as their reaction to overriding control issues elsewhere in their lives. "My job/wife/husband may be teling me what to do or keeping me from doing things I would like to do, but this is my own project." That's fine. I applaud everyone who goes for it.

There are, however, immutable laws of physics for picture, lighting and sound that control what can be done and what can't. You want a solid document on what professional sound people think about and what they believe is required to get good sound? Go to my website, click on location recording and click on The Letter.

After you read The Letter, you'll have a much better idea as to what it takes to get good sound and why the $300 solution tells me a lot more about you than you may realize. :)

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old March 14th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #12
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I'm sure we're suffering a communication gap and that you weren't directing that speech at me, but after our couple of posts back and forth and the quote of me at the top a hasty reader may get that impression.

So I just have to add that I'm not a $300 solution kind of guy... 416 and Lectro 'aint cheap. Even a cr187 is $500-$700 in a 5 year-old edition. (My wireless boom with Rycote mount, Softie, Lectro, and CF K-Tek made a $2500 stick... my cost.)

The used Lectros I'm using were $1400 5 years ago. I bought 'em from some friends in NY who were doing sub-work for GMA with these just 2 years ago. (They replaced 'em with the 201 series.)
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Old March 14th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #13
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You're right. I wasn't.

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Old September 4th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #14
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Any headphone amplifier for wireless boom mike out there?

Hi,
Do you know any good gear to get a headphone output to a boom operator with wireless mic to the camcorder?

I was thinking to get a Sennheiser SKP500 plug-on wireless transmitter with phantom powering to a MKH 416. But there s a need for something like a "plug-between" headphone amplifier to guide the boom man. Some recommendations please ar at least some idea what to use? /Regards Johan
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Old September 4th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #15
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Hi,

Sure.

http://www.studio1productions.com/am300.htm

Regards,

Ty Ford
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