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Old November 3rd, 2009, 06:37 AM   #1
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Unsure about radio mic performance

Hi guys,

So recently I did a shoot where the presenter was interviewing people in a really noisy environment (club, loud music etc).

For this, I used the Sony shotgun mic that comes with the Z5 in a handheld configuration, and I was presently surprised at the performance.

Now, I need to free myself from being wired to the presenter, so I want a wireless system - I'm looking at the Sennheiser G2/G3-type systems, but the hand held mic/transmitter is a dynamic type, and less directional than the shotgun mic on the camera - so I'm not sure whether there will be enough gain/sensitivity/rejection. I don't want the presenter to have to shove the mic up the interviewee's nose!

Does anyone have any experience with the Sennheiser (or other) units in similar scenarios? Do you get reasonable quality audio from those mics?

Thanks,
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 06:59 AM   #2
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Hi Ben I really rated the mic that comes with the Z5/7 so when I went to P2 I wanted a similar mic.

The Audio Technica AT875 is virtually identical to the sony and I now use it with a G2 SKP500 plug in transmitter that also provides phantom power.

The mic is here:
AT875R, Audio Technica 875, 875R
G2 transmitter:Sennheiser SKP 500 G2 Plug On Transmitter - 009786

I use them together with a rode PG2 pistol grip and a W/S6 wind gag.

I also have some of the sennheiser stick radio mics but they are hyper cardioid and really only suitable for vocalists as they are too tight to be used as interview mics.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 07:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the post, Gary.

Yes, I've now seen a couple of options for phantom powering and wirelessly transmitting *any* mic now, and they look like a good bet. The SKP500 is quite pricey though (as are most things in this business, I guess).

I still like the thought of a more robust presenter's mic though. I had a chat to a couple of different hire companies about this, and it seems while the Sennheiser handheld mic/transmitter won't be as sensitive or directional as a phantom powered shotgun, they would certainly be better than a bog standard dynamic like an SM58 or equivalent, which was encouraging.

It's always difficult to know unless you actually get the gear and try it out - in this case, hiring and hoping for the best. It would be nice to know what's the typical, "industry standard" type configuration in this area...
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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On this side of the pond, the "standard" TV reporter's interview mic is the EV RE-50, usually hard-wired, with a butt plug or H/H transmitter body . In a noisy club the presenter would need to have the mic very close to mitigate the ambient noise. Or possibly a SM58 type cardioid, but the presenter would have to be very vigilant in keeping the mic on-axis and consistent.

The Sennheiser G2/G3 has an excellent reputation as a good system if your on a budget. And like any wireless system, proper gain staging and frequency selection are necessary for optimum performance. (a few minutes of pre-production set-up on location)
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Hall View Post
Hi guys,

So recently I did a shoot where the presenter was interviewing people in a really noisy environment (club, loud music etc).

For this, I used the Sony shotgun mic that comes with the Z5 in a handheld configuration, and I was presently surprised at the performance.

Now, I need to free myself from being wired to the presenter, so I want a wireless system - I'm looking at the Sennheiser G2/G3-type systems, but the hand held mic/transmitter is a dynamic type, and less directional than the shotgun mic on the camera - so I'm not sure whether there will be enough gain/sensitivity/rejection. I don't want the presenter to have to shove the mic up the interviewee's nose!

Does anyone have any experience with the Sennheiser (or other) units in similar scenarios? Do you get reasonable quality audio from those mics?

Thanks,
Give some consideration to the Sennheiser MD46 with the buttplug transmitter. The MD46 is a cardioid pattern dynamic designed for handheld interview use where background noise is an issue. It does, however, need to be pretty close to the speaker - 6 inches or so max.
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
On this side of the pond, the "standard" TV reporter's interview mic is the EV RE-50, usually hard-wired, with a butt plug or H/H transmitter body.
Thanks - yes, I'm aware of the popularity of the RE50, and it looks like a good choice for a general vox pop mic. Presumably by "butt plug" or "H/H transmitter" you mean a unit similar to the SKP500 - ie, something that connects to the mic to provide the wireless transmission and/or phantom power if necessary?

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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
In a noisy club the presenter would need to have the mic very close to mitigate the ambient noise.
Indeed. This is why highly directional mics are a bonus, as they'll pick up the vocal spoken directly into them and attempt to reject whatever else they can. Like I say, I was pleased with the performance of the small shotgun mic - it's just being tethered to the presenter in a busy environment becomes logistically tricky, potentially dangerous and limits the camera flexibility - plus it's one extra thing I have to worry about and keep an eye on while shooting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
Or possibly a SM58 type cardioid, but the presenter would have to be very vigilant in keeping the mic on-axis and consistent.
A SM58 just won't work - you basically have to have those glued to your lips - Ok for a single presenter perhaps in some cases, but really not useful for interviews. Having said that, I do plan to try the performance of all the mics I own to get a mental handle on their suitability for a given environment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
The Sennheiser G2/G3 has an excellent reputation as a good system if your on a budget. And like any wireless system, proper gain staging and frequency selection are necessary for optimum performance. (a few minutes of pre-production set-up on location)
Yep - it's ok, I've been an audio guy for most of my life (and a lot longer than the picture stuff) so I'm not new to audio fundamentals :). It's more the specific gear and real-world usage for this situation (presenting in a high ambient noise environment) that I'm feeling my way around...

Cheers for the replies, chaps!
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Old November 3rd, 2009, 10:50 AM   #7
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Give some consideration to the Sennheiser MD46 with the buttplug transmitter. The MD46 is a cardioid pattern dynamic designed for handheld interview use where background noise is an issue. It does, however, need to be pretty close to the speaker - 6 inches or so max.
That looks pretty similar to Sennheiser's wireless version that contains the inbuilt transmitter. They are good performers, then? That's good to know, thanks.

6 inches is fine, and is practically what you can expect in those kinds of environments.
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Old November 4th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #8
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The MD46 is cardioid, most of the in-built Sennheiser hand-held transmitters are hypercardioid and have sensitivities more designed for singing in PA environments.
The most common place to see an MD46 is a sports broadcast if the talent isn't using a headworn Sennheiser mic/headset or if they are conducting an interview with a hand-held mic.
The MD42 is omni.
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