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Old December 17th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #1
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Wireless or Wired ?

i was about to buy a beachtek adapter with an xlr cable for boom pole use with my sony sr11 but then i came across the wireless option for my azden sgm-1x shotgun mic.
Azden | VHF Plug-In Transmitter | WXTPROF1 | B&H Photo Video
Azden | WR-PRO VHF Receiver for Pro Series | WR-PRO | B&H Photo

now i am confused wat to buy, would the wireless option be better then buying beachtek and long wires and would it be noise free etc ?
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #2
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The hardwired Beachtek adapter set-up would be more versatile, sound better and not be prone to RF issues and other sound anomalies that exist with a low cost wireless system. You can always add a wireless later on.

In addition that Azden butt-plug transmitter does not supply Phantom power should you need it for a condenser mic.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:16 AM   #3
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When able, run a cable!
the Azden VHF stuff is not all that great even the low end UHF leaves something to be desired. I had 2 sets of the UDR500 systems and they worked fine but not as well as other systems in the same price range.
Run a cable - run it right and you won't have handling noise issues.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 01:40 PM   #4
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I use the best (Lectro) and still I carry enough xlr cords in case I need to hardwire my mics. Before I upgraded I started off with a Canon GL1 and a Beachtek mounted under it. Excellent product.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 12:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
When able, run a cable!
And if you can't run a ... uh ... wireless mic.

So much for my catchy rhymes.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 12:19 PM   #6
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If they have to put "PRO" in giant letters on the gear, it's usually a piece of crap.

Decent wireless is in the $600-700/channel range, good wireless is at least double that.

If you're going to rely on a wireless boom, you have to be certain it's absolutely reliable. That basically means Zaxxcom or Lectro.
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Old December 20th, 2009, 11:03 AM   #7
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If they have to put "PRO" in giant letters on the gear, it's usually a piece of crap.
And I thought I was the ONLY one who had noticed...

And yes, cable if you can. If you can't, use the best quality wireless you can afford (renting is always an option). And if you can't afford GOOD wireless, you have two options:
1. Make a comprehensive back up plan
2. Start practicing your excuses/apologies for why the audio drops out during the single most important part
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Old December 20th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #8
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Tomatoes - termatoes....

I use wireless 99% of the time as Im shooting news. Never ever had an issue with RF.
I even sometimes use a radio link from the sound operators mixer desk for the concerts when its unsafe to run a cable.

While Lectro might be good, Ive never had an issue with Sony.

The only issue I have is which mic to use, and thats decided on by the environment; a lav or a shotty in a blimp when its windy.

And, yes, I keep 50 metres of cable to hand.

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Old December 21st, 2009, 10:33 PM   #9
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In the last few years I haven't used a wired mic at all. As mentioned in a lot of threads, I'm using an ATW-1800.

There was an incident where a transmitter started to fail and had to be serviced. But other than that it's been very, very solid and reliable. And I do have a backup.

With wireless there is a lot more to deal with: frequency selection, transmitter gain, receiver output level, camera input level and limiters. But in many "reality" situations there might not be an option.

So whatever you decide to do depends on what kind of work you're doing.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 11:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Ben Longden View Post
I use wireless 99% of the time as Im shooting news. Never ever had an issue with RF.

------

Ive never had an issue with Sony.
I'd never had an issue with the BetaSX mounted WRR/WRT8xx series Sony's either UNTIL I went to do an "in camera live" two person hosted interview in a theatre with two units and NEITHER ONE would work without SERIOUS dropouts at 10 feet! As this was to be a 3 minute top-to-tail "live" interview, I had to work everything out which meant humping back to the van and getting two hardwire lavs out and stringing cable (which took about 20 minutes due to the distance to the van...) and led to one P.O.'d national arts reporter and one subject who felt his time was being wasted.

As it turned out, the semi-open air theatre had 32 channels of UHF band wireless in operation and I couldn't find two clean channels to save my life.

Another time, I couldn't get a WRT/WRR8xx series combo (again camera mounted receiver on a BetaSX) to work for a walk-and-talk stand up on a beach some 30 kilometers from the nearest town at a distance of 50 - 100 feet.

I realize these are isolated incidents but I don't TRUST wireless audio if I don't HAVE to.

EDIT: I should point out that the 8xx series DOES have multiple power levels on the transmitter and I did have all transmitters set to high - 100mw I believe...
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 12:09 AM   #11
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In RF-cluttered environments, it's almost a requirement to have a system that can automatically scan for clean channels. It's saved me more than once.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 12:32 AM   #12
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i use duel diversity UHF stereo (way overpriced at the time) wireless system, and if ever asked "should we wire this up or use the wireless", the answer would be wire it up.
because if they are asking, then a wire was possible.
There is nothing convienient about a wire, and there is nothing perfect about compressing the audio sending it into a radio transmitter, shooting it through the air, getting it in the transmitter , then decompressing it and storing it.
And to date (after switching to this duel diversity overpriced stuff) i have not had a Single brap or burp or blank from the wireless. But if i listen really close , the audio has flaws, and it has flaws 2 feet from the transmitter.

If you have a audio handler, a Locked down studio situation, a short run, the time to run a wire, the spaces to run a wire, the wire isnt getting in the way of the operations of the stuff, then you would run a wire.
you run a wire whenever and wherever you could run a wire, you use wireless when you cant wire, when a wire would be bad or when its terribly inconvienient.

WireLESS will always be Less , and if you think about it, you still have wires TOO :-)

if you Can , run a wire, if you cant get a GREAT wireless system, if you cant get a great wireless system, then Dub in music :-)

We cheat everytime we bought wireless, they would say "This Area Uses these frequencies, so YOU should buy those frequencies" , i guess it was so i could tie in to everything that is already being transmitted?
So if all the stages and bands , dj, and tv stations were using those frequencies, we wanted the opposite ones. I didnt want to Lap, Tie into, Hear or conflict with any of the stuff being used in my area.

VHF was only a stepping stone for us, i put it on the ground and stepped on it :-) I dont know if they have improved VHF since but if it works like it did when we used it, then no mater how inonvienient run the wire.

I have a $500 system just like the one you pointed to, and it fails often. it might be ok for interview mic, for closer camera audio collection, backup or secondary audio, but i would bet when you least expect it it will destroy some part of your audio
The wierd thing about it was i could be 10feet from a wandering speaker, have full line of sight, and a Pole 5 feet away from us would cause it to blot out completly.

and tell the Dang DJ to use something that works across the room while were at it, Live the noise the dj gets from thier cruddy wireless system is bearable, but when played back on video His stupid wireless noises Kill my video.
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Last edited by Marty Welk; December 22nd, 2009 at 01:17 AM.
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