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Old December 24th, 2009, 12:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Luke Huxham View Post
Im sure his advice is very good but for this topic he talked about something i was not asking information on, and i knew there would be one person to point it out like he did but it was no needed cause it did not get me any closer to finding a mic.

Where about can i get these mics that just plug straight into my camera, do i need to some what of splitter to plug two into my cameras i only have one small jack on my FX7.

All the mics i have been searching for so far have all been XLR so i cant seem to find the ones that plug straight into the jack i currently have, i dont know the correct websites to find the mics im after and you have suggested.

Info on where to get them would be great thanks!!!
The reason you can't find them is that there are very few mics other than cheap consumer grade mics that have 1/8 inch plugs. Especially for a hard-wired lav where there will be a relatively long cable run between the mic capsule and the camera. Balanced (ie, XLR) cables are much less prone to pickup of electrical noise than unbalanced when the cable run is more than a couple of meters and that is why virtually all better quality mics use them. Remote Audio (available through Trew Audio and B&H) makes a good general purpose lav that sells for about $200 with phantom XLR connector. Then on the camera end you'd need something like a Juicedlink XLR to 1/8 adapter with phantom power. Juicedlink has a two channel XLR to stereo 1/8 unit with phantom power that would be just the ticket. That XLR/3.5mm adapter would stand you in good stead with other XLR mics as well so it's not just a single purpose purchase to only use with the lav.

Understand that equipment isn't the only factor in the equation - there's also a fairly large amount of technical knowledge and skill required to use that equipment properly. In the hands of a skilled expert, a $2500 Schoeps will sound superb and a $250 Rode will sound pretty darned good. Without those skills, even the $2500 mic can sound iffy and there's a good chance it could sound awful. If you want to get top-quality sound, you must have a certain amount of skills available to you and you have two choices - you either make the skill set or you buy it. You make it by taking the time to give yourself a crash course in the sciences of acoustics and audio engineering plus research on the techniques of audio recording or you buy it by hiring a skilled professional. But without acquiring access to those skills in one of those two ways, the quality of the resulting audio is going to be a crapshoot no matter how much you have spent on the gear.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 01:38 PM   #17
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As usual, I have to agree with Steve.

I have fielded many calls from cheapo producers saying my rates are much to high. "I can buy a microphone for much less than your daily rate."
My aggravated response is usually, "Perhaps you should call James Cameron or other "current big name MPI producers", you can save them a LOT of money.

(Don't get me started on a rant... and the "it's a great program, we can give you on-screen credit or a percentage of the BO if you will work on spec.)
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Old December 24th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Luke Huxham View Post
Where about can i get these mics that just plug straight into my camera, do i need to some what of splitter to plug two into my cameras i only have one small jack on my FX7.
As Marty pointed out and I echoed, the Radio Shack mic is fine for what you need, so I'd check out their website.

Also, B&H has a huge selection of wired lav mics -- just search for them and look for any that have mini-plugs. I have two of the Radio Shack mics and one Bescor from B&H.

Also Google Giant Squid and you'll have tons to choose from.

When you talk about mixing two mics, do you mean two interviewees or one for the interviewer and one for the interviewee? If the latter you probably won't need a second mic, as you'll cut the questions out anyway. If the former, then you may need a mixer, which would most likely require XLR mics after all.
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Last edited by Adam Gold; December 24th, 2009 at 04:37 PM.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #19
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Another approach for your project would be to think about it from the back end: Figure out what you want for a final result, then determine what equipment and skills are required to achieve it.

Just a caveat: sometimes five minutes of prep in production can save hours in post. While it's possible to make things sound and look good after the fact, it's far better to start off with the right material and make it sound and look absolutely outstanding in post.

Good luck with the documentary!
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Old December 24th, 2009, 04:37 PM   #20
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BTW, rigging lapel mics can be an art in itself.

Will it show on-camera or be hidden? If it's hidden, where should it be placed? How to avoid rubbing noises? If it's placed outside, is the wire hidden? Is there a problem with wind, breath, jewelry or other clothing that makes noise?

Recording levels? Should it be split to two channels with one slightly hotter than the other? Will there be a soundman to monitor for levels and unwanted sounds?

Does the room require some treatment for reverb or ambience? Will there be a need for sound blankets?

Do some experiments and tests in advance to see what works best for you. Be sure to monitor through headphones or earphones that provide an honest representation of the signal.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 12:06 AM   #21
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Thanks for the great advice, its not as simple as going down to a local shop and asking for what i need when im locacted in Japan and well my Japanese skills can not describe 100% what i need.

Im thinking that a XLR box with two wired mic's will do the trick.
The interviewer will be speaking with the person and i would like them to have a general converstaion wont just be questions then answer format, both will be on screen at same time for the most part.
Any thing i should look out for and be aware of when buy a XLR box for my Sony FX7 because im starting to look now to purchase one.

Once again big thanks for the help here, i appreciate it!

Last edited by Luke Huxham; December 25th, 2009 at 04:02 AM.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 04:07 AM   #22
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Luke... A suggestion: see if you can scrounge up a second camera to get a closeup of the interviewee. Sync up both with a hand clap. This way you can cut to an isolated shot of person being interviewed when something especially poignant or significant is being said.

Closeups provide a sense of drama. And having two types of shots, wide and closeup, gives you an option of cutting up the interview.

If you have a third camera you can get the interviewer's reaction. That can also be used to help edit the piece.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 04:12 AM   #23
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Yeah i feel what your saying, i have access to a non HD camera but i would like to keep it all HD. I will be operating the camera i believe so hopefully i should be able to notice when we got some good questions coming for close up etc. I think its all i can do until budget extends and i can get more HD camera's.

Im thinking of getting this box, its looks and sound very fail safe for someone just learning to use XRL equipment along with two wired mic's on long cables.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #24
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the box i was talking about sorry is this one.

Beachtek | DXA-2S - Dual XLR Universal Microphone | DXA-2S | B&H

Can i just plug two lapel mics into it or do the mics need their own power?
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Old December 26th, 2009, 07:36 AM   #25
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We've done this, haven't we? If you have a mic with a 1/8th (3.5mm) jack, then it gets power from a camera that has that kind of output. If your mic has a 3 pin XLR, then it will have a few components inside the plug that 'extracts' the voltage it needs - maybe 5v or so, from the 48V the typical condenser microphone requires via the phantom. If you have an input with XLR, and a mic with a 1/8th plug - then you need a power supply adaptor in between.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 09:16 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Luke Huxham View Post
the box i was talking about sorry is this one.

Beachtek | DXA-2S - Dual XLR Universal Microphone | DXA-2S | B&H

Can i just plug two lapel mics into it or do the mics need their own power?
There is no single simple answer to your question because in part it depends on which lav you choose. Some lav mics have an XLR connector and power adapter that has an internal battery in the connector. They allow you to run the mic on either external phantom power or the battery in the cable connector. Others do not have the battery and require an external source of phantom power. Since that particular adapter box does not supply 48v phantom, the former mics can work with it but the latter mics won't. If you're going to go for the Beachtek, this is the one you need in order to have power available for the mics the require it. As an aside, having an adapter that supplies phantom opens up a vast range of other professional grade mics for you to use with your camera, not just lavs.
Beachtek | DXA-6A Audio Adapter | DXA-6A | B&H Photo Video
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Old December 26th, 2009, 09:33 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Luke Huxham View Post
The interviewer will be speaking with the person and i would like them to have a general converstaion wont just be questions then answer format, both will be on screen at same time for the most part.
Framing this up so your participants aren't in profile the entire time will become a bigger issue that most people think. For this sort of one camera interview, I seldom use a tripod, I go handheld. BTW, I am regarded as being an excellent handheld guy with TONS of experience. If you aren't a "smooth operator" in this department, figure out how to deal with sight-lines BEFORE you arrive, possibly using two cameras, although I would treat both as over-the-shoulder cams with each focusing on ONE person (one on the subject, one on the interviewee).
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Old January 16th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #28
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Luke, I hesitate before offering this advice because you seem more concerned with kit than technique so understand the spirit in which it is intended.

In addition to extra camera others have suggested, I'd strongly recommend you shoot some "noddies", reaction/listening shots, after the interview is complete. Do them of both the interviewer and the interviewee - the ones you'll use most are of the interviewer but the others can get you out of a scrape. These shots will allow you to cut the interview seamlessly underneath.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 11:07 PM   #29
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Hey all,

On your guys advice i have purchased a Beachtek XLR DXA-6A unit and im also about to purchase some shure mic's but im wondering is there going to be any issues with these models im getting.

Im looking to get the Shure SM-11 mic's 2 of them and they will just work no issues, i wont have any problem with high or low impedence, these are a low impedence 150-200 ohm. But the Beachtek unit can handel both high and low am i correct?

Thanks!
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