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Old December 21st, 2009, 06:54 PM   #1
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Wireless mic setups for interivews

Hey guys,

Please forgive my lack of knowledge!
Anyway i have a Sony FX7 and im currently shooting a documentary here in Japan which has been a production that has taken me 2 years to setup and hopefully will be finished by mid 2010.

Drift Documentary : We Are Drift, Touge, Japan, Motorsport, Filmography

I am now just starting to do some personal one on one interviews with some well known figures in the drifting community and im going to be needing some wireless lapel style microphones, but i really dont know much about camera's im more a shoot stuff and make it look cool guy, i have no real knowledge of anything i just enjoy video editing and capturing people and action on film, but for this production im going to be basing it on the community within the sport.

I dont have a huge budget, just bought a new video editing computer as my old one just died, buying two new HD Go Pro camera's very soon so my budget is not huge. But i need to get something sorted for these interviews because a classic plug in microphone will just wreck the feel of the laid back interview im trying to capture.

Can you please tell me what i need to add onto my FX7 to capture audio via some wireless lapel style mic's while keeping in mind i dont have a huge budget. And yes i know audio is very important, but i just dont have huge cash for pro setups.

Thank you guys sorry for lack of knowledge once again hope you can help me.


Luke
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Old December 21st, 2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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If you don't need to show the subject's feet, and if they won't be walking, you can go with a wired lav. It will save lots of cash and will sound better than wireless. I've got an AT803b that isn't half bad, though it is a bit large. Since it's a documentary, it's probably not important to hide it. However, since it's in Japan, it will appear inelegant. The AT899 is much smaller, but you need to make sure to get the right connector and battery pack for wired use.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 08:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Luke Huxham View Post
Can you please tell me what i need to add onto my FX7 to capture audio via some wireless lapel style mic's while keeping in mind i dont have a huge budget. And yes i know audio is very important, but i just dont have huge cash for pro setups.
You're not going to like my response but given the question you asked, I need to answer as follows:

What you need to add is not equipment - what you need to add is a skilled operator with good working knowledge of video AND audio or else your interviews are going to sink your "shoot stuff and make it look cool" production.

And I mean that with ALL sincerity - if this project means as much to you as a 2 year investment SHOULD, you're doing the project, yourself and all your interview subjects a disservice by not doing this well.
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Old December 21st, 2009, 09:44 PM   #4
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The minimum would be a little over $400 for a lav, mixer and xlr cable, but most likely you'll need a 2nd lav for a total of $650.
$200 ATT899 lav
$189 JuiceLinked CX211
$20 XLR cable
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
You're not going to like my response but given the question you asked, I need to answer as follows:

What you need to add is not equipment - what you need to add is a skilled operator with good working knowledge of video AND audio or else your interviews are going to sink your "shoot stuff and make it look cool" production.

And I mean that with ALL sincerity - if this project means as much to you as a 2 year investment SHOULD, you're doing the project, yourself and all your interview subjects a disservice by not doing this well.
No offence but......

Correct your response is useless to me, my work i do and how i do it really is not in question here.
The results so far have been great with all microphone interviews and the way i do my work, i enjoy shoot film and editing it i dont know everything there is to know i just do things i enjoy.


What options do i have about when it comes to recording via lapel microphones.

I dont think i will need to capture the feet as you said Jon, so how should i go about purchasing one for my FX7 do i need anything special to plug it in is it XLR input and will i need to buy a box or can i plug it directly into the camera and away i go. Some more info would be great, i seen it on the site, do i just purhcase it from them then i can plug it all in to my camera. Does it come with the XLR box then i run a line from XRL box to the lapel mic?

Currently now i use a wired microphone for on the field interviews with drivers at event and it has worked amazing so far but now i need lapel.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:06 AM   #6
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Correct your response is useless to me
Well, that's a first... Good luck with your venture and welcome to the Forum. I believe MY first post was to offer advice, not ask for it... Perhaps this old man should just limp over to the recliner for a nap...

EDIT: OOPS, my bad. This thread was your second post. I try to admit my mistakes.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:57 AM   #7
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*WOW* A bloke who can admit a mistake... I take my hat off to you!


The wireless lav kits from Sony are pretty darn good. Pricewise as well as quality.

If the wind is up a bit, I use a handheld rode shotty in a blimp (wearing fur) - and plugged into the sony transmitter.

The sound quality is excellent. The only problem with the lavs is the foam windshield needs to be glued on...

Ben
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 06:18 AM   #8
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The trouble is, that if you're hoping to just buy a bit of kit and it will just work - then you'll be dissapointed. Nothing is a good as a bit of cable. Going wireless takes a big jump into techo-land. All the kit mentioned here will be able to give high quality sound, once you've trained your ear to listen carefully to not the wanted sound in the headphones, but the small hints and odd noises that are in the background that dictate you need to do something as all hell is going to break loose and your audio is going to just fail - which in a point and shoot style production is the worst thing that can happen, because you won't notice till you replay the media and find the sound totally unusable.


It's not the expense of the kit either. Budget kit can sound really good when it's working well. Wireless is never, ever reliable without getting really into it, and working out that you need to move yourself just a little because you're in a null and despite being only feet away the signal is totally blocked - or about to be - this is where a second sound op is really worth it. Without one, how can you frame shots, listen to what's being said AND pay attention to technical quality at the same time - very, very difficult.

You really might as well just buy anything - our comments here seem based on experience, and although I can tell you what I use, it might not work for you. Radio mics need care, attention and constant vigilance, or they mess up, badly!
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:26 AM   #9
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Hey guys,

Yes this is my second post here, but im not asking for advice on how to shoot my interviews im asking for advice on what equipment i should use.

Thanks for the help guys looks like im going to go with a wired setup then and save what looks to be a heap of issues with wireless unless i want to spend some big dollars, i do have a second sound tech working with me at these interviews im not a one man team.

Whats some good bang for buck wired kits and how do i go about getting them to work with my FX7 do i need to buy XLR box etc and if so it will be my first time using a SLR box and the setup that goes with it. I will be wanting a lapel mic for myself and ofcourse the person in the interview, we will be sitting down in a casual style interivew. For all my point and shoot stuff i use my wired microphone which has been working great so far.

Thanks for the help, this is already helped me to decide to stay with a wired setup.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:17 PM   #10
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When I started out I bought a Lavaliere mic from Fry's that used a 1/8 inch plug and a long cord. The sound was a huge improvement (Always wear headphones).

Other than that you will need to buy something like a Beachtec under camera system to get your multi XLR inputs.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 03:20 PM   #11
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same here, radio shack sold a nice small 3.5mm type connecting lav mic uses a hearing aid type battery on off switch.
get it in the exact place for sound collection, clip it Out so it doesnt rub on clothing , after all the viewer would rather hear then worry about your mic existing, unless no one is supposed to know that you made a video with audio on it :-)

then remember when placing it, that sound actually goes foreward of the humans mouth, and the mic is actually placed behind the sound exit location. so you dont want the chin blocking so much, so collar looks like a nice close place, but is not always a good idea. lower on the shirt, like you see on the Tonight and david leterman shows.

then humans turn thier heads sometimes when talking shooting thier audio off to one side or the other. so it is also unwise to put a body mic offset from center (like pocket).
Then coat the mic with acid so the talent doesnt fiddle with it the whole time :-) fast acting poisen also works , but then its hard to pick up thier audio later.
Oh wait that last part is only for professional audio techs.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 08:40 PM   #12
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Hey again, so much help in here thx.

So bascially all i need to get is a XLR box to plug into my Sony FX7 then from there i get to wired lapel mics and plug them into the XLR box and away i go?
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 11:05 PM   #13
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As Mark and Marty pointed out, if you get one of those mics you don't need an XLR box, as the ones they talk about have mini plugs. The Radio Shack model is fine for what you are doing but it has a short cord so you may want to get an extension cable as well.

But yes, if you get a BeachTek or JuicedLink XLR box then there's not much to it... just make sure that if you get a non-powered box you have a self-powered mic, or conversely if you get a Phantom powered mic then make sure your box can provide Phantom power. Or just stick with the miniplug mics and avoid all the gymnastics.

And I wouldn't diss Shaun... his advice on these boards is always valuable and frequently brilliant.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 04:19 AM   #14
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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!!!
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Old December 24th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #15
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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.
You'll find on this forum (as well as in life), you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Rather than barging in here and all but demanding that we take time out of our busy schedules to help you with something that CAN be researched by one's self on the Internet and by visiting retailers, how about listening and considering ALL the sagelike advice (and the complete drivel as well) that you receive and not judge too harshly those that offer REAL WORLD advice, not just a quick answer that may or may not end up helping you in the long run.

I'm a firm believer in the old "give a man a fish, feed him for a day. TEACH a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime" mentality.

I'm pretty Zen for a North American...
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