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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:31 PM   #1
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Lav Mic Upgrade

I currently have a set of Senny G2's with the stock mics attached. I am in the market for an upgrade on the mics. Right now I'm down to the Countryman B3 and Tram Tr50. I like the B3's resistance to water and the overall opinion of the mic. And of course the Tram has a great following as well. Currently my audio is OK...but I feel it could be slightly better. Am I headed in the right direction? I really like the Sankens but they are a little pricey. Ive seen Dan Brocketts test...just looking for experiences. TIA!
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Old January 27th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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Use the search. This topic has been fairly well covered. There have also been some used G2 compatable lavs for sale in the marketplace.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #3
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The TR-50 flat side-fire design sounds good and comes w/ lots of mounting hardware. I've gone though 5 or 6 due to the cable getting pulled out of the mic head by restless talent. I don't know if it was improved in recent years.

The B3 sounds good as well and comes w/ three HF response control caps, but only the gator clip mounts. The cable is thinner but more robust, This mic is a round end-fire design. Two sensitivity versions.

IMO the TR-50 is easier to work with., The B3 is more robust. Both sound good.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #4
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I love the TR-50, not only can you attach it to a wireless mic (I use Lectrosonics) but you also can use the same mic hardwired to your XLR input with the transformer adapter, the same mic with dual use. It also comes with a multi mount system instead of just a tie clip.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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I ordered the B3's today. I REALLY like the fact that they are waterproof plus give great sound. Variety of attachments was not an issue for me. The stock clips will be just fine for me. I got them wired for my G2's for $160 a piece through northern sound. I really liked the trams but in the end i just had to choose the B3's.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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I'm pro B3 and I vote. :-) I think they're a great price for Countryman quality, without going to the higher end and more expensive B6's. Easy to hide, easy to rig with some experience (I tend to use the moleskin, topstick, and propore suite of tricks rather than hard mounts, but there's no single right way!), sounds pretty great, esp. compared to what you might be using. I just also prefer top-address lavs to sides, completely personal preference.
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Old February 1st, 2010, 03:10 PM   #7
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I own four B3's and I use them all the time - if not as wired body mics, then as plant mics. I recently clipped two to the back of a couch where the female lead stood behind the couch and whispered once in the male lead's left ear and then moved over and whispered in his other ear. The boom would have missed that. She used the mics as her visual cues where to stand and put her head. It came out great! I've also hung them from boom stands, taped them to venetian blinds, stuck them in potted plants on a table (real plant mic - lol). They are real workhorses!
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 02:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Moody View Post
Easy to hide, easy to rig with some experience (I tend to use the moleskin, topstick, and propore suite of tricks rather than hard mounts, but there's no single right way!), sounds pretty great, esp. compared to what you might be using. I just also prefer top-address lavs to sides, completely personal preference.
Nathan, you mentioned the molskin, topskin, etc technique. Being a newbie to the lav setup field, would you mind proving a reference, link or explanation to your technique. It sounds top notch!

If this is a solid technique, i think I'll also purchase a couple B3's to add to my arsenal. Thank you.
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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Oh, hehe, well...it's important to note that it's not my technique, it's one of the more common technique sets that I've just found works for me, and others are better qualified to offer up the techniques than I am. So, lemme point these over to some good places to learn more:

First, consider these rules of thumb:
- Tension relief! Create slack at each end of the mic, often with taped-off loops of cable.
- Isolate! Get the mic head away from anything that'll rub against it.
- Hide! Look for smart places to hide it, keeping in mind that you can hide in plain sight in shadows that lights will cast (under necktie knots, in buttonholes, etc).
- Place for tone! You've just gotta experiment.

- The Usenet group rec.arts.movies.production.sound (aka RAMPS) - search for "rigging lavs" or even "moleskin" and you'll find some incredibly in-depth discussions. Examples:
wiring t-shirt - rec.arts.movies.production.sound | Google Groups
moleskin - rec.arts.movies.production.sound | Google Groups

- There are yet more discussions that have moved off of RAMPS and over to the forums at JWSound. Searching there will also yield a lot of info.

- One of the more definitive, while short, articles on lavs and their use can be found at Location Sound Corp. -- Tech Tips.

- If you're willing to sign up, this short free clip they're offering is actually full of good tips!
Reality Crew - Train Now for Work In Reality TV!

Trying not to dodge the question, but rather turn you on to the people from who I learned. Hope this helps!
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Old February 3rd, 2010, 08:00 PM   #10
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Oops, and most of all, don't forget mic choice for your given rigging strategy. Some mics suck being hidden at all, while others sound great under a layer of fabric. That's where some of those high frequency caps on the B3's (and others) can come in handy!

Rigging the transmitter itself is a whole other ball of wax, but IMHO easier to handle except for the most involved camera moves...
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Old February 4th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #11
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Outstanding Nathan thank you. To me, it seems like an art to get it right and to get it to work best. That rubbing noise on mics drives me nuts!
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Old February 4th, 2010, 06:24 AM   #12
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Too late now, but the ideal upgrade from the stock Sennheiser ME 2 supplied with an evo. radio kit is the professional MKE 2 ew. The MKE 2 also has an "umbrella" diaphragm to protect the capsule against sweat and moisture.

For fitting microphones the Rycote range of Undercovers, Overcovers, Stickies, etc. are excellent - and the Stickies have hypoallergenic adheisive.
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