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Old January 5th, 2012, 03:43 PM   #1
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Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

Can anyone suggest ideal settings for mic setup with the Sony Z5 and Sennheiser G3 112? I'll be using this setup mostly for standups


currently my settings are;

mic sensitivity level at -21db
AF out at 0
camera trim at 0

I'm getting good quality audio but i just wanted to compare and see any other options/suggestions.
My levels on the reciever and transmitter are hitting around in the middle of the display meter and on the camera my level is averaging at around 80% on the meter
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Old January 6th, 2012, 05:31 AM   #2
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

The mic. sensitivity will depend on the acoustic level going into the mic. and could be different every time you use it.

You need to get maximum modulation without distortion.

The receiver output level and camera input level are what you need to concern yourself with regarding your question.
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Old January 6th, 2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

Thanks John,

I understand the mic sensitivity levels as I had done some tests at various speaking volumes and found the setting -21db that is good for most of my applications.

all of the levels were in the acceptable range with no peaking

It is indeed the receiver output and camera input levels that I'm hoping to get some advice on, specifically with the Z5

I'm just curious to how others have set their system up and if I can do better
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Old January 6th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

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Originally Posted by Steve Capone View Post
Thanks John,

I understand the mic sensitivity levels as I had done some tests at various speaking volumes and found the setting -21db that is good for most of my applications.

all of the levels were in the acceptable range with no peaking

It is indeed the receiver output and camera input levels that I'm hoping to get some advice on, specifically with the Z5

I'm just curious to how others have set their system up and if I can do better
Are your camera inputs set to mic or line level? Camera levels control on Manual or Automatic (AGC) mode? If manual, how far up have you set the level pots?
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Old January 6th, 2012, 11:34 AM   #5
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

I'm going in a mic level, manual at 5 (halfway)
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Old January 6th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

The goal is to align full scale on the receiver with full scale on the camera. Assuming the g3 has better preamps than the camera, I might do this by sending a tone through the wireless system that just peaks the transmitter, adjust the receiver so it just peaks at the highest setting the camera can tolerate, and then adjust the camera so it just peaks.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 06:32 AM   #7
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

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Originally Posted by Steve Capone View Post
I'm going in a mic level, manual at 5 (halfway)
It's better to go in at line level if you can - you get better quality and lower noise.

If you go in at mic. level you are reducing the output from the receiver and then adding in an extra amplification stage that will add noise.
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Old January 9th, 2012, 07:50 AM   #8
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

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Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
It's better to go in at line level if you can - you get better quality and lower noise.

If you go in at mic. level you are reducing the output from the receiver and then adding in an extra amplification stage that will add noise.
Even worse, I get the impression that some users go in at mic level and when they can't get the receiver output low enough they start to reduce the transmitter audio level to further get the indicated signal on the camera meter down to where they want to record. This would be the worst possible approach in terms of noise etc.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

Really? Line level? I was always under the impression that you use mic level with lav mics into a camera, say, EX1??
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Old January 13th, 2012, 05:55 PM   #10
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

Depends on the receiver's output level.
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Old January 13th, 2012, 06:37 PM   #11
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

Line-level is ALWAYS preferable to mic-level where you have a reasonable choice. The only reason to use mic level out of a wireless receiver and into a camcorder is if one (or both) of the devices won't do line-level.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 03:55 AM   #12
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

In another thread I did some tests and found that the g3 is probably just barely able to output a pro line level when the gain on the receiver is maxed out.

My reasons for turning down the output to a hot mic level are:

1. I don't like operating at the outer limits of gain; the preamps in the g3 are likely to distort just a bit more when you're pushing the envelope like line seems to do.

2. Saves batteries on the g3 for longer run time; the camera probably has better power.

3. There's a possibility of not quite being able to get up to full scale on the camera with line level, but with mic level you can always adjust higher if needed.

YMMV.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 05:48 AM   #13
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

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Originally Posted by Tom Morrow View Post
In another thread I did some tests and found that the g3 is probably just barely able to output a pro line level when the gain on the receiver is maxed out.

My reasons for turning down the output to a hot mic level are:

1. I don't like operating at the outer limits of gain; the preamps in the g3 are likely to distort just a bit more when you're pushing the envelope like line seems to do.

...

3. There's a possibility of not quite being able to get up to full scale on the camera with line level, but with mic level you can always adjust higher if needed.

YMMV.
What preamps are you referring to? The G3's preamps would be in the transmitter, not the receiver, but it's the receiver output that one needs to match to the camera's input. The transmitter's audio gain, its sensitivity setting, has nothing to do with matching the receiver output to a mic or line level input. Transmitter sensitivity set to whatever gives full modulation of the RF signal; receiver output set to match the required signal input level of the device being fed so its driving the recorder/mixer/camera input properly when it's receiving a fully modulated RF signal.

It's my understanding that G3 receiver output settings <0 are attenuating the nominal signal down, not reducing the gain. Nominal output level on the receiver would be with the output set 0 in the menu.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 12:14 PM   #14
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

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Originally Posted by Annen James View Post
Really? Line level? I was always under the impression that you use mic level with lav mics into a camera, say, EX1??
Only if the camera does not have a line-in.

It's not good to pad a receiver down to mic. level and then boost it up again in the camera - you get more noise.
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Old January 15th, 2012, 03:22 PM   #15
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Re: Sennheiser G3 100 lav setup for Sony Z5

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Originally Posted by John Willett View Post
It's not good to pad a receiver down to mic. level and then boost it up again in the camera - you get more noise.
Absolutely true. But there are no cameras commonly used by people here that have TRUE line level inputs. They all have balanced inputs that are kludged between mic level and line level, either with simple internal pads, or (sometimes) including change of input stage gain. The Z5 likely has only a simple internal switched pad.
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