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Old January 10th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #1
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Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

I am considering buying a pair of either AT-899s or Shure MX184s to use in the field. However, I am wondering if I could also use them in a studio setting instead of current radio mics we use, which we connect to a mic processor, specifically a dbx-286a. Would this sound good or should mics of this type NOT be connected to a processor?
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Old January 10th, 2012, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Technically, any microphone with a conventional XLR connector can be plugged into the DBX-286. That would appear to include the AT899 (assuming the standard XLR option) or the Shure MX184 (again, assuming a standard XLR connector version). Most lavs (including the AT and Sure models you mention) require phantom power, but the DBX-286 provides phantom power.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

A Phantom Power adapter and /or battery adapter can be purchased for most wireless mic plugs, however they ain't cheap. For instance the Tram TR-79 is $170+. This an extreme case, but it will still cost at least $50 for a RODE or OST.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 04:49 PM   #4
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

If you are asking about lav mics that can be used with BOTH wireless body-pack transmitters AND with conventional XLR inputs, then I highly recommend the Rode Lav mic. It not only has a field-replaceable cable, but also field-interchangeable connectors for either XLR or wireless use.

Also available as a headset mic with the same features. I like mine so much I am buying another 1 or 2. Rode's interchangeable connectors (including phantom-powered XLR) are VERY inexpensive (US$25) in comparison to the vastly overpriced adapters other vendors try to foist on us.
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Old January 10th, 2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Lav mics typically require low voltage power (in the range of 6V) from the wireless transceivers. This means they won't work with the 48V phantom power typically delivered XLRs on mic processors. Not to mention the different connectors.

I second the Rode Lavalier as a very flexible system with a good price for good sound.
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Old January 11th, 2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Morrow View Post
Lav mics typically require low voltage power (in the range of 6V) from the wireless transceivers. This means they won't work with the 48V phantom power typically delivered XLRs on mic processors. Not to mention the different connectors.

I second the Rode Lavalier as a very flexible system with a good price for good sound.
Do the AT-899s or Shure MX184s not work with 48v phantom power?
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Old January 11th, 2012, 10:08 AM   #7
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Your question is incomplete and impossible to answer. Those microphones are available in versions and there is no single answer possible that covers all the versions.
If you are asking about the XLR versions of those microphones, then yes, you can connect them to a mic input with phantom power. Indeed they likely REQUIRE phantom power (or else an internal battery).
If you are asking about the wireless body-pack transmitter version of those microphones, then NO they DO NOT operate on the kind of "P48" phantom power you see from an XLR input.
There are adapters available for SOME microphones that allow a wireless-style lav mic to be used with an XLR output (and P48 phantom power).
And there are the Rode lav and headset mics which are designed with interchangeable connectors for either the wireless transmitters or for direct connection to conventional XLR inputs.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 08:55 AM   #8
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

I always try to ask incomplete questions that are impossible to answer.

I was referring specifically to the WIRED AT-899s or Shure MX184s that work with phantom, and whether they could work with the DBX-286. I take it from your response that the "low voltage power" you mentioned only applies to the wireless use of the mics, given the electrical characteristics of the transmitter and receiver.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 09:12 AM   #9
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Since you seem to want only a simple answer: NO microphone that is wired and connectored for wireless use is compatible with an XLR mic input with phantom power. There appear to be no options for either the AT-899 or the MX-184 that are compatible with XLR and phantom power.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 09:16 AM   #10
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natan Pakman View Post
I always try to ask incomplete questions that are impossible to answer.

I was referring specifically to the WIRED AT-899s or Shure MX184s that work with phantom, and whether they could work with the DBX-286. I take it from your response that the "low voltage power" you mentioned only applies to the wireless use of the mics, given the electrical characteristics of the transmitter and receiver.
You certainly CAN send them through a processor but whether you SHOULD is another question. If you're doing live broadcast such as in a radio or TV station then running the mics through a processor to refine the sound on its way to the transmitter might make sense (and in fact is common practice). But if you're shooting camera original that will later go through a post production stage, best practice says to record your sound as clean and pristine as possible, reserving any signal processing for post. If your original recording is unprocessed you can always apply processing as needed later, but if you apply, say, compression as you record the original and then later on decide that it isn't needed or some other processing might work better, you've already baked that cake and there's no un-baking it.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #11
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Steve, the question seems to be about simple interfacing, not processing.

Virtually all wireless body-pack transmitters use 3.5mm or Lemo or QG connectors or similar miniature connectors.

Clearly those connectors cannot be used with conventional XLR mic inputs.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Steve, the question seems to be about simple interfacing, not processing.

Virtually all wireless body-pack transmitters use 3.5mm or Lemo or QG connectors or similar miniature connectors.

Clearly those connectors cannot be used with conventional XLR mic inputs.
Certainly true. But both of the aforementioned mics are available in versions equipped with an 48p power supply/ XLR connection intended for hard-wired applications instead of feeding a wireless transmitter so I'm assuming that is what he's planning to purchase and his question is actually "is it appropriate to use a signal processor inline with a hard-wired lav mic?"

Shure MX184 - Supercardioid Wired Lavalier mic MX184 B&H Photo

http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wi...8dc/index.html where if you look at the specs under "Included Accessories" it says the mic comes with an AT8537 XLR power module

BTW Natan, the Shure MX184 you mentioned is a supercardioid pattern mic. That's really more for sound reinforcement applications where feedback control is an issue. The downside of a directional pattern like that is the timbre of the voice recording changes as the subject moves his head. An omnidirectional mic, the MX183 in the Shure lineup, is generally preferred for film and video recording
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Last edited by Steve House; January 12th, 2012 at 11:37 AM.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:07 AM   #13
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

"Clearly those connectors cannot be used with conventional XLR mic inputs" and furthermore, if one attempts to apply Phantom Power via hardwired adapters or adapter cables, the mic could be permanently damaged. As I previously stated the only way to use a lav which is wired for a body-pack transmitter or other "plug-in power' device is though a Phantom Power transformer specifically designed for the mic. For instance, the 899 would need a AT8537 In-line type power module.
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #14
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

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Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
. But both of the aforementioned mics are available in versions equipped with an 48p power supply/ XLR connection intended for hard-wired applications instead of feeding a wireless transmitter
I went to both the AudioTechnica and Shure websites and could see no evidence of XLR versions of those models. Perhaps I missed them. Can you cite URLs?
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Old January 12th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #15
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Re: Can wired lavs be hooked up to mic processors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
I went to both the AudioTechnica and Shure websites and could see no evidence of XLR versions of those models. Perhaps I missed them. Can you cite URLs?
See my original reply as just edited for URLs
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