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Old March 3rd, 2012, 02:54 AM   #1
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Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

So I was wanting to not only bump up the audio of the bride/groom for the vows, but I also want to increase the quality of it. Currently I have a Olympus ME-15 and a Olympus VN-6200PC.

My question is basically, does a 100 dollar lav sound better than that 18.00 dollar one? Plugged into that recorder? Or would I need to upgrade both? Sound coming from my NTG2 shotgun at the lectern during speeches blows my grooms sound out of the water currently.

Considering bumping up to a H1 and a RØDE MiCon Lav, though 250 is a lot to spend on a lav! for that price maybe i should be looking at those countryman ones -

id be expecting to hear a significant increase in quality though to drop 300 bucks on the grooms mic setup lol

Last edited by James Palanza; March 3rd, 2012 at 04:12 AM.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 04:42 AM   #2
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

I'm a bit curious here too as I gear up to do weddings. I still use the original lav that came with my Sony wireless.

I've also been wondering about using a hypercardioid as near as I can get it (floor maybe). James, do you get decent levels and at what range?
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 05:24 AM   #3
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

First of all you need to get real. $250 is NOT a lot to spend for a lav. In fact, it is kind of low to middle-middle average in pricing for a lav intended for professional use. Even the $100 figure you mention is unrealistically low - about the only mic I know of in that ballpark is the Remote Audio lav. Second, your recorder also is due for an upgrade. Micro recorders such as the Oly are intended for business people to use for voice memos or students to use for class notes and they're just not capable of professional quality production audio recording. Sure they record and playback sound but that's about it. Compressed audio like the WMA format this recorder uses is not suitable for production recording needing subsequent editing and syncing to video. You don't need to go to Hollywood Studio top-shelf quality (and budget) gear but you do need to set your sights higher than bargain basement consumer toys. If you're shooting the occasional wedding of a friend at no charge, going extreme budget is okay, but if you're actually charging people money for your work you need to up your game and bring a professional kit to the party.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 09:40 AM   #4
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Palanza
id be expecting to hear a significant increase in quality though to drop 300 bucks on the grooms mic setup
But isn't a significant increase in quality exactly what you're asking about???

At the very least, I'd recommend the Tascam DR-03 for the pocket recorder. It is capable of recording WAV files in several different bit depths and sampling frequencies. Turn off the AGC, turn on the low-cut, set the gain and other parameters appropriately, and you'll have a chance to get a useable file.

I'm not a big lav user myself, so I'll defer to others here to recommend a minimally appropriate mic. (And believe me, you will see a wide range of opinions.)
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 10:03 AM   #5
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

well yeah, i want it to be better. so im running into an issue, that the B3 may need powered as the H1 i dont believe puts out enough voltage. so that just complicated matters significantly
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 01:50 PM   #6
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

What led you to think about the H1?

And where are you in PA?
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Eh I just felt good about the H1 since I have an h4n. Pittsburgh, you?

I'm prob going to go with the DR-08 because of the smaller form factor and also the new rode pin lav and see how they fair.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

The DR-08 seems to be quite similar to the DR-03. The difference is that the DR-08 has moving/pivoting mics (which would be easier to snap off, IMHO) while the DR-03 has fixed mics.

The Pin Mic spec sheet says it will work on 2 volts, so it should be happy with the Tascam. It has ~ 6dB more output than that cheapie stereo Olympus mic, so that will essentially make the preamp hiss 6dB lower.

I've never seen a pin mic, but if I were shooting one-time live events (like weddings) I would be scared about the proprietary through-cloth connection system. If something goes wrong, and the mic becomes disconnected, you won't have a chance to re-do the wedding to get your audio. I admit I'm cautious, but I would stick with a conventional lav. IMHO a slightly visible mic is better than risking loss of audio.

PS: I'm in State College.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Yeah, I was worried about how effective it is at mounting through the thicker fabrics, I figure I'll give it a test on some jackets at home and if I don't feel confident just return it for the standard lav. I watched several videos on it, and when working properly it seems great.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Palanza View Post
well yeah, i want it to be better. so im running into an issue, that the B3 may need powered as the H1 i dont believe puts out enough voltage. so that just complicated matters significantly
The H1 most likely puts out enough power for just about any lav, provided the mic is wired properly, usually with an 1/8" plug for low budget portable recorders. Most lavs' inherently only need 2-5 volts of 'bias current' (popularly known as Plug-in Pwr). to operate efficiently. If a lav does require Phantom Power, it's normally for a XLR transformer / adapter.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 09:55 AM   #11
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

I am using the Giant Squid lav mics. Great quality.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #12
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Looked into the pinmic, but doesn't seem like its designed for a lapel. I don't think its thick enough to cover the width of two layers of fabric? As for a recorder with good preamps, this is a good list:
Avisoft Bioacoustics - Microphone Input Noise Comparision

I'm trying to decide between the Roland R-05 and the SONY PCM-M10. From what I can tell the Roland is the popular choice these days for event work. For film and sound production teams, the Sony is popular because it works better with a mixer. I'd rather use sd cards rather than the microsd cards, so I will probably go with the Roland.

I'm also trying to decide if its worth upgrading the H4n. I've read that the line-in isn't true something (can't remember the name). Basically when you connect a 1/4" connection, it is noisy. Xlr is better, but the dj might not have xlr out.
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Old March 7th, 2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

"I'm also trying to decide if its worth upgrading the H4n."
-- 'Upgrading to' a H4n?

"I've read that the line-in isn't true something"
-- Yeah, the H4n's 'line' input is 'compromised', so one may input Hi Z 'instrument' level.. guitars and such.

"Basically when you connect a 1/4" connection, it is noisy. XLR is better"
-- A 1/4" is noisy? Not anymore than an XLR, all other factors being equal. An XLR is more 'secure', due to it's locking mechanism. Nothing wrong with a TRS 1/4" though, very common on console type mixers, DJ mixers too probably. One should have adapters/cables for both.. RCAs too.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #14
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Fiske View Post
Looked into the pinmic, but doesn't seem like its designed for a lapel. I don't think its thick enough to cover the width of two layers of fabric? As for a recorder with good preamps, this is a good list:
Avisoft Bioacoustics - Microphone Input Noise Comparision

I'm trying to decide between the Roland R-05 and the SONY PCM-M10. From what I can tell the Roland is the popular choice these days for event work. For film and sound production teams, the Sony is popular because it works better with a mixer. I'd rather use sd cards rather than the microsd cards, so I will probably go with the Roland.

I'm also trying to decide if its worth upgrading the H4n. I've read that the line-in isn't true something (can't remember the name). Basically when you connect a 1/4" connection, it is noisy. Xlr is better, but the dj might not have xlr out.

So that was a very helpful list. I actually decided to go with the Olympus LS-7

Newegg.com - OLYMPUS LS-7 Linear PCM TRESMIC Digital Voice Recorder - Black

based on the noise levels and such. Heck its even smaller than the tascam.
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Old March 9th, 2012, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: Better lav than the Olympus ME-15? Or better recorder? Help! lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taky Cheung View Post
I am using the Giant Squid lav mics. Great quality.
I too use this lav, but I get horrible quality. I've shot several weddings, seminars, etc. and the audio never turns out well. It feeds into a Zoom H1.

How do you make it sound good?

Here's an example of the bad audio: https://vimeo.com/34723591 (beginning with pastor is best audio from these lavs, but the middle - groom vows, and ending - bride vows are absolutely horrible). All three ppl were recorded with Giant Squid lavs into the Zoom H1.
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