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Old May 10th, 2012, 02:28 AM   #1
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Wireless shotgun mic

Hi, all.

I have a Rhode NTG-1 wired shotgun mic. Its audio quality is fantastic. It requires phantom power. I work in an environment filled with people in wheelchairs. The cable can be a real pain. I want a wireless version.

Also, the NTG-1 really needs to be in shot in order to pick up someone's voice acceptably. I would prefer if it worked from 6 feet away.

So far the only Sony options that I can see to make the NTG-1 wireless are to buy a WRT-847A with a shottie head ($2,200, though I don't know how good that shottie is) or a WL-800 transmitter/tuner for the NTG-1 ($3,000).

Is there a better option, maybe from a different brand?

Richard
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Old May 10th, 2012, 02:39 AM   #2
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

It isn't cheap, but how about something like this:

hm | Transmitters

Lectro has had a number of butt-plugs like this for years. You may be able to find an older version in the used market for less money. You won't go wrong with their products, though.

Edit- the model I'm thinking of is the UH400a. The transmittters (w/out receiver) show up on Ebay for under $500 pretty regularly. You'll need the other half for it, obviously, but that isn't hard to find either.

--Ben
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Old May 10th, 2012, 02:59 AM   #3
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

It might be a cheaper option (if you already have a radio mic system) to buy a NTG2 mic which can be battery powered which has the similar characteristics as the NTG1. People often overlook changing the mic and just focus on the TX.

I have a Sennheiser G2 system plug on transmitter with a Rode NTG2 that work very well, the only problem I have found is when adjusting the gain on the TX you will need a short XLRM- XLRF so you can talk into the mic and at the same time see the display and adjust the controls.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 03:25 AM   #4
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Butt plug. Hee hee hee.

Richard
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Old May 10th, 2012, 06:58 AM   #5
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

One route is as mentioned, a butt plug that provides phantom or switch to an NTG-2 and use a non-phantom butt plug that is cheaper and common.

In the category of building your kit, a battery powered field mixer that you put on your boom operator solves the problem of feeding phantom power to the mic on a boom as well as a way for your operator to monitor the audio. Then add a wireless link to your camera. A field mixer is a very useful device and you can pickup used ones rather cheap. I used one tromping through fields and forests where my sound operator dealt with the two wireless lavaliers coming into his field mixer and sent me his mix over a wireless channel. The NTG-1 was on the camera in this case for ambience and other typical camera mounted uses.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 08:16 AM   #6
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

You didn't mention whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors, but a shotgun is typically compromised by near reflections typically found indoors. 6 feet away is wildly unrealistic for ANY kind of microphone recording dialog. What exactly are you shooting that you need invisible microphone solutions? I question your basic premise that a shotgun is even a good fit for your production.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Also take into consideration, the boom op needs to hear what they are doing. However an inexperienced op will likely trash the sound in either way.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 01:17 PM   #8
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cavell View Post
...
Also, the NTG-1 really needs to be in shot in order to pick up someone's voice acceptably. I would prefer if it worked from 6 feet away.

...
You might prefer it to work from 6 feet away but Mother Nature and the laws of acoustics trump your desires. It doesn't need to be in-shot but it does need to be closer than 6 feet. In fact, ANY short shotgun, no matter what the price (even those costing 10 times the NTG-1), needs to be somewhere around 18 to 20 inches from the speakers mouth for optimum pickup - it's just the nature of the beast. You accomplish this by employing a boom operator to position the mic just out of the frame, over the camera line in front of and above the talent.

For wireless, take a look at the Sennheiser G3 SKP 300 butt plug. This model provides phantom to power the mic. Add a Senn G3 series body pack receiver and you're in business with decent quality geaar for substantially less than the numbers you've quoted.

The problem with wireless on the mic itself is as noted above the 'gun needs to be mounted on a boom held in proper position by a boom operator and he needs to hear what's going on. Mounting the plug directly on the mic means you need an extra receiver for the boomer to wear so he can hear the signal in his phones. Better is to use the mic wired on the boom feeding to a headphone amp/preamp on the boom op's belt that lets him monitor. Sound Devices MM-1 would do the trick. Send the output of the preamp to a transmitter on his belt for a wireless hop to the camera or recorder. Or forget wireless, go with double system, and have the boom op carry the recorder as well. That's a common ENG practice.
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Last edited by Steve House; May 10th, 2012 at 01:53 PM.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 07:03 PM   #9
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Given what you're doing Richard (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/open-dv-...-new-post.html for those asking), the Sennheiser kit will be good (although I didn't know the G3's had phantom power now? The G2's certainly didn't).

I've previously used the Sennheiser ME66 shotgun with the K6 power module, connected to the G2 butt plug. Worked well, but with what we were doing, the camera operator was monitoring the levels while I used the shotgun to do interviews in a windy outdoor environment.

If you're not going to be able to do that, given the intended use of the footage you could probably even get away with something like a Zoom H4n on the boom pole - connect the NTG2 to the Zoom, and the boom operator could monitor out of that.

Given the budget there may be more high end solutions, but I think this would do for your application.
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Old May 10th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

My solution which works perfectly is a sound devices mm1 pre amp (about $400) worn on my belt. My ntg3 (no battery) gets plugged into the mm1 which has phantom power, level control AND headphones for monitoring. The mm1 gets plugged into my Sennheiser g2 transmitter and sent to the camera. The camera op monitors through headphones. Totally wireless boom operator!!!
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:35 AM   #11
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Jones View Post
Given what you're doing Richard (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/open-dv-...-new-post.html for those asking), the Sennheiser kit will be good (although I didn't know the G3's had phantom power now? The G2's certainly didn't).

...
Depends on the model. The basic G3 SKP100 does NOT have phantom, the more expensive SKP300 does. Same for the older G2's - the base model lacked phantom but those further up the line provide it.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 05:58 AM   #12
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Cavell View Post
Hi, all.

Also, the NTG-1 really needs to be in shot in order to pick up someone's voice acceptably. I would prefer if it worked from 6 feet away.

Richard
You will find that any short shotgun mic needs to be quite a bit closer than 6 feet to get decent results. Long shotgun mics can be used further way than short shotguns, but they are exactly that......long and unwieldy. Only really suitable for outdoors use too.

Indoors, shotguns are not your best choice at all, unless a room is very well treated. In the case of general indoors recording, you might be better off with a hypercardioid mic rather than a shotgun mic to get more natural results. Shotgun mics usually use either hypercarioid or supercaridoid pattern capsules , set back in an interference tube. Indoors this can cause problems with unwanted early reflections, echoes etc. A hypercarioid capsule that is not set in an intereference tube ( ie: not a shotgun) should not present so much problem with this.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 07:06 AM   #13
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve House View Post
Depends on the model. The basic G3 SKP100 does NOT have phantom, the more expensive SKP300 does. Same for the older G2's - the base model lacked phantom but those further up the line provide it.
Thanks Steve. Bloody expensive! Especially when the SKP100 comes in kits, the SKP300 doesn't. B&H want about $550 for the SKP300.

Be a handy bit of kit though I think.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:23 AM   #14
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Jones View Post
Thanks Steve. Bloody expensive! Especially when the SKP100 comes in kits, the SKP300 doesn't. B&H want about $550 for the SKP300.

Be a handy bit of kit though I think.
You are lucky the SKP 300 exists at all - when the G3 was launched the only plug-on with phantom was the SKP 2000 (replacing the SKP 500 G2).

Sennheiser obviously introduced the SKP 300 G3 to give a more affordable option with phantom power.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:58 PM   #15
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Re: Wireless shotgun mic

a sanken, CS2 I think, the long shot gun they make is super directional and could work, but its not cheap and also requires phantom power. you could get a phantom power unit into the middle of your setup for $100-$150. however most shotguns just aren't going to deliver at this range. why not just use a lav and be done with it ?
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