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Old July 16th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Mic Help

Hi Everyone,
This is my first post, and I signed up because I need some audio equipment help.

First off, I wasn't hired at my company to shoot video initially, but I've sort of found myself producing videos for our YouTube channel every week. The limitations of using a DSLR has prompted me to get a Canon XA10 which arrived last Friday.

We had a Sure Dual Channel Diversity Receiver and a couple of bodypack transmitters that worked well with the XA10, the audio was great, but the boss DOES NOT want to use this for trade shows because you need to plug in the receiver to an outlet.

What I need is the capability to use two (2) wireless lavalieres for two separate people so I can be mobile during a trade show, or with our regular productions.

Would I need two of these?
Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G3 Wireless System - DVeStore
Or one of those and and additional bodypack transmitter?

As you can see I'm not the most well-versed when it comes to audio. I'm learning as I go along.

I'll also be recording a meeting in August. It'll be held in a larger convention center meeting room. I'll be recording the main presenter and anyone who asks questions. Should I use the wireless lav for the presenter and a shotgun for questions in the audience? If so what's a good shotgun to buy in this circumstance?

Money is no object, here. The boss wants this done right. So please, please help me.

I appreciate any tips or advice you could give.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #2
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Re: Mic Help

You need a separate channel and thus a separate receiver for each microphone. There are SOME receivers that actually have two independent channels in the same box. But don't confuse that with "dual diversity" receivers which have two receivers on the same channel to compensate for signal dropouts.

Note that you could probably also rig your current receiver with a battery pack, but that wouldn't be as convenient. You didn't identify exactly what receiver you have, but most of them operate on low DC voltages of the kind you can get from batteries.

As for what method to use for covering audience questions, much depends on the dynamics of the event and the size of the audience and the nature of the room.

Here are four regularly-used methods of covering audience questions.
1) Place a microphone (or 2 or 3) on stands in the aisles for audience to come to speak their question/comment.
2) Hire a boom operator (or two) to use shotgun mics to cover the audience area.
3) Use one (or more) microphones which are passed to the audience member (wired or wireless)
4) Don't bother covering the audience, but have the presenter (or the MC) repeat the question on-mic from the stage. (This has other advantages besides technical ones.)
A variation would be to give the audience cards on which they can write questions and pass them to ushers in the aisles.

And remember that what might work for simple recording may not be suitable if you must also do PA system for sound reinforcement back to the audience.

Not having any clue what kind of audience event you are talking about probably renders our responses too generic to be of much practical use.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Re: Mic Help

The audience is informal 100 people or so, and it's going to be a luncheon. In the past at these events people just stand up and ask a question, there's never been an independent mic for the audience. I'm not greatly concerned about this as much, I could always subtitle the questions if the audio isn't ideal, the answers are more important.

The current receiver I have is this:
Shure Americas | Performance Gear
It allows for 2 channels. Receiver itself can't be battery powered unfortunately.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Re: Mic Help

Maybe something like this would work well for me, no?
Audio-Technica ATW-1821 Dual Wireless Microphone System
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Old July 16th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #5
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Re: Mic Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Arnold View Post
The current receiver I have is this: (Shure PG88)
It allows for 2 channels. Receiver itself can't be battery powered unfortunately.
Correction: The receiver doesn't INCLUDE a battery power option. But since it runs on "12-18VDC", it can be easily powered from a battery source.
But the form-factor doesn't lend itself well to mobile camera operation (like the ATW-1821 is made for).

Quote:
Maybe something like this would work well for me, no?
Audio-Technica ATW-1821 Dual Wireless Microphone System
Yes, that would appear to be ideal.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Re: Mic Help

The AT1821 would work. Between the AT and two G3 systems it's more of a matter of desired features than price and performance, so I won't recommend one over the other,
Regarding the Q&A, simply 'asking' (in one-ear-and-out-the-other) the chair-person or panelist to repeat an audience question will not guarantee it, but based on my significant experience in this area, I found putting a printed sheet on the podium and panel table stating to "Speak up and into the microphone" AND 'Please repeat questions fro the audience" yields a much better result. In addition it's real nice to have a few 'room-mics' to pick-up applause, laughter, and other audience sound when you need it.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 12:47 PM   #7
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Re: Mic Help

I have a sony UWP wireless handheld mic which could suit this purpose well. But like I said, at these things people typically have just stood up and asked questions.... a boom mic operator seems a bit impractical.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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Re: Mic Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Arnold View Post
...a boom mic operator seems a bit impractical.
Certainly, it is impractical for many situations. But it is IDEAL for some. Much depends on the expectations and trade-off decisions of the customer and the producer.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: Mic Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Arnold View Post
The audience is informal 100 people or so, and it's going to be a luncheon. In the past at these events people just stand up and ask a question, there's never been an independent mic for the audience. I'm not greatly concerned about this as much, I could always subtitle the questions if the audio isn't ideal, the answers are more important. .
You could put a wireless hand-held mic at each table. (You said: "Money is no object, here." and they can be rented easily.)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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Re: Mic Help

As one that uses the AT1821 since it came out, I can say from first hand experience that while it doesn't match up to Lectro or Traxcom for the events I do (50+ weddings a year and lots of business seminars) I am very very happy with the system. HOWEVER, If you choose this system you need to upgrade the stock mics. I happen to prefer the Countryman EMW but I know some folks have gone with the AT 899 lav and been very happy. The stock mic (iirc the AT 829) just doesn't cut it. I also have and use the plug in transmitter all the time and it works quite well also. The 1821 has some nice features like being able to control the levels on the receiver, the transmitters can also be adjusted thru the menu from minus6 to plus6 db. Between that and the levels adjustments on the receiver and the manual adjustments on the camera I have never had any audio crash on me.
Obviously I like the system, well worth the money IMO.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #11
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Re: Mic Help

During my 30-years with NASA, all of our post launch 'News Media Q&A' sessions were accomplished using a wireless mic or a wired mic on a Boompole. There was a slight delay in getting the mic to the person asking the question, but it was acceptable. We also used a wireless mic we'd just hand-down the isle to the reporter asking the question. You will need a dedicated microphone 'baby-sitter' or Boompole operater.

Best regards,

J.
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #12
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Re: Mic Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
As one that uses the AT1821 since it came out, I can say from first hand experience that while it doesn't match up to Lectro or Traxcom for the events I do (50+ weddings a year and lots of business seminars) I am very very happy with the system. HOWEVER, If you choose this system you need to upgrade the stock mics. I happen to prefer the Countryman EMW but I know some folks have gone with the AT 899 lav and been very happy. The stock mic (iirc the AT 829) just doesn't cut it. I also have and use the plug in transmitter all the time and it works quite well also. The 1821 has some nice features like being able to control the levels on the receiver, the transmitters can also be adjusted thru the menu from minus6 to plus6 db. Between that and the levels adjustments on the receiver and the manual adjustments on the camera I have never had any audio crash on me.
Obviously I like the system, well worth the money IMO.
Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm leaning towards the AT1821.
Will it work with the XA10 specifically? I'm 99% sure it will, but I told my boss about it and he's kind of nervous about it (I've dropped the ball on audio for video before... that's a whole other story) so I just wanted to make sure.

Does anyone know of a place where I can check out such audio systems in person? I went to Samy's camera but they didn't have much for me to see.

Thanks again!
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Old July 16th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #13
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Re: Mic Help

Phil, if the XA10 has XLR inputs it will work.

The way I've previously covered corporate events like this is using the Senn kits with the plug in transmitter (butt plug).

You let the audio/PA guys do their thing, wire the building, and provide a couple of wireless hand held mics to cover the audience. If you're worried about your recording, don't be... Its far more frustrating being at the event and unable to hear the question.

Then plug the transmitter into an out on the mixing desk, or just run XLR to the camera, and you're done. I wouldn't stress about dual receivers and booms. In fact I'm still trying to work out if the dual receivers can even be used in Australia with the licensing restrictions.

My 2c from covering the conferences for the nonprofit I work for over the last 2 years. Audio is perfect, just the yahoo on the camera that needs some work ;-)
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Old July 16th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #14
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Re: Mic Help

Phil, no reason it shouldn't work. I've used the system on PD170s, HD250s, DSR230, HM700, EX1Rs, EX3s...The camera doesn't care what system is plugged into it as long as the settings of the camera are correct for that purpose.

Ryan, that does work no question. I've done it also but sometimes there isn't a board (yeah the clients gets cheap or stupid) OR the board is full OR the operator says Nope can't plug in. IOW, sometimes it just isn't feasible to do.
If I'm running the board and a cam op asks me to plug in I find somewhere for that to happen. Being on both sides of the table makes you realize how important it is to work together.
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