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Old November 17th, 2012, 05:18 PM   #1
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stick mic and wireless

Hello Everyone. I have a Senheisser G2 Wireless mic system and a Shure SM63lb stick mic. When the wireless system is used as a lav I get really good audio (good levels) peaking where they should be. But when I use my stick mic with the wireless system my levels are always much lower. Too low infact. Other camera guys use the same wireless system but have a different mic and their levels are fine. Do you think I need a different mic. Just to let you know the sensitivity is set to 0 db on the stick mic and i have it at -20db on the lav. I also have the camera set to auto all the time. When I have asked other shooters who have been getting the good audio and they are in auto as well. How can the lav have a good level and then the stick mic not? Thanks.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Are you using the same transmitter as the lav mic with a cable that plugs into the SM63 mic? Or are you using a different TX unit (plug in)
Dynamic mics are lower in output level than condenser mics so you will need to increase the gain on the TX unit.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Different Transmitter. I have the plug for Stick mic. Maybe I should look at a condenser mic. I have the gain set to 0 on the TX and I can't seem to get it to go higher. Thanks for your help.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Hey Brian. One other question. When I use a cable to plug the mic in it is low as well. Why wouldn't my camera boost the level automatically? I guess same with the Wireless why won't it boost the level.
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Old November 17th, 2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Generally, dynamic H/H mics are much lower in output than powered mics. (Phantom or Plug-in)... lavs or otherwise. This is normal.. and are used relatively close to the audio source. The gain ( transmitters sensitivity) must usually be raised to compensate. The receiver's output level (AF out) 'could' be raised as well, but it should not be necessary. If it's still to low, The mic is probably to far away from the sound source. Look at the network news shows for an example on how a H/H reporters mic is used. Many US networks use the EV-RE50, but the SM63 is a good mic and should be more than adequate..
Auto level, (AGC) SHOULD BE AVOIDED!
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Old November 17th, 2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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Re: stick mic and wireless

I also use the SM63lb and have for a number of years with different wireless systems. I've been using it with an AT1821 receiver and the 18XX series plugin transmitter. I make sure the transmitter is set to 0db and generally set the level on the receiver midpoint (there are no markings to indicate other than low to high). I've used it in both manual and AGC setting on the camera and have only had any kind of low levels when the "talent" is holding the mic at waist level or out to one side or another. Actually the ABC affiliate here in Chicago uses the SM63 (they have for years) and many of their reporters hold the mic to chest level and the audio sounds just fine on their lives shots.
Perhaps you need to look at the wireless system and adjust something on that ratehr than changing the mic which has proven itself to work just fine with many different systems.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 01:25 AM   #7
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Rick and Don. I do notice when the mic is very close to the reporter the audio is much better. The problem I have is in a media scrum when I am trying to hold onto the mic as well as operate the camera. I can only get so close. A lot of the people I interview too are soft spoken. One camera op uses the same wireless system as me but has a Senheisser stick mic and he gets a lot better level out of it. I do love my SM63 and want to get another one but I am trying to sort this issue out. What is the biggest difference between the SM 63 and 64. One radio station uses them. If I sent phantom power to the 63 would that work better? I will also try and look at the output level as suggested by Rick. I know the sensitivity can't go higher then 00db.

Thanks
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Old November 18th, 2012, 02:28 AM   #8
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Check out the EV RE50M/D-B as it has an extra 10db of gain, failing that a capacitor mic will llso help as most of the in vision dynamic mic's are designed to be used very close up to the sound source.

A dedicated radio stick such as the sennheiser EW 100 with the cardioid insert will also be a better match to your other radio kit.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 06:34 AM   #9
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Bellows View Post
Hey Brian. One other question. When I use a cable to plug the mic in it is low as well. Why wouldn't my camera boost the level automatically? I guess same with the Wireless why won't it boost the level.
There are two audio chains to consider here, stick mic to transmitter and receiver to camera. Your camera gain controls are part of the latter chain, not the former. You need to insure that the transmitter is getting a sufficient level from the mic so that its output signal is fully modulated. THEN you can adjust the receiver output and the camera input controls to achieve the proper recording levels. You could have the camera gain cranked all the way to max and still have too low a recording level if the you're feeding the transmitter a wimpy signal to begin with.

If you want to substitute a condenser mic for the dynamic you need to remember that they all require power. The G2 butt-plug transmitter does not provide any power at all for the mic while the plug-in power the bpdypack transmitter provides for its lav IS NOT the same as the phantom power most condenser mics require. The only mics you can use would be those with their own internal battery power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calvin Bellows View Post
...What is the biggest difference between the SM 63 and 64. One radio station uses them. If I sent phantom power to the 63 would that work better? ....
NO! Dynamic mics like the SM63 do not need or respond to external power, indeed could be damaged by it if the power supply has a fault in its wiring. In fact, the word 'phantom' in the name 'phantom power' refers to the fact that it is invisible to dynamic mics when it's wired properly.

AFAIK there is no such thing as an SM64 so I guess you could say the biggest difference between them is the SM63 exists while the SM64 doesn't <grin>. The SM63 is an omni mic. You might find that a cardioid dynamic such as the Sennheiser MD46 performs better in the high noise environment of a media scrum. But there's no getting around the fact that all these mics are designed for use within a few inches of the speaker's mouth.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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Re: stick mic and wireless

There is a Shure VP64 a dynamic omni reporter hand mic, they are quite a nice mic and a little more modern looking on camera than the SM63 and sound a little nicer.

Just some info for Shure SM63 users of the short version, which was the first to be released had a slight design flaw, the internal cable/s from the capsule to the XLR pins was VERY short and if someone unscrewed the mic (like bored Journos to check the battery...(not that there was one) the twisting of the mic barrel would shear the cables from the back of the capsule. After 4 mics failed in 2 years we caught a guy doing it just prior to a 'live to air' news cross.
So the FIX was to add an additional 20mm of cable internally in the mic at the XLR end, pre-twist the cable in the opposite direction prior to assembly and put 'Locktite' on the thread before re-assembly. We only bought the short versions of the SM63 so I don't know if this is also applicable to the long versions.

Last edited by Brian P. Reynolds; November 18th, 2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 04:49 AM   #11
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Re: stick mic and wireless

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Originally Posted by Calvin Bellows View Post
If I sent phantom power to the 63 would that work better?
Proper phantom power will not affect a balanced dynamic mic. at all - however - the G3 pocket transmitter does not output phantom power, only plug-in power - and plug-in power *can* adversly affect a dynamic mic.

To use a dynamic mic. into the pocket transmitter you need an adaptor cable with a blocking capacitor in the XLR that prevents the plug-in power getting to the mic.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 12:10 PM   #12
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Re: stick mic and wireless

I don't know that I'd be trying to use an omni in that situation, Calvin. There is a reason the broadcasters typically use Sennheiser ME66/K6 mics. Not great sound but usable at 18 - 24" from source in a scrum IF you are one-man-banding it...

When I shot news for Mother Corp, (CBC, the Canadian public broadcaster), if I was alone, I'd see if I could "steal" a channel from one of the other stations' wireless mics being held closer by a reporter. We were all pretty collegial back in the day.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #13
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Re: stick mic and wireless

Another alternative is to have a small shotgun such as the AT 875R with a wireless transmitter, I use this a lot for in vision and for general interviewing situations and it can be a very flexible set-up as it gives enough sensibility but can also be hand held.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #14
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Re: stick mic and wireless

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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
Another alternative is to have a small shotgun such as the AT 875R with a wireless transmitter, I use this a lot for in vision and for general interviewing situations and it can be a very flexible set-up as it gives enough sensibility but can also be hand held.
Just make sure that the plug on TX can supply the phantom power many mics need to operate, if it doesn't you would need to use a 'self powered' short shotgun mic.
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