5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

All Things Audio
Everything Audio, from acquisition to postproduction.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 16th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Posts: 21
5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Hi all,

Been receiving some great advice on this forum recently so thought I'd post up another question.

I shoot on a 5D MKIII and I'm looking into improving my audio setup. At the moment I use a Rode Videomic but I do a lot of interviews so I really think I'd be better with a lavalier microphone. Most of the time I'd probably be okay with a wired lav mic but it's likely that I will need a wireless one at some point in the future.

I'll be plugging the microphone straight into the camera's line-in (disabling the AGC of course), but may in the future purchase an external audio recorder.

I've read that cheap wireless microphones are best avoided - how much should I be looking to spend to avoid a crap wireless setup? And how can I be sure that it will work with an external audio recorder such as one of the Zoom or Tascam models?

Is there a way that I can plug multiple mics into my 5D MKIII at the same time?

Hope you can help, thanks.

Jonnie.
Jonnie Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2013, 04:05 PM   #2
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Posts: 21
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

A lot of people seem to be talking about the Sennheiser G3...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003UH4UFQ/ref=asc_df_B003UH4UFQ11506717?smid=A11D0RE53ZZ3NB&tag=googlecouk06-21&linkCode=asn&creative=22218&creativeASIN=B003UH4UFQ

Sennheiser ew 112-p G3 Camera Mount Wireless EW112PG3-A B&H


But maybe I shouldn't entirely right off a wired setup. For 439 I could probably buy an external recorder AND a wired microphone, then if I have to do any walking around I could always plant an external audio recorder on my subject. I could always then plug my shotgun mic into my DSLR as backup audio.

Would it cause serious problems to have a crappy 3.5mm cable dragging around on the ground?
Jonnie Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 16th, 2013, 04:26 PM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

If you want to record directly into your 5D MkIII, it's best to use a purpose-built device like a BeachTek DXA-SLR Pro preamp box with XLR connectors, level controls and meters that connects under the camera. However that's an expensive and a little bulky solution.
You may want to put that money into a good separate recorder with XLR mic connectors instead. Then you will need to deal with syncing up the audio and video files.
There's always some trade off.

Last edited by Jay Massengill; January 16th, 2013 at 07:47 PM.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2013, 07:50 AM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Posts: 21
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Great, thanks.

I think I'm swaying towards a wired lav to start off with and I'll just plug it straight into my 5D.

Wired is probably all I need at the moment, but if I need to in the future I can always invest in a Tascam or BeachTek (probably Tascam for the sake of making the wired mics 'wireless').

Can I plug multiple mics into a Tascam/BeachTek? And if I do, is each recorded as a separate audio track or are they all combined into one?

Seemingly XLR cables better than a 3.5mm. Obviously my 5D input is 3.5mm, so is there a way I could convert a wired mic with 3.5mm to be XLR?

The wired Rode lav mic looks pretty good from what I've seen. Can you recommend anything else?

Thanks again,
Jonnie.
Jonnie Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2013, 02:49 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

While cost is always an issue, you can never have too many toys. I've been going down a very similar path as you with the building of my audio "kit". My video camera has a mini-jack input, 3.5mm, and I needed a better mic. The first mic I got, a Sennheiser ME-66, had an XLR output which obviously wouldn't connect. There is a steep learning curve here. To connect it I wound up with a nice little JuicedLink CX211 Pre. And things slowly snowballed from there.

While there are adapters to go from XLR to 3.5 mm, one has to check the voltage and the balance. In the end it is probably going to be easier to just get a good preamp and let it do it's thing. The advantage of a preamp is there will ge gain controls available and the CX211, for example, has two XLR inputs available.

As an aside, going a step further, having the audio recorded on something other than the camera will probably keep noise down so I've been looking for a separate recorder.

As time goes on, a couple more mics have been added to my kit but a couple weeks ago I was reading a post in this audio section about a gal who has a wire "issue" with her AT899 lavalier mic. I've been looking for some kind of wireless mic system for some time now but there are soooo many choices out there. Given that the better audio comes from a wired source (you'll read that a LOT here), and after doing some research about the Audio-Technica AT899, I'm actually in the process of buying one. A companion model is the AT898. They both have XLR outputs so one would need a preamp setup.

It seems a primary use of the wired mini-mics is for speakers (talking heads) with a podium who don't stray far from a certain spot but I would think for your purpose one would work.

I'm currently looking at my audio gear as something akin to my mechanics tool box, the roll-away one. And I'm still looking for a wireless system. Probably the Sennheiser ENG one.

Make darn sure you aren't getting a fake Chinese-made mic. http://talk.philmusic.com/index.php?topic=207752.0 Research for other fake/phony/counterfeit Chinese audio gear.

Good audio is very important.
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Jonny,

After a number of years with DSLR video, I've learned that when working alone, it's best to record into the camera and when on a team, it's better to use a separate recorder. Why? When you're looking at the camera and hitting REC, you aren't looking at the audio recorder. It's easy to get the two recorders out of sync (start recording video but only put audio recorder into REC-STBY). Quality doesn't matter if you don't record the audio at all! But on a team, it's nice to yell "roll sound" and the audio engineer just does their job without any cross wiring or coordination with the camera op.

I assume that you're filming solo. If so, take a look at the juicedLink preamps. They can offer phantom power, support XLR connections, and provide clean gain. I'd rather go with a cheap mic and a good preamp into a DSLR than an expensive mic and no preamp.

For a wired mic, take a look at the AT803b. It's large and not very sensitive, but sounds good for the money. The AT899 is smaller but costs more, doesn't sound as good, and is setup to be used with a wireless transmitter, rather than a wire.

If you want great sound, go with a Sanken COS-11D. There is a wired version that costs about $500.

The preamp choice depends on the mic(s) you will use. If your mics will always use batteries (AT803b), you can skip the phantom power feature, but if you want to be future-proofed (COS-11D), you'll want phantom. The RM202 doesn't have phantom. The RM222 does.

RM202 Riggy Micro [RM202] - $249.00 : juicedLink, Unique and Trusted Solutions for Audio and Video Production
RM222 Riggy Micro [RM222] - $329.00 : juicedLink, Unique and Trusted Solutions for Audio and Video Production

Best of luck!
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 17th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

"Uh, .... did you say something?"

[first paragraph - couldn't resist that]
anyway....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
For a wired mic, take a look at the AT803b. It's large and not very sensitive, but sounds good for the money. The AT899 is smaller but costs more, doesn't sound as good, and is setup to be used with a wireless transmitter, rather than a wire.
Setup to be used with a wireless transmitter? Hmmm.... I did a bit of research on it but really couldn't find very much. Internet searches really didn't come up with much Basically, good sound for a small mic, "good bang for the buck", and things like that. The one I found is used and pretty cheap so maybe that's why?

My only other vocal (talking voice, not singing voice) mic is an Electro-Voice RE50B and it's big and heavy and requires XLR cable output. The E-V is probably comfortable as an interview mic or maybe it could be used for voice-over. I figured the AT899 would complement it for those situations where I don't want it to look like an obvious interview.

The other thing that is always present in making a buying decision is cost-for-what-you-get. In this case, the AT899 I'm getting is a bargain (if it is as advertised). Also, it is about/less than 1/10th the cost of a used Sennheiser ENG system. A second factor in the bang-for-the-buck decision is that so often it has been written in the Audio forum that a cheap wired mic is better than a good wireless mic, and I assume that means if the wire doesn't pose too much of a problem. So.... while I'm still on the hunt for the wireless mic this is my, shall we say, stand-in.

Just another item for my tool box.

Open for comments....

And one more thought....
With regard to the part about telling the audio guy to turn on the recorder..... Since I'm a one-man-show I don't have THAT problem. My problem is remembering to turn on the preamp and/or the mic. The good news is I'm getting better at remembering, the bad news is I've had to improve my memory at the expense of recording some important video that didn't have any audio.

Last edited by John Nantz; January 17th, 2013 at 09:31 PM. Reason: And one more thought.....
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2013, 08:03 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

While it can be easier said than done depending on which dSLR you're using, a key part of the process that you will see discussed here many times is: monitor, monitor, monitor. With good professional field headphones preferrably.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2013, 12:02 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Camas, WA, USA
Posts: 5,513
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Regarding that used AT899, what connector does it have? They can be sold with pigtails (no connector), or a connector for specific wireless transmitters. The connector and wiring will be different for Shure, Sennheiser, Lectrosonics, etc. If you want to use it with an XLR cable, make sure you get the right version.

For instance, this is set up for an AT UniPak transmitter (not what you want):
Audio-Technica AT899CW - Sub-Miniature Omnidirectional AT899CW

Instead, you would want this, setup for XLR (note the AT8537 Power Module Included):
Audio-Technica AT899 - Condenser Lavalier Microphone AT899 B&H

As I count it, B&H has nine versions that are for various wireless transmitters and only one for XLR.

Looking into it, the AT8537 power module allows the mic to work with phantom or battery power.

The AT803b mic is slightly larger and has a better bass response. (Often, a higher priced lav is more costly due to the smaller size, rather than for better audio quality. It's hard to get great sound from a smaller package.) However, the battery pack for the AT803b is really bulky compared to the AT899's power module.)
__________________
Jon Fairhurst
Jon Fairhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Burlington
Posts: 1,961
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

The AT803b power supply does have a belt-clip. So in some cases in can be more convenient than the very long cable and slender power supply of the AT899 with XLR, which is often laid on the floor or the ground.
However, if the distance is short enough, the AT899 can plug directly into an XLR input. The AT803b always requires an XLR cable no matter how close or far it must connect.
Jay Massengill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 18th, 2013, 08:13 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Seattle WA
Posts: 956
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Jon - it's the one setup for XLR with the power module.

"Instead, you would want this, setup for XLR (note the AT8537 Power Module Included):
Audio-Technica AT899 - Condenser Lavalier Microphone AT899 B&H"

This was pretty inexpensive ($55) so I think this is something I'll be able to use in a few places. At least I hope so.

And for Jay - " a key part of the process that you will see discussed here many times is: monitor, monitor, monitor."

You are so right, right, right. I just got a Sony headphone but haven't used it yet. But I can sure see where it'll help make sure I'm getting - and recording - signal.
John Nantz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2013, 06:26 AM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Posts: 21
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
While cost is always an issue, you can never have too many toys. I've been going down a very similar path as you with the building of my audio "kit". My video camera has a mini-jack input, 3.5mm, and I needed a better mic. The first mic I got, a Sennheiser ME-66, had an XLR output which obviously wouldn't connect. There is a steep learning curve here. To connect it I wound up with a nice little JuicedLink CX211 Pre. And things slowly snowballed from there.

While there are adapters to go from XLR to 3.5 mm, one has to check the voltage and the balance. In the end it is probably going to be easier to just get a good preamp and let it do it's thing. The advantage of a preamp is there will ge gain controls available and the CX211, for example, has two XLR inputs available.

As an aside, going a step further, having the audio recorded on something other than the camera will probably keep noise down so I've been looking for a separate recorder.

As time goes on, a couple more mics have been added to my kit but a couple weeks ago I was reading a post in this audio section about a gal who has a wire "issue" with her AT899 lavalier mic. I've been looking for some kind of wireless mic system for some time now but there are soooo many choices out there. Given that the better audio comes from a wired source (you'll read that a LOT here), and after doing some research about the Audio-Technica AT899, I'm actually in the process of buying one. A companion model is the AT898. They both have XLR outputs so one would need a preamp setup.

It seems a primary use of the wired mini-mics is for speakers (talking heads) with a podium who don't stray far from a certain spot but I would think for your purpose one would work.

I'm currently looking at my audio gear as something akin to my mechanics tool box, the roll-away one. And I'm still looking for a wireless system. Probably the Sennheiser ENG one.

Make darn sure you aren't getting a fake Chinese-made mic. http://talk.philmusic.com/index.php?topic=207752.0 Research for other fake/phony/counterfeit Chinese audio gear.

Good audio is very important.
Hi John,

Thanks for all the tips.

My inclination is still to go for an external recorder. I can see that it's handy to use a pre-amp to keep on top of the audio more seamlessly, but I'm trying to future-proof by pre-empting a time where I'll need my lav mic to be 'wireless'. Having an external recorder would allow me to plant it on my subject and have them move around freely without cables in the shot/trailing along the floor to my camera.

Please correct me if you think there's anything that I'm forgetting, but I think my best option is to buy a wired lav mic with 3.5mm cable/jack and plug it straight into my camera and see how I get on...

Presumably by using a preamp like the JuicedLink and routing the audio into your camera, it all gets recorded onto one audio track?

If I go down the external recorder route, I could have a multi-mic setup and record audio on separate channels to work with individually later.

Does anyone know if the external recorders like the Zoom and Tascam have multiple sockets for several 3.5mm inputs? Or is it possible (probably not) to use a splitter to separate multiple audio sources into the same input and record to different channels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Jonny,

After a number of years with DSLR video, I've learned that when working alone, it's best to record into the camera and when on a team, it's better to use a separate recorder. Why? When you're looking at the camera and hitting REC, you aren't looking at the audio recorder. It's easy to get the two recorders out of sync (start recording video but only put audio recorder into REC-STBY). Quality doesn't matter if you don't record the audio at all! But on a team, it's nice to yell "roll sound" and the audio engineer just does their job without any cross wiring or coordination with the camera op.

I assume that you're filming solo. If so, take a look at the juicedLink preamps. They can offer phantom power, support XLR connections, and provide clean gain. I'd rather go with a cheap mic and a good preamp into a DSLR than an expensive mic and no preamp.

For a wired mic, take a look at the AT803b. It's large and not very sensitive, but sounds good for the money. The AT899 is smaller but costs more, doesn't sound as good, and is setup to be used with a wireless transmitter, rather than a wire.

If you want great sound, go with a Sanken COS-11D. There is a wired version that costs about $500.

The preamp choice depends on the mic(s) you will use. If your mics will always use batteries (AT803b), you can skip the phantom power feature, but if you want to be future-proofed (COS-11D), you'll want phantom. The RM202 doesn't have phantom. The RM222 does.

RM202 Riggy Micro [RM202] - $249.00 : juicedLink, Unique and Trusted Solutions for Audio and Video Production
RM222 Riggy Micro [RM222] - $329.00 : juicedLink, Unique and Trusted Solutions for Audio and Video Production

Best of luck!
Hi Jon,

You're right - I am indeed working alone and I can definitely see the advantage of only having to push record once. But as above, I'd like the flexibility of going 'wireless' without forking out on a super expensive wireless setup.

I'd quite like to build this up steadily. I know the DSLR preamps are useless but even going from my current shotgun straight into the camera to lav straight into camera will be a huge improvement for interviews.

Phantom power isn't too much of an issue for me as I'm a photographer as well and have plenty rechargeable batteries kicking about for my flash. That's assuming I can power mics with AAs.

Thanks for the links and pointers - I'll give it all a good looking into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post
"Uh, .... did you say something?"

[first paragraph - couldn't resist that]
anyway....

Setup to be used with a wireless transmitter? Hmmm.... I did a bit of research on it but really couldn't find very much. Internet searches really didn't come up with much Basically, good sound for a small mic, "good bang for the buck", and things like that. The one I found is used and pretty cheap so maybe that's why?

My only other vocal (talking voice, not singing voice) mic is an Electro-Voice RE50B and it's big and heavy and requires XLR cable output. The E-V is probably comfortable as an interview mic or maybe it could be used for voice-over. I figured the AT899 would complement it for those situations where I don't want it to look like an obvious interview.

The other thing that is always present in making a buying decision is cost-for-what-you-get. In this case, the AT899 I'm getting is a bargain (if it is as advertised). Also, it is about/less than 1/10th the cost of a used Sennheiser ENG system. A second factor in the bang-for-the-buck decision is that so often it has been written in the Audio forum that a cheap wired mic is better than a good wireless mic, and I assume that means if the wire doesn't pose too much of a problem. So.... while I'm still on the hunt for the wireless mic this is my, shall we say, stand-in.

Just another item for my tool box.

Open for comments....

And one more thought....
With regard to the part about telling the audio guy to turn on the recorder..... Since I'm a one-man-show I don't have THAT problem. My problem is remembering to turn on the preamp and/or the mic. The good news is I'm getting better at remembering, the bad news is I've had to improve my memory at the expense of recording some important video that didn't have any audio.
If I was to buy a wired lav with 3.5mm jack - is it possible/advisable to use an XLR adapter should I need to later?

I was talking to an audio friend about 1/8th vs XLR and he mentioned that XLR is really for longer distances and situations where it has to run alongside other cabling. Would it be safe to run several 1/8th cables side-by-side?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
While it can be easier said than done depending on which dSLR you're using, a key part of the process that you will see discussed here many times is: monitor, monitor, monitor. With good professional field headphones preferrably.
That's definitely something that I've come across before! The 5D MKIII has a headphone jack now so I'll be able to do this.

Thanks again for all the tips everyone - much appreciated.
Jonnie Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2013, 09:52 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

The simple answer for a wired lav is to do as many of us wedding videographers do & use a lav mic & pop a small digital recorder in the interviewee's pocket. I recommend the remarkably pocket-friendly Yamaha C24 which will record all day with a single AAA battery.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2013, 10:33 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonnie Lewis View Post
...
Please correct me if you think there's anything that I'm forgetting, but I think my best option is to buy a wired lav mic with 3.5mm cable/jack and plug it straight into my camera and see how I get on...

Presumably by using a preamp like the JuicedLink and routing the audio into your camera, it all gets recorded onto one audio track?

If I go down the external recorder route, I could have a multi-mic setup and record audio on separate channels to work with individually later.

Does anyone know if the external recorders like the Zoom and Tascam have multiple sockets for several 3.5mm inputs? Or is it possible (probably not) to use a splitter to separate multiple audio sources into the same input and record to different channels?
......
Phantom power isn't too much of an issue for me as I'm a photographer as well and have plenty rechargeable batteries kicking about for my flash. That's assuming I can power mics with AAs.

If I was to buy a wired lav with 3.5mm jack - is it possible/advisable to use an XLR adapter should I need to later?

I was talking to an audio friend about 1/8th vs XLR and he mentioned that XLR is really for longer distances and situations where it has to run alongside other cabling. Would it be safe to run several 1/8th cables side-by-side?.
I'm not aware of any compact recorders that have more than one 1/8 external mic input.

Just to make sure we're using the same terms, the female side of a connection, the hole you plug the mic into on the recorder, is called a "jack" while the male side, the thing you plug into the hole, is called a "plug." A TS connector has two connections in it, a 'tip' (signal) and a 'sleeve' (ground), and carries a mono signal. A TRS connector has three, 'tip', 'ring', and 'sleeve'. Typically a 1/8 TRS connection is used for stereo with the left signal on the tip, the right signal on the ring, and the sleeve carrying the common ground for both. You have to be careful though, non-standard wired 1/8 examples abound, especially with mics. For example, the Rode Videomic is a mono mic and from that you would expect its cable to end with a TS plug, but it doesn't - instead they used a TRS plug wired with its tip and ring shorted together so the mono mic signal is present on both in order for it to record on both the left and right channels of a stereo destination device it's plugged into.

A splitter takes one signal and sends it to two destinations. Technically what you're asking about would be a 'combiner' to take signals from two sources and combine them to feed into a single destination. That's what mixers do but there aren't many around the accept multiple 1/8 inputs and send them to a single 1/8 stereo destination. You could do what I think you're thinking of by making a "Y" cable that would take take two inline mono 1/8 TS (or TRS would work too) jacks and route them to a 1/8 TRS plug on the other end, wiring the tip connector of one jack to the tip (left) connector on the plug and the tip connector on the other jack to the plug's ring (right) connector. That would let you use two mono laves, sending one to the left stereo channel and the other to the right.
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!
Steve House is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 20th, 2013, 10:40 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,742
Re: 5D MKIII audio - lav mics/external recorders

Duplicate post
__________________
Good news, Cousins! This week's chocolate ration is 15 grams!

Last edited by Steve House; January 20th, 2013 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Duplicate post
Steve House is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > All Things Audio

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:07 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network