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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Hello there:)

I'm familier with boom mics, and microphones in generall and how they are applied in different aplications, but I have never used nor do I understand the workflow of a lavalier microphones.

I want to get a lavalier microphone so that I can record my colegues voice wile I film him with a zoom lense from a distance.

So, do I need something like a Zoom h4n which will be in my colegues pocket connected with his lavalier mic that goes to his neck tie area?

Or a wireless lavalier microphone with transmitter and receiver? But then again, where the sound will end up? Stored on receiver? And wont the signal be lost from araund 30m?

I'm reading on lavaliers, but they always review them form a point of view that everyone understands their usage workflow.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

The receiver has an audio output that either plugs into your camera's audio input just like a mic or into the separate recorder's input if shootimg double system. The problem with a recorder in the talent's pocket is that you're unable to monitor the audio during the take, As to whether 30m is too far, that depends on the quality of the wireless units - cheap consumer toys would be iffy but professional quality mics should be fine.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:51 AM   #3
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Have you already been filming with some other type of mic? If so, what mic and camera have you used until now? And are you satisfied with the recording quality you have achieved with this equipment?

In other words, is the lavalier mic just a different microphone from what you have been using until now? Or is "filming, and using a lavalier mic to do so" an entirely new venture?
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:02 AM   #4
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Using a lavalier mic is an entirely new venture for me

I'v been using Canon 550D (I don't think it has any external audio capabilities), and have done some conventional interviews with people using my Zoom H4n as a microphone and not as a interface for other mics. I have been fairly satisfied with the quality I got out of it.

But the freedom lavalier microphone gives me is essential in what I am planning and can not be done with a microphone in hand.

I will be filming and interviewing people very spontaneouslt, so I dont think the camera man will have time to monitor the audio levels nor the guy who will be interviewing people (since the goal is for people not to see the mic)
So, eather way, no monitoring will be done. Only setting up before going in for the job, and adjusting when some material is aquired.


I asume a quality wireless mic will be a lot more expencive than a normal coupled with, for example, zoom h4n.

But I am quite on budget, and I find Zoom h4n a bit to expencive for my needs.

Would love to get some recomendations on what to get
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 02:26 PM   #5
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

If you're on a really tight budget, take a look at the Sony recorder and the lav mics I link to in this post I wrote on another forum a while back: some external recorder ideas

There's a short sample mp3 linked to at the end, which shows the kind of quality you might expect, when you're on a really tight budget!
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 02:29 PM   #6
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Gustavs,

The issue with wireless mics and price is that you're adding two pretty sophisticated electronic components to a basic mic chain to replace one incredibly cheap and dependable one - the wire.

The transmitter and the receiver.

These cost money to design and produce.

In the new digital era with lots of manufacturers around the globe that can design and produce inexpensive electronic circuits, and today there are more inexpensive ways to do this than ever before. But for the manufacturers who want to compete on price, corners have to be cut verses the manufacturers who value performance over price.

So there's a very wide range of quality in wireless rigs.

Basically, the less you spend, the less reliability you get across common use situations. If you're outdoors in an open field away from powerlines, motors, fluorescent lights, and the thousand other things that can screw up a radio transmission - then even very inexpensive wireless rigs can work just fine - particularly if you're quality needs are just to record someone speaking and reproduce that intelligibly.

But that same rig in an industrial situation will often fail to reject RF and other unwanted noise - plus the transmission/recpetion signal might fail over even a modest distance if it's underpowered.

Remember you're paying for two sophisticated matched radio components in addition to the mic element and the connections.

That's essentially why trully excellent and dependable wireless mic rigs can be VERY expensive. It takes a lot of tech to make wireless work as well as just running a cable from mic to recorder.

The topic is discussed here a lot, so look up some of the older threads and you'll find specific equipment that's proved dependable - and other units not so.

Good luck in your search!
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavs Repse View Post
...

But the freedom lavalier microphone gives me is essential in what I am planning and can not be done with a microphone in hand.

I will be filming and interviewing people very spontaneouslt, so I dont think the camera man will have time to monitor the audio levels nor the guy who will be interviewing people (since the goal is for people not to see the mic)
...
A lavalier is designed to be worn by the person actually speaking. That means the person you're interviewing, the person you say you don't want to see the mic, will not only see it, it will be clipped to his shirt and the wire run around to the transmitter or reccorder clipped to is belt. Having the interviewER wear the mic means HE'LL be picked up fine but the person being interviewED not so much. What you're describing really requires TWO mics, one for the interviewer and a second for the interviewee, if you're going to do it right.

Quote:
I asume a quality wireless mic will be a lot more expencive than a normal coupled with, for example, zoom h4n.
Not only is a quality wireless more expensive than a regular lav coupled with you H4n, it will be more expensive than just the H4n. Using US prices for an example, B&H lists the H4n for about $275. Arguably the least expensive wireless for serious work is the Sennheiser G3 which sells at B&H for $629 for the basic mic/transmitter/receiver package.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 07:44 PM   #8
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

If keeping the cost down is the way to go for you, then a Lavalier and small portable recorder is the best bet in my opinion. I also have a Zoom H1 that I use with a lavalier that gives good results and they are about 80 UK. I also needed another recorder for a quick job this weekend, and thought I would try a real cheap Sony ICDPX312. It arrived today with an included Sony stereo lavalier. I was very surprised at how good it sounded on the highest mp3 setting and at only 32 UK. Also noticeably smaller than the H1 which is already pretty small.

At that price they can almost be spread round like confetti!

Roger
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 02:37 AM   #9
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
. I also needed another recorder for a quick job this weekend, and thought I would try a real cheap Sony ICDPX312.
Yup - that's the same model I linked to in post #5 -- with a short mp3 sample at the end. As Roger says, it's surprisingly good - especially for the money!

(It also works very well when used at line level, in conjunction with an external preamp. At the highest 192kHz sample rate, the quality and low noise floor, using the line level input selection, were surprisingly good..)
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 06:35 AM   #10
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Another very small pocket recorder is the Tascam DR-03. It has the added ability to record uncompressed .wav files. (I think it's been replaced by the PR-10; but either model might be available from one dealer to another.)

But I'm seriously worried by this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavs Repse View Post
I dont think the camera man will have time to monitor the audio levels nor the guy who will be interviewing people (since the goal is for people not to see the mic)
Unless I misinterpret what you're saying, this makes it sound more like a surveillance job, rather than legitimate audio for video.

As Steve House pointed out (post #7) the mic should be worn by the person who is speaking. Otherwise, you'll get drastically different quality from the two people (unless they are embracing and kissing when you record them). Not only that, but the interviewee, whose audio is usually the most important, will sound significantly worse than the interviewer who is wearing the mic.

Perhaps this point warrants more clarification and/or consideration.


[P.S.: I was in Riga in 1974... beautiful city as I recall.]

Last edited by Greg Miller; May 23rd, 2013 at 04:40 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Sorry for my latenes. Had some bussy days.

Alright, wireless lavaliers are out of the question then, cant spend more than 120 usd for the whole lavalier set. A recorder and a wire is my best option as I understand.

I know that lavaliers usually go to the one being interviewed, but in this case, the one wearing the lavalier will be the one asking questions, since he can not gear random people on streets with lavaliers :)

But I do hope that the lavalier on the interviewer will pick a decent sound from the person he is interviewing.

We dont want people to be avare that they are actually being interviewed, so we can not use any hand held microphones.

Also it will be outside most of the time.


Roger Shore, that actually seems like a great idea. Maybe Il get a better mic tho, something araund 20+ pounds.

Still have to research some of your recomendations.

And 1974! That's a bit before my time. Glad you liked it :)
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Old May 24th, 2013, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

No - it won't. The distance to the mouth is the key. Let's say the distance is (to make the maths easier) 1 foot. The distance to the person standing next to the interviewer is 2 feet. This person won;t be half as loud, they will be a quarter as loud because sound follows the inverse square law and doubling distance quarters the level!

The reason proper interview mics have long handles is so they can be held closer to the subjects. One lav mic produces quite feeble and thin sounding audio at a distance. Great for one person, rubbish for two. If you try to increase the level in the edit, the background noise shoots up and down, and worse, if the interviewer talks over the end of the interviewees words, they're gone. Laves are personal mics, not group mics.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavs Repse View Post
...
I know that lavaliers usually go to the one being interviewed, but in this case, the one wearing the lavalier will be the one asking questions, since he can not gear random people on streets with lavaliers :)
...)
Not true. When both the interviewer and interviewee are to be recorded with a lav only, TWO mics need to be used, one on each person. Putting one lav on one of the pair means only he gets recorded with decent sound, the other party will not be very good. That's why 'man-on-the-street' interviews are usually done using a hand-held mic in the hand of the interviewer instead of lavs, the interviewer holding it to his mouth for the question and then to the subject's for his answer.
Quote:
We dont want people to be avare that they are actually being interviewed, so we can not use any hand held microphones.
As far as stealth interviews where the interviewee is not aware he's being interviewed "on-the-record", you might want to reconsider that idea. Don't know about Latvia, but in most countries you can't legally use the resulting interview without a release from the subject anyway. This is often best obtained before the fact so the stealth approach could actually prove largely a waste of time, producing nothing but footage you can't legally use for anything.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 09:18 PM   #14
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavs Repse View Post
We dont want people to be avare that they are actually being interviewed
I, too, am curious about the laws in Latvia. In many of the United States of America, recording a person's voice without informing and receiving permission in advance is illegal. In some states, the penalty may be as high as a felony.

As I said before, this isn't proper audio for video... this is surveillance (and possibly illegal). I, for one, can't support such activity without knowing more about the ethics and legality involved.
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Old May 25th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #15
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Re: Lavalier Microphon recomendation

I see

Well, It's nothing ciminal here.


You can't expect to get peoples unaltered, honest reaction on a question your asking if you are approaching them with permision slips/handheld microphones before the actuall question. The more casual it is the better

A permision to use the footage will be asked after the proper questions will be asked.

And as long as the lavalier picks up even a bit of sound from the interviewer, a subtitling will come in handy.



I'm leaning towards Zoom h1 + ultradisk 4033

I think the zoom h1 is quite solid, but I am not so sure about the mic.


p.s

Zoom can utilize only one lavalier at the time, right?
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