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Old October 7th, 2015, 04:17 AM   #1
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Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

I will reveal the mics and their cost in a few days.

First round was in my office with nothing but my PC fan. Second round I played some crowd chatter on a loop and stood about 6 feet from the speakers.

When connecting each mic, I adjusted the recording level on my Tascam DR-05 so they were at their max, just before clipping point.

Feel free to give your thoughts, or rank them. These are all sub $250/$160 - No Tramss or Sankens here I'm afraid!

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Old October 7th, 2015, 05:08 AM   #2
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Just to add if people find it useful here are some tests on very low cost ultradisk mic's I did a few years ago:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lapel-Lava...item4d0ece2bcc

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Old October 7th, 2015, 08:38 AM   #3
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
Just to add if people find it useful ]
I found it useful Gary, you recommended them before and I bought two, great wee mic for 9.95.
Thanks.
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Old October 7th, 2015, 02:13 PM   #4
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Doesn't look like too many are interested! But it may serve it's purpose for those stumbling on this thread in times to come...

Here are the mics I tested:

1 - Olympus ME-15 19
2 - JK MicJ 044 - 22
3 - Azden EX-503 26
4 - Giant Squid Audio Lav 36
5 - Rode Smarlav+ (inc adaptor) 53
6 - Rode Lavalier microphone (inc adaptor) 159

Personal preference all things considered is the MicJ. Its super neat and tiny, and seems well made. I see no reason at all to spend Over 100 extra to get the Rode Lavalier Microphone over the Rode Smartlav+.
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Old October 7th, 2015, 02:37 PM   #5
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Budget kit and mic's are an interesting one and I seems that there are some good products that can be had for low cost but it is all relative as everyone tends to think that they are producing 35mm feature films these days but then spent little skill or time on set or post learning how to use the kit in the first place.

I did some interviews for ITN a few years ago and used those 10 ultradisk mic's and no one batted an eyelid at the end results, I have also just used some of the most battered and abused sony ECM 77 mic's at BBC Scotland but they were also acceptable.

Not too keen on the Rode lav mic's though as I broke a clip within 20 secs and their micon connectors seem a little fragile but they sound fine to me.

Thanks for the tests and hope it helps some end users to make a choice, I love sanken cos 11's but most of the time we get ECM-77's but for a mic over 30 years old in design they are still the stock mic for broadcast.

I had another listen to all your tests and they all sound reasonable for speech through my macbook pro so would be fine for most semi pro applications if used carefully and treat correctly in post!

I always recall listening to classic music tracks in these situations and do we ponder what mic or kit was being used to record with or just listen and appreciate the end results ???
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Old October 7th, 2015, 06:48 PM   #6
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Here is a set we did a few years ago, some lavs, a boundary mic and an MKH50.

Microphone Audio Samples
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Old October 7th, 2015, 10:58 PM   #7
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Clive,

I just went through this whole thread. To my surprise I did not hear a clear stand out in your mic comparisons. There is some obvious differences but nothing said really good or really bad to me. What I did hear that bothered me was the noise from the Tascam. They were not clean recordings. It was hard to tell how much of the noise was coming from the mics because none of them were clean so I am assuming most of it came from the recorder? Other than that I did not hear a big difference between most of them.

Gary,

Your ten pound mic is quite impressive for the price. I will have to look that one up.

Steve
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Old October 8th, 2015, 12:49 AM   #8
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Every mic has it's own pros & cons.. that's why hiring a pro audio person is critical .. who will instinctively choose.. the-best-tool-for-the job
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Old October 8th, 2015, 01:23 AM   #9
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

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Originally Posted by Rick Reineke View Post
Every mic has it's own pros & cons.. that's why hiring a pro audio person is critical .. who will instinctively choose.. the-best-tool-for-the job
Bingo and right tools for the job in the hand of a craftsman/woman get you the best results.

We can all operate microsoft word but it don't make us shakespeare! ;0)

(Steve those mic's are now available with various connectors inc sennheiser locking jacks etc and are useful as spares or if you have to put a mic in a place where it might get trashed)

Here is another clip with two of them in an interview situation and 80hz high pass filter (pics and room aircon are not ideal)
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Old October 8th, 2015, 04:21 AM   #10
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Steven, thanks for your thoughts - I do have a lot to learn when it comes to audio.

The Tascam may be poor in itself - I'm not sure, but I have to admit I'm not sure what the best way is to approach recording.

Do you set the input levels as high as you can without clipping, or is their a sweet spot lower down from which you can boost volume in post?

Also, like I said in the OP - there was a computer fan whirring in the background. Complete silence may have been a better test.
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Old October 8th, 2015, 06:03 AM   #11
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

A re-test of the mics in a room with no PC fan, and recorded at lower input level, and boosted in post.

The Olympus and Giant Squid I already own - of the rest I think I may return them all bar the JK MicJ. Thoughts?

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Old October 8th, 2015, 06:17 AM   #12
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Useful thread - thanks for starting it - but there appear to be two parallel threads. Mods, I suggest the one in the Wedding/Events section is somehow merged with this one?
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Old October 8th, 2015, 03:00 PM   #13
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Clive,

In the second test I liked #4, Giant Squid the best for its quality of sound.

The Rode's are OK too.

The Olympus is the worst.

I am not sure I like the JK. The sound quality is OK but it seemed to have a high signal to noise ratio? Check it care fully for the background noise level before you decide to keep it.

No, you do not want your signals as high as possible. In fact on recorders like a Tascam you do not want to turn your preamps past 5 if you can avoid it. As a rule of thumb most guys record at a level where the signal averages -12 db. I record higher than that in controlled environments.

You can keep your preamp levels low with proper mic placement. It is a common mistake for some guys to place lav mics too low on the body. They should be up near the top of the breast bone, not down where a tie tac would go.
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Old October 8th, 2015, 04:14 PM   #14
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Cheers for the tips Steven.

The Giant Squid was mine already, not one of the ones purchased - so I think it will remain as my number 1. The JK MicJ for the sake of 22 can stay as a number 2 I guess. It is very much tinier - and there may be a scenario where that is a desirable option in the future!
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Old October 8th, 2015, 10:14 PM   #15
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Re: Lav Mic Comparison - Opinions please!

Does anyone know of where I can listen to a comparison of the UltraDisk 4056 lav? I'd like to hear a good comparison between that and say the ME2 or even a Tram or COS-11.
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