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Old December 9th, 2015, 09:35 PM   #1
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Lav mics what do the major networks use?

I've been using Sony ECM-77b lav's for quite some time. I'm not an audio guy so don't know how they rank. But they've done me well over the years. Problem is, their clips are sooo darn small. I had to switch from right side to left side on the guest the other day 30 seconds before air and my fat fingers had a problem doing the nice cable "loop" with seconds to go. Just too darn small. I thought about buying the double mic clips and then cutting off the far end mic holder. But that seems extreme. Would work though.

Since I don't mind upgrading, any idea of what type of lav mics the networks use in their studios? I need top notch quality. Hate to say it, but if it works, money is not an issue. I've purchased several clips for the ECM-77b and all are small. So maybe it's time to get new lav microphones. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:26 AM   #2
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

The network TV studio I do some work for uses DPA (don't know the model) yes perhaps sound a little better that the ECM 77 but not in the same ratio as the price.
The DPA's are about 3x and have fragile connections and are un-repairable.
Sennheiser don't sound as good as the 77's but are stronger as they use a steel braid in the cable, good in some ways bad in others as the cable forms a memory at the turn near the mic end so difficult to change if you want a different configuration.
The 77's sound good with minimal eq, which is good with low level experience operators.
There are some cheap clips that work with the 77's also get some cheap generic foam wind shields from eBay rather than the costly ones from Sony.

The 77b refers to a [black] case, a 77s refers to a [silver] case and I think there is a 77w [white] as well..... they all sound the same.
Also they often work better facing down as it stops the breath pops.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 05:09 AM   #3
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

For the BBC and SKY in the UK I have been using ECM-77b as their stock mic's, they still are a good design after 30 years.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 06:51 AM   #4
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

The major stations here in the Chicago area and others that I know use Sanken CS11(D) with Sennheiser clips almost exclusively.
I also use the Sennheiser clips and while a bit pricey they are by far and away the easiest, IMO, to set up a loop. AAMOF, on my personal gear, I leave the mic on the clip with a loop 100% of the time. Never had a problem with the set up. There are some production houses that use Tram50s and some stations that use Countryman B3/B6 mics but the vast majority that I personally know of use the Sankens.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

Which Sennheiser clips are being referred to here? I did a search at B&H and there's quite a slew of them...
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Old December 10th, 2015, 07:19 AM   #6
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

Sennheiser MZQ 22 Double Tie Clip MZQ222 B&H Photo Video

The 2 mic "holders" are removable and adjustable left and right into a couple different positions. I've had mine for a good number of years and love them almost as much as I love my dog.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

In this area just about all the local news broadcasts are using Tram TR50s.

I'd be leery of the Sanken COS-11D because of the HF bump -- it's designed to be used hidden under clothes so the bump is necessary for a flat capture. Used in the open that bump might cause you some harshness and/or sibilance problems. Just sayin'.

EDIT: Here's the response curve from Sanken's website:

SANKEN MICROPHONE CO .,LTD. | Products [ COS-11D-* ]

Could just be me, but that's a *lot* of HF boost.

Last edited by Bruce Watson; December 10th, 2015 at 02:38 PM.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #8
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

I never heard of that concern before but I suppose it could be a problem.
ABC NBC CBS PBS ESPN WGN here in Chicago use the Sankens in the open and it doesn't appear that any of them are worried about sibilance.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 01:31 PM   #9
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

I have a couple of COS-11Ds and generally use them in the open. I've never had any sibilance issues with them (and my voice is prone to sibilance.) Overall, I really like the sound, which has that nice combination of a slight edge for cutting through a mix and also a smoothness that avoids a harsh sound.

Regarding networks, NHK (Japan) has used Sankens for decades. SANKEN MICROPHONE CO .,LTD. | Product History
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Old December 10th, 2015, 07:58 PM   #10
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

Thanks for all of your input! I never really have a problem with the mic clips as it's usually a nice slow paced setting with plenty of setup time. This one interview the guest just wanted to change earpiece to the other side, and since I always have mic on opposite side of IFB piece, I had to change it. This decision to change was literally made 30 seconds before air. So here I am fumbling around with the mic, hearing the countdown to air and really realized how small the clips are.

I do like the 77b microphones. Have been using them for years and have never had a problem. Though I do only keep them for 2 years and then resell and buy new just to be safe. I lose some $, but receive peace of mind. It looks like the best scenario is getting the double mic clips and then just cutting the far one off. Those clips are much larger and easy to deal with. I see a few cheap on Ebay so no big deal.

I took a bunch of pics on my old phone to post here, but the phone went crazy and when I went to Verizon, it couldn't upload/backup to the cloud, so I had to do a full restore and lost everything. I'll take some with the new phone and see if people can recognize the microphone brand.

Thanks again for the responses!
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Old December 10th, 2015, 08:23 PM   #11
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

Mike,
If you're going to get the Sennheiser mic clips you don't have to cut anything because the clips snap in and out. Takes about 1 second. Also the mice actually clip in by the mic cable and switching from left to right only takes seconds as well. IMO the Senny clips re the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well almost.
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Old December 10th, 2015, 10:56 PM   #12
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

Thanks! Do you have a link to these clips where to purchase or is it in an earlier post in this thread? Do they work with Sony ECM 77b lav mic's?
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Old December 11th, 2015, 12:41 AM   #13
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

See Don's post #6 above for the link.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 03:06 AM   #14
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

For info sony also do a double clip specifically for the ECM-77b.

I like the cos 11's too but they are very long on profile so can be a problem on some clothes if the material is very thin.
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Old December 11th, 2015, 12:05 PM   #15
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Re: Lav mics what do the major networks use?

I use the Audio-Technica AT899

They're good quality and have break away clips that prevent people from damaging them from walking away while attached. But I've had the complaints from older people using them because they're small. There are less sophisticated alternate clips included that are larger and easier to use. As long as you get another clip that's larger but clips to the cable it will be compatible with any lav.

Anyone know the lavs Charlie Rose uses? I like they're designed to not need a windscreen inside because they face forward instead of up. I have problems with talent pulling windscreens off, damaging them, or hair or clothing rubbing against them causing noise.
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