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Old January 7th, 2016, 10:02 AM   #1
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Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Have been tossed into a bit of a monkey-puzzle situation. The film project I have been doing BTS video for will have me doing sound for one day they cannot get a soundie. The soundies have been bringing their own gear.

They are shooting with an agile camera and a wide lens a lot of the time so other soundies have been rigging the actors with Sennheiser radio mikes indoors.

The three soundies they have had on set have all used SD302 mixers for two radio inputs and one boom mike.

I do have a SD302 but it is a troubled horse which sometimes develops self-noise in humid weather, more so when it is cold. ( It has a good little reason. It seems at some time to have experienced salt-water intrusion. ) In the event it does go rogue I can fall back to the two-channel Mix-Pre and use a Yamaha MG166 which is a benchtop or rack mixer and a Zoom H4n for the radios.

It is the radio mikes themselves which I am totally unfamiliar with. They seem to work fine so maybe I am barking at shadows.

My request is that anyone who knows Sennheiser radio mikes, gives me any hints or warnings they can on how the mikes may set out to ambush me. I go into the oven of the need to perform well tomorrow at about 3pm AU-WST.

Thanks in advance.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 11:20 AM   #2
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Been away from them for some time, so vague on the details, but consult the manual regarding use of several radios together, as they can interfere with each other. There is a procedure for selecting channels that prevent this. Here is a link to the 300 series manual: http://en-us.sennheiser.com/global-d...109_US_INT.pdf Also, this tutorial is useful:
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Old January 7th, 2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Assuming you will be using the 100 series G2/3 Sennheiser radio mics?
I have much experience with them in probably the least friendly RF environment on earth.. mid-town Manhattan (aka, RF Hell), and have discussed practically every aspect of them in depth, including frequency selection, gain staging and mic/line input/output wiring. Search here and the DVX audio forum. Otherwise, ask specifics.
That said, the first thing to do is get good microphones. The usual included (ME2) mic works, but does not sound very good, is relatively large (difficult to hide), and picks up clothes and cable noise.
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Old January 7th, 2016, 02:20 PM   #4
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Rick and Battle.

Thank you very much for your timely responses. Hopefully, because the Sennheisers belong to the production and the mixers and recorders are the property of the soundies, the mikes will remain set up and working. It is not a hostile RF environment being well out of town.

They are an older model I think. They have been working fine for the production. Only the issue is will they will work fine for me.

Try as I might, I cannot get the SD302 to play nice tonight, so to SD it must probably go to be healed from its travails. When it is good it is excellent.

The LED chain is also not working properly so it is near impossible to re-calibrate the output level except for a sort of a braille method and meticulous counting of finger stabs as the tiny buttons.

There is a lot of self-noise like dry jointing, which spontaneously will go away and stay away the rest of the recording session. Some say it might be the capacitors going off. SD302s apparently self-noise on boot-up as capacitors charge but it is supposed to go away in about half a minute at most.

The only other wrinkle may be bushfires. There has been a firestorm another 60km or so furthur south at a p[lace called Waroona which also got burned out last year. It has caused evacuation of several towns and property loss.

It will be a long day through into overnight, - last day of shoot, so his time tomorrow my old frame will be knucklewalking.

The film is a baby on a low-budget. There's been some really good acting going on and all the good tech with careful lighting. The DoP/cammo has understudied a proper DoP who is a rising star over your way.

So hopefully the film will find its place.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 7th, 2016 at 02:23 PM. Reason: errors
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Old January 8th, 2016, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Try returning the 302 back to it's default factory setting. The last row at the bottom of the setup table. http://tinyurl.com/302-setup "12 ~ Default Restore~ (26), Factory Default". Yes changing the 302's parameters is a bit finicky. But easier and faster than the 552's audible prompts (IMO).
Not to make you nervous, but just because a wireless system worked before, does not mean it will continue to do so. I suggest getting know how to change the transmitter and receiver settings beforehand, especially frequency selection (banks/channels), the receiver's scan function and the transmitter's gain/sensitivity. Even my $3k Lectro systems can be unpredictable. Use cables when you can.... = cheaper/better and always have a hard wired boom. Plant mics are also very useful. Good luck.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 05:26 AM   #6
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

As things transpired, I was let off the hook. They managed to get a soundie for up to 12pm that night.

He had all the goods including G3 Sennheisers and generously gave me a quick desperation course on how to attach them to people so there is no fabric rustle, without pulling all their skin and hair off. He also donated some special stickies which are not as pain-making as gaffer tape folds. It is really a high-order craft when done properly

There was a bedroom scene which was a closed set and was also impossible to boom in, assuming that was sanctioned. It wasn't a porno or anything like that. It was subtle.

Far from ideal but the only option, given time and resources, was to use the G2 Sennheisers from the producer's kit as fixed mikes, one on frame side-edge attached to furniture, the other, suspended from an overhead lamp. It was just "adequate" but no more than that. The wireless mike hiss is evident.

Had I known what I was in for, I would have planted my studio mikes in fixed positions. I have had acceptable if not outstanding results doing this indoors and outdoors where the action moved past them.

They were not with me and too far away to go fetch.

The rest of my bit of work was okay except for not having the muscle tone to hold a long pole steady. I had a nice loaner SD702 to play with. I managed to learn enough from the manual to make it go and the soundie coached me through it before he had to depart.

I probably learned more in that one night than in a lifetime.

The SD302 will have to go to the doctor. It came good but then went rogue again as the evening cooled so I did not use it in the end.


Thank you again folks for your contributions of advice.

Last edited by Bob Hart; January 10th, 2016 at 05:30 AM. Reason: errors
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Old January 10th, 2016, 05:01 PM   #7
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Radio mics should not hiss. If the gain is set correctly the dynamic range of the Sennheisers is pretty good. Like most mics they are prone to hiss when signal strength is a problem, but close in they should be fine. I;d bet that the gain was set for close miking, and when you used them further away, you forgot to reset it? You them had to turn up the gain to get decent levels, and the hiss came up with it?
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Old January 12th, 2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Re: Sennheiser radio mikes. Learner driver.

Paul.

Being the total amateur with these things, my decision-making had to be totally faith-based. The preceding soundie set them up for body-miking so your explanation is a good fit.
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