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Old May 29th, 2017, 04:46 PM   #1
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Suggestions on lavilier

I ordered a couple of Rode Smartlavs+ for some new audio recorders I bought. They seem to be fairly highly recommended per some videos I've watched (listened to), but they won't arrive for a couple days now. Are they a fairly quiet mic (not a lot of hissss)?

I also ordered a Giant Squid for another audio recorder, which was also fairly highly recommended ...but in trying it last night, its got too much noise for me, I'm going to send it back. Any suggestions for a less-than-$100 lav? Need to have a straight 1/8" mini connection (not a 90).

Thanks
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Old May 29th, 2017, 05:18 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

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Originally Posted by Mark Goodsell View Post
I ordered a couple of Rode Smartlavs+ for some new audio recorders I bought. They seem to be fairly highly recommended per some videos I've watched (listened to), but they won't arrive for a couple days now. Are they a fairly quiet mic (not a lot of hissss)?

I also ordered a Giant Squid for another audio recorder, which was also fairly highly recommended ...but in trying it last night, its got too much noise for me, I'm going to send it back. Any suggestions for a less-than-$100 lav? Need to have a straight 1/8" mini connection (not a 90).

Thanks
The closest I have to those would be the Røde lavs that came with my Røde Video Wireless mics, they are similar but Røde says they are not identical. They are okay sounding, very average, nothing great but better than most cheapo lavs. I would suggest spending more than $100.00 if you are doing this for an end product if sound matters. Sub $100.00 lavs don't sound good generally, the best you'll get will be mediocre.

Best cheap lav I have heard is the Oscar Soundtech at about $150.00 to $175.00 but it's not a lot better than the Røde. Most pros spend around $500.00 for a Sanken COS-11 or DPA.You get what you pay for with lavs IMHO.

Read and listen

Audio In Close Up - Which Lavalier Should I Use?"
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Old May 29th, 2017, 09:39 PM   #3
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

The Tram TR50 is about the best low cost lav I've used. The kits that they put togeher come with a lot of good accessories.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 11:03 PM   #4
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

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The Tram TR50 is about the best low cost lav I've used. The kits that they put togeher come with a lot of good accessories.
Not sure if $311.00 is cheap https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._Lavalier.html but they are good too, I had two TR50Bs working for more than 20 years, they were my first lavs I ever bought. A lot of people say the OST is just a low dollar copy of the TR50B for half the price. All of the accessories, mounts, vampire clips are interchangeable between the TR50B and the OST.
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Old May 29th, 2017, 11:53 PM   #5
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

I can't afford expensive mics. But I would guess a lot of the quality would also go down to what you record your mic into.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 01:15 AM   #6
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

I get really confused by these kinds of posts. I use regularly lavs costing loads of money - usually DPAs and Countryman type, but have the Chinese disposable versions available for when they are going to be wrecked or mistreated, and I have some Chinese ones that come with a tie clip and cost less than £5. NONE of these are noisy - all perfectly clean sounding. Of course, the expensive ones sound better, but even the five quid mic has perfectly usable sound when eq'd a bit. The output of all of them is sufficiently high making the thing they are plugged into not have to work too hard - recorder, radio mic pack - audio interface etc. I don't think I even have a mic in my collection - which is pretty decent now that hisses so much that you think "wow - this mic is noisy". I do have preamps/devices that hiss. I have one well known make that really cannot have the gain turned up much past ¾ before hiss becomes obtrusive. Another can be turned up full and still hardly any hiss - however, this one just doesn't have that much gain. A dynamic at a distance is pointless - just nowhere near enough gain. A condenser a few feet away from a person, or on an instrument is fine. I have a zoom portable - which has lots of gain and hisses quite noticeably when turned up - but if you hear the hiss, you're simply too far away for it to work properly.

Most decent mics have specs that tell you their noise, but it means little, because the critical fact is their sensitivity and output level. This needs amplification - this is where the hiss comes from. So a low output mic and a noisy preamp/interface is the problem. A mic with more output because it's more sensitive could be noisy, if it's rubbish - but that's up to the designer. I hear people moaning their dynamic vocal mic - the SM7s/RE20s/320s etc is hissy - but there again, they are not - they just have a lowish output that reveals the design deficiencies of the preamp circuitry. One of these a little too far from the source, with the gain cranked up, hisses - but you shouldn't blame the mic.

The OP has some pleasant mics on the way. Will they hiss? That depends on the audio recorders he's wanting to use.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 05:47 AM   #7
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

Will you be using the Rode SmartLavs with a TRRS to TRS adapter if your recorder input normally needs an unbalanced stereo mini connector? If not, that could certainly cause problems.

Also, what audio recorders are you hooking the mics to? That will be an important part of the puzzle for us to know and give advice.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

"The Tram TR50 is about the best low cost lav I've used. The kits that they put together come with a lot of good accessories"
-- The TR50 is a good 'low cost' option... if the TR79 XLR/power supply is not needed, which would add significantly to the price. The typical price from the usual suspect dealers for the TR79 PS is around $180 usd.. I would concur, the OST 801/802 is a good (made in USA) alternative.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 09:29 AM   #9
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

I've got a couple Sony ICD-UX560 recorders and an H1. Right now I'm focusing on the Sonys, and I might need that adapter for them. Thanks for pointing it out. Unfortunately if I need that adapter, it's going to suck ...it has a 90 on it and that's not going to work out so well on this tiny recorder. I'll have to check the specs on the recorder if I need it, it's new to me. I tried some other non-lav mics that produced quiet audio @ 44/16 in the interview mode and some other settings tweaks I made.

I've got some other lavs around here if I can lay my hands on them. Kind of sparse, I sent some wireless systems in to be repaired (with their mics) ...

All good info guys, thanks. I looked into the Trams. Hmmm. Any other thoughts, please let me know. I'm learning..
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Old May 30th, 2017, 03:23 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

I have three of the Sony ICD range of recorders and a Zoom H1. They are all used regularly with the zoom being used more with it's onboard mics and the Sonys with various lavs. I usually use the Sony stereo lavs that came with my recorders and also regularly use some cheap Chinese mono lavs for convenience. I have not noticed hiss in any of the recordings from any mic, but you do need to make sure that you have the right settings. I usually use the 'Lecture' setting, which gives a good input level. I avoid the 'Interview' setting as it seems to be for use with the built in mic, very close to the subject.

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Old May 30th, 2017, 05:40 PM   #11
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

I'm assuming this straight adapter would work the same as the Rode, as it's designed to adapt a preamp with the TRRS output connector to a standard unbalanced stereo TRS mini connector for dSLR's.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ter_cable.html

The B&H highlights section isn't really correct. This cable adapts the smartphone TRRS output cable from the mono iRigPre to two-channel mono equally on both channels of the standard dSLR or audio recorder jack. It's better in their more detailed description section about this adapter.

I have the preamp and adapter cable but haven't had time to test connecting to a smartphone without the adapter, or with the adapter to a dSLR or a small audio recorder yet.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 10:32 PM   #12
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

Thanks for that suggestion. Yeah, that WOULD work better in my circumstance. I'd rather not have any adapters though, I should have been more careful before buying the mics.
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Old June 7th, 2017, 05:15 AM   #13
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Re: Suggestions on lavilier

I use H1/Squid mic combo and it's not too noisy. My only complaint with Squid is its head is large but that's not unusual for low end mics.

You must have been using auto gain, had the gain too high, or were too far from the source. Most audio problems with mics are caused from improper usage. Like Paul J said most any inexpensive mic should work ok.
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