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Old December 20th, 2005, 07:48 PM   #1
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Canon XL1 Outdoor Audio

I have a Canon XL1 and am interested in doing some outdoor shooting of wild life. I'm looking at the Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 series. I want to place the mic out in the field about 75 yds away so that I can catch sounds from the field. Is the lavalier mic enough for this? I'm new at this and it seems to me that a larger mic would capture more sounds. What options do I have as replacement mics (more sensitive) for the Sennheiser system?
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Old December 20th, 2005, 08:56 PM   #2
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I assume that even with a sensitive mic you'd be planning on the game getting pretty close to the transmitter location? Like 20 feet or less.
Unless you can also be certain of their direction, thus allowing a directional mic to be used, then you're also going to pick up a lot of extra sound even out in the wild.
The most sensitive battery-powered mics that wouldn't require an external phantom power source would be the Sennheiser K6 with either ME62 omni, ME64 cardioid, ME66 short shotgun or ME67 long shotgun. The appropriate adapter cable would connect it to the belt-pack transmitter or the plug-on transmitter could be used directly. The plug-on's usually have a little less transmission range though because of their antenna configuration.
For a lot less money you could try an ATM10a omni, an ATM31a cardioid, a Rode NT3 hypercardioid, or a Rode NTG-2 short shotgun. Any of those 4 would not be a waste of money for other activities if you weren't satisfied.
For even less money you could actually try it with your lav element. Test it in a quiet room with a low-volume sound source located several feet away. Listen as you adjust the transmitter input gain. You'll hear a point where the self-noise starts to become much worse than the extra pickup you're getting.
Then try it in the field and see what happens.
Good wind protection will be important no matter what you choose.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 10:13 PM   #3
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As I understand it, lavaliers are designed with a sound field that performs with a low proximity characteristic. That is, it picks up sound in it's proximity. Other mics have a large proximity. A plugon transmitter will let you use other very sensitive mics like condensers. I use the Studio Projects B1 mic (requires phantom power) for around $80.
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Old December 24th, 2005, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest House
As I understand it, lavaliers are designed with a sound field that performs with a low proximity characteristic. That is, it picks up sound in it's proximity. Other mics have a large proximity. A plugon transmitter will let you use other very sensitive mics like condensers. I use the Studio Projects B1 mic (requires phantom power) for around $80.


I'm guessing Phantom power is some external power source. What type of power does it require? Battery or 120vac?
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Old December 24th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernest House
As I understand it, lavaliers are designed with a sound field that performs with a low proximity characteristic. That is, it picks up sound in it's proximity. Other mics have a large proximity. A plugon transmitter will let you use other very sensitive mics like condensers. I use the Studio Projects B1 mic (requires phantom power) for around $80.
Your explanation is not to be confused with Proximity Effect.

Proximity Effect is a phenomenon associated with directional microphones. The closer the mic is to the source, the more low frequency from that source it picks up.

Most lavs are omnidirectional, and have very little Proximity Effect.


To the original poster:
The sound outdoors can be a lot louder than you think. What are you trying to capture?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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Old December 24th, 2005, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M. Wolff
I'm guessing Phantom power is some external power source. What type of power does it require? Battery or 120vac?
Phantom power is nominally 48vdc required by most condenser micophones that don't have their own internal batteries. The mixer, camera, or wireless transmitter the mic is used with usually supplies the power but there are dedicated phantom powerpacks available as well - some run on battery, some on mains, some on either.

One of the problems in planting a mic at a distance is you're kind of counting on blind luck that the critters will be close enough and facing the right direction for the mics to pick them up clearly.

You might want to investigate a parabolic "spy" mic that has reflecting dish behind the mic element and can be aimed at the source from a distance. This URL has a pic of what I mean but you can find a lot of references with google and you may be able to make one up yourself from, say, one of your own mics and a plastic "snow saucer" or similar.

http://user.bahnhof.se/~telinga/
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Old December 24th, 2005, 04:47 PM   #7
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The shoot will be for a friend of mine who is a birdwatcher. I've seen the place where she wants to video and the birds (mostly coastal migrant birds)generally congregate in one area. I'm really just interested in getting some audio that sounds more close to the action. Probably something nondirectional would be best. Thanks.
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Old December 24th, 2005, 07:52 PM   #8
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I'd really want to include a Sennheiser 816 on one channel and whatever you like on the other. Just for S&G.

Ty Ford
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Old December 25th, 2005, 08:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin M. Wolff
The shoot will be for a friend of mine who is a birdwatcher. I've seen the place where she wants to video and the birds (mostly coastal migrant birds)generally congregate in one area. I'm really just interested in getting some audio that sounds more close to the action. Probably something nondirectional would be best. Thanks.
A lot of the web sites offering parabolic mics are focus on their use by birders for amplifying and recording calls. It would be ideal for your application and I'll bet you can find an inexpensive one at a shop catering to birders.
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