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Old March 6th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #1
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Wireless condensor setup

Hey everyone,

I'm getting the Audio-Technica U100 wireless mic system soon, which will be used to mic the person reading the news for a show I produce. The show is about the local music scene so I tape a lot of band footage. I usually get a custom mix from the sound board and record to a laptop, then sync it up with the video I shoot. However, there are times when I can't get a line out from the board so I'm forced to use condensors.

As you can imagine, putting a condensor at the back of the room and running a cable all the way to the front of the stage (where I shoot from) is a bit of a pain, what with running the line, taping it down, hoping nobody trips on it and waiting for the place to clear out so I can get my cable at the end of the night. I figured that since I'm getting the AT wireless lav system, I should consider getting the plug-on transmitter. I could then set up a mic with the transmitter plugged onto it wherever I want, allowing me to freely run about the room without having to worry about messy cabling.

The only problem is that the plug-on transmitter doesn't provide phantom power and I haven't been able to find any battery-operated condensor mics. I'd rather not have to buy a DAT recorder because they're pretty pricey (and the plug-on has other uses for me).

Can anyone think of a way of getting wireless condensor audio?

Thanks in advance,

-Mark
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Old March 6th, 2006, 04:17 PM   #2
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You may acquire a small device which provides phantom power. These are devices that you connect with a standard XLR cable to your camera or other microphone input. You also plug in your phantom powered microphone via an XLR cable to the unit.

Many of these units are battery powered.

Alternatively, you may acquire a mixer which provides phantom power, or something like a Sound Devices MM-1.

In addition, there are wireless transmitters that provide phantom power.

If it is in your budget, I would consider the Sound Devices MM-1 at approximately $350, as this has lots of advantages, such as being able to monitor the sound at the source, and it has first class microphone preamplifiers.

One technique is to use a standard wireless microphone transmitter that can handle XLR inputs, but does not have phantom power, then add the Sound Devices MM-1 or any other phantom power unit.

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mm1master.htm
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Old March 6th, 2006, 04:47 PM   #3
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Why only consider condenser mics? There are also good sounding, high quality dynamic mics avaiable.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 08:10 PM   #4
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Mark, You might look at the Audio-Technica AT813a, Shure SM94, or the Shure PG81
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Old March 6th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for your help, guys!

Steve, the mic will be used to pick up room sound and I've always thought that condensors are better for this. Aren't dynamics usually used more for handheld/vocal/single instrument use? I'm definitely no audio expert so I am probably wrong.

Dan, if I had the budget I'd love to get something like that MM-1, but I just can't afford it. I still have to buy the wireless receiver and transmitter, plug-on and condensor. Thanks for the mic suggestions, Lynn. If dynamics work for room sound I will definitely look into them.

Upon further browsing around, I've come to realize that there are more battery-powered condensors than I thought, such as the Rode NT3 (http://www.rode.com.au/?pagename=Products&product=NT3).

So to refine my original question, does anyone know of a good mic that doesn't need phantom power that will record loud music well? (dynamic or condensor or whatever)

Thanks again!
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Old March 7th, 2006, 12:57 PM   #6
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AKG C-1000 is a battery-powered condensor of decent quality.

Sennheiser makes a phantom butt plug in their 500 series.
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Old March 7th, 2006, 01:19 PM   #7
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Mark has already stated that his budget is tight, so the 500 series is probably out of the question.

However, if you are considering the 500 series to get phantom power, I recommend you consider the following alternative.

Instead of going to the Sennheiser 500 series to get phantom power, I recommend that you consider getting the 100 series and adding the Sound Devices MM-1.

This will give you the option of monitoring the sound at the remote location. This can be very handy if you are operating a boom pole.

Of course, it is always best, but not always possible, to monitor at the camera.

I understand that this may exceed Mark's budget. However, I believe the 100 series plus the MM-1 will cost less than the 500 series, and the MM-1 will be far more flexible.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestion, but I just don't have the money for it (especially now that I spent a fair chunk of change on a video switcher!). I'll shop around for battery-powered condensors and see what there is.

Thanks again for the advice, everyone!
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