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Old January 13th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #1
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Wired lapel mic recommendations

Hey all,

I would like to get recommendations for wired lapel mics. I've searched around and it seems like the standards are Sony ECM-77B, Tram TR-50, Sanken COS-11, but they've been around forever. Of these, I've tried the Sony, and it seemed fine.

Any thoughts on these? Are they still good mics to get these days, or are there newer models that people are suggesting.

I should add that I would mostly use it for sit down interview type situations, plugging directly into my Z1 using phantom power and XLR. I already have a wireless system for mobile shoots, but I prefer to have a wired system as well for extra reliability.

Or, as a different solution, does anyone use an adapter to use the lapel from the wireless directly to XLR? The lapel I have uses a mini XLR (TA4F) connector, but I am having trouble finding a TA4F to XLR adapter. The mic is an electret Telex ELM-22 Omni. It receives +5V from the transmitter. Would this type of mic work from phantom power? Or perhaps I should use some type of battery box with it?

Thanks for any help, and greetings from Montreal,
Vito
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Old January 13th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #2
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Vito,
I use Countryman B3 and B6 lav mics - wired and wireless (Sennheiser G2). Both give excellent, low noise results when used with an appropriate mic pre. I put mine through a Sound Devices 302.
If your interviews are of the sit-down type, had you considered using a boom mic (hyper) either with a boom-op, or on a mic stand?
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Old January 13th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #3
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I would like to get recommendations for wired lapel mics. I've searched around and it seems like the standards are Sony ECM-77B, Tram TR-50, Sanken COS-11, but they've been around forever. Of these, I've tried the Sony, and it seemed fine.

I don't think it really matters what brand you choose, as long as the brand had a long reputation of quality. That is really what matters.

What matters more, however, is how you want to use the product, and how well its design fits in with your equipment array and workflow.

Then it is price and tech support. In this regard you can not get better than Lectrosonics, but Shure, Audio-Technics, Samson, Electro-Voice, Peavy, Countryman, (who am I missing?) have all invested a major committement to providing quality professional products to professional prople. You can't go wrong with any of them, but you must be aware all make really good products and really poor ones...usually easily defined by price point.

Once you choose a system, experiment with it, and then begin to think about the choice of microphones. I use both onmi and directional lav mics in my system. It is the application that matters.

You can adapt any microphone to any input. It just has to do with how big a collection of a string of adapters you are willing to tolerate. My level is very low. Bear in mind that each time you use an adapter to get from point A to point B, you introduce a bit more resistance. Eventually you will suffer, so keep thngs simple.

Regarding a wide variety of connectors for specialized purposes for a reasonable price, visit:
http://www.cablesforless.com
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Old January 13th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #4
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Hi Vito,
I have all three of the mics you mentioned and have used them for interviews and dramatic as well. I used to use the 77b's almost exclusively for interviews until I got the COS-11. For me, it just sounds a little better. Different, but better, which is why it has become very popular. That being said, the Sony still works great and as it was said earlier, it does depend on the situation. You can get any of those mics with power supplies so that they have XLR connections that can go right into the camera. Check with Trew Audio fo rht eadapter you need. I've picked up TA4F to XLR before at Location Sound, so I would assume Trew should have them as well.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #5
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Vito,

Just to add one more to the mix I use the AT831's with my XL2, they can use phantom power or battary power. I use phantom power with mine.
I think they have a very natural sound to them.

If you can borrow or rent one or two of them and try them out, then pick the one you like best to purchace.

Bill
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Old January 13th, 2007, 09:00 PM   #6
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Wow, you guys, that's some great info. I love this place.

Thanks for all your suggestions. They will really help me make the right choice. Really appreciate your time.

Ross: I thought about boom, but I'm mostly by myself, or with one associate with no sound experience, with this project, dealing with impatient corporate types who want you in and out fast. I'm already loaded down with my camera, light kit, etc., and I need a quick and reliable way to get good results. As I'm already used to lavs, I thought this was not the time to experiment with booms and stands when I have no experience with them. My understanding is, though, that they will generally give you a better result.

Waldemar: great advice about the adapters. I didn't know about the resistance issue. Do you think a straight adapter for my Telex lapel will cause a problem? Thanks for the other points as well.

Matthew: I'll certainly look into your source for adapters, thanks.

Bill: I'll see if I can check out your mic, thanks a million...
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Old January 14th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #7
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I was told when buying lapel mics that there are specific mics designed to be used when you want to go underneath clothes. Is that true?

Wait, am I confusing lapel mics with lav mics? Are they the same thing or different? It sounds like I'm asking a stupid question here. heh.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #8
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I used a Sony-77 and Audio Technica mics and both are very good quality mics. The Sony may be old but that's not a valid reason to not buy it. It still works great even today. Audio recording methods don't change nearly as fast as camera formats.

You won't need any adapters with either the Sony or the Audio Technica models. Just XLR cable straight to your camera.

The Audio Technicas may carry a lower cost but still work very well.

You'll notice an improvement in audio quality with a wired mic over even the best wireless system. It's a great tool to add to your kit.

Ben
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Old January 14th, 2007, 07:03 PM   #9
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Hi Ben,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Lynn
The Sony may be old but that's not a valid reason to not buy it. It still works great even today. Audio recording methods don't change nearly as fast as camera formats.a
Well, not having much experience with all these mics, you never know if something more recent does as good a job for less, or is smaller, or whatever. Also, there are seemingly a bewildering array of choices that are hard to tell apart. Just in the Sonys there is ECM-44B, 55B 77B, etc. What's the difference? I can't tell from the descriptions of them. They all say pretty much the same thing, and Google turns up no reviews.

Quote:
You'll notice an improvement in audio quality with a wired mic over even the best wireless system. It's a great tool to add to your kit.
Agreed. Thanks a lot.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 07:40 PM   #10
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Booms can be easier to set up.

If you are doing a sit-down interview, a boom might actually be quicker to setup than a lav. Just stick the mic on a boom mic stand and you are good to go. Lavs you have to hide on the person, and that always seems to take a while. Booms are always (or should be) out of the shot. Just put it as close to in the shot as you can get it, and point it down at the person (right?). I've had good luck with them in that situation.
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Old January 14th, 2007, 09:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vito DeFilippo
Hi Ben,



ECM-44B, 55B 77B, etc. What's the difference?
Their capsules, but most notable is the size difference. From smallest to largest - 77, 44, 55. There is also a 66 which is a cardioid mic about the size of the 44. The "b" just means black. They also make an "s" or siilver model. For most situations, the 77 sounds the best and is the easiest to hide. The 55 actually sounds really good also. They have been standards for many years and there are many more choices now than there used to be, but the Sonys are still very good.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 01:18 AM   #12
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The 77 is "open sound" in sony-speak. As I understand the design, it is more along the lines of a tram sound - no eq takes place in the mic, what the talent says is what you get.

The 44 and 55, in my experience, have a pre-curve built into the mic designed to make voices more intelligible.

The only rule that I've been able to come up with is don't use a 77 or tram or similar for live sound reinforcement - not enough gain before feedback.

Everything else is an esthetic judgement.

I have two 77s for interviews, and wish they were trams, but they are fine.

I have four 55s on wireless that usually are used for sound reinforcement, but occassionally recording, and they are fine.
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Old January 15th, 2007, 03:28 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the great info, you guys. Very kind of you...
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