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Old February 14th, 2002, 01:49 PM   #1
ucsbgaucho
 
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Best audio solutions for my scenario...

I am doing a lot of indoor college basketball filming, videotaping games for short highlight tapes that we put up on our website for out-of-towners to watch after each game. The camera has been great, but I'm looking maybe next year into doing a season-long documentary of our Men's basketball team, very similar to what ESPN did with its show "The Season" on Arizona football that's been airing recently. I want to outfit the camera with a good wireless lav mic system to clip on to our head coach to record throughout the games, in the locker room, at practices, etc. Has anyone shot indoor sporting events and had success with a particular brand more than others? The conditions are quite harsh inside, with all the electrical, scoreboard, PA eqt, etc, to deal with and still get good audio. Any suggestions on equipment would be greatly appreciated. My budget would be somewhat limited, maybe in the $300 range for a system including mic, transmitter and receiver.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 03:37 PM   #2
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Sounds like a fun project. "Quite harsh" is a mild description for a gym/arena environment from a sound perspective. It's a sound man's nightmare. Many, if not most, inexpensive lav mics have a relatively omnidirectional field and will indescriminantly pick up sound all around your subject. I sometimes use a Samson M32 Micro Diversity system which, due to it's UHF and diversity (dual receiver) design, has been very reliable. But the mic is very omni-sensitive. I don't have alot off experience with various lavs but I know that narrower field lavs exist.

Perhaps you can rent a couple of different units to do some test shoots. This will give you a better idea of various equipment characteristics and just what you're up against.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 06:32 PM   #3
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Not much good in the way of $300 wireless lav systems. Check the Azden WDR-Pro system. It is VHF and diversity.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 09:04 PM   #4
ucsbgaucho
 
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Is the Azden WDR a camera-mountable receiver? I'm definitely looking for something that can be strapped onto the side of the camera and plug into the MA-100 I have.
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Old February 14th, 2002, 09:11 PM   #5
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Azden's site:

http://www.azdencorp.com/
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Old February 15th, 2002, 06:59 AM   #6
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I can sympathize with working on a budget.

Awhile back I had to shoot a narrator (a rather soft-spoken woman) and the location was a windy, rocky, wave-crashing coastline, right out on the water's edge with spray flying all over the place. That's an amazingly loud environment.

Add to that there were a bunch of kids nearby, all screaming at one another at the same time to be heard over the crashing waves and wind.

And add to that the gulls that constantly hovered overhead, because seeing my equipment and bags I guess made them think I'd be pulling fish out of the water soon. They contributed significantly to the background roar.

So, how did I hear the narrator? I used a very inexpensive Nady receiver that can be attached to the camera, and the narrator wore a Nady wireless lav transmitter. It had an omnidirectional mic but despite all the noise it still worked out fine.

Not everyone has the budget for Sennheiser...including me. But my Nady set up worked fine.
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Old February 15th, 2002, 08:12 AM   #7
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Check on range, but I would stick with UHF units.

You probably should consider the range and conflicts with other wireless mics that are likely in use at the stadium. It is amazing how far a Sennheiser 100 will work, but you can easily exceed its range at a stadium.

Another problem will be signal attenuation by the stadium itself. There are lots of steel beams to trap radio signals. It would be better to stick to UHF systems instead of VHF. Diversity might be a plus too.

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Old February 15th, 2002, 02:23 PM   #8
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Here are the characteristics of the arena:
Actually mostly wood, with huge wood beams and the roof entirely made of wood. There really aren't any other wireless mics in use, just photographers using their strobe flashes up in the rafters and one wireless mic that we use for National Anthem and a couple timeout contests. So there's really not a lot of other radio interference going on. I would be shooting from the baseline of each end of the court, across from the team benches. I would have the head coach on our team mic'd up, so the distance would range from maybe 30 feet to maybe 150 at most. So that's what Im dealing with, not TOO crazy of a location, but still fairly difficult with the noise and everything. Thanks for all your input!
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