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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:11 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Warwickshire
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Wireless audio on the cheap

This will shock the purists!

A friend of mine who makes figures/ships etc from glass asked me if I would film him in his workshop making something whilst he gave a commentry on what he was doing. Unfortunately there is a lot of noise going on in his workshop so a wireless mic seemed the best idea - but I don't own one, nor do I plan to spend a lot of money buying one just now.

His wife teaches aerobics and has a very cheap wireless system comprising of a headset or lav. mic (you take your pic), transmitter and a reciever that has a 1/4inch jack to go into the mic socket of an amp. This kit she bought off Ebay for 1.00 + 5 post - yes 6 total.

Using an 1/4 jack to XLR adapter plugged into the receiver then into Ch1 on the Canon, I ran a test. very hissy. So played about with it and found that with Mic Att. set to on. Audio level on manual, with ch1 on the 6th dot and the transmitter volume half a turn from maximum I got very impressive results. Yes, there is a very (very) small amount of hiss when I was testing in the quite of my home, which could probably be tweaked out in post. but the workshop environment was just fine.

Last edited by Philip Younger; February 26th, 2009 at 10:29 AM.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:52 AM   #2
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Very ingenious, but don't shoot near health clubs ;-)
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Old February 28th, 2009, 07:32 AM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Northern VA
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What purists may tend to forget is the #1 priority is to make the client happy. If the client is happy with a $20 solution (thats $20 flowers for his wife for lending her wireless), what more could a videographer want. Its all about getting the job done so yo can get on to the next one. (Of course owning a $2000 wireless system is nice too.)

Note that a bit of shop noise in the background can do a lot to mask the hiss and vice-versa.

Low cost wireless system and condenser mics often do have high hiss levels. If connected to a camcorder with audio AGC enabled this background hiss can be amplified during periods to time the wearer is not speaking. Further, many wireless mics have a high output level and work best at the MIC ATT setting, some may even have an output designed for line level inputs (have to check the secs of the wireless to know for sure).
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Old February 28th, 2009, 11:04 PM   #4
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Location: Montreal, Canada
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I too bought a wireless lav mic from ebay for about the same price. It's nowhere near as nice as the professional wireless mics I used on a shoot, but it's always been adequate for my needs at the time.
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