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Old July 24th, 2002, 10:48 AM   #1
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wireless mics, uhf or vhf

I just got my new canon xl1s. I will need a wireless lav system very soon and would like a recommendation on what to buy. I'm not rich but don't want to waste money on something I'll have to replace for a couple of years. Anyone out there using Samson diversity vhf? I'm concerned about the mini plug. Since I purchased the xlr accessory, I'm prepared to go that route. Help! There's just so many out there and I don't know enough to make an informed decision. The guy at BH was less than helpful. I'm sure they get tons of calls but hey, I just spent $5000 and want to spend more.

My first shoot will be a wedding inside a missile site. The story will air on Nebraska Educational Television and they're pretty picky about audio. Do I need vhf or uhf. I need to be able to use the system inside or out. Help!

Becky
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Old July 24th, 2002, 11:23 AM   #2
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I prefer UHF over VHF, greater distance, less interference, cleaner sound to my ear, fewer if any dropouts. I think most people here use the Senneheiser Evolution 100 series. They are very servicable, and provide a very good value. ZGC, one the sites sponsors, http://www.zgc.com/ sells them and will provide great service over the phone for you. Give 'um a try.

I use the Lectrosonics 100 and 200 series. The 200 series can be upgrade to diversity if needed or as budgets permit. I've used Lectrosonics for years without a single failure. They will run a little more than the Sennheiser, but have better specs. Lectrosonics has a guide to Wireless Mics http://www.lectrosonics.com/wg/wg2000.htm that may help.

Jeff
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Old July 24th, 2002, 12:58 PM   #3
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Evolution 100 is very nice.

You are less likely to get interference on UHF. When you discuss this with you vendor, let them help you select the band you want the mic to work in.

I have used the Evolution 100 w/o any problems. Excellent system.

Nathan Gifford
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Old July 24th, 2002, 04:22 PM   #4
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VHF can work in most venues, and is a lot lower cost than UHF. But UHF is generally better and offers more frequencies to avoid possibe interference. If you are in a relatively isolated area with few significant RF sources nearby, VHF may prove usable for a long time.

Very important to get a true diversity receiver to avoid drop outs cause by movement of the transmitter or receiver.

If you are at a real, active missile site, be sure to check about using any wireless transmitter with the local authorities. Sites with real, live missiles tend to be fussy about any RF sources near them.

If doing weddings, it is worth investigating what, if any wireless system is in use at the venue in advance to be sure yours and theirs do not conflict at the event.
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Old July 25th, 2002, 06:09 AM   #5
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The Sennheiser Evolution 100 is *not* a true diversity system. I have yet to be able to create a drop out except at the limits of the system.

I agree with Don about using VHF system. If cost is definitely a concern, you can certainly try a VHF system. Still I think the Evolution 100 system is one of the best buys out there.

Nathan Gifford
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Old August 14th, 2002, 10:21 PM   #6
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Beckey1313,
I like Jeff use the Lectrosonic UHF 100 series. VHF is very scratchy and over crowded, it will take years for that to happen to UHF( the overcrowding I mean).

The range is out of this world , 100's of feet and with 256 frequencies (I have about 185 of them and ABC tv has the rest for our frequency block) you have quite a choice . If you call Location Sound and ask for Val, He will give you all the right info. He's very low key.His phone number is 1-800-228-4429 outside of CA . inside CA 818-980-9911

I constantly use it with my lav, my Electro-vioce RE50/B , a hand held and my audio-technica AT835b shotgun (hand held or on a boom). This combo will allow you to cover any situation. If Val isn't in, leave a message on his e-mail, tell him what you want and he'll get back to you asap.

Bruce
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Old August 15th, 2002, 04:28 PM   #7
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I've got the sennheiser evolution 100 ENG kit, ($400 and some change at b&H), comes with a portable receiver, transmitter, lav microphone, and plug-on transmitter. I'm extremely impressed with the sound quality, Using it with my me-66, I can't tell a difference between wireless or hardwired applications. And to repeat an earlier post, the range on it is spectacular, with no dropouts until you've gone past the limit, even with severe line of sight obstacles (like houses).

Barry
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Old August 15th, 2002, 06:32 PM   #8
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I don't have direct experience with the Samson VHF units, but I do have a friend who is not happy with the sound quality he gets from one. I actually think you are better off going to a non-diversity UHF receiver than a diversity VHF unit. The mini-plug output is very common on the small receivers, so I wouldn't worry about that. You'll spend serious money before you get to balanced outputs on compact wireless receivers.

Let me throw in another recommendation for the guys at Location Sound. The sales guys there really know audio stuff for film and video, and they've always been good about careful answers to my questions.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 09:04 AM   #9
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Ok, I did it...

I ordered the Evolution 100 system. I haven't used it in the field yet but after playing with it at home I'm pretty happy. It took me a while to figure out that the stock mic on my XL is stereo and that I needed to disable it before using my lav. You have to remember that I'm still a newbie when it comes to audio. I'm learning very fast. Now I guess I need to get another shotgun mic if I want ambient sound while shooting 2 channel audio. I had a camera man on my last shoot (the missile site wedding) who used the XL1 and he said that not everyone really knows how or is able to edit using 4 channels. If you're sending your footage to someone else to edit it's a good idea to stick to 2 channels. Has anyone experienced that problem? It was a good "heads up" tip for me. I certainly don't want any sound problems cropping up with the work that I do for public television. I guess I'll use only 2 channels unless I know I'll be the end editor. Got any recommendations for a decent/ affordable shotgun mic to use w/ my Sennheiser Ev 100? I will check out the audio-technica AT835b shotgun at Location for sure. What about Azden?

Thanks for all of your advice. This forum is invaluable!!!!

Becky
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Old August 17th, 2002, 05:37 PM   #10
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I would start a new post Becky...

You will like the Evolution, excellent choice. I don't know which one to recommend but a lot of people seem to like Sennheiser ME66 for a shotgun. You may also want to invest in a MA200 or MA400 to handle the mics.
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Old August 19th, 2002, 06:27 AM   #11
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> The mini-plug output is very common on the
... serious money before you get to balanced outputs on compact wireless receivers.

Actually some of the relatively low cost units (e.g., Azden WDPro) have balanced output on a stereo-mini jack. Using a mono cord makes it unbalanced, using a stereo it is balanced (tip +, ring -, sleeve ground). Plug a into the XL1 mic jack wiht a stereo cable and you get equal but out of phase left and right channels. Use a mono cable/plug and you get left channel only.
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Old August 20th, 2002, 12:57 PM   #12
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I'm looking at wireless mics...and some say they're "guitar mics". Would that work okay for human voice as well? Is there some other difference that I'm not realizing? Is the input a different impedence than a lav mic?

Thanks.
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Old August 21st, 2002, 08:39 AM   #13
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I am not sure, but I think guitar mics are designed to be mounted on a guitar. To the best of my understanding they may not be adequate to use a strictly vocal mic.
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Old August 21st, 2002, 01:03 PM   #14
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<<<-- And to repeat an earlier post, the range on it is spectacular, with no dropouts until you've gone past the limit, even with severe line of sight obstacles (like houses). -->>>

What is 'the limit' on the Evolution transmitter/receiver? (In terms of distance I'm assuming) I was looking at getting either this UHF kit, but heard mixed information on the advertised power of the unit. I think it is billed as being something like 30mW (from memory) but performed more like half that.

Any specific user experience in terms of range of use would be great.

Thanks,
Clayton
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Old August 21st, 2002, 06:48 PM   #15
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I just grabbed the Sennheiser evolution system from B&H as well. You know the set... wireless receiver, wireless transmitter, ME2 Mic and a cube mount for a dynamic. I LOVE IT! I shot a wedding on saturday and the sound is incredible. I mounted the lav mic on the officients waist for sound from everyone! I got the bride, the groom and the officient perfectly. For the reception, I dangled that same lav in front of the DJ's speakers and got all the toasts, MCing and music with perfect audio. I just turned down the sensitivity. I am also using a beachtek which I love. I am so sold on Sennheiser, I'll never buy anything else. The guy at B&H was totally helpful... His name is John and he's in audio. (sorry, I don't have his extension anylonger). Now, I have ordered a sennheiser MKE300 from ebay. I've bought lots of stuff from this seller, so I feel good about it. I considered the samson, but decided to go with the Sennheiser. It was about 100 bucks more, so that may be a consideration. If you want an endorsement, mine is for Sennheiser. Glad to hear you went that way.
-Kyle
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