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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #1
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Audio for a documentary -- wireless microphones?

I'm about to make a documentary about two people. Although I hate the word 'reality show' yet I wouldn't mind that feel to it as I follow them around. There will also be a few interviews as well.

I'm certain that I'll run into many snags on the way, but my biggest concern is the audio. I wonder what people here think would be the best way to mic them. Using the XL2's onboard mic won't cut it, and using a boom gaffer might be too much a "production"... so I was thinking that perhaps it's possible to use two wireless clip microphones and feed them into the XL2... no?

Any help appreciated.

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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:12 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I'm about to make a documentary about two people. Although I hate the word 'reality show' yet I wouldn't mind that feel to it as I follow them around. There will also be a few interviews as well.

I'm certain that I'll run into many snags on the way, but my biggest concern is the audio. I wonder what people here think would be the best way to mic them. Using the XL2's onboard mic won't cut it, and using a boom gaffer might be too much a "production"... so I was thinking that perhaps it's possible to use two wireless clip microphones and feed them into the XL2... no?

Any help appreciated.

-- peer
Peer,

I have Sony wireless systems and they work great! The lavs pick-up very well and they don't pick-up as much extraneous noise as some mics. Wireless lavs are much less intrusive than trying to follow someone with a boom outfit.

Mike
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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #3
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I have Sony wireless systems and they work great! The lavs pick-up very well and they don't pick-up as much extraneous noise as some mics. Wireless lavs are much less intrusive than trying to follow someone with a boom outfit.
Mike, what Sony model is this? Does it have two wireless inputs, and XLR connectors?

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Old June 19th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #4
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Mike, what Sony model is this? Does it have two wireless inputs, and XLR connectors?

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Peer,

Here is the link to the ones I have. I have 4 sets. Single inputs, mini out and I use a XLR adapter that is about 10 inches long. Work great!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Diversity.html

Mike
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Old June 19th, 2008, 09:25 AM   #5
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Peer,

To give you another option, I have two sets of the Sennheiser G2 100 wireless mics. They work great as well...batteries last a long time and never had any interference. Just be sure to find the system with a different mic than the ME2. It's not a good mic. I can't remember which mic mine came with...but it's a better lav mic than the ME2.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Series.html
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Old June 19th, 2008, 09:51 AM   #6
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I have a Sennheiser G2 system too, but actually prefer the Sony. I very much dislike that Sennheiser doesn't let you use other's mics. My four other lavs will not work on the Sennheiser system. They changed the jack length slightly, so they don't work. What's with that anyway?

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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:09 AM   #7
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To give you another option, I have two sets of the Sennheiser G2 100 wireless mics. They work great as well...batteries last a long time and never had any interference. Just be sure to find the system with a different mic than the ME2. It's not a good mic. I can't remember which mic mine came with...but it's a better lav mic than the ME2. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...00_Series.html
Jonathan -- as always, many thanks. However, I wonder how much better your $1400 Sennheiser setup works compared to, for example, this $325 solution: http://tinyurl.com/52nlxp

Anyone tried the Azden WR-22 or perhaps the Shure PG188/PG185..?

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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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Jonathan -- as always, many thanks. However, I wonder how much better your $1400 Sennheiser setup works compared to, for example, this $325 solution: http://tinyurl.com/52nlxp

Anyone tried the Azden WR-22 or perhaps the Shure PG188/PG185..?

-- peer
Peer,

Obviously you are just starting your journey into the audio world. :) You might want to read a bunch of posts in our audio forum before you continue with the search.

VHF systems are not for any real pro use. They are much more susceptible to interference and not use by most professionals.

My suggestion would be to at least stick with UHF, unless of course you shoot only out in the country side, away from all civilization. And, are real close to your subject.

Check out the "Now Hear This" forum.

Mike
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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #9
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Peer, Obviously you are just starting your journey into the audio world.
Well, as for wireless, you are right -- I don't know anything. As for the "audio world", that's what I do for living, (and have done so for many years ;^)

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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:36 AM   #10
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Well, as for wireless, you are right -- I don't know anything. As for the "audio world", that's what I do for living, (and have done so for many years ;^)

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Peer,

Good, then you will understand what you are about to read and gives you a big leg up on me! Diversity and all!

Mike
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Old June 19th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #11
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Hi Peer,

We use the Audio Technica ATWu-101 wireless system (one transmitter & one receiver only), which is hooked up on CH1. If there are two people talking, then we'd mount our Audio Tech AT897 shotgun mic, and hook that on CH2. We rarely do more than one talking head at a time, so we don't need more than one wireless system.

But I could see how difficult my setup would be if my subjects are running around doing alot of business. So two systems should be better :)

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Old June 19th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #12
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Jonathan -- as always, many thanks. However, I wonder how much better your $1400 Sennheiser setup works compared to, for example, this $325 solution: http://tinyurl.com/52nlxp
-- peer
Yeah, I shopped around and got mine for $400 each (without the stick mic cube). Looks like the receiver for that Azden you posted a link to doesn't fit too well onto a camera...or very portable.

Mike: Didn't get a chance to try the Sony before I made the purchase. Coming from a TV news background I wanted to go with Lectrosonic wireless but that was WAY outta my price range. I had no idea you couldn't use other mics with the Sennheiser. I was happy with the one that came with the system. Then again, I'm more of a video guy rather than an audio guy...

I agree with Mike that you want to avoid VHF, BTW.

Jonathan
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Old June 19th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #13
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Yeah, I shopped around and got mine for $400 each (without the stick mic cube). Looks like the receiver for that Azden you posted a link to doesn't fit too well onto a camera...or very portable.

Mike: Didn't get a chance to try the Sony before I made the purchase. Coming from a TV news background I wanted to go with Lectrosonic wireless but that was WAY outta my price range. I had no idea you couldn't use other mics with the Sennheiser. I was happy with the one that came with the system. Then again, I'm more of a video guy rather than an audio guy...

I agree with Mike that you want to avoid VHF, BTW.

Jonathan
Well, I just checked and the mini jack lengths are the same, unlike what someone had told me. But, Sony lavs don't work the the Seny and the Seny lavs don't work in the Sony. It may be that they are wired the opposite. Just know that a couple of times I grabbed a Sony to use in the Seny and I thought the unit was no good. It was just the mic though. I do like the Sony lavs better though. Just my opinion, which is not worth much.

I do have the cube for my Seny too and I do use it with a shotgun.

Mike
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Old June 19th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #14
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I am using the seny G2 evolution systems and love them, however I have never used the Sony wireless lavs so I can't really comment on those. The ME2 is not as bad as everyone makes it out to be, you just have to be a little more careful with the mic and make sure that you place it in a good position to get clean audio. I am planning on upgrading to better mics and someone had posted a good mic that is compatible and now I can't remember what mic it was.... oops! Think it was actually made by Lectrosonics? Anyway, love the Senys!

my 2 cents,
Ryan
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Old June 20th, 2008, 09:44 AM   #15
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Hey guys, the more opinions the better! Diversity is the spice of life. Like I said, I haven't had a chance to play with the Sonys, so I can't comment on them either.

ANYWAY, Ryan: the ME2 is the mic that looks like a little ball, right? If so, that one came with a clip that was horrible! It attached to the wire instead of the mic itself (cuz it was just a round ball and you can't use other lapel clips with it cuz there's no where for the clip to hold the mic) and the way it was designed, it kept turning so that it wouldn't stay straight. Tgen the "windscreen" was also bad because the mic's polar pattern allowed it to take in audio from the bottom, which wasn't protected by the windscreen so a lot of wind came through and I just couldn't get away from it.

The mic I have now doesn't have that problem...wish I knew which model it was.

Oh well.

Jonathan
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