Best Wireless Mic for Wedding at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 4th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 24
Best Wireless Mic for Wedding

I have got all the equipment I need except a good wireless lavaliere microphone, what brand or models do any of you guys recommend?

I dont want to spend Hundreds but I do want a quality mic, a used one would be fine? ANY Suggestions?
Jay Cash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2010, 03:23 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Manchester UK
Posts: 1,212
Jay, your caveat prevents as specific answer, but I'm sure most people would agree, "the best you can afford".
Philip Howells is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2010, 03:55 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Fontana, CA
Posts: 183
You'll need at least a few hundred to get a decent used lav kit. For professional use, I recommend Sennheiser, but you're looking at $500+ there. If you can afford it, do it. If not, save up and buy one later.

Alec Moreno
Wedding Art Films - Southern California - Los Angeles - Orange County - Video
Alec Moreno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Jay

I'm not sure how busy your VHF frequencies are in the US but I have have 3 sets of Azden VHF radio mics left over from the older days and had to use one at a wedding and it performed very well indeed!!!

They can still be found new for around $150 or less and might be a suitable stepping stone to a better one later??? Otherwise you could also consider a DVR and hook a lav mic to it?? They have come down a lot in price. It does however require that you sync the audio in post but nowdays that's pretty easy!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2010, 06:31 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 24
I Don't want to spend $500 or so, But is that what it will take before I can get something QUALITY that will last?

What brands should I seek out? What do you use that works?
Jay Cash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
Like most gear you generally get what you pay for. For audio gear get the abolute best you can. Spend as much as you without not paying your bills or robbing a 7-11. It will pay you back many times over in the long run both in sound quality and the number of years you use it.

$500 isn't a lot for audio gear unless of course you don't have it then it's a whole lot but honestly that's probably the least amount you'll get away with and still get a quality unit.

Sennheiser G2, Audio Technica 1800 series are about the best you can get for the money.

If you need to and there is someplace to do so, rent the gear for the first few gigs until you have enough cash to buy. Maybe someone you know in your area can rent to you.

Anyway, we all know the problem of cash strapped but audio is not the place to skimp.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2010, 07:41 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
A very recent thread here discussing whether people are using Wireless Mics of Digital Voice Recorders.

Digital Voice recorder or Wireless Mic

That thread showed up at a great time for me, I was at the same decision on what to do about my audio.

A buddy of mine works at Fullcompass.com, and Bob is a serious audio nerd. Bob shoots me straight, but I always have to take into account what his personal standards are, as I listen to his recommendations. Bob and I discussed wireless mics a few months ago and in his opinion, Sennheisers are good, but he much prefers the Lectrosonics (or whatever they are called) that start at $1,000.

So now I know what is probably exceptionally good quality, and the absolute best out there, because I know Bob and where his suggestions/opinions will fall in the quality spectrum.

Like you Jay, I didn't have, nor want to spend, $500 and up. The rest of our conversation though was telling. Full Compass handles lower end wireless too. Bob will sell me whatever I want. The only time Bob hesitates is when he REALLY doesn't think the quality of what I am asking about is good enough for me to depend on. I have learned to heed those hesitations and LISTEN when Bob goes down that road.

The thread I mentioned came at the perfect time with lots of input and discussion about wireless issues, DVR issues, solutions etc. I seriously was considering choking down a Sennheiser unit, but that's all I was going to be able to purchase, one unit. I have now opted to go with the DVRs w/ lav mics and should be able to do two, possibly three, for the cost of one Sennheiser.

If you go the used route, make sure you do not buy anything within the outlawed frequencies. Lots of wireless units became illegal to use back in June.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 5th, 2010, 08:26 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 689
you can't be cheap when it comes to audio. buy the sennheiser and be done. those mics will last you a long time, unless it gets lost or stolen. is the savings from a wireless mic worth the time spent in post having to sync audio? buy cheap buy twice. you could find a used C band unit for $200 and use that for a while. Yes I know the C bands are illegal, but if you're only using them a couple hours per week, you can get by. the Zoom H2 is great, but it is a bit big
to put in a grooms pocket.
Scott Hayes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 5th, 2010, 11:39 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Green Bay Wisconsin
Posts: 553
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hayes View Post
....Yes I know the C bands are illegal, but if you're only using them a couple hours per week, you can get by.......
The gal I got my DVXs from had an equally near new Sennheiser, but was in the illegal bands. Being in Green Bay, WI I too thought, it's just going to be a few hours, and doubt any fire/police/rescue is switching on that very day. Before doing anything on the illegal Sennheiser, I did more investigation and read more from others on the changeover. One article in particular was the game changer for me. That author stated as you, and as I thought, chances of us interfering in any emergency communications with our mics is extremely remote. BUT, as the article's author stated, that band was also going to cell phone usage too, and the chances of a cell phone interfering with OUR recording was most likely far greater a possibility.
Chip Thome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 5th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
There are some UHF lavalier mikes from Azden (and maybe others) for about $350, but to get a lavalier for less than that, you are looking at VHF mikes.

About ten or twelve years ago, I bought an Azden WMS VHF set up and used it for about three to four years. I think Videoguys.com still handles a single pack version of these things (mike, transmitter/body pack and receiver pack) for about $160.

The one I bought was was a dual pack with two wireless lavalier mikes and body packs, and a single receiver (with two channel reception) that mounted to a shoe on the camera and fed stereo via 1/8th inch mini plug to a camcorder mike input. I used it with my VX2000 cams.

It mostly produced acceptable sound for the weddings I was shooting. By acceptable, I mean better than I otherwise would have had. Plus, it fed directly to a camera so I did not have to fuss with maintaining synch as I did when importing audio from digital recording units that I also used.

But:

(a) I needed to mike both the officiant and the groom to be sure of getting clear sound in an outdoor wedding. I currently use Sennhesier and AT wireless units and can get much better sound even if I only mike the officiant.) The Azden mikes were somewhat directional or, at least, they seemed particularly vulnerable to fading out when the speaker turned his or her head from side to side. Maybe Azden has better mikes now? The Videoguys may be able to give you some advice on this.

(b) the Azden units were vulnerable to electronic interference of any kind (such as lighting ballasts) and they were kind of noisy (hiss in the quiet passages. Of course, the mic preamps in the VX2000 were pretty noisy in their own right. (However, as they are VHF mikes, they are not affected by the FCC's sale of the 700 MHz UHF band, a problem that plagues any UHF mike that now seems inexpensive as well as some more expensive units.)

(c) Sometimes bodies or any thick obstacle in the way would to block the transmission. That's a problem with VHF mikes but not with UHF mikes, and that is one of the reasons that UHF transmitters are preferred over VHF.

(d) the mike cord is the antenna. Sound from a mike cord rubbing on things is a mechanical issue with any lavalier. The problem with the VHF mikes is that anybody fiddling with the cord to try to keep it out of the way or neatly coiling the cord to keep it out of their way, can disrupt the transmission. . UHF transmitters usually have separate antennae.

(e) My Azden unit only lasted about three years before the receiver channels started to drift away from the transmitter channels. After four years, the units were useless.

There are alternatives to wireless lavalier mikes such as the new Zoom H1stereo digital recorder ($99 at B&H). The downside of these --- apart from limited sound quality --- is the work it takes to synch the ditigal audio tracks with your video, and then maintain the synch. (My experience is that digital recorder units' clocks rarely match those used for video timecode). The Plural Eyes software.can take a lot of the work out of this but, then, you have to spend $150 to buy it. (There's a version for FCP, a version for Vegas and a beta version for PPro.)

As for used UHF lavaliers, I'd recommend the AT100 series or the Sennheisers (both of which I use) but I think it will be hard to find ones in the "legal bands."
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2010, 06:15 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
I used to do wireless mic during ceremony. Then I found out there is a range problem. Don't church just plain don't allow any kind of wireless mic at all. Now I go with an Olympus voice recorder. It works very well.

Wireless Mics vs Voice Recorders | L.A. Color Blog
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Red Lodge, Montana
Posts: 889
Taky:

I've heard good things about the Olympus recorders (with a lavalier) and that they seem to run pretty close to video timecode (thereby avoiding the drifting synch problem that other recorders seem to have). I had not seen any recently but the link in your blog shows them still available on Amazon/e-Bay for under $60.

Some folks have posted about some churches prohibiting the use of other wireless systems, but I've never run into that in my area. The reason for the restriction sometimes seems to be the potential for interference with church/temple audio systems. That potential goes way up in some of the very large churches that may be running tons of microphones at once. I haven't run into that in my area. I ran into something like not too long ago when I was asked to video a large stage show. My AT and Sennheiser UHF mikes allow a lot of flexibility in selecting channels so the one a potential conflict was avoided because I was able to rest the channels. (Yet another reason to spend a bit more money and buy a UHF system).

I've never run into a range problem with either the AT or Sennheiser, but I forgot to mention that I did run into limited range issues with Azden WMS set-up.

Jay Cash:

With your budget, you might want to check out the Olympus recorder that Taky recommended and look at adding a lavalier mike to it. Taky's blog may have a link for that, too. Also, if you have not already done so, search the audio forum here at DVinfo.

For me, the downside to using digital recorders is that I cannot monitor the sound and that adds to my stress-induced paranoia when shooting weddings. Basically, I use them as back-ups and alternates to my wireless mikes say, by talking a line level output from the church's audio system to a recorder when I cannot position one of my cams close enough to do it that way. House sound off the board is invariably weird but its there if I need it.) You can do something similar to a line feed -- and sometimes get better audio from the house system --- by placing a recorder like an H1 or H4 near a house sound speaker. (I think Travis Cossel and Taky had a recent discussion on this point in the audio forum.) In 16 years of shooting weddings here, I've only needed to patch in house sound twice and for only short periods. (Both times when something briefly interfered with the Azden WMS VHF mikes.) I still rely on my wireless mikes and use other recorders out of a superstitious belief that having multiple back-up systems means I won't need to use them.
Jay West is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2010, 07:44 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
Jay, I have been using that setup for a few years. I'm sure there're newer olympus models out there. Price is still cheaper than wireless setup.

I ran into a few times in different church that they don't like anybody using any wireless mic. Some just said need prior approval. Once, a church worker grab the mic off the groom before the ceremony saying they need to keep it and return after the ceremony. I told them it is not a wireless device and they have no right to keep my equipment.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 9th, 2010, 09:59 AM   #14
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 72
Samson T32 - FLAWLESS!
__________________
Chris Fig Productions
Wedding Videographer
Christopher Figueroa is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:07 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network