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Old November 9th, 2005, 03:11 PM   #1
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Wireless lapel mics? help needed?

I am used to using shotgun mics and regular mic set-ups but I am a little confused with wireless set-ups. I am going to need one for weddings and events, especially for vows, etc. What do I need? Can I pick up a ebay set for $150-200? Like this one? http://cgi.ebay.com/UHF-Wireless-Lap...QQcmdZViewItem
Or do I need something else to actually record audio. I am in the dark and any help would be greatly appreciated.

thanks
jamie
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Old November 9th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #2
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You need a system with a portable receiver. Something that could be attached to the camera if you're doing weddings and the like. Check out Audio Technica, Sennheiser, Azden 500, Lectrosonics (money money). You want something that will not only be portable and camera attachable but something that doesn't need to be plugged in.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 04:40 PM   #3
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Jamie, look at the thread titled Mic's? started by Justin Lang. Lotta good info there on wireless.

Also, do a search for iRiver in this forum and read up on comments about using that type of audio recorder. Briefly, the iRiver is one of those cigarette lighter size & shaped MP3 players that's also an audio recorder. Hook up a Giant Squid (also discussed in this forum) lav mike to it, and for about a total of $100, you've got a good, some say great, audio recording system. For the price of one good UHF wireless transmitter & receiver, you can get 4 or 5 of these.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #4
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I am liking the iRiver idea. I assume you would have the groom wear the mic and have the iRiver in his pocket or something like that? I am not at all worried about syncing up the audio to video in post, if that matters at all.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #5
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Reconsider your price point

If you are looking for a wireless system I would suggest going with a UHF system. Personally I like lectrosonics, but you are going to pay well over $1000.00 (even if used). I have heard good things about Azden and Senheiser as well, but again, you are going to pay more than you were talking about. I would giver serious consideration to the iRiver/Giant Squib set-up. You might be able to get one for the groom and one for the minister and still be within your budget. Good luck! Isn't it fun buying new toys?
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Old November 9th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #6
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haha...fun when it's on the 'cheaper' end. Yet nothing is cheap in this business. haha

I would like to avoice wireless if possible. I would like to know if this iRiver system isn't cumbersome to have in a pocket or something like that. Just trying to be as less obtrusive as possible, without sacrificing quality.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 05:56 PM   #7
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I don't know anything about iRiver, but I use Olympus digital voice recorders. You can read more about my experiences with them in the other thread entitled "Mic's".
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Old November 9th, 2005, 06:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Francis
I would like to know if this iRiver system isn't cumbersome to have in a pocket or something like that. Just trying to be as less obtrusive as possible, without sacrificing quality.
Whether using a wireless transmitter or an iRiver, you'll still have a lav mic with a wire out going somewhere. In either case, the "somewhere" isn't obtrusive. The iRiver is maybe slightly larger than a throw-away plastic cigarette lighter; a wireless transmitter is about the size of a pack of cigarettes or a smaller, depending on brand.

I tried an iRiver for the first time a couple weekends ago at a rehearsal. The minister clipped the lav to his tie and dropped the iRiver in his shirt pocket. Wasn't even noticeable. When I listened to the audio later that evening, I was impressed. Not as good as with a wired XLR system, but equal to or better than wireless, IMHO.

Depending on the bitrate you set it at, a 500mb iRiver can record several hours of audio. If you do a lot of record & stndby with the camera, syncing can be tedious. If you let the camera roll continuously, syncing in post is a breeze.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thanks. I think I am going to go with a lav mic and a iRiver. Thanks for your help.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 08:38 PM   #10
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Would any lapel/lav mic work with the iRiver? What would you guys recommend?

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Old November 9th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #11
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I cannot recommend the Giant Squid lavs enthusiastically enough. Google "Giant Squid Audio Labs" and hook yourself up with the sweetest, full sounding lav you will find for the money. These things blew away my audio technicas big time. You'll want the iRiver Mono Omnidirectional.
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Old November 9th, 2005, 11:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Francis
Would any lapel/lav mic work with the iRiver?
I'm not an expert on the iRiver by any means -- all I know is what I've read plus a bit of my own experience.

Apparently the mic jack input for the iRivers is not wired in the standard way, so while any mic should work, all won't necessarily work to peak performance. That's where the Giant Squid mic comes in -- there's a model specifically wired for the iRiver.

Personal experience: I first used the lav mic that came with a Sony wireless I have. I selected the Line In setting as recommended in other posts here about the iRiver, and got essentially no recording. I switched to External Mic and did get a good recording, but I had to crank the volume up to max. Also, there was just a bit of noticeable hiss in the background.

A few days later my Giant Squid arrived. It worked perfectly using the Line In setting and the volume at 45 (as recommended). There is no hiss.

There are all sorts of models of the iRiver, and I have no idea if all are created equal as far as recording ability. The ones most mentioned in this forum are the 795 and the 895. As near as I can tell, the main difference is that the 795 has the headphone and mic jacks side by side at the end of the unit; while the 895 (the one I bought) has the headphone jack at the end, and the mic jack on the side. Both are 500mb and both work with either a PC or Mac.

I bought mine on eBay from the guy who advertises same day shipping. It's true, I bought it on a Monday afternoon and it was in my mailbox Wed. morning. I just looked and apparently he's sold out of the 895s and currently has only a couple 795s left. Mine is a refurb, but except for the plain brown box it came in, everything was sealed and looked brand new. Works perfectly so far.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:33 PM   #13
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I've been working with wireless mic systems for some 20 years. Instead of the word "wireless', think more in terms of "radio". A wireless mic system broadcasts on a radio frequency range that is freely available to anyone without license. The frequency range is freely available without license, which means low transmitting power as well as the risk someone else could be using the same frequency with their wireless mic system. Then there are possible interferences from cell phones, or electric motors used to drive heating/airconditioning systems. Primrily because of the limited transmission power any one of these things could interfere with yur mic system. And, ther is always the possibility a broadcast television station may be using a frequency also used by your mic system. However, if one does his homework he can identify the frequencies used in a particular geographic area and virtually eliminate any interference problems. I have worked on stage shows in metro areas where 20 or more wireless microphones were in use without so much as a hiccup.

Two factors make or break success with wireless systems for the event videographer. Identify the problem frequencies in a given area, and avoid them. Visit any reputable wireless mic manufacturer's web site and do a search in the support section for anything relating to wireless mic use. Invest in the best systems you can afford. Those two factors alone will eliminate most of the scares I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

That said, stand alone digital recorders are wonderful. I use an iRiver as well as four wireless mics, mainly due to Daniel Runyon's investigative work. Depending on the situation, one system will out perform the other.

Be prepared to invest a lot of time learning how to capture good audio. It is much more difficult than video in event situations.
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Old November 15th, 2005, 10:49 PM   #14
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An Iriver looks like an interesting device, but you don't know what you are getting until the day is over. Scary.

There is no substitute for a good wireless system. I NEVER have to worry about my Lectrosonics wireless lav. Lectrosonics sold me the unit that is out of the frequency bands of Hi-Def television broadcasts in my region (Hawaii). I have never had hiss or noticeable dropouts in my recordings. The only thing I ever deal with now is making sure my camera has the right input sensitivity. The auto-gain on-cam is okay, but sometimes I like to ride the input gain knob in special circumstances.

You have spent several thousand dollars on cameras...less than $1500 on a mic system that solves all your problems is not too much to ask. You will pay for it one way or another (dramatic music crescendo)! Audio is half the job of a videographer, maybe even more. Don't get a $200 mic system. The cheapest I would go under any circumstances is a Sennheiser or Samson UHF system which run about $5-600. An Iriver as a backup seems like a good idea.
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Old November 17th, 2005, 10:41 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Marcus Marchesseault]An Iriver looks like an interesting device, but you don't know what you are getting until the day is over. Scary.

There is no substitute for a good wireless system. I NEVER have to worry about my Lectrosonics wireless lav. Lectrosonics sold me the unit that is out of the frequency bands of Hi-Def television broadcasts in my region (Hawaii). I have never had hiss or noticeable dropouts in my recordings. The only thing I ever deal with now is making sure my camera has the right input sensitivity. The auto-gain on-cam is okay, but sometimes I like to ride the input gain knob in special circumstances.

Hi Marcus,

Are you based on Oahu? ( I'm on Maui )
I'm also looking at getting a Lectrosonics wireless setup to replace my aging Samsons. Could you tell me which Lectrosonics wireless setup you bought and the frequency bands to use in Hawaii?


Thanks,
Todd
p.s. the iRivers are great units to use as backup (I have 4 of them)
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