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Old August 30th, 2006, 06:08 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 6
Sound on Boat

Canon Optura Xi
Canon DM-50 mic

I am shooting fishing videos on a boat in Miami (yes, I know it's tough:) ) I have shot a couple of tapes using the DM-50 and the sound is OK, some wind and wave noise which is actually nice. I want to add a wirless mic for the "host". Here is the question:

I am looking for a low-cost alternative for wireless mic. Since subject is normally less than 10' away, is there such a thing?

Also, can you use both mics at the same time? One left, one right?

Any help would be great.

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Old August 31st, 2006, 01:46 PM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,054
An option would be to have a good quality mic mounted on the camera and keep in close proximity to the subject. Perhaps five to seven feet. Definitely not 10 feet.

Besides using wireless mics, I also use an AT 4051a atop my camera. It's fitted with a lightwave Equalizer furry windscreen. Here's a sample of what it sounds like in real-world conditions. It's typical of this mic's performance in the field, as long as there aren't too many competing sound sources such as loud engines.

If you are in a situation where there's considerable noise, you can face your back to the unwanted sound source and cut it back somewhat as this mic has pretty good rejection to the rear, unlike a lot of shotgun mics. Also, this mic has a fairly wide angle of acceptance which allows you to do a little panning without adversely affecting the audio quality.

While this setup does work, I tend to rely a lot more on wireless mics. Much better proximity quality, less ambient noise (relative to the person talking) and far more flexible in terms of where the camera can point.
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old August 31st, 2006, 03:29 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
You could also use a wired lav if the cost of wireless is prohibited. You can get, for example, an Audiotechnica wired lav with power supply for about 150 bucks, and there are others. The cheapest wireless lavs I've seen are the Sennheiser G2 (I think that's the right designation) and an Audiotechnica, both under $500. Your camera probably has only mini audio inputs, so that Sennheiser might be a good thing for you. If your camera gives you separate control of your audio channels, then you can run one mic into channel 1 and the other into channel 2.
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Old August 31st, 2006, 04:03 PM   #4
Fred Retread
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Hartford, CT
Posts: 1,227
Here's a relatively low cost wireless system that is well-thought of around here.

Unfortunately, plugging in an external mic shuts off the DM-50. I had one as my first mic but sold it before long. I recommend that you do the same thing. You should be able to get at least $100 on eBay (I got $120). Then buy a Rode VideoMic for $150. It's so much better than the DM-50 that you might reconsider the need for a wireless.

Physcally and electrically you can connect and use both the Rode (or most any other self-powered mic) and the wireless at the same time. In practice that kind of arrangement works fine sometimes, and sometimes not. The right way to do it is to buy an adapter (another $170) like this:
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