Help! Gonna try Radio Mikes for the first time.

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g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

Not sure which section to include this but here goes.

Doing a wedding in a couple of weeks and for the first time I am going to use Radio Mikes. (Going to Hire them)

Now I've always been afraid to use this type before relying on Sehn K6 and ME66 unit.

Are there any articles anywhere that describe how to set these mikes up for the service and then later at the reception?

I have a Sony PD150

And finally, is there still danger that you can pick up taxi firms or the local fire station when using them.

Cheers.

Mr Softy

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

How much do they cost to hire Soft Touch? Certainly if you hire good quality radio systems (like Sennhiser) then you can change the frequencies to one which should not be used by the Taxi/Firestn./Police. I must admit though I don't have a manual handy and don't know the best frequencies to use off the top of my head.

cstv
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the old problems with interference from the likes of taxi firms were down to the use of the VHF band. Most radio mics (at least anything costing more than about £70) these days are UHF which doesn't have the same problems.

Of course you can still get interference but as Chrome says, they can be set to frequencies that are clear where you are.

I'd check with the venue before hand to find out if they use radio mics and if so what freqnecy they're on.

mark.

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

To follow on from what Mark says about checking to see what frequency they are on, unfortunately the bad news is in my experience they do not have a clue...

In most cases Churches, Hotels and other venues (apart from conference locations) they have had their systems installed by an AV firm or handy parishoner and as far as they are concerened they simply switch it on and go. Their 'technical know-how' is limited to adjusting the level - Up (higher numbers) or Down (lower numbers) - Doh!

When I have asked what frequency they are operating on, I have usually been met with blank (or glazed over) expressions; I might as well have been talking Klingon, asking what time is the next bus to Venus or the meaning of life! It gets a bit embarrasing. And those that have tried to be helpful by chasing someone up to find the answer for you invariably draw a blank. They usually will not let you touch the equipment in order to find out either, in case you "mess something up".

Just my rather depressing findings... sorry :(

g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

Thanks boys but can't say I'm too sure now about using them.
So do you think it is better to stick with the K6/ME66 set up?

Mr Softy

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

Hi soft touch! Try a search in audio/weddings. Radio mic set up's for Church/receptioshave been discussed in minute detail over the last couple of years.

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

A radio mic's fine for quick set up or the freedom to roam, otherwise, I'd rather not use them.

You should be fine though, you can always rig up a cable mic as a stand-by. Monitor all the time and it should be ok.

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

During the ceremony I have a good quality camera mic as well as the radio mic. The camera mic provides the 'ambience' and the lavalier on the groom captures the vows and celebrants speech. But I also have a long-play HiMD Minidisc player (usually high up) to capture everything on a stereo mic as well. You cannot be too careful.

During the reception I use on-camera m ic again, and a different radio mic and minidisk with yet another mic on the top table. I find this covers everything and also provides back-ups.

Oh I forgot to mention camera 2...

John Willett
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Quote:
Originally posted by SOFT TOUCH:
Doing a wedding in a couple of weeks and for the first time I am going to use Radio Mikes. (Going to Hire them)

Good idea - no problem.

Quote:
Originally posted by SOFT TOUCH:
Now I've always been afraid to use this type before relying on Sehn K6 and ME66 unit.

Good mics - no problem

Quote:
Originally posted by SOFT TOUCH:
And finally, is there still danger that you can pick up taxi firms or the local fire station when using them.

Not normally with a good modern UHF system.

I would suggest hiring a Sennheiser evolution system - they are good quality and low price and lots of people hire them.

And - with the plug-on transmitter option you can still use your K6+ME66 if you want.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

Chrome
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John's right of course - Sennheisers rock

I forgot to mention. apart from one Audio Technica, all my mics and radio systems are Sennheiser! I wouldn't use anything else.

g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

Thanks Guys,

John & Chrome I notice you both point to Sennheisers, yet Sony have brought out their own radio mikes which I thought Chrome with your PD170 would have been a better option.
Anyway, if the wedding with the hired mikes goes OK I will be looking to purchase some radio mikes.
So, John or Chrome is there a big difference betweeen the Sony & Senns? And without putting you on the spot, (not much) which one would you suggest and why?

Thanks

Mr Softy

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

Soft Touch,

I don't use it with my PD170 but on my larger cameras. I looked at the Sony but the Sennheiser 500 series is what I bought as I preferred the features and I intended to use the high-end Senn mics, so it made sense. I also like Senn kit and so if I can afford it will always choose it over other kit.

g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

John,

Just contacted the people from who I was going to hire the radio mikes and they are not Sennheisers.
You state in your post that lots of people hire the Evolution system so can you please let me have the name of a couple of these companies so I may contact them.

Thanks.

Mr Softy

northernimage
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Joined: Apr 18 2004

We use Senn EW500's and have never had a problem with interference, as long as you keep the on board mic running on the other channel as a back up you'll have no problem. Make sure you use good quality new batteries at each end. Also check at the recption venue that no other functions are on which may be using radios or your speeches could be broadcast throughout the hotel. I wouldn't do a job without using radios now.

g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

Just an idea!

There is a guy with another thread on this board looking to buy a K6/ME66, where I am looking to buy a senn evolution 112. Would it be a good move to try and off sell the K6/ME66 to this guy or is it better to hang onto them?
If this makes sence.

Mr Softy

branny
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Joined: Nov 6 2001

No!use both.

Do not follow, I may not lead. Do not lead . . . I may not follow.

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

Must agree with branny use both. If you sell the K6 you will need to replace it with something... no good downgrading - keep it for on-camera use during ceremony etc. and perhaps for with the radio system when on the top table. In all the wedding situations you should use at least two mics so you have a back up - never rely on one mic.

g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

Chrome, I have tried to use the K6/ME66 as replacement for the on board mike on the PD150 but it's hopeless. Every single touch of the camera, no matter how slight sounds like a bomb going off. So I have only ever used it as an extension mike with an 8ft cable.
Do you use a special attachment to stop this noise then?

Mr Softy

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

Ok then ST, that does present a bit of a problem... are you using a single camera?

If so I think what I would do is the following... Leave the normal PD mic attached for 'portable' work (outside the church as bride arrives for example) then if you want to use the K6/ME66 have it in a shock mount on a magic arm or mic stand or something like that for the ceremony itself (it will be so much better than the on-board mic). Use the radio into the second mic socket. Operating in this manner it should be fairly easy to put the PD150 onto a tripod and swap the on-board for the K6/ME66 as the ceremony starts. Problem is you will lose a few seconds of audio... Perhaps you should also have a minidisc or something.

You can also get a Lightwave mini-mount(now owned by Rycote), they make one specifically for the PD-150/170. They have modified the design for larger cameras recently based on discussions I have had with them. I don't know how good the PD ones are though.

http://www.lightwavesystems.com/default.htm

Of course the best thing is to use two cameras!

g. richards
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Joined: Feb 10 2005

Cheers Chrome.

During the service I do like to use the on board
mike plus the K6/ME66 which is on a stand near the bride and groom. Therefore the on board picking up the congregation the K6 piscking up B&G. (Must admit you threw me a bit (that's not too hard) with the bit about radio into second socket. Would you recommend the above set up or is it naff.
Also what mini disc would you plump for and how do you then download audio from it on to the computer.

Cheers.

Mr Softy

mooblie
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Quote:
Originally posted by SOFT TOUCH:
Chrome, I have tried to use the K6/ME66 as replacement for the on board mike on the PD150 but it's hopeless. Every single touch of the camera, no matter how slight sounds like a bomb going off. So I have only ever used it as an extension mike with an 8ft cable.
Do you use a special attachment to stop this noise then?

Are you trying to mount the K6/ME66 (when on-camera) in the existing bracket for the Sony-supplied mike? Maybe that's your problem?

Best to mount the K6/ME66 (when on-camera) in the hot shoe with a Rycote Multimount: see the bottom of this page.

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

moobile - thats what I was suggesting with the Lightwave mini-mount, which IMHO is batter than the Rycote unit... something Rycote agree with I think, as they recently aquired Lightwave and have moved the operation to the UK.

ST - To answer your questions (as best I can)... What you suggest is no too bad, but where does the Radio system fit into that? After all that is what you were asking about initially. To get the best sound IMHO you would have a lavalier on the groom and use the K6/ME66 for 'ambient' sound at the venue (instead of the normal mic). Tyhis will give you added flexibility during things like signing of the register, as you will not really need to move the mic you have put on a stand, but simply change the connector back to the on-board before you take the camera off your tripod.

I use my PD170 as a second camera during ceremonies, but usually discard the audio from the standard mic, as I think it picks up nothing useful if it is more than about 3 meters away from the 'action'. I simply use that audio for reference when positioning clips on the timeline.

I use a HiMD minidisc from Sony (about £250) because it can record for about 6.5 hours continously; so I can fit a complete wedding on one disc. I have an audio studio so pump it in to my Mac through a mixer. I suppose you would simply connect its output to your soundcard and record it into your editing package or something?

HTH

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003

The golden rule when using radio mics is turn on the receiver first, and listen!! If you hear somebody elses transmission, DO NOT TURN ON YOUR TRANSMITTER, and if it's not obvious whose signal it is, you'll need to change your TX/RX frequencies.

If you turn on the transmitter before receiver, not only may you mess somebody else up, but you'll be jammed by them anyway, and it may not be at all obvious why the mics are giving you a problem. Normal convention is to record the radio mic on track 1, camera mic on track 2. Some cameras make that a lot easier than others.....

Chrome
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Actually if interference and other people using the same transmission frequencies really worries you, then you could buy Sennheiser's G2 500 series. They are more expensive (of course!) but IMHO well worth it if you are serious about weddings. These are of course UHF systems.

They have the facility on the reciever to perform a scan of up to 20 frequencies within one 'bank' (there are also 9 banks). When you do the scan, it determines which other of those frequencies are currently being used and then a simple second press of the button locks those frequencies out in that bank, so you can select any of the remaining and you 'should' be ok.

Of course if someone switches something on that was not present when you did a scan then you're stuffed... but at least you have done all you can to minimise interference etc.

The G2 ew100 series has 4 channels per bank, and I don't think it has the scan facility... John?

But I would also agree wholeheartedly that you should do what infocus recommends and turn the receiver on first and 'listen'.

infocus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chrome:
But I would also agree wholeheartedly that you should do what infocus recommends and turn the transmitter on first and 'listen'.

Errrr - I assume that's a slip of the keyboard, and you really meant to type "receiver"?

Chrome
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Joined: May 26 1999

Oops... yes, sorry guys... well spotted infocus. :eek:

Now corrected in original post

John Willett
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Quote:
Originally posted by SOFT TOUCH:
Chrome, I have tried to use the K6/ME66 as replacement for the on board mike on the PD150 but it's hopeless. Every single touch of the camera, no matter how slight sounds like a bomb going off. So I have only ever used it as an extension mike with an 8ft cable.
Do you use a special attachment to stop this noise then?

Use a
Rycote Multimount it absorbs all the shocks and raises it higher to stop it getting in-vision.

Ideally use a Rycote Softie as well to stop wind noise.

I hope this helps.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

John Willett
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chrome:
...you could buy Sennheiser's G2 500 series. They are more expensive (of course!) but IMHO well worth it if you are serious about weddings. These are of course UHF systems.

They have the facility on the reciever to perform a scan of up to 20 frequencies within one 'bank' (there are also 9 banks). When you do the scan, it determines which other of those frequencies are currently being used and then a simple second press of the button locks those frequencies out in that bank, so you can select any of the remaining and you 'should' be ok.

Take care - this is not really legal.

Ideally buy a £75 mobile licence and use "Bank 6" - this has the 8 intermodulation-free UK-legal frequencies.

"Bank 8" has as it's first four frequencies the 4 licence-free ones - but these are NOT IM-free with the licenced ones.

You cannot legally use any of the other frequency banks in the UK unless you have a site-specific licence (£80 a year).

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

Chrome
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Yes John's right I should have mentioned that. I don't want to be accused of encouraging criminal behaviour!

Oh and John, the Lightwave 'mini-mount' and 'equalizer' (one of which is specifically designed to work with the Sony PD cameras) is IMO a lot neater than the Rycote system. I have a feeling that is why Rycote took over Lightwave and moved the manufacture to the UK.

John Willett
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chrome:
Oh and John, the Lightwave 'mini-mount' and 'equalizer' (one of which is specifically designed to work with the Sony PD cameras) is IMO a lot neater than the Rycote system. I have a feeling that is why Rycote took over Lightwave and moved the manufacture to the UK.

Neater, maybe, but the Rycote is technically the better product.

Lightwave is the lower cost alternative.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.

mooblie
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The Rycote also looks much higher and hence out of the field of view?

(I may be wrong here and so deserve to be shot down in flames.)

Martin - DVdoctor in moderation. Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

Chrome
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John, the Lightwave Equalizer and Mini-mount is more expensive than the Rycote softie and multi-mount, it's hardly the "...lower cost alternative".

But what moobile says is true it is higher and therefore more out of the way. However it also throws the center of gravity out if you are using a larger mic; I have tried it. This tends to make it a bit harder to hold when not on a tripod especially if using one hand (something I rarely do BTW).

I have never had any problem using the mini-mount, but I have to admit I'm not using an equalizer or softie on the mic, simply the foam shield with a rycote fluffy. It's not in the field of view even with the W/A on. I'm using a shorter mic than the K6/ME66 as well though, but this did upet the balance and I dont think it's as heavy as the K6/ME66.

John Willett
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I think the Multimount has superiour shock protection, but I can't be sure.

Give Rycote a ring - as they own both you'll get a straight answer.

I use a Softie for my Neumann KMR81i and a full Rycote Basket setup with ConnBox for my stereo Sennheiser MKH 30/40 MS rig.

John

John
 
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand pictures.