Radio Mics on a budget - the same old story

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Peter Barden
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Joined: Sep 26 2001

Hi all,

First of all, apologies as this post has in part been covered several times before in this forum, but I've got myself into a state of confusion (being an Offline Editor and not a sound man!) so I'd be grateful for any advice. I've just collected my newSony HVR-HD1000 this week and am now looking to purchase a radio mic, which will cover me for interviews for a doc I'm shooting (primarily in offices and homes) and also to cover me for the odd wedding and corporate video I sometimes shoot.

I spoke to someone at Beachtek and he reccomended the DXA-2s XLR adapter for this model, using the audio monitoring onboard the camera (priced one at Creative Video £158.63 inc VAT).

I guess my upper budget is about £500 for a radio mic, which as I know is probably not enough for what I really want. Having spent all day reading through the net and this forum it seems a safe bet to say that the Sennheiser Evolution G2 500 series would be a safer bet but it looks like it's out of my price range. Having had little experience of radio mics, what's confusing me the most is exactly what I need. For example do I need a plug on transmitter? I guess ultimately what I'm asking is if you had a budget of approximately £500 what would you buy? Which mic, which transmitter and receiver etc? I'm going to have to accept that the mics I buy aren't going to be perfect and that eventually I will almost certainly upgrade but I'd like to get the most reliable/good quality sound in this sort of range. Waffle over. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

The Senheisser G2 you mention, and the Sony equivalent (the UXT diversity) should be right up your street.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

http://www.videokit.co.uk/cgi-bin/store1/commerce.cgi?product=MICROPHONES_AND_ACCESSORIES!RADIOMICS&pid=846.htm#

would be fine for most gigs

a plug on transmitter is nice but I've never had the need. You can use the bodypack with a different lead into a HH mic or just dump it on a table out of sight and use the omni that comes with it

fuddam
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Joined: Nov 19 2005

the sennheisers are more robust than the sonys, for the money. they're solid little beasts, compared to the plasticky plastic plastic of the sony

IMHO.

mooblie
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Joined: Apr 27 2001

The Sennheiser Evolution G2 100 (NOT 500) series is cheaper (as shown in Dave M's link) - might be worth investigating. There are differences between the 100 and 500 - the main ones (John W will correct me) being: the 500 series plug-on transmitter provides phantom power (if your mic requires it - it might not) and the 500 has a wider range of frequency choices.

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

tom hardwick
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Joined: Apr 8 1999

I like your website, Martin.

Peter Barden
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Joined: Sep 26 2001

I second that Martin. The Friends video is very classy. Makes my broadcast editing look amateurish!

"You can use the bodypack with a different lead into a HH mic or just dump it on a table out of sight and use the omni that comes with it" - Dave M

Sorry Dave, just to clarify is the bodypack the transmitter? If I did buy the SENNHEISER ew 112-p G2 and lets say I was filming an interview with just this kit (including mic) how is the mic powered?

Also, how major is the disadvantage of filming on a 100 against a 500. I've read on other posts that the 500 has balanced audio. Does that mean that it's just less prone to interference compared to the 100?

If I were to buy the SENNHEISER ew 112-p G2 kit and use the included mic is the quality generally good? And also is it generally interference free (I know that's variable depending on type of location but in general).

Many thanks again,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

pkbristol
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Joined: Jan 23 2008
Peter,,,Try before you buy

Peter.
I live in Bristol also and have got the Sennheiser EW100 G2 kit ,with plug on transmitter,if you want we could meet up and you can do some testing with my kit if you want.
I've also got the Sennheiser K6ME66 gun mic.
Try before you buy is always best if you can get it.

I could also give you a hand on any shoots if you're in need of a 2nd cam.

Paul.

DAVE M
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Joined: May 17 1999

Yes - the bodypack's the transmitter.

I have the older 500 series so don't feel qualified to state that you won't get problems but you shouldn't. If the mic's connected directly into the camera then the lead's so short that balanced doesn't really come into it. After all - does the sony you have actually have balanced in?

My 500 series has a headphone out. Maybe the 100 has as well? I've always kept it in the back of my mind that I could use the system in reverse should I ever need to have an in ear prompt for a presenter ( and then have to use a wired mic)

The mic should be fine - it doesn't need power (i think!)

JerryLE
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Joined: Oct 1 2005
tom hardwick wrote:
I like your website, Martin.

Google doesn't, all it is seeing is a page title and blank page!... :eek:

It needs some content between the .... tags, even if it's just a link to the page that is loaded into the frame called 'mainFrame' (pages/why_video.html) that the spader can follow.

pkbristol
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Joined: Jan 23 2008

The body pack is the transmitter,i also connect it to the sound desk when possible via XLR to minijack or 1/4 jak to minijack.
I recenlty shot a stage show in Bristol using this and the sound was excellent. sample on the link below

vimeo.com/paulkellett

I'm very happy with my Sennheiser kit.

Dave R Smith
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Joined: May 10 2005
DAVE M wrote:
http://www.videokit.co.uk/cgi-bin/store1/commerce.cgi?product=MICROPHONES_AND_ACCESSORIES!RADIOMICS&pid=846.htm#

would be fine for most gigs

a plug on transmitter is nice but I've never had the need. You can use the bodypack with a different lead into a HH mic or just dump it on a table out of sight and use the omni that comes with it

Thank-you for the reminder Dave on using bodypack transmitter for HH mike.
I had a 'plug in transmitter' on my 'to buy' list, forgetting the bodypack can do the same job.
I happen to have a short xlr to 3.5mm cable which makes it possible and works fine.
I've just been out and bought a 1.5m cable xlr to 3.5 mm (£8 made to my spec by local Music shop) to enable the user a little more flexibility in use.

Peter Barden
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Joined: Sep 26 2001

That's very kind of you to offer Paul and would be much appreciated if you can spare the time. Unfortunately budget wise I'm not able to hire a second camera man at present, however I'm hoping to move away from offline over the next few years towards more self produced work which will hopefully be profitable and have the need for crews. Besides which it's always good to meet fellow video makers.

I don't imagine that the HVR-HD1000 has balanced audio since it only has a 3.5mm jack in. However, I think the Beacktek I'm planning on buying has. I don't know if that makes any difference.

thanks,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

pkbristol
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Joined: Jan 23 2008

My Sennheiser transmitter has a 3.5mm jack out. I just use a 3.5mm to xlr for my EX1, but i've got a lead with a 3.5mm plug at each end so we can try the Sennheiser with your cam if you want.

Contact me on paulkellett1971@hotmail.co.uk

I'm free most days,give me a shout.

Paul

Peter Barden
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Joined: Sep 26 2001

thanks Paul. I'll mail you now

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

John Willett
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Peter Barden wrote:
...is the bodypack the transmitter?

Yes

Peter Barden wrote:
If I did buy the SENNHEISER ew 112-p G2 and lets say I was filming an interview with just this kit (including mic) how is the mic powered?

Plug-in power from the transmitter

Peter Barden wrote:
Also, how major is the disadvantage of filming on a 100 against a 500. I've read on other posts that the 500 has balanced audio. Does that mean that it's just less prone to interference compared to the 100?

Yes - the 500 is balanced, the 100 is unbalanced. You could extend the cable from the receiver on a 500 quite safely, but not on the 100.

Peter Barden wrote:
If I were to buy the SENNHEISER ew 112-p G2 kit and use the included mic is the quality generally good?

Yes - but the optional MKE 2-ew is much better (you then just use the supplied mic. as an emergency back-up).

Peter Barden wrote:
And also is it generally interference free (I know that's variable depending on type of location but in genera?

Depends - it's as good as any high quality radio system. I suggest getting licensed Ch.69 "shared" frequencies which will keep you away from the de-regulated set that most people use.

I hope this helps.

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

John Willett
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DAVE M wrote:
My 500 series has a headphone out. Maybe the 100 has as well?

No - only the EK 500 (and EK 500 G2) has a headphones socket - you can't plug headphones in to the 100 receiver.

DAVE M wrote:
The mic should be fine - it doesn't need power (i think!)

It *does* need power - about 5V plug-in power supplied by the transmitter.

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

Peter Barden
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Joined: Sep 26 2001

thanks John. That's all really useful stuff. So am I right in thinking then that with the 100 series if I just mounted the receiver on a cold shoe on my hvr-hd1000 and didn't use an extension but plugged it straight into my beachtek DXA-6vu XLR adapter (which I've now ordered) that the lack of balanced audio shouldn't be an issue? That is providing the cable is long enough to get from my cold shoe on the top of my camera to the beachtek that's mounted on the bottom of my camera!

many thanks,

Pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

mooblie
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I don't know the HVR-HD1000, but as you're considering a Beachtek I assume it has a 3.5mm mic input jack socket, in which case:

You could forget the Beachtek box, and just go direct from the 100 series receiver (with the supplied 3.5 to 3.5mm cable) direct into the camera. (Unless, of course, you NEED the Beackteck to take input from a second XLR mic as well, in which case, what you've suggested sounds good.)

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

Peter Barden
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Joined: Sep 26 2001

Yer, the purpose of the beachtek is to have access to a second xlr mic. Also, the one i've ordered has audio levels and phantom power which will give me a few more options.

cheers

pete

Offline Television Editor, FCP & Avid

Editing at home: Quad Intel Core i7 Imac 2.93Ghz, 4GB RAM, Mac OSX Leopard, FCP 7

Camera setup: Canon 550D, Vinten Vision Blue Tripod, Canon 100-400 L, Canon 50mm Prime, Canon 18-55

colin rowe
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Google links to Martins site wth no problem. Third down, straight in.

Colin Rowe

John Willett
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Peter Barden wrote:
thanks John. That's all really useful stuff. So am I right in thinking then that with the 100 series if I just mounted the receiver on a cold shoe on my hvr-hd1000 and didn't use an extension but plugged it straight into my beachtek DXA-6vu XLR adapter (which I've now ordered) that the lack of balanced audio shouldn't be an issue? That is providing the cable is long enough to get from my cold shoe on the top of my camera to the beachtek that's mounted on the bottom of my camera!

Yes - should be OK.

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