Best Wireless Lavalier Mic?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by classicaliberal, May 16, 2012.

  1. classicaliberal, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012

    classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #1
    I'm in the market for a wireless lavalier mic, and was hoping I could get some advice. My knowledge of fine audio is fairly limited, and I haven't been able to find any good online resources which review such products... so any help would be much appreciated.

    I use a Panasonic GH2 DSLR for all of my video shoots.
    I primarily do interview style videos, but often the subjects are moving about.
    Top priority is that it's high quality stereo sound, also don't want to pay an arm and a leg.
    Right now I'm using a cheap wired lavalier mic... the sound is good, but it's only mono.
    Hopefully the main unit is fairly compact so its easy to manage around the GH2.

    Thank you for the advice!
     
  2. Small White Car, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012

    Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #2
    I've been very fond of the Sennheiser systems. I don't know what your price range is but I consider these to be very high quality for the price.


    Here's 2 versions of the same model, they are in different frequency ranges. You should probably choose one over the other depending on where you live, but I don't know how to figure that out. Perhaps calling B&H directly and asking might be a good idea.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ser_EW_112P_G3_A_EW112_p_G3_Camera_Mount.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ser_EW_112P_G3_B_EW112_p_G3_Camera_Mount.html


    EDIT: If this is too expensive I'd suggest your next step is to look at wired lavs along with a long XLR cable. I'd rather have a good quality wired lav than a cheap and crappy wireless system. Working with cheap wireless audio is dreadful because there's really nothing you can do if it's not working well. Bad lights? Move somewhere else. Bad tripod head? Lock it down. Bad wireless audio? You are SCREWED. So either pay up for something good or just take the extra minute to roll out a cable. Both are good options.
     
  3. infowarfare macrumors 6502

    #3
    You do realize that when you record dialog (especially with lavalier mics) that it should be in mono, right?
     
  4. boch82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    #4
    I second the seinheisers. Make sure you go with the ME-2 mic....the ME-4 is very good but not good for someone to walk around.

    Also you all mics should be mono. You mix it to stereo (actually dual mono) in post so it plays on both left and right channels.
     
  5. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #5
    Good tips, thank you! That does seem a lot more expensive than I had thought it would be. But it sounds like you don't want to go much cheaper because quality drops off rather fast?



    No, I did not realize that! Thank you! I assumed it was in stereo.... I do most of my editing in iMovie now... I don't think there's a real easy way to switch over audio to dual-mono in iMovie, but I'll look into it some more.



    Is the difference between the ME-2 and the ME-4 basically what DIRECTION they pick up audio in? I was reading something about this on Wikipedia this morning. Sounds like you're saying 'omnidirectional' is the way to go for a lavalier?

    Also, is it a good/better idea to buy the mic separately from the wireless system?
     
  6. puckhead193, May 16, 2012
    Last edited: May 16, 2012

    puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #6
    I'll throw another vote for the sennheiser's. I have the ENG combo... It comes with the ME2/4 lav mic. which is a good mic for starting out.
    Check this link to find which channels are being used to see if you should get "A" "B" or "G"
    http://www.sennheiserusa.com/FindFrequency/
     
  7. Craigy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7

    I use a Senhiser G3 system and a Rode Lavailer and get great sound into my GH2 and Tascam DR100
     
  8. matteusclement macrumors 65816

    matteusclement

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    victoria
    #8
    I have this system and it SLAYS!!!
    I have NEVER had interference.
    The audio will work through walls and 50 feet away.
    The battery life is great.
    The audio is top notch.
    I believe it to be THE BEST.
     
  9. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #9
    Spend as much as you can afford.

    I generally don't cheap out on things, but I cheaped out on this wireless setup:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/68057-REG/Audio_Technica_W88_24_830_Pro_88W_Camera.html

    and was very sorry. Interference on both channels when it was really needed.

    Switching to a cabled dynamic mike about 2 minutes before the performance was to begin was no fun at all, but with both channels bad what could I do?

    I shudder to think about it. A dancer was involved and the whole point of wireless was for the (moving) speaker to have no trailing cable.

    Yes, I tested in the performance space, but not at the same time of day.
     
  10. treehorn macrumors 6502

    treehorn

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    #10
    I rented the G3 a few weeks ago and loved it. It lasted 6 hours and 40 interviews without problem (and with very little battery usage from the looks of the meter). If I A) had the spare cash and B) needed to use it more than the rather infrequent times I do I would so buy it.

    If you can afford it and it's something you will be using a lot...it's a nice set up.
     
  11. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #11
    The G3 sounds like one heck of a system. A few questions...

    For those of you who've added a Rode mic to this setup, why did you do so? Is the stock microphone not up to snuff? Seems strange for a $600+ wireless system? Or is the Rode just a premium upgrade?

    Is it possible to add an additional input device to this system? If the interview is between person A and person B on screen, can I bring in audio from both individuals with this setup? (I'm assuming you'd have to buy an additional transmitting unit?

    Also, what about cheap mono to stereo adapters... would this eliminate to export and re-import audio in iTunes to achieve sound in both speakers?
     
  12. musique macrumors regular

    musique

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    #12
    The mic that comes with the G3 is OK, but the Rode is discernibly better. The Rode has the additional benefit of its array of connectors/adapters. You can purchase one that will connect to the Sennheiser G3 transmitter and you can purchase another to use with an XLR cable. This means that the Rode can be used wired or wireless.

    Regarding the use of an additional wireless, the answer, unfortunately, is no: You need to purchase both a transmitter and a receiver for each channel you want to record.
     
  13. Magrathea macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    #13
    What ever you choose do NOT go with the cheap Azden systems for a couple of hundred bucks, you will always get interference. You will need to spend a min of 4$700 or so. My Senhheiser has always worked well and if you get one off ebay you MUST look at what band it is on. We got burned with a unit that is now in theory illegal so make sure you get the correct band for your country.

    Yes I have the G3 I think.
     
  14. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #14
    I'm having the same problem with the mono sound. Yes, I understand it should be mono, but with me just using iMovie, there doesn't seem to be a way to double up the audio to come from both left and right.

    I'm using a fairly cheap Sony wireless mic (paid about $150 for it) and I can back up that you do get what you pay for. It works, but if there's too much distance between me and the speaker, or if they move the wrong way, I pick up a small bit of interference and static.
     
  15. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    #15
    Can someone expand a bit on the answers to these questions? Thanks!
     
  16. Kenaudio macrumors member

    Kenaudio

    Joined:
    May 6, 2012
    Location:
    Europe
    #16
    I have written about these mics a few days ago in my blog....there is a big amount of cool lav mics on the market but you should get at least 2 or 3 to compare them. Spend a bit more money rather than buying crap....Hope this helps!!!

    Cheers,
    KA
     
  17. Arrowk127 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #17
    I know that this might be out of your price range but I see a lot of professionals using Lectrosonic wireless microphones. Very small transmitter and it allows you to chose which microphone you want to use with the transmitter. We use countryman microphones with the lectrosonic transmitter because they are very small and are easy to hide in clothing. There are a ton of different versions out there as well but most of them allow you to select the frequency to transmit on too. Check e-bay. You might be able to get a used one for a discount.
     
  18. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

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    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #18
    Just curious, I recorded on my Canon 600D (mini-jack, unbalanced I guess). I rented the sony uwp v1 which isn't super cheap.

    Still I had a lot of noise. Luckily Adobe Audition got rid of all the noise in no time, without a hassle.

    I guess using mini-jack doesn't help. But is XLR really such an improvement? Did I get a cheap wireless set? Or is there always a small amount of noise?
     
  19. julesw macrumors member

    julesw

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    #19
    I like the sennheisers referred to above ^^ have filmed and directed many TV shows using them and if they get past the stringent TV broadcast technical checks you can be sure they'll do the job!

    Also re. the mono issue, when you export from imovie etc and set the sound to mono so it will split over both tracks and won't come out of just one speaker.
     
  20. texbluebonnet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    #20
    Good quality wired lavalier mic system?

    "EDIT: If this is too expensive I'd suggest your next step is to look at wired lavs along with a long XLR cable. I'd rather have a good quality wired lav than a cheap and crappy wireless system. Working with cheap wireless audio is dreadful because there's really nothing you can do if it's not working well. Bad lights? Move somewhere else. Bad tripod head? Lock it down. Bad wireless audio? You are SCREWED. So either pay up for something good or just take the extra minute to roll out a cable. Both are good options.[/QUOTE]"

    I'm looking for a levalier mic system for our son in college (film major) and read this thread. Just wondered what the best "wired lav" would be since the suggested wireless system is a bit expensive for us, so looking for other options possible. Would appreciate any advice. Also, if you know of a good shotgun mic we should look at, that would be great, too. Do I need to look at systems that are compatible with his video camera or will all these mics work with any video camera? Thank you for any advice you can offer us!
     
  21. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #21
    If he's looking for a wireless lag kit to add to his equipment, I wouldn't consider a wired system in order to save money. It completely negates the purpose of being wireless and he'll be limited being tethered to the camera or mixer. Sennheiser and Lectrosonics are at the top of the list but Sony and Shure make some affordable kits. And if they're too expensive then I would look at Samson or Audio Technica in the budget range.

    As for shotguns, Sennheiser and Neumann top the list there, with Sony being that middle tier again, the Audio Technica as a budget option, along with the Rode.

    Most gear can be made to work with each other. You may just need different adapters in some cases. If he has XLR inputs on the camera the he's good to go. Otherwise it's probably a mini jack.

    I would say he would get more use out of the shotgun if you had to choose between the two.
     
  22. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #22
    I'm looking at the Sennheiser wireless systems as well, but recent news articles have me taking a wait-and-see:

    http://www.prosoundweb.com/article/...pensate_owners_wireless_microphone_equipment/

    Looks like (in the US) the FCC is going to royally mess with audio guys by reallocating the frequencies yet again. I guess gov't wants the big $$$ from the big telecoms (who want the spectrum for cell phones and whatnot), and who cares about video and film production, live performances or church services?

    I can't afford to throw away any more working systems.
     
  23. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #23
    I absolutly 100% recommend a Tram TR50.
    http://www.trammicrophones.com

    The power supply is required and lets you use the mic with a standard XLR cable. If you need wireless then I've got at set of
    Lectro UHF um100
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/533267-REG/Lectrosonics_LMA_21_LMa_Frequency_Agile_Digital_Hybrid.html


    Don't think about it any more. just get one. The TR50 are tiny and easy to hide. The sound is very, very transparent. When you listen using good studio monitors and close your eyes you'd wear the person you recorded is really there.

    I can use the TR50 both wired and wireless. The Lectro wireless system is build like a brick, you could likely drive a car over the unit


    About mono vs. stereo mics: Mics are mono. You cancan it onto a pair of tracks when you edit the video. The only think I'd record in stereos "ambient" background sounds. Even then most people will just use two crossed microphones. For dialog you really want a normal mono mic so you can place the sound in the steoro image yourself in post.
    ----------

    You are exactly correct. If yu can't afford the best wireless system don't bother.

    I like the system I described because it goes both ways. the TR50 mic is setup with a mini-XLR that plugs into either the power supply for use as a wired mic or it plugs into the transmitter for wireless use.

    I'd go wired when possible. Many times you can.
     
  24. kohlson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    #24
    Easily done in Audacity:
    - Cmd D to duplicate the single existing track
    - Left click the little down arrow to the right og Audio Trac, to the left og the wave forms.
    - Select one as left track, the other as the right track
    - Select stereo track

    In Audition: Effects-Amplitude & Compression-Channel Mixer
     
  25. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #25
    You don't need to mess with audacity. Both quick time and garage band will do this for you.

    Also why are you using iMovie? If yo are asking about "the best microphone" you've obviously got a budget. Get FCPX. Then what you do a disconnect the audio track and you can use key frame automation it you like to pan the mono mic into the stereo. Otherwise all you get is the sound coming from dead center. Normally you want the sound to match the screen location. Place one a little to the right and one a little to the left.

    If you care enough to spend the $$$ for a good audio setup then you need the back end software tools or you get the same amateurish audio result. And it really is true that people who know nothing about video can spot poor audio a mile away. Clients will put up with blurry images, camera shake and what not but not crappy sound.
     

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