Wireless Lavalier Mics?

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    • #40871
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I’m looking for a good UHF or VHF band wireless lavalier mic kit. I need two lavaliers going to the same receiver. I’m mainly doing wedding videography. Can anyone suggest anything? Is there a preferred brand (Azden, Sure, Sony, Nady)? Also, is there a preferred band (UHF or VHF)?

      Thanks for your help.

    • #174420
      Avatariamtwisted
      Participant

      I am using a sony but I am thinking of an Azden. I get good quality sound from the lapel mic but I keep replacing the mic due to the cords.
      As a back up I would suggest a digital audio recorder with a second lavalier mic. I use these with a sony vx2100’s by the way. The sony VX2100 is nice in low light conditions. I lost sound from my lapel mic when the groom was saying his vows in one of the noisiest wedding I have been in the last 20 years. That was a lesson for me I did not have to retake the course either. I want to let you know I have not been doing video long and others can probably give better advise. But I thought I would bring up the digital audio recorder as back up. I have been doing Photography for over 20 years with my wife and more and more brides asked if we did video. I took a class but I am finding nothing beats experiance.

    • #174421
      AvatarPhilontilt
      Participant

      There are so many different choices that can be made when it comes to mics. However, in any video production, the sound quality can make or break the entire video. That being said, don’t skimp. For sure go with UHF, take my word for it. Personally I have used Azden for a while, but there are other good brands. Just think twice about the QUALITY before you go lower than about $350. Hope I am not too late to be of help.

      Phil
      http://www.altaregoproductions.com

    • #174422
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Nobody caught the error in the original post. You cannot go into the same receiver with two or more mics. Each mic needs it’s own receiver.

    • #174423
      AvatarPhilontilt
      Participant

      Actually, Azden makes a VHF model. However, I don’t know how much it can be trusted, and your audio is NOT something you want to worry about.

      Phil
      http://www.altaregoproductions.com

    • #174424
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Phil on tilt Wrote:

      Actually, Azden makes a VHF model.

      Azden may have multiple receivers (channels) in one box, but it is physically impossible to use more than one wireless mic transmitter per receiver.

      Wireless mics range from the very cheap: 25-50 MHz AM units with a range of about ten feet, to the very expensive: Multi-channel FM UHF racks for stage productions.

      Somewhere in the middle, there’s us – the prosumers. All wireless mics are analog devices. They are either AM or FM, but nonetheless, analog. If you try to put two transmitters on the same channel, then the AM receiver will give you a hetrodyne squeal, or the FM receiver will randomly switch back and forth to whichever transmitter is strongest at that moment.

      The only way to use a single channel for multiple mics is through digital multiplexing, and the equipment would be more expensive than the best stage michrophone racks. Worse, when you go digital, you have to compromise sound quality. (Just look at the crap we put up with on our digital cellphones). The sound pros would ever tolerate that, so while the rest of the world goes digital, wireless mics will still be analog.

      Steve Mann

    • #174425
      AvatarPhilontilt
      Participant

      I am going to start by saying that I respect your knowledge of the craft, and I agree with almost all of your posts, including the one about blacking new tapes being a waste of time. However, I think you might have to take a look at the Azden website http://www.azdencorp.com/shop/customer/home.php?cat=36. I was wrong about the VHF part though. Because they also have UHF. The 200 ULT model is a dual 63 channel on camera UHF wireless bodypack system. The reciever allows for two wireless transmitters at the same time. The reciever has two channel selectors to set the frequency for each of the two seperate transmitters. I never said they were on the same channel. It sells for $850. Check it out, it’s always good to keep up on the latest equipment. Hope this helps out.

      Phil
      http://www.altaregoproductions.com

    • #174426
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Phil on tilt Wrote:

      The reciever allows for two wireless transmitters at the same time. The reciever has two channel selectors to set the frequency for each of the two seperate transmitters.

      I am familiar with this model and I own two 500UDR’s. The 200UPR has two receivers in the package. They market the box as a “two-channel receiver”, but technically it’s still two receivers inside – one for each transmitter.

      Their specs say: “The new 200UPR receiver allows the use of two wireless transmitters at the same time. It features twin-antennas, a 3.5mm -64dbB 2-channel mic level output jack, two recessed On/Off switchs, two Power On/ Signal Received LED and 2 sets of channel selectors to set the desired frequency for each receiver.”

      I’ve been tempted to buy the 200UPR receiver because it’s a pain to schlep two 500UDR’s around if I am moving at all. But, the 200 UPR is *not* a diversity receiver. To me, that’s a deal-killer.

      Steve Mann

    • #174427
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey guys,

      Thanks for all the info!

      And no, it’s not too late, as my next wedding isn’t until October. So you can keep going if you’d like.

    • #174428
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Didn’t realize that you were still around…

      I am fond of the UHF Azden’s, but then I own a few.

      Stay away from anything VHF or AM. VHF uses “shared frequencies” with other radio services and interference when you don’t want it is a real possibility. AM is called “Antique Modulation” for a reason, but it’s cheap. Real cheap.

      You should also make sure that you can select the frequency of the transmitter and receiver. If you can’t then you are almost assured that you’ll find a DJ using the same gear on the same frequency at a wedding shoot.

      Hope this helps.

    • #174429
      AvatarDVine
      Participant

      The lav mics i typically use are Sonys. I use the Sony electret condenser mic.
      It works wonderfully; the sound reproduction is incredible. There have been times when i have to mic kid talent but they can’t wear mics. The adult talent near them can wear it and it picks it up!

    • #174430
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for your help! Just an update:

      I found a local place that rents Lectrosonic lavs for $54 per day per lav. I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to do for this job. Sometime around early 2006 I’m going to buy the Azden 200 UHF series.

    • #174431
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      From what I understand with VHF, if the signal hits an object, there is a hiss or a dropout. With UHF, the signal either goes through the object or goes around it. It’s probably also a cleaner signal. Azden’s UHF has 63 selectable channels versus the VHF’s 2 channels.

      I’m going with the Azden UHF versus Sony or Sennheiser. With Azden, you can get 2 lavs and receiver for about $650, whereas with other brands it costs almost that amount for one lav & receiver.

    • #174432
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Rocktooloud Wrote:

      From what I understand with VHF, if the signal hits an object, there is a hiss or a dropout. With UHF, the signal either goes through the object or goes around it. It’s probably also a cleaner signal. Azden’s UHF has 63 selectable channels versus the VHF’s 2 channels.

      VHF and UHF are both line-of-sight, so any in-line objects will attenuate the signal. VHF tands to have some problems, though. First, and most problematic, is that the VHF frequencies are shared with other FCC licensees on a secondary basis.

      Other licensees??

      Yes. You need a license for a wireless mic unless it operates in the 49 MHz, AM/FM broadcast, or 902-928 MHz band. [Part 15, 90.113, 90.265(b)]. (Note, broadcast news and sports have discrete frequencies to use that are individually licensed).

      But, I don’t know anyone outside of the broadcast industry who has ever applied for one nor been busted for not having an FCC license.

      The second reason that VHF should be avoided is because to get true diversity receivers, you need the antennas to be at least 15-inches apart. (1/4 wave length – 6-inches for UHF). Since you cannot buy a true diversity receiver for VHF, they will always be subject to dropouts and hiss.

      UHF wireless mics are preferred because even though there are as many, if not more users, the range is shorter and there are more frequencies available, thus the interference potential is far smaller. And you can get true diversity to reduce dropouts.

      I do have some VHF FM units that I use only as a backup. (I do a lot of live theater). It’s rare that I get any interference or noise, but I would never depend solely on a VHF receiver.

      Ironically, most theater talent mics are VHF-FM.

      Steve Mann

    • #174433
      AvatarDaveC
      Participant

      SteveMann Wrote:

      Since you cannot buy a true diversity receiver for VHF, they will always be subject to dropouts and hiss.

      I generally agree with everything you post but I have to say Hmm…. here? I have been using VHF True Diversity wireless systems for years. I know they were for sale up to about a year ago but maybe you can’t buy them today? I haven’t tried but I know AT, Shure and Samson made them and they worked great. But like you say they share spectrum with TV channels 7 – 13. So you have to pick a frequency that is for a TV channel that isn’t in use in your area. But you don’t want to travel far from home with most of these units because you may move to an area that uses that TV channel. But sometime in 2006 or later, all VHF TV frequencies will be reallocated to non-TV use. So when your TV set quits working on over the air channels 2 through 13, your VHF wireless mic’s will possibly quit working at the same time. At that time some other powerful transmitter may start using your frequency and overwhelm your wimpy wireless transmitter.

      I don’t think there is any inherent reason for VHF to have more hiss than UHF. A good quality VHF system should not add any more hiss than a good quality UHF system. Hiss level pretty much depends on the quality of your receiver, not VHF vs. UHF. At least that is my experience in using both types over the past 20 years. UHF hasn’t been around quite 20 years yet or at least nobody that I knew could afford one. But UHF is the way of the future. Prices have really dropped.

      I just bought 2 new Audio Technica UHF true diversity (AT1451) lavalier systems for my church for $200 each. I only had to add a $75 clip-on mic to make each one totally functional. They are rock solid with no detectable hiss that I can hear in the recordings. But they wouldn’t work for portable video because the receivers are 60hz AC powered.

      Our older VHF Audio Technica true diversity system didn’t have any hiss either but it’s body pack transmitter developed a loud pop when it was powered OFF so I retired it and will try to fix it when I have some time.

      Dave

    • #174434
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      DaveC Wrote:

      I generally agree with everything you post but I have to say Hmm…. here? I have been using VHF True Diversity wireless systems for years.

      True diversity requires two separate receivers (at least the RF section) and that the antennas be 1/4-wavelength apart. At VHF frequencies, that is about 15-inches.

      There are some VHS Wireless mics advertising as “diversity” receivers that sport two antennas into a single receiver. While this arrangement does offer some immunity from dropouts due to phasing and multipath, it’s not true diversity. I suspect that they are careful to not advertise them as “true diversity”.

      Steve

    • #174435
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for clarifiying that guys. I’m now going to consider a true diversity receiver.

    • #174436
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Rocktooloud Wrote:

      Thanks for clarifiying that guys. I’m now going to consider a true diversity receiver.

      Also, avoid the new “digital wireless microphones”. They are fine for DJ or live events, but they bring with them an annoying digital artifact known as latency. In a live event, no one will notice that the sound from the speakers arrives as much as a tenth of a second after the lips move, but on DV, that would be as much as ten frames.

      Steve Mann

    • #174437
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      really? good to know.

    • #174438
      AvatarEndeavor
      Participant

      Have you thought about using Minidisk or another type of on-person recorder? They’re smaller and provide better sound quality without the risk of interference. The only drawback is syncing the audio and video but that’s not that hard.

    • #174439
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Time considerations for one.

      Sure you may want to route one for backup but it’s still best to record into your camera. Helps avoid that poorly looped look, that some videos have these days. Besides, DV isn’t nice to us when adding in a seperately record dialogue sound source. I’ve done it for weddings and concerts, but it does take some extra time.

    • #174440
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Jonathan Decker Wrote:

      Helps avoid that poorly looped look, that some videos have these days.

      I’m not sure what you refer to here.

      My specialty is stage event videos and I use two cameras (sometimes three), multiple MD recorders in front and on the sides of the stage, a mono feed from the house mixer and my on-camera shotguns. It takes me about five minutes to sync them all together on the timeline.

      In editing I pick the sound source that is the best for the dialogue.

      My biggest complaint is with the real-time audio capture from the MD.

      Steve

    • #174441
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Have you thought about using Minidisk or another type of on-person recorder? They’re smaller and provide better sound quality without the risk of interference. The only drawback is syncing the audio and video but that’s not that hard.

      I totally forgot about that option. Thanks! Yeah, I’m not too worried about the synching. I do it all the time for various productions and it takes me about 2 minutes.

    • #174442
      AvatarEndeavor
      Participant

      Yeah! With NLE you can basically pick any point in the clip to sync. Always works for me.

      My biggest complaint is with the real-time audio capture from the MD.

      If you use something like this:
      http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MicroTrack-main.html
      You dont have to worry about capturing the audio. These run $400 (street price) and are aimed at professional audio recording. Way better than wireless if you ask me.

    • #174443
      AvatarSteveMann
      Participant

      Endeavor Wrote:

      If you use something like this:
      http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/MicroTrack-main.html
      You dont have to worry about capturing the audio. These run $400 (street price) and are aimed at professional audio recording. Way better than wireless if you ask me.

      I would if I could afford it. Right now, I buy MD recorders on E-Bay for less than $100, and if one gets stolen or damaged, I’m not out much.

      Steve

    • #174444
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Thanks for that re-post, Compusolver.

      Just an update: Last Saturday, I shot the wedding ceremony with the rented Lectrosonics 400 Series (?) wireless lav mic. The audio came out great! The bride was literally whispering the vows of course, and everything picked up nice and clean.

      Since I can’t afford a Lectrosonics unit, I’ll be opting for an Azden 200 UHF series, and maybe a mini-disc or compact-flash recorder for backup. Thanks guys once again for all your help.

    • #174445
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      What kind of range do you get with UHF (indoors & outdoors)?

    • #174446
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I haven’t used both so I don’t know the performance difference, but I know that the obvious difference is the price. The Azden 200 series runs for about $650 for two lavs and a receiver, and the Lectrosonics runs about $3500 for one lav and receiver. Also, I swapped the stock Lectrosonics lav mic for a nice Tram lav. That goes for about $350.

      Also, the Azden gets 62 or 63 channels, the Lectrosonics gets about 120 I think.

    • #174447
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Just an update:

      I bought the Azden 200 series UHF wireless mic system. What a great system! I got the receiver and two lav mics for $645.95 from B&H. It’s amazing! The only time it gliched was when I made it go through like 4 walls and a ceiling! I really reccommend this mic!

    • #174448
      AvatarDigitalVideo
      Participant

      Whats the difference between the Azden 100 combo system and the 200?

      What does the 51XT – UHF Plug-In Transmitter do on the Azden 200 combo set?
      Trying to follow this thread but it’s like reading another languge.

    • #174449
      AvatarDigitalVideo
      Participant

      200ULT Dual 63-Channel On-Camera UHF Wireless Bodypack System
      Details & Specs

      The 200ULT is a complete dual-channel wireless system that consists of the 200UPR receiver and two 10BT transmitters.
      The new 200UPR receiver allows the use of two wireless transmitters at the same time. It features twin-antennas, a 3.5mm -64dbB 2-channel mic level output jack, two recessed On/Off switches, two Power On/ Signal Received LED and 2 sets of channel selectors to set the desired frequency for each receiver. Using crystal-control and PLL synthesis the 200UPR operates for better than 8 hours on 6 “AA” batteries. The receiver comes with a “hot-shoe” mount, a 3.5mm to 3.5mm output cable and a 3.5mm to twin XLR cable.

      Also included are two 10BT body-pack transmitters supplied with Azden EX-503 omni-directional lapel microphones and metal belt-clips. In addition to the 3.5mm mic input jack the transmitter has a Power On switch with an associated LED a separate Standby switch for audio muting and a set of channel selector switches. The 10BT runs better than 8 hours on a single 9V battery.

      Azden web site says “The new 200UPR receiver allows the use of two wireless transmitters at the same time” Lets say you mic the groom and the paster- do both voices record on the same tape?

    • #174450
      AvatarDigitalVideo
      Participant

      If you guys were to buy the combo set which one would it be-

      Azden Dual Channel Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System – Includes: 200UPR Receiver, 10BT Body Pack and 10HT Handheld Transmitters 649.95

      Azden Dual Channel Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System – Includes: 200UPR Receiver, 10BT Body Pack and 51XT Plug-In Transmitters 719.95

      and why?

    • #174451
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Digital Video Wrote:

      If you guys were to buy the combo set which one would it be-

      Azden Dual Channel Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System – Includes: 200UPR Receiver, 10BT Body Pack and 10HT Handheld Transmitters 649.95

      Azden Dual Channel Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System – Includes: 200UPR Receiver, 10BT Body Pack and 51XT Plug-In Transmitters 719.95

      and why?

      The correct answer is that is that there isn’t a correct answer. It’s up to you! What do you want?

      I have the 200UPR and I ordered it with the body-pack and the handheld combination. Remember that you can also order the various transmitters by themselves too. They just put these packages together for you up front for some reason. The only restriction is that you can only use two transmitting devices at any given time on its own channel. However, at least this gives you some flexibility as to what mic setup you want to go with. In fact I’m thinking about ordering another handheld mic to help me out with plays and concerts amongst other events. Thats actually the best way to capture true stereo with separated mics.

      RAM

    • #174452
      AvatarDigitalVideo
      Participant

      Compusolver
      Have you ever had a problem with the paster doing his sermon and the groom telling his bride somthing nasty.
      I remember seeing a tv show where the bride whispering to the groom “I’m not wearing underwear” and she happened to be wearing a mic so the entire church heard this. Playing with sound is one thing but picking apart 2 people talking at the same time I would not want to mess with.

    • #174453
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Oh my gosh you guys…

      Didn’t any of you call her on it and tell her to prove it!

      X-D

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