Wireless Mic advice?

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    • #41810

      I am currently shooting yoga videos and having to record all cuing in post – requiring at least double the time!

      I am now looking for a new camera and wireless mic combo (my Canon Rebel 1di does not have external mic capabilities). I am thinking of a lapel (lavalier) mic so that surrounding noise (like cars/boats/planes) would be minimal and I could move around with it.. However, I am open to all and any ideas/thoughts!

      Also, if you know a good HD camera I should use it with I will be needing help with that too πŸ™‚

      If you want to see the kind of videos I am talking about, check out http://www.balancetree.com


    • #176772

      Look for a directional mic, or uni-directional, as opposed to omni-directional for better vocal isolation. A number of shotgun mics also work well and help reject sound from the sides and are more focused on the narrative source.

      Azden Sennheiser, Sony, Samson are some good brands to start with. Others will chime in soon with their recommendations as well.

    • #176773

      “I am currently shooting yoga videos and having to record all cuing in post”

      I am thinking of a lapel (lavalier) mic so that surrounding noise (like cars/boats/planes) would be minimal and I could move around with it..

      If you’re recording narration (if that’s what you mean by cuing) during post production, there’s no need to be moving around. So you don’t need a lav, and you don’t need wireless. If you go with a wireless set up, then you’re running the risk of interference from cell phones and such. A GOOD wireless mic is a lot more expensive than a wired set up anyway. So save some money and just attach the mic to your camera with XLR cable.

      If you want to get away from ambient noise, then record your narration in a closet. In fact, if there is clothing in the closet, it will reduce the chance of reverberation or echo being recorded.

      I suggest a Shure SM58 with a desktop mic stand and a pop filter.

      As for a camera – I’m assuming your camera will be static on a tripod, right? And yoga isn’t a fast paced activity. So really, an HDV camera will be fine. The Canon HV40 (or whatever generation they’re up to now) is pretty popular, but you’ll need an XLR adapter for your mic. If you want one that is convenient for mics, get a camera that has XLR connections built it, such as the Canon XH A1.

    • #176774

      Also, if you get the Shure SM58 that comes with an XLR to USB adapter, you can record your narration right into your computer with your editing program.

      So you don’t even need a new camera, you can use just your Canon Rebel. The DSLR cameras shouldn’t be too bad at recording video if they’re locked down on a tripod…


    • #176775

      Get a camera with a mike input (naturally), I have an Azden wireless I purchcased for 280.00 from Videoguys with the hi to lo Z adapter. This works really good. You can get the lavelier or the hand held type for the same price. The adapter cable is extra but I recommend you get it. With this setup you can connect to the camera or a Pro/Semi-pro mixer board.

    • #176776

      A headset mic system could do you good if you’re interested in avoiding a lot of post audio work – enabling you to do your planned narrative script as you shoot, recording directly into your new camera.

    • #176777

      Here’s a rookie question. I produce dog training videos. All are shot outdoors and i use a two transmitter Azden wireless system. This setup works fine as long as I have a clear sight line. I frequently do narration explaining what people are about to see in the video and then a conclusion. For the narration, I have always hardwired my lavalier mic to my camera with a 10″ extension cable. I did this until June of this past summer with a Sony HDR-FX7. I taped these narrations myself and the hardwire was a simple way of assuring good sound. Wanting to upgrade my video quality, I bought a Sony Z5U this past June. The image quality is stunning. However, the Z5U has XLR audio connections. I bought a mini jack to XLR cable thinking this would solve my problem. It doesn’t work. I get a constant humming type noise. Would a lavalier mic with a XLR plug solve my problem? My problem being the humming noise. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • #176778

      It depends on the unit you’re working with. For example, I recently purchased a Sony wireless system with a plug-in for converting handheld mics with XLR, and of course the transmitter and receiver, equipped with a Sony lav. The system also came with the miniplug and converter cables you describe. The system warns, however, that due to special wiring in the cable system to power the mic I should be aware there’s a difference in such cables.

      It is possible that your new camera’s external mic circuitry is not cooperating with the particular mini jack to XLR cable you purchased. See if the camera manual advises regarding mic types and/or cable adaptors specifically engineered for its inputs.

    • #176779

      Hum? On a battery-powered system? Sounds like you got the wrong adapter or you are feeding a line-level output from your wireless receiver into a mic-level input on the camera.

      Here is the adapter that I use when I have to connect a consumer microphone to my XLR inputs:


      Before the trolls whine about “Radio Shack” quality – these units are made for Radio Shack by Shure.

    • #176780

      Much of what I’ve purchased from Radio Shack has been great quality, backed 100 percent. I concur, Steve.

    • #176781

      “Before the trolls whine about “Radio Shack” quality….”

      Puh-leeze! I can’t count how many times a quick run to ‘the Shack’ for an adapter and what not saved the day on a shoot or an editing session. I was heartbroken when our local Shack went out of business.

    • #176782

      we now have “The Source” instead of “Radio shack” same store I believe.

      If they haven’t got the adaptor, they usually have the bits to make it yourself…

    • #176783

      Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I will study my manual tonight and hit Radio Shack tomorrow. I’ll let everyone know the result. Again, thank you from a beginner.

    • #176784

      I looked at the Desktop Yoga video.For this type of video where the video is shot and then narration is added. There are a couple of ways to go and budget comes into play real fast.

      For low cost, I think I’d take a good look at the Canon HV40. Inexpensive (you can find it for around $650) Good looking video andexceptionally good Image Stabilization. (also you can easily find wide angle adapter that fits this camera (Raynox 6600)For a more pro model look at the Canon XH-A1S (you can find them around $3,400) You may also want to consider a steadycam type of system for those handheld shots.

      For narration forget the Shure SM-58. These are old style inexpensive dynamic microphones, They were designed back in the 1950’s and primarily for Live applications. The beta 58 is better, but still not designed as a voice-over mic, which is what you truly need.

      The EV RE20 is without a doubt the most widely used voice-over and broadcast microphones. They sell in the $400 price range right now.

      You should also take a look at Audio Technica4040 or the Rode NT-1A (both around $300) Also good is the AKG Perception 220 at under $200 this mic does a remakable job. Any of these mics will give you a very clean and full rich sound. They are condensor mics and require a phantom power supply or a mxing board with Phantom power.

      Or youcould go with a USB mic and get pretty good results recording directly to your computer depending on what editing software you are using. Or use a stand alone recording program such as SONY Soundforge or music studio for the narration and then import the audio clips to your editing software.

      Decent USB mics include the AKG Perception 120, The Audio TEchnica 2020 USB, and the Blue Microphone YETI. The drawback to these USB mics is that they only work on a computer.

      So I recommend geting a mic with more flexibility and use an audio interface to record to the computer. This can something as simple as CoEntrant’s MicPort Pro ($150) or even Blue Microphone’s Icicle ($60) These give you the phanton power you need for studio condensor mics, a simple preamp and convert to USB.

      If you need a bit more control look at an audio interface from mAudio or Presonus. (under $200)

      Hope this helps.

    • #176785
      Tv-5 of Hadley

      BalanceTree — If you can purchase a new camera equipped with external mic connections, I would definitely try for the best quality wireless lavalier you can get. This would certainly be the best to allow for movement as you speak. Especially on location (outdoor) shoots. Azden (among others) does make several small transmitter (w/ lavalier)/ receiver systems specifically designed for camcorders. -Or – If you were shooting in a dance studio, say, you could get by with a decent directional or shotgun mic on a desk stand placed on the floor just out of frame. (The Shure SM58 mentioned above, is one of the standard “ball” shaped “pro” vocal mics. It could actually work on a stand (or better yet, laid on a piece of foam, perhaps a mouse-pad upside down on the floor — again, just out of shot.). Its main benefit is that it’s fairly cheap, and since it is a “dynamic” mic it doesn’t require a battery or power supply like most shoguns do. But even a small shotgun will provide greater rejection of sound you don’t want from the rest of the environment around you. (the shotgun would definitely need to be on a stand, NOT laid on the floor.) An interesting alternative that I use a lot is a directional mic built to pick up on a flat surface — like a floor. Like the low-profile black mics you often see on the front edge of a stage to pick up the actors. Crown makes really good ones (mine are Crown PCC 160 mics) that will give you a “hemisphere” of pickup roughly 6′ on either side of the mic and about 8′ “upstage” from it. It works best if you remain about 3′ from it, no closer, or you talk over it, instead of into it. It has almost NO pickup downstage, or behind it, as it is meant to reject audience noise. But since they are very sensitive “condenser” mics, they require “phantom powering” (from a stand-alone power supply or transmitter module, or a small mixer or camera with “phantom power” capability.) These are “pro” mics and come with XLR connectors.

      However, the mic, and thus its connector configuration, depends on your new camera. If you want to remain with your old one, and must therefore add voice-over in post- production (or during the editing) most editing software allows for this. It would require, of course that you have a decent mic to plug into your computer, or a pro mic run through something like a “Mobile Pre USB” preamp from M-AUDIO that can convert line or mic audio (1/4 ” or XLR connectors) into USB signals for recording into your editing program.

      In any event, voice-over recording and editing takes time. It’s simply the nature of the beast. Taking the time to lay in a decent voice-over track is infinitely
      preferable to using the mic built into your camera. You already know
      what that sounds like. A good close-up voice narration (just like a good music track) will vastly
      elevate the quality of your finished product. Our ears compensate for alot, where
      mics never can. As you seem to realize, there is no substitute for that “close-up” sound. Good Luck!

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