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February 25, 2015 at 7:24 PM #85065ErikJonParticipant
I am trying to find a good lapel microphone to use with my Canon VIXIA HF R500 camcorder…
The problem is that I live in Venezuela, South America, where politics and the economy are so bad, that it is not easy to find the right accessories when I need them. I travel back to Atlanta, once a year, and try to pick up better equipment with each trip, but, for the moment, I need to make do with what I can find here locally.
Last trip home, when I bought the camera and began preparing for my first filming project, somebody recommended that I buy a shotgun microphone, and I did. It is the Polsen SCL-1075. As I film now, it has helped a lot, but is still not close enough to the subjects for better sound. If I had a little more help, and a boom, I suppose I could hold it over their heads, but I would rather not go that far, just yet, but only as a last resort. (Below is the link to the Polsen mic)
But, as I intended to shoot a series of skits, to use in my line of work, with two or three actors in each–each person using hidden microphones–I had expected to use lapel-microphones mainly, and to use the shotgun only as a back-up, by recording with all of them simultaneously. In fact, in my ignorance, I counted on using little computer microphones like the Genius Handsfree Clip-on Omni-directional Microphone, as they had the same 3.5mm stereo plug…
Of course, as soon as I plugged it into the camcorder, I heard nothing in the test recording. It was too bad, because I had bought two of them for just the purpose. What a dummy.
In fact, while I was first in Atlanta, making general plans for this project, someone had recommended that I buy a little microphone mixer, in order to plug several microphones into my camcorder simultaneously. I ended up buying the Azden CAM-3, listed here…
Unfortunately, as I was counting on the lapel mics that I already had, I did not bother to buy a different type of mic. As it stands, these computer mics do not work at all with this mixer, nor when plugged directly into the camcorder.
I might add that my Polsen shotgun works fine with this Azden mixer, and works fine plugged directly into the camcorder jack, also. The Polsen uses one AA battery inside it. What does not work is the computer mic described above.
In the meantime, I have to make these videos as soon as possible, working with what I can find locally.
I have three digital memo recorders, and I put one in each subject's pocket, attaching the same computer-mics described above, to those recorders, and that worked well for getting sound a lot closer to the subject. (In fact, the quality was not as good as I had hoped, even in "HQ mode") The worst part is that, on my video editor, on the computer, I will have to sync the sound manually from each recorder, to the video, in order to get the best results with these little memo-recorders. I would rather have all the audio going directly into the camera during filming, to avoid that very tedious process, not to mention the touch-up that I have to do on each audio recording, on the computer.
I am assuming that, until now I have been using the wrong "type" of microphone, all along, and not just the wrong model. (Most of you are probably saying, "Duh…no kidding.")
So, in Venezuela I went all over town looking at other possibilities to replace the computer mics, so that I could plug something better into the Azden mixer, and run the mixer into the camera.
While I found lots of big, traditional, hand-held microphones in local stores, I found no "lapel mics" as such (although there are hundreds back home in the U.S.A.). What I did find locally–at two different stores–was the tiny VCM-3 Peavey "Choir microphone"…
While it does not have a clip, it looks like a lapel mic, and with the windscreen taken off, it is even smaller. Moreover, because of the nice exchange rate at the moment, on old stock, I could buy this mic for $88 brand new here, which may be cheaper than back home. Nevertheless, the question is "Will it work on my camcorder?"
The store would probably not allow me to return it, if it did not work, so I don't want to take a chance without being sure. After looking at the specs provided through the links above, what would you say? Is it a sure bet or is it rather another wrong choice?
And, by the way, would you also please tell me what the correct "type" of microphone is that I need–in any case–in order for it to work on my camcorder?
If there are several "types" that will work, please tell me what each one is called. Please also explain briefly to me, if you will, why one type works and not another. This way, I will not only understand whether the choir mic will work, but, if I stumble across another mic somewhere, I will immediately know whether it is the right type as well.
If you can excuse my ignorance on this subject, I will be grateful for all the suggestions and information that you can provide–especially whether this Peavey will do.
February 28, 2015 at 2:57 AM #211803brunerwwMember
I looked at the spec sheet on the Peavey and, sadly, it has a mini 3 pin XLR connector and will not plug directly either into your camcorder or your mixer.
The problem with your existing lapel mics is likely that they are designed for PC mono jacks and not camera stereo jacks. Is there a way to find a mono to stereo adapter there?
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