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Need wireless lav / general audio recommendations
  • Has anyone used the Lectrosonics LMa transmitter with the UCR100 or UCR401 receivers?

    I'm trying to budget for a pair of wireless lavs (including two mics, transmitters and receivers) and pretty much don't know what to look for. The budget for everything is about $3000. We want really good sounding mics that are reliable and won't give us problems with RF interference and the like.

    Any audio people who can recommend something in that range? Thanks.

  • 13 Replies sorted by
  • Although i do audio professionally, i don't have much experience with wireless. The usual i encounter are always AKG or Shure, but there's not much i can say about anything else. So i suggest you look through Mix magazine and see if you can get something good out of it : If you want the best lav mics, look at DPA. Their mics have the most natural sound of all mics i know and are very popular despite being quite expensive. That said, there's a good chance you can get 95% of DPA's quality with some chinese shit that will last only a few years. Hard to tell really in the current market. Cheap mics can sound really excellent, but you need good specimen.

  • Thanks @johnnym. As you can tell, I'm not a sound person but I do have a great respect for well-recorded sound. My preference would just be to hire a sound person to really handle this, but for now we have the budget for equipment rather than for people. And then presumably if we bring in people later they'll have access to whatever we buy now. So I'm just trying to assess what a professional sound person would hope to see walking into our offices - and for smaller videos, we'll do our best to learn the equipment.

    Right now we simply boom our talent, usually in front of a green screen, and the audio is pretty abysmal. Lots of echo/reverb and environmental bleed (we're in an office setting with a small studio that isn't sound-proofed), low ceilings, you name it. As we are all mostly camera focused, audio has been an afterthought until now and we're trying to rectify that, because bad sound is in many ways worse than bad video!

  • Sound proofing doesn't have to be expensive. If you don't mind how it looks you can take cheap insulation or curtains. You don't need expensive and heavy bass traps for speech.

    If you have any questions, i'm sure a lot of folks here can give you some great help. I don't record much on location, so i can only tell you about studio work, should you need that info. I don't even know how to hide a lav, should you need to do that.

  • At that budget, I don't know if you can get two sets of Lectrosonics with mics – unless you find a good deal used or something. You could possibly get like Sennheiser G3 or G2s and Sanken COS11 Lav mics to fit em' (kinda like what I did). Then, if I'm on a gig where the budget allows or the production company pays for rentals, then I'll rent the lectrosonics.

    Also, be sure to check out the open wireless bands in the area you'll be shooting around if you have any ideas on that. You don't wanna get transmitter/reciever in a frequency range that won't be feasible in a certain area.

  • @Oedipax I appreciate you realizing that sound is as, if not more, important than video in most cases. From what you're saying about echo problems, I don't think you need sound-proofing, i think you need sound treatment, or acoustic treatment, as the kids may say these days :).

    If you're in a definite area that you own or whatever and are set for good, then fiberglass can be great. You may want to make panels using 703 or 705 fiberglass, and you can cover them with cloth, etc. and place them as needed. A more short term fix could be putting sound blankets (furny pads) on the reflect floor – especially if you're booming overhead. I guess any reflective surfaces you cover – the better.

    And finally, check your mics pickup pattern. If you're in a tight interior – a shotgun may not be the best option, have you tried a supercardioid or hypercardioid?

  • +1 for Sennheiser G3 kits as the wireless solution

  • +1 For Sennheiser wireless systems. One of my contacts at the company has done some rather impressive demonstrations for me personally of the systems over the years, so I feel good about suggesting them even though I do not really have much experience using them.

  • I use Sennheiser G3s and Countryman B6 lavs for all my in situ interviews. Classic and classy combo... but way under $3k so you might be able to improve upon it.

  • if you have budget and leeway (some refuse headsets) for countrymen, yeah totally the best bet fgreat audio, as for TX/RX Sennheiser or Shure make good stuff even their, low budget stuff is good, I consistently use a $350 Shure wireless lav setup on shoots and and live events and it never fails me. Wireless is a huge pain in the rear end.. to get quality at a decent price.. I prefer a wire.. but in the event it can't happen I use Shure or Senn. systems, even their budget systems preform well.

  • Audio Technica AT-1800 series. Best bang for the buck!

    This site also has great audio gear tests:

  • Thanks for all the advice! We've had Sennheiser wireless lavs before and always had problems with the connectors wearing out and getting dropouts depending on slight changes in position, very frustrating. But maybe we got a bad set and shouldn't write them off totally. Definitely don't mind spending less than $3k if we can get a good workable solution.

  • @oedipax .. not sure if you have tried the G3, they have screw locking 3.5mm connectors.

  • Have you thought about using a zoom H4n portable recorder and use pluraleyes to sync in post`?