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Author Topic: Wireless Omnidirectional Microphone Recommendation?  (Read 5149 times)
Steve Weldon
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« on: March 31, 2012, 01:55:45 PM »
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I'm looking for a wireless mic to use with the 5d2/5d3 which is suitable for recording small bands on small stages in clubs to sync the music with the video.  I'm thinking an omni vs. shotgun?   

If there is nothing in the wireless realm, what would you recommend for wired?  Wired is a lot more limiting and I'd hate to be hobbled, but..

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 02:16:48 PM »
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The Sennheiser EW 100 wireless systems are very good, here's a nice ENG kit:

http://www.sennheiserusa.com/professional_wireless-microphone-systems_broadcast-eng-film_ew-100-g3_503107

I use the bodypacks at a local church with Countryman E6 Headset Mics, basically the same setup you'll see on Celtic Thunder.  The big problem with wireless is they are generally optimized for vocals, typically rolling off low frequencies below 80-100Hz.

You might consider a Zoom H4N, like Chris uses in the LULA videos - great built in Stereo Incident Pair, and XLR inputs for lavs or handheld mics..... 
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 03:25:03 PM »
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Thanks for the answer John.   About the Zoom.  Looking through the inventory list of gear this group already has it shows a Zoom H4.. not sure if there's a big difference from the "N?"  Am I right in seeing the Zoom processes through it's internal mics (or wireless mics) and both records and outputs a mixed signal to the 5d2 input via a minijack to minijack cable?  If this is the case, what wireless mic would you use with this?  It appears to have a tripod 1/4" thread on the bottom.. I'm not sure I've ever seen a hotshoe to 1/4" adapter, do you know of one?
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 04:23:38 PM »
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Thanks for the answer John.   About the Zoom.  Looking through the inventory list of gear this group already has it shows a Zoom H4.. not sure if there's a big difference from the "N?"  Am I right in seeing the Zoom processes through it's internal mics (or wireless mics) and both records and outputs a mixed signal to the 5d2 input via a minijack to minijack cable?  If this is the case, what wireless mic would you use with this?  It appears to have a tripod 1/4" thread on the bottom.. I'm not sure I've ever seen a hotshoe to 1/4" adapter, do you know of one?

I think the point is to bypass the audio recording of the camera and add it back from the zoom in when you edit the footage.  You can use the internal camera audio as a 'sync point' for matching up the video and zoom audio in post.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 06:42:19 PM »
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I think the point is to bypass the audio recording of the camera and add it back from the zoom in when you edit the footage.  You can use the internal camera audio as a 'sync point' for matching up the video and zoom audio in post.
I've been reading about that.. flags, final cut, etc.. I'm going to demo final cut tomorrow and compare it to Premier I already have.. maybe I'll finally have a sound reason to get a Mac.  I'll pick up the Zoom H4 and familiarize myself with it tomorrow or the next day.  My next gig is next Saturday.. need to be ready by then.

There's a lot to this stuff.  I've been avoiding video like in the past I avoided learning how to build websites.  How much is a guy supposed to be able to stuff in one head?   But now I'm building decent websites so I'll give video a chance.

Thanks for giving me a chance to pick your brains.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 06:45:52 PM »
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Btw -  Did you read Clive Cussler's latest?  Two of the characters in the story are German scientists who have discovered the holy grail of entertainment for their time.. the ability to sync sound to video and make "talkies."  It's a fun read and was interesting how he portrayed Thomas Edison as a deaf cut throat capitalist who wouldn't hesitate to steal the ideas of others and wasn't above using "muscle" to do it.
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 07:10:55 PM »
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I've been reading about that.. flags, final cut, etc.. I'm going to demo final cut tomorrow and compare it to Premier I already have.. maybe I'll finally have a sound reason to get a Mac.  I'll pick up the Zoom H4 and familiarize myself with it tomorrow or the next day.  My next gig is next Saturday.. need to be ready by then.

There's a lot to this stuff.  I've been avoiding video like in the past I avoided learning how to build websites.  How much is a guy supposed to be able to stuff in one head?   But now I'm building decent websites so I'll give video a chance.

Thanks for giving me a chance to pick your brains.

This is a pretty good FCX video tutorial and its free

http://www.izzyvideo.com/final-cut-pro-x-tutorial/
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John.Murray
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 07:17:43 PM »
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Yes the Zoom would be used as an external audio source - the built in mics are suprisingly good.

FCPX has an *awesome* multicam feature that syncs using the audio tracks present on each cam - syncing with external audio is about as easy as it gets....
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Petrus
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 02:37:28 AM »
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If there is nothing in the wireless realm, what would you recommend for wired?  Wired is a lot more limiting and I'd hate to be hobbled, but..

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

There are 3 problems with the wireless approach:

1) added cost of the radio units ($20 cable is always better than a $4000 transmitter/receiver combo)
2) sound quality. Radio systems use 1:2 compression/decompression which wrecks havoc with highest frequencies. The other solution are the digital systems costing thousands
3) gain setting: cheap units like the Sennheiser G2 have 10 dB steps at the transmitter end, meaning that you might have to send the signal at 10 dB lower level than optimal to stay safe. Then you need to set the gain again at the recorder/camera.

For a price of one so-so wireless you can buy two DPA 4061 miniature microphones good enough for orchestral recordings, and run cables.

Some pictures of my miniature recording rig: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/371020-diy-onno-mic-stand-carbon-fiber.html

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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2012, 03:41:49 PM »
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Yes the Zoom would be used as an external audio source - the built in mics are suprisingly good.

FCPX has an *awesome* multicam feature that syncs using the audio tracks present on each cam - syncing with external audio is about as easy as it gets....
So I'd use the internal microphone on the 5d2, run it through FCX with the H4 tracks.. and sync?

I picked up the H4 today. it's not an H4n.  I've picked out some generational differences (uses older SD cards, small LCD, small switches, etc) but not many functional differences yet.  The best part about it is it's free..

Thanks John.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2012, 03:44:24 PM »
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There are 3 problems with the wireless approach:

1) added cost of the radio units ($20 cable is always better than a $4000 transmitter/receiver combo)
2) sound quality. Radio systems use 1:2 compression/decompression which wrecks havoc with highest frequencies. The other solution are the digital systems costing thousands
3) gain setting: cheap units like the Sennheiser G2 have 10 dB steps at the transmitter end, meaning that you might have to send the signal at 10 dB lower level than optimal to stay safe. Then you need to set the gain again at the recorder/camera.

For a price of one so-so wireless you can buy two DPA 4061 miniature microphones good enough for orchestral recordings, and run cables.

Some pictures of my miniature recording rig: http://www.gearslutz.com/board/remote-possibilities-acoustic-music-location-recording/371020-diy-onno-mic-stand-carbon-fiber.html



Your setup is appealing.  What do you use to cover the cable so the "dancers" don't trip over it?  There are some really big folks at these venues and I'm no lightweight.. I'm using every one of my 190 pounds to block around my tripod.  I suppose duct tape would work if they don't mind it on the floor.
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Petrus
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2012, 01:21:02 AM »
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  I suppose duct tape would work if they don't mind it on the floor.

Try to run it in places where it is not stepped on easily, rather use longer runs to avoid problems than minimize cable lengths (up to 300m/1000' is fine with phantom powered mics...). Use 2" gaffer tape, not duct tape, leaves no residue.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2012, 10:59:31 AM »
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Try to run it in places where it is not stepped on easily, rather use longer runs to avoid problems than minimize cable lengths (up to 300m/1000' is fine with phantom powered mics...). Use 2" gaffer tape, not duct tape, leaves no residue.
300m is surprisingly long.. but will allow running along the walls.   And I've got plenty of gaffers tape.

Thanks everyone, I've went from no clue to having direction.  I have until this Saturday to get the gear working, FCX proficiency, and find a decent video head/legs..   
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Petrus
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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2012, 01:33:17 PM »
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300m is surprisingly long.. but will allow running along the walls.    

Hundreds of meters of good quality mic cable will damp the high frequencies a bit, like 0.5 dB at 20 kHz. That's all, nothing to worry about. The only real life problem is interference form dimmers, cell phones etc. Star Quad cable construction helps a lot.
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mmurph
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2012, 07:04:41 PM »
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I'm going to demo final cut tomorrow and compare it to Premier I already have.. maybe I'll finally have a sound reason to get a Mac. 

Many folks are going the other way. Moving to Premiere to avoid transcoding, and in some cases PC's for the power.

CS 6.0 should get better yet. 

This is sponsored, but comes from a lifetime FCP/Mac afficianado:

http://magazine.creativecow.net/article/opening-my-mind-has-opened-doors

http://magazine.creativecow.net/issue/hp-supplemental-edition-free-your-mind

The past few years has forced me to rethink a lot of my business decisions. What I'm going to lay out for you is how I reached the decision to switch from Final Cut Pro to Adobe Premiere Pro, as well as why part of my postproduction department is running on Windows.


I am going to buy CS 5.5 Production Premium and get the free upgrade to 6.0  Looks like it should launch by Mid-May.  Free upgrade supposed to be delivered by 5/31.

Michael
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2012, 07:28:24 PM »
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Thanks John.  That sure was eye opening.

I had to reset my priority list this week which means I haven't yet test driven FCX.. hopefully soon.  Two systems to get out, a parrot coming in from France, and two unexpected/unplanned gigs and the week disappeared in a flash.  I've heard FCX is easy to use compared to Premier.. we'll see.
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Mike Boden
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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2012, 08:29:46 PM »
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Steve,

It sounds like you have several challenges and objectives with what you're trying to do. First off, you want to video a live band in a small club. Next, you want to record the audio of that band. Third, you want to sync the audio to the video in post and edit into a video of some sort.

Recording the audio of a band in a small club is not the most difficult thing but also not the easiest if you want to do it right. I've done it hundreds of times from something as simple, yet challenging, as lavaliere microphones in a baseball cap on my head to mics on stands in the audience to sound board patches as well as multi-track recordings of all the mics split directly from the stage into my own pre-amps. So I think you have to ask yourself what kind of recording do you want. Is this simply to document the band? Then the Zoom recorder with on-board mic would probably be satisfactory. If you want to step it up a notch, then go to an external mic plugged into the Zoom. The next level would be external mic with external pre-amp and possibly an external A/D converter. My point is to get you to think about the quality of the recording and make your decisions from there.

So ask yourself if you want to record the band directly or if you want to record the sound of the band in the room. To record directly, you can either split the stage mics or use your own. Another option may be getting a sound board patch from the front of house mixer; but depending on the size of the room, this may not have all the instruments and may not be that good of a mix. If you plan on recording the sound of the band in the room, then you'll be getting more of the room sound, which could very well be boomy and really heavy in the low-end. (This is very typical in small clubs.)

But also ask yourself if you want the sound to follow your camera perspective or if you want it to remain stationary, thus resulting in a consistent stereo image. If you want it to follow your perspective, then the mics have to travel with you. If not, then you can setup stage mics or somewhere in the middle of the room and record into an external recorder. This would allow you to move around at your will, while at the same time keeping the stereo imaging consistent.

When I was recording bands a bunch, I typically used a Shure VP-88 stereo M/S microphone into an Apogee Mini-Me pre-amp and A/D converter. From there, I recorded onto a DAT recorder. The Shure mic was a great sounding stereo microphone. I also owned Neumann mics, but tended to use these very selectively. The Shure was my go-to mic for a simple stereo recording. (Kind of ironic considering the Neumann's were triple the cost.) Anyway, I would probably stay away from omni-directional mics. They're going to pick up everything in the room, including what's behind you. So some sort of stereo mic or a pair of mono mics in an X-Y pattern would be good for recording the room. I would probably stay away from shotgun mics unless you're going to use them in the traditional sense of an interview. But with that said, I have used shotgun mics for band recording, but they were in larger venues and aimed at the speakers from a couple hundred feet away.

Regarding Final Cut Pro and Premier Pro, they are very similar programs. Each has their pros and cons, but they both have about the same learning curve. What I feel is the advantage to Premier Pro is that the application ties in with other Adobe applications, which will allow you to do many other things. Also, I don't recommend using FCX. Apple seriously screwed the pooch with this application. It's more like an upgrade to iMovie instead of a new version of Final Cut Pro. But then again, it may suit your needs just fine.

As for syncing the audio, there is a plug-in called PluralEyes that can be used with either FCP or Premier, although I've never used it. http://www.singularsoftware.com/pluraleyes.html

Also, check out this link to get a bit of info on recording and syncing the audio for the 5Dii. There may be some useful info for you. http://www.sounddevices.com/notes/cameras/5dii-audio-performance/

And one last comment regarding 300m audio cables. In all the years that I recorded bands, I never needed audio cables at 300m (984 feet?). In fact, I owned a 100ft 24-channel snake, and I rarely needed its full length. With that said, if you're planning on recording the band somewhere near the middle of the room near the mixing console, your cables really only need to go from the mic to the recorder. (20 feet?)

Good luck and have fun!
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2012, 12:55:19 AM »
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Steve,

It sounds like you have several challenges and objectives with what you're trying to do. First off, you want to video a live band in a small club. Next, you want to record the audio of that band. Third, you want to sync the audio to the video in post and edit into a video of some sort.

Recording the audio of a band in a small club is not the most difficult thing but also not the easiest if you want to do it right. I've done it hundreds of times from something as simple, yet challenging, as lavaliere microphones in a baseball cap on my head to mics on stands in the audience to sound board patches as well as multi-track recordings of all the mics split directly from the stage into my own pre-amps. So I think you have to ask yourself what kind of recording do you want. Is this simply to document the band? Then the Zoom recorder with on-board mic would probably be satisfactory. If you want to step it up a notch, then go to an external mic plugged into the Zoom. The next level would be external mic with external pre-amp and possibly an external A/D converter. My point is to get you to think about the quality of the recording and make your decisions from there.

So ask yourself if you want to record the band directly or if you want to record the sound of the band in the room. To record directly, you can either split the stage mics or use your own. Another option may be getting a sound board patch from the front of house mixer; but depending on the size of the room, this may not have all the instruments and may not be that good of a mix. If you plan on recording the sound of the band in the room, then you'll be getting more of the room sound, which could very well be boomy and really heavy in the low-end. (This is very typical in small clubs.)

But also ask yourself if you want the sound to follow your camera perspective or if you want it to remain stationary, thus resulting in a consistent stereo image. If you want it to follow your perspective, then the mics have to travel with you. If not, then you can setup stage mics or somewhere in the middle of the room and record into an external recorder. This would allow you to move around at your will, while at the same time keeping the stereo imaging consistent.

When I was recording bands a bunch, I typically used a Shure VP-88 stereo M/S microphone into an Apogee Mini-Me pre-amp and A/D converter. From there, I recorded onto a DAT recorder. The Shure mic was a great sounding stereo microphone. I also owned Neumann mics, but tended to use these very selectively. The Shure was my go-to mic for a simple stereo recording. (Kind of ironic considering the Neumann's were triple the cost.) Anyway, I would probably stay away from omni-directional mics. They're going to pick up everything in the room, including what's behind you. So some sort of stereo mic or a pair of mono mics in an X-Y pattern would be good for recording the room. I would probably stay away from shotgun mics unless you're going to use them in the traditional sense of an interview. But with that said, I have used shotgun mics for band recording, but they were in larger venues and aimed at the speakers from a couple hundred feet away.

Regarding Final Cut Pro and Premier Pro, they are very similar programs. Each has their pros and cons, but they both have about the same learning curve. What I feel is the advantage to Premier Pro is that the application ties in with other Adobe applications, which will allow you to do many other things. Also, I don't recommend using FCX. Apple seriously screwed the pooch with this application. It's more like an upgrade to iMovie instead of a new version of Final Cut Pro. But then again, it may suit your needs just fine.

As for syncing the audio, there is a plug-in called PluralEyes that can be used with either FCP or Premier, although I've never used it. http://www.singularsoftware.com/pluraleyes.html

Also, check out this link to get a bit of info on recording and syncing the audio for the 5Dii. There may be some useful info for you. http://www.sounddevices.com/notes/cameras/5dii-audio-performance/

And one last comment regarding 300m audio cables. In all the years that I recorded bands, I never needed audio cables at 300m (984 feet?). In fact, I owned a 100ft 24-channel snake, and I rarely needed its full length. With that said, if you're planning on recording the band somewhere near the middle of the room near the mixing console, your cables really only need to go from the mic to the recorder. (20 feet?)

Good luck and have fun!

a.  You have my challenges down exactly.   For now I want to make a reasonable quality product that would be fine for Youtube and linking videos on the bands website so potential club owners could listen to them adequately.  The band does have a studio set up for recording master tracks which works well, but what I want is more of a reportage quality sound.

b.  I agree.  Once I get the hang of this I'll offer them more in both video and sound quality, but for now I just want to get some serviceable material up on their site.

c.  I've tried recording off the house mixers at several locations, and as you'd expect they were a lower quality mixed bag.  I think managing my own life mics will ultimately be the way to go.

d.  The sound remaining stationary is fine for now.  Later I'll want to get into some more advanced techniques, but more later than sooner.

e.  I suspect you're right about Premier vs. FCX, mostly I'm looking for a solid excuse to spend time with OSx.. but I already have a workstation set up with Premier Pro which makes it the obvious choice.  John's article solidified that choice for me.

f.   That link has some very useful information.  Thank you!

g.  I'd guess my needs for cables will be the same as yours, 15-25 feet 99% of the time. 

Thanks for the great feedback.  Much appreciated.
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Petrus
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2012, 01:22:02 AM »
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I used to have Shure VP88 also, great workhorse tough as a hammer documentary microphone, but slightly noisy. I have now replaced it with Pearl MSH 10 short stereo shotgun microphone  That could be quite ideal in a club setting, but it needs external M/S matrixing, for which I use either a mixer or recorder (Sound Devices 302 and SD722).

Take a look at the Oktava MK 012 stereo set, which includes omni, cardioid and hypercardioid capsules plus a 10dB pads for loud environments. These mics are perfectly usable and even popular with the indie crowd as they are really good for their price. Putting up an ORTF pair of cardioids or hypercardioids would be a better solution than omnis in a club setting.

Most mics like this require 48V phantom powering from the recorder/camera, something that must be remembered. Shure VP88 runs on an internal battery also, so if you can find one used ($200-300 maybe), you could just plug that into your camera if it has a stereo mic input and manually adjustable gain. That would make things easier in post, as the audio and video would stay synched automatically. An external recorder and a camera will drift apart and would need realignment in post at worst after every song, at best maybe twice per hour.

Microphone cables need not be 300m/1000 feet long, I just mentioned that length to give an example about the cable lengths that can and are be used without quality loss. I have never needed more than two 50 footers connected together.

Pearl: http://pearl.se/microphones/msh_10.application
Okatava: http://www.oktava-shop.com/view_prod.php?id=8
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2012, 03:59:05 AM »
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I'm looking for a wireless mic to use with the 5d2/5d3 which is suitable for recording small bands on small stages in clubs to sync the music with the video.  I'm thinking an omni vs. shotgun?  

If there is nothing in the wireless realm, what would you recommend for wired?  Wired is a lot more limiting and I'd hate to be hobbled, but..

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Ive just a had a quick read of the thread - Im no expert on sound - Im assuming the bands are not accoustic but playing though a PA
I guess the Desk of the PA has some form of output you could plug your recorder into - maybe PA desks even have their own onboard recorder
You then have each instrument that is plugged into the desk and the vocals too on seperate tracks - or a least the mix created by the sound engineer as a stereo pair

I did a Rode workshop one thing I learned was 'critical distance'
http://www.lenardaudio.com/education/04_acoustics_2.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_distance ..

basically the mic as to be close to the source avoid echoes picking up
It would seem impossible to use a single mic to make any form of half decent recording of a multi instrument band .. or at least impossible if they are in a room with any form of echo

S



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