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External Mics with H4-N?
Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 7:19 PM on 11.19.12
->> Hey everyone,

Finally bought an H4-N for better audio with my video productions.

I'm looking for either a shotgun or lav mic for interview-type stuff.

What is everyone liking out there?

Thanks in advance,

~ Nic
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Mitch Traphagen, Photographer
Ruskin | FL | USA | Posted: 8:15 PM on 11.19.12
->> I usually use a Sennheiser G3 wireless lav system, using the XLR cable with my H4N. I've been very happy with the results.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 10:41 PM on 11.19.12
->> +1 on the Sennheiser G3 wireless.

How about a wired lav? The Audio Technica AT 899 is great at $200. Killer sound quality.

For a decent lowish-end shotgun you might look at a Rode NTG-2.
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Jeff Gammons, Student/Intern, Photographer
Destin | Fl | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 11.19.12
->> +1 for the G3, make sure you get the ones with the clips and not the pins
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 12:25 AM on 11.20.12
->> The Sennheisers are "ok"...

...but the Sony UWP series is better. The housings are more rugged and they have a true diversity antenna setup on the receiver. Same price range as the Sennheisers. The belt clips kinda stink...but you can buy a pouch to house the transmitters instead of using the built-in clips. I've seen folks use generic belt cell-phone cases.

If you're doing a lot of lav work...regardless of which wireless setup you go with I'd budget for a nice Countryman lav (B6 or EMW). Makes a huge difference in sound quality and gives you some nice options for unobtrusive setups. Not cheap - B6's are around $300 - but well worth it for quality.

For shotgun it's hard to beat the classic Sennheiser ME66/K6 setup. You can get a $50 rebate until December from B&H..which takes the price down to just over $400:

If you do the Sony UWP-V6 kit (gives you a belt pack transmitter, an XLR brick and a receiver), a Countryman B6 and an ME66/K6 you're at around $1,500 once you buy cables and a few accessories...not a bad deal for great quality audio.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 3:49 PM on 11.20.12
->> The Sony Sony UWP-V6 set is around $770 while the Sennheiser G3 set is currently (with a $50 rebate through the end of the year) available for $580. The G3's receiver has a diversity antenna, it just uses the mic cable as the 2nd antenna. I know quite a few production sound guys with G3s and, so far, none with UWP-V6s.

If you get a G3 set-up make sure you get it with the ME-2 OMNI lav mic and not the ME-4 CARDIOID lac mic.

A good, yet not expensive, upgrade path for a lav mic are the ones from Oscar Sound Tech ( I have a couple and they're much better than the mics that come with the G3s. Production audio guys like 'em a lot in terms of bang-for-the-buck.

The Sennheiser ME66 at $400 is not all that much better than the Rode NTG-2 at $300. For a much better sounding super-cardioid shotgun get a Rode NTG-3 (almost a Sennheiser MHK416 clone with an ever-so-slightly wider pattern) for around $700.

Don't forget a fur-covered "softie". A real Rycote Softie is around $110 but you can get a really good clone from for around $70.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 6:10 PM on 11.20.12
->> Jim,

The price you're quoting is for just a lav and a receiver. The Sony price I'm quoting is for a cube, a lav and a receiver. If you compare similar configurations the price is nearly the same, with the Sony's cheaper when Sennheiser doesn't have a rebate going on.

A couple of useful features the Sony has that the Sennheiser doesn't:
- Battery time remaining display
- Headphone monitor with level control (useful for DSLRs without a monitor)

Either setup will do fine for light-duty use. I have 20 ENG crews in the field with G3's and generally have at least two in the shop at any given time. The bricks seem to fail the most - the XLR connector is flimsy and wears out quickly. Also the belt pack transmitter antenna is fragile. As the E3's die we're switching out to Sony's...until the frequency shuffling settles down, then we'll switch to Lectro's when we have the budget.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 7:44 PM on 11.20.12
->> "The price you're quoting is for just a lav and a receiver"

The price I mention is for a lav mic, a body pack transmitter and a same-sized receiver. That will do what is needed. For most people the "butt plug" transmitter is superfluous.

Right now Sennheiser is offering a $50 rebate, hence the deal, call back in January for the secret to near-constant 15 percent discounts on G3 set-ups.

If you like the Sony then more power to you but please don't dismiss the G3. It's an industry standard (in its price class) both here in the US and in Europe (actually, it rules in Europe.)

Face it, everybody would switch to Lectros if they had the budget but when G3s are -$600 per channel and Lectros are +$2000 per channel that budget thing won't be happening too soon for most people, either freelance or staff.

"Either setup will do fine for light-duty use."

The G3s will do fine for long-term, day-to-day use. After buying Lectros many production audio people keep their G3 outfits as a) back-ups and b) camera hops.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 8:18 PM on 11.20.12
->> Jim,

In your previous post you compared two differing configurations. Now you're trying to justify your obvious error by saying most people don't need the brick. Bottom line is price is not an issue here...the Sony's and the Sennheisers are basically the same price no matter which configuration you choose.

I'm not "discounting" anything. My G3 comments are based on actual experience with over two dozen G3 setups in daily ENG field use. They work fine, they wear out quick. I have a stack of Sennheiser parts department invoices to prove it.

Mic setups in this class for daily use are more-or-less disposable anyway...I just like them to be less disposable if possible. So far the Sony's are winning. Time will tell.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 10:01 PM on 11.20.12
->> "In your previous post you compared two differing configurations."

Au contraire, mon ami.

You see, I was quoting the price for what most people consider to be the standard wireless kit, i.e. a lav mic, a transmitter and a receiver.

You, on the other hand, were talking about what most people in the industry (production sound for film and video) consider to be "standard kit plus" (i.e. the additional "brick"), and any error, dear Yorick, is yours.

Please bear in mind that the "non-brick" transmitter can easily be used with any stick mic that doesn't require phantom power.

In reality, most people don't need "the brick". I have three wireless set-ups at the moment and one "brick" transmitter. The "brick" gets used, at most, 5% of the time.

That's pretty normal in ENG/EFP unless, you're a local station interviewing football players on the sidelines or someone doing a wedding at which you have to get everyone wishing the lucky couple "best wishes".

"Bottom line is price is not an issue"

Only if you're not the one paying for the equipment. For most people, indeed for most companies, cost is an issue.
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Thread Title: External Mics with H4-N?
Thread Started By: Nic Coury
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