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Tim M

XLO Sensitivity Lavs/Mics

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So I'm looking at the XLo Sensitive DPA 4062. I'm trying to understand all that is involved with making a decision on this. What happens to the omnidirectional pattern on a lav when sensitivity is decreased? This may not be an example of decreasing sensitivity at the mic, but say for example when you gain down on the transmitter, it is usually clear to me that the lav picks up ambient noise more so than if the sensitivity is higher at the transmitter. The pattern seems to backoff on the "presence" of the voice and absorb more ambient sounds.  Will this be the case with XLO Sens lavs? I remember it being mentioned that a DPA LOsens was used on Les Miserable to excellent effect, but again that was probably a closed set so ambiance may not have been an issue. Has anyone read any articles/reviews on these mics? I also find it peculiar that Trew and others do not carry these. Thanks!

 

Tim

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Hi Tim,

There continues to be confusion about low sensitivity mics. Until some one proves me wrong, here are some iron clad statements about mics:

"What happens to the omnidirectional pattern on a lav when sensitivity is decreased?"

LEF- Nothing, zero, zilch, nada.

"The pattern seems to backoff on the "presence" of the voice and absorb more ambient sounds."

LEF- Absolutely not. This is a case of hearing what you think will happen. To convince yourself, do a blind test (or double blind test) with transmitter levels carefully balanced to be exactly the same, overall, i.e., higher gain on the lower output lavaliere. Or better yet, don't use a transmitter at all but go directly into a mixer. This eliminates low level expansion, noise reduction or compander mis-tracking at low levels.

For instance, lower sound levels on a Lectro transmitter will tend to engage the noise reduction circuitry which operates on lav self noise as well as very low level background noise. In the real world, when you use a low gain lavaliere in normal circumstances (no one screaming, singing or shouting) you will correctly turn the transmitter gain up to compensate for the lower signal levels and you will be right back to the same amount of noise reduction.

So to make a final statement: sensitivity (audio to electrical gain) has nothing to do with ambient noise in relation to the desired signal.

Sensitivity can however affect self noise levels and input noise levels of whatever device the low sensitivity lavaliere is connected to. This is easily identifiable as white noise or hiss. Obviously, a low output device is going to require you to raise system gain levels increasing the internal system noise level

Best Regards,

Larry Fisher

Lectrosonics

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To add to Larry's great explanation above:

My understanding is that the different kinds of sensitivities are used for:

To more easily adjust to input gain stages to different transmitters.

For louder sound sources where a lav is needed to handle higher spl.

I have the 4061 Dpa and like it quite a lot. I use it for dialog applications.

I find It's the Goldie locks of the 406x series :-)

-Paul-

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" "The pattern seems to backoff on the "presence" of the voice and absorb more ambient sounds." "

a factor that may contribute to this incorrect belief may also be the way our hearing works at lower levels (Fletcher-Munson).

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my experience with low sensitivity Countryman B6 mics is they didn't help for high SPL situations, even though their sensitivity is lower. So maybe they work best for preventing the mic from overloading the input of the transmitter, but not necessarily for dealing with high SPL. 

 

-emory

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my experience with low sensitivity Countryman B6 mics is they didn't help for high SPL situations, even though their sensitivity is lower. So maybe they work best for preventing the mic from overloading the input of the transmitter, but not necessarily for dealing with high SPL. 

 

-emory

They do quote three ranges of overload: 120dB, 130dB and 140dB. Using the 130dB unit in place of the 120dB unit may not be enough of a change. I did ask Carl way back, how the sensitivity was lowered but he didn't want to divulge the technique.

Best,

Larry F

Lectro

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They do quote three ranges of overload: 120dB, 130dB and 140dB. Using the 130dB unit in place of the 120dB unit may not be enough of a change. I did ask Carl way back, how the sensitivity was lowered but he didn't want to divulge the technique.

Best,

Larry F

Lectro

 I guess I should be clear that I was comparing a regular Cos-11 with the B6W5 version. 

The highest SPL listed on the low sensitivity B6 is higher, but in my experience the cos-11 did better even with regular sensitivity. I'm just saying that getting a low sensitivity mic and a high SPL mic are not necessarily the same thing. Ideally you should test for best results in a particular situation.

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"I'm just saying that getting a low sensitivity mic and a high SPL mic are not necessarily the same thing."

 

I agree completely.

LEF

 

[snip]

I'm just saying that getting a low sensitivity mic and a high SPL mic are not necessarily the same thing. Ideally you should test for best results in a particular situation.

Hi Emory,

I agree totally.

Best,
Larry F
Lectro

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" "The pattern seems to backoff on the "presence" of the voice and absorb more ambient sounds." "

a factor that may contribute to this incorrect belief may also be the way our hearing works at lower levels (Fletcher-Munson).

Yes, except no-one has said anything about listening at lower levels. So your comment appears to be irrelevant.

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