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RPSharman

New Lectro Wireless Boom Options

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So... I am exploring some new wireless boom options. Primarily for use in the US. Replacing a UM400a or two.

I don't like the idea of a single-purpose transmitter, but I also don't like the idea of an SMV wireless boom. Battery swaps are more difficult, etc. I also don't want to spend any more money on non-wideband transmitters.

I was looking into an LT. It could be used for other purposes. It's not that big, really. Can the little rubber screw-hole cover be removed, and can the LT be Velcro'd to a Denecke PS1, like the UM400? Is the battery door easy to open/close when stuck to PS1?

There's the LMB, but then it really is too big to use on talent, if need be, and is limited to 50mW, which isn't that big of a deal when exposed on a boom operator's belt.

There's always an SSM option, where I can have that as an extra talent mic, and use an old SM for the wireless boom. The downside there, is that I really want to buy just one. When SMs first came out, once and actor saw them, it became very hard to put a UM400 on the talent, particularly when some mixers had only one or two. I don's want to have just one SSM and get in the situation of who gets to wear it.

In the UK it's so much easier. Boom ops put a plug-on at the mic end, and have poles without cables. The small extra weight at the end doesn't bother anyone much, and a light pole overall seems like a good idea, but the boom ops in the US seem to frown at the idea of extra weight at the mic end of the pole. 

Thoughts, anyone?

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Have you ever considered an MM-1 + transmitter combo?  I know it's not the most svelte option but I do love the MM-1's pre combined with having my boom operator monitor at the source rather than via radio back to them.  Any time I work with a new boom op they kind of look at it with a "you want me to have that clipped to me all day?" look but then end up loving the workflow of it...

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7 minutes ago, johngooch said:

newer moze gear options offer better fit?

 

For 48v phantom?

I'm really just thinking about the transmitter here. I don't want to buy more gear that does the same as what I already have. 

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I would go with a dedicated option. I know you said you didn't want to, but whenever I thought I could re-purposes a bodypack tx for the boom, usually I then needed another bodypack, but then also a wireless boom.
Apart from that, I prefer the Zaxcom boom tx. I have a complete Lectro bodypack setup, but I now use the Zax 742 for the boom and it just sounds so much better than the HM. Much, much better.
And in fact, I sometimes re-purpose it too, but putting in the stereo cone and recording ambiences somewhere away from the set. I either record them on my recorder with a take, or I use the built-in recorder, so I can place the stereo rig really far away.

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Hi Robert,

I've been using an HMa (butt plug) with the 3 blocks to choose from...  Great unit.... give it to my boom op and I can use any of 3 blocks 24/25/26... simple, dependable, strong, great operation, NO complaints...  

I recently used it on a gig where I was in a building, on my cart... and the unit was being used outside, 3 buildings away... about 100yrds...  Worked great...  

Using MM1s is just another piece of gear... why?  Keep it simple and dependable...  for booms the HMa's work great.. Am I missing something ...  or is it because you don't own a Butt Plug or don't want to buy one??

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5 hours ago, RPSharman said:

the boom ops in the US seem to frown at the idea of extra weight at the mic end of the pole.

Funny, over here all my boom ops complained about the weight of my MM-1&LMa setup on their belt with a cabled boom. They all wanted to boom without cable, so I got a very small and lightweight phantom power box from Kortwich about the size of a 9V battery and velcroed that on the top of the pole with an LMa. That made the boom ops happy. I miss the MM-1's preamp and fantastic limiter though. Never really had to change gain much, whereas using only the Lectro's limiter (as one would with an HMa) hasn't worked too well for me (see key test). I guess the Zaxcom system is another league for wireless boom.

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With the Lectro units set up properly, I have never had issues with the limiters...  Who knows...   If I know I will be doing something "LOUD"  I back it down... If I know it will be "normal"  I set it accordingly....  If I know there may be loud and soft... I set it accordingly...  That's what the gain setting of course is for... 

My boom ops wanted to boom with no pole, mic or cable... Everything was too heavy.. I told them to man up...  or find another job...  I also suggested they could purchase whatever they liked..LOL

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I do use an HM currently, and have UH400a also. That's my normal setup in the UK. Useful for plants too, and interview scenes, etc. It's what I used on my last show in the US too, but my boom ops had coiled internal cables, so they just plugged HM on the bottom. An HMa was my first choice to replace the UH400a, but both of my next boom ops use straight cables. I suppose I can just clip them on the belt as a whole unit.

Would be simpler and more international, I suppose.

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I suppose I can just clip them on the belt as a whole unit.
Would be simpler and more international, I suppose.

Yes, that's what we do with the 742 at the moment. Only when that extra bit of range is needed, we will put it at the mic end of the pole. This was a request by my boom op and I don't mind either way, but if it helps him, why not?

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Like Codyman and Phillip Perkins, I am a fan of the Sound Devices MM-1 preamp.

Most of the time, the preamp and limiter in the various Lectro transmitters are up to the task of recording dialog. But that kind of statement is true of all sorts of "prosumer" gear as well. Many of us, including yourself, purchase gear with an eye to the exceptional circumstance to be as ready for difficult challenges as current technology permits. The MM-1 preamp has served me well on those rare occasions where I've had to deal with whispers and shouts in the same shot.

I should also put in a good word for the dedicated Zaxcom transmitter. When I ran tests some years back (didn't you help with those?), the Zaxcom product (an earlier version) had outstanding performance. The Lectro with an MM-1 transmitter was within a whisker of being as good but the Zaxcom was, by a slim margin, the performance winner.

I purchased some pouches to hold the admittedly bulky preamp so it might sit comfortably on a belt. The transmitter fits nicely into the slot under the flap. With a dedicated belt (there's a belt loop; the carabiner is ancillary), the whole rig can be worn in the usual manner or slung over a shoulder for a quick shot. No boom op complained about the weight or bulk.

David

BoomOpCase.jpg

BoomOpPack.jpg

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13 hours ago, RPSharman said:

So... I am exploring some new wireless boom options. Primarily for use in the US. Replacing a UM400a or two.

I don't like the idea of a single-purpose transmitter, but I also don't like the idea of an SMV wireless boom. Battery swaps are more difficult, etc. I also don't want to spend any more money on non-wideband transmitters.

I was looking into an LT. It could be used for other purposes. It's not that big, really. Can the little rubber screw-hole cover be removed, and can the LT be Velcro'd to a Denecke PS1, like the UM400? Is the battery door easy to open/close when stuck to PS1?

There's the LMB, but then it really is too big to use on talent, if need be, and is limited to 50mW, which isn't that big of a deal when exposed on a boom operator's belt.

There's always an SSM option, where I can have that as an extra talent mic, and use an old SM for the wireless boom. The downside there, is that I really want to buy just one. When SMs first came out, once and actor saw them, it became very hard to put a UM400 on the talent, particularly when some mixers had only one or two. I don's want to have just one SSM and get in the situation of who gets to wear it.

In the UK it's so much easier. Boom ops put a plug-on at the mic end, and have poles without cables. The small extra weight at the end doesn't bother anyone much, and a light pole overall seems like a good idea, but the boom ops in the US seem to frown at the idea of extra weight at the mic end of the pole. 

Thoughts, anyone?

With an internally wired Boom Pole or even a short cable, the HMa (Wide Band) can be fitted at the base of the Boom Pole instead the Head (Mic end)............ weight problem solved.

 

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On 10/24/2016 at 0:19 PM, Constantin said:

I would go with a dedicated option. I know you said you didn't want to, but whenever I thought I could re-purposes a bodypack tx for the boom, usually I then needed another bodypack, but then also a wireless boom.
Apart from that, I prefer the Zaxcom boom tx. I have a complete Lectro bodypack setup, but I now use the Zax 742 for the boom and it just sounds so much better than the HM. Much, much better.
And in fact, I sometimes re-purpose it too, but putting in the stereo cone and recording ambiences somewhere away from the set. I either record them on my recorder with a take, or I use the built-in recorder, so I can place the stereo rig really far away.

Ditto. The Zax is the closest to a wire. 742 eats batteries tho...

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Never used a cabled boom, except in very rare circumstances. Been very happy with Lectro wireless options, with the exception of crunchy limiters when scenes get a bit unpredictable. Even then, while I might be unhappy, nobody else seems to notice or care. Certainly not looking to adopt a totally new system, and the expense incurred with such.

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I've been using 2 systems. One is an HMa on the end of the pole and the other is the ambient QWB with the UMPII and an SMV.  Both work equally well and I don't mind the extra weight. The pole is lighter without the cable in it. Of course I'm using Panamic poles which aren't the lightest but with the weight on the end they are still nice and stiff. 

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Yep now using an HMa and could not do this current 5 week job without it

Perfect sound quality and range without muddy cable runs

mike

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At the moment we are doing a TV series with 1 HMa and 2 UH400a, the third one for occasional plant mikes, when both boom ops are fighting in the battle. They both claim they would not like to work with a cable running down the boom. They want to grab the stick and put it away without any unplugging or detaching a belt. The little extra weight on the tip end is OK for them.

I guess what boom ops like is also  much related to the local boom "culture". There is something like a local common sense how things should be done "properly". I remember, when I was a boom op, we were doing everything on cable. One mixer came up with a wireless boom option with an Audio Limited Schöps preamp, which by then was new and exiting, but I remember I did not like it and said it was clumsy and not reliable to work with.

 

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We used the MM1 this summer and it was fantastic. Excellent limiters, clean signal, and was adjustable for me on the fly. Give me a shout when you're doing a project in the states as I'd be honored to boom for you RPSharman. I respect the way you communicate and the standards of excellence you strive for.

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On 10/25/2016 at 5:40 PM, RPSharman said:

Never used a cabled boom, except in very rare circumstances. Been very happy with Lectro wireless options, with the exception of crunchy limiters when scenes get a bit unpredictable. Even then, while I might be unhappy, nobody else seems to notice or care. Certainly not looking to adopt a totally new system, and the expense incurred with such.

i am all zaxcom wireless, but decided to go with an hma for a particular job and now i love it. it was a budget decision at the time, but i have had nothing but great success with it. wideband is a nice addition. range is spectacular. and i tie it into my micplexer setup so everything plays really nice. if considering an hma you wont be sorry

-Ken

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Like many others, I use the MM1 for boom in conjunction with a Lectro TX. What's great about this option is that it allows me to use any transmitter, let's me use a Sound Devices preamp and limiter that I trust, and has a return input that I plug a G3 into for a private line to my boom op. If there are times where we benefit from boom being completely untethered from the op, I'll plug an HM into the bottom of the pole, but that's an exception for me.

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