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Max Thomas

Help choosing mid budget wireless lav system

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I'm an independent filmmaker and often do my own sound. I mostly work on narrative films so I am looking to buy a wireless lav system so I can monitor talent behind the camera. My budget is under 1000$ and I understand that is never going to be enough to get professional quality audio but its all I have for now. My question is which system would you recommend for ease of use and quality. The main 3 I have been looking at is the Sennheiser g4, Sony uwp-d11, and potentially the new Deity Connect which I was pretty set on buying but now am on the fence. Also just to note, I know that you can get better systems used if I look hard enough but honestly I don't feel that confident in making surer they are fully functional and like the warranty that comes with new gear if I'm spending so much. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

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26 minutes ago, Max Thomas said:

I'm an independent filmmaker and often do my own sound. I mostly work on narrative films so I am looking to buy a wireless lav system so I can monitor talent behind the camera. My budget is under 1000$ and I understand that is never going to be enough to get professional quality audio but its all I have for now. My question is which system would you recommend for ease of use and quality. The main 3 I have been looking at is the Sennheiser g4, Sony uwp-d11, and potentially the new Deity Connect which I was pretty set on buying but now am on the fence. Also just to note, I know that you can get better systems used if I look hard enough but honestly I don't feel that confident in making surer they are fully functional and like the warranty that comes with new gear if I'm spending so much. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

So you want to eliminate the need to use US, actual Sound professionals, but want our advice on HOW to eliminate our job positions...  ? Find it yourself...

 

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Hey Max!  Welcome to JWsound.  It looks like you've posted a facebook question, but we're still happy you're here.  All of the users here have professional sound gear so we've started talking about buying cameras so we can take jobs from one man bands like yourself.  What camera would you recommend that we can put up on a tripod?  Budget is around $1,000 so we understand that is never going to be enough to get professional quality.  Also just to note, I know that you can get better cameras used if I look hard enough but which one would you recommend for ease of use and quality?  Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

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7 hours ago, Max Thomas said:

The main 3 I have been looking at is the Sennheiser g4, Sony uwp-d11, and potentially the new Deity Connect which I was pretty set on buying but now am on the fence. Also just to note, I know that you can get better systems used if I look hard enough but...

 

I have a little familiarity with Sennheiser G2 and G3 systems; they seem pretty good for the price. So I'll presume the G4 systems are also OK. Consider getting a better lav mic for them, though. At low prices, the Oscar SoundTech mics are OK. 

 

I have no personal experience with the Sony systems. The Deity systems are intriguing but are just now on the market; might be worth waiting a few weeks for more independent and informed reviews and field reports to emerge.

 

As for buying used, yes there's a slight risk with the absence of warranty. But if you buy from an established location-audio dealer, they'll usually fairly accurately describe the condition the equipment is in and you'll probably get at least a short inspection period to make sure the equipment works as advertised. I've bought lots of used equipment from places such as Trew Audio, Gotham Sound, and Location Sound and have had consistently good experiences at those places. Note that (1) I know the industry and know what I'm looking for and (2) there are other good location-audio dealers. If you go that route, I think you'd mainly be looking at Sennheiser G3 systems (since those were so common); you might be able to save a fair amount of money, but you'd want to be sure you get wireless systems in frequency ranges that work OK in your area.

 

Oh there's so so much more. Maybe a forum that's more focused on OMB and indies would have more answers for your question. Perhaps a place like dvxuser.net or creative cow?

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Obviously was a mistake to phrase question as I did. I am in no way trying to take jobs away from professionals, I am starting out in the industry (looking to get into sound for work), but also like to do creative work on the side. I'm sorry I don't have the resources to hire or use professional sound recordists. I am simply trying to explain what I would need my equipment for. I don't see what's wrong with being both sound recordist and filmmaker, plenty of projects (documentaries and ultra low budget narrative have as much). 

 

At this point its probably not even worth trying, and I do understand this is a little simple and mundane question to bring to professionals when there is so much info out there already, but that is exactly why I came here. I assume both of you were at one point buying your first wireless system, I assume you didn't become professionals overnight. Anyways, I apologize for implying that I do not need professional sound recordists and that I can do it all myself, because that isn't at all what I meant (if anything I am someone interested in sound who also likes to tell stories, I hope that's not off limits).

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On 5/21/2019 at 11:03 PM, DonovanBomb said:

Hey Max!  Welcome to JWsound.  It looks like you've posted a facebook question, but we're still happy you're here.  All of the users here have professional sound gear so we've started talking about buying cameras so we can take jobs from one man bands like yourself.  What camera would you recommend that we can put up on a tripod?  Budget is around $1,000 so we understand that is never going to be enough to get professional quality.  Also just to note, I know that you can get better cameras used if I look hard enough but which one would you recommend for ease of use and quality?  Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Funnily enough just the article you requested: https://www.eoshd.com/2019/05/the-digital-film-look-on-a-budget-10-years-after-the-arri-alexa-what-gets-closest-for-cheapest/#more-20384

For the OP, why not buy some of the ROde wireless Go units (c.$200) for your OMB'ing as they are small and easy to set up, plug a lav into it for better sound and hiding. Hire a sound pro with better wireless when you have the budget and need something more involved with better range. 

 

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@daniel how this reads to me is “postpone learning how to do things right by spending money on these cheap items that you’ll still need someone to figure out and worry about while you make more of the same rookie mistakes year after year”

 

I wish indie film ppl would just wake up and realize that if they want to compete then they have to learn how to do things right, like create an actual budget and raise realistic funds, but first they need to google film producing. 

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5 hours ago, JonG said:

@daniel how this reads to me is “postpone learning how to do things right by spending money on these cheap items that you’ll still need someone to figure out and worry about while you make more of the same rookie mistakes year after year”

 

I wish indie film ppl would just wake up and realize that if they want to compete then they have to learn how to do things right, like create an actual budget and raise realistic funds, but first they need to google film producing. 

Maybe. Although a dual channel UWP kit has got a small footprint for a diversity UHF system so fits a DSLR, has independent monitoring and works with a top mic so is a far better option, it's over his budget when used with decent capsules. But whatever the wireless, if he wants to do more than record a couple of people standing close to a camera - he hires a sound person to do it properly. So what's the fuss, by then he's got lighting, grips, an Alexa, an AD and a DoP (and he's googled film producer :).

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Google how to get finance to make a film? No, I'm with Max here too, write stories, direct the actors and try your best with the technical aspects (and here's one who seems interested in sound, not just lenses, which could be a blessing)? Max seems to me to be potentially the director / producer we might wish to work with in 5 / 10 years time when he's done some interesting work and one suddenly hits big. For what it's worth I have always been proud to advance as a technician but never forgotten that I am a filmmaker first.

 

Sadly, tho, Max, not a production sound mixer so I can 't answer the wireless question! As a dialogue editor, I would push a little in a low budget setup for (in increasing order):

bodypack recorders to ensure (ish) sound is down;

working to make sure that lavs work with costume / hair (compromise for sound if sound is necessary to tell the story);

simplify setups when you can to get the story + performance down on a nicely recorded boom with no need for radios.

 

Good luck and welcome, check the forum too for previous posts on all systems mentioned,. Best, Jez

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On 5/22/2019 at 9:33 AM, Max Thomas said:

The main 3 I have been looking at is the Sennheiser g4, Sony uwp-d11, and potentially the new Deity Connect which I was pretty set on buying but now am on the fence.

At the moment I'd rank them: 
#1 Sony UWP-D11
#2 Deity Connect Wireless
#3 Sennheiser G4

The G4 is no real improvement over the G3, and the Sony is easily a better buy than either. 

(I'll note also that Sony also just this year brought out their update to their UWP-D series)

The Deity Connect Wireless is very new, and only has a few reviews out, maybe once more reviews are out and I've had a chance to use it myself, then maybe I'd bump it up to #1 choice in the sub $1K market. 

I'd also add in here another wildcard choice: older Lectrosonics from eBay (such as Lectro 200 series). They're very affordable, similar in price to the others we're discussing here. But unlike those, these Lectros were "pro grade" back in the day and still are fantastic. Just showing their age in various ways (ergonomics not quite as great / not as user friendly, using 9V vs AA, etc). 

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On 5/24/2019 at 7:42 PM, daniel said:

For the camera side of things, then EOSHD is my favorite forum to hang out on:

https://www.eoshd.com/comments/

 

 

On 5/24/2019 at 7:42 PM, daniel said:

 For the OP, why not buy some of the ROde wireless Go units (c.$200) for your OMB'ing as they are small and easy to set up, plug a lav into it for better sound and hiding. Hire a sound pro with better wireless when you have the budget and need something more involved with better range. 

 


Secondhand UWP-D11/G3 are only barely a bit more to buy, and once you've got a decent lav for your Rode Wireless Go then you're at a very similar cost per channel as a Deity Connect Wireless. 

Just don't see the point in the Rode Wireless Go for anybody in this thread. 

 

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4 hours ago, IronFilm said:

For the camera side of things, then EOSHD is my favorite forum to hang out on:

https://www.eoshd.com/comments/

 

 


Secondhand UWP-D11/G3 are only barely a bit more to buy, and once you've got a decent lav for your Rode Wireless Go then you're at a very similar cost per channel as a Deity Connect Wireless. 

Just don't see the point in the Rode Wireless Go for anybody in this thread. 

 

UWP system has some decent options which give it growing room and as a UHF system (like G3/4) you can anticipate a certain type of performance. Will any of the 2.4ghz systems be of any use to anybody if you get dropouts the moment LoS is lost? Just because the Deity has got some 'pro' features like remote control and balanced O/P wont make that wavelength any better at going round corners. 100mw mode might give it a better chance of bouncing off something but if there's nothing to bounce off it wont mean much. Not having tried either (Connect or Go) this is all noise from the armchair but if the limitations of a 2.4 system are not overcome with the 'pro' features offered on the Deity then why not go for an similarly limited system but half the size (and arguably better sounding) on the basis either system is only practical with speakers close to camera (which is OMB land anyway).

 

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I have a Sony UWP-D system we  bought for my son's burgeoning video business.. I bought the kit with the plug-on 48V PH transmitter. I find myself "borrowing" his RF for a variety of jobs as a camera link and as an extra mic for corporate/AV jobs. The sound quality is excellent, with very low self noise.I was using G2, G3s for links/utility usage, but I find I prefer the Sony for these purposes (diversity receiver, very good build quality). The plug-on transmitter comes in awfully handy too. these units are currently very "future proof", 40mw output, and the frequency band I have is safe for now. It's a great bargain.

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