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Matt

Lectro UM400 Distortion with Sanken COS-11

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Hey All,

I was using a UM400 in 200 mode with a Lectro 201 receiver and was getting distortion.  I have not heard this with my other 201 system.  All I can imagine is that there is something odd about the UM200 emulation on the 400 transmitter.  It wasn't that it was getting limiter distortion, sounding squashed.  It actually was breaking up and sounding like overload distortion.  The receiver was showing the level just barely hitting full-scale, which should be okay according to Lectro literature.  The 201 system was showing the same levels, and doing just fine.  A few possible issues that may have caused it:

1.  I had a Sanken COS-11 on a female in the rubber mount with the mic pushed into the mount (nothing sticking out of the top).  Maybe the boost in high end was making it too bright and causing this distortion?

2.  I have heard the system break up on S's before on women who were hitting their S's too hard.  It is the high end in those cases.

3.  Maybe the UM400 isn't matching up correctly with the meter on the 201 receiver?

I don't know.  Any thoughts?  I couldn't get it to do it again after the fact.  I tried yelling into it and everything.

I am not using red dot Sanken's.

-Matt Hamilton

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I have heard a similar "distortion" before when the COS-11 was put too far into the rubber mount (RM-11).  It always sounds bad to me, distorted or not, and I almost always recognize the sound and have my crew correct it before we start rolling.  The mounts actually have a dotted line across them that I believe indicates where one is supposed to cut them before use, but I don't know anyone that does that, including me.  Like any wiring technique, there is a time and a place for using the RM-11, but I can't think of any reason to have the element tucked down inside a little rubber room.

Robert

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Robert,

I have actually found that pushing the Sanken down into the rubber mount can brighten a dead sounding lav.  On ENG or reality shoots, where EQ at the mixer is not an option, this can sometimes help with a muddy lav, due to position or some other mitigating factor.  I don't push it all the way down into the mount, though.  Usually, just pushing it in until the windscreen tip is flush with the top of the rubber mount is enough.

So, do you always have the windscreen tip above the edge of the rubber mount?  How do you deal with clothing noise?  Sometimes, I'll put the mic element in the open-backed area of the rubber mount, turn this out toward the clothing, and tape it to the clothing with the rubber mount between the mic element and the skin, but open toward the clothing.  However, this can still brighten the signal, which is not always desirable.  But when I leave the mesh screen sticking out, it seems to have more clothing noise issues.

-Matt

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Robert,

I have actually found that pushing the Sanken down into the rubber mount can brighten a dead sounding lav.  On ENG or reality shoots, where EQ at the mixer is not an option, this can sometimes help with a muddy lav, due to position or some other mitigating factor.  I don't push it all the way down into the mount, though.  Usually, just pushing it in until the windscreen tip is flush with the top of the rubber mount is enough.

So, do you always have the windscreen tip above the edge of the rubber mount?  How do you deal with clothing noise?  Sometimes, I'll put the mic element in the open-backed area of the rubber mount, turn this out toward the clothing, and tape it to the clothing with the rubber mount between the mic element and the skin, but open toward the clothing.  However, this can still brighten the signal, which is not always desirable.  But when I leave the mesh screen sticking out, it seems to have more clothing noise issues.

-Matt

I suppose that facing out, as you describe, might be okay - perhaps with a bit of moleskin behind the mic to "soften" the surface.  I can't say I would advocate using the RM-11 as an EQ tool, but perhaps Phil or another postie could chime in as to what their opinion is on that one.

Robert

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I have actually found that pushing the Sanken down into the rubber mount can brighten a dead sounding lav.  On ENG or reality shoots, where EQ at the mixer is not an option, this can sometimes help with a muddy lav, due to position or some other mitigating factor.  I don't push it all the way down into the mount, though.  Usually, just pushing it in until the windscreen tip is flush with the top of the rubber mount is enough.

-Matt

http://www.sanken.ch/english/det2-11.htm

I've had the same results. I've never tried to bury it like the link shows, however.

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Funny, I've always inserted the COS-11 on the opposite end (as opposed to whats shown on their website) of the RM & would never thought about trimming that piece off since for me it works great protecting against rustling noise...

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" I couldn't get it to do it again after the fact.  I tried yelling into it and everything. "

excuse my confusion, you are saying this happened once, and not again with the same equipment? (an intermittent?)

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Funny, I've always inserted the COS-11 on the opposite end (as opposed to whats shown on their website) of the RM & would never thought about trimming that piece off since for me it works great protecting against rustling noise...

Yeah I tend to flip the RM-11 around quite often and use that little pocket to keep clothing from rubbing.  That approach has been working well for me.  I find that the most control over how full or bright the sanken sounds comes from how far up or down on the chest you place it.  Sometimes it seems a half inch can make a big difference.

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Have you tried another Sanken with the unit.  I use them with the RM11 all the time and have never experienced this.  I believe older Sankens had a tendency to have the cables go bad right at the capsule so it could be intermittent.

Rob

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Thanks for all the responses, guys.  I just recorded Al Gore and got some weird audio at times with him.  Almost like the diaphragm inside the Sanken was rebounding off the inside of the mic body.  I'm thinking I need to send in my Sankens to be checked out if for no other reason than to put my mind at rest.  Who handles that in the U.S.?  Plus 24?

The problem isn't intermittent so much as it is dependent on the sound of the voice being recorded.  Women can get really ess-y with COS-11's pretty fast it seems.  I found that backing the transmitter down has helped with the distortion problem SOMETIMES, but again, the meter on the receiver did not indicate that I was hitting the limiter at all. I hate the sound of the limiters and try to set everything low enough that they never come on. 

-Matt

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