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Pat

Best Lavs?

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I have a Senheisser G3. But I’m not in love with the sound it produces. It is definitely not film quality. I am wondering if it is due to the lav mic, or the actual system. If it is just the mic, I’d like to know which lav mic’s are currently the best? Also, any recommendations in terms of digital audio recorders? Looking for the best. 

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9 hours ago, Pat said:

Also, any recommendations in terms of digital audio recorders? Looking for the best. 

Cantar X3, Sonosax R4+, Deva 24, Sound Devices Scorpio.

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Reading the forum will yield you more information and give you the answers you seek. For those ready to just give you their opinions, I say look past personal suggestions and do some research. You’ll be better for it. 

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11 hours ago, Pat said:

Looking for the best. 

 

What's your budget?

 

There's debate about which wireless systems and lavs are best, but the leading wireless systems start at about US$2500 per channel and the leading lavs start at about US$300 each. For recorders, you're looking at US$3,000 and up. You can save some (but not lots of) money buying used, OTOH, some serious recommendations will be more expensive than these prices. Does that fit what you're planning on spending?

 

And more importantly, on what sort of work do you plan to use this stuff? That'll help guide the conversation and recommendations. 

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12 hours ago, Pat said:

 I’d like to know which lav mic’s are currently the best? Also, any recommendations in terms of digital audio recorders? Looking for the best. 

 

And boom mics? Don’t you want to know which one is best? 

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Don't confuse lav with wireless. Unless you start spending $$$ just on transmitter and receiver, a wire will always sound better. And unless you've got that kind of a rig, it's worth making the effort to run a wire on scenes that can't be boomed.

 

Boom v Lav is a totally different question. It has to do with both where you're shooting and what the film is trying to do. 

 

As a postie, I can say with absolute certainty: a well placed boom AND a good sounding lav is the best way to record a track. Even in narrative films where boom will be the hero, having a lav can solve a lot of problems.

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The Sennheiser ME2 that is usually included with the 100 series transmitters is considered sub par by most audio folks. It better than nothing though, and can be used as a back up when you upgrade. Search this forum for discussions on lav mics,. There is a wealth of info here to help you choose a mic within your budget.  Many here prefer Sankens and DPAs. In the sub $200 range, the Countryman B3 and OST 801/802 come to mind.

There is additional discussions and opinions on lavs over at the DVXUser audio forum.The  DVX User audio section is frequented by audio pros, camera folks, ect.

 

Addendum; the ME2 is not to be confused with the MKE 2 which is a highly regarded Sennheiser mic.

 

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As others have said, purchasing cos 11d's for your G3s will vastly improve the sound you capture.  Upgrading the wireless units themselves will also provide an improvement, but in terms of large improvement for a lower cost, the cos 11 is a great place to start.  A lot of the improvements you pay for from higher tier wireless are QoL, not just raw sound quality (although this is obviously a big factor).   

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On 8/25/2019 at 5:27 PM, Pat said:

not film quality.

 

Capturing a motorbike from distance during dialogue will sound the same with XX.XXX equipment and X.XXX equipment.

 

In terms of good quality gear: Currently I am first assistant sound* for a big budget tv drama in Greece. We are using Wisycom, Sonosax, Sanken, Sennheiser, Rycote etc; all the well knowning manufacturers. I like the combo between Wisycom - Sanken - Sonosax. Sometimes we win the battle of good audio, sometimes we lose the battle. TV Drama take place in 1900 - 1920 year, so the challenge is big of not capturing modern background noise.

Generally I am a big fan of Sennheiser MKH 70, Sennheiser MKH 50, DPA 4071, Sanken COS11D in terms of microphone. I have been impressed with the headroom and sound quality of Sonosax SX-R4+. What I am missing from Wisycom, is the ability of change settings from distance (let's say bluetooth ability), because if we need to change battery or gain or frequency to the transmitter, clothes is not an easy to deal with it (bonus: make friends at wardrobe dept.).

*Good film sound starts from a good first assistant sound; make sure you get one. BTW I have no clue if I am good or medium or bad first assistant sound lol

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