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Wireless Boom For Bag Gigs


codyman
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I've grown increasingly accustomed to the idea of using a wireless boom via my Lectro HM transmitter for my doc bag gigs.  Obviously it is a lot of run and gun and I like the idea of not having to deal with a coiled cable so that I can simply ditch my boom easily to throw mics on people or just set it down when it is not needed without having to unplug/plug back in all the time.  I've been giving it a shot, however, it seems that the 100mw power that it is locked to is creating huge intermod problems (despite me planning out frequencies) as I'm getting RF hits here and there when the HM is turned on, but none when it is turned off.  I've noticed too that when I have the boom close to the bag, it will light up a lot of my other wireless channels.  My bag consists of a 633 with a PSC Four Pack loaded with a SRc and SRb hooked to Betso Bowties as antennas.  I'm assuming the only way to fix this issue is to get a phantom powered transmitter that spits out at a lower power setting or switch to something that is digital like a Zax ZMT4?  I've also tried to put the HM attached to the pole by the mic itself so it's further away from my bag when extended but it still seems to cause issues.  Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated!

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If I was in your shoes, I'd be seriously looking at a Shure AD3 with the new Shure ADX5D. Because: it would likely sound better, is digital, can be run as low as 3mW

 

In fact this is quite possibly the direction I'll go, if not this year, then perhaps next year: my current Sound Devices 833, but with an SL2 that will have an ADX5D in the first slot and a Wisycom MCR54 in the second slot. This feels like it would be a really nice combo to put together. 

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I've never really thought of wanting a wireless boom for bag work... I'm thinking extra weight to hold, extra batteries to monitor, extra frequency to coordinate, reminds me of an old saying "The most expensive radio mic is almost as good as a $10 lead" LOL

 

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Pat, I'd always thought that way as well! But now I'm starting to drift in the direction of seeing benefits of going wireless.... don't think either approach is "wrong", just a matter of personal preferences. 

 

However, if I am going to go wireless, I'll want the very best. For me, that has meant for my boom ops running a Sound Devices MM1 in front of a Lectrosonics transmitter. But am thinking my next step should be a Shure AD3? No decisions made yet, still pondering it, no rush. 

 

Anybody used the Shure AD3 a lot? Guessing not too many have? As the AD3 is a very new release as well. 

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24 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Pat, I'd always thought that way as well! But now I'm starting to drift in the direction of seeing benefits of going wireless.... don't think either approach is "wrong", just a matter of personal preferences. 

 

However, if I am going to go wireless, I'll want the very best. For me, that has meant for my boom ops running a Sound Devices MM1 in front of a Lectrosonics transmitter. But am thinking my next step should be a Shure AD3? No decisions made yet, still pondering it, no rush. 

 

Anybody used the Shure AD3 a lot? Guessing not too many have? As the AD3 is a very new release as well. 

I used to use the MM1 + Lectro combo for my boom ops but switched to an HM + R1a for listening for my ops due to popular demand to not have to unplug from the MM1 to rest the boom etc.  Sonically, I think they sound the same-ish?  AD3 seems nice though and $999 is hard to beat for any proper digital transmitter.  A bummer that Shure's micro transmitter is $2499 which is quite steep compared to the competition.

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The ZMT4 is about half the size and weight of any other digital transmitter and of course has the 12/48v supply. It lasts about 5 hours when set to 48V. It allows the pole to weigh less than a cabled equivalent. We would be happy to arrange a demo so you can listen to the audio quality. With Neverclip I would think you would find it second to none. And when you don’t need a boom it’s a extra super tiny bodypack with 7 hour run time and recording. Power is set to 10 or 50mW with no intermod issues. 

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4 minutes ago, glenn said:

The ZMT4 is about half the size and weight of any other digital transmitter and of course has the 12/48v supply. It lasts about 5 hours when set to 48V. It allows the pole to weigh less than a cabled equivalent. We would be happy to arrange a demo so you can listen to the audio quality. With Neverclip I would think you would find it second to none. And when you don’t need a boom it’s a extra super tiny bodypack with 7 hour run time and recording. 

The Nova + MRX414 + 4x ZMT4's would probably conquer 90% of my work.  As much as I love my Sound Devices / Lectro combo, the older I get, the more my back wants lighter and simpler combos...

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I don’t know if I’m the only one to have thought of this, but I use a strain-relieved shorty XLR hanging out of my bag (and MM1s for my boom ops) that my boom’s coily cable can quickly connect and disconnect from. Cheap, simple, nearly bulletproof option. (I keep a separate coily cable attached to all of my booms, strain-relieved, again for quick connect purposes). 
 

I have an HMa that I really don’t like so much, I don’t think it sounds nearly as good as hard wire or (again in the case of my boom ops, with an MM1 and transmitter). I got it as a means of convenience after Covid hit, so that I could get in and out of an interview set with one less cable to run. Otherwise, I’ve always felt that a single purpose transmitter was for the most part, a waste of money. 

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I do the same, it's so much easier to quickly unclip from your boom when you've already got the connector hanging six inches out of your bag, rather than needing reach into the bag itself and fumble around finding the connection point to unclip the XLR cable. 

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I have successfully used a wireless boom for bag work over the last 5 years or so and I love it. The HMa 50mW setting worked well — however, I only ever turned it on when I needed it, so it was never just powered up and next to my bag on standby. 
 

Since I’ve phased out most of my daily lectros, I’ll likely be getting a ZMT/ph setup for my nova. I’m currently back to using a hard-wired pole and it’s a drag for mobility — I miss my wireless boom. 
 

That being said, if you’re considering cutting the cord on your boom for docu/bag work, the most important caveat I’ve discovered is: Don’t forget it on location.

It seems obvious, but in the beginning days of my untethered freedom I almost left it behind at a dark restaurant. Someone else I know who uses wireless boom left theirs resting against the crew van once… that didn’t end well. 
 

Cheers,

Evan

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I’ve used an Hma in the bag with SRC receivers at 50mw with no issues, I also spaced it a block higher than my talent mics… that being said I’ve only opted  to use that set up for a snowboard shoot up a mountain where I didn’t want to deal with a cable/wanted the ability to set my pole in the snow at a moments notice, and sometimes for reality shoots where you’re just playing wires and bringing out the boom for a brief interview here and there.

 

For less extreme situations I much prefer an internally cabled pole, for a lighter

pole during documentary booming.

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8 hours ago, hobbiesodd said:

 

That being said, if you’re considering cutting the cord on your boom for docu/bag work, the most important caveat I’ve discovered is: Don’t forget it on location.

 

The most common phrase you will hear from me on set these days is 'where the hell did I just put my boom" Constantly forgetting where I just placed it.

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