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  1. #1

    Default OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    I have a friend who wants to up her video producing quality (she's a yoga instructor). She's currently recording to an iPhone, which isn't so awful bad, except for the sound. She's using the phone mic, I think. I'm recommending a lav and small body pack.

    Is there anything decent for a couple/few hundred bucks out there these days? I found an incredibly inexpensive/really-great-sounding lav that I'm going to recommend (check out the JK Mic-J 044 for $30). But she doesn't want to be tethered by a wire.

    I'm pretty happy with the CAD StagePass IEM system that Butch Bos sold me a while back. I'm hoping there's something of that quality/price-point available for wireless mic systems. I had a bad experience with a VHF mic once on a location sound gig, and have been a UHF fan ever since. So, I'm thinking UHF would be preferred, but tell me if I'm off-base.

    Nother thought: am I crazy to think that there might be a decent quality Bluetooth mic adapter out there these days that would preclude the need for a receiver altogether?

    Really appreciate any suggestions.
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 06-01-2018 at 02:36 PM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  2. #2

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    If she's particularly budget conscious, I have a video production buddy who just bought one of these....

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._lavalier.html

    He's been very happy with it. He does mostly field production, and was looking for something "expendable," but it's been holding up.

  3. #3

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    I have a friend who wants to up her video producing quality (she's a yoga instructor). She's currently recording to an iPhone, which isn't so awful bad, except for the sound. She's using the phone mic, I think. I'm recommending a lav and small body pack.

    Is there anything decent for a couple/few hundred bucks out there these days? I found an incredibly inexpensive/really-great-sounding lav that I'm going to recommend (check out the JK Mic-J 044 for $30). But she doesn't want to be tethered by a wire.

    I'm pretty happy with the CAD StagePass IEM system that Butch Bos sold me a while back. I'm hoping there's something of that quality/price-point available for wireless mic systems. I had a bad experience with a VHF mic once on a location sound gig, and have been a UHF fan ever since. So, I'm thinking UHF would be preferred, but tell me if I'm off-base.

    Nother thought: am I crazy to think that there might be a decent quality Bluetooth mic adapter out there these days that would preclude the need for a receiver altogether?

    Really appreciate any suggestions.

    It might help to look up a bunch of the relatively inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter/receiver dual units popping up all over the place. The ones I've been checking out on youtube reviews are proving to be pretty interesting. A couple things really nice about some of them is their ability to connect to analog devices (turning them into Bluetooth transmitters, or receivers) with the shortest cable possible, or sometimes with built-in plugs and also their tiny size.

    I used a Trond dual device a day or two ago to make my soundcheck for a live recording much easier by connecting one as a receiver to my Sony 7506 phones and the other (of a pair) as transmitter connected to that line out of a RME breakout box. In my case, both sides were analog and I used a pair of Tronds to achieve my wireless connection.

    But these devices can also sync to other Bluetooth devices, so it would be easy to connect an analog lav to one of these set as transmitter and connect to a Bluetooth phone, I would think. That's essentially what one reviewer did on youtube.

    There's a bunch of devices similar to the Trond, some dual use and some dedicated and many of them are very tiny and lightweight. In my case, I cut back the headphone cable to just 3-4 inches, put an 1/8" mini plug on the end and let the Trond dangle from it while I worked. I could imagine being able to clip, or tape one of these to a person with a lav cable plugged in in such a way as to make it almost as if it wasn't there.

    Sound quality was very good. As a receiver, it also had a pretty powerful little amp controlled by a pair of volume buttons - could increase quite a bit! Line of site reception was very good across a ballroom floor, although it's funny what things can interfere - even the body sometimes.

    Maybe it's not what you're looking for, but it's a thought worth checking out in my opinion.
    Check out some of the numerous video reviews.

    Edit - these devices have a small amount of latency - they say 30-40ms - but depending on the need, that shouldn't be an issue at all. It wasn't for me testing mics.
    Last edited by UpTilDawn; 06-01-2018 at 03:07 PM.
    SAW/SAC - finally retired a P4/2gHz after ten great years! Burnin' rubber in 2015 with an Intel Core2 Duo e4700/2.6GHz and the trusty RME Digiface/PCI pack.

    2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets recorded/mixed in SAW with SAC as a front-end mixer for live streaming radio!
    Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
    Pharoah Sanders Quartet
    Fred Hersch Trio

    These are post mix sets to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

  4. #4

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by UpTilDawn View Post
    It might help to look up a bunch of the relatively inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter/receiver dual units popping up all over the place. The ones I've been checking out on youtube reviews are proving to be pretty interesting. A couple things really nice about some of them is their ability to connect to analog devices (turning them into Bluetooth transmitters, or receivers) with the shortest cable possible, or sometimes with built-in plugs and also their tiny size.

    I used a Trond dual device a day or two ago to make my soundcheck for a live recording much easier by connecting one as a receiver to my Sony 7506 phones and the other (of a pair) as transmitter connected to that line out of a RME breakout box. In my case, both sides were analog and I used a pair of Tronds to achieve my wireless connection.

    But these devices can also sync to other Bluetooth devices, so it would be easy to connect an analog lav to one of these set as transmitter and connect to a Bluetooth phone, I would think. That's essentially what one reviewer did on youtube.

    There's a bunch of devices similar to the Trond, some dual use and some dedicated and many of them are very tiny and lightweight. In my case, I cut back the headphone cable to just 3-4 inches, put an 1/8" mini plug on the end and let the Trond dangle from it while I worked. I could imagine being able to clip, or tape one of these to a person with a lav cable plugged in in such a way as to make it almost as if it wasn't there.

    Sound quality was very good. As a receiver, it also had a pretty powerful little amp controlled by a pair of volume buttons - could increase quite a bit! Line of site reception was very good across a ballroom floor, although it's funny what things can interfere - even the body sometimes.

    Maybe it's not what you're looking for, but it's a thought worth checking out in my opinion.
    Check out some of the numerous video reviews.

    Edit - these devices have a small amount of latency - they say 30-40ms - but depending on the need, that shouldn't be an issue at all. It wasn't for me testing mics.
    Thanks for the info. I did see a few of these out there, but nothing about plugging a mic into the transmitter. I see that they'll take a line-level source, but I presume there's no mic pre, let alone any kind of phantom power. The lav I like likes 5 volts-or-so "plug-in power," which is a kind of consumer phantom power these days, as you may know. Many portable recorders have it.

    Thoughts? Can I plug a mic into these things (with good results)? Can't seem to find anything on Youtube.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  5. #5

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by CurtZHP View Post
    If she's particularly budget conscious, I have a video production buddy who just bought one of these....

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._lavalier.html

    He's been very happy with it. He does mostly field production, and was looking for something "expendable," but it's been holding up.
    Thanks, Curt!
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  6. #6

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Labrecque View Post
    Thanks for the info. I did see a few of these out there, but nothing about plugging a mic into the transmitter. I see that they'll take a line-level source, but I presume there's no mic pre, let alone any kind of phantom power. The lav I like likes 5 volts-or-so "plug-in power," which is a kind of consumer phantom power these days, as you may know. Many portable recorders have it.

    Thoughts? Can I plug a mic into these things (with good results)? Can't seem to find anything on Youtube.
    Aha - the thought hadn't occurred to me - sorry.
    SAW/SAC - finally retired a P4/2gHz after ten great years! Burnin' rubber in 2015 with an Intel Core2 Duo e4700/2.6GHz and the trusty RME Digiface/PCI pack.

    2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets recorded/mixed in SAW with SAC as a front-end mixer for live streaming radio!
    Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
    Pharoah Sanders Quartet
    Fred Hersch Trio

    These are post mix sets to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    3,490

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    I would just look at one of the Audio Technica System 10 units that operate in 2.4GHz. UHF is such a crap shoot these days and I suspect will only get worse as time goes on.
    Richard B. Ingraham
    RBI Computers and Audio
    http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com
    SAC System Details and other goodies at: http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/SAC.html
    Email Based User List: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sac_users/

  8. #8

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Thanks, everyone, for your input. I got to thinking (uh-oh), and I think the first thing we want to try is simply having her record to a smartphone "body pack" with a lav or head-worn mic, then marry that to the video in post. If that works out, she's only out the cost of the mic (she already has several smart phones/cameras) to deal with. As it turns out, though, the mic company, who I have a testing history with, is sending me out a couple mics for more testing after I inquired about iPhone vs. Android compatibility with their stuff. Looks like she may get a free ride on this thing.

    If the smartphone is too bulky, I can look at wireless options. But, for what it's worth, there sure seems to be a void in the marketplace for a dedicated Bluetooth transmitter/mic pre (using simple plug-in power on a 3.5 mm jack). I bet there are lots of consumers who would find that price-point/performance ratio mighty interesting.

    Who wants to make a million dollars?
    Last edited by Dave Labrecque; 06-08-2018 at 09:07 AM.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    3,490

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Probably hasn't happened because Bluetooth Audio kind of sucks and doesn't allow for very good recordings to be made. A former student of mine created these things:
    https://hookeaudio.com/

    But I know several within the recording community that tried them out and ditched them pretty fast because they felt they had too much self noise. Of course these are also the professional recordist types that run around with big buck mics and portable recorders.

    If I was going to track the audio separately, which I would recommend by the way. I would just get a good quality portable recorder, many of them can be had fairly cheaply and then plug in a reasonable quality wireless microphone into it.

    Maybe over kill for some, but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. And if you're going to take the time to bother at all, might as well capture decent material at the highest resolution possible.
    Richard B. Ingraham
    RBI Computers and Audio
    http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com
    SAC System Details and other goodies at: http://www.rbicompaudio.20m.com/SAC.html
    Email Based User List: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/sac_users/

  10. #10

    Default Re: OT: Decent, Affordable Wireless System Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by RBIngraham View Post
    Probably hasn't happened because Bluetooth Audio kind of sucks and doesn't allow for very good recordings to be made.
    How do you mean?

    A former student of mine created these things:
    https://hookeaudio.com/
    Using your own ear flesh instead of having to buy a binaural fake head -- brilliant!

    If I was going to track the audio separately, which I would recommend by the way. I would just get a good quality portable recorder, many of them can be had fairly cheaply and then plug in a reasonable quality wireless microphone into it.

    Maybe over kill for some, but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well. And if you're going to take the time to bother at all, might as well capture decent material at the highest resolution possible.
    Well, there's the weight issue, so I'm trying a smartphone first (as a body pack). Unless you know of a real small/lightweight recorder of decent quality. That may be the next step if this first approach doesn't work for one reason or another.
    Dave "it aint the heat, it's the humidity" Labrecque
    Becket, Massachusetts

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