I need a cost effective wireless lav that I can swap out with a hand held. I have 3 chip cameras GL-1,GL-2, and VX2000. Is there that much of a diff between VHF and UHF and I would love any suggestions or advice.
Always pick UHF when given the choice. I use an Azden UDR 400 (current model is UDR 500) with a wireless lav. They also have adapters that will snap onto any standard mic that will convert them to wireless as well giving you a handheld option.
I agree with Jetdv,
UHF is the way to go. I've been pretty happy with the Shure series of wireless mics but I feel that ANY wireless simply cannnot guarantee that you won't pick some "fuzzy stuff" or "what the heck was that noise" occurances.
I'm not a wedding videographer, but I've filmed and recorded many weddings.
I recommend the MA-300 microphone adapter for the GL2 camera (2 XLR inputs), an easily concealable wired condenser mic ("choir mic", "boundary mic") with a phantom power supply between the mics and the camera.
I've had great results with this type of set-up, and I like the reliability of wires for live events...:o)
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't part with all my wireless Shure Vocalmasters for anything, but I've not had a wireless yet, whether is be Sennheiser, Shure, Nady, AT, or Radio Shack----that didn't give me an unwanted suprise at one time or another.
UHF is good. There are many many devices everywhere that broadcast noise in the VHF band. UHF is a lot cleaner.
Better yet, go for a diversity system. This broadcasts on two separate frequencies simultaneously. The receiver can switch back and forth between the two frequencies noiselessly and nearly instantly to pick up whichever one is clearer. One problem that is even more serious than radio noise is reflections and interference in the carrier wave. This can be caused by the mic and it's wearer moving around or turning. Occasionally the radio wave will cause a reflection that interferes with itself and cause nasty crackles, hums, and dropouts. It's extremely unlikely for this to happen to two different frequencies at the same time/location. A diversity system is able to avoid this interference much better than a non-diversity system.
The downside? Expect to pay twice as much for a diversity system of similar quality/features as a non-diversity unit. The receivers also require two antennas so they tend to be bigger.
Just my 2c
Shure diversity systems are the cleanest and most reliable. Azden makes good units for camcorders too. Portable battery powered receivers are a must unless you are working just with fixed camera positions. Stay away from the consumer Sony model. Other manufacturers are Nady, Audio-Technica, and Sennheiser.
Depending on your area, VHF may be just fine and you can find these used. If you are in a metropolitan area, UHF is just about a must, although I still use my switchable-frequency VHF unit all the time, along with 3 UHF systems. There is no difference in quality, just the interference factor. By all means, check the frequency compatibility charts on the Shure website before you buy. You don't want to end up with something that only picks up the sound from your local TV station.
In fact, diversity systems transmit only one frequency, but with two discrete receivers 1/4-1/2 wavelength apart. The system constantly scans for the best signal and feeds it seamlessly to the output. It's easy to confuse them with dual-frequency models that are designed to be used with two mic-transmitters at once.
Maybe you guys could shed some light on this problem that I have had since I got this little wireless sys. When I purchased my gydv500 I could not at the time get the lectrosonics that I had my sights on, now I do but before the lectros I picked up a samson series one UHF micro diversity wireless system with a sony 44 lav mic. The darn thing always sounds to hot or over modulated. Even after trying to set the pots down, the same a fuzzy sound. I even sent it back to samson and its still sounds the same. I have used many different wireless system on the back of beta sp cams so I know what good sound is. Even when I had to use some older low end AT wireless system they sound better then this samson. Any Ideas?
Is it possible that the receiver is outputting a line level signal and the device you're connecting it to is expecting a mic level signal? A line level signal can easily be 60dB or more louder than mic level.
On the jvc 500 you can switch from line, mic or 48volt phantom. I need the samson as a back up, you know the talent knocks the trans off their belt and into the lake kind of thing or it takes a hard knock on the ground. So I don't know Chienworks but I can't use it the way it is with the lectros or even a hard wire mike.
it sound clear till the talent starts talking, and I know that you need to set your db's a lot lower with digital sound then analog. About -12 with the 500. I have been using the 500, lectros and hardwire mics for about two years with nice sound but not with that dang samson system.
Since it sounds like you have the receiver gains under control, look at the transmitter modulation. It is the single biggest cause of distortion in wireless systems.
The gain adjustment on the transmitter sets the amount that the audio signal modulates the RF carrier, it must not be used as a volume adjustment. It should be set so that the modulation indicators on the receiver never peak in the yellow during normal use. If the receiver doesn't have modulation (don't confuse with RF) indicators, set the transmitter gain at 50% and leave it. Anything above 100% modulation = distortion in FM systems. If after turning the transmitter gain down (and making sure you have fresh batteries for each session) you still have distortion, it may be the fault of the Samson equipment.
Thanks Musicvid: I got into the broadcast biz about ten years ago as an underwater shooter for a production company that produced shows for espn, oln, etc. Then moved into doing standups and when I was not underwater or talking to the one eyed monster (canpared to the whole shoot wasn't that much) I would help out the camera and soundman.
The frist thing out of the soundmans mouth was always when staging the gear for work, change the batteries, always! their cheap compared to the cost of the shoot. So I would guess out of six or so different wireless systems/make and models, I have alway been able to set the mudulation on the trans when that was the problem. But not with this little dog. And the AF as its called on the trans it set around 45%
The receiver also has an -10,-20 or -30 level switch.
I have seen this same system on xl-1 and pd150's and no one has complained, Is anyone out there using one of these systems, and are you happy with yours? Its the only darn thing in my camera,cart/light package thats giving me troubles that I can't seem to get right.
After sending it back to samson, and having it returned sounding the same as before I don't know what to think. It might be the unit and samson just could not get it right.
I just didn't like the sound of the Samson units I demoed in the store, same with Audio-Technica, and have always been able to get what I wanted out of Shure. Sounds like you are on top of the technical details, so I'd guess your Samson will show up on ebay someday ...
Only other thing I can think of is if some fine dust or sand got into the mic cartridge, that can sure sound like clipping.
P.S. Tonight I put a wireless SM58 as the center stage mic between two wired SM58's, and I had a hard time telling the difference, even through headphones.