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Thread: Lav Shootout! Rode, Tram, Sanken & Sennheiser

  1. #1
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    Default Lav Shootout! Rode, Tram, Sanken & Sennheiser

    Hello audio people! I was just out searching for an "audio-for-video" forum and found this one. I really love mics (not that I have too many) and learning whatever I can from those more seasoned than myself. I make my living producing video in any capacity the client requires. I also do audio gigs like boom op, or post audio, voice over work, jingle writing / performing. Lately I have been reviewing/demoing mics and enjoying the process. Below is one I did comparing 4 lavs that I have used. Which one do you like the best?


  2. #2

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    Thanks for posting Chad. I found the informative and interesting. I think the Tram TR50 sounded best to me on my PC speakers.

  3. #3
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    Ditto Midnight with the thanks. Very interesting. All the mics sounded good, but certainly displayed different characteristics. My guess would be that the Sanken is most "transparent". It appears brighter - probably with too much in the higher frequencies for it to be useful without further treatment, but it's easy enough to roll off some top to nake it sound a bit sweeter, whereas if the detail isn't captured in the first place, you don't get the choice.
    The Tram was certainly the warmest though the others seemed to have a similar tone. The Sennheiser seemed pretty flat - with no identifiable "character" and the Rode almost too flat - if there can be such a thing.
    Tim

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    I found the Tram too dark for my taste in this comparison, but then again when I use it on a job without comparing it to others it sounds fine. Funny how you get used to a mic's sound when you aren't comparing it to others!! I hate the ME-2 sound now. It sounds somehow plasticy and lacking in body. I think the COS11D has a more "hi-fi" sound with more lows and highs, whith the highs sounding a bit too edgy. If I were concealing under clothes I would go with that mic. I find the Rode to be balanced sounding, giving me a signal I can bend to any tone I need.

    I've been playing with the Rode lavs so much since they are the new toy that I haven't really used the Sanken. But the Rode & the Sanken are my faves out of the bunch. That ME-2 is in there because that's the mic you get for free when you buy the Sennheiser G3 wireless package. It's not to be taken seriously. It's there so people can hear how the signal improves when you upgrade to a professional lav. And if you don't have real reference monitors to listen to this, I would suggest using decent cans at least. Computer speakers are not going to give anyone an accurate picture if what is recorded.

    Here's a shootout I did when I purchased my COS11D, comparing it just to the ME-2.


  5. #5

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    I'm frankly not nuts about any lav mic or shotgun mic, but I realize that sometimes you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

    What are they using to record with in LA out in the field these days? Are they getting away from DAT machines altogether now and going with something like an FR2, or is DAT still holding its own?

  6. #6
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    DAT is dead Swoopie. The pros with funding use Sound Devices recorders, or record directly into cameras. The big lav to use in LA is the COS11D. If you're not nuts about any lav or Shotgun, then what do you use to pick up dialogue in the field? Usually one only has 3 choices: Shotgun for outdoor dialogue, Hyper for indoor, or Lav when a mic on a boom isn't feasible.

  7. #7

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    nice review vids chad. not often you see the "rub" test

  8. #8

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    They're no good outdoors really, but have you tried using a good ole ribbon mic like the stage guys do? It's amazing how far you can get away from them and not have the sound thin out the way condensers do. I just sold my old RCA BK11 a couple of months back. But I couldn't see keeping such an expensive "vintage" mic around anymore when you can pick up something like an MXL R77 for less than $250 now, and it's a great mic. Even their cheap R144 isn't bad at all for the money, and I'm surpised more video guys aren't picking up on that one. That figure-8 pattern makes it great for placing between a preacher and a couple saying wedding vows. I mean ribbon mics are delicate, but they're getting so cheap now that it doesn't matter if you drop one.

    The pros with funding use Sound Devices recorders
    That's why I mentioned the Fostex FR-2 which seemed poised to take over the old PD-6 slot when they first came out. It somehow generates the time-code on an external card though, so I'm not sure how good that works. There are still plenty of folks using DATs in the midwest. You'll seldom walk onto the set of something like a Budwiser commercial without finding one. I guess it's just a matter of time though....

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