I have recently purchased a Trantex S4.4 Wireless Lavalier Microphone system for recording selected audio at wedding events.
I can't afford a Ģ400+ Sennheiser kit at the moment, but this cheaper model comes with recommendations.
To my dismay, the receiver appears to be mains operated only - DC11-18v IN/100A. So the first issue is finding a plug socket near the camera on the day.
My main concern however, is plugging this receiver into my camera [Canon XM2/GL2]. I am assuming it is safe to do so?
It doesn't say anything about video cameras in the instruction manual [it mentions amplifiers], but I am assuming such a piece of audio equipment is designed for video camera mic input as one possible use?
I often plug in my external shotgun microphone into my XM2, which is itself powered by a battery. This wireless lavalier is mains, however, and I want to be 100% sure before I connect the electric-powered receiver to my camera via the external mic jack.
I vaguely remember learning about 'phantom power' and '+xx volts' for plugging in differently powered microphone systems, but I'm currently rather unsure about this area [the XM2 has one simple external mic jack, described as 'MIC terminal input 3.5mm stereo mini-jack -35 dBV (with 600 ohm mic)/5.6 kohms', and there is nothing about plugging in various mic types in the manual].
Any technical types able to offer me some advice here, or videographers etc?
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phantom power doesnīt have to do, itīs the external power some condenser mics need, but thatīs not an issue in your wireless lav system.
What AUDIO OUT conectors does the receiver have?...XLR, 1/4"plug, miniplug, etc...?...is it Mic or line level? (or both)does it have a variable level knob?
I donīt think you should have any problems conecting it to your cam other than keeping handy one or two AC extension cords. (if it has a variable output level, you might want to turn it alla the way down before you conect/power up)
This is a PA (public address) rather than portable camcorder powered system. It is is intended for stage, church or conference use.
My short search on Google didn't show a camcorder receiver under that brand. http://www.trantec.co.uk/html/trantec_pricelist.htm
The XM2 has an adapter that interfaces with pro mic systems
Beachtek makes a nicer adapter.
Otherwise you need a system designed for a high impedance unbalanced mini mic jack.
Cheapest acceptable is the Azden WMS-Pro system ~$150.
The Audio-Technica PRO 88W is a newer low end competitor that I haven't used.
Prices go up from there. A mid range pro level UHF system looks like this.
Well, since you've BOUGHT the mic system already...
easiest, most direct thing would be to get a 3-to-6foot long
1/4" M-plug <--> 35mm M-plug adapter cable (probably cost $10) and get a little stand to put the receiver on just below the nexus of the camera tripod. Looking at both the manuals, that OUGHT to work. If it doesn't, you're not out too much $. Let us know, and we'll offer some other suggestions.
IIWY I would have looked around for a better quality/more well-known brand that has more universal support and accessory options, just like the examples edDV gave. Oh welll. Next upgrade time...
Originally Posted by Cornucopia
The VP3 camcorder receiver works with the popular VHF T series wireless mics.
For UHF I like to rent Sennheiser systems
Thanks all for the replies, much appreciated. I really need to get to the bottom of this today with the wedding job tomorrow - here is more info and latest research I have done today:-
- According to the retail supplier of my wireless mic, the mains receiver "will be line level output"
- My Canon XM2 is apparently mic level input. It is 3.5mm jack [not XLR so no danger of phantom power from camera].
I understand 'line level' = 'plug in power'?
Tests I have done:-
- Plugged receiver into my old JVC palmcorder - the mic input on this says 'plug in power' [i.e. line level]. Results: mic works, though output from camera seems very loud. However this old palmcorder has no manual audio level controls
- Plugged receiver into my XM2 - the mic input is apparently 'mic level'. Results: mic works, with output from camera seeming rather loud but clear - I have audio level controls on this camera so when I have it turned down to the lower end, with the lavalier mic attached just below chest level, I get good speech sound
So... I have a mains-powered apparently 'line level' mic receiver working through both a 'plug in powered' external mic jack, and a different 'mic powered' mic jack, with the results sounding better through the 'mic powered' jack.
But isn't this at odds with how it should be? If anything, I would guess that if the 'line level' mic receiver is actually working more correctly through the 'mic level' XM2 than it is through the 'line level' JVC. It is difficult to say if there is 'too much' loudness through either camera, since both seem very sensitive machines to sound with audio recording levels on the XM2 rarely needing to approach halfway from past experience with my external shotgun.
I'm tempted to throw caution to the wind and just go for it tomorrow by plugging the receiver into the XM2, but I am concerned about possibly damaging any circuitry by plugging a 'line level' into the 'mic level'.
I can say that my XM2 test did not seem to distort mind you - it seemed loud and clear through my headphones.
But just because it appears to 'work', I am dubious about mis-connecting my equipment in case of catastrophic damage. What is the risk here, if any?
I really need to get to the bottom of this today, so would be extremely grateful for any further help and information.
This is the wireless mic I have, lavalier version:-
Some info I found about the XM2 mic jack: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/canon-gl2-gl1-son-watchdog/11149-xm2-audio-line-input-while-filming.html
You really should return what you have but...
Line level (unbalanced) is similar to RCA jack stereo connects. Mic level is 40 to 50 dB lower than that. Your XM2 mic level control gives some range of level control but probably not enough.
Mic receiver shows "Variable to +10dBu via unbalanced 1/4" mono jack"
Turn that to minimum.
You will need additional attenuation to avoid over loud audio. Does the XM2 have a VU or peak meter?
XLR balanced attenuators are easy to find. Mini jack premade less so.
Do it yourself 40dB or 50dB attenuator
This will be useful for adapting any pro mic or mixing console. Cheap competitors have issues. Also Beachtek has high resale value.
IIRC, the S4.4 has 3 output jacks: XLR, 1/4" and RCA. The RCA is most assuredly line level, but the XLR ought to be mic level, and the 1/4" could be anywhere from mic (-40 to -60dB) to instrument (~ -20 to -30dB) to line level (0dB). And if it has a variable attennuator, then that just makes it all the more versatile.
Pretty much too late to swap to something else, so your setup (with an adapter like I mentioned above) should work OK if you bring the levels down on the receiver's output attennuator (down to ~ -40dB area).
Go to the church ahead of time, setup your system, but don't yet add the wireless--just use the on camera mike.
Get the organist/bandleader/musicGuru to give you the freakin'est LOUD chord he can give and sustain it. Set the levels with your mike.
Then hook up the wireless xmitter and receiver and power up.
Hold the wireless mke at ~ the same spot as your on-camera mike (maybe a little closer to your sound source since the on-cam mike is likely a semi-shotgun) and have the organ/etc play LOUD again.
Now, set the attennuator to ~ as close to the same level as you had set the on-cam mike---BUT DO NOT CHANGE THE LEVEL ON THE CAMERA.
Now you should be pretty good to go. Should avoid all but the most extreme peaks, and should give you the best gain structure possible with your current setup.
OH YEAH, and make sure you've got plenty of fresh batteries when the time comes...
And I'd add listen to the test result with good headphones to make sure you aren't clipping or distorting. That is the result of overly strong levels. You could still use a 50dB pad so all controls aren't at their extreme settings. That usually results in distortion.
BTW XLR outputs can be line or mic level, balanced or unbalanced. The specs list all outputs at line levels. 1/4" jack is unbalanced, XLR is balanced. Use the unbalaced 1/4" to the mini plug.
You might find some cable help at a musician supply store but that is a long chance.