On-Set with Sennheiser’s EW 500 Film G4 Wireless Combo Set

Sennheiser ew500WirelessCombo

With the arrival of Sennheiser’s new EW 500 FILM G4 Wireless Combo Set, I recently had the opportunity to test them on-set in a few different configurations. The kit includes one transmitter, one MKE 2 clip-on lav mic, one receiver and one plug-on transmitter for use on handhelds or boom applications. During past TV and film productions, I had used the Sennheiser G3 transmitters and receivers utilizing their older lav mics and was curious how these would compare to the new G4’s performance.

We’ve all had situations where the frequencies can get really crowded and you need to scan for another one especially since we’re losing the 600 MHz to 700MHz range. One of the first things I noticed with the EW 500 G4 series is that there’s up to 2x the amount of frequencies available compared to the G3. I was recording interviews in a busy downtown night club area using the EW 500 G4 transmitter and receiver as a camera hop, sending the mix wirelessly to the camera and soon realized there was a lot of radio traffic interference in the vicinity. I was quickly able to scan a wider range of frequency options (Up to 88 MHz bandwidth, up to 32 channels), sync the transmitter and receiver together via infrared, and continue the interviews.

The EW 500 G4 wireless combo system also includes the SKP 500 plug-on transmitter that can make a handheld mic wireless or for your shotgun mics on a boom pole. I was particularly interested in using this transmitter with a shotgun mic for a wireless boom option since it also has Phantom Power (48V). While on-set filming a commercial, I was able to easily use the SKP 500 plug-on transmitter for a cable-free wireless boom set-up.

To be honest, the lav mics that shipped with the older G3 kits were not my favorites. However, the EW 500 G4 Wireless Combo Set ships with the MKE 2 Gold broadcast quality lav mics which were a major improvement and offer better frequency response. In a recent interview I did on the Location Sound Podcast, I spoke with Stickman Sound owner, Fernando Delgado, regarding using the MKE 2’s on the boxing trainers during live broadcast boxing events and he was happy with their performance as well.

Regarding transmitter power, there is an increased RF output power adjustable to 10mW, 30mW and 50mW for greater range. I found the battery life was impressive and I didn’t have to switch batteries as often as other wireless brands I’ve used. Overall, Sennheiser’s new EW 500 FILM G4 Wireless Combo System performed exceptionally well and is worth a look.  https://en-us.sennheiser.com/broadcast-film-wireless-combo-system-lavalier-ew-500-film-g4

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What Microphone Sounds Best With Your Voice

Have you ever wondered what microphone sounds best with your voice? At Podcast Movement 2017 in Anaheim, California, I was invited to work at the Podcast Engineering School booth where we set up 10 different microphones, all in a row, so people could sit down and try each one.

Mic Test

We recorded the mic test and then emailed the mp3 file to each person so they could listen to the recording later in a quieter environment. I did the test multiple times myself and was pleasantly surprised how some of the lower priced mics sounded. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a decent microphone, especially if you’re just getting started and may not have the budget for a really high-end mic. Here’s a list of all the mics we tried:

Behringer XM1800s $39 (3-Pack)  Yes, there are 3 mics in a handy carrying case.
AKG c1000s $199  Condenser microphone which requires Phantom power or two AA batteries.
Audio-Technica ATR 2100 $64.59  This mic is popular with podcasters and is both USB and XLR compatible.
Sennheiser E835 $99.95
Audio-Technica BP40 $349
Blue Yeti Pro $249  This mic is also USB and XLR compatible.
Blue Spark $199
Electro-Voice RE320 $299
Electro-Voice RE20 $449  Has traditionally been used as a radio DJ mic.
Shure SM7B $399  This vocal mic was preferred by Michael Jackson and he used it on the Thriller album.
Heil PR40 $308  Another popular mic in the podcasting community.

RE320 and RE20

I personally had never tried the Audio-Technica ATR 2100 and was always curious. It’s a decent entry level mic and people like that it is USB. Even the Behringer XM1800s mics weren’t bad and you get a 3-pack and a carrying case! So which mic is the best? Well, like choosing a wine, you just have to decide for yourself, which one you like. Every voice is unique and what works for one person doesn’t always work for someone else. None of these mics were terrible but there were differences. I listened to over a hundred people try these mics and one size does not fit all. Before you purchase a microphone, try it first and make sure you like how it sounds. If you can, try multiple mics so you have a comparison.  Most music equipment stores have a mic booth where you can try before you buy. Happy recording!

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Sound is Half the Picture

Welcome to MichaelTheSoundGuy.com! It’s your source for Location Sound Recording, Equipment Reviews, Audio Recording Software Tutorials and Techniques for Professional Quality Audio Recording.
Boom pole with mic

 

 

Check out the Location Sound Podcast where each episode we talk with location sound mixers, boom ops and other industry pros about the various aspects of recording sound on-location for feature and independent films, TV commercials, interviews, anytime where dialog from actors is recorded. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting out, this podcast is packed with great stories and lessons about recording on-location.
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Protecting Your Hearing

How Loud Is Too Loud?
Protecting Your Hearing

Even if your job doesn’t require critical listening like an audio engineer, it’s extremely important to take care of your hearing. For those of us in the audio industry who need our hearing to make a living, it’s imperative to care for it.

earbuds in an ear
Keep volume low when wearing earbuds

I’m not an ear doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  Actually, I didn’t but I have seen their commercials on TV.  They explained that everyone is born with a limited number of sensory hearing cells in their ears.  As we age, these nerves gradually die off.  You’ve probably noticed every now and then that little “ping” sound and then the ringing in your ears.  It slowly appears to return to normal.  Congratulations, you just lost some hearing! Once these sensory cells are gone, they do not grow back and ultimately we notice it as hearing loss. It’s just a fact of life. Continue reading “Protecting Your Hearing”

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