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Improving wireless audio with Shotgun
Old 30th May 2020
Here for the gear

Improving wireless audio with Shotgun

Hi, I have one of the Audio Technica System 10 on camera wireless audio systems (model: ATW-1701) and would like to use this with a Shotgun mic, namely a Sennheiser MKE 600. This can be driven either using Phantom power or it can also use an onboard AA battery instead.

After some discussions with Audio Technica support, I've arrived at the following conclusions:

1. The AT cable for connecting an XLR mic to their Unipak transmitter is an unbalanced cable that apparently "drops" one of the signals from the mic resulting in a 6dB drop before it's even reached the transmitter. The Unipak uses a 4 pin Hirose connector with separate pins for Mic, Inst, Ground and DC Bias. The unit contains a trim knob which AT advise changes the impedance.

2. If the connection from the on camera receiver is to a device that's expecting an unbalanced connection, you'll drop a further 6dB in the process. My ideal scenario is to get that audio into my camera (an Olympus EM5 Mk II) with the best quality.

To throw another wrinkle into the mix, AT advise that their equipment is designed to operate at Unity gain, so what goes in should come out.

The way they phrased it was imagine that there was a cable between the shotgun and the next device in the chain. Their wireless kit is intended to just "replace" that cable, meaning you still need a preamp .

This is relevant since the onboard mic preamps on the Oly are dreadful, but unusually for a consumer camera, they can be disabled and the camera can accept line level (consumer line level I presume rather than pro) instead.

My questions are as follows:

Is there a useful way to maximise the signal that the Unipak gets from the MKE 600 and remove or minimise the first 6dB drop? Are impedance matching cables or reverse DI boxes at all appropriate?

For the audio that exits the receiver, I have a couple of options. I could either go with one of the dedicated camera preamps like a Marantz Pro PMD-602A, feed the audio into that from the receiver and then to the camera (or something like a Go Vocal/iRig Pre).

The other option would be an audio recorder such as the Tascam DR60D Mk II which has dedicated hi/lo level outputs for feeding a camera and hopefully reasonable pre-amps.
Old 31st May 2020
Gear Addict

I used to to do wireless boom-jobs, I had the mic hard wired to a mix pre (first gen), That I wore on my waist in a pouch. There was also a transmitter in that pouch (and a receiver for monitoring).
the transmitter would send line level audio.

On the receiving end was a recorder. Recorders' monitoring output was fed to a second transmitter, it's receiver was also connected to the Mix pre,
that I used with a headphone for monitoring. System worked pretty good.

So in your case, I'd also advice on a cabled connection to a portable mixer or pre amp, then get a transmitter with Line level out like a Sennheiser G4, so you can bypass the preamps on the DSLR.
Or, even better, connect the mic to a portable recorder, record full quality audio, then use your Unipak radio to record 'scratch' audio to the camera.
Afterwards, align audio from the recorder with the scratch track. This can be done with Plural Eyes software, or directly from within Adobe Premiere.

Last edited by Newmann; 1st June 2020 at 07:55 AM.. Reason: first part of msg was lost..
Old 5th June 2020
Here for the gear

Thanks for that, a few things for me to consider.
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